A General who is indifferent to the suffering and death of those under his command and even sees glory is the bloody the business and is always demanding more soldiers to send to the frontline is a curse to the cause, no matter how just and noble it is otherwise! Zimbabwe’s politicians have become the cursed generals in our struggled for freedom, justice and human dignity. In his recent article, Are Zimbabweans worth dying for, Moses Chamboko showed us why he too has joined the ranks of some of these indifferent and cursed politicians.
Chamboko started his article by giving the names of the opposition party members and human rights activists who have been harassed, beaten and killed since 1999 when MDC was formed because they dared challenge the Zanu PF regime to demand freedom and justice. He then goes on to lament how the nation has neglected these heroes and heroines.
“I have been asking myself, “How many Zimbabweans have bothered to take a packet of rice, salt, sugar or maize meal to Itai’s family just as a show of solidarity? Who has made an effort to find out if Tichaona Chiminya or Talent Mabika left behind any dependants who are desperate for school fees? When Linda Masarira was incarcerated for months, how many Zimbabweans bothered to check on her children’s welfare?” I am sure you also have your own questions,” wrote Chamboko.
To start with it is wrong to give the impression that Zimbabwean’s struggle for freedom and justice started in 1999; MDC was just one of the parties to emerge out of the post-independence struggle to end the corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF rule just as Zanu PF itself was one of the parties to emerge out of the pre-independence struggle to end white colonial exploitation and oppression.
Many people sacrificed life and limp and many limps and lives were lost in each period along the way and every limp or life lost was acutely felt.
The thrust of Chamboko’s article was to rally more people to sacrifice life and limp in the struggle for freedom and liberty and for the rest of the community to support these heroes and heroines. This is what all the nation’s sick politicians have all been asking of us right across the political divide and the historic period including Morgan Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe.
The measured and sober response would be to ask why all the past sacrifices of treasure, limp and life have all failed to deliver the desired result of freedom, justice and human rights? Surely, we need to address that first before we again ask for more material and human sacrifice.
After all freedom, justice, etc. are deliverable things; other nations have gone through the same stages as us and have enjoyed freedom and human rights after they attained their independence. Why is our struggle for freedom and human dignity a never-ending lamentation?
The answer to all these questions is simple: we have been cursed with a whole army of corruption and incompetence politicians. The sacrifice to end white colonial oppression delivered black majority rule in 1980 but failed to deliver freedom and liberty for all because the corrupt, incompetent and tyrannical Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF thugs hijacked the struggle to serve their own selfish purpose.
The sacrifices for democratic change paid-off in 2008 with the electing of Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends. They failed to deliver even one democratic reforms in the five years in the GNU because Mugabe bribed them with the gravy train lifestyle and a $4 million mansion for the MDC leader. The MDC obliged by kicking the reforms into the tall grass.
ZUNDE, Moses Chamboko is its Secretary General, has been scathing in its criticism of Mugabe and Zanu PF’s corrupt and tyrannical rule but has said nothing critical of MDC for being incompetent and selling out during the GNU and in compounding the betrayal by contesting in the July 2013 when the logical thing to do was to boycott.
“The worst aspect for me about the failure to agree a coalition was that both MDCs couldn’t now do the obvious – withdraw from the elections,” explained Senator David Coltart in his recent book.
“The electoral process was so flawed, so illegal, that the only logical step was to withdraw, which would compel SADC to hold Zanu PF to account. But such was the distrust between the MDC-T and MDC-N that neither could withdraw for fear that the other would remain in the elections, winning seats and giving the process credibility.”
If the need to boycott the 2013 elections was “obvious”, the need to boycott the 2018 elections is even more glaringly obvious. If anyone had doubted Zanu PF’s ability to rig the 2013 elections the blatant vote rigging that year has settled the doubt! Not even one reform was implemented since the July 2013 elections and Zanu PF’s war-chest to bankroll is vote rigging schemes is even bigger than for the 2013 elections. There is no reason to believe Zanu PF will not rig the 2018 just as readily and easily as it rigged the 2013 elections.
The reason why ZUNDE has never criticized Tsvangirai & co. becomes self-evident. How can accuse MDC of selling-out by contesting the 2013 elections when Chamboko & co. are themselves planning to contest the 2018 elections. ZUNDE is one of the opposition parties determined to contest the 2018 come what may!
“Let us bombard our kith and kin with the message to register to vote. Let us educate our people that what happens in the polling booth is between them and God. Let us discourage them from being bought by a few pieces of silver, a calabash of beer, a small packet of Chinese rice or second hand clothes confiscated from street vendors. Let us each commit more than just words towards the democratic cause. Let us be practical!” Concluded Chamboko, driving home ZUNDE’s voter registration clarion call.
Zanu PF has been winning elections because it rigs the vote. ZUNDE and the rest of the mediocre opposition camp are all conveniently ignoring this simple fact because they do not even have the common sense to implement the reforms, even when they had the golden opportunity to do so. They are focusing on building a coalition and/or voter registration. Tsvangirai was reminded of the importance of ending Zanu PF violence following his recent tour of rural areas.
“Pastors, chiefs, headmen, village heads, war veterans, women and ordinary villagers all spoke to endemic fear and intimidation being orchestrated by Zanu PF. Since the run-off violence of 2008, Zanu PF continues to emasculate communities, particularly chiefs and headmen, coercing them to frog-march people to vote for Zanu PF in the next elections,” reported Luke Tamborinyoka, Tsvangirai’s spokesman.
“The community leaders said the national challenge was to unlock the fear planted in the villages and local areas where people were not free to express themselves.
“The underlying factor in Mash East is endemic fear and, as one pastor told President Tsvangirai, fear is a demon that needs to be exorcised ahead of the next elections.”
It is bad enough that politicians like Chamboko are the ones perpetuating the Zanu PF tyranny by contesting the flawed elections putting the safety and even human lives at risk for their own selfish gain. It is totally unacceptable that these politicians should add insult to injury by insinuating that the people, the victims of Zanu PF thuggery and opposition selling out, are selling-out.
What does Mr Chamboko want a villager who being denied food aid or worse if he/she supports the opposition, to do? Risk all to support the sell-outs opposition, to what end and purpose?
Mugabe knows that as long as he keeps throwing a few scraps at the opposition he will never have to worry about the opposition boycott elections to press the need for free and fair elections.
In Zimbabwe, we have been fighting a losing battle for freedom, human rights including the right to free and fair elections and even the right to life itself not because we have been betrayed by our politicians at every turn.
We had heroes like Chief Rekai Tangwena of the olden days to the modern day Itai Dzamara plus all the unsung heroes who have all made their contribution, no matter how small. Even in the face of more sell-out politicians there still many people who will continue to sacrifice all for the good of the nation. It is not the lack of heroes that is holding us back but the lack of people with the common sense to stop the “smart Alec” politicians betraying the nation!
It is not only those who have dared to demand the basic freedoms and human rights who are dying; for every Itai Dzamara the regime has murdered, thousands die each year unnecessarily of hunger or disease brought on by the decades of Zanu PF misrule. All these people, directly or indirectly, are making the ultimate contribution for a free and democratic Zimbabwe.
So, the question here is not: Are Zimbabweans worth dying for? The question, you should ask yourself, Mr Chamboko, is: How many innocent Zimbabweans will Zanu PF have to beat, rape and murder in political violence or otherwise to finally convince you and your ZUNDE colleagues of the folly of contesting flawed elections in which beating, rape, etc. are the norm?
“Let us discourage them from being bought by a few pieces of silver, a calabash of beer!” The chutzpah of Zimbabwe’s treasonous politicians is breath-taking!