So many times in our lives we tend to focus so much on our problems to a point that we stop dreaming and, believing and then we stop living. Such is the situation for most Zimbabweans. It feels like we just exist or we are just surviving, moreover we are forced to go with the flow because we are powerless, we are powerless citizens of a Nation that is led by one of the worst dictators of our time. We are openly being deprived of our right to choose our own government, with a leader that we can work with to make Zimbabwe a better place for every citizen and not just for the few people who have always been and are still having the bigger share of the country.
BY ABIGAIL CHIPO ZIMANI
As a young Zimbabwean, I am a victim in pain, a pain that is constantly being inflicted by Mugabe and his Zanu-Pf regime and unfortunately most of Zimbabweans are victims too. The pain is being aggravated day by day and it feels like the more we try the little we can, just to stand up and fight for our right to live and our right to FREEDOM. The more Mugabe makes life harder for us claiming that he is protecting the country’s legacy and heritage. The evidence is undeniable that he has definately failed to achieve this. Zimbabwe has even been rated the worst country to live in the whole world according to the United Nations human development index. It is a very sad thing to digest but that is reality.
As I witness my country deteriorating, its situation getting worse day by day, I even wonder whether a real change will be experienced in Zimbabwe at all, I mean a REAL change that will be caused by a completely new people driven government that we choose for ourselves. It is a question that I am sure without a shadow of doubt that every Zimbabwean who is concerned about the countries deterioration caused by political instability will ask every day of their lives.
Of all the problems we are experiencing as a nation, as a concerned citizen I feel compelled to encourage anyone who comes across this article and reads it that THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO PREPARE FOR IT TODAY. (Malcolm x)I strongly believe that we must never stop believing because one thing is certain, change is on the way and we are responsible for it. It is true that there is a light at the end of the tunnel but how can we get to that light if we cannot start visualizing it now? I am not saying it’s easy but as an individual, I have made a choice, to accomplish great things we must first dream, visualise, plan and then act. What is your dream for Zimbabwe?
My dream is for a return of the Zimbabwe in which children and adults alike can dream and are able to wake up in the morning to pursue their dream. We had that Zimbabwe before, and we can have it back again. When I was growing up in Zimbabwe, I had firm conviction that one day I could be the person I wanted to be. There were a lot of people before me who had dreamt and gone on to live their dreams, and I knew my turn would come. There was sanity and dignity in our education system … teachers were not only sources of knowledge, but they also had the trust and respect of society.
They were a benchmark and a pedestal on which many dreams were launched. I dream for a Zimbabwe where the dignity in this cornerstone of our society is back … where teachers are happy and motivated to teach our young people whether it’s at Eaglesvale in Harare, Gifford in Bulawayo or at Chitindiva in Kariba. They will not have to constantly wrestle with the government for a descent remuneration for their hard work and dedication but rather they will be appreciated and given not only a salary but a reason to teach the children and to make Zimbabwe a better place, a reason not to relocate hence transferring their skills and expertise to other countries that will offer them a better salary and appreciation.
I know this is achievable because Zimbabwe had the best education system in the Sub-Saharan Africa with nearly every child going to school; the standards were so high that it attracted foreign students not only from neighbouring African countries but across the globe. One of the prerequisites for this is for the necessary infrastructural support to be in place. This is achievable if the large reserves of mineral wealth and other natural resources can be exploited positively and money would be available to invest in the Ministry of Education, Rural and Urban development only to mention but a few. The natural resources can become sources of prosperity rather than ending up in the hands of a few gluttonous friends of Mugabe who have obviously been appointed wrongly in those ministries.
We need reliable electricity supply generators to be purchased if necessary since Zimbabwe has good economic ties with the Chinese, this will not be a problem at all. (My only concern is for the generators to reach their destination and not the hands of a few greedy people who unfortunately have access to most things.) We need internet connectivity, all-weather roads, health centres, (and if the health centres are improved, even our next president will not have to travel overseas for a checkup, they will have pride in their people and trust them to treat them), accessible and diverse shopping centres, social amenities, to name but a few.
This is achievable if Mugabe, (the President of the country), his Ministers and ordinary members of the Zanu-Pf regime can afford to build for themselves massive state of the art villas and multiple storey buildings that are designed, furnished and decorated by foreign artisans, architectures, constructors and decorators from International countries in a very short space of time, how much more would they be able to do for the country if they put the same passion and effort into it? It is even better for them to use the local architects and constructors, the ones that trained at the University of Zimbabwe and other local Universities because this will be by far less expensive and beneficial to local companies that employ local workers who obviously need to be resourceful at the end of the day.
It is possible for the roads to be better in a better state than what they are now. Have you ever noticed the road that goes to Mugabe’s rural homestead in Zvimba? This road is next to perfect in terms of its condition and I have personally travelled on it myself and a lot of people can actually bear me witness. This road is constantly repaired to make sure that it’s always in good condition for his large motorcade to drive smoothly. I would like to imagine that the roads that lead to his multi-million dollar retirement villa in Harare is something that most of us Zimbabweans will not dream of in our life time. This can only happen in paradise if we are lucky to make it. Nevertheless it actually makes me hopeful that roads can be constructed rapidly in a lot of areas with grossly battered dusty roads with potholes that vehicles are not even supposed to travel on.
Whether it’s in Harare or outside in some remote rural areas, I’m convinced it can happen the same way it happened in Zvimba. When this happens, even the percentage of accidents and breakdowns caused by cars driving on dangerous roads will be reduced a great deal. More people will be lured into investing in the transport industry because they would be able to offer a good service to the community without a fear of the loss they would incur through constant servicing of broken down vehicles and written off caused by bad roads. This in itself will create job opportunities for the locals.
Whilst sharing my dream of Zimbabwe, I was encouraged by a few Zimbabwean scientists based in the UK. They would like to contribute and make a difference in Zimbabwe’s health research industry, they expressed to me how much of a pleasure it would be for them to have that experience of imparting, just giving and sharing what they have achieved to the young people who are less privileged and limited in every way. The poor children are aspiring great things and they never stop to dream. Some of these professionals have been there and they know exactly how it feels. The only difference is that they were given a chance and they have made it even more in a foreign land.
I am sure that not only scientists, but other Zimbabweans in highly skilled professions would do the same they would gladly do their science researches, civil engineering projects, mining projects or whatever they need to deliver any day in Binga or Chipinge or any remote area that a lot of people dread.
As long as they know that they can catch the next domestic flight to Harare or to their beloved rural area if they need to; or jump into a high speed train and be there in a couple of hours, or if they choose to drive, they can do that knowing that they will be on a safe, state of the art motorway with 24 hour services at reasonable distances apart.
Whether they do it for a week, a month or a day is up to them, what is important is they have their beloved country at heart. This is all not some kind of utopianism or dream for George Orwell’s ‘sugar candy mountain’, but a Zimbabwe that’s achievable. We have the physical and human resources to be able to leapfrog from where we are now into the future we desire. But like everything else, it all starts in the mind. Where there is a will, there is a way! Never stop dreaming
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