Arrogance, brutality and the inevitability of change

    By Mutsa Murenje

    I disagree with Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa that without Mugabe, there won’t be any Zimbabwe to talk about. We are in this mess precisely because Mugabe wants to die in power.

    Without much skirting, I would like to state in no uncertain terms that I take practical and moral responsibility for my writings.

    For this reason, I am a natural enemy of all rotten politicians and Robert Mugabe is a rotten and malodorous politician.

    President Robert Mugabe might have been there from the 1950s, but I disagree with Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa that without Mugabe, there won’t be any Zimbabwe to talk about. We are in this mess precisely because Mugabe wants to die in power.

    He can’t be the only one who knows our country’s destiny. The future of our beloved country lies in our hands, all of us and not a single, directionless idiot.

    Our young people have a very special role to play in taking our country where it ought to be. The late former South African President, Nelson Mandela, was a visionary.

    He genuinely cared for people and was worried about human suffering, poverty and squalid living conditions, and the inherent dignity of the human person.

    He loved people of all ages, and there can be no doubt that he deeply loved young people — children and youth alike.

    Perchance this was the very reason he said thus: “The road stretches before us. We can be sure of obstacles, small and large, on that road. An 85-year-old can do much to help us advance but, in the end, it is you — the youth — who hold the future of this country in your hands.”

    I would like to urge the young people of Zimbabwe to never look back. The successful shutdown Zimbabwe protest was organised by our brave young people.

    We need to give them our support because at the end of it all, freedom is for all of us, not selected individuals.

    I have deep hatred for all hypocrisy and deception. We aren’t stupid. Peace-loving we are, but stop tormenting us. It isn’t right that we live as if we are being forced to. This country is also ours and we reserve the right to change its leaders.

    Visions of eternal rule are backward and have no place in the 21st century and the Zimbabwe we want for present and future generations.

    We won’t and never will we accommodate dictatorship. Tyranny is depriving us of the present and future we all deserve and our oppressors seldom look down where they put their feet.

    Consequently, we have become a compost heap upon, which criminal tyranny flourishes. It’s quite significant that we appreciate the public causes of private pain and misery and ask inconvenient questions.

    Inequality and poverty is the root cause and underlying factor affecting our lives. Mugabe and his ministers get their salaries on time. They don’t have to queue for basic commodities like we all do.

    They even have the luxury to fly abroad and seek medical attention even for simple ailments as eye cataracts.

    We have eye specialists in Zimbabwe and there can’t be any justification why a single individual will run down the country’s economy to gratify his insatiable appetite for power.

    For long, the people of Zimbabwe have had their rights and cries trampled upon

    For long, the people of Zimbabwe have had their rights and cries trampled upon

    There’s always enough food for the Mugabes. Their children study and give birth abroad. It is, therefore, our material circumstances that shape our lives, not our morality.

    Using my social work skills and knowledge, I will not only support the victims of an unequal system, but will also create the conditions that will lead to the creation of a socially just society.

    Events of the past two weeks in Zimbabwe are a legitimate concern to us as citizens.

    The Zimbabwean government must be held accountable when it fails to meet its obligations. We are a sovereign nation, but sovereignty cannot be dissociated from responsibility.
    Sovereignty shouldn’t be interpreted to give governments exclusive writ over their populations.

    Rather, it is accountability, both to the domestic constituency and to the international community.

    It is, therefore, quite ludicrous to learn that the government attributes protests in Zimbabwe to the so-called shadowy groups and regime change agents sponsored by Western embassies and some failed parties and politicians.

    The truth of the matter is whatever we have witnessed in the recent past will be intensified in the coming weeks and months and even years.

    This is so largely because the Mugabe regime continues to block and frustrate our efforts to attain democracy in Zimbabwe.

    The government’s crackdown on protestors was characterised by violence and brutality.

    This, we cannot tolerate, and perpetrators must be brought to account.

    Recognition of the inherent and inviolable dignity of the human person and of our equal and inalienable rights remains the only guarantee of our freedom, justice and peace in Zimbabwe.

    Disregard and contempt for fundamental human rights in Zimbabwe have resulted in barbaric acts, which have outraged the conscience of mankind.

    We look forward to the advent of a democratic society, in which we all will be able to enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want.

    This remains our highest aspiration, which, again and again, Mugabe continues to frustrate.

    There are two truths. One belongs to the oppressor and another to the oppressed. Violence in Zimbabwe has always been initiated by the oppressor.

    The secret of a healthy, tension-free existence is to develop sufficient tolerance of conflicting ideas and viewpoints.

    Love and respect for human life, that love that forever binds brother to sister, to country, to the human race, has been the basis for the struggle for a free, just and democratic Zimbabwe.

    It is out of our love for Zimbabwe that we are waging a non-violent struggle against the oppressive Mugabe regime.

    My hunch is that opposition forces, after having exhausted all legal means, after watching their members strewn on the streets with bullet holes for the simple demand of freedom, have no other choice, but to forcefully seek freedom.

    In other words, it is the arrogance and brutality of the government, its stubbornness in the face of change; its eagerness to torture and murder that brings violence unto itself.

    In conclusion: “When people are voiceless, they will have temper tantrums like a child who has never been paid attention to. And riots are massive temper tantrums from a neglected and voiceless people” (Martin Luther King Jr.).

    No State claiming legitimacy can justifiably quarrel with the commitment to protect all its citizens against human rights abuse.

    Effective sovereignty implies a system of law and order that is responsive to the needs of the national population for justice and general well-being.

    Sovereignty shouldn’t, therefore, be used as a shield against oppression. This, we won’t allow to happen, and we have since demonstrated that we are willing to do all we can to liberate ourselves from tyranny. The struggle continues unabated!

    • Mutsa Murenje is a social and political writer based in South Africa

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