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Reasons why the revolution of Linda Masarira et al failed to take off!

26 Dec 2016 at 19:43hrs | Views
A French thinker and historian argue that revolutions are moments of explosive births: the delivery of something growing in the womb of the old regime! In our case the womb is that of Zanu PF! He says revolutions are born out of hope of better future and they strongly believe in transformations and they make immense sacrifices even putting their own lives on the line to create genuine democracy for the betterment majority people.

A revolution is by definition a force, a fundamental change in political power struggles and it is supposed to take place in a short space of time whereby people have to be mobilized to revolt against the government and effect immediate change of current regime against the majority, a minority government despised as despotic and corrupt. There should be some fertile ground to evident discontentment for such a historical fact of life to take place, for such a ground breaking political change ever to take place. A revolution is always violent because the few ruling class (Zanu PF) that still enjoy the privileges of power will resist change violently. We have seen this in our streets of Harare happening not long ago this year 2016.

A revolution occurs when the majority of the oppressed peoples collectively refuse to be oppressed any longer. Some social scientist Barrington Moore said the suffering of the masses and their conscious of the facts of injustices in their lives are not sufficient enough to ignite a full blown revolution like the one we saw in the Arab-Spring! But in Egypt especially, a revolt turned out into a revolution because the entire nation was united in the cause to bring change by whatever means.  The Egyptian organisers of the revolution did a lot of ground work, through the social media, (Face-book, twitter, emails, social media platforms) to network and engage the entire nation, the objectives were clear to all citizens how they would use the social media to do massive intervention reconnecting large masses of ordinary people and those in the struggle to be mobilised to ensure success at all cost.

In Zimbabwe the people still feel too weak to fight the regime of Zanu PF despite socio-economic hardships, ideological manipulation, political extra-juridical repression and unrestricted occasional violence. The people in Zimbabwe cannot effectively strike as they need permission from the Zanu PF government to do so, they cannot congregate, organise, demonstrate freely in the streets in large numbers. They have this informed fear in them that petrifies them to submission. The Zanu PF government is controlling material network communications and centralized repressive apparatus.

In a genuine revolution like the one we have seen in orange revolution in Ukraine and in Arab countries, people do not need to seek permission from the very system they are to replace to demonstrate against it. (Can you imagine if Zipra and Zanla of 1975 until 1979 asked Smith Regime if they should go to Zambia and Mozambique to wage war of liberation, and ask Smith again since its Christmas they have to postpone their guerrilla fight  to January 2017!) People organise and go to the street without the knowledge of the despotic government that they shall be mass demonstrations. It is for this reason that a revolution has to be for a short time but groundbreaking and effective. Ever for the moulds of Linda and her lot to be successful they needed to inform themselves, read about previous revolutions that have succeeded in history and emulate from them as to how to put an effective revolution and topple the despotic regime of Zanu PF.

What groundwork did Linda Masarira et al undertake prior to the July 2016 demonstrations for the sitting-ins in the Africa Square to be effective enough to bring about regime-change and in a short space of time? Did they try to understand the fundamental weaknesses of Zanu PF and its government? Admittedly our government and its party are indeed at its weakest point if we had strategic young people on the ground to plan the revolt strategically: taking advantage of increasing paralysis in internal factional fightings and divisions and their inability to re-invent themselves, intertwined with self-destruction, high corruption levels, high mistrust inside the party, loss of faith in the way forward as the country is cash-strapped, serious socio-economic contradictions, irrational search for culprits: the west are to blame as they want regime-change and re-colonize Zimbabwe and our natural resources, and socio-economic ineptitude: 2 million jobs, Zim-assets! 15 billion US dollars was swindled out of the country behind the back of the entire government and the nation.

The situation in Zimbabwe was indeed ripe for regime-change. The structural nature of the socio-economic conditions in Zimbabwe explain why there were quantitative/qualitative reasons enough to revolt in the way Tajamuka positioned themselves albeit not effect as there was no enough or adequate due diligence done to spark the revolt. Sadly, we did not have revolutionary strategists on the ground to effect powerful riots and demonstrations to a successful result: a result that would have brought about ground breaking changes in the country. A revolutionary is a hungry and a very angry persona.

