39 Years On, Democracy Under Siege!
19 April 2019
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Stephen Sarkozy Chuma

Yesterday Zimbabwe marked 39 years after attaining independence from Britain. It is important to note that I have deliberately avoided the use of the word ‘celebrated’ because there is nothing worth celebrating besides the change of white faces at the top echelons of power.

True to what Fannon referred to as “Black Skin White Masks”, our post independence leaders have learnt everything and forgot nothing from the repressive colonial state.

In fact what our post colonial leaders have done is to strategically position themselves as conduits that link the West and of late the East in this looting spree to siphon our motherland of her precious mineral resources.

Corruption and daylight thievery by the highest office in the land is in full swing under the pretext of ‘mega deals’ and sadly these unholy mega deals will have deleterious ripple effects to future generations who will have to bear the brunt of debt.

From Robert Mugabe’s reign of terror to Emmerson Mnangagwa’s so called new dispensation, repression and coercion is the order of the day.

The more things change is the more they are remaining the same or getting worse in this part of the continent!

In fact the post colonial state has betrayed those who sacrificed their lives in pursuit of freedom and the fundamental principle of ‘One man One Vote’ which was one of the reasons why waged the painful 14 year Second Chimurenga.

39 years on we are still struggling with the ghost of LOMA as repressive laws and statutes like POSA, BAZ and Criminal Law and Codification Reform Act have been deliberately realigned to whip any dissenting voices into their cocoons.

39 years on we still have a government that believes in use of live bullets and Gestapo like tactics in silencing critics and voices of discontentment!

From Rhodesia Broadcasting Corporation to Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, the motherland still has a single television station as a means to stifle freedom of expression!

However there is a ray of hope in that we have an alternative government in form of a party, MDC whose founding principles are deeply rooted in social democracy.

As such the MDC under the able leadership of President Nelson Chamisa has a duty to extricate the people of Zimbabwe from claws of oppression.

What that means is that the party needs not to fall into the rigours of the vicious cycle by emulating ZANU PF tactics especially when holding own its internal processes.

Stephen Sarkozy Chuma is a media practitioner and MDC Youth Assembly National Secretary for Information and Publicity Candidate.