What independence could there be to celebrate?

Throughout the 44 years of Zanu PF rule, all manner of abuse and subjugation became the norm.

GOOD day, President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Your Excellency, if I may ask, what independence could be there to celebrate? Methinks flags must fly at half mast tomorrow. It is my conviction that it will be a mournful and sombre day, ideal for meditation and reflection instead of celebration.

Lest we forget, it was in the aftermath of April 18, 1980, when the colonial flag, the Union Jack, was lowered and the Zimbabwean one was raised, that the incoming government hit the ground running to unleash an onslaught on citizenry in the Midlands and Matabeleland provinces.

Thereafter, citizenry were subjected to perpetual abuse. It was with the Gukurahundi atrocities from 1983 to 1987 that government announced its red in tooth and claw nature. Henceforth, there hardly has been restraints from State-sanctioned brutality.

Most recently, contrary to the claims of a new dispensation, the military was unleashed twice on the citizenry. I reckon critical thinker Sun Tzu was forthright when he said: “An evil ruler will burn his own nation to the ground to rule over the ashes.”

Zimbabwe is home to State-sanctioned human rights violations. There are politically-motivated abductions, killings and lengthy imprisonments without convictions.

Also, flagrant electoral chicanery and corruption abound. Verily, what independence could there be to celebrate?

There is zero motivation for pomp and circumstance. Given that the darkest chapter in the history of the country, the Gukurahundi atrocities, is yet to be tabled for closure, Zimbabwe is a pseudo democracy. It is a “not-yet-uhuru” country.

Granted, the rights of citizens to freely elect a government of their choice are not guaranteed, resulting in successive harmonised elections being contestable. And, the new local currency, the Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG), is already exhibiting inertia.

Your Excellency, the audacity to assign chiefs the task of presiding over the Gukurahundi hearings is dispiriting and scornful.

It abounds with wilfulness and stubbornness. It confirms an absence of remorse and repentance that government deemed it appropriate to assign a matter so grave and vexatious as the massacres to tribal chiefs.

I believe that the obligation for the resolution of the massacres ought not have been relegated to chiefs. As I see it, it is a fraudulent dereliction of ethics and honesty for government to assign chiefs to preside over the atrocities.

Apparently, chiefs lack the constitutional mandate, let alone the requisite knowledge to deliberate on the Gukurahundi atrocities. Their role is far removed from deliberating on such callous onslaughts as the Gukurahundi atrocities.

It is an irony of due diligence for government to relegate the atrocities’ evidence gatherings to chiefs.

Essentially, the strategy for a bona fide and ethical resolution of the Gukurahundi atrocities must start with the declassification of the Justice Chihambakwe Commission of Inquiry findings.

Methinks citizenry has the right to know the contents of the report. It is imperative that it be placed in the public domain.

Actually, you have the moral obligation to avail the report in the public space. This will ultimately render credence to your claims of being a new dispensation.

Your Excellency, you are among the remnants still standing who have institutional knowledge of the Gukurahundi atrocities.

Yet, there is an element of duplicity in your circumventing open conversation on the Gukurahundi atrocities.

It is curious, if not cunning, that you are yet to open up on your participation in the massacres.

Methinks you will utilise your gift of longevity beneficially if you were to offer your account. From where I stand, there is eloquence in your silence.

Ironically, speaking after your June 2021 visit to the Hanging Tree in Bulawayo, on which the colonialists hang some native warriors, you were upbeat.

“Lest we forget, the Hanging Tree stands as a reminder to present and future generations of the brutality and savagery of the white settler regime to our ancestors. This monument must inspire us and the youth in particular, to constantly defend our independence, territorial integrity and dignity. The incarnation of colonialism and imperialism must never be allowed a foothold in our country,” you declared.

Your Excellency, lest we forget, amid the execution of the massacres, you underscored the government resolve to brutalise its subjects.

You issued a chilling warning that the campaign against dissidents could only succeed if the infrastructure which nurtured dissidents was destroyed.

Speaking at a rally in Lupane on March 4, 1983 as the then State Security minister, you declared: “Goverment has to burn down villages infested with dissidents,” you said, describing the dissidents as cockroaches and the North Korea-trained 5 Brigade as the DDT brought to exterminate the cockroaches.

It was one of the statements in which government announced its red in tooth and claw trait.

Since then, it became apparent that citizenry was destined for torment.

Throughout the 44 years of Zanu PF rule, all manner of abuse and subjugation became the norm.

Henceforth, the propensity for State-sanctioned brutality became entrenched.

It is now a government strategy of choice for asserting dominance. It shows no remorse whatsoever for unleashing the military on citizenry.

Zimbabwe is essentially a broken country for want of a credible political culture and functional economy.

It is damnable that the local currency, branded under several different names, was launched into circulation, only to crumble as a result of inflation.

As government and the central bank mount a hard sell on citizenry for the acceptance of the ZiG, lest we forget, service delivery by basically all State institutions does not inspire confidence in the country that is said to be open for business.

With citizenry in vehement disapproval of ZiG, on the backdrop of the exodus into the diaspora, the presage by the late founding father of the United States, President Benjamin Franklin, “How few they are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolute enough to mend them,” is pertinent.

Your Excellency, what independence could there be to celebrate?

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