IT is extremely sad that the man, who fought for the salvation of Zimbabwe has died. Today, the Zimbabwean soil receives one of its truly gallant sons, Morgan Tsvangirai.
By Learnmore Zuze
Bruised, battered, tortured, mocked and humiliated and yet he did not allow the vicissitudes to weigh him down.
Indeed, the man was a political colossus of unmatched stature.
It was actually laughable reading a truth-denying article in the last Sunday Mail issue by one obscure Bishop Lazarus, who tried, in vain, to portray Tsvangirai as a party hero and not a people’s hero.
I am not sure whether this mentality will ever depart the pages of State media, where anything not Zanu PF has to be denigrated.
The penchant for slandering opposition parties, even senselessly, remains ingrained within State media, both print and electronic.
This is one reason I have great respect and will always gravitate towards people who write, not under a mask or some fallacious pen name; the reason being that, behind such open writings, you can be sure that there are no clandestine motives or malice of any sought towards anyone.
Such people only seek to uphold that which is right and to condemn what is base.
But it would appear, to others, they must staunchly and sycophantically support the rulers of the day at any cost, even if it means ridiculing themselves.
From being blatant megaphones of the despotic former President Robert Mugabe regime, they are not ashamed, in the slightest, to continue on this devious trajectory, where anything not Zanu PF should be ridiculed.
I believe that a man, who truly writes without felonious intent, is not afraid to write openly.
If truth be told, the man being laid to rest in Buhera today is a people’s hero by all standards.
The message to Bishop Lazarus and like-minded individuals is this: it does not require Zanu PF endorsement for one to be a hero.
In fact, it doesn’t require anyone to make someone a hero.
A people’s hero is a hero as declared by the people and not by some 20 or so men and women wearing suits and ties sitting around a table at the Zanu PF headquarters.
To borrow from the incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa: “The voice of the people is the voice of God.”
It is this same voice which pronounces who and who is not a hero. Where it not for the utter disregard for the rule of law in 2008 when Tsvangirai was denied passage to State House, he should have been serving his last term this year.
This is a fact that any reasonable and truthful person would acknowledge.
Surely, how can a whole national centre handling national elections with top-notch computers spend a month computing figures for a country as small as Zimbabwe?
The truth of the matter is that the results released after a month and leading to the runoff were tampered with to deny Tsvangirai an outright victory?
And this is an open secret.
Much as some myopic minds may deny it, Tsvangirai, since the turn of the century, became not only the strongest opposition leader against the monstrous Mugabe regime, but identified robustly with an increasingly impoverished nation.
He was the only alternative for change from a reckless and self-destroying government of Mugabe, which believed Zimbabwe could exist in isolation.
There is absolutely nothing exceptional with being placed at a man-made heroes’ acre and having gun shots fired at your graveside.
A hero is not defined by all those things. A man is not defined a hero by having their coffin on a gun-carriage, never. There are plenty of heroes whom Mugabe denied place at that privatised shrine called the National Heroes acre.
Ndabaningi Sithole does not cease to be a hero because he lies somewhere in his rural home.
The same can be said about Cde Chinx, whose songs inspired many to join the liberation struggle. Jairos Jiri and Matthew Rusike, among many others, are indeed national heroes and that doesn’t require Zanu PF to say.
The heights reached by national heroes like Leopold Takawira and Joshua Nkomo barely differ from those scaled by Tsvangirai.
A hero is exactly what Tsvangirai was to the millions of Zimbabwe, who suffered under Mugabe’s tyrannical rule.
That most of today’s generation never saw the likes of Jason Moyo or Herbert Chitepo should not serve to make them mythical figures any different from one who fights for the salvation of the people today.
Tsvangirai did just that and his memory will forever sing in the memories of those whom he fought for. There is no denying him his place in history.
An analogy is given by one poet: “The madness of a mad man is not in the tattered garments we see. Madness is a state of mind.
“The knowledge of medicine is not in the white coat that a doctor wears. It’s the knowledge in the mind that defines a medical doctor. The mastery of mechanics is not in the dirty overalls of the glorified car mechanic. Again, the knowledge is that which is in the mind.”
Likewise, we say being a hero is not a function of being aligned to Zanu PF: It is one’s work which defines a hero.
Go well Tsvangirai.
You fought a good fight and you will never know how many millions of people you inspired.
Learnmore Zuze is a law officer and writes in his own capacity. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org