Cry my beloved democracy

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President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Tendai Ruben Mbofana

DEAR President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Your Excellency, many a times I feel like a lonely miserable little child — who is sitting on his parents’ doorstep, admiring a neighbour’s happy family, as parents joyfully play with their children, and all looking healthy, well-fed, and well-kempt.

Yet, I am part of a dysfunctional home — with my parents always in a drunken stupor, constantly entangled in one vicious fight after another, without any food in the house, and not going to school as money for fees has been used to buy booze.

Why do I feel like that?

Your Excellency, how else am I expected to feel, when watching citizens of other countries holding their leaders accountable to high standards — yet, there are those in my own Zimbabwe, who never appear to see anything wrong with what our leaders do no matter how despicable, unbecoming or criminal?

I feel like that little miserable child, when I watch the news and witness how the British people are calling on their Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resign  due to a May 20, 2021, drinks party (labelled, “PartyGate”), and other such gatherings, that were held last year at his Number 10 Downing Street official residence/offices, in breach of strict COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

Let me hasten to remind readers that those calling on Johnson to go are not from the opposition Labour Party — who would naturally be expected to constantly find fault with the ruling Conservative Party — but are the PM’s colleagues in the Conservative Party.

Indeed, democracy is beautiful, that’s why I love it.

Not as a form of vindictiveness or punishment to opponents — but as a way of ensuring that all leaders adhere to the highest governance standards which inevitably benefits the nation as a whole.

Your Excellency, I believe only countries that know no democracy regard holding each other — particularly, the ruling elite — to account as an unacceptable and despicable tenet of society that should be treated as a taboo, and never permitted.

How else does a country expect to develop and succeed — not just economically, as life is not defined simply on monetary terms, but also politically, and socially — when those with the obligation to take us forward are not answerable to anyone and specific expectations and standards are not set for them?

When a country is going through a devastating pandemic that has ravaged the lives of millions of people across the world, and restrictions are put in place so as to curb its fatal spread — should those in authority not be expected to adhere to regulations?

Your Excellency, in spite of rather constricting laws that ban gatherings (especially of a political nature) — the ruling Zanu PF party has never desisted from bringing together thousands of its supporters, without even feeling any iota of shame about not only violating the country’s laws, but callously and needlessly endangering the lives of its followers.

Furthermore, some within your party (Zanu PF), have proudly and unashamedly posed for selfies while attending parties of all sorts — Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa’s 60th birthday bash in 2020 easily comes to mind which was held in total disregard of the COVID-19 restrictions that barred people from engaging in the same.

No action was taken by you, why?

Besides those in the opposition, and other sober-minded citizens — virtually all those aligned to Zanu PF never complained, but actually defended such arrogant and flagrant disregard of the law and public health regulations.

Your Excellency, as a matter of fact, regardless of substantiated evidence of high-level grand looting of State resources — which has crippled the country’s economy, driving the majority into extreme poverty and immense suffering — there are those in your party who still believe that such crooked top officials like Mutsvangwa, and their hangers-on, deserve to be shielded and even supported.

Your Excellency, you should not allow that to happen.

These sycophants are usually not even part and parcel of the gravy train — but, ordinary citizens, who bear the brunt of corruption, as the rest of the impoverished population.

Now, is there still any confusion as to why I love democracy?

Who would not love an environment where we all collectively ensure that our national resources are jealously  guarded for the benefit of the entire population — especially against those with the means, motive and opportunity to loot what should be ours as a nation?

Who would not want to live in a nation where when those in power abuse it, the populace easily makes them answerable, for the good of the whole country?

Surely, can Zimbabweans continue sitting back as other nations move forward and develop their countries making sure that no one (no matter how powerful) is allowed to ride roughshod, with impunity, over the underprivileged and is held accountable for their actions and decisions?

I choose democracy! Your Excellency, what about you?