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OPINION: Zimbabwe Needs More Than Just Prayers

The year I turned 40 my life as I knew it changed quite dramatically. Sometimes life’s events have a way of making you see things very differently. During it all, I started to think of the next generation. What will we say to them when they ask about things we did today? How will we justify our actions?

There is a powerful quote that has stuck with me:

We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children – American Indian proverb

Zimbabwe turned 40 earlier this year. Unlike previous years, I have celebrated our Independence Day. Now I look at Zimbabwe through the lens of my six-year-old daughter. What are we celebrating really? Yes, Zimbabwe is independent, now what? How will I explain my actions today to her? She is a very inquisitive child with lots of questions that require answers. If this trend continues, the questions will get harder as she develops and grows. I need to be prepared for them.

I did not celebrate this year’s Independence Day. Instead I was home probably trying to keep abreast with developments around Covid. Throughout the day I wondered what Zimbabwe would look like to someone who had left their home and life as it they knew it, crossed the border into Mozambique as many did, trained and later joined the armed struggle? I wondered how families who had lost their children in the war feel now when they see what has become of Zimbabwe. If those youngsters who did not make it home, who died in unmarked graves could come back even for just one day, how would they feel when they see what has become of Zimbabwe today?

I turn to our beloved country today, the 15th June 2020:

How will Zimbabwe address these above-mentioned challenges we continue to face as a nation?

I remember when I was at university in my first year. There was one subject I did not really study for. The exams were fast approaching, and I had not actually done the work. I started to pray. I prayed so hard, but the truth is I had not done my bit. I simply had not done the work. The God I know helps those who also help themselves, at least that is what I believe. Luckily for me, I just managed to pass that course. I know now that I could have improved on my grade had I studied properly.

So, I turn to Zimbabwe. Have our leaders done their bit yet? What will they tell their children about what they were doing in 2020? Are prayers sufficient when there is so much more work to be done first? Some of the work is as I have often heard, is simply ‘’low hanging fruit’’. We voted for a constitution in 2013 I believe. What is taking so long to align the laws? When we welcome investors to Zimbabwe, are we doing the required due diligence on the investor to ensure that this is the kind of investor we need for our children? Are we acting and thinking about our children as we go about our work especially as leaders in the community? I am not sure we are. For now, it looks like we are focused on just today. That may prove to be our own undoing.

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