HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsThe fall of Zanu PF is not the beginning of freedom

The fall of Zanu PF is not the beginning of freedom

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For the brutalised souls that we have become, any form of relief from the transgressions of the current system is certain to be welcomed, as the beginning of new things.

Develop me: Tapiwa Gomo

There is more clarity in the Zanu PF camp that they want to win the next election than there is in the opposition camp
There is more clarity in the Zanu PF camp that they want to win the next election than there is in the opposition camp

It is both psychological and natural that when a wound heals, one feels relieved of the pain, but they may not have recovered from the damage caused to the skin.

Scars remain. We are a wounded nation. Our scars shall remain even in the future that beckons before us.

The election season is drawing closer by the day. We don’t know if there would be change, but we know that the opposition parties are forming coalitions and Zanu PF is acquiring new cars to facilitate their campaigns.

There is more clarity in the Zanu PF camp that they want to win the next election more than there is in the opposition camp.

The two are divided by a clear line of envisioning the immediate future.

For Zanu PF, winning the next elections is not the end, but the means to acquiring more wealth and power, while in the opposition camp, dislodging Zanu PF seems to be an end in itself.

The coalitions, discussions are more about team compositions, positions and to attract more numbers.

It is so dry of new ideas to appeal to new voters, who now constitute nearly the majority if they register to vote.

The attempts by Zanu PF to appeal to the youth are well-informed.

They know that our grandparents, who they used to scare with war stories, are either gone or their numbers have diminished.

Their liberation stories are losing appeal and that is why they can afford to keep war veterans on the fringes.

Nonetheless, the end of Zanu PF is not and should not be the ultimate goal, Zimbabwe needs a future.

Zanu PF can still crumble without the opposition, so the opposition is not the ultimate player in the Zanu PF crumbling drama.

Therefore, pursuing that line of campaign is as irrelevant as assuming the delivery of a new Zimbabwe begins when Zanu PF ceases to exist or is out of power. A lot more work will need to be done to repair the damage.

The frontline campaign key messages tend to be mundane; people need jobs, access to basic services and good infrastructure and several of those that constitute a campaign package for any African politician.

Despite that, people have heard of these for four decades, their promise, though perpetually rhetorical, they are still received with loud cheers and ululation.

That is a seriously disturbing sign of how minds have been damaged and conditioned to the extent of celebrating seasonal lies and making them the foundation of hopes.

It is this conditioning that will be a barrier for the future. When we question such conditioning, our thoughts about who we are and what is worthwhile to us can change.

Minds can be opened to dimensions of previously unseen. Political views will refine. Personal ambition change.

Have you ever wondered how a system can lie for so many years and still convince and recruit youth to spill blood to protect its power and yet the same system cannot enlist the same youth on serious development projects?

The logic and priorities do not balance. Something seriously wrong has been planted into our reasoning.

Youth hired to cause violence get as little as $50. Why not pay the same amount to the same youth and cause them to build infrastructure or fix potholes?

While it is clear that this is how the system has remained in power for four decades, extracting votes by force rather than by choice, is the more reason that the mind should be the target of liberation in the new Zimbabwe.

We cannot sleepwalk along the path laid down by autocracy and convention.

Brutal as the colonialists were, they never asked for a bridge, clinic, school or road. They built it.

The value we have placed on these things as being outcomes of donations or political transaction has been profoundly conditioned.

That conditioning, which has manifested into unquestioned political appetites, is one reason we find ourselves stuck in an autocracy that has ceased to think humanely, but individually.

There is no question that defeating Zanu PF is the first step towards a new journey. Just like crossing a flooded river, it is not the end of the journey.

A good economy is not going to happen because we have allowed foreign investors and developed good policies.

A better Zimbabwe is not going to come because of improved access to basic services and a good infrastructure.

A good Zimbabwe will come when its people can finally enjoy freedom.

Freedom to be productive, creative and freedom of thought and innovation without fear of being a political victim.

Access to jobs must not be attached to political parties, but to the environment a political party promises to create.

What will make Zimbabwe more productive and free is not limited to the power to choose, but the power to transform people’s choices into expressions of their ambitions and values, to convert their lives into testimonies of their potential and their own vision.

Part of the goal for a future Zimbabwe should be to expand that freedom and transform it into the power to create, produce and progress.
Zimbabwe needs creative freedom.

Tapiwa Gomo is a development consultant based in Pretoria, South Africa

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