BY DR. MASIMBA MAVAZA | ZANU PF is currently preparing for its annual conference. This year’s gathering follows our recent victory in the harmonized elections held in August, marking 43 years of ZANU PF’s unbeaten record in polls. Whether you love or dislike it, ZANU PF has consistently prevailed in elections, with this center-left political organization ruling Zimbabwe since its independence in 1980. It earned its revolutionary status during the war of independence, led for many years by Robert Mugabe, who served as Prime Minister before becoming President in 1987 after merging with the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) and retaining the name ZANU–PF. However, in 2017, he retired as the leader.
Many Zimbabweans appreciate the comforts of everyday life, the security of the familiar, and the prevailing tranquility and peace in Zimbabwe. We, as Zimbabweans, cherish these aspects just as much as our opposition members. They are also Zimbabweans, benefiting from the sacrifices of our revolutionary comrades, the foundation of our nation.
In the spirit of those who laid down their lives for this land, we must remember them during significant events associated with freedom fighting and our independence. Whether it’s commemorating the sacrifices, celebrating a hard-fought victory, or reflecting on the past, we should set aside time in our daily lives to sing the songs of the struggle and instill in the minds of many the sacrifices that shaped our nation.
However, there are those who wish to silence us, labeling any discussion of the past as propaganda, seeking to erase the memory of our history from our minds and the minds of our children. Yet, we must remember that words hold immense power. They offer meaning and truth, and for those willing to listen, they reveal the reality of our country’s challenges.
People have forgotten where we came from — the cruelty, injustice, intolerance, and oppression we endured. We now have the freedom we once longed for. How did this transformation occur? While everyone shares some responsibility, if we seek the guilty, we need only look in the mirror. The party has abandoned the motivational elements that made ZANU PF the soul and heart of our nation. We no longer hear the revolutionary songs that once echoed.
The conference should be a place and time where all delegates sing and are reminded of the past, singing the songs of freedom and victory. Our youth should eagerly anticipate the conference as an opportunity to learn about the road to freedom through these songs.
In a ZANU PF conference or congress, we must not forget our songs and the stories of the struggle. We long to see the dances of the past, such as kongonya and mujibha. Many factors have conspired to obscure our memories and common sense. If a ZANU PF conference concludes without singing “Nyika Yedu Ya Baba” as a congress, it signifies a failure. We must not let fear or panic lead us away from our revolutionary principles.
ZANU PF promised us order, promised us peace, and asked for our obedient consent in return, to remember the bloodshed that nurtured the seeds of Freedom. There is a concerning silence about our revolution, which we must end and replace with a resounding chorus. We need to remind our country of what it has forgotten.
Over four decades ago, a great citizen sought to etch freedom in our hearts forever, emphasizing that fairness, justice, and freedom are not just words but perspectives.
If you haven’t seen the crimes of past governments, we are in deep trouble. But if you see what our late heroes saw and feel what they felt, I implore you to stand beside them and sing the songs of freedom. Let’s dedicate an hour each day of the conference or ZANU PF meeting to sing the old revolutionary songs, remembering those who sacrificed for us and the heroes upon whose graves we stand.
Let us rekindle the spirit, reeducate ourselves, and regain our pride, starting with the upcoming conference. Let’s sing our songs, speak our words, and motivate one another to reawaken the spirit that defines us. We may have little money, but we must reclaim our ZANU PF legacy. The road to our freedom is etched in blood.
This conference should radiate the victorious party we are, overwhelming our sorrows with the dust of joy and reminding us of our bright future. Our past is written in blood, too vivid to ignore. Let’s revive the old-time ZANU PF spirit and sing the songs of freedom, from the base to the peak.
ZANU PF, iwe neni tine basa.
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