BY LORRAINE MUROMO/ OBERT SIAMILANDU
ZIMBABWEAN students have been urged to “stir a revolution” by fighting for their political and academic freedoms, instead of relying only on the courts of law to solve their problems, which include political and economic oppression.
This was said yesterday by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum executive director Musa Kika during a virtual meeting organised by the Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu) to discuss issues of constitutionalism and democracy.
Kika said it was imperative for students to stir a revolution as per the norm the world over when people fight for their rights.
The discussion was held under the theme The Future of Democracy and Academic Freedom in Zimbabwe.
Kika said citizens should exercise urgency in fighting for democracy, and also hold those in political power accountable through a multi-dimensional approach such as participating in elections.
“Ideas are a supreme architecture against violence and tyranny. The citizens can hold those in power accountable through various ways, and these include elections and other various modes of expressing unhappiness as citizens,” Kika said.
“Violence has never been an admirable form of resistance; we need superior ideas to dismantle tyranny. This is extremely important.
“We need to innovate. In Zimbabwe, we have legalised everything, and that is not bad because we have the courts and we have the lawyers. But let’s not leave everything to law and the courts.
Our form of existence is above the courts and the law. Citizens need new ways and ideas, which is a multifaceted struggle that we need to wage.”
He said students should use their brainpower to stir a revolution.
“Students have a call to leadership and the world over history has taught us that students in institutions of higher learning are the starters of all revolutions. Students bring a lot of energy, they are naturally young, and for the struggle to be sustainable we need new faces, new voices and students provide that.”
The human rights lawyer said in order to achieve nation-building and citizenship, there is need for information sharing and constitutional literacy, as well as political sensitisation of the masses.
“If students don’t stand in the trajectory, the prospect is quite scary, for example, what if the Border Gezi form of youths takes over. The best place is to start now. There is a lot of hope and it is prudent to say not all hope is lost especially when we see what the students are doing.”
The Border Gezi youth were a Zanu PF militia used by the late former President Robert Mugabe’s regime to terrorise citizens during elections. President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government recently indicated that it would resuscitate the infamous National Youth Service programme, generally known as Border Gezi.
Kika also said the future of democracy and academic freedom lay in the institutions of higher learning in the country.
“Institutions of higher learning are incubators of ideas. If you are facing a regime like the government of ours in Zimbabwe which sustains itself using the machinery of violence, you are less likely to succeed if you hit back using violence.”
He said what was needed were ideas that would dismantle tyranny, which are often incubated in institutions of higher learning, hence the need for young people to occupy positions of leadership.
“Tyranny is something that we ought to fight,” he said.