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year on after the violent anti-sanctions petitions signing
March 23, 2012
Mutare, a quiet
city woke up busy one Saturday, the 19th of March 2011. Streets
were buzzing with people of all walks of life. As usual, people
had come for their mid month shopping. Shops, banks and all businesses
were open. Money was changing hands in different transactions and
people were happily enjoying themselves. Some were chatting jocundly
on cellphones as some sat on street pavements to enjoy life in the
beautiful sunshine city. Ranks alive, kombis hooting and rank marshals
yelling on top of their voices for customers.
with wedding balloons bellowed across the streets and people happily
waved back in celebration with the newlyweds. Such is the happy
nature and ubuntu of us Zimbos. We enjoy our lives no matter things
are hard. In the middle of a crisis, we have hope for the future,
hope for tomorrow, hope for our children, hope for our communities
and hope for our country. We are born hopeful. We are the masters
and architects of hope. Though we walk on empty stomachs, unemployed,
jobless, homeless, penniless, hope carries us to see tomorrow.
In the hustle
and bustle of life on such a beautiful day that the Lord had made
for his peaceful people, suddenly, in the twinkle of an eye, like
weather, all things changed. There was commotion everywhere, confusion,
pandemonium and gnashing of teeth. The chaos was followed with looting
of vendors- wares which included cigarettes, juice cards and
even ice creams and plastic drinks by the peace breakers. It was
the beginning of a violent attack! From where on such a beautiful
of cars taking off with high speeds increasingly filled the streets.
People ran, dashed, dived, and bolted into all directions. Pregnant
mothers, children, toddlers, disabled, the blind and loving partners
strolling in the streets were not spared. It was like a nuclear
bomb had been dropped in Hiroshima. Shops, banks and businesses
immediately closed and customers were hurriedly pushed outside.
The cause of
the commotion, ZANU PF-s ruthless, drugged, nipper drunk,
violent militia, youths and bogus war veterans were driving and
coercing people to assemble at Meikles Park (centre of Mutare city)
to sign the anti-sanctions petition. Whose petition? What petition?
Where was the
to restrain these marauding people? Where was the brutal police
force to enforce law and order? Where were the black boots to boot
these lawless people? Where were the water cannons with irritating
water? Where were the police dogs and horses? Where were the AK
47 riffles? Where was the live ammunition to silence the ring leaders?
Where were the handcuffs and leg irons to cuff these people? Where
were the police buttons to strike the heads of these people? Where
were the dark glasses? Where were the men in suits? Where were the
political activists- masquerading as the national army? Where
was the red barrette?
Were these people
ever followed and dragged naked, in the chilly midnight out of their
homes because they had caused public disorder? Were they ever kidnapped,
tortured and forced to disappear for subversive literature? Were
they charged with trying to remove a constitutionally constituted
government? Were they denied access to bail, food, legal representation
and put in solitary confinements? Was there any law or the law was
suspended briefly until the petition had been signed?
Such was the
situation in Mutare on that day. It reminds us of where we have
come, where we are and where we are going. It reminds us what happened
at a rally in Nyamaropa where Hon Mwonzora and others were arrested
for holding a peaceful constituency development meeting. It flashes
in our mind what happened in Chimanimani, Chitungwiza and other
areas where rallies were violently disturbed by these senseless
Do we forget
what happened in Harare on one quiet day when the same people in
the name of Chipangano and Hupfumi kuVadiki ran amok and empowered
themselves with peoples- wares in the full glare of the police?
Do we forget what happened in 2010 as innocent people were killed,
maimed and jailed for having spoken their minds at COPAC meetings?
Do we forget what happened to gallant sons and daughters who were
brutalised, mutilated and killed for defending their democratic
rights in violent
June 2008 sham election? Do we forget our mothers, sisters and
school girls who were gang raped in bases resulting in fatherless
kids we are keeping?
Do we ever forget
the violent hondo yeminda skirmishes and the empowerment drive where
productive industries became owl bases? Do we have amnesia on what
happened to poor Zimbos in 2005 when Operation Murambavanhu coded
Murambatsvina was brutally implemented? Do we turn our backs on
the violent 2002 election where democracy champions like Chiminya
and many others were set alight with petrol because they wanted
change? Do we snub why Gukuravanhu coded Gukurahundi left permanent
scars on our society? Do we turn our minds off on why Joshua Nkomo
(who was later declared a nation hero at his death) wore a dress,
duke, lip ice, stiletto-shoe; leather hand bag just to be like a
cross-border woman to evade the regime-s arrest?
Lest we forget,
these are the same dividers dividing us today. History has proved
beyond any doubt that violence has never been perpetrated by the
oppressed. Let us be mindful that the devil can read verses from
the bible and intends to go to heaven but he knows he will never
be in heaven. Violent people are never peace makers but they lead
the organ of National Healing and Reconciliation in their offices.
What healing when we were short sleeved and brutalised? What reconciliation
when ruthless people made Ndira-s children and many others
orphans? What reconciliation without justice and restitution?
of independence has not been fulfilled in the past three decades
the cabal was in power. Today, Zimbabwe has become poorer; there
is starvation, disease, non-provision of essential services than
what we got at independence from the former white regime. There
is ever increasing repression and many have been brutally murdered.
Through corruption, nepotism, mismanagement and downright stealing
of the wealth of the masses, they have made us see the face of misery.
The current regime has greatly impoverished our once rich country
that we are now nothing but beggars living below the poverty datum
line. As we thirsty to change the illicit regime in an election,
we are labelled agents and puppets of the west as they forget that
they too are puppets of the east. We are struck, harassed, assaulted,
intimidated, and arbitrarily jailed in bloody elections as we challenge
these despots. Why?
The best thing
to be done is to go back to the definition of "rule of law".
Rule of law does not mean ruling above the law. Rule of law does
not mean clinging to power through corruption and deceit. Rule of
law does not mean silencing and brutalising of the dissent. Rule
of law does not mean inducing terror, coercing and slaughtering
innocents. Rule of law means everyone is equal before the law.
I agree with
US Ambassador to Uganda (1973) H.E. Thomas Patrick Melady, in his
communiqué to the USA government; he described the carnibalist
Idi Amin-s regime as, 'racist, erratic and unpredictable,
brutal, inept, bellicose, irrational, ridiculous and militaristic.-
It is time to
be brave my people. It is time to look ahead to our promising future.
It is time to reshape our destiny and proclaim our golden victory.
It is time to reclaim what is ours that was lost. Now is the time
to open our mouths and speak out loudest. It is time to boldly face
our common known dangers. It is time to be strong and remain focused
in this cold winter of our democratic hardships. This is the time
to say NO to violence by changing our ways of thinking. Let us be
Let us brave
once more as we wade in the election currents, and endure what heavy
storms that may come. We will win. We will reclaim our diamonds,
we will reclaim our farms, we will reclaim our education, we will
reclaim our jobs, we will reclaim our businesses, we will reclaim
our resources, and we will reclaim our liberty, dignity and values.
If we are united, factories will once again open, the economy will
bloom, the country will prosper and milk and honey will once more
flow in our promised great nation of Zimbabwe. If we don-t
venture, we gain nothing. We must take the greatest risk of life
to fight for our democratic rights and space; little risks yield
nothing. It is true that what you wish is what you get. It is better
to die in the sustained efforts defending our rights and democracy
than to die from fear of not even venturing. Together, let-s
be united and finish off what we started.
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