ZIMBABWE – As we reflect on 2012, I had been blessed to have a better year than the two years prior to 2012. I watched with awe the presidential elections in the United States which ushered a second term for the enigmatic President Barack Obama.
There also were tragedies that took away innocent lives, the Aurora shooting at a mall in Colorado, hurricane Sandy in the East Coast, ravaging New Jersey and surrounding areas and most recently the unimaginable killing of children in Newtown, Connecticut.
All these are things happening around as the world watches and wondering what is next. There was bloodshed in Gaza, war in Syria, starvation, war and hunger in Africa, and it is sad that little attention is paid to the events in the motherland. However that is not the main purpose for me to sit and narrate to the world. My real issue lies with my own country of birth, Zimbabwe.
Looking at the map of this beautiful southern African nation is a belt filled with richness, the great Dyke. Among the minerals there are gold, copper, nickel, cobalt, platinum and lately diamonds, which make it one of the most gifted in richness with natural resources.
Now in a country so blessed how we have become the laughing stock of the world beats me. We know there were sanctions imposed on some of the top members of the Zimbabwean government for violating human rights which negatively affected and impacted some sectors of the economy.
We understand that it is what is partly blamed on the demise of our economy but is it the whole story? Journalists have written and rode this wave for a long time but have never been able to ask the hard questions, especially to the powers that be.
If these sanctions crippled the nation it also surprises a lot of us as to how our dear elected civil servants in high offices have managed to acquire so much wealth that if some of them really want to, can pay salaries of all employees in Zimbabwe for some years without them being broke.
I become emotional when people are without water and electricity, these are basic needs. For all these years fingers have been pointed at the opposition or the west with the real moroons being spared. They are basking in the glory driving latest cars and donning the most expensive suits, building mansions and sending their kids overseas for decent education.
What about the ordinary person? Education should be a right for all children but teachers are not paid enough or simply being neglected and we watch and applaud the government. Hospitals are more or less just but buildings except a few meant for the deep pockets of course. Potholes are the order of the day on most roads.
Our nation has become worshippers of a few liberation heroes (most of them fake and some never even cleaned or fired a gun in the air during the war) that are running the country down in the name of sacrifices made during the struggle.
It was a hard fought war some of us witnessed that but is it a license for the few to plunder the wealth enriching themselves and their closest aides at the expense of the nation? We are tired of excuses that 89 year old President Mugabe is the only person who can lead the country, to where, really?
He took us thus far and do we really feel comfortable where we are today? To a lot of fair minds, the President has taken the nation to where it will be difficult to bring it back. After ZANU PF, we have to deal with a lot more social than economic issues, corruption, rehabilitation of the police and legal system, criminal minds, health system, political murderers, prison system, education system, unwanted foreigners, alcoholism and drug abuse among the youth and middle aged. We cannot afford another term to Zanu PF, enough is enough.
Zimbabwe is mourning the loss of Adam Ndlovu and Nomqhele Tshili and our prayers are that Peter gets a speedy recovery. The Christmas holiday has seen 180 lives lost in a little more than two weeks on our roads reflecting a jump of 33 more lives lost the same period last year. Whilst speed could be a factor the real reason is our roads littered with potholes have become death traps. Police Inspector Augustine confirmed that bribes by police manning road blocks significantly contributed to the increase.
It is interesting to realize how quickly some chiefs see the speck in the police eyes ignoring the logs in their own eyes. So many a time the carnage on the roads is becoming unbearable, unchecked overloading, fatigue and bursting of tires due to bad roads being a common factor on most of the fatalities.
Where is the nation, to stand up that our minerals be used to develop our roads, schools, hospitals, dams, electricity supply and water sanitation? Instead we heap praise of the looters of the economy at the expense of what matters to our mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters.
The provision for basic needs is not news worthy but we look for petty issues to judge people and their characters. Everyone has their weaknesses and just that yours is not magnified does not mean it does not exist.
I urge Zimbabweans to vote for change in the coming elections. We should resist being given labels when it is our lives and generations to come who will be affected by our inaction. We should support those that are fighting to change the status quo and with a new constitution and better governance, Zimbabwe should be able to conquer the new face of imperialistic, self-serving and destructive leadership.
The level of corruption in Zimbabwe major cities, especially Harare and Bulawayo makes it clear that the 33 year old government embarked on a self-serving mission from day one in office.
One thing that hurts real bad is the fact that the first Zimbabwe First Lady, Sally Mugabe, died of a kidney condition that required dialysis, but for an ordinary Zimbabwean, more than 20 years after her sad passing away the only way you can survive the condition is to go in exile.
Was her demise a pain to anybody? Shouldn’t we be having a fully equipped dialysis center in her memory if she really mattered to anybody? If only she had survived, I have no doubt the need for dialysis would not have been a death penalty anymore in Zimbabwe. May her soul rest in peace.
Time has come for Zimbabweans to ask ourselves what we are doing to better our nation. The power of the people cannot be suppressed forever but for only a while. For those of us in the Diaspora most of us have become critics of petty issues and leave these bread and butter questions unanswered. We have been fortunate to live amongst some democratic nations and it’s time to practice this in our own nation. This is a cry for action from all of us who love Zimbabwe.
It made us the people we are today but what legacy are we leaving for our kids? I hope that this will trigger us into action and it is collectiveness that bring people together and uplift the nation. We have seen a lot happening here in America where people unite in face of adversity and are able to stand up and move on. As Zimbabweans we should have enough pride and patriotism to stick together and move our country forward.
With all the engineers, doctors, nurses, architectures and a litany of academics spread the world over, let’s collectively come together build dams, hospitals and even our roads privatize them if we have to but surely bringing back that Zimbabwe that we grew up in.
It is not easy but we have to start from somewhere. Journalists must act and be on the ground not coping other agencies or write hearsay news.
Best wishes for 2013 so let us start to bring hope to our nation and our fellow countryman stuck in Zimbabwe. I have hope because nobody saw a woman President in Africa and worse more a two term black President coming in America, yes, he is there, a marvelous commander in chief.
It is hope and the dream that was preached by the late Dr. Martin Luther King that made it possible. Then M. L. King had a dream and I have a vision for Zimbabwe. Let us unite and rebuild Zimbabwe. God bless you all and bless Zimbabwe and the African continent.
James Charlie is a Political Activist currently resident in Dallas, USA. For comments, he can be reached at email@example.com.