Grace’s narrative unpalatable


For one minute I have not read anywhere where First Lady Grace Mugabe has spoken about the Zimbabwe we want. I have not seen one sentence from her which talks about the urgency of reviving our economy to ameliorate the ridiculous condition of millions who are now faced with worsening poverty and hunger. Not once has she shared with us her views on how we can attract investment into the country and create jobs and incomes for the millions of the unemployed and hopeless graduates who her husband continues to cap. In fact, I doubt that she has an inkling of the Zimbabwe we young progressive Zimbabwean want to create.


For far too long we have allowed the average to rule us and no wonder why we are where we are. The Zimbabwe we want is certainly neither represented by Grace nor by Zanu PF. It is significantly different from the past 35 years of greed, plunder, patronage and destruction.

Grace Mugabe speaking during a rally in Mbare yesterday Pic Shepherd Tozvireva

Zimbabweans need to change their mindset and realise that as long as we sit and watch and are somewhat entertained by the old moribund politicking of Zanu PF, we will remain a frustrated society that will never live up to its full potential.

From the conversations which I have had, there is hardly anyone out there excited about the future.

Young, educated Zimbabweans, some who have come back to the country, are disconnected from politics because it is failing to address their aspirations. They are hardly excited about anything politicians might have to say. They are tired of lies and false promises as they see and experience the rot.

The older generation of Zimbabweans are watching in resignation as they wait and hope that the young will gather the courage to challenge the status quo as they did during their time.

Those in the Diaspora are also waiting and hoping that something gives because they can’t do much, but write in protest from where they are. As a result, nothing much is happening as we see the likes of Grace become the centre of attention for the wrong reasons.

We need a new narrative that says Zimbabwe can indeed rise from the ashes of the liberation struggle into a developmental State that can meet the aspirations of all. That new narrative requires that we change our mindsets first as individuals and gather the courage to challenge the monopoly of political power of Zanu PF. It must also act outside the old story of victimhood and the retrogressive approach to economics which has decimated our country.

It is indeed frustrating when you know that our country need not be where it is now. However, for things to change, it will require a totally new approach by our opposition politicians. In my opinion, I do not think they have challenged Zanu PF enough for them to want to change. We have failed to create enough pressure for change, while creating the momentum towards establishing the Zimbabwe we want.

My recent experience with the trying to unite democratic forces into a meaningful convergence platform has shown me that we ourselves are the problem. We have failed to submit to a higher purpose of a united front against tyranny because of personal political ambition. Our politics is really more about doing all we can to stop others and asserting our interests than pursuing the common good.

This has created a political vacuum for the likes of Grace and Zanu PF who remain entrenched as the only seemingly organised political force that can get things done on the ground. Of course, they continue to abuse their advantage of having access to State resources, but they do not have a new narrative, they do not have the big idea of getting Zimbabwe out of the rut. Even Presidential spokesperson George Charamba now admits this.

This is a frustrating situation because no matter how some of us want and are desperate for change now, the political actors that could deliver it seem not ready to demand that change now as a matter of urgency. And so we wait, we all wait for nothing to happen.

Our country is in crisis. It is in a crisis of expectations underpinned by paralysis and non-action by both citizens and politicians.

As this happens, our economy is on the brink of a fantastic collapse. I really do not expect much from the forthcoming National Budget. It will merely be another attempt to promise us that things are getting better and are not as bad as they really are.

All indications are that the country will face serious hunger next year, job losses will increase, liquidity will worsen and there will be zero economic growth. Whatever Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa might say — don’t believe him.

It is really a terrible state of affairs and the temptation is, of course, to throw our hands up give up and leave the country. This, unfortunately, is on the minds of many young Zimbabweans who can certainly live a better life elsewhere and begin to build wealth for themselves. They would rather go than face the incessant moribund propaganda from Zanu PF. They would rather go than face the lack of decent jobs, the erratic availability of basic services such as water and power, the lack of money in the system, the success of thieves and the rise of the likes of Grace who hardly represents who they are. Personally, I do not blame them.

Our only solution lies in fundamental change through a peaceful revolution by all Zimbabweans to save Zimbabwe from the clutches of a dictatorship that is mediocre and arresting our potential as a country.

We must demand freedom now and a new team to revive the economy. There really is no other option — is there?