A SYNOPSIS of Independence Day celebrations across the country clearly tells us of a narrative that has become all too familiar for the past 39 years. A narrative that the day came about as a result of the sole sacrifices made by our gallant fighters, which thus gave the ruling party and its government the exclusive right to monopolise the day.
While we seek not to begrudge them of this right, we only want to point out that this monopoly has probably resulted in the day losing its significance among many citizens.
But most fundamentally, Zanu PF’s long rule amid increasing poverty and suffering has not endeared the party to the hard-pressed citizens.
Zimbabwe has, for the past 39 years, known nothing else but Zanu PF politics and policies which have, we dare say, largely been ruinous. Zanu PF’s politics and policies have been so disastrous that the party even ended up dismissing its long-time leader Robert Mugabe, who, if he was to have his way could have been still with us today calling the shots.
It is a fact of our lives that we have been told that no one should ever dream of this country being ruled by any other party which is not Zanu PF, and worse still someone without liberation war credentials.
Yet the party’s brand of politics and its policies have fundamentally persuaded many not to see the need and significance of celebrating our Independence, especially when each year that has come and gone, particularly since 2000, has been nothing but misery and shattered dreams.
The exit of Mugabe in November 2017 had renewed hope for the better, but, as fate would have it, things seem to have turned for the worse as life continues to get tough with many hardly able to make ends meet.
We are of the view that if only Zanu PF had been inclusive in all its dealings and acknowledged that Independence came about as a joint effort that involved the ordinary people as well as other political parties, we should probably be living in a better Zimbabwe.
Under the current situation of increasing problems, we are persuaded to recall the late South African singer Lucky Dube’s 1993 chart-busting track Victims, which sums up the miserable state that Zimbabwe and most, if not all, African countries that got independence from colonial rule find themselves today.
Some of the lyrics in Victims go thus: “Bob Marley said, ‘How long shall they kill our prophets, while we stand aside and look.’ But little did he know that eventually the enemy will stand aside and look, while we slash and kill our own brothers, knowing that already they are the victims of the situation; still licking wounds from brutality; still licking wounds from humiliation … We are the victims every time. We got double trouble every time … There lies a man who fought for equality. There lies a boy who died in his struggle. Can all these heroes die in vain? While we slash and kill our own brothers.”