On Saturday the 18th of April, Zimbabwe celebrated 29 years of self-rule. Politicians made a big deal of their newly found "inclusiveness".
To show that the Global Political Agreement between ZANU PF and the two MDCs was alive and well, we had various government ministers and officials bombard us on radio about the importance of us all celebrating our independence anniversary together as a people.
For the past 28 years, ZANU PF has commandeered national events and most Zimbabweans have stayed away because they felt unwanted and demonised. Now we are suddenly told we should all pretend we are one big happy family!
We had MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, now Prime Minister, his two deputies and ministers attending the main independence day celebrations alongside Robert Mugabe. The whole thing was simply a charade. It remained the ZANU PF leader's event. Tsvangirai was not even given the opportunity to address the people.
Twenty-nine years after attainment of majority rule, most Zimbabweans are living in abject poverty, unemployment continues to soar and basic human rights are trampled on.
A day before the celebrations, a journalist and two members of the main MDC were released from prison. They are being accused of banditry. I guess their release was something to celebrate.
In 1980 we gained independence from Britain. There was so much hope. We had such high expectations. We believed in our political leadership. There was so much goodwill and we believed nothing could go wrong. But we were wrong, we were so wrong.
We had a "people's government" and everything that could go wrong went wrong. Our government brooked no disagreement. Criticism was not tolerated. Refusing to be a member of the ruling party meant your safety and freedoms were not guaranteed. Political detentions and persecution of the private media took a more sinister form. The people's government fought against its own people.
The shaky arrangement we have now does not inspire confidence in many people. And those people are right to be skeptical. There is no evidence of genuine goodwill on the part of ZANU PF. Agreements are not respected or honoured.
Zimbabweans are tired of empty promises. They are tired of listening to pompous politicians who think the world owes them a living. Independence is not just about raising a flag or singing a national anthem. It is not about a bunch of politicians agreeing to sit together for once. It should mean much more than that.
It should mean better education and health for all. It should mean employment opportunities. It should enable us to create opportunities for the whole nation and not just a select few. It should mean the respect of property and individual rights irrespective of race, colour or creed.
During the war of liberation we were told independence would bring milk and honey. To most Zimbabweans it has only brought pain and suffering. Politicians must be told that watching your people suffer is not a virtue, giving people a better life is. No one should be proud of the fact that Zimbabweans have shown resilience in their day to day survival.
Leadership in this makeshift outfit that we call an inclusive government must be told that people cannot be taken for granted forever. The politicians must act in accordance with expected norms of democracy and good governance. They must be told that there will be no free lunches. The international community will not give its money to people who do not respect their own nationals' property rights. No sane country will give money to a country that does not uphold the rule of law. You have to have a hole in the head to invest in a country where there are no guarantees and impunity is the order of the day.
We need the world. We cannot go it alone without the international community. Our politicians need to grow up and start proving that they are serious about getting this country working again. Beating our chests about our sovereignty will not create jobs or set our economy straight.
If we do not act in good faith, we will be celebrating our 30th independence anniversary next year as a real failed state and we will have no one but ourselves to blame.