Part 1 of this article looked at the vision of the liberation struggle that inspired men and women to take up arms and fight colonialism. It was a struggle for emancipation to enjoy a new Zimbabwe with dignity, respect for human freedoms and economic prosperity. It was a struggle to better the lives of the majority from all corners of the country. I specifically noted that the struggle was not only fought with the gun, but was also won by the sacrifice and commitment of the rural folk who were on the receiving end from both the freedom fighters and the Rhodesian forces. Many women were raped, children kidnapped, lives lost, but all these setbacks only hardened the masses to liberate themselves and nothing short of a free Zimbabwe was acceptable.
32 years of freedom and we reflect if the vision of the struggle has been realized. The script reads the same story of a Zimbabwe before independence. The very rights that men and women fought for are still being violated in a free Zimbabwe. The same police still embarrassing the people as was done during Rhodesia. Some comrades are treated more equal than others and development has certainly not caught up with some areas. The long and short of it that Zimbabwe has mercenaries masquerading as ‘liberators as they have chosen the path of lining their pockets at the expense of the masses that sacrificed during the struggle. The so-called comrades have rewarded themselves with mines, big farms, access to government facilities and resources yet the povo has not been rewarded and continue to wallow in poverty. If the country was too poor to reward everybody, then we would rest the case and comfort ourselves in the fact that the greatest price was freedom itself.in fact genuine freedom fighters are not rewarded but honoured. Only MERCENARIES are rewarded for doing a specific job.
We feel cheated and betrayed by the leadership that has pursued self-interests at the expense of the people. How can history easily repeat itself so soon and become our reality. Just yesterday when a white minority was ruling they had a life of pomp and enjoyed plenty whist the majority blacks looked with envy and wanted a taste of it. Are these not the conditions that inspired a revolution against a system? Are we not in danger of sowing a seed of our own destruction as leaders by pursuing the same style and arrogance that the whites were forced to abandon by a rising mass. If the leadership does not appraise itself against the values and vision of what it fought for and correct that, then it begins to suspect everyone as against them. Yes, the people are against you for a good reason -you have abandoned them. You have abandoned the heroes, men and women that fought for the liberation of this country. You perhaps need to be reminded that in politics the only constant is that the masses will elect the leaders into power and keep them for as long as they feel their values are being met. Leaders come and go at the discretion of the masses, unless off course you subvert their will. A very tough question that has to be raised.
How can we continue to have our women raped, children kept out of schools each time we have an election, freedoms only enjoyed by people who think in one way and not the other, very few people enjoying the wealth of the country whilst the rest are on the verge of poverty.
As we celebrate the 32nd heroes’ day commemoration, these are thoughts that leaders need to ask themselves and rectify. Otherwise it only serves to confirm that politicians really do have a short memory.