HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsWhat is so 'nefarious' about standing up to repression, brutality and corruption?

What is so ‘nefarious’ about standing up to repression, brutality and corruption?


Guest column:Tendai Ruben Mbofana

HAVING already written an article on Wednesday morning, and spent the day submerged in other activities, the only thing I was looking forward to that evening was a well-earned rest and relaxation — but, hearing the Zimbabwe regime continue in its reckless accusations that all those standing up and speaking out against repressing, brutality, and corruption in the country are engaging in “nefarious activities”, miraculously injected in me renewed energy to pen another piece — as my heart and mind would have never given me any rest until I did.

As someone who has been loudly standing up and speaking out against these “triplet vices” for over three decades — but, which have since taken on a more abominable form ever since the so-called “new dispensation” usurped power through a military coup d’etat in November 2017 — I have never thought of myself as engaged in some “nefarious activities”.

Could it be possible that the Zimbabwean ruling elite and ourselves have a different understanding of the word? Maybe.

In our schooling days, we always used to commence any essay or assignment with a table of definitions — so as to remove any potential misunderstanding and misinterpretation of key words and phrases contained in the discourse — thus, it could be a brilliant idea to do the same here.

As far as my dictionary is concerned, “nefarious” is simply defined as “wicked; iniquitous”. If we go on to define these two words, “wicked” is “sinful, iniquitous, given to or involving immorality” — and, since “iniquitous” is employed again in the latter, then I am sure there is no need to look it up as its definition is now quite obvious.

If we are to revisit the statements and accusations made notorious by the elitist, opportunistic ruling clique, aimed at all those at the forefront of fighting shameless corruption that has witnessed the vulgar looting of billions upon billions of United States dollars of the nation’s abundant resources with impunity, thereby bankrupting the nation and impoverishing its citizens, and the savage brutalisation and persecution of ordinary Zimbabweans, lawyers, investigative journalists, church leaders, as well as human rights, labour, and opposition activists with reports of the killing of some accused of violating COVID-19 lockdowns and curfews, abductions, beatings, torture, sexual abuses, arrests on spurious charges, and vitriolic vilification against all perceived opponents — who is better suited to be labeled of engaging in “nefarious activities”?

Should it be the people bravely and relentlessly speaking out and standing up against what I have termed the “triplet vices” — at very high peril — or those perpetrating these heinous and atrocious acts against the innocent and defenceless people of Zimbabwe?

Considering that one of the definitions of “’nefarious” is “wicked”, can anyone with any grasp of language seriously label those fighting against repression, brutality, and corruption as being “wicked” — or is this title more appropriate for those at the forefront of committing these “sinful, iniquitous, and immoral” deed — that are more associated with the devil rather than God?

Indeed, the ruling Zanu PF party fought for the liberation of this country, for democracy, and for the respect of human rights — and, no one with any measure of truth in them, can deny this fact — but fighting for a cause does not necessarily automatically translate into upholding the same cause.

Have we not heard of anti-corruption activists who have been convicted of fraud or anti-domestic violence advocacy stalwarts who have been found guilty of battering or killing their own spouses? As such, why would those in power believe that the people of Zimbabwe or the wider world, would be so naive to foolishly hold them on a pedestal of morality and uprightness simply because that is what they fought for?

We have all shockingly witnessed how those in this military-backed junta have never espoused the tenets of the liberation struggle — as they maliciously bastardised, subverted and hijacked this most noble cause for their own self-serving power and aggrandisement agendas while the rest of the nation wallows in abject poverty and persecuted when they dare raise their voices in dissent.

Is that not “nefarious”?

Is it then any wonder that those who unequivocally stood with the nationalist movement during the liberation struggle — such as the Roman Catholic Church and its priests, as well as others who believed in the rights, respect and dignity of every God-created human being — have now turned their backs on those who still hide behind this most virtuous and principled fight against colonialism to propagate their own wicked and iniquitous objectives? The virtues of those who stood by the liberation struggle have not changed and are not different from those who are continuing today with the same fight against the oppression of the country’s majority by a selfish, oppressive small elitist opportunistic ruling clique.

The struggle for Zimbabwe was never won on the midnight of April 17 ,1980, as that was merely an evil smokescreen of the biggest deception of all time — as this was solely a transference of power from one internationally disdained minority regime, to another more acceptable minority regime.

The people of Zimbabwe are not yet free, and the just, righteous, and moral cause of genuine liberation struggle heroes, and those who supported them — as the Roman Catholic Church, and numerous others — continues today with a new set of heroes and heroines, with the same support of those who have always been on the side of the people — against a ruling elite with nefarious agendas.

 Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and speaker. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Calls: +263733399640/ +263715667700 or Calls Only: +263782283975, or email: mbofana.tendairuben73@gmail.com.

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