Dear Zimbabwean Youth
Today I wish to address the young generation of voters and the virgin voters.
As I walk down memory lane, reminiscing about decades past, walking the streets of Harare, having had school lunch and all was somehow achievable. I pass a cafe and it reminded me of waking up on a weekend to my mother making breakfast, a proper breakfast that you can imagine. Though the breakfast is a trivial matter, I cannot help but think of the generations from years 1991 to 2000 who make the majority of this year’s voters and the ones to follow.
It is a reality there is a generation that left Zimbabwe the 70s and 80s and here is why. We lived a life that if we speak of now sounds more like a folktale but the truth is once upon a reality Zimbabwe was surely at the forefront of international business, the breadbasket of Africa and a force to reckon with on the international stock exchange. A Zimbabwe that I was proud to be associated with and proudly claimed as my homeland and I would use any opportunity to say I am from Zimbabwe. The land of milk and honey, that is the Zimbabwe the 70s and 80s people knew and wish you could experience and yes it is possible in your lifetime.
Fast forward to 2000 and beyond, these same groups have become the parent to our young voters. One problem though, the majority of them left at the sting bad governance. Suddenly they are parents as well with a burden to providing for their own children.
Their parents were not wrong in any way but let’s face it; at the highest of oppression and white Rhodesian rule, despite the shelter of good economy and an outwardly booming international recognition, the ordinary black Zimbabwean was still oppressed and desired to be free in their own motherland. The idea of a black government was at this stage a welcomed idea and widely appreciated and indeed united we stood for one goal to change the regime.
We finally had our own keens man in power and for what seemed like a victory, the ship begun to slowly sink to the point of no return. It sank to the potholes, unemployment, lack of rule of law and democracy, corruption you name it. We voted to this Zimbabwe we are in now and sadly as the government failed and the situation worsened those with the means got away by will or by force.
Zimbabwe to this day is in the hands of the young men and women of the 1990s and 2000. To make it or to break it here is your chance; we say we failed, we acknowledge we could not reed ourselves of the monster we created and fed for the 38years that have past.
It will be unwise for us to think the end of Mugabe’s rule has ended Mugabe the system which is Zanu Pf. Yes we have a part to play as the older generations but you out number us by far and in our failure we hand over relay stick as I accept we tasted Zanu Pf and tried it and sadly failed you the virgin and youth vote.
The reality is if you are not parents already, you are soon to be and in these coming five years of yet to be unknown government though likely to continue if you do not stand up, a lot can change for better or for worse.
It is sad to see a young woman or man in her 20s chanting a Zanu Pf slogan, it is heartbreaking and as an elder, I sit and think of how I erred and left this generation to think the way Zimbabwe is now is glorious and all they have experienced. Unlike me, you have known nothing else to therefore to compare it to. I challenge you still look at the world around you. The leadership you desire and that can serve you has to be within an age relation to you and the future you envision. What does a thirty-year-old system have to offer to you as a young person?
The desire is there to sit and share stories and songs of our ages but life on a paycheck does not allow me to. To be out here building another man’s country while mine falls apart is no joy but the family has to eat. The daughter with a toddler on her hand needs food, the nephew sitting on the bridge is expecting food on the table, there is gogo in the village needs her diabetes medication, your sibling is still waiting on a job interview and junior you need university fees.
Please vote wisely. A prosperous Zimbabwe is achievable and you have the ball in your court virgin and young voters