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The politicians are at it again. Their same old self-serving agendas. They have us stuck in our houses and close to home, for fear of venturing out lest we are struck by a stray bullet or end up having to swim blind through a sea and clouds of eye-scalding tear gas.

We run around terrified, scared for our lives, our property and the lives of our loved ones while they, in their chicanery lead us as they will, dragging us to places we don’t want to go and leaving us hanging once they’ve achieved their goals.

The ‘Walk to Work’ is, on the surface, a great idea. Some activists and politicians (the opposition) come out and speak out against what’s on the heart of every citizen, the injustices going on that the government doesn’t seem to be doing enough about; then encourage people to ‘walk to work’ every morning by way of protest. 

Now, this would all be hunky-dory but for a couple of things.

  • Obviously the government can’t sit back and let the opposition run a show that big and that close to people’s hearts, and especially not in the capital city. Everyone has a constitutional right of assembly but around here it seems to be conveniently forgotten to the favour of the powers that be. Of course excuses to the ‘no assembly’ are served with the tear gas.
  • The politicians that organise the W2W obviously (very obviously) have ulterior motives, they are not only thinking about the suffering of the masses and how much they want to end their plight. Their raison d’etre is to render the current gov’t completely lacking in credibility, no doubt. What better way than to get the masses out of their houses and onto the streets in a show of dissatisfaction.
  • The W2W organisers say theirs are peaceful protests. All they want to do is walk to work, and that they should be allowed their walk. But somehow, somewhere, a riot always breaks out. The police and the walkers get into a tussle, stones fly, batons lash out, bullets ring, and the tear gas flows. What are those worrying pictures on the news? Who threw the first stone? Is that the police hitting defenceless unarmed people? Did those rowdy youth always looking for mischief just start throwing stones at the police? Is it true what some are alleging? Did some one pay a bunch of rowdy youth (often called hooligans) to fowl up the otherwise peaceful W2W protests? Whose side did it? Was it done to make the police and gov’t look bad for lashing out at civilians? Was it done to make the W2W activists and opposition politicians look bad and take the blame for distabilising the country and hurting the economy? Who is lying to us? Who’s trying to pull the wool over our eyes?

Someone must speak out, yes. I’m concerned and worried about the state of the economy, rising fuel and commodity prices, and I’ve had it up to here with the select group of politicians that have court case after course of corruption and embezzlement filed against them yet continue to be appointed to new, bigger and juicier positions, and keep behaving arrogantly and impudently. The Untouchables. Don’t these people care that money meant for HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria patients just somehow managed not to end up where it should have? How about those poor people that cannot afford the very things that will keep them alive? Yes, I’m concerned and mighty pleased when some one comes out to speak out against these things.

But truly, who is for me and who is against me? Is any of those warring sides for me, anyway? How often does a Nelson Mandela or Mahatma Gandhi come around? Who really is for the people? I’m not convinced any of them is truly interested in the people’s plight. For them, it’s just another rung up along Maslow’s famed hierachy, making their way to self-actualisation at our expense.

So today, once again, I was tethered close to home, couldn’t go as far as I wanted for fear of landing in the middle of a few men’s political agendas, being caught in the cross-fire. Myself and many others, living the repercussions of others’ actions. Yet, still, to each his own. An opinion is like a nose, and everyone has one. W2W has its advocates, but after how bad it turned out the last time, the loss of lives, the insecurity, many aren’t so sure any more.

When does this stop? When do they stop, pause to remember that there are people that have resorted to un-sweetened tea, for the cost of sugar – once a basic commodity – has climbed higher than they can afford, that there are people slaving day and night just to get by, living hand to foot and often going without, that we want better equipped hospitals and good schools? Who brings who to book? Who really is for us? When does this stop?