Nothing to gloat about as Zim turns into a shameless charity case

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Tendai Ruben Mbofana

YOUR Excellency, President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

I intended to watch and follow the live broadcast of the delivery of an additional 200 000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines donated by the Chinese government through its Sinopharm pharmaceutical company, unfortunately, there was no way I could stop myself from being distracted.

I found it quite irritating, the tendency by both yourself and your deputy Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, in packaging the regime’s constant begging and reliance on handouts, as a sign of excellent relations with other countries.

Indeed, when one is down and out, and is in desperate need of assistance, the people who rush to their aid are usually their dearest friends and relatives. There is certainly no question about that.

However, what is disturbing is the apparent unwillingness by your establishment to acknowledge that this perennial reliance on handouts, and the goodwill of our so-called “all weather friends”, speaks far beyond the strength and perseverance of such friendships.

Actually, it exposes our country as nothing more than a miserable and shameless charity case, freeloader and basket case.

Your Excellency, you may argue that in the case of these Sinopharm vaccines, government has placed an order of 1,2 million doses of which
144 000 were part of the consignment delivered.

Nonetheless, no one would be so foolish as to fail to detect the ever-present embarrassing and shameful need for donations by our country, instead of merely purchasing all our needs.

We are in the habit of boasting of how richly resourced we are as a country such that it never ceases to boggle the mind how we have become beggars instead of givers.

Considering that we are so abundantly blessed with some of the richest mineral, agricultural potential and tourism resources, does it make sense that we are, on the contrary, the poorest to the extent that we become nothing more than a burden to the rest of the world — always the ones with begging bowl in
hand?

Surely, watching a whole President and his deputy on the runway of our country’s international airport in jubilant expectation of a donation of medical supplies does not paint a good picture at all.

Had we been an organised, properly managed, and self-respecting country, we should have proudly paid for the vaccine.

Your Excellency, you are more than proud and have no hesitation to megaphone it for all to hear.

Where is our self-respect as a nation? Even the  biblical “Prodigal Son” had the decency and wisdom to quickly realise the folly of his ways and repented, thereby returning to the opulent, respectable, and comfortable life that his father had always wanted him to enjoy.

Admittedly, everyone finds themselves falling on hard times once in a while, but being continually in the doldrums and requiring handouts all the time becomes a cause of concern.

It is a sign of deep-seated shortcomings, especially considering how richly-gifted our country is when we consider that top government officials, their connections and mafia cartel buddies, live Hollywood-like lifestyles through largely ill-gotten
wealth.

You preside over a severely impoverished nation which cannot even afford to procure vaccines for its citizenry. What is there for you to gloat about?

Most certainly, if a household had a father who is always bragging about his “very good friends”, who are always there for him as they provide for his family’s every needs, yet he spends all his earnings on drinking and merrymaking, I don’t think the family would be proud of him.

The same applies to our own country which, embarrassingly, has a regime that is more interested in filling up its own bellies, and building the most opulent mansions, owning countless luxury vehicles, and wantonly dispossessing indigenous people of their ancestral land for its benefit, yet be proud to be world-renowned beggars.

Your Excellency, to be brutally frank, I wish I had not viewed the live broadcast of the Sinopharm vaccine delivery, as never in my life have I felt so ashamed to be a citizen of a country with such shameless leadership.

I painfully watched our leaders (dressed in expensive suits and ties) feeling on top of the world, and clearly overly-pleased with themselves, as they proudly touted their “all-weather friendship with China”, while certainly oblivious to the charity case status that they have degraded our once proud, independent, prosperous and self-respecting nation to.