I’m a foolish Zimbabwean

“Oh foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you…”  Gal 3:1

The Galatian Church had initially received an unadulterated gospel, founded entirely on faith and divorced from the confidence that came from works. The Apostle Paul had great confidence in their salvation. Knowing the high hopes he had held one can forgive his -now famous- pointed and scathing letter in which he attacks their falling back and expresses puzzle at their sudden turning. Had they been bewitched, he wondered. The benefits of true salvation were abundantly obvious and it caused Paul great perplexity that the Galatians were instead choosing the path of legalistic bondage. It surely could not be deliberate choice he thought, but the work of witchcraft. Today we find a people equally foolish, Zimbabweans. Staring from the outside in, one can only but also imagine their blindness the work of a great evil. I am the African Aristocrat.

Morgan Tsvangirai is a man of doubtful democratic credentials. One would have hoped for some redeeming qualities. There are none. He has no grand vision apart from toppling our dearest Mad Bob. He is no orator. Neither is he a strategist.  Some generous critics have called him “sincere but misdirected,” other are not as kind and use less colourful terms. My views on Morgan are well known and I will not tire you by repeating what has been said elsewhere. Instead of attacking Morgan Tsvangirai, I think our sword is better directed at those who have made the naked man king, Zimbabweans.

Where is our wrath, were is our rage?

When the MDC joined the unity government Zimbabwe was in a state of hopeless desperation. Cholera was wreaking havoc and taking lives, water was in short supply and power cuts had become a normality. If Zimbabwe were a home I would describe it a shack in the heart of  Cape Town. A man and his wife living off scraps and have sent the children off to the rural areas. It is not that much better there but at least they can do what the wild animals do, seek food in the bush.

Now imagine that this man in Cape Town suddenly wins a small fortune in the local lottery, say $50 000. What would be say of this man if he hurried to buy himself expensive suits and designer watches without first meeting the basic needs of his children? It is not that beautiful suits are in themselves a sin, not at all. But what we will question is his sense of priority. One would have thought that he would first seek decent accommodation, stock food for his children and prepare for their education. If indeed that man went on to squander his gains on riotous living we would call him a fool.

Why then do we not call the MDC fools?

When they came to office the first thing they got were top of the range Mercedes Benz vehicles. Ministers in one the poorest countries in the world jostling to put their snouts in the trough. They had finally got their chance to ride the Gravy Train. One man distinguished himself, David Coltart. He refused to accept the ministerial vehicle. It was his argument that it was obscene in the most to enjoy such opulence when the people who had voted them into office were living in such desperation.

I do not begrudge the MDC for behaving in the shameful manner that it did, they are opportunists and are doing what comes naturally to them. However I do blame that Zimbabwean intelligentsia for not crying foul. Nobody seemed to think that this was high misconduct.

Drawing closers to today. The Daily News recently exposed how the government is spending tens of millions  of dollars on luxury cars. The report made an interesting observation. The money so far spent on luxury cars could have financed the drilling of 5000 boreholes. But it was spent of luxury vehicles. The father is buying suits whilst the children starve.

The MDC is not the problem. We are the problem because we accept this and allow it to carry on. Are we blind, naive or just plain foolish? Surely we can’t allow the state to mount our wives whilst we grin foolishly in observation.

One might ask why I am not speaking of Zanu PF? Simply because they have never claimed to be well intentioned, the MDC has.

Article by Ephraim Ntlamo


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