‘Zimbabweans easily conform to any situations’, declared one Twitter user this week in response to a picture of Bulawayo residents fetching rainwater from a stream as the water crisis persists in the city.
The comment got me thinking of a number of things we have gone through, and indeed are still going through, as a nation, things that we should have ‘fought’ against but chose to turn a blind eye to as if we were not being directly affected.
First thing that comes to mind is the cash shortages which have persisted for almost four years now.
Some people have normalized sleeping in cash queues to get that little cash while for others it no longer bothers them to spend the whole day in one queue.
I have no doubt that we are the only country in this universe which has a shortage of its own currency and yet we don’t seem too bothered about it despite the desperate need.
While there is always that fear that revolting will result in loss of lives, I still believe we have become too docile as a people hence the government or those in power now do as they please or don’t even bother to fix things.
The country’s main opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change-Alliance, led by Nelson Chamisa has been exterminated right under the nose of the electorate and again people have chosen to ignore.
I would like to believe that it’s only in Zimbabwe where a main opposition party which accumulated the second highest vote can be vanquished just like that without the voters taking a stand.
A losing presidential candidate who was rejected by the people has found her way to parliament with the help of the ruling party yet people who were voted into offices are now out in the political wilderness.
Anyway, back to the issue of water crisis in Bulawayo. Residents have now gotten used to not having water such that having running water comes as a shock to them.
While water shortages may be partly due to drought, the other main contributing factor has been poor management and lack of planning by the city fathers and the central government.
Surely, dams that were built 50 years ago to cater for less than a million people cannot be expected to efficiently serve more than three million people.
Common sense would dictate that infrastructure be built to cater for growing population but no, not in this part of the world.
Instead, Bulawayo residents, who should enjoy the normal city life of having running water have now been forced to live with fetching water from boreholes, bowsers and streams as if they are in villages.
Quite sad really that we have a long list of anomalies that we have normalized as a country all because of fear of what could become of us if we voice out our concerns.