The hunger that has hope for its satisfaction does not kill…. Nyarara Zimbabwe tichakunda!

July 2, 2009

I would like to begin by honoring a woman among women. It was with great sadness that i learnt of the death of Susan Nayaradzo Tsvangirai, the wife of the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Morgan Tsvangirai. I would like to send my heartfelt condolences to the Tsvangirai family first of all, and then extend that message to a nation in mourning. Mai Tsvangirai was a woman of virtue, a woman whose calm authority, patience and unwavering faith formed the other half of a partnership on which Zimbabwe has pinned its hopes. Her acts of kindness, her visits to the tortured and the unlawfully detained in some of Zimbabwe’s prisons was testament to the kind of woman she was, never too keen to be caught on camera but achieving real results and making real progress behind the scenes. At this difficult time i would like to encourage the Prime Minister and his six children to celebrate the life of their precious Susan and to hold on to the fact that even though she may not be here any longer, she planted the seed that has moved a nation. She inspired all of us and we, in her honour, must carry on the good work she started and see to it that the vision she had will see the light of day through us.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ubJp6rmUYM

I have just watched a truly shocking depiction of what constitutes life for some of our brothers and sisters back home It is a tale of pain and misery, one that can only truly be understood by seeing with one’s own eyes. In Zimbabwe today, one man laments, if you are old or crippled you have a death sentence. There is no hope for you. One old lady cries out that they do not understand these new structures or systems in place for survival. I have attached the video here for those who can stomach to see a child clutching to a burnt rat and calling it food. I have put it here so that my words serve only as a preamble to a story that needs no introduction, a tragedy that is unfolding before our very eyes.

The cholera epidemic has claimed so many lives

One wonders when the situation back home in Zimbabwe will get back to what some may consider to be normal. The effort and work it took to put together this power sharing agreement falsely gave everyone the impression that once the papers are signed then life will miraculously go back to what we remember it to have been like all those many years ago.Credit must go to the new government for getting our schools to start functioning as schools again, the new education minister David Coltard is working flat out to ensure that we do not have a generation of Zimbabweans who receive a second class education and then go on to lead second class lives. He is effectively, through his various initiatives, handing the futures back to each and every boy and girl that has been sitting at home for the last 7 months not sure whether they will ever realize their own dream to teach or fly an aeroplane.

School children waiting for food aid.

With those successes in mind, one must also mention the areas where the new government has come in far below expectation. The abduction of Roy Bennet and the continued torture of members of the opposition is a terrible indictment on the integrity of the inclusive government in terms of national healing. It is an open secret that most of these “terrorists” are individuals who merely made the error of expressing an opinion different to that of the Mugabe regime. Much like Sam in the video above who paid for the struggle with his brother’s life and his home.

The scars of the struggle
The horrors that Jestina Mukoko and others have had to endure and the sacrifices they have made for the cause have all been a cause of regret on the part of those who understand what it is to take a mother away from her children, what is it to take a mother away from her home. I have been disappointed by the lack of political muscle on the part of the prime minister in terms of ensuring freedom for the people who fought for him on the ground, however i do understand that he probably has more than a few items on his agenda and will over the course of time see that all the promises he made are fulfilled. We hear stories everyday of what poverty reduces a people to. I have seen men who worked hard their whole lives being buried in plastic bags. My uncle, a nurse by profession, tells me how he witnessed a woman give birth at the gates of the hospital, in the open, because she could not afford to be admitted. Statistics show that we have now lost over 4000 lives to the cholera epidemic and it is not slowing down.

Taking all of these horrors into account we are still where we began. Our only way out of the misery, whether some or most of us think it is wrong is, i believe, through the power sharing agreement and the inclusive government. I think this is the appropriate time to also call upon my fellow countrymen to realize that the success of this government is based on whether or not we all take ownership and play our respective parts. I was shocked at the salaries being demanded by the Zimbabwe Congress Of Trade Unions for its members, when it so abundantly clear that the country is broke. It is my opinion that if we are to move forward as a people then we must all unite in purpose and help one another as opposed to trying to take as much as we can out when are should all be chipping in. If we are going to engage in the serious activity of nation building then we must start with our feet on the ground, it is not a realistic ask to demand salaries that will surely bankrupt the entire system.In order for processes to take place however, we do need to see a return to rule of law. We need to put in place structures where partisan politics is kept out of the court room and freedom of speech is actually freedom to express your independent opinion on matters and not freedom to ridicule the west and hurl abuses at those who hold the keys to our prosperity.

Inflation and its effects
We need a central bank that serves the nation and executes its described duties as oppose to the mafia type set up that has been characteristic of operations at the reserve bank of Zimbabwe. There is also need to get out of the mentality of corruption that became normal during these difficult times and get back to a culture of hard work.
Gold panning has become a source of income and a way of life
Testament to this is the emergence of the gold panning activities you saw in the video above. We need to humble ourselves and commit to receiving a wage for the work of our hands and not from how much we can swindle from the next poor soul that is unfortunate enough to trade with us. It will not be easy to shift mentalities but it is a necessary step if we are going to achieve our objectives.

With a critical mass of thoughts and ideas about the new Zimbabwe i find myself caught up in a whirlwind of emotions as i turn 21. I suppose the biggest question on my mind is what role can i play now? How can i make a difference? One cant help feeling like one needs to impact the world more but at the same time, with each passing birthday one realizes that time is indeed a luxury and its use must be optimized to its full extent. I want to take this opportunity to honor my family and friends for your support and your unconditional love. I am truly humbled by your tenacious support of my pursuit of identity and meaning. I know i flirt with many ideas and find new crazes that tickle my fancy here and there but you stick around nonetheless with your enthusiasm and encouragement and for that i can say no more than i love you. I appreciate each and every one of you that has held my hand whether in the flesh or metaphorically along this journey and as i emerge into the world of adulthood i would like you to rest assured that I am committed. I will be there when the people of Zimbabwe start to turn things around. When we finally triumph over the various challenges we face as a nation i will be at the forefront of that agenda of change. Thank you so much for the birthday wishes, the kind messages some of you wrote really moved me to ponder. My name is Munyaradzi Hoto and i am a Zimbabwean.

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