A problem exists whenever there are facts to be accounted for. Facts which are plain to any politician of a sound mind, a politician with an active orientation towards what happens around him as opposed to a passive one.
Being one such politician, one with an active orientation towards what happens in my country and beyond, I have a point of view that I wish to express not to my immediate locality alone but also to other parts of the country and world at large.
For like the apostle Paul, I must carry the gospel of freedom beyond my village. I should always respond to the Macedonian call for aid so to speak.
I am clear about one thing though: I do not only have strong opinions but also stronger arguments to back them up. Not only that, there is a possibility that the perspective I take in my publications may not be very popular but I don’t give a damn. I strongly hold that perspective.
Everybody is entitled to their own opinion so I don’t seek how popular a particular opinion is. I speak the truth and work hard and that’s all that keeps me going. Hear me for my cause, keen reader!
A tragic mishap happened. The anti-colonial leaders betrayed the struggle for independence and this is something that we, simply, cannot afford to ignore any longer. Like I have argued elsewhere, I maintain that oppression remains oppression no matter what the skin or ethnicity of the oppressor.
It doesn’t become more palatable simply because one recognises their tongue or skin in the dictator. This is the poignant truth that should be made known with a straight face and without apology. Independence failed to bring us any closer to the realisation of freedom, equality, individual liberties and democracy.
For instance, we witnessed in Zimbabwe diabolical practices of ethnic cleansing targeted at white minority groups (during the illegal farm invasions of the year 2000); Ndebele people, (during the infamous Gukurahundi), for prior to the Unity Accord of December 22, 1987, Zimbabwe witnessed gruesome atrocities against the Ndebele minority group.
Stories of the Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda are clearly comparable to what happened in Matebeleland and the Midlands during what I will call herein the darkest period in the history of independent Zimbabwe; and urban cleansing targeted at poor people (during Operation Murambatsvina) in 2005.
The period before, during and after the parliamentary and presidential elections of 2000 and 2002 respectively also witnessed gruesome atrocities being committed against members of the opposition mainly MDC supporters.
A substantial number of people lost their lives whilst scores of women were raped and hundreds of both women and men were beaten up, tortured and had their property destroyed. Talent Mabika, Tichaona Chiminya, Trymore Midzi, Matthew Pfebve are some of the people who lost their lives during the aforesaid period.
What of Patrick Nabanyama and many others who disappeared on account of the struggle for a free, just and democratic Zimbabwe? We are still traumatised by the unpleasant political experience of the year 2008.
And we can only imagine how many refugees and internally displaced persons were produced during these sad periods. One wonders how much goes unknown because of our unseeing eyes and unhearing ears!
Perhaps it’s true that “What the eye does not see, the heart does not grieve about” (Old English Proverb). Surely, we can’t afford to ignore it any longer.
What about the misery of many poorer people, and the plight of so many women and children and these destabilising increases in academic and accommodation fees at state universities? Need I say more?
Poverty in Zimbabwe today is not only deprivation. It is according to C.T. Kurien deprivation for the many and affluence for the few. It is quite disturbing to note that a substantial number of people still benefit from the suffering of the many, the joy of the few being the sorrow of the many.
Imagine all this happening 32 years after ‘independence’. In other words, livelihood is incompatible with the dictates of the system in place. This is so because one must either be with struggling people or with the oppressing government. There are no other choices.
The hour to decide has indeed come. Under these circumstances, one has to be moved by the suffering of the people and therefore has to be one of them. As for me, I am very clear on where I stand on this critical issue. At times this I do with risky candour which to me is a sign of both moral and intellectual conviction.
I am wholly committed to promoting social change, problem solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well-being. I will therefore work to save lives, reduce suffering, improve living conditions and maintain the inherent dignity of the human person.
The intransigent and stubborn regime of Robert Mugabe has just gone too far and we simply can’t afford to ignore it any longer. We want regime change. And this we can only achieve if we are united. Unity is the answer. This is so ostensibly because it is the blood and marrow of any struggle against oppression.
I think, it is only, when we are so dedicated and so united in our cause that we can effect the greatest results. As Martin Luther King, Jr put it the other day; “There is amazing power in unity. Where there is true unity, every effort to disunite only serves to strengthen the unity.”
The truth is that our mutual sufferings whether black or white and Shona or Ndebele have wrapped us all in a single garment of destiny. What happens to one happens to all and we gotta stick together till the end.
And I want it known the length and breadth of our country that if I am stopped our work will not stop because what we are doing is right. What we are doing is just and the good news is that God is with us.
If only we had justice and freedom then there is no doubt that we would be more than willing to go about the business of living. It is criminal that we should spend the most productive times of our lives fighting for freedom that by virtue of birth should be ours.
It is criminal that our greatest minds live in perpetual fear of harassment, assassination, imprisonment or exile. As people with hope and a people of hope I believe our struggle must result in the re-birth of Zimbabwe, the coming of her second independence which in effect will be her first independence.
What we will endure in our struggle can’t possibly be worse than what we are enduring now. It is not hard to imagine why the road will be long and tortuous. We have much standing in our way. If the number of the dead, jailed and exiled points to lack of freedom, it also indicates just how determined we are.
In the words of James Baldwin: The price, if we wait, if we do not set the wheels of a complete revolution in motion, will be too high. For this, contribution is not motivated politically, but rather, it’s motivated by the need to begin to reclaim our dignity as individuals living for and within the truth.
I rest my case and may God be with us in this struggle towards real transformation. The struggle continues unabated!