Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Silent hope

On Tuesday, August 30 Zimbabwe's parliament passed the controversial 17th Amendment bill amidst cries that the bill's passage would be our nation's undoing. Needless to say, the bills passage spawned off deeper levels of hopelesness; Zimbabwe was set to become Mugabe's totalitarian domain. One could say we the people had lost all hope when Constitutional Amendment No. 17 was rushed upon us. Ironically, one of the bills main provisions has become the improbable harbinger of a silent hope for Zimbabwe's hard pressed citizenry.

The overbearing legislation set out to limit the movements of citizens deemed hostile to national security, protect the government from domestic litigation over their botched land reform, and reinvoke an upper house or senate. The latter has been the impetus behind the silent hope of which I speak, and it might well be avenue that ushers in our realization of said hope. Let me explain.

It became clear during the three years leading up to 1999 that Zimbabweans are on a quest to replace the iron hand rule of ZANU-PF. In 1998 a three day nationwide strike ground the nation to halt. Shortly thereafter the liberation war vets, feeling the pinch of a weakening economy, threatened to retrieve their arms if their lives weren't improved. At the next opportunity we got to express distaste of the government i.e. the constitutional amendment referundum, we did so rejecting the ZANU-PF propagated amendments. And when the 2000 parliamentaries rolled around, we did the same handing the MDC close to half the seats--a first in Zimbabwe's history. This feeling of resentment hasn't disappeared since. It may have ebbed and may have been placated by ZANU's devious favors, but make no mistake we the people want different leadership.

In just a matter of weeks, on November 26 we the people will have another opportunity to speak up when we elect representatives for senate. Our hope is manifest in the 26 MDC candidates who've filed their papers for the elections. In them we find an alternative. In them is our opportunity to express what we've been saying an feeling for the past ten years. They are the symbols of our silent hope to oust the Mugabe regime.

Unwilling and unknowingly ZANU-PF has given us reason to hope.

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