HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsWith careful tending Zim will fructify

With careful tending Zim will fructify

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I LOVE music, good music for that matter. I happen to have been listening to a love song by George Benson. The song is quite familiar except that I hadn’t taken the necessary time to listen to it. Fortunately, I have now had time to properly listen to Benson’s “Nothing is gonna change my love for you.”

OPINION: MUTSA MURENJE

It’s a beautiful song that I have decided to use as an analogy in relation to our country, Zimbabwe. It goes like this:

If I had to live my life without you near me

The days would all be empty

The nights would seem so long

With you I see forever, oh, so clearly

I might have been in love before

But it never felt this strong

Our dreams are young and we both know

They’ll take us where we want to go

Hold me now, touch me now

I don’t want to live without you

Nothing’s gonna change my love for you

You ought to know by now how much I love you

One thing you can be sure of

I’ll never ask for more than your love

Nothing is gonna change my love for you

You ought to know by now how much I love you

The world may change my whole life through

But nothing’s gonna change my love for you

If the road ahead is not so easy

Our love will lead the way for us

Like a guiding star

I’ll be there for you if you should need me

You don’t have to change a thing

I love you just the way you are

So come with me and share the view

I’ll help you see forever too

Hold me now, touch me now

I don’t want to live without you

I am here writing from a vast distance between me and my country and I am conscious of our extremely difficult circumstances as a nation. But despite this distal and the political and economic nodus that has sent our sons and daughters to distant lands and others contiguous to our country, my love for Zimbabwe remains.

That explains why I have decided to share with you the aforesaid song, whose lyrics best capture my mental state and existential realities. The song has transported me to a time long ago, before this writer was born, when there lived a man, who answered to the name President Robert Mugabe. A veteran of the war that brought independence to Zimbabwe on April 18, 1980, Mugabe became Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister from 1980 to 1987.

Since 1987, Mugabe has been the President of the country. Here is a man, who, at independence, made us believe that we had beaten our swords into ploughshares and our spears into pruning hooks only to torment Joshua Nkomo and his Zapu, as well as innocent civilians.

There is no Zimbabwean in his or her right mind, who will deny that Mugabe’s rule has been characterised by the flagrant destruction of not only our country, but also our lives. If this wasn’t the case, then we would have no business being here, far away from the people we love and care for. We aren’t the first people to experience this. Of his decision to leave Zimbabwe on March 8, 1983, Nkomo wrote in his book, The story of my life, that:

“Over a year had passed since I was dismissed on trumped-up charges, from the government of Zimbabwe. All that time, Robert Mugabe and his party colleagues had sought, without success, to link me and my party, Zapu, to the armed bandits operating in the western province of Matabeleland. Instead of trying to prevent the unrest that was inevitable after 15 years of armed struggle, the government seemed intent on creating rebellion and suggesting that I was at the head of it. In the rural areas, thousands of people — many of them my supporters, many innocent even of that offence against the ruling party — had been massacred by the Fifth Brigade, the force, specially, trained by North Korean advisers to operate independently of the official army and police.”

In response to the challenges bedevilling our country, the Zimbabwean opposition has decided to form an alliance, the MDC Alliance, that has agreed to field a single presidential candidate to fight Zanu PF. Although there has been mussitation regarding the alliance, I, however, believe that this could be the opportunity that we all have been waiting for. Here is our chance to fight from a united front.

There is nothing that we can’t do when we are united. This is a giant step towards reclaiming our country from those who have made it a personal fiefdom. I deplore, though, the violence that happened in Bulawayo at the MDC offices on August 6, 2017 in the aftermath of the consummation of the MDC Alliance at Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfield on August 5, 2017. We want to move our country towards autarky, and we can only be self-sufficient as a country if we turn our swords and spears into farming tools.

We need to fructify and make our country great again. Though we still boast about our superior education system, the reality is that we have since lost the glory that we had in the first two decades of our independence. For instance, a child, who has received his or her education in South Africa in English is treated favourably outside their country than a Zimbabwean child who has received his entire education in Zimbabwe and also in English. This is what our situation has come to.

A Zimbabwean will have to write English tests just to prove his language capabilities. We could surely do something about this. Of course, with a little tending we could do better.

In conclusion, my love for Zimbabwe will not change. Zimbabwe needs all of us and the step taken by oppositional forces is a step in the right direction. Lest we forget, we only need careful tending for Zimbabwe to fructify. May God help Zimbabwe! The struggle continues unabated!

Mutsa Murenje writes in his personal capacity

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