Clive Malunga


Zimbabwe is engulfed in a wave of fear: many a time it is the fear of the undercover agents who abduct, beat, torture and murder their victims. You can disappear into thin air. Rashiwe Guzha and Itai Dzamara just vanished and were never seen again. It is painful to imagine that this happens in an independent Zimbabwe.

Fear induced by the state is detrimental or harmful to the masses’ psyche. People are made to behave in a way that is abnormal. Because they are not allowed to freely express themselves, they tend to recoil into their cocoons and   build up a lot of emotional pressure. Those that fail to live by the draconian rules are punished, labelled traitors and treated as outcasts. Voices of reason have been silenced through intimidation harassment, coercion or death or amputation of one’s arms (“short sleeve or long sleeve”). National security apparatus sometimes behaves like ISIS or Al-Qaeda fundamentalists.

Itai Dzamara

Zimbabweans are denied the right to demonstrate which is a fundamental right enshrined in our constitution. Our ruling elite behaves like the late former president of Romania, Nicolai Ceausescu, who ruled his country with an iron fist. Consequently, the national motto is to shut up even when you feel the excruciating pain of the hungry, the sick, the destitute and vagabonds. It is no secret that many Zimbabweans are wallowing in extreme poverty. It is also not a secret that the state does nothing to ameliorate people’s suffering. The state’s only business with poor people is silencing them from groaning about their pain and frequently exacerbating their misery by mindlessly but ruthlessly destroying their livelihoods.  Everyone knows that the state is failing to create jobs for citizens. Why then the state concentrates on destroying poor people’s informal businesses never ceases to perplex me! Instead of investing their energies on devising ways of reducing people’s suffering and even supporting their business ingenuity, our government concentrates on aggravating people’s already sorry conditions.

Fear has killed the souls of many Zimbabweans. People have given up hope of having a good life. We are forced to accept misery as normal. Zimbabweans in their huge numbers cannot freely breathe because every breath is controlled by the state. When government agents confiscate a poor vendor’s wares, the miserable vendor will have to scrounge around to find new wares. He or she cannot complain about his/her stolen wares because there is nowhere to complain. The whole system is organised to blackmail and extort from the poor. These brutal tactics of containing the citizens are not only evil but also an affront to people’s constitutional rights.

Many barriers have been put in place which prevent the poor from rising out of poverty. However, the rich and the connected have unlimited access to wealth. Government policies are only meant to benefit a few political cronies and families of the leaders.  It is no wonder why many Zimbabwean politicians are among the richest people in our subcontinent. People are appointed to important national positions solely on the criterion of having large sums of money without paying due regard to how the wealth was acquired. Many people become members of parliament through vote buying.

Nelson Chamisa

How long are Zimbabweans going to suffer in silence? All Zimbabweans from all walks of life dream of a happy and prosperous lifestyle. We all need love from all those whom we choose to lead us. In return we want to love our leaders by showing respect for all the good they will be doing for the nation. We want to pray for our leaders to live long and get wisdom from God. We want to move together as a nation, with no one being left behind. We want to feel proud to be Zimbabweans.

We need to talk freely about how Zimbabwe can be developed. Party politics must not hinder the development of our country. What should matter most is the well-being of all citizens of Zimbabwe. When leadership stifles debate meant to find a way forward, then we must all know that we are going nowhere. We have great minds in this country.  Let’s allow debate as one family to find solutions to our challenges. No man is an island.

Our current challenges often make my mind wander into the past. Zimbabweans had a lot of problems to deal with during the Rhodesian era. We suffered under the colonial rule. We were humiliated and dehumanised at all levels. We were seen as third class citizens of the country. The white community reduced blacks to nothing other than slaves. For no reason one could be tortured, jailed, killed, maimed or publicly flogged. You could not move from one town to another without a pass. The oppression was so severe that it later gave birth to uprisings. The blacks had to revolt against the system. The black majority could not stomach the humiliation any longer.

Lest we forget that in the bad old days we stood together as one people to free Zimbabwe from Ian Douglas Smith. We vanquished the “mighty Rhodesians”. My heart bleeds to see our people being denied the rights that many people died fighting for. It is extremely offending to see our dream of prosperity in a free Zimbabwe being turned into a nightmare. We must strive to build and make Zimbabwe great. We have a beautiful country. This is the only country we call home. We must build our country collectively. We must guard against any divisions amongst ourselves which could be petty in a true sense. We must do away with selfishness.

Hatred will bring death, destruction and misery amongst ourselves. We will suffer the effects of stagnation as a nation: that will be self-inflicted pain. Let’s be big enough to shun nepotism and ethnicity. Brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, boys and girls this is the time to extend an olive branch to each other. One precious life is too many to lose because of political differences. Let our elections be held in a free environment. Those who lose elections when they are conducted in a free and fair environment must accept the defeat. Let’s return to the old Zimbabwean spirit; the spirit of love and happiness. Let’s show the world that we are a force to reckon with.

Fear can be eradicated if leaders tone down their speeches to avoid inciting hatred and violence. Let us stop calling each other names. We have lost too many people already through political intolerance. We remember Gukurahundi victims, Moreblessing Ali and Itai Dzamara and many others. Intimidation must not be used as means of winning elections. Those intending to lead the people must not subject the same to violence. Their aim must be to serve the people and provide them with basic goods.

Moreblessing Ali

All those who sacrificed to join the Chimurenga war had to first kill the element of fear. Once you overcame fear inside your brain you automatically qualified to be a living legend. Then your life became less important than the suffering of the majority under the brutality of the Rhodesian government. You were prepared to lose your life for others to be free, independent and happy. It required one to have a thick skin.

It is a very unpalatable joke when  you hear the born-free generation saying that the comrades must return Zimbabwe to Rhodesians so that they would free it themselves. They claim they will be in a position to play the role played by all freedom fighters late and living. Guys you must appreciate and be thankful for what the elders did for you. To be honest, if you cannot stand water cannons in Zimbabwe, how would you have stood booby traps, bombs, landmines and heavy machine guns during the Rhodesian era? The war of liberation was no stroll in the park: the possibility of losing one’s life was high every day of the war and indeed many people lost their lives.

We must all stop being partisan. We must not let our egos and emotions drive us. We must be pro-Zimbabwe. All our voices must be heard. We cannot have our voices silenced by a few individuals who want to enjoy the fruits of independence alone. We must have no reason to fear in independent Zimbabwe.

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