By Farai Mbira
Taking into account what Mugabe has done to our lives and future I am bold to say that he is not worthy of any national celebration. The only people who can celebrate are his cronies, relatives and hangers on who have immorally benefited from his mismanagement and eventual collapsing of our once meaningful lives and comparatively vibrant economy.
Finally turning his tear gas at war veterans has exposed the shame being mistakenly taken as iconic legacy. Mugabe has destroyed every good thing that came our way during his time! Those who gathered in Masvingo “celebrating” Mugabe’s birthday were celebrating the fall of our nation must think beyond the beer bottle!
A genuine exposure of his tenure at the helm will reveal nothing but poverty, gross human rights abuses, disregard of the rule of law, gross miss-governance and abject national poverty. How can you tell a business person using the bucket toilet system in front of his international visitors that Mugabe is an icon?
How can you tell an unemployed graduate selling air-time that Mugabe is an icon? How can you tell a grandmother who has not been paid for his agricultural deliveries for more than a year that Mugabe is an icon? Icon of what, they will all wonder!
We are told that Mugabe’s “legacy” dates back to his leadership of the armed struggle for freedom yet he denies others to fight for the same. We are told he advocated for national reconciliation in 1980 yet by the same act of forgiving the whites, he went after his own citizens in Matebeleland where his forces killed more people than they did during the armed struggle. What legacy is that?
We are further told that he educated people yet the same educated people have run away into the diaspora? We are told that he empowered people yet there is rampant poverty with over 90% unemployment? Those that are employed have not been paid for more than six months. Can we tell these people Mugabe is an icon? Mugabe argues that he has indigenised the economy. What he means is that he has returned us to the Stone Age!
Those that serve Mugabe must accept joint responsibility for all the abuses committed during Mugabe’s time at State House. Only recently Mugabe’s deputy Mnangagwa appeared on TV saying every person has a right to life. Is that so! If he is serious he must prevail on the government to stop human rights violations whilst he is still there than wait to speak when he is no longer in government.
Mugabe’s current government officials and those that have been kicked out bear equal responsibility for everything done by Mugabe. If Mugabe’s government is serious they should tell us where Itai Dzamara is or show seriousness in telling the nation what has happened to him.
The recent teargassing of helpless war veterans demonstrates Mugabe and his government’s disregard to life and people’s rights. This is the real legacy Mugabe is leaving behind and if ever we can call that an “icon” it’s a shameful monument. Half-hearted apologies and crocodile tears won’t help.
Why not arrest the police officers who teargassed these illustrious citizens? Why not arrest the undisciplined young man who openly threated the war veterans the previous day? To these tear gassed war veterans I express my sympathy with their natural spirit of fighting injustice. It is an insult to see them being taught the ideology “kudzidziswa gwara remusangano” by a beneficiary of their sacrifices.
It is our traditional docility that has allowed evil to blossom while we looked the other way. As Zimbabweans we must quickly learn to face the truth. Our country has collapsed in the hands of this so called icon. We are unemployed because this so called icon has destroyed the economy. Only yesterday Mugabe’s government ordered all the diamond mines to close immediately and vacate the mines.
What happens to the workers this so called icon does not care. There are more human ways of closing businesses that genuine icons use. Why not order government ministers and dealers to turn in all the diamonds hidden under their beds? We were told that we could earn ten billion dollars in diamond sales per year but where is it. Mugabe must tell us where our diamonds are – any serious icon would.
The only celebration we can make is that the end is nigh and that the Gushungo wall is coming down. A ZUNDE government will be based on enduring values under which such disrespect, gross human rights abuses, shutting of businesses at the whim of a minister will never be tolerated. Our government will be guided by FAIR values (fairness, accountability, inclusiveness and respect). Our government will treat every citizen with respect!
Farai Mbira, ZUNDE President, www.zunde.org