I DEARLY and honestly give reverence to the contributions made by both the fallen and living gallant sons and daughters of Zimbabwe, who earnestly fought to free Zimbabwe from the claws of injustice.
GUEST COLUMN OBIYAJULU
The genuine freedom fighters fought not only white supremacy, but fought against the oppression of the general populace in Zimbabwe, regardless of colour, race, creed and political affiliation.
They fought for the restoration of human rights as enshrined in the United Nations Human Rights Charter.
Myself, a product of Zimbabwean history, am proud to be a Zimbabwean by God’s best design, who in all facets is no better than any other Zimbabwean.
Zimbabwe is our sovereign country; we do not have any other country given to us, but this one alone.
Knowing fully well that no one is more equal than another, we sympathised with you when some quarters chose to deride and undress you in public because of their proximity to the office of authority.
We heard of the poison stories, and several other attempts on your life.
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The experiences we went through during and after the war, and even after independence, are enough evidence that Zimbabwe only got free from the skin colour, but remains clutched in the oppressive system clothed in a thick melanin, as Freire (1975) says: “to be is to be like the oppressor”.
Mr President, my generation did not experience the white minority rule, but lived the white oppression system in a black jacket ever since I was born.
When then Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander General Constantino Chiwenga and team embarked on the successful Operation Restore Legacy, my generation and kinsmen went into ecstasy, celebrating the detachment from the dark past and embracing an opportunity to enter the biblical Canaan.
The rainbow shined its bright colours and Harare overflowed with people from all walks of life.
Indeed, in that month of November 2017, I took to the streets among a swarm of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, thinking real independence had come; little did we know that a short-lived wishbone would never replace the backbone.
Mr President, are you the one we were looking forward to be our Joshua, or shall we wait for another; a true liberator who is yet to come?
The terminology you used in your inauguration speech nearly took my heart and, indeed, you nearly converted me into believing that a new republic had come.
When you charmed the world with the term “new dispensation”, I thought all the beatings and brutal killings of civilians in our streets were gone with the old order.
You were very careful with words. When you said “Zimbabwe is open for business”, I thought of Exodus 14 vs 13 which says: “… the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see them again”.
All those niceties were just a dream.
Little did we know that the wrath of poor economic principles were set to descend ruthlessly and harshly on us.
The long arm of the avenging spirit of 2008 is already on our toes, with all its unbearable orgies.
Inflation has skyrocketed, the value of the surrogate bond note has been eroded to worthless levels, basic commodities priced beyond the reach of many, and the majority has been reduced to paupers, living far below the poverty datum line.
You talked of the moratorium whose results we did not see, but only to hear that it was successful.
You talked of the will and commitment to end corruption, but in a short space of time, its edges are now sharper than before, with a smarter sophistication to the extent that the whole anti-corruption commission resigned or was fired after realisation that they were far below the call.
You talked of the opening of industries, but alas, the majority of the few operational industries have closed shop or have scaled down.
You talked of guaranteed improved health services and facilities, but hospitals are now a pale shadow of themselves; white elephants without medicine and all our leaders have no faith in them any more.
In the old order, we would hear of only the President importing or outsourcing health services from Singapore, but in the new order, Vice-Presidents and ministers are running out to seek medication.
Is this what we celebrated for in November 2017?
For how long shall it take austerity measures to bear fruits?
At what point are you going to say austerity measures have failed?
We run the risk of being taken to graves by these measures.
The old order, which you were a part of, used the refrain; “Failure is not an option”, until our own currency (Zimdollar) received a pauper’s burial in February 2009.
Mr President, time is the inexplicable raw material for everything and it must not be wasted.
The future is now and hither the turning point is now. Will you kindly take a leaf from the late former South African President Nelson Mandela, who in his statement said: “Living is not just about doing for yourself, but what you do for others as well”.
You are running the risk of being the new wine in an old skin with potential to give the new wine an old taste, which is unbearable.