Zimbabwe is pregnant. And this week she is ready to give birth at the polling stations. Her midwives will come from Beitbridge, Harare, Bulawayo Matebeleland, Masvingo and Mashonaland. Others will drive or flight in from lands near and far to ensure a successful delivery of baby democracy on the 30 July 2018.
Given Zimbabwean’s penchant for giving their children “interesting” English names, the baby birthed this week will be called: Second Independence or New Zimbabwe.
She will succeed First Independence who was born 38 years ago and went mad and rogue after his addiction to power. He sucked the country dry until there was nothing left. He ate his own people and drove many to foreign lands for peace and survival.
Today, on the eve of the rebirth of a nation, former president Mugabe gave what is reminiscent of the biblical patriarchs transitioning speech. First he waxed indignant about his painful demise from power and how guns have been used used to direct politics. He spoke as frankly and eloquently as we have always known him to be, with the characteristics ramblings of old age.
Then he delivered his “Blessings of Jacob” to the 23 successors who have availed themselves to birth the country’s miracle baby.
He declared fervently that he will not vote for his party’s candidate, Mnangagwa. “I said I can’t vote a party or those in power who are the people that have brought me to this state. I can’t vote for them.”
Of the other candidates he stated: “I have said the 2 women presidential candidates don’t offer very much. So what is there? It’s just Chamisa.”
Thus the patriarch’s proverbial “blessing” went to the only other viable candidate: the MDC’s 40 year old Nelson Chamisa, who is the youngest presidential candidate in Zimbabwe’s history.
He implored the good Lord to help bring a better day for Zimbabwe tomorrow and declared that guns never again be used to change governments.
We who bear witness to the prolonged labour pains and anguish of our sister country have no say on who Zimbabweans choose to birth their second liberation. We can only hope that many will rise early, travel far and wide to the labour rooms of the nation and cast their votes. We pray that their decision will be informed by their hopes and not their fears. That they will be led by their conscience and that peace and freedom will prevail.
May tomorrow bring a better day for the refugee mothers that I pass begging for survival on the harsh streets of Johannesburg, bearing toddlers as sympathy props.
May tomorrow bring a better day for graduates and professionals who have turned to menial work that undermines their true potential.
May tomorrow be a red sea parting moment that signals for those who have been scattered afar to return to the warm fires of home and rebuild the ruins.
May tomorrow be a cutting of ties with the past and birth a new future. Indeed, may tomorrow bring Zimbabwe and Africa good news.
Ishe komborera Afrika!
Pearl P Mashabane