As Zimbabweans solemnly mark the passing of a year since the barbaric and cowardly abduction of renowned journalist cum activist, Itai Dzamara on the 9th March, it is more than apparent that this act has not dampened the revolutionary spirit of the people, but has actually spurred more outspokenness against the ZANU PF government’s oppression.
Before Dzamara’s abduction, I was no longer very vocal against the government’s mismanagement of the country, and its brutal subjugation of the people of Zimbabwe.
However, the abduction of Dzamara re-ignited the raging fire of resistance that had started when I became a political columnist in a Kwekwe weekly when I was in Form Three in 1989, but had somehow subsided into a smoulder in the past years.
Furthermore, if what I am seeing on social media is anything to go by, then so many other Zimbabweans have actually been inspired into action by the abduction of Dzamara.
In fact, his abduction has led to the ‘revolutionalisation’ of numerous Zimbabweans, which should be a clear message to the ZANU PF government that the only way to silence the people is to respect them and fulfill their needs.
This should have been common sense to this ZANU PF government, which still has members – the few that still have not yet been expelled – who fought against colonialism in the 1960s and 70s liberation struggle.
I would have thought that these people still remember the oppression and subjugation they suffered at the hands of the minority colonial regime – although it is nothing compared to what the ZANU PF regime is doing against the people of Zimbabwe.
During the colonial days, anyone who dared speak out or stand up against the oppressive regime was severely dealt with, through systematic arrests, incarcerations, torture, abductions and killings.
Those who resided in the rural areas – the vast majority of the population – were not spared, especially during the height of the liberation struggle, when they were tortured and killed for allegedly supporting one side or the other in the war, as well as being raped, forced to feed the combatants with their meagre resources, and had they homes razed to the ground.
Most rural area residents were forced into concentration camps where they had to stay confined, without their cattle and properties.
Did all this dampen the revolutionary spirit of the oppressed masses? Certainly not!
Actually, that is what spurred most of the youth to cross the border into such countries as Zambia, Botswana, and Mozambique to join the liberation struggle.
These people were our fathers and mothers, as well as our grandfathers and grandmothers, brothers and sisters. We have the same genes.
The same revolutionary genes, that will never stand for any oppression, that will never be cowered by any form of oppression, torture, detention, abduction, or killing – the same genes as our kith and kin who fought against colonial domination.
So why would these same people who resisted colonial oppression, throughout all odds, think for a minute that using the same tactics – that they themselves managed to resist – would somehow work on us?
That makes no sense at all!
We are all of the same breed, so if they could not be cowered, we also can never be cowered.
What makes these people in power today delusional enough to conclude that somehow we are of a weaker breed than themselves?
It is about time they came out of their deluded state and face the reality that we are of the same breed, and an apple does not fall far from the tree.
They can bring down all the brute force they want, but that would never extinguish the ferocity of the fire for freedom that is raging in the hearts of the people.
The sooner the powers-that-be realise this, the better for the whole nation.
The only solution is for the government to admit that it has grossly and dismally failed the people of Zimbabwe – the very people they said they were fighting to liberate in the 1960s and 70s.
There is no shame in failure, but there is shame in failing to admit it and doing something about it.
The people of Zimbabwe are not angry because the government has failed. No.
The people are angry because the government refused to admit that it has failed and refuses to do the right thing, which is to allow for the freedoms of the people as enshrined in the Constitution to thrive, and for the people to freely choose their own leaders.
If the government had done that, I am certain there would never had been any anger towards it, as the people would have merely replaced it with one of their own choice.
However, as the situation stands today, we have a government that is too cowardly to grant people their Constitutionally-enshrined rights, whilst at the same time flagrantly mismanaging the economy, encouraging corruption and generally making the lives of Zimbabweans a living hell.
That is just cause for disgruntlement amongst the people of Zimbabwe.
Zimbabweans demand a just and fair society that respects and caters for their needs and rights, and nothing will stop them in their efforts to obtain that – not abductions, not torture, not killing…nothing.
As Mugabe himself once said during the liberation struggle, ‘If we cannot live as free men, we will die as free men’.