The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Civil Society Must Find Something Useful to Do

editorial

The world over institutions or organisations are built around common interests whose advancement is seen as uplifting certain constituencies and thus bringing greater representation through ensuring many voices are heard.

It then follows that there has to be some interest worthy of safeguarding for citizens to form an organisation to advance certain views that they would have felt have not been given space.

While democracy allows for the many voices to find space within a nation amid meaningful co-existence, we believe we have enough genuine concerns within our country around which we could form many and varied organisations instead of lapping up on any passing wind or having foreign interests foisted upon us with some promise of money to keep us interested in the 'interests'.

The mushrooming of organisations whose goals do not resonate with the common man under the so-called growth of civil society is a worrying trend.

The African Union summit had to deal with some members of our civil society that wanted Zimbabwe to be on the summit agenda in Ethiopia.

We learn that many well funded civil society organisations were in Addis Ababa seeking relevance through a lobby to have their motherland on the summit agenda so that the interests of those that fund them are better served.

Just as well their efforts were rebuffed by African leaders who know the true situation in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe is peaceful and heading towards a credible election and continues to shame its detractors through the unity of purpose of its citizens and that is a fact that no amount of falsehoods can alter.

It is about time some of these organisations' masks are pulled off.

We need to know who these organisations are as opposed to who they claim to be.

The Zimbabwean state as represented by the Government of the day derives its legitimacy from electoral processes that brought it into being.

However, the so-called civil society lives under the illusion that they represent voters though they were never voted into office by this country's majority to be their representatives.

In what way does having Zimbabwe on the AU summit agenda and giving the impression that there is a crisis in Zimbabwe, a few days after the conclusion of the constitution-making process, help the ordinary Zimbabwean and whose agenda does it further?

We know the voices that in the past sought to have Zimbabwe even on the United Nations Security Council agenda but failed dismally.

Our memories are still fresh.

It is quite clear that those that we thought we vanquished only yesterday have found willing Trojan Horses through which they are still peddling to the rest of the world calculated falsehoods meant to paint a picture of Zimbabwe in need of Western intervention.

We also know that the civil society movement has become a huge industry and therefore a source of livelihood for many who quake in their boots each time there is a meeting of minds between the major political players since that signifies their gradual descent into insignificance and eventual redundancy.

As proud Zimbabweans with a rich history we cannot let a few individuals sell our country for a few pieces of silver all in propagation of some foreign interests whose motto is that nothing good can ever come out of our continent.

The African Union spearheaded the unshackling of colonial fetters and it is quite naïve for the so-called civil society organisations to expect the liberator to conspire to facilitate our recolonisation through adopting a foreign agenda, thus opening up our land to foreign interference.

The civil society activists should find something useful to do since their money-making days are definitely numbered -- what with most of their names no longer in sync with the situation in the country.

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