Remembering Dabengwa, The Upright Legend.
18 May 2020
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By Brian Ncube- There is one assurance and certainty of life, it’s the journey between the womb and the tomb, how long it will take remains medical assumptions and predictions. What lies in between are our deeds that will determine how we are remembered.

Today we remember  a commander, President, leader, a legend and a fatherly figure who commanded respect with ease.  He never forced it, it came naturally through his humble demeanour, meekness,  military prowess and political acumen.

Dr Dumiso Dabengwa was a fearless fighter and leader who never at any moment in time got intimidated by anyone to drop his principles.

He didn’t like the word afraid used on him I remember at one of the meetings I had the liberty to attend during his time. He interjected to one Bulawayo PEC member’s submission “Angizange ngathi ngiyesaba ngithe mina kangifuni”

This was post 2017 Mugabe Coup, after Zanu PF made a number of attempts to lure the late Zapu president Dr Dumiso Dabengwa back to Zanu PF.  They promised him the vice presidency and he told them point blank that he is not a member of Zanu PF but a leader of a free and independent political outfit,  which they must engage for him to listen to them, not individually.

He was clear to Zanu PF that he will never at any moment work with them under,  something that proved a bitter pill for Zanu PF to swallow. The man was principled all the way to the end.

This was a defining moment, a moment of upholding principle, a moment of choosing the people ahead of individual gains. That very moment my respect for The Black Russian grew ten fold and I declared that here is a man I will follow anywhere.

His legacy was often questioned, attacked in smearing campaigns by many political outfits who were seeking relevance and acceptance from the masses and reminded us that his efforts and that of many freedom fighters brought Zimbabwe and it was up to the youth of today shape it to a Zimbabwe we desire today.

“We are now old and must pass on the button to the young people,” he repeatedly uttered these words at  gatherings and meetings, encouraging us young to people to step up to the plate and run our own race as they had already laid a foundation.

It is unfortunate that he never lived to retire, to plough his fields, watch his grandchildren grow like many people who come of age do. He was always at the forefront fighting injustice of the two oppressive regimes that we people have endured since time immemorial.

As we celebrate a year since the Black Russian journeyed towards the ancestral realm, in his memory I would like to encourage young people, my colleagues to try and emulate the sacrifices of our Hero, should we achieve half the things he achieved in his life, Zimbabwe will be a better place to live in for all.

I will leave you with the words from the legend himself, to ponder on.

“Instead of the youth criticizing us the older generation of our different roles in the development of Zimbabwe, they must acknowledge that we brought Zimbabwe & then ask themselves what they themselves are doing to make it better.

“It is up to them to decide the Zimbabwe they want & work at achieving it”

Brian Ncube is current National Chairman of ZAPU Youth Front.