Published On: Thu, Nov 10th, 2016

Acie Lumumba extends humanitarian gesture

As we all know that Zimbabwe has its own rebel politician, the one who refuses to conform to the norms and is overconfident in himself. This may rub some in the wrong way but he insists that he has the intentions of the Zimbabwe citizenry at heart. Acie’s persona has been riddled with enough controversy to make for newsworthy news and hate him or love him, he seems to make sure that every tongue is rolling with his name on it. However, this time he is in the spotlight once more but for a noble cause.

Nowadays, bank pavements in Zimbabwe at night resemble refugee camps as people are relentless in trying to get access to their hard earned money. As the cash shortages urb on and people are seeing less of the evasive dollar in circulation, they have decided to sleep on the doorsteps of local banks. It has gone without saying that there has been no empathy extended to these Zimbabwean citizens with some are coming as far as hundreds of kilometres from the capital city. They are hungry, tired and frustrated as they behave like law abiding citizens by meekly queueing like lambs being take to the slaughter. No one has decided to behave outside of the docile behaviour but they have given themselves to adjusting themselves to the socio economic demands of Zimbabwe’s cash quagmire. Zimbabweans are known for continuously adjusting themselves to whatever curve balls the status quo throws at them. Malleable…some may say?


Last night on Facebook Acie Lumumba posted a video that saw him taking it upon himself to go to these people and hear their sentiments of being held hostage by the economic situation. How saddening to see old men and women sleeping and braving the cold and dirty pavements. One lady spoke of having come from as far as Chitungwiza with her baby and clearly articulated that she is willing to brace the hard, cold concrete pavements so that she gets her USD $100. It was heartbreaking to hear of such sheer determination from this woman who had spent more than 24 hours in a bank queue. There is still no guarantee that if she queues she will get that money after all that sacrifice .Her determination stems from the very basic urges to want to eat and survive and not from greed.

 The interaction he had with these desperate citizens shed some light on the fact that the banks are not even offering basic enmities like toilets and hot tea to their faithful clients. These are their clients and what makes matters worse is that with every withdrawal they are pegging exorbitant bank charges with no consideration for the best interests of their clients. I don’t know if I agree with Acie about going after the banks but maybe we need to address the root cause of the problem instead of addressing the mere symptoms that include feeding those sleeping outside of these banks. Maybe a more radical stance is called for at this point in time instead of romanticising the suffering of the people.

The gesture will not go unnoticed as it is a humanitarian act that not so many would think of doing for their fellow country mates. As each other’s keepers our maker would expect us to do that for our neighbour. Buying our citizens food to eat on such a cold night is with its merits and commendable. We thank him for that and may the Almighty bless the source. However, is it feasible? Will this be a once off gesture or it will be ongoing to all the local banks that have become second homes to some? Sceptics insist that Acie is wedging his foot in it and twisting it because he was part of the machine that has brought the country to its knees at some point in time. And it is not as if he is highlighting something new to citizens, as it has become normal to see people camping outside banks. Could this be some leverage for our political aspirant who surprisingly enough has been quiet on the issue of bond notes?



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