LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Cry beloved Zimbabwe

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Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa
Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa
Jekesai Njikizana /AFP

Terence Ndlovu has written to News24 on the parallels between George Orwell's Animal Farm and what is happening in Zimbabwe. 


"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

This quote from George Orwell's Animal Farm novel is peculiarly illuminating, especially within the Zimbabwean political arena.

Like the pigs in the story, the promise of an independent and egalitarian society disappeared the moment they attained power, and to maintain power the leaders have resorted to obscuring and controlling the narratives through control of state media.

In his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle describes the happy life intended for man by nature as one lived in accordance with virtue.

And in Politics, Aristotle describes the role politics and the political community must play in bringing about the virtuous life in the citizenry.

But such an envisaged Utopian society is a far-fetched reality within the African political allegory.

For once in power those who hold it cannot help but abuse it, as power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

For this mere fact equality will continue to be a fleeting reality not only for Zimbabwe and her people, but for communities where the elected leaders continue to usurp the civil liberties of their voting masses.

In addressing the people's concern for affordable meat earlier this year, President Emmerson Mnangagwa responded: "Meat! How about vegetables? Doctors recommend that people should eat vegetables. Doctors want you to eat vegetables so that you will be healthy, meat is not good for you."

Fast-forward, and three months later President Mnangagwa had changed his tune while at his Precabe Farm in Kwekwe.

"At this farm, we have plenty of livestock including cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and countless poultry. From all those we eat whatever we want when we feel like," he is reported to have said.

The similarities between Orwell's animal farm and Africa politics are uncanny, and in a way have proved relevant even in Zimbabwean politics to date.

While many struggle to make ends meet amid hyper inflated prices, those in power seem to be unfazed or unaffected by the plight and challenges of the marginalised majority.

For Zimbabwe, a country once hailed as the bread basket of Africa, something has to give. A tide of change ripples through the disgruntled masses, but the question still remains will it be enough?

Cry my beloved country, cry my Zimbabwe, with the vast calls for change emanating from the millions in the diaspora, and those on the ground easily coerced to conform.

The jury is out on whether there will be any plausible change anytime soon.

- Terence Ndlovu currently resides in South Africa

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