What is the cost of being a good citizen?

It is quite a difficult question to answer as those in power are mostly from revolutionary parties


By Darlington Chiuta


So “When good men do nothing, evil triumphs.”

This places responsibility of evil squarely on the doorstep of the good people – much more than the evil doers themselves.

It sounds quite sensible but how feasible is this idea noble as it may sound?

How far are the evil doers willing to go to protect both themselves and the status quo?

How much power do the ‘good men’ actually have to call the evil men to order or to keep them in a straight line as it were and at what cost?

Who are the evil men and who are the good men anywhere? Is there something if any that the good men can do?

Against colonisation the enemy was easy to identify as the system was clear cut.

After gaining independence with all the fanfare and ushering new hope for the majority of the populace as the colonial systems protected explicitly the needs of the minority our own were put on the throne.

The advent of independence has but ushered in dictatorship, poverty, corruption, suffering, civil wars and a whole host of issues that are far worse than then as now we are suffering under one of our own.

Can one of our own be our enemy?

It is quite a difficult question to answer as those in power are mostly from revolutionary parties who still enjoy support of the masses that suffered under colonialism who still have that hatred of the colonial master and will view anyone who dares oppose their liberators.

Even where they feel the leaders have betrayed the wishes of the people there is still a feeling of loyalty from the followers and a feeling of entitlement from the leaders.

They make it feel like the masses owe them more than them having a responsibility to serve the people.


Corruption is the number one evil worldwide it is practiced in almost all countries and at different levels but in Africa it is the number one and almost the only ill as it affects all the other aspects of livelihood.

Corruption is not like a cartel; it is a cartel as you either have to be in or out. If you are in you are part of the team if you are out you are the enemy and you have to be dealt with decisively and decisively can mean anything in Africa up to murder.

The corrupt build nests around themselves and guard them with their lives literally with some appointing sons in the most powerful positions officially and those that are not officially appointed still wield power enough to send chills along the spines of those who dare oppose.

Family links and patronage lines can be drawn with ease to those in any position of power. The corrupt governments’ focus is much more on retaining power than service to the people.

It is argued by supporters of these governments who rally behind out of ignorance, fear or hope that they will one day join the gravy train that corruption is everywhere, does that make it good though.

The corrupt call the shots everywhere to the extent that to be a good citizen one will have to chose between life and death literally.

If it be a career, business, church, any sort of venture or effort if you cross their line /you are finished.

A lot of good people have been squeezed till they bend. There is only one hymn book in the corrupt governments and there is no other choice but to sing from it.

You cannot sing your own song or choose not to sing as these two are not available options that is why you find people or organisations that are supposed to be custodians and fighters against corruption either joining the bandwagon or choosing to pay both blind eye and deaf ear.

The corrupt have all the power and resources and will use them to squeeze life out of the people then use resources to manipulate the people.

To dismantle them is a lifetime achievement. They are the ones who appoint the so-called anti- corruption commissions and define the references of such.

These are used in most cases to deal with detractors and those who will have fallen out of favour with the cartels.

Lots of corruption is brought to the public but no one is really arrested as there is both impunity and immunity and the other members of the system who have dirty hands will fight tooth and nail to protect their own backs.

The Zondo Commission of South Africa is one good example.

Constitution and Elections

I have heard the question “Why do the people of Zimbabwe continue to vote for Mugabe?” quite a few times because it is assumed that established systems operate in a certain way like in a democracy people vote with the will of the majority will reigning.

How many of Africa’s elections are free and fair?

Yoweri Museveni says that the last election was the best ever in Uganda since 1969 when his contestant is under house arrest.

How many African elections have gone without dispute and the African bodies are just but a buddy system of peers that will rubber stamp evil protecting their own turn.

The Zimbabwean constitution is one of the most amended constitutions in the world and whatever constitutional matter stands in their way they will amend and the judiciary belongs to them anyway.

The good judges in the system will be systematically and ruthlessly weeded out to send a message to any other wannabe that their career will end before it starts.

The perpetrators are therefore the final word on the constitution. They paid war veterans to keep the vote in Zimbabwe now they are paying the chiefs.

Not that the two do not deserve payment but the motive and the modus operandi will tell you that elections in Africa bar one or two countries that try are just but a mere formality used to endorse the existing.

It will take more than the saying to have good people make any impact in the African scenario.

More of a dare-devil approach which will be full of repression and bloodstained. Journalists, opposition party members, fall outs will have prison as their second home.

The good people will trade their morals and ethics just for survival and it will probably take something like the Arab Spring approach if that too will not be controlled by people just wishing to get close to the trough.

Maybe prayer from men of the cloth who are rooted in prayer if we still have any. As for now, evil will triumph as long as the evil men are on the throne.


Darlington Chiuta is chairperson of the Zimbabwe Exemption Permit Holders Association and he writes in his personal capacity. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of www.zimbabwedigitalnews.com





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