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An open letter to Zimbabweans
Mclyde Chakupeta
August 22, 2007

This letter is written in utmost faith and concern for our collective future. Some of you will obviously resent me for what I am about to say, but so be it. I am no expert in Zimbabwean political, social, economical and historical behaviours, but I have watched painfully the recent events unfold before our very own eyes. The world over, Zimbabwe is looked at presently as a troubled spot, which she is, people talk and plan for an after Mugabe Zimbabwe, much to the detriment of the thinking and planning ability of many of us.

Now we are rated the country with the highest inflation, even poor countries like Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, even those in war Angola, DRC, are not suffering such a fate economically. The other countries in the Third world, including those in South America, are surprisingly faring well, yet ours remains a country of cry babies. I have mentioned this in my some of my articles in The Independent. We have turned ourselves into the weeping daughters and sons of Africa and we expect the world to hear us, come deliver us from Mugabe, yet we have made no consensual effort in trying to do so ourselves. Remember Mugabe and cronies, during the Smith regime realized that they were being oppressed, they rose and fought. What we lack is the spirit to begin a revolution. People might be against the very idea of a revolution because they think that it is always marked by blood shed, true partially and if that is to held us, let it be. However, what we need is to revolt against Mugabe, of course it won-t be easy for his patriotic force will beat us, imprison, torture and kill us, but with determination, we will prosper. It is not the little crumbs from the Zanu PF table that fills our stomach-s it is the sweat that drips from our heads as we work for our own emancipation that we need, it is the blood of gallant sons and daughters of Zimbabwe that we need to sacrifice and be liberated from the Mugabe syndrome.

They say no Zanu PF card; you are an enemy of the state. Belong to any opposition party and you deserve to die. You are correct about being discriminated against and forced to belong to them for survival. But passive resistance does not pay, we need to be more engaged old and young - the battle will be won by the combined effort of all. After all our history has been of one of noble resistance and triumph against the odds. But most of your recent resistance, though noble in intention, had been less than noble in execution and outcome. The mass protests called for by MDC, by NCA or by ZCTU have all yielded to nothing, the leaders scuttling back to the drawing board to assess reasons for the failure. The failure lies in the majority being apolitical and non partisan when it comes to bread and butter issues. This is so because people are afraid of being beaten, arrested, tortured and killed. If we love ourselves that much, then we deserve the suffering that is inflicted on us by Mugabe. Only until when we are ready to forgo petty self regard and think nationally and think the future of our children, we then can realize that non involvement is criminal of us. Waiting for Mugabe to die is a defeat for all of us. Mugabe should not die before we are unshackled from the bonds of oppression he has set against the whole nation. He should be made to account for his sins whilst he still lives.

Why have we suffered thus, one might ask? Because you have been dishonest, allowed yourself to be abused by your political party and your government; refused to sanction your government for its inability to effectively represent your interests, stopped believing in yourself, believing that the government will solve your problems, mistakenly believed that ZANU PF is solely responsible for your plight, selfishly believe that Zimbabwe belongs t the party alone and fought for that party rather than for the common good.

Whose interests did the ethnical cleansing Gukurahundi serve? What of ESAP serve, the 2000 farm invasion, the killing and muggings of opposition party cadres and civil society members? Whose interest did Operation Murambatsvina serve? What of the recent price blitz serve? Someone getting political mileage! We hail our president for being such a courageous man, he faces the bull by its horns, whilst we ignore that by doing so he emasculates us as he is serving his own interests. When prices were reduced, the people went all the way to praise the government, but where are we now.

In the meantime, we have stopped sending our children to government schools for we know what they are like, we have stopped going to government hospitals for we know what is not there more than what is there, we have started flying our friends and relatives to nearby South Africa for treatment, shunning our own hospitals, maybe because our trained personnel is in South Africa, to provide the quality service we so much desire. But why did they have to leave us and go yonder? No one bothers to question. Our children have stopped going to school for they have to help fend for the family, have stopped going to state universities where conditions have deteriorated, even the bad ones. Some of you were encouraged to seek the party card rather than a school certificate. Many good teachers have left the country because they were paid slave wages, the same applies to nurses, doctors etc. Roads have become tracks; farms have become war training zones.

I say all the above to remind you that if marginalization means disempowerment you have been historically marginalized, both by the colonizers and mostly by the government. However, to blame the government only for your suffering is not fair, we have disempowered ourselves. To blame it all on the government is absolutely unfair and dishonest. To wait for the president to die does not end your disempowerment and misery, we need to structural changes.

It used to be rigged elections, so we were told, we needed to protest. Then it was the constitution and we believed, then it was prices; we believed. Then you were told it was Blair and Bush and still you did not ask what that meant. You rather believe all they say, for they 'libel-rated- this country. You were told that if we take the farms from the white men we will prosper and you believed, we needed to eliminate dissidents from our country we massacred brothers and sisters in Matebeleland. We demolished poor people-s houses in 2005 and we beat to maim whenever people demonstrate peacefully against a government that is at war with its citizens. You were not told anything and you did not ask yourselves anything. You have surrendered your right to think and act in your own interest, rather than fight to win disempowerment; you are fighting to win positions of authority for some people, yet your children are scavenging for left-overs in South Africa and surrounding countries. Yet we call that sovereignty. Crime, murder, corruption and disease will haunt you day and night. Your TV hosts are being paid to tell lies. To be fair with you, sometimes, you listen to reason and perhaps admire it, but don-t act on it. You act on unreason and so long as you continue to do that you will always be suffering, with Mugabe or after Mugabe.

I recount the above primarily to suggest that you are ignoring to your peril some glaring truths. You have no political and economic power, all are vested in Mugabe. That is what we must be fighting for. Nobody gives you justice; you have to fight for it.

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