Our bitterness does not come from the fact that we’ve been hurt.
Our bitterness comes from the fact that those who have hurt us remain perpetually unrepentant.
Our bitterness comes from the fact that those who have hurt us go unpunished, make no penance and show no contrition.
And so our wounds remain gaping, our sense of violation festers like a sore and the injustices we have suffered silently, become loud screams in our heads.
We have been powerless to retaliate because at first we were young (born frees) and later we were ignorant of the power of our vote (pushed to the margins by the older generation who insisted that they knew what was best for us).
Then in time, we were rendered powerless by our lack of capacity occasioned by the worst economic meltdown that had those whose skills we relied on scurrying out of the country like rats deserting a sinking ship.
We lost the skilled teachers, nurses, doctors and other vital citizens owing to a massive brain drain.
But that’s not all we lost – we lost our big sisters and our big brothers; siblings whose protection and mentorship we were deprived of – learning to fill the gapping hole caused by their absence with lists of things we wanted them to send from abroad when all we really wanted was for them to come home and help us understand the chaos and turmoil that Zimbabwe had become.
We lost our mothers and fathers who needed to eke out a living on faraway shores while we were left under the guardianship of extended family members – some good and some not-so-good.
We lost our path and found it all by ourselves again.
We have suffered and no one said “sorry”.
Not even once.
No one apologized because no one noticed that we bore the brunt of it.
Well, we remember.
We are not powerless anymore, we are not ignorant anymore and more importantly – we are not incapacitated any more.
We are first time voters.
And from now on; we will make every election a living nightmare for those who’ve lorded it over us for years.
Even if you rig these elections; we will prevail eventually.
We will appeal to our peers – the youth of this country who make up about 60% of the entire population – and we will get them to swell our numbers at polling stations. The wool you pulled over our eyes is gone now.
You liberated yourselves and not us – so don’t speak the language of liberation to those whose lives have been shattered by your political tyranny.