It is our fear that has secured Mugabe’s dictatorship. Mugabe does not trust his security institutions; he trusts our scared hearts which say it can’t be done
ZIMBABWEANS, as painful as it is now, we need to reflect whether it is better to run away from our misfortunes, join the oppressor or ignore it all. Considering our current painful circumstances we have to think deep and be honest with ourselves. The Finance Minister has just done that by revealing that government has nothing to do and that we are paying taxes to pay government workers to sit in their offices. The little we have left is paying Zanu PF chefs and relatives to sit in government offices running their private businesses.
As we consider the significance of Independence, let’s not forget those that made the ultimate sacrifice as well as those who are still being persecuted by this Mugabe regime. We must condemn the abduction of Itai Dzamara whose disappearance is clearly linked to his political views. We fought for independence so that people like Dzamara cannot just disappear like what happened to Edison Sithole. What hurts most is that President Mugabe and Police Commissioner Chihuri do not care simply because Itai is not Zanu PF.
Patriotism is far from partisanship; it is focused on national interests. Patriots don’t just say slogans, they evaluate them. Patriots don’t just support a party but they weigh it against national interests. There is no patriot that can support national ruin or shout empty slogans. Zimbabwe is mainly a Christian country. No preacher from God can say amen to oppression and national ruin.
If anything must be said about this year’s “Independence” day celebrations, it is that while we are free from Ian Smith’s racist oppression we are now worse off under Mugabe’s dehumanizing dictatorship. Which of the two is worse is an individual’s choice depending on how much of the corruption they are sharing. Those that have benefited from the looting and corruption will kill you for suggesting that life is now worse than before. However, there are the educated few who agree, but are paid to say otherwise, who will, as usual, call you names for understanding the tragedy of our so-called independence.
Only last week, we had President Mugabe in South Africa thanking that country for taking care of the millions of Zimbabweans who have fled his oppression. Now Mugabe has to do the same in Australia, New Zealand, UK and USA whose governments have provided shelter to victims and families running away from persecution by his government.Advertisement
Mugabe must ask himself why an estimated 3 million people have run away from his independence. It tells a lot that Mugabe was in South Africa but did not have a word to say to his 3 million people leaving at the fear of xenophobic attacks in South Africa. This is the story of our independence and this is what we should think about on this day.
Mugabe has to gather the remaining war veterans and apologise for misleading them to believe that the liberation struggle was about freeing the masses and bringing national development. Many of them were traumatised and injured during the war but even as we speak, they have not been rehabilitated. They are still crying from their neglected physical and emotional wounds saying “Comrade Mugabe; give us back our lost lives and our broken limbs. You have handsomely rewarded yourself and your family, your close allies and some of our commanders but you have forgotten all of us. We were comrades in arms but now enemies in prosperity. We never thought our sacrifices would be all for nothing”.
Mugabe must apologise to all the urban dwellers for reducing their towns into slums without water, sewage, passable roads and electricity. The last time cities ran on bucket systems was in the prehistoric stone ages. Now in the capital Harare people are using buckets to bath and flash their toilets. Our roads have turned into rivers and the drainage systems no longer exist.
Mugabe must apologise to the villagers and farmers for destroying their livelihoods. Every village in Zimbabwe is shedding tears from Zanu PF persecution. We have all lost relatives and property to Zanu PF violence. Now we hardly have anything to eat. Farming has now become like forced labour as farmers are no longer guaranteed of payment for their produce. Excuse the people when they remember the days of slavery and racism and feel that the pain was less then. We all want to be patriotic but can we be patriotic to dictatorship, state violence and hunger.
This maybe Mugabe’s last officiating at Independence Day. It may be his last chance to face the people and make a closure. The people are crying in the hunger-stricken villages and decaying urban slums. Mugabe and Zanu PF, you have hurt us so much. Won’t you stop? Can’t you see we now have no option? Every nation has a breaking point – and you have pushed us to the edge. We will not take the plunge but we will defend the last drop of breath in us with the last drop of blood remaining.
Some of our people will be going to listen to Mugabe speechifying over our misfortunes. Just ask yourself what you are celebrating! People like Didymus Mutasa and Joice Mujuru will tell you that the dictator has no permanent friends; he has no best friend – tomorrow it will be you on the run!
My message to Mr Mugabe is that independence does not include partisanship, forced political affiliation, hunger and death. We are no longer independent if we have to seek jobs in South Africa, if we have to seek freedom from as far as Canada, USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand. We should find all these in Zimbabwe.
My message to Zimbabweans is that we are not independent because Mugabe has enslaved us but that we are scared to reclaim our independence from Mugabe. It is our fear that has secured Mugabe’s dictatorship. Mugabe does not trust his security institutions; he trusts our scared hearts which say it can’t be done. Mugabe’s security is reinforced by those who believe that only Mugabe can lead this country.
On this day all freedom democracy lovers must condemn all forms of oppression and dictatorship including those opposition elements who are perpetuating Zanu PF mentality by seeking to unite with Zanu PF or its unrepentant rebels, whose message is loud and clear; that Zanu people first!
Above all we must acknowledge that our independence did not fall out of the sky. Our people, both armed and civilian, paid dearly and with their own lives to defeat Ian Smith’s racist regime. The war was not fought solely by Robert Mugabe as he often claims, but every person then alive. As we remember those who lost their lives for our independence; we must pledge never to tolerate any oppressor black or otherwise.
My promise to all Zimbabweans is that IT CAN BE DONE and we will do it – we will be free.
Farai Mbira is ZUNDE President. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.zunde.org