However, what I considered much more extraordinary was the apparent gloating and excitement exhibited by the party leadership over the defection of two prominent opposition members, Lilian Timveos and Blessing Chebundo, to its ranks.
As I watched the ruling party top officials glow with satisfaction, and heard the haughty pledges of numerous more defections, something clicked in my mind.
These people don’t comprehend the fullness of their actions, all possible scenarios, and potential ramifications of their actions.
This could actually be a silver lining on the dark cloud that has been hovering above the heads of the ever-suffering people of Zimbabwe.
How so, many would ask?
Well, if there has been one question that has been on the mouth, and minds of numerous people, both in and outside the country, it is: Why do Zimbabweans not stand up for themselves?
We have seen people standing up in other countries despite the unending, unbearable and untold suffering that they had been subjected to at the hands of kleptomaniac, brutal, and incompetent regimes.
This regime, whose only outstanding “achievements” ever since coming to power at independence in 1980, are a heinous genocide that massacred over 20 000 innocent civilians and looting of the country’s vast natural resources for the leadership’s personal enrichment should see that coming.
Millions of Zimbabweans are wallowing in poverty, sickness, and death because of bad governance which has ruined an economy which had proven resilient even through 15 years of United Nations sanctions between 1965 and 1980.
Of course, this apparent “fear” and “cowardice” by the country’s citizenry – which, the then head of the presidential guard, Anselem Nhamo Sanyatwe, even mocked during the Kgalema Motlanthe Commission set up to probe the 2018 post-election protests.
The protests resulted in the coldblooded gunning down of six unarmed civilians by State security forces.
Sanyatwe described Zimbabweans as people who are too cowardly, and would flee merely at the sight of a military truck.
This is never easy to unpack and decipher as a number of reasons have been thrown around. However, my own conclusion has been that the citizenry has become overly reliant on the main opposition, the MDC, for salvation. We are too expectant of them to do the work that we, as the oppressed, should do for ourselves.
There is nothing on the face of this planet that cripples, incapacitates, and stifles a people’s progress and advancement than a dependency syndrome.
In this regard, a people who have been at the mercy of a cold-hearted and unruly regime merely sit back while waiting for other people who obviously have their own personal ambitions and agendas to bring about the long-overdue emancipation because we are too afraid to assume the task for ourselves.
It is not a secret that I have never trusted politicians, and have always found it foolhardy for anyone to believe that one of them is in it for the masses.
The motivation for most people to enter politics and run for office has seldom been for the selfless greater good of the nation, and its citizenry. It has often been predominantly for his or her personal power, fame, and wealth ambitions.
The electorate, as the ticket to that objective, being mere pawns, who are used and remembered only when necessary.
A look at what is happening in the political arena proves it. Honestly, what else explains the reason for a Member of Parliament, or councillor, to ditch his or her political party for a rival one, simply to save her or his “job and benefits”.
Since when has serving the people become a job?
I have been a member of various community development organisations ever since my early childhood, including the then Boy Scouts Association, and other charitable clubs, which inculcated in me values that serving one’s country and people was a duty which should not be paid for. It is not a career or profession, whereby I expect kickbacks or rewards.
Therefore, what manner of “serving” are politicians doing when their first priority is always: What’s in it for me, and what will I get in return?
As such, I would never celebrate the dissipation of any political party – as that is merely an expected nature of what they dare call the “game of politics”.
Nonetheless, many Zimbabweans have endured untold suffering such as hunger/malnutrition, depression-induced illnesses and lack of affordable medical care, brutal repression such as persecution of dissent, corruption, and social injustices through brazen arrests on spurious charges, with hardly any conviction and the cold-blooded fatal shooting of protestors.
This is not a game, and we are certainly not enjoying any of this nonsense.
My own prayer is that once the people finally realise that the trust and hope they placed in the main opposition is no longer a viable alternative, they will finally stand up for their own rights, dignity, and prosperity.
We have no one to cry to, and most certainly we have no one to fight for us, except ourselves.
The supreme law of our land has all the relevant avenues clearly and adequately stated, established, and simply waiting to be implemented by us, the people of Zimbabwe.
Should we choose not to do so, we only have ourselves to blame, and the unbearable suffering and pain inflicted by this ruthless and vile regime will continue to gnaw us to death.
Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, author, and speaker. He writes here in his personal capacity.