Alex Tawanda Magaisa a former adviser to the late former Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Morgan Tsvangirai has said that the hope which independence brought upon the citizenry is long gone.
He said that a few individuals have captured the state and the only ones benefitting from the fruits of independence.
We present below his full tweeter thread on Independence day.
The rural calendar did not have much to look forward to but two items stood out. One was Christmas Day and the other was Independence Day. I was only 5 at the first independence but I have a few glorious memories of those early celebrations. Happy 40th, my nation #
In our area, all villagers gathered pachikomo paHwara, a central location where independence celebrations were held. It was quite some festival, full of singing, dancing, eating and drinking. A speech from Harare would be read by the local politician.
Villagers would spend months preparing for the day. They would contribute money to buy beasts, other food & drinks. Everyone had their share. It was a great occasion to meet and mix. There were occasional conflicts, even fisticuffs as chaps clashed over romantic interests.
Some used the occasion to settle scores. But elders were on hand to diffuse tensions. Others, of course, over-indulged there being so much drink. Villagers also brewed finger-millet beer (rezviyo a.k.a 7 days) which was quite potent, at least going by the behaviour of imbibers
One occasion, a few drunkards fought over leftovers. One chap took off with what he believed to be a chunk of meat. Standing at a distance from the melee, he decided to suck the soup first. He was horrified to discover it was an old woollen hat. It had fallen into the drum!
One of the chaps had lost a hat in the melee. It had fallen into the drum & when the other chap picked it he thought he had struck gold. Only to discover that it was a sweaty old hat! He cursed himself & threw it away in anger. Short-lived joy. Everyone who saw this laughed.
Those were the days. It doesn’t happen anymore in the village. It stopped years ago. Things have changed. The hopes and energy of earlier times have since dissipated. A small kleptocratic cabal has seized the nation. But we must dare to hope & dream again.
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