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If Zimbabwe youth were to emulate yesteryear generation there would be a liberation struggle against our new oppressors

21 Dec 2022 at 14:41hrs | Views
Tendai Ruben Mbofana
When we were studying George Orwell's masterpiece, 'Animal Farm', during our Ordinary Level English Literature - there were always some gnawing questions standing out in my mind.

Were these pigs - led by Napoleon, with his lackey Squealer in tow - aware that they were steadily morphing into the likeness and image of the very 'oppressor', Mr. Jones - whom they had ousted as being repressive?

When they were busy altering rules which had defined the animals' revolution at Manor Farm, were they genuinely oblivious to the fact that they had become replicas of Mr. Jones?

Did they actually believe it was all part of the revolution - or, even protecting this newfound freedom - when they saw it appropriate unleashing the nine vicious attack dogs (provided by Jessie, Bluebell and Pincher) on their fellow animals, whenever they questioned how the pigs were running the farm?

I honestly do not have a clear answer to those vexing questions.

In fact, despite having done my University of Cambridge GCE Ordinary Levels way back in 1990 - a good 32 years ago - these questions still torment me today, especially each time I listen to President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa speak.

Just yesterday, whilst he was addressing some youths, under the banner of 'Vision 2030 Movement' (or, something weird) - he urged today's young generation to emulate the generation of yesteryear, who valiantly took up arms to fight for Zimbabwe's liberation.

All I could do was watch the man in utter bewilderment!

Surely, if today's youth were to emulate the generation of yesteryear in such a manner - would we currently not be witnessing a raging liberation struggle taking place - as our young ones courageously fought against the oppressive ruthless regime led by Mnangagwa himself?

This is where all those questions of 32 years ago come flooding back into my mind.

Are we to believe that Mnangagwa and his comrades - who, in the 1960s and 70s, fought bravely against colonial rule, characterized by the subjugation and segregation of the majority - are unaware that they have since morphed into the likeness and image of those, against whom they waged the armed struggle?

Can they genuinely not perceive that, in fact, they have become far much worse versions of our erstwhile oppressors - since the Rhodesians never murdered their kith and kin in cold blood, nor deny their own the wealth of the land (allowing them to wallow in poverty), nor suppress fellow opposition parties from operating freely.

Yet, here we are in so-called 'independent Zimbabwe', whereby - in typical Napoleon fashion - we find those, who at one point portrayed themselves as revolutionary leaders, now reduced to nothing more than cheap imitations of Mr. Jones.

Therefore, I have a few questions for Mnangagwa and his comrades - does he truly not realize that they have long ceased being revolutionary liberators - but, have since become our oppressors, who have authored our unbearable suffering and impoverishment?

Surely, if our youth - whom he was encouraging to emulate the boys and girls of the 1960s and 70s - were to heed his call, what does he think will be the outcome?

Would we not begin to witness our restless youth - who have been trapped for two or three decades in a hopeless existence - mull their own liberation struggle, to free themselves from these painful shackles of poverty?

If they were to listen to Mnangagwa's advice, how will our youth respond - in the face of a ruling elite whose insatiable thirst for self-aggrandization has led to the mindless milking of our national resources for the benefit of only a few - whilst, our children are left with nothing to inherit from a country so richly-endowed?

How will our youth react when they watch the rich only getting richer - not out of some exceptional business acumen, but rather proximity to power - yet, millions of Zimbabweans (including their own parents) have nothing meaningful to call theirs, thereby stripped of all dignity?

These are the realities our youth have been exposed to for the past thirty years - well before the supposed 'sanctions imposed by the West' - as the country was steadily destroyed, through rampant corruption and economic mismanagement.

I recall a message sent to me by a reader - which left my heart in pain and anguish - as he narrated how he was one of the so-called 'born frees' (those born in the early 1980s, soon after Zimbabwe's independence) - yet, he has never know any goodness in this country all his life, except misery and endless struggles.

Such is the story of Zimbabwe under our Napoleons and their Squealers - who made short work of ruining a country once touted as the 'jewel of Africa'.

I ask, again.

Are those in power, honestly, unable to tell that they are the new oppressors?

So, what is the logic behind urging our youth to follow the example of the young boys and girls of the 1960s and 70s?

- Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice advocate, writer, researcher, and social commentator. Please feel free to WhatsApp or Call: +263715667700 | +263782283975, or email:

Source - Tendai Ruben Mbofana
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