Independent, But Not Free

(Looking back, I realise I write a post like this every three damn years. It gets kind of depressing, but here goes.)

Once again, we celebrate our Independence from our “colonial masters”. It’s a time for joy and media statements and sycophantic hagiographies and grainy footage and Maruza imi and Bony Prince Charlie lowering the Union Jack and Bob’s Zimbabwe on repeat everywhere I fecking go.

For some, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. For me, it’s just more of the same.

Zimbabwe may be free, but her people certainly are not. The reasons are obvious.

There are insult laws, putting certain specific citizens above the rest.

There is no freedom to assemble, discuss and express whatever thoughts or opinions you hold.

There is no freedom to broadcast those thoughts.

There is no freedom to challenge authority.

There is no freedom from unfair judgement.

There isn’t even freedom to dispense fair judgement, as Justice Hungwe’s current travails clearly illustrate.

So please drink, sing, scream about how our beloved Zimbabwe is independent.

Until all Zimbabweans themselves are actually allowed to be who or what they want to be, support who they want to, march where they want to, meet who they want to, say what they want to and either broadcast or receive whatever information they want to, we will never actually be free.

Until the day when someone can’t be jailed for speaking their opinion, we might as well still be under the settler’s yoke.

Until everybody’s free, nobody is.

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