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Beware of breaking point

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The temerity to fork out a million plus dollars for a ring against the backdrop of the prevailing economic meltdown is scandalous. Splashing such a huge amount on an ornament is a disgraceful exposure of deficient conscience. What a prideful way of exposing one’s seamy side!

Guest Column: Cyprian Ndawana

If ever there is a strategy the leadership will inevitably  regret, it is that of deploying police officers on roads armed with receipt books, metal spikes and baton sticks
If ever there is a strategy the leadership will inevitably regret, it is that of deploying police officers on roads armed with receipt books, metal spikes and baton sticks

As the ring continues to be subject of public discussions, Julius Caesar springs to mind. Caesar decidedly divorced his darling wife, Pompeia, on the grounds of her possible involvement in a public scandal, stating that his wife ought not to be under suspicion.

Looked at from whatever perspective — be it from a Christian moral standard or heathen depraved one — sinking a million plus dollars on a ring is injudicious on one hand, and injurious on the other. It is a prideful self-indulgence, which thrusts one under suspicion.

It is self-evident that a leader with such an insatiable self-gratification tendency invites public suspicion.

However, as I see it, the day is nigh when citizenry will deem it judicious to withdraw allegiance from an injurious leadership that is snug like a bug in a rag.

As the oftentimes repeated promises of economic recovery prove to be mere cliches and with the hyped bond notes failing to deliver the much-needed kiss of life on the economy, the option of resisting a self-absorbed leadership is understandably gaining credence.

There is evidence aplenty that the leadership has grown utterly prideful. Like the orchestra conductor aboard the sinking Titanic, it is engrossed in the status quo, oblivious of the perilous situation the country is in. It is my fervent prayer that this article awakens them to the verity of the adage, pride comes before a fall.

Despite the fortitude of the citizenry, there will always be the proverbial stroke that eventually breaks the camel’s back. Even Jesus, whose mission was to be the Godsent burden bearer of our sins, reached the breaking point, crying out, ‘‘Father! Father! Why hath you forsaken me?”

Anxiety forced the same Jesus, who was no ordinary human, to rebuke His disciples for sleeping while He prayed. Given what Zimbabweans are going through, it is to be expected that the day is nigh for the citizenry to spontaneously cross the Rubicon.

As I see it, police presence on roads is the spark destined to ignite the citizenry’s resistance. If ever there is a strategy the leadership will inevitably regret, it is that of deploying police officers on roads armed with receipt books, metal spikes and batons.

There is consensus that the massive police deployment on roads is not for the maintenance of public good, but an ulterior objective. However, the push has now come to a shove. As police insist on spot fines, citizenry anger is teetering on the verge of an Arab Springs like uprising.

Despite a High Court ruling barring spot fines, it is an irritation that the practice still persists. It is nauseating that Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo and Police Commissioner-General, Augustine Chihuri, continue in wilful contempt of court by not restraining the police from demanding spot fines.

With cases of police brutality ranging from smashing car windscreens to assaulting suspects making newspaper headlines, there is no goodwill between them and the citizenry. Hence, as human rights lawyers drag the police to court on spot fines, people are worried that the police is now a force unto itself.

Instead of being professional, neutral and friendly, the police has become overly clinch-fisted. It has degenerated to being monstrous, red in tooth and claw, more of a bane than a boon. Subsequently, there is public apprehension that the police will hasten the igniting of sparks for revolt.

It is my conviction that the country is teetering on the brink of a revolution, as agitation gathers momentum.
Given the perennial hardships, which are worsened by the free falling economy, attempts to squeeze money from the already hard-pressed citizenry is fuel for revolt.

It is about time the leadership realised that using the police to hustle money from citizenry under the pretext of enforcing traffic laws is a lame strategy. As I see it, prospects of a revolt are no longer yonder, as it has dawned that promises of milk and honey are mere all fizzle and no steak.

It may seem an easy option to dismiss me as a lone voice too insignificant to constitute a choir. Yet, to all intents and purposes, the burdened citizenry is at breaking point — the dawn of revolt is nigh. It is inevitable to break the egg for one to enjoy omelette.

There is sanity in my madness.

Cyprian Muketiwa Ndawana, muketiwa.mmsb@gmail. com, is a public speaking coach, motivational speaker, speechwriter and newspaper columnist.

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