By Dr. Patson Dzamara
I am disappointed and discouraged. Allow me to pour my soul Zimbabweans. I boldly stand, ready for any rebuttal.
At some point, I had to make the painful decision to speak out and to act against Mugabe's misrule. I have been physically, mentally and emotionally bruised several times while on this path. Arrests and torture have become kin to me.
Nobody wishes that upon oneself. Philosophers and psychologists or anyone who dares to ponder about life and existence will tell you that the primary goal of life is the pursuit of happiness. I, like any other sane individual do not wish to live the life I have subjected myself to. I never wake up planning to get arrested or to be tortured.
I am a proficient, able bodied man who holds several qualifications. I am not a vagabond. I am not the political Robin Hood. I am just a man – a Zimbabwean man who made a choice.
I made a choice. A choice to shout “Enough is enough!”. A choice to say “I deserve better in my country”. A choice to take a solid stand against Mugabe's misrule.
I was fully aware of the vicissitudes and vagaries that would befall me.That did not deter me for I was, and still am, convinced that taking a bold stand against oppression is the only way, and I repeat, the only way we can welcome a new Zimbabwe.
Zimbabweans, allow me to say this. It seems to me that we are not yet ready for a revolution. It seems we are not yet ready for a rebirth. We are still comfortable. We are still content with corruption, injustice and poverty.
And for those who are? For those who yearn for a brighter future? For those who shout and scream “Hatichada and Hatichatyi” out in the open where they can be seen? For those keen to take the evil regime head on like my brother, Itai Dzamara? For those who encourage us to walk the talk. Well, we are not ready for them either. We are honestly not ready for such people that's why we left Itai exposed.
Developments in the past weeks led me to realise that Zimbabwe is like an abused, battered wife. She is fully aware that she is abused and all around her, sympathisers empower her to leave her sticky situation, yet she stays. Unless she herself decides in her heart that she has had enough and that remaining silent and staying in this situation will lead to her death, freedom will remain foreign to her. Unless she stops crying in the privacy of her cold and empty home while harrowing her sorrows on social media and actually stands up to her husband, she will never be liberated. Until then she remains a prisoner in her own home and continually endangers her unborn baby - The New Zimbabwe.
I had numerous “Aha!”moments when This Flag campaign was launched. I thought, “Finally! Now we are heading somewhere.” It was rewarding to see other people speak out. However, as I stated from the onset, we need a commensurate and complimentary offline process if we are to realise maximised results. Unfortunately, not everyone shared the same sentiments.
Never in 'independent' Zimbabwe has there been such an uprising of voices denouncing leadership failure. That was unprecedented but it is unfortunate that those voices were not tapped into or channeled towards a well regimented formation.
I can undoubtedly say that we had rightfully positioned ourselves for victory however we lacked the machinery with which to claim it. We need to go back to drawing board and engage each other fellow Zimbabweans. We need to strategize and develop a well-oiled machine which does not only talk, but which moves, walks, runs and captures our victory. We need to think about how we can walk the talk.
The Bible rightfully states that “Faith without works is dead.” We must put in the necessary work and we must be prepared to get out of comfort zones and shed blood, sweat and tears if need be. Victory is possible but it will not be easy.
We need to realize that the brave souls who made it to possible for us to wear these flags and hashtag on internet all day, walked the talk. My fellow Zimbabweans, why are we not inspired by their meaningful courage, their meaningful protest? Yes, meaningful protest. Why are we not inspired by individuals who refuse injustice by actively doing something on the ground about it? Why are we not inspired by Itai Dzamara, a man who stood up and proclaimed that we needed new governance? Why are we not inspired by those brave school girls who took to the streets recently because they were fed up with a situation that was killing ther own and endangering their lives? Why are we not inspired?
We have been seeing memes and images of suffering Zimbabweans through this campaign. Most notably was Mbuya vaHector and the character I have fondly named “Hector, my son”. On June 16, 1976, there was another Hector, Hector Peterson. He and his fellow comrades, young and brave schoolchildren, took to the streets in protest of a system that was killing them. They incited an uprising which contributed to the liberation of South Africa. Why are we not inspired?
We are not ready. Yes we are not ready. We are not ready but time and eternity have kissed, ready and waiting for us. The time is ripe for a revolution.
For as long as there are still many of us who will go out and march and stand in solidarity with a failed regime, coerced or otherwise, we are not ready. For as long as we continue to hashtag in the comfort of our chairs and beds, we are not ready. For as long as we view the fight for a new Zimbabwe as something we can achieve through flag fashion contests, we are not ready.
For as long as we incline towards romancing trivia, such as the zvihuta nonsense, we are not ready. For as long as we carry our inflated but impoverished egos into this battle to the extend of failing to converge, we are not ready. For as long as we do this to satiate our hunger for Facebook likes and for popularity, we are not ready. For as long as we sit and wait, sit and wait, dig deeper and sit and wait, we are not yet ready.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a nation to retrieve out of the hands of a monster.
Due to our apathy, i am tempted to conclude that we deserve Mugabe and his misrule but no we don't. The onus is on us to draw a clear line in the sand and use all means possible to dismantle this regime.
Beloved Zimbabwe, you are pregnant with promise and a bright future - The New Zimbabwe. But until you are ready to physically dismantle yourself from the shackles of your abusive husband, nothing and no one can rescue you. I hope you realise that the longer you stay in this situation, the more you suffocate your unborn baby. Alas, I pray that New Zimbabwe will be born.
Sunday, 29 May 2016
By Dr. Patson Dzamara