Freedom is of the Mind

The spectre of re-colonization haunts Zimbabwe, thirty-six years after attainment of Independence. Dr. Myles Munroe said something that I find quite truthful and applicable in our Zimbabwean situation. “The worst thing you can do is to take a slave into freedom—but what is even worse than worst is to make a slave king, when still in his state of mental slavery” (“The Black Moses” Interview – YouTube). Dr Munroe went on to describe why the Israelites could not be allowed to enter the land of Canaan, with their slavery mentality.

God gave the Israelites a test, which they failed dismally, so that the entire generation, except Caleb and Joshua, could not enter the land of freedom. In other words it would have been disastrous for them to enter the land of freedom when they still thought of themselves as slaves. It had to be the next generation, under the leadership of Joshua that would enter Canaan.

God was fully aware of the consequences of violating this principle. Allowing the Israelites to enter into the Land of Canaan, without understanding freedom, would have been like allowing them to enter into the Promised Land with the baggage of slavery from Egypt on their heads. Their experience of slavery would then have been worse than what they had experienced in Egypt.

The Zimbabwean blacks were not treated similarly to the ancient Israelites, though having similarly been under the slavery of the whites. But if the story of the ancient Israel had been taken advantage of, in 1980, Zimbabwe could have not fallen into the problems that we are currently in. Wise people take advantage of lessons from those that would have gone through similar experiences in the past. The story of Israel had been there for the Zimbabwean people to take advantage of.

In one of my postings, on the eve of the Zimbabwe Independence Day, I documented the fact that it is not possible to talk of freedom without responsibility. Today, the whole of Africa looks at Zimbabwe as a leader, in terms of forcibly acquiring resources to empower the black people. However, having gone through that experience, the black Zimbabweans know better.  The land reform program brought more misery to their livelihood than when those resources were in the hands of their former oppressors.

The reason being that even most of our freedom fighters do not understand the fact that freedom is of the mind—not necessarily location, acquisition of resources, or talking about the achievements of the past. Without question, the Zimbabwean independence was attained in 1980. But, apparently, the Zimbabwean people themselves have not yet escaped the state of mental slavery.

This is why even President Mugabe, while seemingly petrified at the possibility of re-colonization, he holds no justifiable reason to show why re-colonization should not be regarded as the better option, under the circumstances. He is old and frail; yet, even among his staunch followers there is no-one whom he can trust to lead this country. Being very good at English language, he has only managed to coin an impressive phrase called ‘regime-change agenda by the West’. While this is obviously hollow, most of his followers are sold to it and could possibly kill anyone perceived as succumbing to regime-change agenda.

While most of us, elderly people, may resonate with Mugabe’s fears, the falling apart of economic infrastructure begs the reestablishment of the better economic system. If anyone from anywhere in the world could convincingly provide a better alternative to what we have, our youths could easily jump onto it. The youths cannot understand the meaning of colonization, except hearing about it from the irresponsible adults.

What actually angers any normal thinking person is that even the farmers, regarded as the ZANU PF support base, get punished. They are not paid for bringing their maize to GMB. They are not paid for bringing their cotton to Cotton Company of Zimbabwe.  After successfully selling their tobacco, they are deprived of cash due to what the authorities call liquidity crisis, without anyone taking accountability for such confusion.

What I have said here should not leave people in a state of despair. Zimbabwe is unique in that the populace avoided succumbing to insurgence, as has been the case with other countries. I am aware that the regime takes this as cowardice—people being viewed as scared of the frail military leadership. There is no other country anywhere in the world, where people avoid rebellion, regardless of the military might of a country. That is why even the mighty Rhodesia could not last, against the purposeful freedom-fighters.

Let me be quick to say that any uprising, at this stage would be a sign of failure on the part of Zimbabweans. Everyone should appreciate that this country belongs to Zimbabweans, collectively. Even though the opposition politicians have been vilified as being the agents of the West, there is need to remain calm and focused.

Mugabe and his ZANU PF supporters are Zimbabweans who need love, not hatred. I am aware of those having gone through acerbic treatment in the hands of political thugs. But responsibility means remaining focused and doing the right thing. Evil cannot be conquered by another evil. Our country needs rebuilding, not another armed revolution.

Each individual should ask him/herself the question of what value one is adding. There is no value that comes with receiving without giving anything in return. What we have gone through, so far as a country, is necessary experience for enabling innovations, or better ideas to correct what is wrong. But the starting point is looking onto Jesus for ideas; not necessarily through the miracle preaching prophets.

Jesus said: The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Matt. 20:28 NIV). Jesus Christ displayed the behavioral character that leads to life. Zimbabwe needs people who think in terms of value addition, not value absorption. We are in it together.

Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, which lays down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into becoming a model to other countries worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing reliefs to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social instability. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabwean readers should find the book as a long awaited providential oasis of hope.

The Print copy of the Book now available at Amazon.com for $13.99

Also available as an e-copy at Lulu.com  for $6.99

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