IT is undeniable that poverty, social injustice and violations of human rights are an everyday reality in Zimbabwe and consequently, I refuse to be silent about it because as Dr Martin Luther King, Jr noted, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”.
That millions of Zimbabweans were expectant when they voted for President Robert Mugabe (pictured) in 1980 is beyond argument. There is clearly everything wrong with the kind of job Mugabe has been doing considering the best feeling some of us had since his election in 1980 was the day we voted for him.
In 1980 Mugabe represented hope and change and no doubt a new way of doing things.
Expectation that finally freedom and liberty would reign was so palpable we could almost smell it.
However, 32 years later most Zimbabweans are disappointed with Mugabe’s rule. The change that Mugabe and Zanu PF promised in 1980 has not been realised.
Most Zimbabweans still live in fear because of the atmosphere of intolerance and repression.
He has failed to keep his promises and doesn’t deserve re-election to retain the office of president.
We have been very patient with Mugabe’s excesses and yet he has never admitted he is to blame for the political and economic morass we find ourselves in.
All he does is blame others for the long-drawn economic and political crisis Zimbabwe finds itself in. Only a connected few can really say they are better-off than they were in 1980.
Under Mugabe’s watch many bright and talented Zimbabweans have been forced to leave the country of their birth or resort to misdemeanour to make ends meet. It could be true that some individuals are predisposed to crime but Mugabe’s dictatorship in Zimbabwe has turned many otherwise law-abiding citizens into hard-core criminals.
The point I am making is that we have been extremely patient with Mugabe and his ruining party.
Millions of Zimbabweans have supported Mugabe in good faith but the time for him to go is nigh. It is high time we put the frustrations of the last 32 years behind us and forget about what might have been and look ahead to what can still be done.
The indivisibility of Zimbabwe as a nation and her people’s commitment to democracy and the rule of law should never be compromised.
In a free Zimbabwe, which I hope will be established soon, I envision the people themselves, parliament, civil society and a vibrant press being the defence against the exploitation of public office for personal gain.
Johannesburg, South Africa.