Zimbabwe: Let us break bread

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Let us, South Africans, break bread with our brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe. The symbolism of bread for this country runs deep, and it’s tangible too. Once hailed as the bread basket of Africa, the country exported wheat, corn and tobacco. Then, under Robert Mugabe’s rule, this literally withered away.

Finally, his rule has ended. His stubborn grip lasted longer than my existence. Given that, I will admit that I do not know as much about our neighbours in Zimbabwe as I would like to. I am reading and learning more.

Because history will hail this period. History will hail the people of Zimbabwe for fighting and not giving up. Too many lives have been lost and too many families have been torn apart. Even when many sought safety in South Africa, some were attacked.

Now, let us break bread. Let us help Zimbabweans build their country again… slice by slice, loaf by loaf, crop by crop.

The road ahead will be a long and difficult one. Mugabe’s exit is reason to rejoice but do not be clouded by the euphoria. Zimbabwe remains a collapsed country, politically and economically. It is still a fragile nation. And it has to be wary.

The military is seemingly in control and there is thankfully no evidence of force being used. But, the military’s hands are not clean. There are vested interests from within and beyond Zimbabwe’s borders. Because Zimbabwe without Mugabe has great promise. The land is there. It can be made fertile again. And underground, Zimbabwe is rich too. It has large reserves of platinum and lithium which mining companies will no doubt be eyeing.

Zimbabwe needs a leader of substance and vision. Come July 2018, a new President will be elected. Should the country wait that long? I think not. Surely this “coup” is reason enough for elections to be held sooner. Zimbabwe cannot have a leader from within the ranks of Mugabe. Those who supported and shielded him must shoulder blame for the crisis in the country.

Yes, the fight is far from over. There is no room for complacency. The people of Zimbabwe must continue to protest and push for meaningful change. It will take the hard work of many hands to nurture the seeds of hope that have been planted this week. The time is ripe to mould the country into a fruitful democracy.

Let us, South Africans, break bread with our brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe. Let us help restore power to the people.  And let it serve as a reminder to us all… no leader is indispensable. Ultimately, any rule that does not serve the will of the  people will come to an end.

 

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2 thoughts on “Zimbabwe: Let us break bread

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  1. As a Zimbabwean, I agree that there needs to be a move towards restoration. But I think we need to keep in mind that Zimbabweans are not pushy people, they are patient and intelligent. We know what it means to work hard to gain something good. Now that the hand that was holding us down has been removed, even if the same party stays in power – hope has been handed to us and we will grab it with both hands. It will charge us forward to bring back the change that is so needed. Even if it isn’t instant – it’s taken years (remember he was a great leader when his first wife was alive) to go this low, climbing out will hopefully not take as long with the support of other nations around us.

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