How is it that with such a long, rich history of pain, and deep experience of heartbreak, abuse and lies, smart girls still fall for the lies of cheap confidence tricksters and con-lovers? How is it, in this age of google, an information avalanche and knowledge abundance, we have more fatherless children and absentee fathers, which clever-looking women just can’t see through . . . the same set of flattery, tall promises, lies and boy-shenanigans that fooled the mothers of their mothers and their mothers alike?
By Zifiso Masiye
My wife reckons, the consistent reason is the blinding passion of youthful romance that dulls every girl’s capacity to stop and reason through a fiery romance to create for herself a sober perspective of reasoned permutations of her future, aka “Umendo kawuthunyelwa gundwane” — love is blind! Her explanation kind of gave me some clue as to why an amazing woman like her wound up with some jerk like myself!
Her well-known philosophy failed to explain one thing though, when I attempted to stretch it from love to other spheres of life. Love, understandably, is blind, stupid decisions made or not made under the drugged influence of passionate love, are possibly excusable.
Is politics, like love, also blind?
With the clear advantage of maturity and relative absence of passion comparable to romantic frenzy, how is it that entire citizens, a whole 13 million of them, collectively and continuously fall for the concocted lies and clearly bombastic promises of a few bigoted liars time and time again?
How is it that a 40-year history of pain and the collective experience of abuse at the hands of a few sly politicians, the theft of citizen freedoms, the trails of dead bodies, the graveyards of young, dashed dreams, the carcass of our multi-economy, the endless queues of shame . . . only schools us to be dumber, rather than wiser selectors of our governance bedmates?
How is it that the same set of liars and looters, casting the same set of lies, virtual air pies and political dummies sold every five years since 1980 with abundant evidence of their customary trickery and no probability at all of any different result, manage to fool so many millions, so repeatedly?
For a country that so prides itself of education and great thinkers, it must only be witchcraft of legendary proportions just how regular, just how consummate and just how predictable our collective national political blind-spot is! With all of four plus years to prepare for it, every fifth year we somehow all willingly get drugged and drowned in a romantic political orgy of ridiculous promises and lies, we drop our pants and happily conceive our five yearly dosage of fatherless citizenship!
Not even at this final hour of “decision-disaster” are Zimbabweans willing to stop and think through the real value of the vote they invest in the ballot box.
Someone warns us, rather sternly, that we cannot approach the challenges that our nation faces with the same mentality we had when we created them in the first place . . . and similarly that, the deepest form of our delusion as Zimbabweans is in hoping that the key to our national salvation is with the very authors and chief perpetrators of our oppression, and that, somehow out of their kindness, shall come our ultimate freedom! Nje?
I have a strong circle of Zanu PF buddies, who are convinced that hell can become heaven — but right on the doorstep of elections, none of them can explain why in the exception of a few, cosmetic economic reforms, the great pledge of state reforms are still a vague and elusive promise; why the agency with the moment’s most urgent mandate for absolute neutrality and a national debt of demonstrable impartiality is unabashedly partisan; why ED would cast a blind eye when the brazenly partisan chiefs show the middle finger to the High Court, against all constitutional wisdom; why against the succinct direction of a High Court order, he himself continues to fill up political stadia with 13-year-old schoolchildren; why teeming droves of the military continue to pervade every rural constituency on the eve of a “ free and fair” election.
Neither can my MDC circle of friends convince me just how differently they intend to use power from either the Zanu PF leadership style or indeed from what we have seen of them in local government councils these past few years.
Yet in their millions, the zombified citizens will queue and vote!
What are the government options facing us in a couple of weeks? I will discuss seven possible post-election scenarios.
Scenario 1: Status quo . . . ED wins and a Zanu PF government is retained.
For the optimists, this might signal the rebooting of the Zimbabwean economy on the back of the actualisation of the “$16 billion mega-deals’’ in foreign direct investment. An on-rush of global investors and revival of industry and upsurge in jobs courtesy of a global community that is war-weary and no longer interested in our ugly human rights culture . . . Europeans have resolved to endorse no matter what!
However, this may well signal the final sanitation of the coup and the official endorsement of militarisation of the state and state institutions and a virtual shutdown of democracy and civilian rule as we know it. The modest gains of democracy so far recorded may regress as command vocabulary filters through every sphere of governance. Cosmetic changes will be sustained to please the international community, but the great initial excitement of a foreign-induced industrial resurgence and jobs will soon be met with very harsh pro-capital employment conditions. The freeze on political and democratic reforms and the fixation with capital formation will further insulate government and business against public accountability, transparency and organised workers’ voices. The scenario represents “isitshikitsha” — a lot of motion, but no movement. Half-hearted response of the diaspora, but general despondency and no change! Flicker of hope and spasms of revival, but no substantive change and significant democratic reversals.
*Scenario 2 to be continued next week
l Zii Masiye (email@example.com) writes elsewhere on social media as Balancing Rocks.