Ngomakurira – Plasterers

‘The President said his legacy was safe as long as there was a vanguard of cadres willing to defend the gains of the liberation struggle. “Yes,” he said, “I want to believe there are enough cadres, some ar

e still developing. I am sure there will be those in the future who will be prepared to uphold our sovereignty and die for the defence of our country.”’ These words come from the lead article in the Herald about the time of the President’s birthday. It makes chilling reading.

First, it is military language or even guerilla language. It is the language of the struggle and the bush. It recalls yet again the courage and generosity of the people who gave what Abraham Lincoln in another war called, ‘the best measure of their devotion’ for the freedom of this country 30 years ago. But what does it mean to speak of a ‘vanguard of cadres’ now 26 years on as being the defenders of the gains of the struggle? Why today do we need a special group, clothed in guerrilla language, to defend those gains?

Second, why is there the language of dying for the defence of our country? Are we at war? Is anyone attacking us? Yes, there is death: much of it. People are dying from starvation and disease: much of it avoidable. But why, at a birthday celebration, invoke the threat of an attack and the need for defence? It seems as though the whole struggle of the 1970s is being protracted onwards into the present. The whole practice of a command structure appears to be the one that the government is most comfortable with. In our leader’s mind the war is still on.

Our President believes his legacy is safe. But what exactly is that legacy that it needs a ‘vanguard of cadres’ to defend it? Do we not have the people themselves and their constitution to guarantee the gains of the struggle? Do we?

Though most people in this country have suffered greatly these past six or so years, it is becoming daily more apparent we have not yet reached the crunch. We have not yet reached the point where the people actually lay hold of the legacy and safeguard it though a constitution and laws.

At the moment ‘the legacy’ is in the hands of a ‘vanguard’ who frankly are serving their own interests. They speak of the gains of the struggle but they are like the Old Testament prophets whom Ezekiel railed against, ‘they have misled my people by saying: Peace! When there is no peace. Instead of my people rebuilding the wall, these men come and slap on plaster. Tell these plasterers: it will rain hard, it will hail, it will blow a gale, and down will come the wall.’ (Ezekiel 13:10ff)

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *