“Will you be celebrating Zimbabwe’s 36th Independence Day on Monday?” asked DJ Sodza of his Zimnet Radio listeners?
The quick and short answer to that for any thinking Zimbabwean has to be a NO! What is there to celebrate?
18 th April 1980 was supposed to be the day every Zimbabwean became a full citizen of Zimbabwe to claim and enjoy all the freedoms, human rights and dignities denied to the blacks by the oppressive and racist white colonial government. The cold reality is that the majority of the people have been systematically denied their freedoms and basic rights by the Zanu PF government.
After 36 years of trying to cash the independence cheques and getting nothing there is no doubt that the ordinary people have been cheated and given bad cheques! How can we pretend that we are a free nation when we have been denied a fair share in the nation’s wealth and a voice in its governance?
Last week Health Minister, David Parirenyatwa, condemned the one room maternity ward at Chiredzi General Hospital as “unsafe”. The ward is overcrowded and ill equipped. The ward was built in 1967 by the white government when Chiredzi was a small outpost serving a population of a few hundred people. Today it is the referral hospital catering for the health needs of hundreds of thousands.
As a referral hospital the maternity ward would have delivered hundreds of pre-mature babies each year, for example, and the majority of these babies died for the lack of something as basic as incubator! Even the big hospitals like Mpilo rarely have enough of something as basic as incubators if they have them at all, let alone backwater rural hospitals like Chiredzi.
Chiredzi hospital’s tragic story was in the paper side by side with the story of Mugabe’s daughter, Bona, who is in Singapore to have her baby. Grace Mugabe had left the country to be on their daughter’s side; Mugabe told the nation.
Mugabe has been going to Singapore for his health needs for years; in 2012 he made 8 health trips each costing US$ 3 million plus!
There must be a lot more than that none of our hospitals can provide a good-enough health service for our ruling elite! If the billions of dollars being squandering on Bona’s baby were spent equipping just one special ward, for example, it would be comparable quality to any in Singapore. The idea of having such ward was discounted because other Zimbabwean women would have used the same ward after Bona and her baby; putting the two on par with “ordinary” Zimbabweans, unthinkable for one whose grandmother wears nothing else but Gucci designer shoes.
Whilst cities and towns up and down the country have failed to supply clean running water for weeks on end at times because of lack of funds to maintain the service; Mugabe has admitted $15 billion or the nation’s GDP in Marange diamond revenue alone were looted recently! So there grinding poverty in Zimbabwe not because the country is poor but because its wealth is being wasted!
The people of Zimbabwe have known for years that Mugabe and his Zanu PF party are corrupt and incompetent but they have failed to remove the tyrannical regime from office because the regime blatantly rigs elections and uses wanton violence to stay in power. In the 36 years of Mugabe’s tyrannical rule, over 30 000 innocent Zimbabweans have been murdered in cold blood to establish and retain this de facto one-party cum one-man dictatorship.
For the masses the struggle for freedom, justice and human dignity has never stopped; on 18 April 1980 they swapped the white oppressors for black oppressors. The struggle continues!
Celebrate? One does not celebrate the birth whilst the wife is still in labour, especial the celebration is at the behest of those who are holding back the birth for selfish gain!