I DON’T understand Zimbabwe’s political elite.
Whenever I listen to President Emmerson Mnangagwa speaking, I am left dumbfounded as to why he fails to see that today’s freedom fighters — some of whom are languishing in jails — are in the same mould of the 1970s liberation war heroes, whose burials he presides over at the national shrine.
I find it so hard to fathom why the ruling Zanu PF party, and those aligned to it, consistently and persistently demean the black people of this country by repeatedly portraying us as brainless imbeciles, who cannot think for ourselves, totally unable of perceiving when we are being oppressed, and the only time we raise our heads is as a result of some white Westerners indoctrinating and buying us.
Surely, is that how they see us as black people — as totally incapable of independent thought, who need to be constantly told what to do, and how to think, by white people — such that, we cannot even tell when we are being oppressed?
Is that how lowly our own leaders, who are, funny enough black themselves, perceive their own kith and kin?
Since they are so proud of, and never tire reminding us about how they “fought for this country against colonial oppression”, I am always left wondering: If black people are so irredeemably daft to the extent of being unable to understand what being oppressed means, then which white people influenced them to rise up against the settler regime? Or maybe, was it the Chinese or Russians?
Are we to assume that without these white men from the East telling us that we were actually being subjugated and segregated by the colonial regime, and that it was a bad thing, which we needed to rise up against, we would still be living in Rhodesia today?
Is that what the ruling establishment in Zimbabwe is telling us?
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Is there something they have been hiding from us for all this time?
Are they claiming that they, too, are not able to think for themselves and are all aware of how they need white people to instruct them on what to do, and what to think?
Who, then, is truly the brainwashed one?
Who, then, is the one who actually reveres white people, and worships the ground they walk on?
Is that the reason our own president is so exceedingly excited whenever he shakes hands with white leaders and, even brags that he “told white people, in English” about removing targeted sanctions on a handful of top officials and entities in Zimbabwe?
Maybe, that would also explain this desperation in pushing for the lifting of these travel restrictions to Western countries imposed on Mnangagwa and his inner circle as they really need to be regularly visiting white people in their own lands.
If not, then why do they somehow believe that today’s generation of black Zimbabweans has no ability whatsoever to detect repression within their midst, and be prepared to stand up for themselves, unless only when white people are involved?
Do we seriously need to be told by whites that it is oppression and injustice when the ruling elite loots and plunders our national resources and live in vulgar opulence, when in fact the resources should be shared equitably among the country’s citizens?
The stinking poverty of most Zimbabweans lies bare before us, with millions unable to afford food, either going to bed hungry, or not accessing nutritional meals?
Why do we have to be instructed by the same whites that we should never tolerate such cruelty and savagery, but need to bravely stand up and speak out for ourselves?
And when the callous heartless regime responds by the usual heinous brutality — arresting opponents on spurious charges (and, denying them their constitutional right to bail, while court cases drag on forever), or ruthlessly clamping down on any peaceful demonstrations, or even shooting in cold blood those who dare protest, do we honestly need white people to tell us this is evil and unacceptable?
Quite frankly, I find this extremely insulting and degrading to all black people, not only in this country, but across the African continent, and the world over.
Surely, are we to conclude that iconic figures as Mbuya Nehanda, Sekuru Kaguvi, Chief Chingaira, and numerous others who pioneered the first uprising against colonial occupation, were somehow also influenced and indoctrinated by white people?
I love joking that maybe Nehanda and Kaguvi spent too much time watching such news channels as CNN or BBC, as well as attending human rights workshops organised by Western-sponsored non-governmental organisations!
Otherwise, how else can those who believe that blacks have absolutely no capacity to think independently or tell when they are being oppressed, as well as lacking the guts to stand up and speak up for themselves, explain how this crop of first Chimurenga heroes and heroines managed to achieve this feat on their own?
Black people are completely capable of thinking for themselves. We do not need anyone to lecture us, or instruct us on what to do.
The only reason the Zimbabwe ruling elite loves regurgitating this same old tired narrative is quite simple.
They do not want to acknowledge that they have morphed into the same oppressor whom they fought only a few decades ago, and want to distort facts by disingenuously portraying today’s generation of freedom fighters as agents of the former coloniser, seeking to recolonise the country.
This is just a shameful plot to justify the brutal repression of any voices of dissent, who are fed up with the continued suffering and impoverishment of the people of Zimbabwe, at the hands of their incompetent, corrupt and oppressive leaders.
However, it still troubles me why, even if those in power want to legitimise their barbaric crackdown on opposition and social justice defenders, they would choose the route of disparaging and denigrating one’s own race, by labelling them “idiots who cannot think for themselves”.
That is really low ... even for these disgusting thieves, liars and murderers!