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Zanu-PF paranoia a threat to us all

26 Jun 2020 at 07:27hrs | Views
As Zimbabwe mourned and buried another gallant liberation struggle hero, stanley Gagisa Nleya at the National Heroes Acre in Harare on Wednesday one could not help listening, with a very heavy and sore heart, the empty, thoughtless, and unsympathetic arrogant eulogies being regurgitated by the country's leadership in their seemingly endless, but failing attempts to cover-up their selfish, heartless, and repulsive impoverishment of the vast majority of the population, through institutionalised high-level corruption.

They did so by abusing the "patriotism", or "unpatriotism", tag on all those who dare speak out, and stand up against this festering rot.

The ever-suffering people of Zimbabwe have had enough of all these sickening disingenuous statements by the ruling elite, who always try to bastardise and abuse the valiant legacy of genuine liberation struggle heroes who fought for the betterment of the lives of all the country's citizenry.

Yet what has been shockingly and disturbingly witnessed ever since we attained this hard-won political independence from Britain in 1980 has been the selfish and rapacious amassing of wealth by only a small privileged oligarchical clique.

The rest of the population, including those brave men and women who sacrificed everything for our freedom, have been abandoned, discarded and reduced to lowly pitiful beggars, who mostly survive on handouts and donations.

In fact, one of the most brazen examples of this was watching on the state broadcaster, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), a recent heart-rending event, whereby veterans of the country's liberation struggle lined up in the City of Mutare (or, somewhere there) to receive food, and other basic commodity handouts from the ruling Zanu-PF party provincial leadership.

I have to be brutally honest, this was one of the most painful and sorrowful incidents that I have ever had the indignity of watching on state television as I failed to fathom how a government, that never tires in bragging about how they "fought for this country's freedom", and how we all should honour and respect the "selfless sacrifice by our liberation struggle heroes", ends up being at the forefront of dishonouring, disrespecting, and insulting these very same heroes, by callously and coldheartedly turning them into "Zeros".

For those who may have not known, some of those declared "national heroes" by the ruling junta, lived a very painful and sad life of economic wilderness and limbo having been abandoned by their fellow comrades, who are now exclusively and greedily enjoying their own "Paradise on earth", thanks to these gallant men and women's selfless sacrifices.

As a matter of fact, I have received numerous messages of support and encouragement from our country's genuine sons and daughters of the soil who are terribly hurt and aggrieved at how the true liberation struggle was hijacked by some mercenaries, who today have the audacity to brand themselves as "having fought for this country's freedom and independence" while, at the same time, unleashing the most villainous, savage, and barbaric acts of injustice upon the very same people they claim to have "liberated".

Are those in power in Zimbabwe seriously telling the nation that those sons and daughters of the soil's "selfless sacrifice" was to enable only a very small overly-privileged oligarchical clique to enjoy the vast wealth that this great country is generously endowed with, while those who did all the real fighting on the battlefield bravely facing the fatal bullets, bombs, and landmines of the Rhodesian regime wallow in abject poverty?

When our parents joined the liberation struggle in the 1960s and 1970s in various forms, some fighting with guns at the frontline, others providing intelligence as "mujibhas" and "chimbwidos", they never risked their lives, careers, possessions, and families for a handful of the so-called elite to replace the settler regime, that they were fighting against.

Our parents did not fight against a "White smith" for him to be replaced by a "Black smith"!

A closer look at today's Zimbabwe, one can easily fail to distinguish it from what those who joined the struggle for independence fought against.

In fact, what one simply needs to do is listen to the reasons why so many, mostly young girls and boys, left everything behind to be part of this most dangerous struggle and one would be shocked to realise that the same reasons still apply today in "independent" Zimbabwe, if not far much worse.

Our parents told us how the majority in Rhodesia would be marginalised from the mainstream economy, how only a few got the lion's share of the country's wealth, how access to high standard education and health was the preserve of only a handful of the affluent, how anyone who dared stand up and speak out against such injustices was labelled a traitor and terrorist, and subjected to untold brutality, torture, abduction, arrest, and murder usually, with the help of the country's security apparatus.

Does this not sound eerily familiar in today's "independent" Zimbabwe?

As a matter of fact, the situation has become much worse, as the Rhodesian white population tried to take care of its own kind, and by default, this also trickled down to the Black majority.

Yet, in "independent" Zimbabwe, the Black regime is the Black population's worst enemy, subjecting everyone including those in the ruling Zanu-PF party's grassroots, genuine liberation struggle heroes, and even the rank and file of the security forces who are frequently deployed to brutalise the population to the worst kind of misery, indignity, and suffering ever experienced by a citizen of any civilised nation.

However, the ruling elite protects and empowers illicit cartels that are unashamedly involved in some of the most incredulous, distasteful, and flagrant underhand, corrupt, and cruel dealings with reckless, provocative, and daring impunity that has seen billions upon billions of the country's dollars being looted.

As those who want everyone to know that they "fought and sacrificed for this country", live lavish lifestyles akin to what we grew up watching on TV, as "Lifestyles of the rich and famous by Robin Leach" those who actually fought and sacrificed for this country's illusive, and not-yet-truly-attained independence, have to figure out where and how to get the next meal, or where to get money for rentals, children's school fees, vital medications, and every other basic essential.

Thus, what did those valiant sons and daughters fight and sacrifice for? Did they know that all their efforts and selflessness was solely for the benefit of only a selected few?

It is quite clear that the struggle for Zimbabwe's true and genuine independence is yet to be won, and the role of our gallant liberation heroes is not yet over.

These very brave men and women still have a long odious task ahead, as we strive together with the rest of the oppressed, marginalised, and disempowered population to stand up and speak out against the continued systemic economic and political repression, subjugation, and alienation of the majority.

Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author and speaker. He can be contacted on

Source - newsday
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