The last day of July 2020 is being sold in some quarters as a defining moment. But for some of us, caution is the word
By Trust Sibanda
As the month of July is on its prime days, millions of Zimbabweans daily visit the social media for three good reasons. Some log on to check the figures of Covid cases.
The other group hustles for data to be on platforms to finalise on the 31st demonstrations in terms of arrangements and strategy. Others whom I suspect are unleashed by their handlers and sponsors find themselves on social media to derail the much anticipated demonstration.
I felt it necessary on this day to look at the demonstration as if it is already underway. The reasons cited by citizens who triggered the demonstrations are convincing to those who have the country at heart.
The late RG Mugabe used to call such people patriots.
By the way he is proving to be a better president now by comparison. It is a sign of being very unpatriotic to be quiet or to side with people who are making the country user unfriendly due to corruption. We have now reached levels where it is a sign of being abnormal to be transparent.
There is a spirit of greediness that has landed on our government institutions which also seem to have possessed those with political connections.
It makes sense to argue that people compete to find positions in government and municipalities so as to access ‘loots’ while the electorate poke each other in the eyes defending leaders who a not worth a grain of respect.
People are dying due to a collapsed health care not because we are not competent to take care of our own health hubs. We have the human resource to take care of our health issues.
Criminals however have found themselves in decision making positions where they loot that which is supposed to save lives.
The grand theft starts from tender processes, procurement down to the supply side of it. We are now at a point where ventilators can be stolen while connected to the patients without trace. My country is now the epicenter of corruption in the region. People steal from government without shame.
They create ‘ponzi’ schemes through Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to milk the already dry citizens through some Statutory Instruments of convenience.
ZIMRA will tell you that food parcels that cross the border will be taxed even if there are not for commercial use while the whole world knows Zimbabwe is at the brink of starvation.
They to collect as much as they can from poor citizens. On the other hand some SI are put in place for the RBZ to mine foreign currency from citizens and replace it with an inflation prone local currency.
The consistency of Ngarivhume
The reason for the demonstration outweighs the reasons against the demo. One of the conveners of the demonstration Jacob Ngarivhume has been consistent in his approach.
I have learnt to take him serious when it comes to national issues. He once led a bond must fall demonstration under Transform Zimbabwe which was sabotaged by some opposition elements who were convinced that bond notes were a solution.
Years on people realised that Ngarivhume was spot on but it was too late.
In a separate demonstration Ngarivhume led the Dokora must fall campaign under the banner of Prayer Network of Zimbabwe over what they viewed as the invasion of the Christianity space in schools by what they perceived as alien religious beliefs.
What strikes me most is that despite all these demonstrations he seems unnoticed. It could be that he does not need lime light or maybe he creates demonstrations that are later hijacked by opportunists for political gains.
His call for the 31st demonstrations is genuine to everyone who feels corruption has reached such levels that are not sustainable. The good part about his call is that it is non partisan.
Judging from the few posters I saw there is an element of inclusiveness. Posters are not branded to point to a particular political party.
Posters are making a clarion call on citizens even those in Zanu-PF to unyoke themselves from their capturers. The country cannot prosper in this corruption and the country will not prosper under sanctions.
Every patriot must register their concern over the cancer in our society.
The momentum is gathering and preparations are underway from various groups. What I like most about the messages I see they preach peace. The people who must receive the message are very predictable though.
They will try hard to derail the protests. If the shout comes to a push they have the potential of setting citizens against law enforcers and blame it on the so called third force. Chances are that they will find reasons to stop the demonstrations.
It is likely that they will hide behind the over played story of social distancing. Taking from the poor through corruption ignores social distancing but when people march against corruption social distancing may be used as the reason not to indulge.
What is needed now is to find a mechanism to evaluate the success of the demonstration and reflect on the effectiveness of the strategy. If our leaders love their country it could be a jewel again. These people do not care at all they opt to go and get medication outside the country.
They buy groceries outside and buy properties outside. They loot locally to spend globally.
If the demonstration is the voice of people constitutionally there is every right for citizens to speak peacefully. Who are we to stop the voice?
Trust Sibanda is a businessman. He writes for The Sunday Express in his personal capacity
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