Who can forget the furore and excitement by the Zimbabwe government, and their always loyal poodles both in shady two-men organizations, and social media trolls – who are always on the ready to parrot and defend anything propagated by the ruling elite, no matter how ridiculous or indefensible – after the brutal killing, by means of choking, of African American George Perry Floyd, at the hands of white US police officer Derek Chauvin on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota?
In fact, the uproar by these Zimbabweans was so intense and loud that it sent shockwaves within the Donald J. Trump US administration – culminating in the national security advisor Robert O’Brien accusing the small southern African country, as well as China and Iran, of fanning the flames of instability and chaos in America, by trying to exploit the long-running fraught and tense state of race relations.
As much as every progressive and fair-minded person on this planet was utterly outraged and incensed by this heinous act of the disproportionate use of force by the police officer, most particularly as relating to white-on-black systemic racism – even resulting in a special session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 17, 2020, where Floyd’s brother gave testimony – the Zimbabwe regime and its allies’ shenanigans were clearly more for show and political grandstanding, than real concern for a fellow black man, or severe loathing of the dehumanization of humans beings by others.
This charade and shedding of crocodile tears was motivated more as a way of pouring scorn on a country that has always touted itself as a global champion of human rights and democracy – in spite of a dark and dishonorable long history of racially-inspired slavery, lynching, and racial segregation, coupled by an insatiable thirst for the innocent blood of people in foreign lands, that the US has mercilessly invaded and attacked.
Of course, for the Zimbabwe regime to point the accusing finger at the US for its horrendous and scandalous past, is nothing short of the proverbial – pot calling the kettle black, considering how the ZANU PF administration has been at the forefront of exhibiting utter disdain and contempt towards its own citizens – whom it has never had any qualms killings in their tens of thousands, as well as subjecting to unspeakable suffering and poverty.
What is even more shocking – thereby, exposing this disgusting hypocrisy and double standards – than when the same characters who made so much noise in support of Floyd were deafeningly silent, and nowhere to be found, after our own 43 year old Zimbabwean, Elvis Nyathi, was viciously murdered in neighboring South Africa’s Diepsloot (north of Johannesburg) on Wednesday April 6, 2022, in savage xenophobic attacks on foreigners?
Maybe, this should not be particularly surprising – considering that, most of those who are now at the receiving end of this barbaric violence in South Africa, are amongst the millions who fled Zimbabwe, due to the untold impoverishment authored by the ZANU PF regime, through gross incompetence, mismanagement, and looting of national resources – leaving nearly half the population living in what the UN labels “extreme poverty” (earning less than US$1.90 a day).
It appears the Zimbabwe ruling elite, and their blind followers in tow – are more than prepared, and feel more comfortable, spewing unashamed vitriol and insults where their own dirty hands are not immediately obvious and visible.
Yet, when it comes to defending fellow compatriots being ruthlessly subjected to hate crimes just a doorstep away in South Africa – the matter becomes a bit tricky, since the cause of so many Zimbabweans seeking refuge in that country, be it legally or illegally, points right back to the Zimbabwe authorities’ own appalling ruination of a once prosperous and admirable nation.
They are all too aware that – once they point an accusing finger at South Africa – the other three fingers will be pointing straight back at the Zimbabwe government.
Nonetheless, the ruling elite in this country need to shake off their deserved shame, and forthwith be seen stepping up as leaders who can stand up for their own citizens – when they come under undue vilification and persecution in other lands.
We can not afford to have those, whom my beloved late father used to refer to as “vana ushewokunze” – who seek fame and respect in the eyes of outsiders, yet failing to be responsible in their own home fronts.
That is exact what we are witnessing with our leaders in Zimbabwe – who would rather turn social media upside down, as they speak for a slain Africa American, but lacking the balls to stand up for their own, who faced a harrowing death just next door.
© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, researcher, and social commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only; +263788897936 / +263733399640, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org