Friday, April 4, 2008

Good things come to those that wait...

Remember when you were child, how your mother or father taught you the value of patience, saying "Good things come to those that wait"? Well my goodness, the whole of Zimbabwe is waiting with bated breath to see what the outcome of Saturday's election will be.

We go about our daily tasks in a state of suspended animation, queueing at the bank, going to the supermarket, working at the office - it all continues as if everything is normal. When we meet our friends we come back to life a bit - speculating on whether the "Old Man" (the president) will stay or go, whether there will be conflict or repression, whether we dare to hope that change is really on our doorstop. And then we get back in our cars, go to our next destination, or shut the door as our friends leave, perhaps rush to watch the international news, and go back to going through the motions of our daily lives, all emotions on hold - waiting, waiting, waiting for the outcome. What else can we do? We already have a stock of food in our cupboard in case there is no more to buy. We keep our fuel jerry cans topped up, our generators on standby, as we have anyway during the normal course of life here. We just continue with our routine drudgeries, waiting for Something to Happen.

Never has there been such an outbreak of procrastination, of repressed anxiety, of Zombiedom, like there is in Zimbabwe right now. Don't get me wrong, feelings are running high - and it may well be true that the country is on a knife edge, teetering between conflict, anarchy, and - ironically - resignation to the status quo.

Do good things really come to those that wait? We have all stood for hours in the bread queue at the local bakery or supermarket, to watch the person before us collect the last loaf, or in the bank queue before discovering there is no more cash. We so desperately want to believe that change is coming, but we hardly dare hope.

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