BY Tendai Ruben Mbofana AS we were growing up, we were told of individuals who were always prone to accusing their enemies (whether real or imagined) for everything that went wrong in their lives.
When they fell sick, in the midst of their own unhealthy lifestyles — jealous relatives were always held responsible.
If the wife suffered a miscarriage — the hateful mother-in-law, who did not want to see the family grow, was the culprit.
In the event of break-ins at their homes — those who despised them in the community as a result of their phenomenal business performances, were the architects.
Even when involved in road traffic accidents — clearly under heavy intoxication — there just had to be someone else to blame for this mishap.
When their spouses left them on account of their own philandering eyes — the spouses’ friends would be fingered for negative influence.
For such people, it is never their fault — and even if, indeed, they are not to blame for the sad tragedies befalling them — they still have to find fault with perceived enemies who hold some grudge or mischievous intentions.
Nonetheless, the greatest tragedy with such a self-deluded and self-defeating attitude is that the challenge at hand is hardly resolved (and, may even worsen) — as a result of this “ostrich head-burying” approach, which leads to the real causes never being identified and seriously tackled.
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Unfortunately for Zimbabwe, these are the people we have in charge of our nation.
It never ceases to amaze how each and every time we are faced with a challenge in this country – the ruling elite points the accusing finger at some ghostly and unidentifiable “illegal regime change agents”.
What more, there is hardly any evidence proffered for such grievous accusations — which fall in the realm of subverting constitutional government, economic sabotage, and even treason — yet, not a single Zimbabwean has ever been successfully convicted of such offences.
Merely issuing flimsy, baseless accusatory statements in State-controlled media, or at political rallies (solely for the purpose of grandstanding and rabble-rousing) will never cut it — since the problems at hand can never be solved that way, but need to be genuinely identified and confronted without fear or favour.
There is nothing more dumbfounding than listening to a country’s leadership — when faced with a freefalling local currency, and the world’s highest inflation rate, which have left millions of citizens unable to afford the most basics of necessities — resorting to endless ranting and raving over faceless “economic saboteurs”, who, for reasons only known to those in power, are doing this to unconstitutionally remove the sitting government.
These are the same “culprits” who have received the brunt of the blame for the past two decades — alongside supposed “sanctions imposed by Western countries” (who, supposedly, harbour similar nefarious agendas) — in spite of not a single one of these “enemies” ever being identified and prosecuted.
In fact, I always find it ironic that during the more stable 2009 to 2019 years — after the shelving of the useless local currency — these so-called “economic saboteurs” would be nowhere to be seen.
Are those in power telling us that these “regime change agents” only rear their heads when the government implements unsound, inconsistent, and clearly unworkable economic policies — as occured in 2019, with the re-introduction of the widely unpopular and rejected Zimdollar under an economic environment that could not sustain a local currency?
Why is it so difficult for Zimbabwe’s ruling elite to admit that the main reason for the unbearable and untenable situation we find ourselves in as a country are the skewed and brainless policies implemented by the clueless regime, coupled with rampant corruption sponsored by those welding power themselves?
What about also just acknowledging the fact that there are people in Zimbabwe who will do anything to make money — even when that entails selling foreign currency at the black market at exorbitant rates (as a way of exploiting a dysfunctional and rigged official auction system) – without actively harboring any ambitions of removing the government from power?
If we have Zimbabweans willing to part with their toes for hard cash — without the slightest idea or care what those body parts will be used for, and the possible undesirable ramifications — what stops them from venturing into the business of selling foreign currency, even if that is at the expense of the economy?
Did the President himself not urge Zimbabweans not to waste their time on “meaningless demonstrations” but rather expend their efforts and energies on “making money”?
If the authorities genuinely want to bring back sanity in the country, the first thing they need to do is stop seeing “regime change ghosts” in every corner — but instead, tackle the real challenges facing the country.
When teachers and nurses demand living wages, and refuse to work virtually as slaves — the sane response would be to address their grievances, rather than accuse them of trying to topple the government.
If truth be told, the only people interested in removing the sitting government — through purely constitutional means, as a vital component of any democracy — are opposition political parties.
The rest of us do not lose any sleep on who becomes leader of this country — as long as they genuinely serve the citizenry, and place our interest ahead of themselves.
All we want is to live a dignified and respectable life — that is worthy of citizens of a country endowed with some of the most precious and valuable natural resources on this planet.
However, that can be accomplished only when we have a government that knows what it is doing, which implements sound economic policies, and confronts corruption with the seriousness it deserves.
This can never be achieved when our leaders are perpetually haunted by their own insecurities and paranoia.
Let me remind our ruling establishment that the world does not revolve around them, and they would be better saved if they faced the brutal reality that no one on this planet gives a hoot about them, and is hellbent on removing them from power.
- Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author and speaker. He writes here in his personal capacity.