By Blessing Vava Zimbabwe’s president Emmerson Mnangagwa is currently in China on his first visit outside Africa. Mnangagwa’s visit ...
Monday, 12 October 2015
Did gays destroy the economy?
Last month as I was travelling from Zimbabwe to South Africa I had the worst experience when my bag, containing a laptop and a few belongings, got stolen in the bus I had boarded.
Everything seemed well as we passed through the immigration officials at the Beitbridge border post on the Zimbabwean side. It was only when I was on the South African side when I discovered that my satchel was missing from the bus.
I quickly alerted the bus crew, and they conducted an immediate search on the bus, to no avail.
The bag was gone.
After a while, we discovered that one passenger, whose final destiny was listed as Johannesburg, had disembarked at the Beitbridge Border post. He became the first suspect. It was strange to discover that he had cleverly boarded the bus using a woman’s passport, and he had travelled all the way without the bus crew noticing.
As I still trying to come to terms with the loss, there was a general consensus amongst the passengers that the man this was the guy who had stolen the satchel. The discussions went on and on about how thieves had become this skillful at robbing unsuspecting travellers.
Many stories were shared on how people are losing their belongs to thieves, especially at the Beitbridge border post. Still, I could not believe what had happened, but the bus crew and the rest of the passengers were convinced that the man who had disembarked at the Beitbridge border post was the one who had taken my bag.
Indeed we are living in desperate and trying times. I could only imagine that this is what happens when there are no jobs in the country. Criminal activities cannot be justified, but this is how many Zimbabweans are surviving. The economic meltdown and the soaring cost of living has turned many Zimbabweans into criminals.
United nations speech
However as the journey resumed, I tried to forget about the incident and took my mobile phone to catch up with what’s happening around. As I browsed through the news sites on my mobile, I came across a video clip of President Mugabe’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly.
I could only feel sorry for the 92 year old ruler, as he not only struggled to walk to the podium, but equally showed signs of tiredness as he delivered his speech.
His speech was nothing new, Mugabe has used every international platform to attack gays and lesbians. It is baffling that this is a president of a country where close to 90% have been forced out of employment because of the economic decay, and yet he keeps yelling at gays and lesbians as if they have caused the rot that’s affecting the people of Zimbabwe.
The root cause
ZANU PF’s misrule has turned Zimbabweans into criminals for survival; it’s now a dog eat dog, because it is the poor who are stealing from the poor.
After the speech, I was left with no doubt that perhaps for years our president has been reading the wrong speeches at the wrong platforms. He has taken every platform to complain not only about gays-but sanctions too-as a scapegoat for his failures. If only he knew that Zimbabwe is down, not because of gays and lesbians, but because of his misgovernance. Very funny how he ignores that fact.
What is clear is that the ageing dictator has no clue whatsoever about the issues affecting his country, that’s why he keeps yelling at gays and lesbians. The issues of gays and lesbians are not an inch of the daily struggles of the people of Zimbabwe.
Out of touch
Mugabe is out of touch with the issues especially in his country, his continued barraging of gays and lesbians, as if it’s what has destroyed our economy, is quite alarming. His obsession with gays and lesbians is a mockery to the million of Zimbabweans who expect him to be passionate about the real issues affecting the people.
Mugabe should take a leaf from Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who instead told the US President Barack Obama that homosexuality is not an issue in Kenya, but rather that Kenya is worried about health, infrastructure, education and development etc.
And the sooner Mugabe realises this, the better. A leader ceases to be one when he fails to address the plight and aspirations of those who elected him to be president.
Bread and butter
Zimbabweans are not worried about gay rights, they want water, electricity, good education, health and jobs so that they stay away from criminal activities for survival. Clearly this gay issue is now tired rhetoric that will not solve Zimbabwe’s economic woes.
As Mugabe continues with his obsession with gays, Zimbabwe is being turned from a once jewel of Africa to a tragic disaster. We don’t want to be a nation of thieves who reap were they did not sow, we want jobs. Please tell us about jobs, not gays.
Blessing Vava is a blogger who writes from Chipinge in Zimbabwe. He can be contacted on email@example.com