I am a patriot

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I love Zimbabwe so much I don’t want her to implode into a cycle of violence and genocide. I am a patriot.

I love Zimbabwe so much I don’t want our beloved motherland to degenerate into another Somalia. I hate war. I hate violence. I am a patriot.

The prevailing Zimbabwean political landscape is severely scarred by debilitating polarisation across the political divide.

Instead of Zimbabweans engaging in healthy debate and intellectual discourse that will help take our beloved motherland to the next level, more often than not, we engage in the politics of hatred and hate-mongering.

Where we should focus on real substantive issues that will positively impact on our country’s political and socio-economic development, we waste our valuable time and limited resources in spreading hate, alarm and despondency.

Our politics is, with respect, primitive and anti-progressive. We have allowed hoodlums, political turncoats and political scavengers to masquerade as heroes and defenders of our liberation from colonial domination and neo-imperialist hegemony.

Men and women who have sold their souls to the devil are suddenly emerging as latter-day defenders of the revolution.

Thugs, cowards and political vampires who were nowhere near the war front during the armed struggle for Zimbabwe’s independence are now suddenly, the doyens of the liberation struggle from whom the whole Zimbabwean nation should learn the virtues of heroism and patriotism. This is a complete shame; a total, unmitigated national disgrace. I am a patriot.

No-one has the monopoly of patriotism in Zimbabwe. No political party can, thus, appropriate to itself the sole prerogative of being the only true patriots. Patriotism is simply defined as devotion to one’s country.

A patriot is simply defined as one who loves his country and zealously guards its welfare. Bluntly put, one does not have to be a member a particular political party in order to be a patriot.

Thus, anyone who claims that you can only be a patriot if you are a supporter of Zanu PF is obviously overdue for a psychiatric examination. Millions of Zimbabweans are not members of Zanu PF but they remain patriots.

Infact, millions of Zimbabweans within the country and in the diaspora are completely ashamed of being associated with Zanu PF because of the former ruling party’s appalling record of misgovernance, violence, corruption and greed.

I am on record as having stated, on numerous occasions, that I take immense pride in the fact that I have never been a member of Zanu PF. But, I am a patriot.

Of late, we have witnessed declarations from some serving members of the military and also from some Zanu PF functionaries; stating that they will never allow anyone without liberation war credentials, to become President of Zimbabwe. Well and fine.

I personally have no problem with people who choose to hallucinate in public. In equal measure, I have no problem with daydreamers who tend to think that Zimbabwe owes them a favour for whatever they claim to have done for this great, little country.

However, I have serious issues with certain people, be they soldiers or whatever, who look down upon fellow Zimbabweans and think that the rank and file of the people have to be “taught” on how and whom to vote for.

I have nothing but absolute contempt for erstwhile liberators who have since mutated into political thugs and tin pot dictators.

To the best of my knowledge ( and I was a small boy at rural Mushayavanhu business centre in Gutu when the war of liberation was being fought), all Zimbabweans contributed in the execution of the war of liberation.

I clearly remember our little rural shops back then, pooling resources and contributing to buy boots and clothes for the comrades who were in the bush.

I actually remember carrying some of these boots and clothes that we gave to the comrades at the numerous pungwes that I attended as a very small boy. I am a patriot.

An election should be an election; not a war. I have great admiration for liberation icons such as Joshua Nkomo, Herbert Chitepo, Josiah Tongogara, Albert Nikita Mangena and several others.

I have researched profusely to enable me to be well-acquainted with what exactly drove these gallant heroes to fight for the liberation of the people.

I am a disciple of Joshua Nkomo’s virtues. I would like to emulate him. I would like to emulate Herbert Chitepo; the first black barrister in Southern Rhodesia. Indeed, one of the sharpest legal minds to ever emerge from this part of the world. These are my heroes.

They are true heroes. We distinguish them from the fake war veterans who travel throughout the length and breath of Zimbabwe’s rural areas; spreading alarm and despondency and instilling fear into the hearts of innocent and defenceless people.

One of these fake war veterans has forced himself onto the peace-loving people of Masvingo. He has embarked on a terror-driven campaign that he notoriously refers to as Operation Kubudirana Pachena (Operation Coming out in the open). What errant nonsense! What total, unadulterated hogwash! I am a patriot.

Those so-called hardliners and other political turncoats who are still supporting the opposition Zanu PF should be reminded that Zimbabweans will never allow themselves to be treated like trash.

The people of this great little country are highly literate and they know, exactly, what they want. They can never be forced to vote for a party that they no longer support.

Zanu PF is in terminal decline and only a miracle can save it from total electoral annihilation at the hands of a resurgent MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai.

From the Zambezi to the Limpopo, from Tamandayi to Chiturupasi, from Malipati to Magunje; the people of Zimbabwe have since rejected Zanu PF. No amount of intimidation, violence and thuggery can alter what is in the people’s hearts.

Zanu PF was thrushed by the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai on March 29 2008. Come the next election, Zanu PF will be sent to the cleaners once again. There is absolutely no doubt about that. I am a patriot.

An election in Zimbabwe is inevitable sooner rather than later. The “inclusive” government has proved to be totally dysfunctional. We should never allow electoral losers to grab power through the back door. Never, ever! We have learnt our lesson.

As Zanu PF inevitably heads towards the exit door, it has mutated into a lethal machine, spewing violence and intimidation upon innocent and defenseless people.

The people of Zimbabwe should never despair. The darkest hour is just before dawn. This is the end game for Zanu PF.
I am a patriot.

Obert Gutu is the MDC-T Harare Province spokesperson. He is also the Senator for Chisipite in Harare

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