It’s not about the Arab Spring, stupid!

THAT we are at loggerheads with our oppressors is beyond any shadow of doubt. And, there can be no iota of doubt too that the day of reckoning between the forces of freedom and those of reaction is not distant.

Source: It’s not about the Arab Spring, stupid! – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 31, 2016


They may try every trick they can to remain in power, but victory surely belongs to the people. Former Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith vowed that Zimbabwe would not have majority rule in a thousand years and our own Methuselah believes he can die in power.

The same way Smith was defeated is the same way President Robert Mugabe and his oppressive regime will be defeated. Truth and justice will triumph over evil. Mugabe et al are on their way out. Never again will they hold our nation to ransom.

This is the time for Zimbabwe to arise. Arise Zimbabwe! The time has come and now is, for Zimbabweans to: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” (John Fitzgerald Kennedy)

Zimbabwe has just emerged from a violence-filled week, which violence is purveyed by the Mugabe regime. It is with shock and great sadness that we have to witness such horrors against fellow citizens by those who are meant to enforce law and order in the country.

There is no law in our Constitution, as far as I know, that inhibits us from expressing ourselves peacefully, even against the government. It is really worrying that Mugabe and his Zanu PF are behaving as if they are the sole owners of this great country of ours.

The behaviour betrays a people who have run out of ideas to solve the political and economic bog obtaining in Zimbabwe.

I am sure about one thing though and the earlier the forces of evil realise this, the better: Mugabe and his party have lost the moral and political authority to continue running affairs of our country.

We are a peaceful people and the violence we are exposed to by the violent regime is unjustifiable. Mugabe’s default response to protests in Zimbabwe reveals that he leads not a constitutionally-elected government.

A legitimate government listens to its people even if their views are against those of the government in power. Zanu PF has never listened to the people. Violence is their default response to any dissent.

Zimbabweans have genuine grievances against the Zanu PF government. We expect mature engagement with those who claim to be representing our interests. We can’t keep blaming foreigners for all the ills in our country.

There is no foreigner sponsoring any violent demonstration in Zimbabwe. The problem is the violent response to peaceful expression by our people. Why should our demonstrations and protests be termed illegal?

What is illegal about registering our discontent and dissatisfaction against a government that doesn’t represent our interests? Why should it be a crime to challenge a government whose legitimacy is in question?

Mugabe has singled out MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai (out of the many opposition leaders who partook in Friday’s demonstration), claiming that he is being sponsored by the West to bring some kind of Arab Spring to Zimbabwe.

Our struggle against the establishment didn’t start in 2010 when the Arab Spring started in parts of North Africa and the Middle East. Our country has fought against a one-party State in the 1980s and continues to fight against dictatorship even now.

This isn’t a struggle that can be understood in developments in the aforesaid regions. Our message is clear: “For the sake of peace and justice, let us move toward a world in which all people are at least free to determine their own destiny.” (Ronald Reagan)

According to Mahatma Gandhi: “Civil disobedience is the assertion of a right which law must give, but which it denies.”

Allow us to determine our own destiny and to exercise our freedoms with due regard to the rights of others. We don’t want to be prisoners in our own country. We want to be free like all the others in the free world. So it isn’t about the Arab Spring, stupid!

I am concerned that our mothers are being brutalised by those who are meant to be protecting them. I am just wondering if at all those thugs in police uniform have been trained to professionally enforce law and order in our country.

And I wonder if Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo is comfortable presiding over a ministry which brutalises women and citizens in general. Where is the respect for cultural values?

I am morbidly aware that when you seek a just course of action, not everyone will always agree with your decisions, but isn’t it true that: “Maturity begins to grow when you can sense your concern for others outweighing your concern for yourself”? (John MacNaughton)

We have only realised that no one is concerned about us. However, we are determined to free ourselves. As B C Forbes observed, “The man who has done his level best . . . is a success, even though the world may write him down as a failure.”

Those of us in the Diaspora endure hardships and privations of every kind, supported by the one thought of the day when we can return home again, and when we can rest from wandering, and seated amidst our kith and kin, tell of the wondrous things we have seen in our journeyings.

I would like to commend the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights for the work they are doing. Providing legal representation to the oppressed is a giant step. We have the likes of George Bizos in South Africa, who represented the oppressed during apartheid.

It is, therefore, a good thing that we have selfless lawyers who are serving humanity. This is as it should be. I know there are others who are doing it for ulterior motives, those who expect votes for this good deed.

We know that, in political life, both ambition and altruism drive man and that these two qualities reside in the same mind and heart. It has been written by the late Masipula Sithole that the political business, especially in Africa, is as lucrative as it is risky. As a result, one has to be ambitious and sacrificial at the same time.

I believe, however, that our struggle is in need of sacrifice more than anything. In the words of Kennedy, “In private life, as in industry, we expect the individual to advance his own enlightened self-interest — within the limitations of the law — in order to achieve overall progress. But in public life, we expect individuals to sacrifice their private interests to permit the national good to progress.”

Let us now and for all time extract from the body politic as a dentist extracts a stinking tooth all our oppressors. May God help Zimbabwe! The struggle continues unabated!