Tsvangirai Must Urgently Apologize To Zimbabweans in the U.K
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Having noted that the recent escalated deportations of Zimbabweans from the UK have been reportedly inspired by PM Tsvangirai's deleterious message to the British government as he called that they be sent home to vote and rebuild Zimbabwe since it is now safe, I find it ideal to issue a few statements to respond to his moves here and simultaneously open his eyes. The starting point should be the art to avoid being a hypocrite in the face of cheap politicking for one's convenience and comfort. Secondly, it is always a great diplomatic ethic to look out through the social window and connect ground reality with people's situations before one can utter poisonous statements that affect other people's lives in a permanent way. This is the eleventh hour before elections and violence in the villages has already started. Jabulani Sibanda can confirm that.
The Diaspora community came on its own and never used government of Zimbabwe funds to search for greener pastures. The air fare tickets were hard earned money from sacrifice and sale of treasured items. There was no contract between the MDC-T and the Diaspora folks to leave Zimbabwe, neither was there an agreement to mark their return date. For that reason alone, Tsvangirai has no capacity or standing to appeal to foreign governments to deport Zimbabweans from the UK or anywhere else because they are adults managing their own lives in places where they feel their interests are being catered for. They are not praying for power, butter or sugar where they are. The infrastructure is working and their tax dollars are at work. They don't have to travel for days to access the internet which is on their lap tops. Four years in the GNU, Tsvangirai cannot even contain the corruption in the police force through the assigned Minister. There are more concerns than celebrations in the performance of his cabinet Ministers. With that smear campaign, he now wants the Diaspora community to head home and spend sleepless nights under noisy power generator sounds, drinking water with sewage as he drinks imported bottled water in his multi-million dollar Highlands home.
Tsvangirai has failed to feed the nation, create jobs, and resuscitate the ailing economy among various other notable failures. His make believe JUICE theories were popular when the microphones were on but died the natural death as the media folded their equipment. People continue to wallow in poverty and are told to have hope and faith in the so called party of excellence. At that peak of failure is the hour that he has a cup of tea with Europe and calls for Zimbabweans to be deported. He must issue a public apology before his party gets into historical doldrums.
The Zimbabweans living abroad have provided a lifeline to their family members. Last year alone, an estimated $10 million dollars got into Zimbabwe to support families. People are working hard and Zimbabwe has managed to be where she stands because of the blood and sweat of these gallant sons and daughters of Zimbabwe who have worked tirelessly day and night to feed and clothe those in Zimbabwe who have been reduced to beggars in their own home. Regardless of the demeaning jobs, a basis for attacking the Diaspora community, families have made it to the next Christmas with those dollars from dirty jobs. This is at a time when so much empty talk is said about diamond wealth that is never felt, seen or enjoyed except by a handful. The entire nation just reads about the dream wealth in papers as the top share the proceeds and move on with their lives.
A month ago even Minister Biti boasted that Zimbabweans in the UK should come home and get funds for business loans. Two weeks later he then issued a statement that the Zimbabwean government had $217 in the account. Today there is an appeal for election funds. One wonders what kind of government we have that issues such disturbing statements and shifts positions by the minute hand movement using a single platform within such a short space of time.
Tsvangirai's family is mainly in Canada and Australia. Forget about all his blabber. His loved ones are enjoying the comfort and the well-developed infrastructure of Europe, America and South Africa. They are accessing every need using funds sent from Zimbabwe. With his loved ones being overseas in colleges and jobs, he wants those overseas not related to him to come home and vote for him to secure his seat as if there is a contract or guarantee to improve their welfare once he gets to power. This is an unfortunate move that should cost his MDC-T party unless he publicly apologizes for such a reckless statement. What he forgets too is that in the overseas channels, once you issue a statement like that, your words become precedent for reference and are underlined to have an impact that affects the very people you want to vote for you.
