A new constitution is the key

'The failure of one crop does not deter the planting of seeds'

'Liberators have become our oppressors'

I have been listening to the new CD “Singing for a New Constitution” and it really means a lot to me. I want to achieve personal and professional growth. But I have always wanted to be more pragmatic and less theoretical – I mean I want to graduate from being an armchair observer who has resigned oneself to political cynicism and participate more fully in the political events of my country.

“No matter how long the night, the day is sure to come.” (Congo Proverb). Even the Bible says, “Tears may flow in the night but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalms 30:5).

Ngugi wa Thiong’o, in his book entitled ‘Matigari’ lucidly explains that ‘victory of the oppressed comes from the sharpened spear.’

This requires that we become united in order to realise our deepest hopes and desires. And it means that we even have to be prepared to die for our country. One can die only once and it is better to die in pursuit of what is right. I for one won’t mind if I die for my country. There is also an imperative and urgent need for us as Zimbabweans to “cross the river in a crowd so that the crocodile won’t eat us” (Madagascar Proverb). Success is born of trying and trying again.

We must all bear in mind that the ‘failure of one crop does not deter the planting of seeds’. We just have to be resilient in our search for a New Constitution. Awareness creation among the masses is what is required so as to achieve complete annihilation of the cultures of silence and of normalising the abnormal, as it were.

Ngugi’s book has had an invaluable influence in my life because it seems what he was writing about is what is happening in our contemporary Zimbabwe. Liberators have become our oppressors.

There seems to be a consensus that we as Zimbabweans are responsible for our destiny and that there is a need on our part to unite and confront without fear the institutions of oppression.

This is based on the premise that there is nothing that a people united cannot do – united, our strength becomes faith that moves mountains.

It needs also to be clearly understood that fear has brought us into this mess. This statement by Dr Martin Luther King Jnr also motivates me: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”. This is the kind of inspiration that is required in modern-day Zimbabwe.

It is not enough to talk about our rights – we must also take them.

I have been reading up on the work done by civil society in South Africa during the apartheid era, and I believe we also need a strong civil society that can mobilise the majority of us who are being oppressed. Democratic resistance is the solution but this has to be a multi-sectoral project that requires popular ownership and participation.

You have transformed my life through your work and I hope that all Zimbabweans will act very soon. – With acknowledgements to Kubatana.net active participation

Post published in: Opinions

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