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A Damp Squib?

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Last Wednesday the state owned Herald newspaper published a letter to the editor titled Demos Against President By Gays A Damp Squib. A ‘damp squib’? I had to remind myself that most of the letters to the editor do not come bearing a title and that they are probably written by a member of the newsroom itself! The writer foremost alleged that the protest was sponsored. Why do the government and all its henchmen think that citizens are incapable of feeling and expressing discontent based on their freewill and volition? The writer went on to suggest that the protesters were people with “small minds that have nothing better to do” and that they had “gathered after being paid a few dollars to attract the attention of the Western community”.

As I read further, I was beginning to visualize a coalition of the GLBT community wielding placards for no reason until I got to the part where the writer volunteered information that the group of protesters were in actual fact human rights activists, farmers, gays and Zimbabweans living in Namibia. Huh? But the title said it was gays only? I was not only shocked at this gross misrepresentation that was obviously meant to mislead the reader, but also the implication that this ‘demo’ was a stage-managed and orchestrated move to give an impression of how much Mugabe is disliked when in fact (according to him) he is not! “Where is he not welcome? This is Africa, not Europe where he is barred.”

Who is this fool trying to fool? One needs to look only just beyond one’s nose to see how much President Mugabe is disliked, whether or not the economic crisis is his fault. The letter writer and the government continue to miss the point. Whether the protest was by gays, cripples or three people, it certainly was a squib, only its effects are yet to be felt.

When it comes to courage, I applaud the actions of gay community because they have been the only ones to attempt to get close enough to the man the majority of people detest, or have openly protested against him without any qualms.

Oh no my brother, there is nothing damp about this squib even if Mugabe and his henchmen choose to turn a blind eye and pretend everything is normal. But I know that deep inside that man’s heart it must really hurt knowing you have created so many enemies. Even if you were made of stone, something will always break inside when you find that wherever you turn, you are protested and demonstrated against.

One comment to “A Damp Squib?”

  1. Comment by T:

    A great article, as usual. Compliments on having one of the best and most thought-provoking blogs I have seen on the Zim situation.