As much as I never had this grand privilege and honor to have had a personal physical encounter – with a man who walked on Earth over 2,000 years ago – nonetheless, He is still alive and powerful (being the King of kings, and Lord of lords), as He reigns over all (even above the most powerful and menacing governments and leaders), and He lives in me, thereby, enjoying a personal relationship everyday.
This, then, leaves me with other phenomenal people on my list, whose massive impact upon my life will forever be present – and, these include giants and icons of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle, as Dumiso Dabengwa, Josiah Magama Tongogara, Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo, and Herbert Wilshire Chitepo, whose gallantry, fearlessness, and selflessness in their struggle against the brutal oppression and exploitation of the people of this country, at the hands of a plundering and increasingly racist colonial settler regime, was unmatched and enviable.
It is extremely regrettable that I never managed to rub shoulders with most of these true Sons of the Soil – two of whom, Chitepo, and Tongogara having been heinously and questionably killed (ironically, both targeted in their own motor vehicles) on 10 March 1975, and 26 December 1979, respectively, in events that, suspiciously, further entrenched a devious, power-hungry, and corrupt clique’s complete control of ZANU, leading to the hijacking of the people’s movement by a few, whose self-serving corrupt interests they have been more than willing to implement and safeguard through the most heinous and ruthless methods ever known to human kind.
Fortunately, through the goodness of a very dear wonderful friend, and fellow writer, I was blessed enough to fulfil one of these wishes, as I indeed, managed to be introduced to Dabengwa – whose phenomenal gentleness and enormous magnanimity did not show a man whose valour and determination to end the repression, subjugation, and suffering of the people of Zimbabwe by a handful of corrupt, cold-hearted, and brutal mercenaries, never abated from his nationalist days as a freedom fighter against the colonial settler regime, to fighting those who had hijacked the people’s revolution, and subsequently held an entire nation at ransom after independence – and, who are still in charge up to this day.
As much as my relationship with the gentle giant (who was affectionately known simply as DD) lasted only a few years, till has truly tragic death on 23 May 2019 – however, not before attaining profound knowledge and wisdom from this great man, through our frequent meetings, largely when he would call me to rendezvous in my home town of Kwekwe, on his journeys to and fro the capital Harare, and during my many visits to his base in Bulawayo.
One most outstanding lesson from this man – who never faltered in his exceptional love for his country and people, and refused to be caught up and corrupted in the trappings of power and wealth (unlike his former comrades who sold their souls to the ZANU PF hijackers, thereby willingly joining in the looting spree) – was that the cause for the people’s struggle can never be compromised, neither should it be dictated by the love for selfish gains.
Which is exactly what we have been witnessing in this country’s body politic – whereby, both the ruling and main opposition political parties, have callously sacrificed the love of country and people at the altar of political power and wealth expediency – whilst, the same country and people are abandoned to the hell of poverty, and daily struggles of survival, and hunger, yet the political elite play games, as they expend their energies and time on positioning themselves, and fighting, for power and influence.
Yesterday, I was chatting with a reader of my articles, who compared our country to a bus that had been hijacked by crooks, whose only interests was to steal from the people, as the bus headed for a crush – whilst, the passengers merely watched helplessly, crippled by fear.
This illustration resonated very well with me so much that, I started thinking of the uncountable instances whereby passengers, who would have survived a gruesome bus accident (resulting in the death of several people), would narrate how the driver had been visibly intoxicated, and over-speeding.
As much as such incidents are always troubling and sad, I always find myself asking, “This bus travelled from Harare, all the way to Gweru (where the accident occured), on its way to Bulawayo. So, how come these passengers – having detected the driver’s drunken state, and recklessly dangerous driving, did not unite and collectively confront him, or report to relevant authorities, as they passed through such towns as Norton, Chegutu, Kadoma, and Kwekwe?
“If these passengers had not merely sat back – possibly, with some even cheering and urging on the driver – could this accident not have been averted, and the needless loss of life prevented?”
This is the same situation we are faced with today in Zimbabwe, with a country in the hands of drunken and reckless drivers – who are clearly more than determined as ever than before, to crush this country, and completely destroy our lives.
Yet, the question is, “Why are we, as the passengers of this ‘bus’ merely lamely watching – with some amongst us, actually cheering and urging on this madness – yet, it is clear that we are headed for a huge disaster?
“Are we (as those survivors from my earlier example) not going to tell the story of how we could see that those driving our country were drunk on the power and wealth, such that were recklessly running our nation straight into an imminent disaster, yet – for some strange reason – we just sat there, complaining amongst ourselves, as we headed for death?”
Where happened to the fortitude, determination, and fearlessness of Dabengwa, Tongogara, Nkomo, and Chitepo – who, never tolerated and cowered the brutality, repression, and exploitation of the colonial settler regime, in spite of the ruthless reprisal they were confronted with – yet, never chose to simply watch and complain amongst themselves, but actually made a valiant decision to say, “enough is enough”, and stood up for themselves?
© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author and speaker. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700, or Calls Only: +263782283975 / +263733399640, or email: [email protected]Post published in: Featured