Such statements to appeal for people to be deported are misguided especially from a young nation like Zimbabwe. Tsvangirai needs to see how Nigerian leaders carry themselves before the world. They fight for the rights of their own people abroad and reach the British Parliament, the US Congress and many other influential structures to secure the interests of their own people. In return there is a symbiosis of trust and cooperation that sees Nigerian economy do better. They do so because they know that the very people outside the country play a crucial role in feeding and clothing those left behind at home.
If you look at the world map today, many African folks with big names are from Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal. The reason is that their governments stand with their people before the world and they coordinate to ensure their people's interests are secured and safe.
I wish Tsvangirai knew how many families could be affected by calling for his people to be deported. At a time when other countries are busy negotiating for their citizens to get secure documents and safe life, our own leader in Tsvangirai finds himself demanding that his own people be sent home to vote for him and then suffer afterwards. This is cheap talk at a time when the unemployment rate is shooting above the roof and poverty is up in the air.
A leader should be principled and should not be like a chameleon that adjusts by the moment, situation and weather. No matter how good a cup of tea is, a leader should not forget about his people's needs and situation. A great leader should sit down and think what works for his people and how to achieve that. In cases of doubt, he should consult widely before uttering ruinous statements.
If Tsvangirai thinks that the deportees will vote for him once they reach home, then he must be out of his mind. Time will prove him wrong. He already speaks with false authority as one drunk with power and seems not to care about the concerns of his people on the ground. No wonder why some have started suspecting that he is now just saying anything so that he can be outvoted and take time to enjoy what he has earned to date. His mistakes are jaw-dropping as his statements are continually disturbing.
If he wants his statements to make sense, he must start by enrolling his kids at a rural school in ancient era places with the fifties-style development like Rushinga (Mount Darwin), Msampakaruma, Kazangarare or Binga where people still remain amazed by so many things like radios and airplanes in this day and age. I mention these places with no mobile networks and proper transmitter stations for media channels as the ideal places that reflect how extreme Zimbabwe gets in the face of incompetent or unshaken MPs. That will test the very theories he is trying to advance because right now talk is cheap. It's easier to say this and then do that. They all call for people to come home and yet their kids are out there in the comfort of the West. How hypocritical is that?
So many families are surviving on medicines, food and clothes from their loved ones overseas. Life at home is green on paper but brown on the ground. Nothing is promising except the corruption, poverty and disease driven by fake leaders. Diamond wealth is on paper. The country is broke. Jobs are scarce. College students are in dire poverty. They only want more people to come home and cheer them as they eat for us from the top towers. That means it is wrong for anyone in the Diaspora to lead that same or better quality life even though earned from filthy jobs.
It is not going to be an easy sale. There is really nothing newsworthy to return home and settle for especially at this hour. Our country has no money to turn around the situation. Even President Mugabe's daughter is in Hong Kong. That does not mean there are no accounting firms that can offer her chartered accountancy courses and certification in Zimbabwe. The appetite to be outside Zimbabwe is common yet Tsvangirai believes that only his kids and family should be the ones to be outside Zimbabwe.
If Tsvangirai hopes to drive the Diaspora to return home, he should be the one to start by re-calling his family members to come back home and attend Nyamakate or Chisape Primary School and spend some time with those socially-disadvantaged kids who also dream about a good life one day.
Let there be no cheap politicking simply to garner political mileage while sacrificing other people's interests. Talk is cheap in the true sense. And do not forget that anyone in the Diaspora is there through his or her own funding means and logistics. The government of Zimbabwe was not party to that journey. If Tsvangirai is to rule, he should do so without creating unnecessary hardships on other struggling families. Mr. Tsvangirai, please note that your political journey is a self-rewarding career that you chose on your own and it will never impact my own welfare and that of my children. I choose where I want to go. Please respect my space. Follow your political career alone and please do not force it on my door or shove it down my throat.
Chris writes in a personal capacity. This article has been published by courtesy of the online paper www.zimeye.org.
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Source: Chris Tongogara
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