By Panyika Karimanzira | Other than an interview I did with TRT on the eve of the so called “New dispensation” on 23rd November 2017, this is probably the first time I have had to publicly comment in the media about the situation in Zimbabwe. This of course is apart from short and sporadic social media commentary and the one that routinely comes with my human rights work.
My failure to write frequently is not because I despise it but because my routine is such that I hardly have the time.
I am part of the working class and the industry I work in is not only too demanding but is fast paced and spans all time zones. This leaves me with very little spare time to share between family responsibilities, human rights work and social life.
In reality, and because of the scarcity of time, my human rights work is fused with my social life. In other words I hardly have any circles to talk about outside my human rights work.
The enforced disappearance of Moreblessing Ali on 24th May 2022, the discovery of her mutilated body in a well in Nyatsime in Chitungwiza on Saturday 11th June 2022 and the murder of yet another CCC member, Edison Chinembiri of Zengeza by ZANU-PF“thugs” on Tuesday 14th June 2022 has jolted me into writing this piece. The revulsion is beyond words. This is not because these very sad recent occurrences are the first of their nature but because they are the latest and happening at a time when I thought a Government of a peaceful nation has gone past that, especially considering that we now have a people driven constitution crafted in 2013, less than 10 years ago and a Presidential incumbent who got into office carrying the hopes, albeit false, of the nation for a change for the better from a diabolical Robert Mugabe era, although on the back of a coup that was, as some quarters would say, not a coup.
If you have followed my postings on social media, you would have noticed that at the apex of my condemnation of human rights issues in the context of Zimbabwe is Gukurahundi, a genocide that occurred in Zimbabwe in the 80’s, quite early into our independence as a nation. I need to state at this stage that I am using the word “independence” with a pinch of salt because, if all that has occurred from the date we were pronounced “independent” to today (42 plus years later) is to go by, Zimbabweans, in the main are not independent. It’s only the ruling elite, their cronies, ass-lickers and bread-crump hopefuls that are enjoying what is supposed to be the benefits of independence for a nation of 16+ million peace-loving and patient Zimbabweans.
Why Gukurahundi? Some may ask. The answer is partly because nothing is worse than a genocide in terms of atrocities and partly because I personally witnessed Gukurahundi unfold before my very own eyes and I still live with the grief and scars. I was in Matabeleland from day one right through to the end of that sad era in the history of our nation.
Zimbabweans, at some point you are going to have to acknowledge and face the reality that you will need to use some degree of force to confront the beast that is the regime that is holding you at ransom and decimating you in measures equal to war times.
This regime is at war with its citizens. In you, the ordinary person, it sees an enemy that needs eliminating at the earliest possible opportunity. The regime is afraid, very afraid of you because it knows the power you wield and the gravity of the atrocities it has committed against you. It knows it committed a genocide, it knows it has traumatised a whole generation in one way or another, it knows it has mismanaged the economy and plundered the resources that are meant for us all for the benefit of a very few. It knows too that you are aware of it and, the scariest part of it all is that it knows that once it is out of power, everyone (and I mean everyone including the Army, the Police, the latter day boot-lickers (forgive my French) of the likes of Varakashi, Nick Mangwana, Chris and Monica Mutswanga and all the dimwits it bribes with bread crumbs will turn against it.
You see, Gukurahundi cannot be undone. Same applies to all the cyclical atrocities that are cued with every election in Zimbabwe – forced disappearances, abductions, murders, short sleeves, you name it.
What the leaders of this regime have already committed as a collective and indeed in their personal capacities is enough for them to face successful prosecution before any competent court of law, be it domestic, regional, or international.
The current ruling elite crossed the Rubicon decades ago when they committed a genocide, Gukurahundi.
Zimbabweans, in saying this, I know I am going to break your hearts BUT there does not seem much choice but to have to resort to some force of some sort, to subdue the brutality of the regime.
It is inevitable that blood will be shed because the regime is not going to give you your freedom on a plate. Your choice is between a short, sharp revolution that spills blood on either side or a protracted diplomatic and never-ending regime that entails one sided spilling of blood in drips and drabs by the regime and all its successor versions if the regime is allowed to continue.
Remember the regime is killing you in so many ways, directly or indirectly. Directly through shooting you with live ammunition if you dare demonstrate peacefully, abductions, murders, forced disappearances etc., – indirectly through deprivation in various forms, not least of which is the failure to provide basic services like serviceable health infrastructure.
If we are not going to “man up”, the atrocious approach of ZANU-PF, the only ruling party Zimbabwe has known since independence will alter the genetics of our nationhood from a peace-loving default position to an intolerant, ruthless and diabolic one.
The long and short of it is that a revolution is overdue in Zimbabwe, preferably by popular uprising, and if not feasible, by any means possible. It is time to say “Voetsak” to the current regime, its boot-lickers, its enablers and wanabe speculative revolutionaries.
Wake up Zimbabweans. Regime change should be your unequivocal mantra because you need it badly and you need it now. No need to be ashamed of wanting to change a murderous and corrupt regime that will stop at nothing to cling to power.
Kusiri kufa ndekupi, okungasi kufa yikuphi?
I conclude by quoting Martin Niemöller,
“First, they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
About the author and disclaimer:
Panyika Karimanzira a.k.a. Mandulo Pasichigare a.k.a. Shangoni WaHamisi is a Zimbabwean human rights activist based in the United Kingdom and is writing in his personal capacity in this instance. He can be contacted via email [email protected]