Zimbabwe: Sinking into despondency?

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Just over a year ago, I wrote with profound optimism that Zimbabwe was turning the corner. I spoke of the legal reforms and what I thought was a clear upturn in society, how naïve I was.

Within the past few months I have found myself vacillating between despondency and apathy towards Zimbabwe. Like everyone, I want the best for my country, but that doesn’t seem to be happening.

With each passing day, the “exit” sign looks bolder, brighter and more inviting. I don’t know what I will achieve by leaving the country, if that’s accepting defeat, but I surely have not achieved much by staying.

Where hope once resided, it has been replaced by fear, optimism has made way for suspicion. We speak in hushed tones about our problems, while the ruling, or is it ruining, elite continue to sink us deeper into desperation.

Our faith in our own resolve has been overtaken by escapism, where we are willing to turn the other cheek, in the hope that a new political, economic and social order awaits us in the afterlife.

Constructive criticism is sneered upon and if you dare offer it, you are criticised of being anything between a sell out and an agent for the west. Foreign shores are increasingly becoming attractive for our finest brains, not because they are unpatriotic, but because they cannot find space to express themselves in the land of their births.

Instead of inspiring messages from our leaders, we are at the receiving end of copious propaganda, where we are told our lives are about to improve for the better, but this only seems to happen in newspapers.

Sans the “mega and massive” propaganda, we hear daily tales of people losing their jobs, companies retrenching en masse and general uncertainty.

The conversations on the daily commute are either about the unending power cuts or water problems.

As if this is not enough, the government is planning to increase taxes on fuel, mobile phones and everything else they can think of. Even vendors and hawkers, who were squeezed out of formal employment by this very situation, are not spared, the taxman’s noose will soon be tightening around their already broken necks.

Not everything about Zimbabwe is melancholic, yes there are good times and good things, but they are increasingly few and far in between.

I hope the best for my country, but I don’t know for how long I can live like this, with all this uncertainty, unable to plan long term and where basic like water, electricity and communications are increasingly becoming a luxury.

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