THERE is a strikingly uncanny poverty of patriotism among opposition ranks in Zimbabwe and there is absolutely no way of correcting this crude and rude political reality. The liberation struggle in Zimbabwe was fought and won by men and women with a marrow that filtered through their bones right through to the outer skin and flowed patriotically through the spirit of these extraordinary liberators. This was a just war that was fought by those who put the country ahead of all distractions and trappings. The priority was the liberation of the country and all its component parts.
Today Zimbabwe's national security is under continued threat owing to the exploitation-packaged ideologies being touted to the nation as democracy by a dysfunctional opposition and some stakeholders with specific intent to further an agenda that will never, in a million years, economically empower the people of Zimbabwe. People can differ on any other matters but when it comes to affairs concerning the integrity of that compound and sacred entity called Zimbabwe, national pride and duty dictates that everyone pulls together.
Patriotism is not a part-time pledge but the dedication of a lifetime to national cause and course. It is that sense of social, economic, political, religious, ethnic homogeneity and that shared sense of identity for national preservation and protection. The nation is the complex entity with its people being the component parts defining this unique structure. Tampering with this nexus has a disastrous cumulative effect on all the micro parts. Patriotism entails a paramount devotion to Zimbabwe with all its component parts and defending the integrity of the nation at all costs even if it makes one an enemy of those who wish to undermine the autonomy.
A patriot is ready to sacrifice all for the greater good of the whole country and not only the individual pieces that make up the whole. The young men and women who liberated the country were bonafide patriots who possessed that commitment to nurturing and upgrading for the greater good of Zimbabwe. The country is currently bedevilled with corruption, a culture of impunity and security breaches of the artless but highly sensitive baba jukwa type. The corruption, the impunity and the breaches are mere symptoms of the crisis that the country is currently facing.
Patriotism has abandoned Zimbabwe indefinitely across the board from the echelons of polity right down to the poverty-stricken supporters. The patriotic commitment to one's country means protecting and preserving its honour whatever it takes. Corruption is an unpatriotic assault on the country and Zimbabwe is being battered from all fronts by her own citizens and administrators alike. The very same custodians of national pride, national sovereignty and national survival, the citizens of Zimbabwe, are the very same abusers of this sanctified privilege.
Patriotism is that selfless desire to safeguard national honour and a lack of patriotism yields self-obsession and unleashes a mercenary minority or majority against the nation. The only curative prescription is to look beyond the individual and towards collective national interests and long-term collective national aspirations. There is nothing wrong with citizens taking their governments to task over issues relating to the administration and misadministration of the state.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with citizens challenging government impropriety and indiscretions but when this extends to undermining national security and national sovereignty then the line has to be drawn boldly and decisively. The opposition tiers in Zimbabwe have repeatedly violated the virtues of patriotism in their handheld hatred of the ruling party and elusive quest for the so-called democracy. Some have compiled manuscript after manuscript of negative Zimbabwe chronicles to cater for their self-serving ends.
The economic hardships have left hard-to-heal scars and the country unfortunately has been infested with far-from patriotic pessimistic prophets of gloom who derive only pleasure broadcasting the negative reports about the country. In Zimbabwe a gullible opposition effectively eliminated patriotism when it advocated and begged for the damaging economic sanctions that were indiscriminately unleashed on an innocent and defenceless nation.
Corruption is the prejudice of virtue and righteousness and to fully understand the vice and have any hope of addressing the ailment there is an urgent need to define and redefine the immorality in the country's own context. However, whichever way you define this degeneracy it still remains a symptom of the lack of patriotism among the citizens of Zimbabwe. The culture of impunity pervades society's high end. The self-serving inclination prevails laterally across the divide and the emotions of partisan politics continue to smother the patriotic flame among the economically molested and despondent Zimbabwean citizenry. The pride has been eroded and the sense of belonging is almost non-existent.
The opposition must take full responsibility for this sudden death of patriotism in the country and the ruling party has that responsibility of nurturing patriotism by eradicating corruption, culture of impunity, poverty and security breaches. If the ruling party fails to address these symptoms then it will effectively join the opposition ranks in commemorating the demise of patriotism in Zimbabwe. Shunning negativity and pessimism and embracing optimism and positivity will revive that patriotic feeling among Zimbabweans again.
Bernard Bwoni can be contacted at bernardbwoni.blogspot.co.uk