AMH is an independent media house free from political ties or outside influence. We have four newspapers: The Zimbabwe Independent, a business weekly published every Friday, The Standard, a weekly published every Sunday, and Southern and NewsDay, our daily newspapers. Each has an online edition.

Independence is meaningless if people are oppressed

Opinion & Analysis
ZIMBABWE’S independence was fought for in a protracted liberation struggle, where thousands of innocent lives were lost.

ZIMBABWE’S independence was fought for in a protracted liberation struggle, where thousands of innocent lives were lost.

It was never given on a silver platter.

This was attained after an armed fight against colonial rule, which was characterised by racial segregation and injustices perpetrated against the black population.

In fact, President Emmerson Mnangagwa always makes it clear that no one (or rather, no country) has the right to lecture his government on democracy.

This is because the ruling Zanu PF party is the one that fought for democracy in a country where the majority were marginalised and cast on the fringes of society.

We get it. Honestly, we do!

However, Mnangagwa appears to miss one glaring point.

Fighting for the independence of Zimbabwe did not give him and his party the right to oppress us.

Morphing into an oppressor can never be whitewashed by having been our liberator yesterday.

I personally had a similar experience when I worked with an organisation involved in fighting domestic violence.

There was a lady who had endured years of unimaginable abuse at the hands of her husband.

Nonetheless, there came a man who appeared as a knight in shining armour, who helped her to leave the abusive marriage.

In no time at all, the two were in a romantic relationship as the woman believed her “saviour” was a kind, compassionate and warm-hearted man.

Be that as it may, the man was to eventually show his true colours.

As the poor lady was to soon discover, her “hero” was just as vicious, vindictive and brutal as her former husband.

In all this abuse, the man would repeatedly remind her that he is the one who rescued her from a terrible marriage.

He felt that the woman somehow owed him for his “heroic acts” and, therefore, he was entitled to do whatever he desired with her.

The guy became super insecure whenever the former husband communicated with the lady since they had children together — because he believed the ex wanted her back.

This sense of insecurity worsened as the new man realised how the woman was now thoroughly fed up with him — always blaming her for being influenced by her former husband and friends.

She was now perpetually indebted and enslaved to him!

This is exactly what we witness in Zimbabwe.

Yes, no one denies that Zanu  PF — a combination of the two liberation movements, Zanu and Zapu, after the 1987 Unity Accord — fought for Zimbabwe’s independence.

At this juncture, let me also add that a vast majority of those who bore the brunt of the war were rural folk who were not even aligned to any of these political parties.

They were simply innocent people caught in the middle of a raging bloody war.

Anyway, whatever the role played by Zanu PF in liberating the country, there can never be justification for the ruthless, vicious, vindictive monsters it has become.

We are not indebted to Zanu PF.

In fact, Mnangagwa and his people are not entitled to anything in Zimbabwe.

What they did was supposed to be a sacrifice.

One does not sacrifice today while expecting a reward tomorrow. That will not be sacrificing at all, but simply manoeuvring for power.

The Zanu PF ruling elite needs to be reminded that it does not own us or Zimbabwe.

The democracy they supposedly “fought for” is our unalienable right.

It was not a favour.

Besides, whatever they did for us has since been overshadowed by their cruelty and savage oppression of the very same people they claim to have “liberated”.

Surely, what liberation is there when the “liberators” massacre over 20 000 innocent unarmed civilians in cold blood, as was witnessed in the Midlands and Matabeleland provinces?

Was it all part of “liberating” Zimbabweans when the Mnangagwa regime shot dead scores of unarmed protesters on the streets of Harare in 2018 and 2019?

Where is the “liberation” when those in power freely loot our national resources for their own enrichment — while 49% of the population lives in extreme poverty?

Where is the regime getting US$60 000 for each Member of Parliament to procure a luxury vehicle when over six million Zimbabweans are facing hunger?

Right now, our public hospitals and schools are worse off than they were during the colonial era — lacking the most basic essentials.

What “independence” is there when our schools lack simple things like books and our hospitals do not have paracetamol or cancer machines?

Urban areas have been turned into glorified rural areas, where it has become normal for residents to go for years without potable water and have to rely on communal boreholes.

The country is going without electricity for hours each day on account of expecting generation equipment from the 1950s to power our economy.

Is that Mnangagwa and his party’s understanding of “freedom and independence”?

And, when we complain and stand up to this oppression, the Zimbabwean regime — just like the man in my earlier example — accuses us of being influenced by our former colonisers.

As much as no foreign power has the right to lecture Zimbabweans on democracy, we, the citizens, have every right to demand justice.

This is non-negotiable!

There is no independence and liberation to talk about as long as we are still oppressed — more so by our former liberators.

  • Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice advocate and writer. Please feel free to WhatsApp or Call: +263715667700 | +263782283975, or email: [email protected], or visit website: https://mbofanatendairuben.news.blog/

Related Topics