Zimbabwe @31 The Urgency of Now

bobIf yesterday I fought you as an enemy today you have become my friend and ally with the same national interests, loyalty, rights and duties as myself. If yesterday you hated me, today you cannot avoid the love that binds you to me and me to you. Is it not folly, therefore, that in these circumstances anybody should seek to revive the wounds and grievances of the past? The wr

Heal Zimbabwe joins the rest of the nation in commemorating 31 years of Zimbabwes Independence. The day is a very important day in the countrys calendar where Zimbabwe gained its independence from minority rule. It is time to reflect on the gains and losses, hopes, and aspirations of Zimbabweans over the last 31 years. We celebrate this day under a new Government of National Unity borne out of post independent Zimbabwes most blatant and unbridled assault on the principle of one man one vote by our former liberators, the post 29 March 2008 state sponsored and sanctioned violence against unarmed citizens for having exercised their right to vote. Sadly, the elements who forced this Government against the very values and aspirations of the liberation struggle and the peoples will have decided to render their creature dysfunctional, and again they talk of elections as if they mean well. If elections in 2008 failed to give Zimbabwe a solid Government what has changed between now and then for them to be suddenly a panacea for our nations ills?

At 31 as a nation, we should frankly take full responsibility of our policies and actions, their motivating strengths and the weaknesses. We are authors of our own destiny. We are where we are today because we made decisions whether rational or emotional and these decisions we made fully aware of their benefits and consequences. In early 1980s we decided to wage a war against our comrades in arms in the Midlands and Matebeleland provinces. In the process we brutally slaughtered thousands of innocent civilians in that moment of madness as if the only thing we learnt from the liberation struggle was violence and that period has marked the darkest period of post independent Zimbabwe. But 21 years later, in 2008, we got the opportunity to deal with the pre and post independence injustices and violations through the Organ on National Healing and Reconciliation but to date nothing tangible has been achieved by the toothless organ. How many more chances will we deliberately miss? The Government of National Unity provided us with an opportunity to depolarize our communities and mobilize our energies and expertise towards nation building. It provided us with an opportunity for honest and genuine national introspection which should have resulted in a broadly shared national vision. Instead we listened to narrow and self serving interests of individuals who despite their celebrated western education and liberation credentials do not think beyond the next diamond mine and deal. People whose definition of independence is not people exercising their free will but the elites monopoly of means of violence and repression. The national healing process should have been a top priority of this Government. But again, at 31, the opportunity will be missed.

The Government of National Unity provided us with an opportunity to cleanse the liberation struggle from the corruption it has suffered from some pseudo liberation veterans who have raped and killed in the name of our glorious struggle. It provided an opportunity for us as a nation to delete the boundaries of outsiders and insiders to the nation and bind all citizens and nationals with a sense of ownership and belonging to Zimbabwe. We have lost for now, at 31, the opportunity to see our struggle for what it is, a complex history of nationalism with many facets and players driven by the human spirits universal aspiration for freedom and equality and to constantly improve and modernize. At 31, history should record that our struggle is not the narration of individual biographs of prominent revolutionaries, but an everyday struggle for the everyday citizen. In personifying and personalizing the success of the struggle in our living revolutionaries, we have burdened them with unenviable task of playing God and doing the impossible and dramatic in a world of limitations, which has confined them to mere rhetoric. We are behaving like the biblical Esau who squandered his birthright for an immediate meal.

This day should save as a reminder to those who instigate violence that the war of liberation was not a war against racial inequalities alone but was premised on the demand for equality for all regardless of religion, race, age, creed and political party. It was never about fighting brother against brother, it was never about turning neighbor against neighbor, it was never about enriching a few while the rest of the people suffer, it was never about creating monsters out of unemployed youth but it was about creating conditions that makes and maintains Zimbabwe as the bread basket of Africa, it was about creating employment for the highly educated and uneducated youth, it was about providing decent living and working conditions to all, it was about upholding our traditional ethno beliefs and values, it was about providing wisdom, direction and promote democracy.

As Heal Zimbabwe. we are of the opinion that anything that makes people insecure, alienated, poor is a negation of the ideals of independence. Lets do away with name calling, blame game where the West, SADC and other regional bodies fall prey of the blame of all our misfortunes. It is time to deal with the challenges head on instead of coming up with ill planned alternatives, are we looking East because we have much to benefit there as a nation or we are just doing that to spite our Enemies and Detractors. It is time we come out clean as a nation and be collectively responsible over our actions. It is time we all contribute towards a future which future generations will be proud to associate with. Zimbabwe should be one of the leading countries in SADC considering our investment in education and human capital at independence. Let us not spend all our lives looking at the past in order to just glorify our victories at the expense of planning our future.

As we face a possibility of another round of national elections, let all Zimbabweans of diverse political, and religious persuasions come out together and say enough is enough, Never Again Zimbabwe to elections marred by political violence. Let there be a clear road map to elections which are free from violence and intimidation. Effort has to be made to deal with past election related crimes and violations if the people of Zimbabwe are to restore their confidence in the electoral processes.

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