Mawarire vs Mugabe: Zimbabwe, a nation swarming with Kibitzers

Zimbabwean Pastor Evan Mawarire poses for a photograph after his interview with Reuters in Johannesburg, South Africa, on July 19, 2016. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-ZIMBABWE-PASTOR, originally transmitted on July 21, 2016.

By Prof Changamire

Keeping silent about gross injustice validates the position of the oppressor, the arrest of a private citizen for merely demanding his constitutional rights is deplorable and should be condemned with the contempt it deserves, we can’t be apathetic at this time, it’s puzzling to witness this pernicious influence of ZANU PF ideology flourishing amongst the oppressed.

Those cheering for Mugabe as he represses Evan must remain silent when he does the same to them, or anyone else for that matter. Arguing that Evan had it coming or deserved it ,is tacitly saying it is OK for Mugabe to use illegal means against opponents, as long as his opponents are not favourable in our eyes.

I’m seeing people celebrate, and saying that he hasn’t been beaten neither does he have broken bones. But this is not a contest on brutality. What is happening to Evan is equally wrong, even if the physical violence is less.

Evan did not commit any crime, to the best of my rudimentary knowledge of law. Even if he was a western stooge for regime change, it would still be incorrect to arrest him for speaking his mind, or campaigning to have the government voted out, or its actions resisted, these rights are protected and enshrined by the constitution of the republic of Zimbabwe.

The virulence thrown last week towards the warriors, now towards the person of Evan epitomises our timid and pettiness of character as a collective. Much ado about nothing. Very much majoring on minors and minoring on majors.

For a people who are silent when they are asked to bring their own blood for transfusion, we make a fuss over things that matter not. We are angry, we see that things are amiss but instead of attacking the root of the problem. We project and opt to engage in pointless hate speech towards victims who choose to speak up.

I just pray for the day where we Zimbabweans will rise above vitriol and disdain for those with different views and realize what unites us is far greater than what divides us. We need to move from politics of symbols and idols to an arena propelled by ideas…just that….ideas.

Regardless of the source, an idea will be evaluated and given a fair shot at survival. I am not referring to Pastor E in particular but there seems to be a dominant trend in the motherland, where we ululate at the misfortune of our peers.

If Smith with all the atrocities he committed lived in independent Zimbabwe as a free man, we can and must dig deeper and be more tolerant of our brothers and sisters, and desist from victimising the victims!

  • Prof Changamire is a political analyst and social commentator on Khuluma Afrika