By Andrew Field – Follow on Twitter
Just a few years ago, about three in fact, Zimbabweans voted old fashioned nationalist notions and philosophies back into power… some say they stole the election, but no one really contested that. So one might only assume they achieved a fair majority. In fact, Zimbabweans have been a little like the proverbial sheep in not resisting the tyranny of autocracy and stale liberation demagoguery. The ZANU(PF) regime continued with its merry looting and oppression against all legitimate opposition. Where has the money gone? Today we are faced with the expected consequences of allowing that regime to remain in power. An economy spiralling out of control and a cash crunch of such significant proportions it has brought us to our knees.
This is not the fault of the British or the Americans… nor the white man, or colonialism… No, this is the entire the fault of a clearly incompetent regime more fully occupied with personal self-enrichment and empire building than caring for the people. Let us be blunt, the party should have been democratically deposed 15 to 20 years ago, but Zimbabweans, seemingly, did not have the courage to do so or certainly failed in their foresight. No credible opposition has been formed. The ruling party’s leader is worshipped like a God, he has the following of rural populations, a major religious cult with a powerful support, and remains solidly entrenched. Zimbabweans, it would seem, your impending fate is one of doom and gloom. Yet, aside from the whinging and whining, seemingly little is being done. Well not entirely…
During the earlier part of May, 2016 a lone pastor, Evan Mawirire launched his sole campaign, appropriately hash tagged in social media as #ThisFlag. A small modicum of hope, this little trickle of resistance may not have the impact it deserves immediately, because those who dare dabble in the social media movement are just too timid to speak out. However, people are slowly beginning to lend it support, and why shouldn’t they? ZANU(PF) hi-jacked the flag when they assumed ownership of the country. Now the pastor wants to hi-jack the flag back and give it to the people, to the citizens who actually own the flag. It’s metaphorical in concept but wonderfully healthy protest, to be encouraged and supported. It will be interesting in the days ahead to see if Zimbabweans take back their flag.
Would it be unfair to suggest then that Zimbabweans have become the international laughing stock? Their currency did, and now they want to try printing money again! Perhaps, but one might candidly suggest there is not a whole lot of respect for a people who lost their national pride (and their flag) to the party and remain subjugated by its almost subservient bonds, many times worse than their colonial heritage. History is going to judge very harshly indeed the last two voting generations of Zimbabweans in the scheme of things; if they do not rise to the challenge. They have at their disposal a clear, non-violent, non-political form of protest which if given sufficient support may see a few tails turned. But let us not forget the courage and tenacity of another sole campaigner, Itai Dzamara. Don’t sell Mawarire down the same trickle of pathetic support. Each wave of your flag is asking “where is Itai?”