AS ZANU PF’s irreversible indigenisation and economic empowerment thrust gathers revolutionary momentum with real benefits to be enjoyed by everyone across the country, most Zimbabweans now understand that they are in the throes of the last phase of the people’s all time resistance against all vestiges of colonialism—the Last Chimurenga—whose first and defining phase, widely known as the First Chimurenga, was between 1893 and 1898 under the inspiration of the likes of King Lobengula and Mbuya Nehanda who along others heroically fought against the 1890 colonisation of our country that subverted our indigenisation.
In summary, indigenisation is the final response to colonisation. This is because in terms of the people’s liberation struggle, you either have colonisation or indigenisation with anything in between only counting for neo-colonialism and thus not fitting the bill of total or 100% freedom represented by indigenisation. In line with the ChiShona saying that “chisinga peri chinoshura” and the SiNdebele equivalent that “okunga pheliyo kuyahlola”, indigenisation and empowerment finishes the business of the people’s resistance to the colonisation of our country.
Surely, the chimurenga resistance that started after Zimbabwe’s 1890 colonisation must come to an end for its mission to be considered done and accomplished. Essentially therefore, the indigenisation and empowerment programme is the final and last phase in the execution of the resistance to colonialism and everything that goes or comes with it. Put differently, indigenisation is the restoration of everything, not some things, but everything that we lost because of our colonisation in 1890.
It is against this far reaching background of our history since 1890, and not on account of any misguided wishful or fanciful thinking on anybody’s part, that the indigenisation policy thrust whose implementation has now started in earnest wherever you are in Zimbabwe is indeed without any doubt whatsoever the Last Chimurenga or Chimurenga Chekupedzisira or Umvukela Wokucina.
Yet there are some ideologically bankrupt elements and merchants of confusion among us who, although few in number, have been too vocal as commissars of doom while abusing either their access to some propaganda megaphones or the fact that they have their hands on some tenuous levers of power to attempt the impossible by seeking to cover up or even to dismiss the indubitable fact that indigenisation is indeed the Last Chimurenga. The simplistic and misplaced argument that these commissars of doom out there are peddling to the amusement of Morgan Tsvangirai and his embattled MDC is that “there can be no such a thing as the last chimurenga” and that labelling the indigenisation thrust as the “Last Chimurenga” is semantically “myopic” and is tantamount to “putting a lid on history” in that it would ostensibly deny future generations their right to fight any chimurenga they might find themselves needing to fight.
This opposition indigenisation is ideologically bankrupt and analytically simplistic not least because it unreasonably implies that the chimurenga resistance whose specific and in fact only purpose was to overturn and thus reverse Zimbabwe’s colonisation in 1890 is by definition serially numbered and thus indefinite. But even with this untenable construction, it is instructive to note that while one would expect the commissars of doom out there to be only opposed to the notion of a “last” chimurenga, it turns out that they are in fact even reluctant to contemplate let alone to countenance the idea of indigenisation as the “fourth” chimurenga beyond obscure hints and innuendos that do not go anywhere important.
What this suggests is that the opposition is not just to the notion or semantics of a “last chimurenga” but to the actual opposition to the whole proposition that the indigenisation thrust itself is so revolutionary in content as to rise to the level of a chimurenga, never mind whether that chimurenga is labelled as the “fourth” or “last”.
In other words, we have some folks out there some typified by sell-outs such as Tsvangirai and other latter day Tshombes and others who include formidable forces and comrades in the nationalist movement as well as yet others who include well-positioned elements within Zanu PF, who swear by their God that the indigenisation thrust is not a chimurenga at all. Notwithstanding their different starting premises, the common conclusion of these few but quietly vocal folks from in and outside Zanu PF is that the indigenisation and empowerment thrust is a just a “Kasukuwere thing” for the exclusive benefit of a few connected and allegedly corrupt individuals who are ready to line up their already fat pockets.
The claim that the indigenisation program is a “Kasukuwere thing” is utter crap. How can it be? Surely, the charge is nothing but a futile demonization of the Last Chimurenga. Kasukuwere is the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment at the behest of President Mugabe who appointed him in terms of Zimbabwe’s Constitution which is the fundamental law of the land. Kasukuwere’s mandate is therefore legal and constitutional in terms of the laws of our country and this means that it cannot be rationally personalised except by those in the political class with vested and thus personalised interests outside the law.
