Back to Index
in struggle: what Zimbabwe needs
AS I write, the Zimbabwean
political and economic atmosphere is heavily pregnant with important
possibilities. Like any other pregnancy, there is the much prayed
for possibility that a new bouncing baby Zimbabwe will be born when
a new constitutional and political order is realised.
There is also the rude
possibility of an abortion or the uninvited disappointing miscarriage.
Yet, it remains the task
before all serious Zimbabweans to work over time to ensure that
this historic opportunity to reinvent Zimbabwe is not again squandered.
Prosperity might forever
charge us with the capital sin of constitutional, economic and political
negligence if we once again miss this opportunity to restore to
normalcy the legal, economic and political workings of our country
through sober debate, serious dialogue and free and fair elections.
The national troubles
that Zimbabweans from all classes and all walks have endured during
the violence, food shortages, water shortages, high cost of living
and collapse of law and order should naturally condition all of
us to sobriety, seriousness and concrete resolve to unite and navigate
our country out of the angry seas of economic and political chaos
that currently punctuate the condition of our country -- reducing
it to the status of a colony of hell on earth.
At this stage, it is
as obvious as the sky that all Zimbabweans, in the ruling party,
in opposition ranks and in the church and general civic society
can sense and also see the urgent need for a new constitutional,
political and economic order in our land. The questions are what
must be done, who must do it and how must it be done?
I must state at this
point that I am humbly and politely addressing myself to the honour,
the courage, patriotism, commitment and the sacrificial spirit of
the men and women of Zimbabwe who so far have risked life and limb,
tempted fate and diced with death himself by leading opposition
political parties, civic groups, churches, student organisations
and other societies that have for so long been struggling and negotiating
for a new Zimbabwe.
I must also state that
I am applying myself to those Zimbabweans who are still operating
within the leadership ranks of the ruling party, but have the preparedness
to work together with all other Zimbabweans in the grand historic
project of delivering Zimbabwe back to glory and progress.
I must also emphasise
that I wish to salute the collective heroism, courage, endurance
and patience of the ordinary and common Zimbabwean citizens who
have seen it all at its worst in Zimbabwe. These are the populations
and communities of Zimbabwe who have for so longer than life chosen
peace under economic and political conditions that have long clearly
I also wish, finally,
to observe the essence of, and the concern, interest and commitment
sometimes rightly and sometimes very wrongly of the global community
of other nations and countries who must have above all other interests
seen the light that the economic, constitutional and economic recovery
of Zimbabwe will be a giant contribution to the prosperity of humanity
under the sun.
"The fly that does
not listen to advice", the Masai of East Africa say, "will
follow the corpse to the grave and end its young life."
I hereby seek to politely
offer my humble personal advisory words to the comrades and friends
who populate and drive the engines of opposition politics in Zimbabwe.
They include Cde Morgan Tsvangirai, Professor Jonathan Moyo, Professor
Aurthur Mutambara and many other luminaries who have taken a generational
stand that a new Zimbabwe must be born.
To these men and women
of courage, I wish to repeat these words of the late revolutionary
Amilcar Cabral that "Unity In Struggle" is what we need
in Zimbabwe. As our elders also have said, "no matter how
big your hand is, it unfortunately cannot cover the sky."
We have arrived at a
historical corner of our country-s condition where no opposition
leader is either too small or too big for these demanding political
exigencies in our country. The stubborn reality before us comrades
and friends is that we will be challenging common sense and contradicting
common political wisdom if we ever imagine that a single opposition
grouping will single-handedly unseat Zanu PF and sentence Mugabe
to the dustbins of history.
There is an inevitable
need for unity of purpose and strategy comrades. To concentrate
on coining clever insults about each other, to invest our energies
and efforts in phrasing hurtful labels against each other and to
waste words describing and defaming each other is but to major on
minor issues and to minor on major issues like the proverbial villager
who burnt down the whole village to fix a troublesome rat.
I wish to forward the
point comrades, that if Zanu PF is to be consigned to its rightful
place as the vanquished in the impending elections in the year 2008,
there is need for opposition political parties in Zimbabwe to come
up with a strategic alliance formula that will ensure that opposition
candidates do not contest each other in all constituencies in the
country. Any move otherwise will donate unexpected victory to Zanu
It is also said by our
elders that "those who spit at the sky will only soil their
own faces," which donates to us the wisdom that whilst criticism
amongst opposition political parties and other groupings is healthy
and democratic, jealousy and malice, inspired condemnation and criticism
of each other will only work hard to protect the status quo and
reduce us to the status of "enemies of the people and opponents
It is not an exaggeration
that when brothers fight over a field it is a stranger who will
reap the harvest. We need to unite and solidify into a deadly force
that will engineer a revolutionary conspiracy that will make victory
a must for Zimbabwe.
There are also the brothers
and sisters who occupy positions within the functions of the current
government. It is so easy to bundle them into one black bag of condemnation
and blame and label them traitors, criminals, killers and other
labels, but what happens in the history and life of all nations
is that there are some among the ruling clique who we can talk to
and work with openly and covertly to achieve the goods for our country.
To ignore their presence,
to minimise their experience, to forget their abilities can as well
indicate that we are like the innocent mechanic who chooses not
to know the efficiency of used spare parts. There are valuable eyes,
brains and bones of Zimbabwe that we need to liberate from the history
of Zanu PF and invest in the future of Zimbabwe.
also very rich with civic organisations of serious cause and concern.
of our country, the WOZAs
of our country, the MISAs
of our country, the Crisis
Coalitions of our country, Bulawayo Dialogue, Bulawayo
and others are all organisations that can help shepherd the hearts
and minds of the populations of Zimbabwe to register as voters and
to seek election as candidates in the coming elections.
To be angry with Zanu
PF alone, to shout angry slogans and march down the streets in protest
when one is not a registered voter is not only to work for the status
quo but it is also clearly comparable to pelting an elephant with
pebbles and to threaten a mountain with a needle. It is our civic
organisations that must act as watchful touts of the vehicles of
liberty in our land.
Talking about the masses,
it is important for us in the opposition political parties and civic
society organisations to remember that while we are proud of the
wealth of professors and other elites in our ranks, it is the peasants
who own history and are the water that we swim in as we pursue our
varied goals in the process of seeking a new Zimbabwe.
The campaign for "unity
in struggle", voter registration and unity of purpose must
be taken out of the comfort of hotels, boardrooms and halls to the
rural areas where the devil has made it a habit to conceal his ugly
self plotting unwanted and retrogressive victories for the common
The role of the international
community in influencing what happens in the economy and politics
of Zimbabwe cannot be ignored although it should not be exaggerated.
Zimbabwe is indeed a global economic and political player, but in
the interests of our sovereignty and dignity as an African people,
it is important that we realise that democracy for us will not be
donated from anywhere or imported from any foreign capital but will
be produced here in Zimbabwe for the consumption of the Zimbabweans.
In conclusion, I wish
to put it before Zimbabweans and all others around the globe who
value humanity and wish Zimbabweans well in their pursuit of economic
and political happiness that a new Zimbabwe is indeed possible.
A new constitutional and political order in Zimbabwe is feasible
and opportunities for the creation of the same are abundant.
It is important however
for Zimbabweans in opposition political parties and those in the
civic society to understand that only a broad united front of politicians
from all formations in the Zimbabwean political landscape will unseat
the ruling regime. If we approach the coming elections as fragmented
entities we will surely be sleep-walking our country into doom.
Jethro Mpofu is Bulawayo
based political activist and advocate for a United Opposition Political
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.