Here is a photo of Comrade Rosa Luxemburg, a hungry and angry revolutionary persona of our twentieth century!

A revolutionary does not look or even pose as sweet and peaceful and benign as how we saw our Linda Masarira's photos be it in the Africa Square or in court. You need to compare Linda Masarira's photos and the photos of fallen heroine: Comrade Rosa Luxemburg of Germany, and then you will see the abject differences between a scientific revolution of the Luxemburg era and that of Masarira's Tajamuka we are seeing in our streets of Square Harare today.

Our Linda Masarira's twenty first century revolutionary: A sweet black beauty, peaceful and benign persona of our time. Linda is not hungry for a revolution at all but in her owns image self, a well-fed looking mum of five children, but got the wind that they can Tajamuka and get donor funding to boost her merger  fianc├ęs at home! It is wholly questionable if Linda knows what a revolution is all about and those intellectual, national and personal responsibilities and sacrifices it entails!

Any revolution anywhere in the world should be a replication of previous global revolutions irrespective of time and place. A comparative approach should be taken, research into how certain revolutionary choices were taken to achieve the desired goal: e. g. what kind of circumstances could lead to revolutionary leaders choosing sitting-ins in public places, street demonstrations, passive resistances, tactics, backroom deals with the army and political image makings to give some kind of active response to regime repression. A revolutionary process is dynamic and inventive but in its nature informed by other previous revolutionaries in history.

Reasons why the short-lived Harare revolution failed!
(1) The revolution that broke out in the streets of Harare was mostly confined to one town and never really spread to other towns and cities. The Diaspora electorate was excited about the revolutionary changes taking place at home in Zimbabwe, but were not prepared to sacrifice beyond that. Zanu PF quelled the discontent easily and brutally. Those that took part in the street protest are not in a position to risk it once more as they broke their limbs, the repression was diabolic cruel! Fundamental factors that contributed to the failure of #This Flag are a number of them!

#This Flag, #Tajamuka was not a united force from the onset. Right in Square Harare they began to fight for the space: Africa-Square occupation and chased the other groups that wanted to do the 24 hours "sitting-ins. A revolution is all inclusive, everybody counts, it is a question of numbers rather than who do you like to be part of the revolution.

The opposition parties were not happy about the young revolutionaries who were now usurping their political space and international recognition. As a result of this open jealousy of these young revolutionaries they paid lip-service to any demonstrations that took place. Mai Mujuru and Tendai Biti went to demonstrate but were safely barricaded in cars ready to run for their dear lives in case the riot police caught up with them.

 A revolution means absolute sacrifice that disregards your own life for the betterment of the rest of the population. Almost all opposition leaders were far from sacrificing that much in the July/August revolution: Be it Tsvangirai, Mujuru, Biti Ncube, Chamisa, Sipepa, Musewe and all those in opposition politics were just not prepared to Tajamuka in the streets to effect change! If at all they could have participated in giving qualified strategy and offer the revolution some sense of direction on the ground to give the new revolution a new face that would have had a strong impact on the fight to topple autocratic regime of Zanu PF

(2) The spirit of co-operation among the young revolutionaries was absent. They never gave a collective drive, but seriously fragmented. They were all sorts of groups in #This Flag movement and not excluding reactionaries who infiltrated the movement. Pastor Mawarire never realised the potential he had to lead a revolution until he saw himself in USA of all places. You do not fight a crude, street-smart Zanu PF in the comforts of America!

In hindsight, the opposition parties were relieved when Pastor Mawarire left the country for America. Their relevance to opposition politics was threatened by this young movement, Evan Mawarire as leader of the group who by all credits to him, an eloquent speaking, highly intelligent, and daring person, a persona leader to reckon with. He just missed the point at the right time of the revolution when he absconded for USA.

