Thursday, May 30, 2024

Liberation war political parties have become caretakers of oppression

The vitriol emanating from Zimbabwe’s so-called “war veterans” and their resistance to be guided away from their own ignorance would, to some extent, be forgiven and even tolerated had it not been for the fact that they are the government and believe they alone know what is best for the people and for the country.

True, many of them left school as youngsters to answer the call to arms to liberate Zimbabwe, a traumatic experience that was never fully addressed when the youthful freedom fighters triumphantly returned home with an independent Zimbabwe that we had hoped would be handed over to “the people”.

With education interrupted and living the trauma of war, the war veterans were not afforded the necessary support to compete and succeed in a non-war situation.

To this day, there are no hospitals to attend to mental, physical and social problems, particular to them and emanating from the horrors witnessed by youngsters, who, for many years, lived in a kill-or-be-killed situation.

The government, instead, paid token attention to them and gave them money to silence them whenever they complained or when their destitution became obvious to the public’s eye.

A few were given opportunities to return to school, but most were given amounts of money now and then.                                                                                                     But their problems were not meant to be solved by money.

So, in the end, they rightfully felt used, abused, and forgotten. They became militant and challenged their “liberation war government”, a development that saw many of them being placed in some ministries and government departments.

And, so, here we are, witnessing a total lack of tolerance and deadly reactions – if one were to remind some of them of their shortfalls or inadequacies.

No one better demonstrates this pervasive attitude than Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who, as expected, has surrounded himself with carefully chosen war veterans who threaten the people at every turn while believing that if all is well for them, then it is okay for everyone else.

Alas, the mentality that “since I fought in the war, I know what’s best for you” has ruined not only Zimbabwe but many African countries, particularly in the southern African region where the fiercest liberation wars were fought.

I cannot think of a liberation war political party that won independence for its people and then leave government or lose an election.

The Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (Frelimo) liberated Mozambique from the Portuguese in 1975, and they have been in power since.

The same holds for Angola where the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) is still at it since 1975.

There is, of cause, Zanu-PF in Zimbabwe, which has been pulling the plough away from the oxen since 1980.

And in the South Western African People’s Organisation (SWAPO), we have an eager student since 1990.

And, of cause, we cannot forget “Tsholetsa Domkrag”, the Botswana Democratic Party, in power since independence in 1966; nor do we forget the elder Chama Cha Mapinduzi in Tanzania, in power since 1961.

Then, there is the “godfather” of African liberation political parties, South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC), the most disappointing of the lot because of its dangerous pretense to care about human rights while successive ANC state presidents have gone out of their way to support despots on the African continent.

The role the ANC is playing in the subjugation of the people of Zimbabwe cannot be forgiven.

Ironically, South Africa, as a country, has always supported a government that abused the African people in the then Rhodesia and even before that.

Today, we are supposed to be thankful and praise Cyril Ramaphosa for sending envoys to Zimbabwe; we are expected to believe he cares. Fiddlesticks! I say.

This is just acting, a reaction to something he could not avoid.                       Ramaphosa is a man who has just found corpses on his doorstep and is trying to convince the world that, although with no alibi, he did not do it.

How many times has South Africa blocked efforts to discuss the crisis in Zimbabwe? How many times has South Africa behaved as if it is the caretaker of Africa and chose which leaders to support?

As people were beaten and killed, the government in Zimbabwe went on a rampage. Then, someone called Thabo Mbeki told the world that there was “no crisis in Zimbabwe” and then allowed Robert Mugabe to continue with his murderous behavior against Zimbabwe.

Today, we hear the Zimbabwean government parroting the “no crisis in Zimbabwe” mantra as journalists, lawyers, human rights activists, and members of the opposition are abducted, tortured, and found dead by the roadside.

The word ‘crisis’ is a simple word that we borrowed from the Greek word ‘krisis’, which simply meant the time, that point when a patient either lives or dies.

That is never the time for a doctor to walk away; that is the moment a doctor sweats because losing a patient is not something the doctor works to achieve.

When a government starts arresting journalists, it has something to hide.

When a ruling party kills its citizens, it is afraid of the consequences of their acts.

I am not convinced that South Africa and its ANC wish Zimbabwe well; they are making too much money on the misery of Zimbabweans to worry about the killings, abductions, rape, arrests and abuse of well-intentioned citizens who go about their daily lives trying to make meaningful contributions to the well-being of their families and their country.  

These liberation war political parties have our nations in a chokehold as if we nominated them and sent them to war.

How shall we then praise and thank them when they took all the freedom from us and continue to keep it among themselves.

Camaraderie among this group of political parties has turned southern Africa into a death zone where independent thought is a ticket to hell.

Where are the freedom fighters we supported?

Botswana has refugees from Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, and Angola.

Zimbabwe has refugees from DR Congo, Rwanda; South Africa has refugees from…oh, Lord!

The fact that African leaders are exchanging refugees tells us a lot about the mentality of these so-called leaders.

Liberation war political parties have become caretakers of oppression, reigning worse human rights violations than a nation of devils can ever produce. This nonsense must stop.

Yes, there is a crisis in Zimbabwe and Mr. Ramaphosa must avoid insulting the people of Zimbabwe again.                                                                                                         Do something or stay out, please.

  • Tanonoka Whande writes in his personal capacity.


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