Whilst I was watching on television some families of our fallen valiant heroes, who fought for this country’s independence from colonial rule – as they visited these intrepid men and women’s graves at the ‘heroes acres’ dotted around the various provinces – there was a recurring disturbing and heart-wrenching theme, which I found most touching and painful.
There were those who sorrowfully lamented and bemoaned why today’s youth no longer valued and appreciated the phenomenal sacrifices that those who fought for this country went through.
Several of the family members highlighted how their relatives were arrested, beaten up, had dogs set upon them, tortured and even killed by the Rhodesia regime for their brave unflinching quest for ‘Uhuru’ of the ordinary people of Zimbabwe.
In all these emotional testimonies, what bled my heart, most particularly, was asking myself, “Are courageous men and women, who dare speak out and stand up against the repressive ZANU PF regime, whose ruling elite is more adept at pillaging and plundering our national resources for their own self-enrichment, whilst millions of Zimbabweans are abandoned to wallow in abject poverty, than effectively running the country, not still being arrested, beaten up, have dogs set upon them, tortured and even killed in our ‘independent’ Zimbabwe”?
As a matter fact, I am of the firm belief that our youth today still hold in very high regard our heroes and heroines of the liberation struggle.
What they clearly do not respect are the current leaders of Zimbabwe – who have since proven themselves no better than the settler regime our fearless self-sacrificing men and women waged a bloody protracted war to put an end to.
If anything, they have shown themselves to be far much worse than the Rhodesians, as they have ‘perfected’ and ‘modified’ oppressive tactics employed during the colonial era…the student has become better than the master, in the art of ruthless, savage brutality.
Fortunately, these are not just my own personal views, but shared widely by our former liberation combatants, some of whom – even those holding senior positions within their movement – communicate to me directly.
Lest we forget, the vast majority of those who gave up everything dear to them – including a good education (who went to fight in the bush, as opposed to those in the leadership who managed to pursue university degrees), as well as their families and any semblance of a decent life – are even today, still enduring unimaginable impoverishment and suffering, having been used and cruelly discarded by those who hijacked the liberation cause.
I was deeply moved two days ago, after penning an article signaling my dejection and discouragement at the appalling inaction, cowardice, and apathetic attitude of Zimbabweans, in their unwillingness to stand up against their tormentors and captors – when I received a phone call from a leading war veteran, whom I hold in very high esteem.
He had such profound and wisdom-packed words of encouragement and motivation for me to keep going with the work I was doing – since, even during the liberation struggle, there were those who were considered fundamental in sacrificing their own lives for the greater good of the country’s people, even though the majority never directly participated in the struggle.
He also told me of how another prominent war veterans’ leader was always inspired and deeply moved by my writings – a man I also have great respect for, and we communicate with often – who is said to have commented to his fellow colleagues about me, “This young man makes a lot of sense”.
Such words, as well as numerous others I continually receive, always manage to motivate me to keep on going strong, in this continuation of the struggle for the total emancipation of the people of Zimbabwe from minority rule, which is buttressed by sadistic heinous brutality.
The bottom line is, whether it was the late ousted president Robert Gabriel Mugabe, or the current Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa – who toppled and backstabbed his own former long-time mentor and boss in a November 2017 military coup d’etat – both betrayed the cause of the liberation struggle, and the aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe.
There is no denying this fact!
We are being governed by unmitigated and unredeemable low lives, whose greed for self-aggrandizement, through the disgraceful pilfering of our wealth (which should have been equitably shared amongst the millions of Zimbabweans) has resulted in our untold suffering and impoverishment.
It is now up to us, who are bearing the brunt of this kleptomaniac barbaric regime, to carry on with the self-sacrificing struggle started by the courageous and unrelenting Sons and Daughters of the Soil – whom we are celebrating during this ‘Heroes Holiday’ in Zimbabwe.
Yet, there is one undeniable truth – as long as we are not ready to take over the baton from our heroes and heroines of the 1960s and 70s struggle for emancipation – then, we will forever be crying and moaning as Zimbabweans.
Let me reiterate – the people of Zimbabwe generally honour and revere our brave liberation struggle icons – it is only the FailED administration in power that we disdain and find utterly repulsive, who should be severely NailED at next year’s elections.
- Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, researcher, and social commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936, or email: [email protected]