Sunday, June 16, 2024

Zimbabwe’s Service Chiefs and war veterans slowly becoming irrelevant

Something is happening in Zimbabwe and I do not know what it is.

I am looking hard and am trying to understand.

It’s not easy to categorise.

In Zimbabwe, a horse gave birth to a fish and both are still barely alive and are demanding our attention.

I am afraid because I don’t hear about the corruption of justice but all I hear are accolades to the offspring born out of different species, a government of national unity that was born out of the destruction of democracy.

I chillingly see and hear words of comfort coming from the most unlikely sources.

Last week, a lot of statements were issued from various quarters, including the prime minister himself.
Even the prime minister’s son showered comforting words on Mugabe as he praised the old dictator.
D├®tente, indeed!

Admittedly, youngsters see the future better than adults and it is my hope that when young Edwin Tsvangirai confessed to seeing Mugabe in a different light than most of us have known him, the young lad knew and smelt better things for the nation.

“I want to thank his Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe for the kind words that changed my understanding of him,” said young Tsvangirai.

This is precisely what the whole nation of Zimbabwe would like to know; we have been waiting for this for decades.
We still haven’t seen it.

We are all craving not only for those kind words that change the people’s understanding of this evil man but for his accompanying actions, which must convince us, not a select few, that, indeed, Robert Mugabe has repented and his words match his actions.

We are still a marooned nation because even our prime minister has not yet found his footing. He is still busy trying to keep the nation together and to avoid any possible outbreak of hostilities.

The burden is unfairly on Mr Tsvangirai yet Mugabe and his ZANU-PF still behave as if they are not party to this agreement.

Violence continues unchecked while Mugabe pleads for acceptance by the international community.

And last week, we were treated to a meaningless show by out-of-date so-called ‘Service Chiefs’ who no longer have much on their side or anything more to offer but delusionally still believe that if they refuse to salute their prime minister, they were making a statement.

Of what further use are the Service chiefs, in the persons of Defence Forces Commander General Constantine Chiwenga, Air Force of Zimbabwe’s Perence Shiri, Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri, CIO director, Happyton Bonyongwe and Zimbabwe Prison Service’s Major-General Paradzayi Zimondi?

Their time is gone and they are hanging on by a strand of cobwebs.

It was a sad affair to see these men, who are fast becoming irrelevant to a new Zimbabwe, behaving as if they deserve any better treatment or accolades.

They should have been the first to embrace and promote the new dispensation because even if they were to stage a coup, the only casualty would be their own creation, Mugabe. The people of Zimbabwe long embarked on the freedom trail to liberate themselves from these men and their leader.

Whether Mr Tsvangirai is there or not, the freedom train will never grind to a halt. It will only do so when Mugabe and his toy soldiers are off the stage.

The service chiefs showed their uselessness to Zimbabwe. They showed their shallowness and their lack of professionalism. They left no doubt in anyone’s minds that they are indeed a cancer that ought to be removed.
They snubbed and ignored the Prime Minister at a State funeral to bury their own former commander.

They chose, not the nation, which they should be serving, but an individual, Mugabe, to whom there are beholden.

These men, along with Mugabe, are enemies to the arrival of peace in Zimbabwe.

They are now totally irrelevant to the nation and their presence is only a menacing shadow to desperately fend off possibilities of their own incarceration.

They are wasting their time because they, along with Mugabe, will face justice regardless of what the MDC promises them.

Then we have our so-called war veterans, a proud and esteemed section of our citizenry, shamelessly corrupted by Mugabe’s misrule.

They too better come to their senses and understand what their role is.
And here we are talking about the real war veterans, not the thugs later recruited by ZANU-PF to terrorise the people.

They really have to understand that the slavery and oppression from which they supposedly liberated their nation is much more welcome than the kind of abuse, cruelty, repression, exploitation and tyranny they helped to install in Zimbabwe.

The war veterans are complicit in the sham.

Zimbabwe is today in pain because of these war veterans. Our votes do not count. Farms continue to be taken for Mugabe, his children and relatives, friends and colleagues but not even for the real war veterans.

War veterans who fought and saw combat never want to see a repeat of what happened during the war of liberation.
Even if they could repeat it, which they definitely can never do, they would not want the nation, let alone themselves, to go through what they went through during that time.

Most of our war veterans are still traumatised by the war but were neglected by Mugabe and ZANU-PF.
Our war veterans did not necessarily need money but assistance to reintegrate into society, assistance to cope with what they went through.
ZANU-PF ignored the war veterans, especially at a time when they needed to make big physical and psychological adjustments to live and compete in a non-war situation.

We should have built Veterans Memorial Hospitals in each province for them. We should have given them the support they needed to make the transition they had to undertake.

But someone told them to get violent and demand money for serves they voluntarily gave to the nation. They got the money and today, our real war veterans are no better than they were when they left Mozambique.
The phony ones, though, are sitting pretty.

Because of Mugabe’s corruption, the term “war veteran”, instead of evoking pride, patriotism, admiration and respect, now conjures up fear and contempt because it has been made synonymous with lawlessness, thuggery, rape, greed and, quite disturbingly, murder.

Even though we were forced to pay them for services rendered, surely, not all of them are angry with us for we did them no wrong.

Yes, a horse might have given birth to a fish in Zimbabwe, for this government of so-called national unity was born out of very bad, undemocratic agreements but for now we might be tempted to believe something might come out of it yet.

I have never been happy with this contraption of a government but if there are positive things that are coming out of it, maybe it is time to stop being negative and concentrate on the positive things happening in this government.

I only wish I knew what those positive things are since ZANU-PF always cancels out any positive move the MDC takes.

The service chiefs and the war veterans better know that they belong to the people, not to ZANU-PF or to Mugabe. If they do not realise that, they will sink into oblivion with Mugabe, as they have already started to do, because they allowed Mugabe to pit them against their own people.

They must stop behaving as if they are not party to this government of national unity.


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