Let me start by describing the only time that I ever raised my intellectual eyebrows concerning the people’s favourite, of Mukomana ngaapinde fame. This concerned a remark made at Oxford Union Society, granting respect to Robert Mugabe the young, while criticizing Robert Mugabe the old. I could not figure out, reasons for respecting Mugabe the young. Could this have referred to the liberation struggle or Mugabe’s leadership during the early period of Zimbabwe’s attainment of independence?
I only assumed that he was referring to the period from 1976, up to the time immediately after signing the Lancaster House peace Agreement. I had also put my hope on RGM, envisaging peace, with an erudite Robert Mugabe leading a united Patriotic Front government. I had all along supported Nkomo but had preferred the younger politician, RGM, to lead the united PF government.
However, the greatest disappointment came, after Tongogara and Nkomo had declared that both parties would contest elections as a united PF. I still remember the hour of the great disappointment, listening to the evening news. Being interviewed in Tanzania, Mugabe stated that ZANU would contest separately from ZAPU. That news clip presented the greatest shock of my life.
There was no clarity, as to whether this was a unilateral declaration, or this had all along been a ZANU agenda. One assumed that Josia Tongogara’s unity statement had carried the sane side of ZANU. However, the evil nature of ZANU was then being revealed by the co-leader of the Patriotic Front. My assumption is that the insane declaration had British support. In my naive reasoning, I assumed that no sane person would ever vote for a person with that mindset. But, after the election, I knew that Zimbabwe had been sold to the dogs.
There are those who got irritated by Jonathan Moyo’s Hondo ye minda jingles, in early 2000. But I wish they could have listened to the Jongwe rakakunda jingles of the early eighties. Just overnight, the ZBC had become a tool for irritating the sane people of that time. I lost a number of friends, with whom I had supported the Patriotic Front, during the war of liberation.
It became clear that Zimbabwe had not attained independence. My confusion, listening to Chamisa’s Oxford Union speech, was punctuated with the assumption that he may have been referring to Mugabe’s rule in the early 1980s. Hence my intellectual shock at Chamisa’s speech. I assumed that he may have sought to please the host, as that speech was made on British soil? But, to this day I still feel disturbed by that remark, as not sure of what the young favourite politician really meant.
My view is that Robert Mugabe the old was better than Robert Mugabe the younger? Of course, to the British and white Rhodesians, Mugabe the young was magnificent. But to the black majority, the early years of Mugabe’s rule were gloomiest. This was the time that the Matabeleland and Midlands massacres were carried out. But the white farmers and white businessmen enjoyed the greatest peak in their business activities, in this country. A portion of the black people was simply enjoying the “Jongwe rakakunda” jingles.
Due to stressful conditions, in our country, I became a sick man, leading to the 1987 peace agreement. I resigned to the fate that nothing good could ever come from Zimbabwe. I only felt good that I had not participated in the armed struggle. Yet I had eagerly desired to cross the border in the year 1976, having been encouraged by the ascendance of the eloquent Robert Mugabe into the political limelight. When Edgar Tekere’s ZUM, achieved very little in the 1990 elections, I predicted that nothing was left, for the country called Zimbabwe.
Currently, there is some hope in the politician of the Mukomana Ngaapinde fame. Although I remain sceptical, at the same time. Wondering whether the young politician seeks to please Western countries, rather than carrying the hope of the Zimbabwean people? The question, inadequately answered by most Zimbabweans, involves reasons for engaging in the armed struggle? Why was the armed struggle necessary, for independence?
Rhodesia was doing well, economically. Nonetheless, at the expense of the black majority. Currently, there is bad governance, disadvantaging the black majority. But there appears to be some economic recovery. Turning a blind eye to that reality is unnecessary. Zimbabwe appears as positively turning a curve, economically, so far as appeasing the Western nations, is concerned.
Those critical of ED’s government, on the basis of the poor economy, may probably be naive. The economy is improving but to the detriment of the black majority. This could be a development taking us back to the early 1980s. The British conferred RGM with a knighthood, during that period when our people were being massacred in Matabeleland and Midlands. Who really benefitted during that time? I suppose, those who conferred the knighthood on RGM, benefitted the most?
