Ghetto Dances: ‘It’s my turn to eat too’ mantra takes nation by storm

Zimbabwe is expected to hold general elections by end of August this year.

Just behind Zororo Sports Bar, across the road, there is an open space which was now being used by Fatso as a car wash.

I had fought with him over the car wash as he had stolen my business idea and also the open space. It is here on this open space that civic meetings were usually held. Most of these meetings were political in nature.

Word had gone round that a certain comrade was coming to address the citizens. The election season was upon us and we had to expect to see more of these campaign rallies. I was in the company of Baba VaTata and Rasta.

There was a Mazda Premacy and Fatso was busy washing it. 

A lot of washing foam was running down the sides of the car and Fatso after scrubbing the grease and dirt was busy pouring buckets of water over it. 

He was still working on his own as business was still low although the future looked bright if he worked hard enough.

I still had not forgiven him for snatching away my business idea. I must confess that I was hoping that his business would crumple and I would take over. The wound was still fresh and too deep for me to forgive and forget.

After a while, Mukoma Never who was organising the meeting arrived. It was as if his arrival was the signal, more people started to arrive from all directions.

The majority of the people gathered were the so- called born frees. 

They had only heard about the war that brought independence.

They did not know about Chimoio and neither did they know about Nyadzonya in Mozambique.

The blood of the sons and daughters of the soil had flowed and filled the rivers of Mozambique. It was only the older generation, wary of the atrocities of the protracted liberation war that feared that the culmination of independence had not in essence improved their lot.

Every five years, election after election, their ears heard sweet music of promises. Education was free at first, there was clean drinking water and roads were tarred. 

The national railways kept the wagons running smoothly, Ziscosteel employed thousands and the power utility company was the pride of the nation.

Almost all this was becoming an illusion. The old folks attended the rallies as a ritual. The hope was maybe, a new dawn was beckoning. The born-frees were easily swayed by the wind like trees planted by the river side. The hopes and aspirations of independence were lost on them.

The waiting was short-lived. 

A small sedan, whose paint was peeling off screeched to a sudden halt in front of the gathering. A tall bearded man who looked a few years short of forty years of age disembarked and was escorted out of the car.

I looked closely at him as I always do at people who aspire to serve the public. He looked hungry enough and most likely if elected he would make sure that he would contend with his stomach first.

It did not need a rocket scientist to read the obvious signs that the aspiring candidate was driven by the "It’s my turn to eat too” mantra. Mukoma Never, the organising secretary immediately took to the floor.

“Comrades, this is the man we have all been waiting for, one of our own, educated in our local schools,” he said.

“It is my great honour to introduce to you Comrade Mucharamba. He is the man who can be our voice in parliament and spearhead development in our constituency,” he said.

Comrade Mucharamba, the tall bearded man stood up to his full height. He cleared his throat.

He made an inaudible slogan.

That was a minus on his side.

He did not even have enough confidence to sway support.

“Comrades, I am here to seek your votes in the coming elections. Thank you for your attendance. If you elect me, I will develop our community,” he said.

I looked at the other people who were gathered. They had sad and hungry faces.

It was going to be difficult to convince them. There was no clear sound policy.

By the time he finished his ill- prepared speech, I could see several people yawning with boredom.

Even Mukoma Never, the organising secretary looked lost at sea.

Fatso however encouraged Cde Mucharamba. "You are our man, we will vote for you,” he said.

Fatso was doing all this in the hope that after the meeting, the aspiring candidate would buy him one or two beers. 

It was a tall order. My bet was he would not get anything.

As for the votes, I did not see the aspiring candidate getting any except maybe from Fatso.

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