Opinion / Columnist
Smith Debate is a Stroke of Genius
25 Jun 2022 at 14:04hrs | Views
We have Lisah Ncube (Dutchess of Matebeleland) to thank for initiating the Smith was better than Mnangagwa debate. I don't know whether she planned it or not, but the results are damn good.
There are at least three results.
One, it has upended the most important narrative abused by Mnangagwa, Charamba, Mutsvangwa and their ilk: that they liberated us. Liberated us from what? Into what? What's there to show for it? If Smith was supposedly worse than ZANU PF because he killed black people simply because they were black, what about Ndebele people who were killed by Mnangagwa simply because they were Ndebele? Or are we to agree with Mnangagwa that he killed them because Ndebele people (including the Ndebele unborn babies who were ripped by bayonets from their mothers' wombs) were destabilizing Zimbabwe?
How can this regime argue against the brilliant argument that Smith never killed his own people, and they are busy brutalizing and killing their own people? While they could attain university degrees in five-star prisons under Smith, today Mnangagwa and his friends abuse arrests and prosecutions to put honorable parliamentarians like Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole in kafiramberi detention simply because they criticize the regime's corrupt rule.
And facts speak for themselves that Smith specifically, not colonialism or settler rule in general, killed less black people than Mnangagwa specifically, if we consider both "leaders" using a combination of deaths under them in prisons, by the gun, by torture, by abductions, by poisoning, by mass starvation, by the destruction of people's means to live, by malnutrition, by what should have been preventable diseases or medical situations including childbirth, by lack of health care, etc.
Today we mourn Moreblessing Ali, killed in the butcher fashion that Mnangagwa has become associated with since he was in Mozambique. We mourn many others too. Which white woman was ever treated by Smith in the way Moreblessing has been treated? Show us one.
If you look at.livelihoods, while the evidence is there for all yo see that Smith built factories, organized import substitution under the weight of REAL sanctions, and black people had a decent standard of living, Mnangagwa acts like an idiot achizhinya daily while.signing away our resources for trinkets from the Chinese, displacing black people from their land, poisoning our rivers and wells, taking all our natural resources in exchange for silly little things (as was being done under white colonialism), and allowing Chinese people to flog and spit on black workers. Kagame would never allow that.
Mnangagwa personally steals taxpayers' money for himself, his many children and his girlfriends and wife. Smith never stole a single cent from the fiscus. Prove us wrong on this.
Smith made Rhodesia a bread basket and in Rhodesia black people were able to send their children to schools that as black people we can't afford to send our kids to today under ZANU? Given the dip tanks, agricultural extension workers (madhumeni), master farmers and other things that Smith had that disappeared under ZANU, are black people today not being forced to work more for nothing under harsh conditions than they were in Smith's time? Smith was better by far.
So, introducing this debate was a masterstroke because these are the arguments we shouldn't be afraid to make. Why allow ourselves kubatwa kumeso?
The second result of the debate is that it outed some people that were pretending to be who they are not. Jonathan Moyo crept out of the closet to blatantly twerk for Mnangagwa, selling his academic skills as he cooks up new ways to stop Chamisa and CCC. Jonathan is saying to Mnangagwa, pick me, pick me, and I will come and deal with the typhoon that is CCC by crafting a law and come up with and promote a narrative that says without structures they cannot participate in elections. Without denouncing Lisah Ncube by name they cannot be registered as a political party. Without standing at the corner of Samora and Julius Nyerere streets and shouting that Mnangagwa is far better than Smith they cannot be allowed to contest elections in Zimbabwe.
While Jonathan himself is hiding in Kenya because he knows Mnangagwa and Chiwenga kill, having experienced Mnangagwa's vindictive hand that brought tears to all right-thinking Zimbabweans when that hand stretched as far as Cape Town, today the same Jonathan desperately tried to spin the Smith debate: invents 'glorification of Smith" when no one except Jonathan himself has glorified Smith (we have said Smith was better than Mnangagwa and we will say so muchida musingadi). And he has desperately tried to spin Rhodes into the picture. Let him glorify Rhodes. Tina we are talking specifically about Smith and Mnangagwa and we are saying overwhelmingly that Smith was better than Mnangagwa. Period.
The third result is that the debate has exposed the lack of ideological clarity in people like Hwende, who is increasingly a liability to the charismatic and capable Nelson Chamisa. When CCC supporters are killed at 45 degrees, and they see and hear Hwende saying that's all okay because brutality by a black leader on black people is better than if it was by a white leader, it does not encourage young people to sacrifice for a free Zimbabwe.
Indeed it has been weird. I have wondered whether Hwende's misunderstanding of the two simple arguments being made in the Smith-Mnangagwa debate, that Smith managed the economy better than Mnangagwa and that he never killed his own people, are difficult for Hwende to comprehend. Is this a real misunderstanding, like, does he actually not get it, or is it a reflection of his intellectual level, or is it a reflection of the level of ideological and analytical clarity or lack of it in CCC?
Thank you Lisah Ncube for coming up with this simple master stroke that has clarified so many things about the political consciousness of our country. We move a simple motion in this debate: Smith, born in Shurugwi and living a simple life and rising to become Prime Minister of his country of birth, was way better than Mnangagwa, by any measure. Dear Mnangagwa and your varakashi: prove otherwise.
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Source - Simon Peter Chamisa
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