‘Zvakanaka ndezvavo, zvakashata ndezvangu…..Nherera ndiMambo, Nherera ndiMambo, Nherera NdiMambo‘, sang Mike Mopo decades ago. And I could not help but look at how apt that song is today.
Zimbabweans are orphaned. The fathers and mothers of the nation are dead. For, in all truth, which parent allows such suffering on their children, untold suffering under the Rural Party’s leadership? An uncaring father, one with the resources but deliberately does not provide for his children is as good as dead.
Not only is he considered ‘heartless’, he is therefore considered dead. Ukanzi hauna Moyo/inhliziyo it is something worse than the literal translation of heartless, because in moral/religious and cultural speak, Moyo/nhliziyo is the heart of life, morality, conscience, value-judgment system, socialisation and ethos among other indicators of being, – an absence of these fundamentals deems one subhuman, inhumane in existence, they are somewhat existent, but not alive. They are dead.
That is the paradox we have in the bodies in power in our country. When greed, corruption, self enrichment at the expense of the electorate, cruelty, vengefulness and a punishment, threats of torture, death and a purging of people who hold a different viewpoint become the older of the political day, then the moral compass of the nation is lost. When the guardians of the national ethos ignore human precepts with a reckless abandon it’s time to speak up, to realise that silence is not always golden.
We are the orphans who have to speak up to be heard. A wrong done to the orphan is a sin against God. The mothers, whom, one would think, who should be the front runners in upholding family values and national consciousness are literally and figuratively in bed with the devil, it’s really time to jump ship. I am talking of the ‘..mushroom in an African village, beyond those mountains Manica valley, there is Oppah an African girl.’ Then there are reports of a child who died after one of the First Couple threatened them. Ko huMai hwacho huripi nhai Amai?
‘Zvinotsengerwa mwana, iye omedza, kutsengera mwana, imi momedza, hamunyare,’ sang Tuku decrying the sad levels of corruption the country has been subjected to. It is common knowledge that the biggest beneficiaries of the land redistribution in Zimbabwe are the Rural Party bigwigs, and with that, they participate in Command Agriculture and are the biggest beneficiaries of any scheme that is supposed to benefit the farmer, they are the mining magnates, they get government contracts or award their companies government contracts without going to tender and not following due process.
How else do we explain the pot bellies in the men and women in power whilst there is abject poverty on the streets and villages of Zimbabwe? Who owns the Sebakwe – Chirumanzu – Zibagwe valley and the mines? Who controls the artisanal mining there? The fish surely tots from the head. Why is there an unholy relationship between government and Sakunda? Shuwa ‘…nyika ino yapinduka, yakananga kumawere iwe chitiza neupenyu hwako!” sang Mahendere Brothers.
There is runaway inflation as the economy is once again spiraling out of control under the watch of some of the most educated minds Zimbabwe has produced; Mthuli and Panonetsa have surely lost their marbles. I am reminded of Josiah Chipanga singing a long time ago, ‘Mai mwana ndafunga zano, kuti tivake Musha wedu Pamusoro soro pegomo, kuti kana vokwidza mitengo yetunonaka, vanokwidzira vari pasi….’, now whatever ware you are selling you are in danger of not being able to replenish stock as the discrepancy between currencies persists because there is an overvaluing of our dollar which will soon not be worth the paper it’s printed on should this situation go on unabated. Are we fast moving towards the 2008 situation or we are already there?
Now the civil service is also in chaos in terms of the erosion of their salaries way before pay day. It’s no secret that one of the biggest if not the quintessential motivator is adequate remuneration, so it follows that once the worker is not paid well, delivery and performance at work is seriously compromised. We have seen this with doctors and other health care workers, I mean, who, in their right mind closes hospitals in this day and age?
Teachers are crying foul, even the very policemen and soldiers who are deployed to silence people who are asking for a better pay, including theirs too, are feeling the pinch, have been for decades now. ‘Vanotumira masoja, masoja nemapurisa, kuti varove vanhu!’ sang Mukanya but aren’t we fighting against a common enemy? Injustice!
We thought leadership should be guided by by philosophy in music Cdes. Yes, am talking about Zhakata. Kambo ‘Mugove’ munokaziva wani. Hobva kwanza kwakuchotora mukana uya sehuchenjeri. We need a Zhakata Cdes, anoridza huwi kuti kuno kwabikwa dovi. Tosvika riniko to the land of milk and honey? I always wonder!
In his song Foromani, System Tazvida expressed a truth about how workers react to low wages, ‘Wedzera vasevenzi mari ava usamirira kuiti vatange varamwa basa!’ an economy riddled by strikes, go slows and passive aggressive behavior by the workers can never succeed. Basically the Rural Party needs a buy in from the masses and as things are, nothing of that sort seems to be on the horizon.
There seems to be a slowly creeping reality, that the old guard is being forced out of active politics globally. There is a much younger leader generation coming up in a lot of countries. France, New Zealand and Ukraine being a few examples where this has happened, Joseph Kabila was one such closer to home, the point is only that we should stop the reasoning that a new wine can mature well in old wineskins, they will spoil the wine with the remnant of the old wine or burst when the wine ferments.
That is the situation obtaining in Zimbabwe, these guys are old and tired of these games, they are simply no longer up the task. There are modern day challenges which require modern mitigation strategies and solutions. Prof Jonso quibbled that even the Rural Party should go through renewal and look at the Generation around 40 years old as they were game changers in terms of zeal and zest for things economic and political in Zimbabwe, chete aiudza ani paye when the river Zambezi was already Crocodile infested?
The river proverbially separated the tired, corrupt old guard from the younger, more robust albeit modernly corrupt G40s within the system. I am suddenly reminded that even the gentlemen, especially Scarfmore should listen to, ‘Bvuma wasakara, bvuma waunyana…”
It’s time to rest gentlemen. There are a lot of able Zimbabweans who can take the country forward and out of this situation we find ourselves in. The exit strategies are there, but the old song and old wine of Looking East and inviting Belarusians and Russians no longer provides succor to our hunger and modern problems. Period!
‘Sori zvenyu baba namai ndakakunyeperai, kuti zvatabva kuhondo rugare rwauya, ndakange ndisingazive zviri pamberi…’ sang Mukanya decades ago. Surely these men and women are inspired; they are prophets who read the signs of the times. These words need no expounding on. The promise is still a promise, 40 years in.
In fact, mention of the promise evokes anger in most minds. Mukanya has almost always been explicit in his delivery especially when decrying the rampant corruption. I remember, when I was younger, hearing, ‘Varombo kuvarombo, vapfumi kuvapfumi ndiwo magariro atisingadi… ‘ and the song, ‘Corruption, corruption, corruption in the society…’ both songs which the government was very quick to ban from the airwaves up to today. Sometimes I can’t believe how we have had this Rural Party ruling for so long. ‘Nyika yenyu yamaichemera, honai yaita mamvemve…!’
I could write a book on Thomas Mapfumo alone. You be the judges folks, I leave you with Zvishavane Sounds’ ‘Mutongi Gava Mainzanise.’
Till next time folks, enjoy some conscious music, pork bones and sadza.
Cde Tichatonga, Out!