All nations, like individuals, are presented with priceless moments in their lifetime to unite, reconcile and pull up a patriotic, non-partisan expression of unconditional love for their motherland.
Such opportunities need to be embraced and cherished by all, irrespective of their age, sex, region, colour, race, religion and or creed.
Such opportunities come in the history of nations after a protracted struggle. Reference can be drawn from the French Revolution, the American war of liberation and even from our Chinese friends.
By Onismo Soraidema.
The above forces take an eternity to strike a balance. When it does, the opportunity needs to be grabbed with both hands. It is at such moments that strong nations are built. It is such times that true leaders grab to mend relations, champion national healing, reconcile parallel forces that threaten national interest and make genuine commitments to strengthen critical institutions. It is in such moments that real leaders’ harness and exploit to instil confidence in citizens and promote love amongst a people: we call that patriotism. It is at this time that authentic leaders meet the people, with the people also meeting their leaders in a mutual atmosphere and make pledges to put national interest first. It is no time for politicking.
Zimbabwe, woo to you my beloved motherland for you have been presented with such a precious opportunity not only once, but twice! Oh, my God! Twice, and you have squandered both times! You blew them both into the hot African air! I wonder when your vindication and redemption shall be. The golden egg was laid and you crushed it in its tenderness and have kept crushing it.
In 1979, l am told that blacks, whites, Ndebeles, Shonas, Tongas, Vendas, all Christians and traditional believers celebrated together, at least they found each other.
The nation was caught in a state of euphoria.
They were too drunk with untold joy (the masses) to care about their differences . They were celebrating the end of a dark patch of colonialism. What a time! What an era. God did not create me too early to cherish this momentous era. All I know is that their hearts were ready for a new beginning. It only needed a leader to rise above selfishness like Mandela and exploit this golden opportunity.
Did anyone rise?
I won’t say much about this for I was born too late to know the truth. All I have is a deliberately doctored and distorted history of the aftermath. All I know is that 20 000 free Zimbabweans were killed three years down the line in cold blood, and in an independent nation. All i know is that former President Robert Mugabe claims he survived a series of murder attempts in an independent Zimbabwe, which he took over from one monstrous Ian Smith (now late).
I read that the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo, father Zimbabwe, an icon of the war freedom, had to run for dear life in a country which he sacrificed for and dedicated his whole life to set free! What’s the hell Zimbabwe?
I was born eight years later. By then, the nation was almost a decade and still waiting for another chance. Another chance for national healing. Days passed, weeks, months then years and the time did not come. Abject poverty, hatred and politicking is all I and my generation were forced to breathe, eat and drink. Corruption and scandals married our motherland and malice was born. We were taught to keep our silence and never to question the elderly.
Anyone who dared to cry has had their heads chopped off the Itai Dzamara style. Artificial death greeted us like dawn. It became the order of the day. Institutions weakened, polarisation grew and the economy screamed. Our soldiers were captured by gluttonous individuals and so was our supposedly unparalleled police, CIO, Zec, chiefs and freedom fighters, the gallant sons and daughters of the soil were turned from liberators to villains. Our protectors were turned into our antagonists! Cry my beloved motherland! Optimism slowly faded as hopelessness sank into our little hearts as we accepted poverty and anarchy. Some of my friends ran away to foreign lands. I am told they are toiling there with their pride and dignity stripped off them.
Four solid decades passed as we thought that God had forsaken us, He smiled again. Waal! What an historical and hilarious moment to witnesses. This time around, l will not depend on archaeological or written evidence for this history, I am the v11, the primary evidence. I saw it myself, l partook in this one. No one will take advantage of me to force lies into my little head.
War veterans, soldiers, people of colour at home and abroad, Bulawayo, Harare, all from Zambezi to Limpopo, the young and the old, all creeds, the poor and the rich finally struck a balance!
We held the flag high, we shouted for a new era.
What a time.
We climbed into our army tankers, men and women in uniform and civilians alike sang Simudzai Mureza Wedu WeZimbabwe in unison. It was our thing. Our own time of eschatology. A great feeling, indeed. Thank you God. We had seen too much of the effects of lies, selfishness and a lack of unity of purpose to let this opportunity go by. We had learnt our lesson never to put politics ahead of national interest. General Constantino Chiwenga grabbed a copy of our Constitution in his hand, raised it as he proudly lifted and declared that no one was above the supreme law of the country. It was like fiction, too captivating to be real or did it just end as fiction?
Tears of joy ran down our cheeks as we marched to the Zimbabwe Grounds. We were also reminded it was all here that it had begun. We were reliving the dream. We had waited for much too long. No mortal could dare take this one from us. We glued our eyes for the first time, to ZBC TV, our national broadcaster to witness an history in the making. Foreigners praised us and helped us celebrate the beginning of a golden era. We collectively called it a New Zimbabwe in wild jubilation. We didn’t give a chance to another demise. Could this be another dummy sold to us? No! Not this time.
We sang to a Chiwenga, a Mnangagwa, a Matemadanda, a Sibusiso Moyo, all who had promised us a nation we all longed for. They promised us and assured us a new way of doing things,’ a new dispensation’, to quote them from their learned diction. For once, we buried the hatchet. Oh, my God!
How wrong we were!
I thought perhaps, in my wild dreams, that my listening new President would take this rare opportunity to say sorry to Matebeleland for the early 80s, to free the men and women in uniform, to strengthen our judiciary, to set free our electoral apparatus, unite our people of colour, unite generations, free our old in the rural Uzumba who have been taken advantage of for so long. I expected action. I thought the new dispensation would exploit the state of euphoria and say sorry for all the corruption and build a true democracy.
How wrong I was!
This is how it all ended, I am told corruption has continued unabated. Massacres of our own kith and kin continue in daylight as on August 1 . Some say Zec is still a baby of a certain party. My friend told me that our chiefs are now political agents. Is this true? If true, then shame on you Chief Charumbira. A friend told me that you forgot the cause of your people because of the luxury of a double cab vehicle that you’re driving in roads that resemble a potato field at the farm that you got as a token for keeping quiet when your people were maimed and killed by servants (politicians) who should be serving and saving them. Is it true that you and your 254 other chiefs have been reduced to puppets? If true, i kindly ask you mambo (king), with due respect, to reflect.
This tragic Ballard will go on and on. It protrudes from an innocent heart. A heart that is broken beyond repair. I heard that the new man at State house listens to the voice of the people. Please, if anyone who read this ballard, have access to the leafy, tightly guarded house’s suggestions box, if there is one, please drop this one for me. Tell him that we expected more than this. Didn’t we deserve better?
Tell him that we don’t hate him as his bootlickers would like him to believe, we only wanted him to take advantage of the November days of a rare opportunity to heal the wounds and usher a new way of doing things. We are ready to sing to him as our true and undefiled hero of the Second Republic. We wanted a full package of our freedom, a new era of love and patriotism, a time to welcome our brothers and sisters back home from their forty years in the wilderness . Nothing more, nothing less. Is it too late? Only God knows.
To God, I say, please, give us another chance, maybe we will never let loose of it this third time.
Alas, we are still ruled by the New but same Old Zanu PF !!!
From Hurungwe Zimbabwe.
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