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Outside politics: Drought, hunger, death stalking our nation
01/03/2016 00:00:00
by Dr. Maxwell Zeb Shumba

We are not there yet, but we are getting there!

IN the mid-80's pictures coming out of Ethiopia were horrifying. Hunger told its own horror stories happening on the African continent and the world responded. Led by artists and supported by NGOs and caring governments, the world positively reacted in unison. Musicians and artists rallied the resource mobilisation efforts to save the Ethiopian people. WE ARE THE WORLD, they sang in one big concert at one point and that message conceptualized the haplessness of the African nation in saving itself. Outsiders had to act.

In the case of Zimbabwe today, we are slowly getting there. WE ARE NOT THERE YET but we are slowly getting there.  Yet, and in typical Zimbabwean style, we are not pressing the panic button. We are neither united nor focused on confronting this sure impending catastrophe. We are oblivious to the horrifying danger about to visit our nation.

Our attention is directed elsewhere far from the impending catastrophe, the Zanu PF engineered mind games. We are acting as if it does not concern us. Yes, WE ARE GETTING THERE where Ethiopia was in the mid-80s. AND it will be Deja vu all over again. Outsiders led by Mugabe's arch enemy, USAID, using the American people's tax money, will lead efforts to mobilise resources to save our people while Mugabe rants at rallies against imaginary enemies who include the same Americans coming to help Zimbabweans.

Foreign artists will once again artists take centre stage in highlighting our plight and may stage one or two concerts for our cause while we stand-by and watch. The sad part is that the enlightened Zimbabweans in a position to vocally lead efforts to save the nation expend their energy on wanton misdirected efforts (I am sorry to say this but that's a fact. We have become a laughing stock). Those who can positively influence the direction of our country are busy showing off their copy and paste skills, trying to gain fame as champions at hurling insults or out-duel each other for the title of champion analysts here, on Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter. 

Where will we put our heads in shame when we finally get there, when the outside world comes with another WE ARE THE WORLD to save our own people from certain hunger induced death? We boast of being the educated nation in Africa. Really? The crops are failing folks and disaster is looming while we are busy playing Chikende (a children's game).


For once, let us be selfless my dear citizens and, for once, think about our relatives who are outside the Zanu PF gravy train. Let's stop insulting each other. Let's help our people. We can do it, and I know that. Let's not wait for others to come in to help our situation. There are many notable Zimbabweans of goodwill who, if well supported by our own goodwill, can even lead Zimbabwe's own version of WE ARE THE WORLD campaign. 

We can do it, if we fundamentally change our mindset from being a people who value getting freebees to a people who unite to donate to good causes. There are four million of us outside the country and there is more we can do together; if we step a notch higher on the ladder of nobility we can be a force to reckon with. We understand there is a bucket of political things we need to fix but we cannot afford to wait for that to happen. There is a bucket with Drought, Hunger and Starvation, we need fix as a matter of urgency. Let's forget about Grace and Mugabe for a moment and think about our people who are in the glare of starvation.  

Yes, TOGETHER we can help our nation beyond its political and social needs. Very soon our friends and relatives will be needing food to stave off death; let's begin to mobilise for a good cause. Remember this; Dr. Thomas Mapfumo consistently reminded us in song that things are not well in our country. In numerous songs he reminded us that our beloved country was headed in the wrong direction and we needed to unite to change course. These songs include:

- Mamvemve (tatters. Our Country is in tatters)
- Marima nzara (Sowing seeds of hunger)
- Maiti kurima hatibvire (you claimed to be master farmers when you forcibly grabbed the land from commercial farmers. Witness the harvest of hunger)
- Batanai (Unite) 
- Zimbabwe, etc

The message is there in all these songs and the good Doctor has demonstrated evident leadership in messaging. So why not use him for uniting the people to prepare to confront the looming drought-induced hunger?

For his part it us undeniable that Dr. Mapfumo, in song, has shown indisputable inspirational leadership when fighting for social justice and I know for a fact that the good Doctor when called to step in he will be ready and willing. I am sure there are other selfless and well-meaning Zimbabwean icons who would welcome the opportunity to take the challenge to save the nation by galvanizing the world into action. Let's unite for a good cause my dear compatriots. The effort begins with you and me.

Let's reach out to Dr Mapfumo and hear what he says. Let's reach to other notable elders with unsoiled records. We are not there yet but if we do not act now, we will get there.

I am just a Voice. The Final Voice

Dr. Maxwell Zeb Shumba is president of Zimbabwe First political party. Follow him on Twitter at @CountryfirstPeoplefirst, #ourZimbabweansfirst.

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