Here is a revolutionary who has anger in his entire body language who can change the Zimbabwe regime: our Stern Zvorwadza. Stern has eloquent anger and hunger entranced in his body to effect regime change; it's visible and tangible in him! This is a leader of our time who can effect change; his body language speaks revolution of our time, in our time! Stern shows unheard-of form of heroism and self sacrifice, he is obstinate and has stamina to endure everything that goes with the revolutionary sacrifice! Did VC Mphoko pack his belongings in Sheraton Hotel when Stern Zvorwadza made his mark!

(3) Lack of leadership and limited scope: when Pastor Mawarire left, that was also a major setback why the young Harare revolution failed. David Davison an eminent Historian opined that the origin and birth of a revolution was a gift of urban population. Our young Harare revolution started and stopped in Harare and was never felt much beyond the capital city. Some of it was staged in Mutare and Bulawayo by the MDC opposition party Thokozani Khupe who came out with a large number of Bulawayo women beating pot! It was a pot-revolt that never saw another of its stage in any other city.

The Zimbabwean rural population were not mobilized at all. Again it is not going to be easy to mobilize a rural population because they do appear to have their own mindset of old traditions, customs and adherence to stagnant political old systems either of Ian Douglas Smith or Zanu PF, would rather remain worshiping what they know than embrace change: the young revolution. While the revolutionary ideas and objectives were sufficiently propagated in the city of Harare, the young revolution desperately failed to enlist the sympathy, support and co-operation of rural folk.

(4) Mutual distrust between Shona and Ndebele ethnic groups led to the collapse of the young revolution too. It is an open secret how much these two ethnic groups distrust each other in every aspect of our social, political and economic interaction with each other. It is not easy and will not be easy for these two ethnic groups to unite together for one purpose of uprooting Zanu PF from power. The centuries of long hatred that is ingrained in the two groups led to political experienced Linda MASARIRA TO CLUMSLY SAYTHAT Ndebele people are cowards!  Worse still she is not bothered about giving some formal apology about her resent sad utterances, just like Mugabe who does not see it to apologize for the Gugurahundi atrocities, just Mnangagwa who will never say sorry for labelling the people of Mathebeleland as cockroaches!

It will take volumes of history books to explain the origins of Ndebele-Shona hatred of each other. When the Harare revolution started some sections of the Ndebele people never wanted to be part of it. Their reason was: what is the guarantee of our cake after the revolution; we got little or nothing after independence of 1980? Was it not the very Shona people who jubilated openly when Zanu unleashed the Fifth Brigade in most Mathebelelands and Midlands during the Gugurahundi atrocities? The fact is that the people of Mathebeleland never forgot how indifferent the overall people of Mashonalands were during the genocide atrocities of 1983 - 1987. The peoples of Mathebeleland do not forget and forgive one easily either.

If the people of Mathebeleland are constantly told that they are not organic Zimbabweans, what will persuade them to go and demonstrate and possibly die in the streets of Bulawayo only to be deputies after the revolution and the obvious chronic marginalization of the region? It is for these very reasons that the region tacitly gave a wait-and-see attitude to the Harare revolution. It did not belong to them, it did not include them anyhow, there was no networking done with them to be inclusive in it. Rather it was expected of them to revolt against the government of Zanu PF spontaneously when the revolution in Harare took plaace: the people of Mathebeleland are fighters and destructive by nature anywhere: they think! The mutual feeling of distrust is deeply embedded in the psyche of all Zimbabweans of all ages.

To conclude the long essay: to lead a revolution one must have made a careful study on how the processes of other previous revolutions and their dynamics were stage-managed and they succeeded. A revolution must be political-scientific and not sporadic chancing of Harare sitting-ins to gain cheap limelight from home and abroad. Regime change and regime transformation must be organised country-wide and nobody should own the revolution. One should also understand the consequences of staging such demonstrations and sitting-ins in Harare Square. A lot is to be desired in our short but painful Harare revolution. Admittedly it gave us some hope to dream albeit for a very time.

Source - Nomazulu Thata
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