The Death of Democracy

mark
— by Mark from Zimbabwe

As I lay in my bed, staring at the blank ceiling, I reminisced about the good times we had shared together. We had come a long way together, me and her. I met her when I was born, but only when I was old enough  I was able to understand her. She was strong and free spirited and she had given me hope for a brighter future. With her by my side, I knew I could conquer the world.

Everyone loved and adored her, especially the politicians. They spoke highly of her, and made the masses chant her name day and night. They gave her too much attention, especially during elections and this made me a bit jealous. I was afraid that their sweet-talking tongues would persuade her to go with them, but then again she was a foreigner in my land. Ships had brought her here for the sole purpose of adding colour to our grey and desolate land.

Her beauty was unparalleled, her power was wide reaching and her voice resonated throughout my motherland. I had never met her and this was also the case for everyone else around here, yet her influence was strong. It was like we were in a trance…a trance we didn’t want to break free. Everything in the motherland was done to match her standards; from the laws to the systems of governance. Her standards were the best and there was nothing better, after all those who came with her highly recommended her work in the foreign lands.

We were told that this was the land of ‘milk and honey’. Gallant sons and daughters had fought tooth and nail, they even put their lives on the line to ensure that everyone had a fair share of this milk and honey. Elections had been held and a new epoch had begun, as a nation new to the world of independence. We had been promised a lot and we had expected a lot as well. Constitutions were drafted by the politicians and a government was formed by the politicians. She made her grand appearance alongside of our former colonial masters who helped create this new phenomena. We had embraced her wholeheartedly from the onset and indeed, the future looked bright.

Everything was serene during the first few years but little did we know that the future looked grim and grey. It was eighteen years of self rule and devoted association to her, when things started taking a negative turn. The land was unsettled and a storm was brewing on the horizon. She remained steadfast and resolute, playing her part in ensuring that the masses smiled at all times. However, the politicians were slowly draining her power by enacting laws which went against her principles. The politicians were doing a good job of keeping her quiet. Slowly but surely, they were turning her into that, which the gallant sons and daughters had fought for in the past.

Like a permanent scar, I still remember the day they came to take her away. Men with guns had come in the middle of the night. They had been sent by the politicians, the same politicians who had worshipped her at her feet. They chained and gagged her. Her screams went unheard as no one noticed what was happening. By the time the sun rose, she was nowhere to be found and the void she had left was filled with an eerie air of silence and sullen faces dripping with tears. Anyone who protested against the prevailing situation was taken away. Any form of resistance from the masses was stifled. We all secretly hoped to see her again, but something deep inside of us told us that we had seen the last of her.

So, here I am, a few years later, as I lay in my bed staring at the blank ceiling. Everyone is mourning…we are mourning the death of democracy. Oh, How I miss her so.