In any event, the allegation that the indigenisation and empowerment thrust is not a chimurenga but just a “Kasukuwere thing” is reminiscent of similar claims that the same commissars of doom who are making noise behind the scenes today levelled against Joseph Made during the height of the historic land reform programme, which every now acknowledges as the Third Chimurenga. Current attempts to demonise the indigenisation and empowerment thrust as a “Kasukuwere thing” are destined for the same fate as the failed attempts to dismiss the land reform programme as a “Joseph Made thing”.
If anything, the self-evident success of the land reform programme with real beneficiaries across the country is inspiring national confidence that the indigenisation and empowerment thrust will be similarly successful. There’s palpable belief among Zimbabweans that those who stand by the side lines during the indigenisation programme marking the Last Chimurenga will only have themselves to blame in the same way that those who wanted land during the Third Chimurenga but did not take the opportunity when it came their way are today blaming themselves as they desperately seek to be allocated some land when none is available.
When the detractors of the people’s heroic resistance to colonialism and neo-colonialism are not demonising indigenisation and empowerment as a “Kasukuwere thing”, they are wont to try and dismiss it as a “Zanu PF election gimmick” which they say has nothing to do with any chimurenga.
This is the stance that Tsvangirai and his MDC have taken while they pretend that they have a new programme for jobs which will supposedly come from the briefcases of unidentified businesspeople from the same countries that have imposed illegal and evil economic sanctions against Zimbabwe. It is notable that at the same time as Tsvangirai is demonising indigenisation and empowerment as a Zanu PF election gimmick, he is working day and night to legalise homosexuality in Zimbabwe on behalf of the same Europeans and Americans who have imposed illegal sanctions that have caused untold suffering among ordinary people and who stand to benefit the most from the indigenisation programme.
The charge that the indigenisation and empowerment programme is a Zanu PF initiative is of course correct. It is also correct that Zanu PF has a good reason to expect to be elected because of the programme. In a constitutional democracy such as ours, the electorate must choose between competing parties. Currently Zimbabwe has three political parties represented in Parliament: Zanu PF and the two MDC formations.
It is common cause that elections are now due in the country and that the electorate has very clear policy choices before it, namely that: (1) Zanu PF is offering indigenisation and empowerment as the Last Chimurenga to achieve economic, social and cultural rights as a consolidation of the civil and political rights that Zimbabweans already enjoy as a result of the Second and Third Chimurengas; (2) the MDC T is offering homosexuality as a foreign human right of delinquent and deviant Europeans and Americans who want their unnatural deviancy to take precedence over our political independence and economic freedom while (3) Welshman Ncube’s MDC, which is competing only with Dumiso Dabengwa’s Zapu in Matabeleland, is offering nothing programmatic that anybody in Zimbabwe knows yet.
Furthermore, it is notable that while Zanu PF’s indigenisation and empowerment programme is lawful and speaks to the people’s resistance against the 1890 colonisation of our country started by King Lobengula and Mbuya Nehanda, Tsvangirai’s homosexuality offer is unlawful, foreign, unnatural and has nothing whatsoever to do with the chimurenga legacy of our ancestors.
In the circumstances, Zanu PF’s pursuit of indigenisation and empowerment today is not just an election matter as claimed by the party’s neo-liberal detractors in and outside its ranks but is an important historical expression of the people’s historical commitment to the total liberation and independence of our country in political, social, economic and cultural terms following its colonisation in 1890.
As already mentioned, we are as a people either colonised or indigenised. It is a fact that we were colonised in 1890. It is also a fact that our ancestors such as King Lobengula and Mbuya Nehanda resisted our colonisation without success. Their unsuccessful resistance marked the First Chimurenga which paved the way for the Second Chimurenga which was only a phase of the First Chimurenga and which was defined by our heroic armed liberation struggle waged by our gallant sons and daughters who put their lives on the line for the sake of our freedom and total independence.
It is important to understand that the Second Chimurenga would have been unnecessary if the First Chimurenga of King Lobengula and Mbuya Nehanda had succeeded to defeat colonialism. What this means is that the First and Second Chimurenga were about one and the same thing: revolutionary resistance to the colonisation of our country in 1890.
