It’s an open secret that Africa has huge reserves of untapped physical and biological resources, including a committed and eager-to-work human cadre. Various sources of literature, informed by extensive and authentic studies continually testify to this, and in various quarters, Africa is referred to as a continent with huge potential. It doesn’t need much analysis to realise that this ‘huge potential’ tag has been with the continent for longer than living memory, and my feeling is that it’s time as a continent we looked seriously at alternative reasons why this potential has not turned to reality …
BY ABIGAIL C. ZIMANI – Human Rights Activist
Why does Africa still remain the continent with the highest child and maternal mortality rates and disease burden in the wider population, highest levels of school-age children who are out of
school, highest unemployment levels, high levels of resource-induced conflicts and economic woes, you name it? Yes, some of this emanates from the portrayal of Africa as a failed and dark continent, but then again, how much of these tags are becoming the proverbial cap ‘that’s now fit to wear’?
While I do not absolve the ordinary man on the streets of Kinshasa for the DRC we have now, or the man and woman in Chawasarira bus on the Zimbabwean highways for the Zimbabwe we have now, their level of guilt fizzles out when you weigh the power they have to make a difference in comparison with the power of those we have entrusted to lead our countries. These people who masquerade as leaders claim their ascendency to leadership to be inspired by patriotism, but when they begin and persist to refuse to grow, one cannot be faulted for rightly concluding that these people are inspired more by greed than the enthusiasm for the ‘right and might’ of their country.
How can it be a love for one’s country to be mighty when the country’s people are starving, when they are dying in hospitals where they are supposed to be treated, when children are deprived of an education (yet these same patriots are sending their own children to expensive and well-endowed schools, getting them ready to face the future). Where is the patriotism, and of what kind is it when it segregates between and among people who share the same birth-right? Real patriots do not cling on, because their worth is not measured by being in power, it’s measured by the positive impact they make on everyone, regardless of where they are. Clinging to power and wanting to speak from and sit on the apex is a sign of greed and not patriotism if you ask me, especially when all you do from there is worsen the outcomes for the people you purport to serve. Where are the patriots with a heart? May they please stand up and take over because we are tired of these greedy pretenders!
I can remember quite well the flood of tears that we’ve cried for our brothers and sisters who’ve died over the years, (2000, 2005, and 2008 elections)these tears have now washed away our fears and strengthened our pride, now we are going to turn back the tide and we will no longer hear Zanu-Pf’s commands. I know for sure that we are going to seize control from your hand, we are going to fan the flame of our anger and pain towards you so that you will taste the bitterness of your own medicine and you’ll feel the shame for what you did and what you are still doing in God’s name.
We are going to build a new Zimbabwe soon after fighting for our fundamental constitutional right to be free and I know that this is possible after watching events in Tunisia and Egypt, right now I can hear the voice of our father who is in heaven saying that our days of freedom have come for me and for every Zimbabwean that has been displaced by a wave of violence that was unleashed unto them by the un-educated green bombers.
Ladies and gentlemen, here is my little big message to you: “I wish I knew then what I know now that there won’t be any more internal power struggle if we come together to overcome the little troubles that we have in Zimbabwe.” If we all join hands in spirit, very soon we’ll find out who the real revolutionary is. We all have the right to decide our own destiny, right?