Mugabe’s dictatorship – is another Chimurenga imminent in Zimbabwe?

Recently, Zimbabwe music legend Thomas Mapfumo is reported to have urged Zimbabweans, especially the youth, to wage another Chimurenga - or uprising - as the only way in removing the regime of long-time dictator Robert Mugabe from power.

 Zimbabwean pop star Thomas Mapfumo, a hero of Zimbabwe's liberation struggle.

Zimbabwean pop star Thomas Mapfumo, a hero of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle.

Mapfumo was right.

Zimbabweans have for the past 36 years – since the country attained its independence from the United Kingdom – been fighting for their rights under an increasingly totalitarian Mugabe.

Never has a single day lapsed without Zimbabweans wondering if ever they would be rid of Mugabe – who has made life a living hell for the people of this once great nation.

In the early part of his misrule, Mugabe managed to launch a genocidal war on the people of Matabeleland and Midlands provinces, which claimed over 20,000 lives at the hands of his North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade.

He then presided over a gruesome brutal campaign of lynching in the 2000s, after the formation of the then formidable Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), that saw hundreds of people being killed – and thousands more beaten up, tortured, had their limbs cut off, or had their homes razed to the ground – by ZANU PF youths and members of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) at Mugabe’s direct orders.

Millions of people were forced to flee their country to foreign lands, including myself, as a result of these atrocities.

What type of a leader is this that does this to his own people?

A merciless, cruel and ruthless individual who seems intent to be in competition with Adolf Hitler.

People may then wonder: why do we not simply remove him from power?

Well, even the European Union and the United States of America can attest to the fact that this man has shamelessly manipulated the political and electoral space over the past three and a half decades, such that it is impossible for any opposition political party to make any significant inroads – let alone removing him from power.

In fact, when the MDC achieved the impossible in 2008 by winning both the parliamentary and Presidential elections, Mugabe refused to concede defeat, but instead unleashed all his military might to massacre Zimbabweans – which resulted on the opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai opting to stand aside and agreeing to form a Government of National Unity (GNU) with Mugabe (who it should be mentioned, remained the President).

Today, despite commendable constitutional provisions for a level political and electoral landscape Mugabe still refuses to translate that into any meaningful legislation.

As such, the political and electoral landscape is still very much skewed in favour of Mugabe, and there is no hope of the opposition ever winning in the 2018 elections.

Mugabe’s adamance in wanting to win the next elections by any means necessary is already apparent in the purges within his own party ZANU PF, in which any challenging voices – including long time ally and Vice-President Joice Mujuru – have been expelled on flimsy charges of trying to topple him – none of which have ever stood up to judicial scrutiny, as none of the accused have ever been charged with any crime.

This clearly demonstrates that Mugabe can never be removed through any democratic process, and it is time for Zimbabweans to seriously consider an uprising.

This uprising does not necessarily mean taking up arms as happened in the 1960s and 70s – not yet anyway – but for Zimbabweans to take a leaf out from the so-called Arab Spring, which saw the downfall of similar longtime dictators in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya.

Zimbabweans need to realise this fact now, and not expect some miracle to happen that will usher in a new democratic dispensation, but we need to do it ourselves.

Nothing short of an uprising – a Chimurenga – will work.

Let all Zimbabweans go out into the streets en mass to make their voices heard clearly and unequivocally that, ‘Mugabe must go!’

Let every street in Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Kwekwe, Masvingo, Mutare, Kadoma, Chinhoyi, and others be filled with Zimbabweans of all ages – from children to adults, men and women, mothers and fathers, grandfathers and grandmothers.

Now is the time, as failure to do so will only spell doom and disaster for the country.

If we do not march right up to the gates of State House and demand that Mugabe goes, then no election will ever achieve that – as history had clearly shown us.

Mugabe had to go, or else Zimbabwe itself will go!

There is no longer any moment to waste – no time to dilly-dally.

It is now or never. Zimbabwe can not wait any longer.

Let us all dispense with our fears of this man’s brutality.

Dictators such as Gaddafi, Mubarak, and Ben Ali were once feared in their countries as well, but there came a time when the people finally said, ‘Enough is enough!’

They bravely launched their Arab Spring, and although some lives were lost, but they achieved their goals.

Today, Tunisia is experiencing a comeback and the people are generally satisfied with what they managed to achieve.

Zimbabwe can achieve the same – it is just a question of just how much we desire this change.

Are we willing to sacrifice the country and our own children’s future on the altar of cowardice?

Are we not the same people who boldly told ZANU PF that, ‘Dzoserai nyika yacho kwamakaisunungura, tinonoisunungura isusu’ – ‘they could return the country to where they liberated it from, and that we ourselves could liberate it’.


Today, the country is indeed back to colonial times, so let’s put those brave words into action.

Let us liberate our country – or was it all just empty talk that proves that ZANU PF has every right to brag that they liberated the country and that we all owe them.

I would rather think not!

We have a choice – we can either sit back whilst the country burns and will become no more very soon, or we can rise up now and save our country and our children’s future – it is entirely up to us.

~ Peace Marangwanda is a UK-based political commentator.

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