The seat of that fear is in your heart and not in the hand of the feared.
Report by Vince Musewe
I can only imagine the moment thousands of Zimbabweans decided to leave Rhodesia in order to join the struggle.
It must have been a very excruciating, but indispensable and predictable occasion after years of hopelessness and oppression. They left all they had behind and went into the unknown with no suspicion of the consequences or what they would encounter.
They must have been driven by an indescribable emotion that they could neither control nor understand. I am persuaded that they must have been inspired by something bigger than them; something worthy and something within us that attracts and unleashes greatness in our lives.
In making that decision, I do not think they were driven by self-interest at all or a promise of personal advantage or benefit after independence, because some of them would not even come back and see a new Zimbabwe. They still went. I think that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and those with him also felt this same emotion at some moment in the past, when they took the unpleasant and dangerous risk of challenging the status quo in Zimbabwe 14 years ago. I think we are underestimating the dangers they faced and the fact that even the possibility of death was always a clear and present danger then, and yet, they did what had to done.
For that, none of us can ever repay them. This includes all those who may not be prominent in our minds today, but paid the ultimate price. It also includes those who have lost everything in pursuit of our freedom and liberty. I honour and respect them. They are my heroes.
Of course, it is now easy and fashionable to point out Tsvangirai’s mistakes and to even blame him for the failures of MDC-T in achieving the monumental and seemingly impossible task of deposing a despot through peaceful means. But we all know that this task is never easily done.
In the last few weeks, I have read thousands of analyses, theories, critiques and rather intriguing scenarios of what Tsvangirai should have done or not done. I have seen men who stood by and watched and did nothing being quick to condemn and offer solutions to what is past.
Not once have I heard people thanking him for taking us where we are today. Not once have I heard people showing their gratitude, concern or love to all those who fought the fight. The apathetic, the cowards and the charlatans have come out in their numbers. How shameful.
As for me, I have seen a glimpse of a better future for Zimbabwe. I have seen that we can indeed become a better society and that we can be a free people. In the last few months, I have felt lifted and hopeful that despite the circumstances we face, we can indeed overcome.
I have seen hope in the eyes of the poor, expectation from the destitute, the old and the idle. I have seen a twinkle of hope in the eyes of little children in the ghetto who deserve a better future and a fair shot at life. Although it was but for a brief moment, yes I saw it and I like what I saw.
For all this, I just want to thank Tsvangirai and those men and women who have taken us to where we are today. I truly think that because of their efforts and sacrifice, although it may not appear so, we are indeed closer to freedom in our country than ever before. Freedom is coming tomorrow.
I am saddened by the news that deals are being made and that offers being thrown at some MDC-T cadres to participate in a government whose credibility and legitimacy remains questionable.
I hear that some of our MDC-T leaders who may have dipped their mouths in the trough during the Government of National Unity and found it so sweet are now reluctant to let go. I encourage them to hold fast and stand firm.
The devil is a liar. Yes, the trough, like sin, may taste so sweet and yet it defiles. Our country needs people and leaders who are dedicated to the cause of freedom and cannot be swayed or easily moved by promises of material gain or riches or position.
I have become melancholic and am beginning to understand that; until we are all truly dedicated to freedom with our whole being as former South African President Nelson Mandela was, we cannot and will not be able to create democracy in Zimbabwe and Africa as a whole. This dedication must come from within us, must be unshakable, non-negotiable, invariable and utterly obsessed and gripped with the aim of freeing Africans from themselves. The battle has only begun.
I leave you with some lines from Kahlil Gibran, from his book The Prophet in which he speaks on freedom, saying: “And if it is a despot you would dethrone, see first that his throne erected within you is destroyed. For how can a tyrant rule the free and the proud, but for tyranny in their own freedom and a shame in their own pride? And if it is fear you would dispel, the seat of that fear is in your heart and not in the hand of the feared.”
Asijiki, vele asijiki.
Vince Musewe is an economist based in Harare; you may contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org