Pamberi ne Zimbabwe: Why the 2018 election still matters
ANTAGONISING a certain truth does not invalidate its popularity nor does it decapitate its prominence. In a polarised polity, it is fashionable for political analysts to take a side and after all it is normal that analyses is underpinned on biases. However, manifestation of the inevitable paralyses irrational predispositions. An analyst may selectively abhor certain realities in pursuit of saccharine — and yet toxic manipulation of a gullible mass. The past years of Zimbabwe’s split patriotic consciousness when the country was nudged in partisan proclivities of belonging has created a culture of languid analyses sustained by blind loyalty and partisan sycophancy. Political grammar is largely underpinned on what certain sections of the academia have been conditioned to hate or sympathise with. In the same manner, the Zimbabwean thought leadership has been characterised by applause validation for advancing particular discursive scope(s). As long as one projects a thinking which disparages the establishment in the court of public opinion they loot accolades of being excellent academics. In this ecosphere of superficial and fictional acclamation of selective truths adverse emotions towards the establishment is incentivised. The indolence to questioning hate to the establishment has since popularised hashtag politicking.
Indeed, there has been too many anti-establishment hashtag enterprises which have built the momentum to the much anticipated 2018 plebiscite. The post 2018 election, on the other hand, has not been immune to theatrics from the ConCourt, fuel queues, illicit currency circulation and price hikes. As it stands, the acute economic crisis seems to be a road back to where we are coming from. In such times, with these problems some may feel that the right choice they made was wrong, but the truth of the matter is that we are here because the popular will took its course — as it shall take its course in leading us to a future that is new. Our hopes for the future reside in our commonness to shape the future outside our given current obstacles.
As such, it is important for us to introspect and retrospect the underlining doctrines of what delineates our nationalism — though the integral and cohesive reality of a nation is subject to debate in political science. However, this does not supersede the heritage that our liberation legacy offers. Over the years, the same liberation narrative has been dismissed as a Zanu-PF motor-engine to accelerate the tempo to loot political capital. However, the problem of this logic is that it distanced its proponents from the epicentre of power. This is because real power resides in the narrative of our struggle and how it informs our collective mandate to consolidate its values and preambles. This is why the memory of our raise to be a nation is now safely preserved in the nation’s supreme law — the constitution. We are a nation no matter how others propose that the very urgency of being Zimbabwean is cut apart to gratify subtle attempts for secession.
The inclusion of these values in the constitution vividly captures how significant and perennial these are in terms of moulding the social, economic and political aspirations of all Zimbabweans. Therefore, as we go to choose the country’s next Government, of course still very far away, it is essential to reflect on the permanent interests which sustain good governance in our motherland.
On that note, this article seeks to refresh our consciousness on these principles that bind. They also shape our hopes for a better country as deemed by the anticolonial struggle. The thematic fundamentals our liberation legacy have not expired and are relevant to carving the present and the future. Since these normative grounding of our national aspirations is permanent; this means every generation has a mandate to preserve those ideological essentials.
The battle for state power
The key justification of the nationalist movement’s existence was to initiate the transfer of state power from the racist UDI to a black majority Government. The UDI symbolised the capture of African liberties. As such, the role of nationalism was to restore the dignity of the Africans which was lost at the arrival of Rhodes’ dismemberment (Pioneer) Column. The quest for the transfer of state power was essentially founded on the need to dismantle the legacy of defeated black aspirations and the people’s right to be free from subjugation.
Today we confront yet another battle for the shifting of state power from the current government by the opposition. However, the ruling is a different type of establishment from that which Rhodesia was; as a result the current desire for the shift of state power is informed by a different context. This is a context that places Zanu-PF at the centre of privilege — emanating from history since this is the party that dislodged the Rhodesian centre of power. However, what is important is that this particular crisis after the election largely depicts the momentum associated with the fights for power transfer which characterise any contested political space. However, now that we are past the elections, the ballot pronounced divisions we had months ago must be left behind and we rally around other more binding terms of belonging as a people and as a nation.