One of the Rhodesian remnants, Eddie Cross, has already given the thumbs up to what is currently being unveiled in Zimbabwe. There appears to be no doubt that the country is going back to foreigners. Possibly being encouraged by the “Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra? As I cast my mind back to the eighties, I remember seeing many blacks stampeding to the white suburban areas. This was, obviously, a display of desiring to behave like the whites, who were assumed as superior to blacks.
Most blacks appear degraded, unable to put value in themselves. Sadly, the same applies to the black rulers. They think that money is more important than themselves. But, money cannot be more valuable than humans, created in God’s image. Jesus did not die on the cross, for money. He died for the sole purpose that humans should regain their dignity. As to why this is not clear to most people, remains an enigma. Jesus clearly enunciated this viewpoint in one of His teachings.
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:19-24 KJV).
The above Scripture is, of course, confusing to ordinary people, who assume that money carries more value than human beings. This is why we have people engaging in Kuromba (sorcery). Our educational system is failing to capture the idea that humans are more valuable than money and mineral resources, combined. It is not surprising that the Chinese investors value diamonds, more than the indigenous people.
Generally, people are excited that roads are being constructed and industries are opening. But that is a ruse. As long as such activities are credited to foreigners, or just a few local individuals, rather than the majority, we are back to slavery. This is why others strategically insist, “Mukomana ngaambomira ku pinda.” Resulting from ignorance.
The economic growth may be positive, but also extremely negative, as long as it is externally driven. Rather than using the negative economy as a campaigning tool, Chamisa should highlight the significance of independence. There is no need to always criticize ZANU PF, or even waste time lampooning their behaviour. I put my thumbs up for the “Citizens Convergence for Change” idea.
Our real problem in Zimbabwe is a fixation on blaming others, rather than taking responsibility. Unwise politicians seek to capitalize on other people’s failures. Instead of clearly projecting workable ideas. Politicians should be regarded as necessary for coordinating humanity. But those politicians should never be allowed to enslave people. Zimbabweans carry the reputation of being hardworking and honest. Their weakness could only be in the area of failure to take responsibility.
Independence implies self-determinism, rather than relying on other people. Or putting too much trust in foreigners. This requires proper political education, desisting from putting significance on which political party, provides food on the table. Independence implies self-determinism. This is what was lost, some forty-one years ago. Zimbabweans are more important than mineral resources.
If serious, the so-called investors should start by appreciating human capital, before valuing mineral resources. Such humans may not be adequately educated, to attract value. But the same applies to unprocessed mineral resources, whose value cannot be before cutting and polishing. The task of educating people is not difficult, as long as such people value themselves.
The idea of allowing foreigners to practice looting so that we can have roads and industries is warped. The only sustainable philosophy is that Zimbabweans should be allowed to discover themselves. Proper education for our people is paramount, for sustainable development. Zimbabwe cannot afford to carry the burden of an uneducated populace, sitting on the comfort of being sustained by donors. Dignity is based on what is given, rather than what is received.
Those foreigners, coming for investment, should be guided by the properly instituted statutory rules, designed to improve the indigenous populace. That should be structured to make ordinary people more valuable than gold. The principle of altruism, remains significant, to sustain human dignity. Dictators may not understand or appreciate such ideas. But ordinary people should be helped to appreciate those ideas fully, for purposes of attaining real freedom.
While necessary to commend the Smith’s government, for having been highly innovative, economically, there is no need to adopt Smith’s discriminative philosophy. There is no human being that is less valuable on this planet. This is taken from the datum that human beings were created in God’s image. Resisting Rhodesian ideas, should not be based on skin colour. If Ian Smith’s policies were wrong, they are wrong, even when practised by the Chinese, or any other race, for that matter. No human being was created to be under slavery.
Practising the principle of doing unto others as one would like them to do unto one, is as workable as in prevailing normalcy. Practising the opposite of altruism, borders on insanity. It is sad, indeed, that we have a judiciary system that fails to perceive wrongness when applying injustice in place of justice. This is premised on failure to appreciate that life in this world is as temporary as the morning dew is temporary. Nevertheless, accountability for one’s actions is what is paramount.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99