By The Solutions Tower Staff
The red colour on the Zimbabwean Flag symbolises the precious blood that was spilled during the war of liberation. The bullets and bombs from the colonialist, racist and oppressive regime killed indiscriminately, and any perceived “enemy” just had to die. Whether one was a commander, a guerrilla, a nationalist, a collaborator or the fact of merely being black, all had to suffer the same gruesome fate whenever caught by enemy forces.
According to Ian Douglas Smith, anyone who fought for an Independent Zimbabwe was equally culpable and had to be eliminated by any means necessary. Some died, and others got crippled, with plenty more severely injured or sent to detention centres. Millions of previously oppressed black Zimbabweans celebrated the birth of an independent State in April, 1980.
The struggle had been won and as the Union Jack was being replaced by the new Zimbabwean Flag, almost everyone hoped that self rule would bring equality which had been preached throughout the war. Little did the people know that they had been sold a dummy, as some amongst them would become more equal than others.
Fast forward to 37 years later from 1980, one cold day in the month of May 2017, Zimbabweans woke up to hear from one of the most illustrious sons of the soil, the current commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, that only a selected and few individuals had the right to speak out against his boss, the Commander-In-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Mugabe.
Anyone who had not commanded any known battle should just suffer silently. His words appeared to be directed at the National Executive of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA). Army Commander Constantino Chiwenga was, in fact, just reminding the ZNLWVA that their organisation was a mere NGO, composed mostly of some johnny come lately and, therefore, did not posses any right to “belittle his” Commander-In-Chief, Gabriel.
This was once again a reminder to Zimbabweans of George Owell’s *Animal Farm* scenario, whereby in times of fighting a common enemy, all “animals” are said to be equal and when the mission has successfully been accomplished, some “animals” would then be treated as being more equal than others.
The “fish” no longer requires the “water” for survival, it would now actually be the other way round, with the “fish” now being more powerful and superior than all the “water” put together.
Without the “fish”, the “water” becomes extinct.
Painful as it may, this has become the reality in which most Zimbabweans find themselves in.
Some would say; the General was not talking to civilians. But if one were to ask the respected General if his mantra was being directed to only a section of the War Veterans, what would our decorated General have to say to ordinary Zimbabwe and who never took part in the war?
The current Constitution which was adopted by Zimbabwe in 2013 clearly states the importance of: Exalting and extolling the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives during the Liberation struggle. These War Veterans whose credentials are being questioned by the General befittingly fall into this category that the Constitution sought to appreciate.
Ironically, the people who have the most singular and heightened duty to uphold, respect, observe and defend the Constitution are the ones now at the forefront of disregarding the same Constitution. Its not a secret that people play different roles during the war, some would be commanding, others driving, some coordinating and others playing numerous supportive roles, but the objective would be the same, the risks and consequences would be the same and even the amount of bravery equally similar.
No one can take away the bravery exhibited by those who played a part in the liberation of Zimbabwe.
The sacrifices they made should be cherished forever.
Unfortunately, in this “farm”, some “animals” have become more equal than others.
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