Fear in not an option
Zimbabweans United for Democracy ... Determining our own future ... We demand real change ... Fear is not an option ... Tiri kuvaka ramangwana redu ... Tinoda sanduko chaiyo ... Hatichatya ... Siyakha elakusasa lethu ... Sifuna inguquko yobala ... Asikhethi ukwesaba ...

 

Are Zimbabweans worth dying for?

by Moses Chamboko
06 March 2017

Many people have lost their lives fighting for democracy in Zimbabwe. These include Talent Mabika and Tichaona Chiminya, MDC activists who were callously murdered in the lead up to the hotly contested 2008 elections. David Coltart’s personal aide, Patrick Nabanyama disappeared on 19 June 2000 and was later found dead, buried in a shallow grave. We know of Matthew Pfebve (2000), Tonderai Ndira (2008), Joshua Bakacheza (2008) and even little children like Christpower Maisiri (2013) and many others who have perished for Zimbabwe’s democracy.cemetery

Whoever really knows what happened to Itai Dzamara is not saying but, knowing the nature of ZANU PF and its security apparatus, there is every chance that we will never see Itai walking on the streets of Harare ever again — yet another act in the tragedy that is Zimbabwe today.

A long time friend of mine has often argued that Zimbabweans are not worth dying for. He argues passionately on the basis of his personal experiences since the democratic fight started in earnest with the birth of the MDC in 1999. He also reflects on what has happened to fearless fighters for democracy over the years including some of those mentioned above.

Some weeks before Itai was abducted, my old friend said to me “I really respect what Dzamara is doing. I wish all Zimbabweans had joined him in his protest, things would be so much different. But, knowing Zimbabweans, they are going to watch from the sidelines and, before we know it, Itai will be a dead hero.”

Nearly three years later, I find myself replaying this in my mind. This discussion actually seems to make more sense as each day passes. I have been asking myself, “How many Zimbabweans have bothered to take a packet of rice, salt, sugar or maize meal to Itai’s family just as a show of solidarity? Who has made an effort to find out if Tichaona Chiminya or Talent Mabika left behind any dependants who are desperate for school fees? When Linda Masarira was incarcerated for months, how many Zimbabweans bothered to check on her children’s welfare?” I am sure you also have your own questions.

There are many Zimbabweans spread around the world especially in the UK, America and Canada who sought asylum on account of political persecution. Some were genuine but the majority were just opportunists who took advantage of the prevailing situation then, including those with ZANU PF links. Yes, people have to do what they can do to put food on the table for their families but, how many of those have paused a moment to ask themselves “How did I end up here? What have I done to help the democratic cause back home of which I am a product or beneficiary?”

Instead, what we see are derogatory posts on social media on a daily basis besmirching those who are trying hard under very difficult circumstances to make a practical contribution towards a better Zimbabwe. We like analysing, criticising and talking without proffering any tangible solution or assistance. If we are asked to contribute even a dollar towards the democratic fight, we are quick to withdraw into our shells and comfort zones; not me, somebody else should do it. We have become a selfish nation where individualism has taken centre stage. We have even invented street lingo to support our self-centredness - zvangu zvaita! Continued next page...

© ZUNDE Inc. 2016

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