in trodding on personalities
I HAVE just read an article by the learned
colleague Tendai Keterere (as practitioners in the legal fraternity
always refer to each other) published on New Zimbabwe.com on Wednesday,
I remained with
more questions than answers. Much as she raises very pertinent points
about things that Professor Moyo did when he was government minister,
it is my submission that the piece is generally a patter with very little
contribution to the solution to the political quagmire (to use her word)
Zimbabwe finds herself in.
Her conclusion is
characterized by a lot of assumptions, first about the people of Tsholotsho
who saw it fit to vote for him (Professor Jonathan Moyo), in his learned
view she (Tendai Katerere) assumes and connotes that the people of Tsholotsho
erred by voting Professor Moyo.
If she strongly
believes in that then she is thoroughly deranged. If she has checked
on other constituencies and wants to use them as the stencil to gauge
how people should vote, I think she suffers from a dialectical crisis,
in that she fails to accept the reality that much as Zimbabwe is a nation,
different constituencies and regions have different problems peculiar
to them. Their hatred for Robert Mugabe might be dating back to the
early eighties than Tendai Katerere’s which only dates back to
Second, she makes
the following sweeping statement: “The reign of terror that preceded
his exit is still so fresh in our minds that the man is quite deluded
to think that any self-respecting Zimbabwean would welcome him back
from ‘supping with the devil’ with open arms. The question
is what has changed?”
The assumption with
this statement is that it is oblivious of the fact that if we are take
stock of who did what to who in Zimbabwe, the likes of Morgan Tsvangirai,
Geoff Nyarota, John Makumbe and others were supping with the devil,
Robert Mugabe, when people were being killed in Matabeleland. Therefore
they have cases to answer. Besides, is it an offence to mention the
name of the person who killed your father, particularly during the Gukurahundi
era? If Tendai Keterere wants everybody to assume that what Professor
Jonathan Moyo did is worse than what Robert Mugabe, and by extension
those who were supping with him at the time, did to Matabeleland from
1983 to 1990, then she will only find idiots for believers. Robert Mugabe’s
Gukurahundi wounds are still fresh among the people.
Making assumptions in her completely angry piece, Katerere forgets that
in as much as people have to appreciate dissent and tolerate different
views in a democracy, there is no logic to appreciate views that are
rooted on emotionally motivated assumptions. Furthermore, despite the
fact that Katerere’s article must have been revised and edited
before being sent for publication, it is still devoid of focus into
the future of Zimbabwe. The anger and passion displayed runs short of
calling Professor Moyo by names like idiot, stupid, etc. In so doing
I find it not very helpful. It would be good to have someone close to
her (Tendai) whispering to her ear the brute facts that it is frivolous
and scandalous to make such whirlwind statements and forget that Zimbabwe
still has a major crisis to grapple with, the Gukurahundi genocide.
Judging from her caliber and her divisive ideas motivated by serious
irrationality, one can easily discern that Zimbabwe is still a long
way from discovering the niche she needs as a necessary ingredient to
remove Robert Mugabe, Zanu PF and their culture.
I find it advisable to remind my learned colleague that despite the
popularity, the MDC is said to have enjoyed at the time, not everyone
supported them. There were some people who were opposed to both Zanu
PF and MDC, particularly regarding their philosophies and ideologies.
That also is a necessary ingredient for democracy. After-all, who said
in a democracy she should be the gate-keeper of other people’s
credentials? This must also shed light to her, that the hatred she has
for Professor Moyo based on what she says he did not do, naively points
at the serious political polarization Zimbabwe finds herself in. If
Professor Moyo had supported MDC, he would be her darling today. But
does that mean that Zimbabwe under the leadership of Morgan Tsvangirai
would be a democracy?
There is no future
in trodding on personalities. If Katerere wants to call herself a well
meaning Zimbabwean by now she must have matured to the extent of realizing
that Zimbabwe will be better saved from this madness by people who are
prepared to be sober and swallow their pride and focus into the future.
She naively assumes that no-one can leave Zanu PF and make a contribution
to the democratic discourse in Zimbabwe. This is the kind of myopia
which has gripped Zimbabwean opposition politics which teaches hatred
for everyone who once worked with the ruling party.
That model is at best irrelevant and at worst idiotic!
Recently, the International Crisis Group produced a document suggesting
that the future of Zimbabwe could be read around a united coalition.
This marks our starting point in defining the course of action to take
as Zimbabweans. However, the possibility of a coalition remains remote
for as long everyone is still blurred by the irrational stunts of witch-hunting.
The day Zimbabweans would agree and appreciate that as a nation unity
does not mean oneness, but diversity, will be the day we will make a
great leap into the positive future we want. On that day it will dawn
in the hearts and minds of many well meaning Zimbabweans that everyone
has the potential to be a leader beyond Tsvangirai, Professor Welshman
Ncube, or Professor Arthur Mutambara. On that day the voices of the
ordinary Zimbabweans would have triumphed, and the beautiful Zimbabwe
we want would be about to be realized.
Since Katerere used the plural “we” referring to herself
and her shortsighted clique blurred by anger, I will use “we”
to emphasize that we are tired of the talk about Professor Moyo and
the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA). It
is as if this talk will take us to the ‘Promised Land’.
If anyone assumes that Professor Moyo is a big pain and problem in Zimbabwe,
then they should wise up to realisation that Zimbabwe has much bigger
problems. These problems demand an interlocking of ideas and practices,
and not these selfishly mutilated views motivated by anger. Zimbabwe
needs a coalition as of yesterday; it is not for Katerere to see herself
as the anointed democrat whose task is to veto other political actors
from participating in this democratic ideation. Zimbabwe badly needs
everyone now, even Tendai Katerere, not her warped ideas, otherwise
they are divisive and weak.
Tinashe Mangwende is a Zimbabwean and writes from Bergen, Norway.
You can contact him at: email@example.com
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