HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsThe old dying tree that never fell

The old dying tree that never fell

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Some events that occurred in the past weeks reminded me of folklore my maternal grandmother told, as her way of passing life lessons from her generation to ours.

Develop me with Tapiwa Gomo

The folklore was also used as a bedtime story to send children like me to bed. Not once did I imagine that some of the stories would be relevant in real life.

Our politics is in disarray and is offering nothing but despair. The economy continues to be handled like a mad person’s dangerous toy, causing panic due to the unpredictability and capriciousness of those who manage it.

Our society has fought for far too long to free itself. But exhaustion is creeping in.

The year 2018 is the destination of many people’s hopes.

Again it is hoping against hope. Our elections remain barren of surprises. There is consensus across the political divide that change needs to happen now.

This consensus is more than ever well pronounced within the ruling party. Both the Generation 40 (G40) and Team Lacoste groups are outcomes, forces and faces of the change agenda.

Never mind their public rhetoric on their fake allegiance to the incumbent, their minds and hearts are pregnant with the change agenda.

One cannot dream of being in the palace wearing the crown unless the incumbent has vacated the position. They are all aware that the incumbent is the hindrance to change, but fear restrains them.

Their minds know the truth, but their tongues are enslaved and speak the language of fear. Change cannot happen unless the incumbent departs the throne.

Due to cowardice, their options are limited, hence, all has been surrendered to poor mother nature to decide. They flex their muscles to repel and disrupt those outside seeking reforms for the same change agenda they pursue.

Now that takes me back to my grandmother’s story. Why is the big old and dying tree not falling?

Once upon a time, there was a big fig tree, which produced fig fruits for the whole village. It also provided shade for the village elders and firewood from its dying branches.

After many seasons and having seen many generations come and go, time had begun to take its toll on the tree.

It stopped producing fruits due to age and its branches started wilting, with some sagging to the ground.

Some of its roots also dried up.

The few roots that remained had grown deeper to secure some moisture that gave the fig tree a lifeline on its gradual demise.

To sum it up, the fig tree was irreversibly dying. It was only a matter of time.

Despite the villagers being conscious of the big tree’s impending demise, some kept their hopes alive, while others politicised it.

They were hopeful that one day, the tree would produce figs and they would feed their families, after they had gone through many years of hunger and destitution.

As time went by, their hopes started fading away and it became necessary for the tree to fall, to pave way for the new generation of young fig trees sprouting around the big fig tree to grow and be fruitful.

Great potential abound, but fights and divisions ensued and clouded the dawning hope.

There was consensus among the different factions that the fig tree needed to fall, to allow a new generation of fig trees to grow and produce fruits.

Nonetheless, there were ructions on how and who should fell the tree. Everyone wanted the credit. The political crevices got so bad that when one group pushed the tree to fall, the other would be busy on the other side pushing back to keep the tree in its position.

None of the different political groups could imagine, let alone, concede giving credit to the other for felling the tree.

No group was willing to give in. The longer the dispute took, the longer the big old and unproductive tree remained in position at the expense of the starving village population, as the young trees could not produce under the shade of the big tree.

The sad part about this situation was that in the absence of what seemed to be a dispute, the tree would have naturally fallen on its own and paved way for the new generation.

But alas, someone needed to take credit for the fall of the tree. They had invested their political pride in it.
They wanted to be heroes. Pride came in the way of progress.

The result was perpetual destitution and unnecessary loss of human life.

Now back to our situation. G40’s objective, as highlighted by President Robert Mugabe recently in Mashonaland Central province, is for the younger generation to take over, while the Lacoste group wants Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa to succeed the incumbent.

There is nothing wrong with that, as these have become forces for change within the ruling party.

Outside Zanu PF is an ocean of change activists, agents and political parties.

Now, if all, within and outside Zanu PF are for change, why then is change not happening?

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