The armed struggle was a broad initiative to reclaim the lost sovereign dignity of the African populace displaced through the ruthless colonial laws since 1893. The liberation agenda was meant to reposition Africans to be masters of their destiny after the successful capture of their freedom. Thereafter, the nationalist agenda was to set the parameters of the new nation’s interests. Key among these interests was to ensure that the newly-born Zimbabwe was going to have absolute self-determination outside the external domination. This is a permanent character of the nationalist legacy which is still an integral part of our present day fight to ensure that Zimbabwe’s political and economic policies provide the benchmark of sovereignty. Of course, this comes at a time Zimbabwe has been in the fight against America’s illegal imposition of the Zimbabwe Development and Economic Recovery Act (2018). Therefore, as Zimbabweans voted, the process was a reaffirmation of the fact that the country’s territorial and diplomatic security is key, but most importantly that Zimbabweans are cognisant of the patriotic mandate they have in nurturing the “Zimbabwean Dream” which is not predetermined by temporary storms.
Another central pillar of our liberation struggle was the fight for democracy. While there are numerous submissions which explain the phenomenon of democracy, I argue that this is a concept which offers normative provisions for those who govern to draw consent for their legitimacy from the governed. This is why the fight against Smith was justified and draws its support from the masses. This is because his regime was illegal. It was an oppressive machinery to the liberties of the African. As such, the phenomenon of democracy is as old as the nascent stage of the anti-colonial resistance. Our people resisted to be governed by the oppressor. Therefore, in remembrance of their sacrifice in the fight against tyranny it is crucial for Zimbabweans to understand that this phase must compel us to safeguard the time immemorial principles of having a governing body which is endorsed into power by the people for the people. We are Zimbabwe!
The wealth of the nation
The thrust of the Chimurenga was to realign property rights and ownership. The armed struggle was aimed at bringing back that which was stolen from the African people by the colonialist. This included vast tracks of arable land, mineral rich areas and access to wildlife. The African became a trespasser in the land of their birth. The fight against the system that was instituted by Rhodes and his scions by the nationalists was to ensure that Zimbabweans reclaimed their lost wealth. As such, Zimbabweans voted for a party which recognises that place of the indigenes in the economic scheme of things. It is about enabling those who are not of Zimbabwean descent to be welcomed to invest in the country —at the same time imparting skills that will help to grow Zimbabwe’s economy.
Equality forms the social base of our political culture against a background of the racism that the nationalist generation fought. As a result, Zimbabweans voted for equality, access to opportunities as well as distributive policies which ensure that basic needs such as health, education and other social amenities are not a privilege of a few.
If social binaries based on nepotism and despotic social imbalances are successfully crushed national unity will be a reality. This is because from the outset, what liberated us was our unity against oppression. Therefore, our prosperity depends on unity. That way peace and prosperity will be a defining mark of our political landscape. Therefore, Zimbabweans voted for unity and that unity must permeate across all levels of society even in these hard, but passing times. THERE’S something wrong in our small town of Hwange particularly at Hwange Truck Inn and Sindrella No 1 North Village. People are being killed willy-nilly and no culprits are brought to book. The law must catch up with these criminals and lock them up.
Innocent people lose their lives and we can’t seem to find a solution to stop or challenge what is tarnishing our small town’s name and cutting short lives of innocent people. We must not blame anyone for lack of safety but the people of Hwange should all play a role in this crisis.
Everyone must be responsible by reporting any criminals they know or who they suspect to be behind these gruesome murders. Let’s not hide these criminals because they will come and attack us as well.
Let us work together with the police to clean our town of criminal activity — let’s not use unemployment as an excuse to murder and rob people. People of Hwange let us join hands and report these criminals even if they are our sons and daughters.
Lawrence General Chinene, Hwange.