The heroic armed liberation struggle waged under the auspices of PF Zapu and Zanu PF respectively led by the late Father Zimbabwe Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo and President Mugabe, which we called the Second Chimurenga, failed to restore our indigenisation against colonialism but succeeded in winning our civil and political rights in 1980 through a very difficult political settlement negotiated at Lancaster House superintended by the British colonial government that was manifestly sympathetic to its Rhodesian kith and kin at every key moment.
It is common knowledge that our independence in 1980 restored our political and civil rights but did not restore our land rights stolen in 1890 nor did it restore our economic, social and cultural rights as an indigenous community. This is the reason why in 2000 veterans of our armed liberation struggle joined purpose with peasants to use their hard won political and civil rights to wage the Third Chimurenga to reclaim our land rights that were more than dear to the hearts and minds of King Lobengula and Mbuya Nehanda.
The Third Chimurenga would not have been necessary had our negotiated independence in 1980 also reclaimed our land rights lost in 1890. But we all know that our negotiated independence had entrenched constitutional clauses that made it impossible for us to regain our land outside an explicit call to our chimurenga resistance and this explains why and how the Third Chimurenga had to be waged but again only as but a phase of the First Chimurenga and not as something new, separate or different.
While history shows that we regained our civil and political rights through a negotiated political settlement in 1980 after the First and Second Chimurenga and while the same history will show that we did not reclaim our land rights until the Third Chimurenga waged from 2000, it is undeniable that neither the Second Chimurenga nor the Third Chimurenga completed the objectives of the resistance that was initiated by the likes of King Lobengula and Mbuya Nehanda against the British colonisation of our country in 1890. Some unfinished business remained and that is exactly what is being addressed by the indigenisation and empowerment thrust.
That thrust has to do with ensuring that Zimbabweans today are as totally indigenised as were King Lobengula and Mbuya Nehanda and their peers in 1890 in a manner and way that spells the last phase of the Chimurenga that our ancestors started but did not finish. Full stop. Remember, every revolution has a start and an end. Think about it. When did our revolution against the colonisation of our country start and when will it end?
Zanu PF recognises that our Chimurenga started in 1890 and peaked between 1893 and 1898 and continued in various forms of resistance until it took a radical and decisive turn after the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) by Ian Smith’s gang of Rhodesians in 1965 leading to the Second Chimurenga whose total objectives were diluted by the Lancaster negotiations which led to constrained independence in 1980. Furthermore, Zanu PF recognises that the Third Chimurenga was necessary to ensure that the land of our motherland is in the hands of the people.
Unfortunately, the historic reclamation of our land did not ensure that we also regained what was on and under our land. This is why the indigenisation and empowerment thrust has become necessary as an expression, to wit a final phase, of the one and same revolution that was started by our ancestors when our country was colonised in 1890.
It should be clear to anyone who cares to know that the indigenisation and empowerment thrust is the final phase of King Lobengula’s and Mbuya Nehanda’s Chimurenga because of the verifiable fact that the programme touches every nook and cranny of our economic, social and cultural life. Just reflect on some of the key economic, social, cultural and sectors that define the programme and the point becomes self-evident: mining, manufacturing, agriculture, energy, construction, financial services, tourism and hospitality industry, trading, telecommunications and ICT, education and sport, arts, entertainment and culture and health services delivery.
Again, if you reflect on these key sectors, they cover the entire economic, social and cultural fabric of our country from a historical perspective about what we lost in 1890 and what we did not recover as a result of our independence in 1980 and what we did not reclaim as a result of our land reform programme in 2000. Colonisation cost us everything, the First Chimurenga won us back nothing; our political independence in 1980 through the Second Chimurenga brought us back our political and civil rights while the Third Chimurenga in 2000 reclaimed our land. Now we want it all, as represented by the 14 economic, social and cultural sectors that define the indigenisation and empowerment programme as defined in the law and national policy thanks to Zanu PF.
What we seek is not just the democratisation of our politics which we got in 1980 and the ownership of our land which we got from 2000 but also the democratisation and ownership of our economy which we must now get from the indigenisation and empowerment of 14 key sectors of our economy, social and cultural fabric as a matter of our total independence which translates as the Last Chimurenga whose first phase was started by the likes of King Lobengula and Mbuya Nehanda who rightly expect those of our compatriots who are between 18 and 35 years old today to take up the challenge and end what the Europeans started in our country in 1890.