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What about despair?

“There is fire on the mountain

And nobody seems to be on the run

There is fire on the mountain top

And no one is a running.”Asa

By Albert Gumbo


It is debilitating. It is negative energy and we must rouse ourselves from our slumber. It is also understandable that the people, after being robbed of election victory after election victory, followed by a false dawn with the government of national unity and the antics of the opposition while in ephemeral power, would give up all hope and interest in the affairs of the country. We cannot afford this stupor.

The war for independence started in the late 1800s, stuttered, stalled, continued in the 1960s, was vicious and yet the people persevered until we could attain our political independence. We must show the same courage of our convictions to commit to correcting the trajectory that our country has taken. The only way is to get politically involved: to canvass, to register, to campaign, to vote, guard the vote and eventually triumph. It is not the time to be watching from afar as many did in the last couple of elections. Spectator politics will not do for Zimbabwe. Everyone has to be engaged throughout the process.

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Nobody owes Zimbabweans anything except Zimbabweans themselves. No one owes Africa either, except Africans consciously and deliberately working on shaping Africa in the image we seek; even in the pursuit of reparations.

The excuse that one has had enough and is no longer interested, while understandable, is simply not good enough. If we do not rescue our country, others will do it for us and cart it away. Zimbabwe is a young nation and if these avoidable travails are what we needed to go through, so be it. We need your steely determination to come to the fore because it is not about you. It is about the country and future generations. It is bigger than you and I. It is our obligation of timeless necessity.

Regardless of the state of affairs of any country, its citizens are duty bound to work for its greater glory through their individual achievements and through national goals where this applies. This is why we have a flag and an anthem. Whether it is in the movie awards, the Olympics or the brand of our manufactured product every nation likes to march behind a flag, claim the successes of their individual performers or national teams and stand up tall on the international stage. If the French have their wine, we must have our tobacco, if the Americans have their basketball players, we must have our golfers, if South Korea has its white goods, we must at the cutting edge of patented medicine. Whatever the case, we must be known for what we produce and its globally competitive qualities rather than the name of our dictators. We have the ability to ensure that Zimbabwe will be henceforth associated with what is brilliant and sought after than be referred to as a pariah state.

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Journalist based in Harare

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