HomeOpinion & AnalysisBad-mouthing Zim doing us no good

Bad-mouthing Zim doing us no good

By Msekiwa Makwanya

THE challenges in Zimbabwe have been so tremendous that some “weak-willed” and unprincipled have started to reject their identity as Zimbabweans.



ana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>It is not unusual to find Zimbabweans in the diaspora who now claim to be South Africans, for example. There are also those of us who never miss the opportunity to denigrate everything Zimbabwean.


The most hopeless of Zimbabweans are those who have ignored the resilience of the majority of Zimbabweans and those who claim they will never return to Zimbabwe. Resilience is not a weakness, it is strength.


People have their choices and Zimbabwe does not need those who are not ready for its challenges.


Meaningless and ill-advised stayaways like the one that has just failed simply feed into the negativity and pessimism that afflict some people already.


Some people in the diaspora have expressed the view that Zimbabweans are docile and that they analyse so much that they cannot even act in the end.


Dr Martin Luther King Jr called this the “paralysis of analysis”. It is better to have people who analyse too much and act less than those who do not analyse enough and act too much.


It is equally important for people to take action that they feel inspired to take. For anyone to expect Zimbabweans to engage in endless stayaways without a result is to take them for granted.


Questions have been asked about the nature of leadership of the Broad Alliance over the failed stayaway on June 9 and 10.


NCA chairman Dr Lovemore Madhuku, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and other people have issued press statements urging people to make a statement against the government-led “Operation Restore Order/Murambatsvina”.


The media has captured some very sad stories of the affected people and the pictures spoke louder than the stayaway. For anyone to expect these people to organise and rise against the government is to miss the basic point: “You do not fight from a point of weakness”.


When children have no food and no shelter in this winter, a reasonable parent cannot start action that would attract the ruthless machinery of the state. Even if you have shelter and food, it would be very dangerous to start jambanja (mass action) when other people have nowhere to hide or to put their property.


After the failure of the stayaway, some people have started calling Zimbabweans cowards, docile and hopeless. Part of the reason for such illusion has been created by press reports which have been portraying the economy as collapsing since 2003.


Some people then fail to understand how a collapsing economy can handle mass action. One of the reasons why some people vow not to return to Zimbabwe is because they think the economy has collapsed.


Whatever challenges our country is facing people should remain united. We should not be united against our own country. People have their priorities and mass action maybe in conflict with their priorities which have to be respected.


Zimbabwe is not like Somalia or Afghanistan yet some people talk about Zimbabwe as if it is the worst place on earth. We might have our differences but let us not take them too far and reject our identity.


Some people wonder why some governments are now returning failed asylum seekers to Zimbabwe. Part of the reason is that they no longer believe some of the stories about our country and are disgusted by our own attitude towards our country.


“If you hate your own country how much would you hate a foreign one?” they ask themselves.


Of course there are bad things going on in Zimbabwe but there are also some very good things going on as well which we should speak about too with pride.


It is in these strengths or positive things that we should put our hope and not negative issues. Let us build on our strengths while we confront our weaknesses. We should not get stuck in negativities.


The problem is that some speak so badly about Zimbabwe that you would think it is a speciality that they are paid for. Zimbabwe has not collapsed and those who love the country are happy to see Zimbabwe still going. How far will it go? No one has been able to answer this question.


*Msekiwa Makwanya is a social commentator based in England. Contact can be made through makwanya@yahoo.com.

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