Not So Independent

via Not So Independent – The Zimbabwean 16 April 2015 by Jera

It is Independence Day this Saturday. After 35 years of sameness, there is no reason to expect anything different. This weekend, Robert Mugabe will round up his rented audience along with others who are threatened, cajoled and dragged to the National Sports Stadium to listen to his usual hate speech, copied and pasted from previous national events.

In the VIP tent, the jaded bigwigs will nod off and at lunch time, the crowd-for-hire will partake in another feast, not unlike that ghastly binge that took place in Victoria Falls on the occasion of Mugabe’s 91st birthday. Those sheltered from the merciless heat beneath the VIP tent will make their excuses and depart in their luxury vehicles, leaving the plebs to gnaw at the bones of dubiously acquired cattle slaughtered for the occasion.

On the morning of 19 April, for the rented mob, it will be back to the cold hard reality of persistent power cuts, water shortages and a hand-to-mouth existence.

The biggest disappointment about Independence celebrations is not so much Zanu (PF)’s wastefulness in a time of national hunger, but the absence of unity and reconciliation. On the occasion of the country’s independence commemoration, it is appropriate to draw attention to Josiah Tongogara’s speech:

‘We are not fighting colour. We are fighting an oppressive system. Once the system is removed, we will mix-mix as Zimbabweans.’

In this almost Mandelaesque address, the late Tongogara’s wishes cannot be any clearer. The principles of the liberation war were not about the formation of a new style of apartheid, in which those that are not Zanu (PF), those that are ‘non indigenous’ are dispossessed of their property. For the past 35 years, Robert Mugabe has made it difficult for anybody other than a Zanu (PF) supporter to partake in the biggest day on the national calendar.

He has made it clear that there is no room in Zimbabwe for those that do not share his opinions. There is no room for minority groups, be they gays, whites, Ndebeles, Tswanas, Kalangas or the San who, 35 years post uhuru, remain excluded from national development.

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