Columnist/OpinionHuman Rights

Mr. Mnangagwa, fighting for independence doesn’t give you the right to oppress us!

BY Tendai Ruben Mbofana

He never tires reminding us!

Zimbabwe’s independence was fought for in a protected liberation struggle where thousands of innocent lives were lost.

It was never given on a silver platter.

This was attained after an armed fight against colonial rule, which was characterized by racial segregation and injustices against the black population.

In fact, President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa always makes it clear that no one (or rather, no country) has the right to lecture his government on democracy.

This is because the ruling ZANU PF is the one that fought for democracy in a country where the majority were marginalized and cast on the fringes of society.

We get it. Honestly we do!

However, Mnangagwa appears to miss one glaring point.

Fighting for independence for Zimbabwe did not give him and his party the right to oppress us.

Morphing into an oppressor can never be whitewashed by having been our liberator yesterday.

I have personally come across a similar experience when I worked with an organization involved in fighting domestic violence.

There was a lady who had endured years of unimaginable abuse at the hands of her husband.

Nonetheless, there came a man who appeared as a knight in shining armor – who helped her escape the abusive marriage.

In no time at all, the two were in a romantic relationship as the woman believed her ‘savior’ was a kind, compassionate, warm-hearted man.

Be that as it may, the man was to eventually show his true colors.

As the poor lady was to soon discover, her ‘hero’ was just as vicious, vindictive, and brutal as her former husband.

In all this abuse, the man would repeatedly remind her that he was the one who rescued her from a terrible marriage.

He felt that the woman somehow owed him for his ‘heroic acts’ and, therefore, was entitled to do whatever he so desired with her.

She was now perpetually indebted to him!

This is exactly what we witness in Zimbabwe.

Yes, no one denies that ZANU PF – a combination of the two liberation movements, ZANU and ZAPU, after the 1987 unity accord – fought for Zimbabwe’s independence.

At this juncture, let me also add that the vast majority of those who endured the brunt of the war were rural folk who were not even aligned to any of these political parties.

They were simply innocent people caught in the middle of a raging bloody war.

Anyway, whatever the role played by ZANU PF in liberating the country, there can never be any justification for the ruthless, vicious, vindictive monsters they have become.

We are not indebted to ZANU PF.

In fact, Mnangagwa and his people are not entitled to anything in Zimbabwe.

What they did was supposed to be a sacrifice. 

One does not sacrifice today whilst expecting a reward tomorrow.

That would not be sacrificing at all, but simply maneuvering for power.

The ZANU PF ruling elite need to be reminded that they do not own us or Zimbabwe.

The democracy they supposedly ‘fought for’ was our unalienable right.

It was not a favor.

Besides, whatever they did for us has since been outweighed by their cruelty and savage oppression of the very same people they ostensibly claim to have ‘liberated’.

Surely, what liberation is there when these ‘liberators’ massacre over 20,000 innocent unarmed civilians in cold blood, as was witnessed in the Midlands and Matebeleland provinces?

Was it all part of ‘liberating’ Zimbabweans when the Mnangagwa regime shot dead scores of unarmed protestors on the streets of Harare in 2018 and 2019?

Where is the ‘liberation’ when those in power freely loot our national resources for their own enrichment – whilst 49 percent of the population live in extreme poverty?

Where is the regime getting US$60,000 for each MP (Member of Parliament) to procure a luxury vehicle when over 6 million Zimbabweans are facing hunger?

Right now, our public hospitals and schools are worse off than they were during the colonial era – lacking the most basic essentials.

What ‘independence’ is there when our schools lack simple things as books, and our hospitals do not have paracetamol or cancer machines?

Urban areas have been turned into glorified rural areas where it has become normal for residents to go for years without potable water and have to rely on communal boreholes.

The country is going without electricity for hours each day on account of still expecting generation equipment from the 1950s to still power our economy.

Is that Mnangagwa and his party’s understanding of ‘freedom and independence’?

So, as much as no foreign power has the right to lecture any Zimbabweans on democracy – we, the citizens, have every right to demand justice. 

This is non-negotiable!

There is no independence and liberation to talk about as long as we are still oppressed – more so by our own former liberators.

Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice advocate and writer. Please feel free to WhatsApp or Call: +263715667700 | +264782283975, or email: mbofana.tendairuben73@gmail.com, or visit website: https://mbofanatendairuben.news.blog/

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