The National Patriotic Front (NPF) joins Zimbabweans in celebrating 39
years of independence from colonial rule, the birth of our nation Zimbabwe.
This is a time to be happy, but also a moment to introspect. We celebrate the birth of a child called Zimbabwe, but we also introspect on how we have failed to nurture the jewel, how we subjected the
country to vagaries of black-on-black oppression, wanton looting of resources meant to grow the young nation state and the repressive system that stunted the growth of the child born on April 18 1980.
We reminisce on the excesses of a few among us who take themselves as stockholders of our national being, how they have baby-dumped our young nation, yet criminalised every effort others have made to salvage it from what is left from their destructive stewardship.
Today, as the day passes, most of our people are lying in hospital beds, sharing wards with decomposing departed folks who succumbed to curable diseases. Others are writhing in pain on death-beds, with hapless medical personnel enduring the torture of witnessing their preventable
demise, if only our health facilities had drugs, latex gloves and surgical equipment. Our medical practitioners have resigned to being undertakers because our government refuses to be humane and invest in the welfare of its citizens.
As we commemorate 39 years of existence, many of our comrades are queuing the day away for five litres of fuel because that is all they can afford in the event they are luck to get near a pump dispensing the liquid. Even as most queue, they are also pondering over where their children’s next meal will come from, on account of skyrocketing prices of basic commodities. This is our Zimbabwe today. A country where getting a job is a miracle and accessing a decent meal, a supernatural act.
Even as we endure the pain of keeping body and soul together, we remember, today, the many lives lost due Cyclone Idai and share in the pain of our brothers and sisters who, even today, are enduring the stench of decomposing bodies as they comb and, unsuccessfully, try to move boulders in search of their missing loved ones.
Their government has left them on their own, to grieve and search for closure without attendant machinery that one would expect the state to provide. This is the uncaring system that is presiding over the welfare of the child, or should we say, the adult, called Zimbabwe.
But as we go through the list of gallant sons and daughters who birthed our beautiful, but abused nation, we recall their words and deeds. We reminisce over their aspirations and desire to build a just society in which all our children, “black and white, enjoy together.”
We look back, look into the now and also gaze into the future and ask ourselves whether we are on the correct trajectory. We accept the reality that 39 years into our independence, we have a coup government. We have men and women who unconstitutionally stole power on 15 November 2017,
predictably stole an election on July 30 2018, callously butchered our dear comrades on 1 August 2018 and presided over a reign of terror between January 14 2019 and March 12 2019, running the affairs of the country today.
Almost four decades into our existence, we live a daily life of fear and terror, with armed men who are supposed to protect our sovereignty, territorial integrity and national dignity, turning their guns on our citizens, brutalising already impoverished souls, in the name of power retention.
Our daughters, sisters and mothers, are emotionally and physically ravaged as rape is used as an instrument of oppression and dehumanising control. Our young men endure the indignity of the emasculation of their fathers in front of traumatised children as bread winners are sjamboked in front of their families, in a bid, by the powers usurpers, to suppress any dissent, real or perceived.
What kind of a Zimbabwe are we building, where fathers are cuckolded by men in military uniform, emasculated and humiliated in front of young souls who are supposed to look up to them for protection and inspiration?
Today, we are afraid, that 39 years into our independence, we have successfully created a new breed of Zimbabweans who hate everything Zimbabwean. Our children see monsters in the government that is supposed to serve them. They see death, anguish, hunger and helplessness in a system that is supposed to protect them.
Granted, there are successes that have been scored inside the 39 years of our existence, but these pale into oblivion as death hovers around everything we see today. The education system that we once prided ourselves of is dying. The health care system that the founding father of our nation, Cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe, worked hard to initially build has all but collapsed. The land, the central grievance on which our struggle for national independence was built, is being given back to our erstwhile colonisers and their surrogates while policies to empower the black indigenous people are being reversed to benefit those that oppressed us decades ago.
Our diamonds are being handed over to the British and Russians. Our gold is being smuggled through cartels to European metropolises, while our chrome is being shipped to Asian capitals for a song. The indigenization policy, meant to protect our extractive industry, has been repealed to
facilitate the looting of our minerals by cartels fronted by men and women in government today.
It is all gloom, but today, we don’t just look and despair. We reflect on what we can achieve through collectivism and patriotic sacrifice. We stand on the tombs of our liberation heroes and promise them that we will never betray their sacrifices.
We rededicate ourselves to the struggle against neo-colonialism, a struggle against injustice, no matter the colour of the perpetrators. We stand even against machete holding militias unleashed among us by those looting our national resources and assure the Josiah Tongogaras, the Lookout
Masukus, the Herbert Chitepos of our struggle for national independence, that we are not cowards.
We assure them that they did not die in vain and that we cherish their vision of a free and prosperous Zimbabwe.
We dedicate ourselves to improving the lot of our people and rid ourselves of any vestiges of oppression, even as it is today, visited upon our people by those supposed to be our brothers and sisters.
We acknowledge that our country has the right climate and dedicated citizenry, we should never go hungry. We have countless mineral resources that we should harness for the betterment of our people if only we had the political will to do so.
We make a clarion call to Zimbabweans to introspect, believe in our collective ability to effect the change we want. We have seen what comrades in Sudan have achieved through peacefully and directly confronting an oppressive regime. We know what the dedicated Second Chimurenga comrades managed to achieve when they came together to fight the white, settler, colonial system.
We believe this vampire, black, stockholder, oppressive system we are reeling under can still be “crushed” and our children, “black and white can enjoy together,” a free and prosperous Zimbabwe as General Tongogara envisaged. The duty to free ourselves is ours together. Iwe neni tinebasa,
umsebenzi lo umkhulu.
With God on our side, we shall overcome.
God bless you.
Look forward to a new Zimbabwe.
Spokesperson National Patriotic Front