“Eventually, the slogans will fall away for all they do is to rally troops already on your side”

Posted: July 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

Ask and you shall receive, is my biblical slogan. “Oh wait” Demand and you will get it, is my real slogan. The civil servants in Zimbabwe asked and never got anything. They demanded and someone listened. Now they are getting something. But how do we demand things from an autocratic leadership. The answer is simple; we threaten them with something they see as their lifeline. We take it to the street. In short, we make life difficult for them to continue as if business as usual. But what if we have been doing all these things as ordinary people and nothing has happened? What if instead we seem to be worse off than we were before? And why are these civil servants more important than the rest of us?

“Long live the Global Political Agreement Long Live…?”

It is now emerging that the money used to double the salaries of civil servants came directly from the diamond sales, not the treasury. So what does this tell us? Is there a purpose for the opposition ministers to be in government when it is clear they have no power over their own departments? Maybe yes there is purpose “Working together we can do more…. corruption” *clears throat* and so goes the slogan (borrowed from the ANC election campaign of 2009 which ends with “more” and not corruption) after some MPs across the divide failed to account for the Constituency Development Funds. “Anyway, who cares”, they think, “we ain’t gonna get fired. They just won’t give us more under the same project next time and we’ll find something to call our next scheme and the desperate donor will pay.”

“Long live the situation in Zimbabwe Long live…?”

At a pub in London with some Zimbabweans recently, someone suggested that they are happy to have the chaos continue in Zimbabwe because stability would lead to deportations from the UK. This lack of interest explains why in a country like RSA, where everyone is quick to claim there are 3.5million Zimbabweans living there, it is impossible to mobilise 30 000 people to demonstrate against Mugabe.

“Long live Col. Gaddafi Long Live…?”

I hear one of the reasons why Mugabe wants elections now is because he knows there is too much chaos elsewhere in the world for anyone to intervene strongly against his business of beating the opposition into submission. Afghanistan is still a problem, Iraq was a bad example, there was a black hawk down in Somalia and now Libya, everyone must be preoccupied save for the AU which has lived a normal life while women are raped in Congo. Now events are kicking off in Malawi and attention is turned in that direction too. So for now, he thinks, let’s get on with the bloody election and beat them while no one is watching. So, long live brother leader for Mugabe needs you to keep it together.

Enough of these slogans. But the thing is that in this blog they do get us thinking about answers which may offer solutions to the Zimbabwean crisis. And not all of them are bad for there is one below….

“Don’t give up the fight”

There is some good news out there. Africa for Africans. I was impressed by the journalists and other activists in Zimbabwe who have stood up to speak out on the challenges in Somalia. They are collecting money to help ease the starvation and if you want to know how, visit their page “Notes on Zimbabwe’s 31st Independence” on Facebook.

Can Diaspora work? How do you think Zimbabweans in the Diaspora should help?

Let’s talk!

  1. Rejoice Ngwenya says:

    3.5 million Zimbos in RSA – hugh? Where do they stay … sorry .. hide? Or perhaps they are afraid of being ‘identified’ if they demonstrate! Or just perhaps – only a handful [200] are REAL MDC activists – the rest – economic opportunist attracted by the scent of the Rand. Imagine if I had a Free Zimbabwe Now! rally at Ellis Park and attracted 45 000 Zimbos, would Mugabe stay? Let’s not ‘ask’ or ‘demand’ our freedom from dictators, no. Let’s SNATCH!

    • Mike Malinga says:

      It was the statement of highlighting the crisis *3.5 million* Mr Ngwenya but of course the number may have been inflated,,lol. But on a more serious note, what seems to puzzle everyone is the inability to mobilize at least 10 000 to the streets in a march for democracy in Zimbabwe. This was the argument always in RSA with my ANC friends saying get the numbers and their leadership will talk. As a matter of fact, there was a lot of sense in what they were saying but we still couldn’t get the numbers. I am not sure whether it was a matter of lack of interest from Zimbos or something. One thing I noticed though was the fact that as leadership of civic society, we were a bit aloof with our strategies. We did a lot of work in our nice offices and less in the streets where Zimbabweans were. We also created a shell amongst us and the usual activists, protecting the power we had, leaving less space for new ideas to image. I guess that’s the disease of our leadership these days. We need to get out of our offices and snatch the freedom…

  2. Mike Malinga says:

    Well, this is the thing. When Zimbabwean groups report to the world, they mention the 3.5 million. But, when it comes to rallies and meetings, we get same faces every time. I am not sure why is this but I guess there are many reasons for it. One is that Zimbabweans are said be scared to associate themselves with activities related to Zimbabwe due to fear of being identified by South Africans, to who they are known as locals.The other reasons are said to be related to the political parties and NGOs incapabilities to mobilize. This is debatable as some NGOs are seemingly known to be better when they operate with a few people who don’t ask questions. This is where you find people running organisations like their families all in the name of accumulating wealth. This situation puts people off and it also blinds those leaders of NGOs and political parties from the real goal of mobilization to that of petty squabbles and unnecessary competition. It is very sad people behave this way. I don’t know but that’s my feeling!

  3. Mathula says:

    I agree with Mike and Rejoice. If the numbers were said to be that high, there is a need to reflect that in the streets. But of course, maybe the question we have to deal with in RSA is the issue of divisions and competition amongst civic society groups. Last time I checked, there were 46 Zimbabwean NGOs in Johannesburg alone. I am sure this number tells you something and the clash came when they met each other at the donors’ offices. It a “what’s in it for me struggle” and I think its wrong! I am not sure if that’s the case in the UK and elsewhere?

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