zimbabwe - state of mind

 Zimbabwe State of Mind - Reflections

I am eternally indebted to the progressive, patriotic comrades who hosted us during our tour of Zimbabwe. Apologies that their names can’t be mentioned to protect them from the security apparatus of the regime who have  been tailing us from the second day in that beautiful country. Their names will adorn the Heroes Acre someday.
We are journalists and for those who thought they could put tails on us all they need to know is that we are always one step ahead. They don’t train us for nothing you know. We had secure local communication lines. We had secure logistics. We took the pictures we wanted and spoke to sources we have arranged. For the life of me I even blogged from a hotel room in Harare, told a spook in St Mary’s it was my duty as a tourist to take pictures and even spoofed a militia outfit in Mashonaland Central.
My Zimbabwean journalist friend based here tells me he was beaten in Bindura, the capital of Mash Central for saying old cockerels get pensioned on the dinner table. “They said I was saying Mugabe must be killed even though they are the ones who asked the question”, he tells me.

I survived Bindura and even have a t-shirt to show. Me and my friend, at noticing the tails we had decided ‘fuck it, let them feel this’. We took out our cameras and snapped with reckless abandon. Then later on in the night we stood out like sore thumba as we attended a political party debate and found ourselves sitting next to ZANU-PF acolytes with their iPhones.
The ZANU-PF representative, a young lad named Psychology was his Julius self, cocky, arrogant and self assured. He was telling everyone he can’t imagine a post-ZANU-PF Zimbabwe ‘because it will never happen’. The MDC- T chap was robust, though failing to defend his boss’ loose zip. MDC99’s Job Sakala was his comical self, poking fun at MDC-T and taking jibes at ZANU-PF.
What I liked and stood out for me was ZANU-PF’s readiness to exchange political blows with the opposition. That in my books translates to maturity. The kind of maturity the ANC lacks in this post-Nelson Mandela era, especially with the Zim exchange happening a day after NGOs lambasted President Robert Mugabe for vote rigging and he had just promulgated Zim’s new constitution.

One thing I observed and even mentioned to my Zim compatriots is that Zim has a bright future ahead of itself. Most of its mineral resources are still buried; its youth are the smartest I have ever met; its patriots often don’t reap patronage and its population is small and optimistic.
I left satisfied that it will regain its bread-basket status in no time. While there I chatted through Facebook with a South African friend who says, like COSATU’s Zwelinzima Vavi she was once deported from there but loves Mugabe with all her heart. I told her I don’t care who is in power in Zim, as long as that one understands the country must come first.
You can’t have 12 million people transacting on US dollars and South African rands simply because you don’t want to let go of your comforts and set the people free. You can’t have a police to public ratio of 12 to one to control the movements of your brothers and sisters. You don’t build an army ammunition bullet ratio of one bullet for every Zimbabwean to instil fear. You just don’t do it. Zimbabwe deserves better.

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