by Gregory Samaita
How could someone like Mr. Mabasa write a scathing public obituary showing such disdain for a renowned the late Chenjerai Hove? A prolific critic of Mugabe’s regime and founding member of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association. I have a bad feeling Mabasa is camouflaging himself as someone many perceive him to be luckily, time will tell. How odd it is to respond to Mabasa’s eulogy. I wonder how odd it was for Mabasa to come up with such a disgraceful eulogy. I wouldn’t normally dream of responding to such a thing, and I doubt if many people would as well but Mabasa’s eerie depiction of Hove in the Herald was unnecessary.
I dare you to challenge Mugabe’s regime which has been forcing people to the edge, I dare you challenge those at Herald who write stories far from the truth, I dare you to challenge the system and condition that drove many Zimbabweans into exile, self-exile and die in foreign lands (even though there is nothing wrong about it) because they feel insecure at home. No doubt I had fun reading Mapenzi and I find some of Mabasa’s stories exciting and insightful but his eulogy sounded sulky. We know imbuzi indla lapho ebotshelwe khona but don’t get too comfortable and blind to the realities Mr. Mabasa. It is normal and expected of you to take such a position to please your colleagues at Herald. You are the one who is a coward too nervous and unprepared to confront the conditions and reasons why Chenjerai Hove left the country in the first place.
Mabasa was right when he said that “Chenjerai, you were not the one to have died the death of a vagabond” but ignoring the reasons why Hove left like an arrow at the height of political turmoil is just being dishonest. Hove was fiercely critical of Mugabe, using every opportunity he could find to oppose Mugabe’s brutal regime, state corruption and violation of human rights. What are you doing?
As a writer yourself there is no point in reminding you about such names like Cont Mhlanga, Baya and Owen Maseko who suffered the lashes of censorship and their lives just like Hove have been constantly threatened because they’re critical of the system. It is no secret that literature and any kind of thinking in Zimbabwe which doesn’t please the government or ZANU PF to be specific is considered unpatriotic and Western, It is no secret literature has become a product of connivance and you are riding on this train. You understand how the system works, you accepted it as a reality that is why you have no shame scathing at Chenjerai Hove. You are not the moral conscience of the country to decide who gets to be a true Zimbabwean or not, who is cultured or not. Calling Chenjerai Hove a coward is uncanny.
Unless if we are missing something Chisahwira chacho was out of order and you sounded very jealous of Hove’s achievements!