The greatest fallacy in today’s Zimbabwe is the division of our citizenry between the did and did-nots.
To follow the public media, you would think there is one class of people who liberated this country, and another, lower caste, either hapless or cowardly, who were liberated.
This great lie is pushed mainly by those rancid trumpets of power, The Herald and Sunday Mail newspapers, and their kin at the ZBC stable. The ‘journalists’ in the state media have completely abrogated their responsibility to the public they’re contracted to serve, and have become mere stenographers for Party apparatchiks and ‘anonymous’ political commentators.
The notion that the so-called war veterans and, by default, all members of the ZANU-PF party hold the monopoly on Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle goes almost unchallenged in our daily discourse. To hear it you’d think these guys would swoop in on the wings of eagles, take out a few Pumas and mow down the hated Selous Scouts, then glide out and back to Zambia and Mocambique on a wave of triumph and invincibility.
Forget the mass of people who provided logistical and intelligence support, the majority of the citizenry who were as much in the fight as those FEW who actually carried AK-47s and bazookas. Not to diminish the gallantry and sacrifice of those who engaged in armed combat, but their war was not fought in a vacuum. I greatly respect the people who died for our country – it’s a few of the survivors I have a problem with.
The general mass of the people of Zimbabwe, across the country, suffered the same (if not more) during the war. The greater mass of the people of Zimbabwe sacrificed and bled and cried and worked and struggled for the liberation of this country, and no one clique or Party or Leader can state, categorically, that they liberated this country.
All this talk of ‘liberation war credentials’ is totally misguided and arrogant in the extreme. Every single black Zimbabwean born before 1980 has liberation war credentials, both by virtue of being born in a country where their rights were not fully recognised and by being born into a time of collective struggle and sacrifice.
To imply that certain people are second-class citizens by virtue of not having military training is to create a monarchic hierachy, from which our Leaders can be selected and our lords and masters emerge unchallenged for all eternity.
Such an idea is alien to the democratic principle, and if certain elements of our society believe that this is the way it should be, then it’s time to stop bothering us with all the death and destruction of elections, and simply take what they feel is owed to them using the famed power of the gun, and rule by decree.
Then we’ll see whether such a state of affairs will be sustainable, and whether they will then take on the mantle of oppressor, and face the collective wrath of the people of Zimbabwe like their colonial masters did before them.
There’s no need to keep pretending you’re a democrat if you’re not. If you feel you deserve to rule by the power of the military, go ahead and try.
History is on the people’s side.