Saturday, 17 February 2018


By Bishop Lazarus
THERE is something that has gone terribly wrong with some Zimbabweans. While others are seeing a funeral, others are seeing power. It’s really dirty and messy, but then that’s MDC-T politics for you.

Then there are those talking about the late Morgan Tsvangirai being declared a national hero. These people were even hoping that Tsvangirai could be buried at the National Heroes Acre. Imi vanhu itai mushe mhani! Yes, we know in Shona they say wafa wanaka, but honestly ibvai kumhepo.

Anyway, let me pay my last respects to Tsvangirai. Nematambudziko to the Tsvangirai and MDC-T family. You have lost a courageous leader who changed the face of opposition politics in Zimbabwe. Tsvangirai gave Zanu-PF sleepless nights. His people loved him dearly and I am sure he also loved them dearly.

Opposition politics will never be the same and will be a lot poorer without Tsvangirai. He brought something to opposition politics that no one will ever bring. Go well dear Morgan! Go well Save! You ran your race! Sleep well!

To the Tsvangirai family, especially Gogo Tsvangirai and wife Elizabeth; Psalms 23 vs 4 says: “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” I know while for others, this is just another death and it’s just political, for you its real – you have lost a dear son and a dear husband.

I have lost loved ones and I know the pain. Remember, God is with you and He is God, the comforter. The Holy Book on 1 Thessalonians 4 vs 13-14 says: “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him.” Mwari ndivo mweya munyaradzi!

To the rest of the MDC-T family, Tsvangirai will not sleep peacefully. Thokozani Khupe, Elias Mudzuri and Nelson Chamisa, for Tsvangirai’s sake, can you please give the opposition supporters, time to moan their hero? Khupe stop acting holy and African. Mudzuri stop acting calm and collected and Chamisa stop acting like an impatient big baby. Mese muri kuhwandira tsuro parufu. Chinjai maitiro!

And now to those who were calling on Government to declare Tsvangirai a national hero. Good people let’s not get carried away. Yes, in the African tradition wafa wanaka, but let’s not act as if we don’t know who Tsvangirai was and what he represented.
Tsvangirai was never going to be declared a national hero and he was never going to be buried at the National Heroes Acre. NEVER, EVER! I know this will make some people angry, but this is the naked truth.

Let’s start with theoretical concepts because pamwe mungafunge kuti zviri kuitika zvitsva. As they say, there is nothing new under the sun. Karl Marx, one of the founders of sociology came up with the Base and Superstructure concept that clearly explains what’s going on. In simple, the Base refers to the forces and relations of production – this means the people, relationships between them, the roles they play and the material resources involved in producing the things needed by society.

With regards to means of production, in this Base you find tools, machines, factories, land and raw materials while with regards to relations of production, you find relations between different classes such as proletariats and bourgeoisies.

On the other hand, the Superstructure refers to all the other aspects of society. In the Superstructure ndimo munobikwa ideology through art, family, culture, religion, philosophy, law, media, politics, science and education.

Now here is the point all dreamers out there should take note of. According to Marx, the Superstructure grows out of the Base, and reflects the interests of the ruling class that controls it. As such, the Superstructure justifies how the Base operates, and in doing so, justifies the power of the ruling class .

As your Bishop, I really don’t need to remind you that one of the grievances that saw thousands of gallant sons and daughters leaving the comfort of their homes to join the liberation struggle was the land issue. I also don’t think I need to remind you that the new Government is largely made up of the fighting cadres from the Second Chimurenga. Take note, dear congregants, I said the fighting cadres, not the politicians.

Maybe I need to clarify this point. During the liberation struggle there was what they called the rear. The rear was in Lusaka in Zambia and Maputo in Mozambique. At the rear, there were politicians like Herbert Chitepo, Ndabaningi Sithole, former President Robert Mugabe and so on. These politicians played the war politics. Then there was the war front, right in Rhodesia kwairohwa hondo pfuti dzichitsva. This is where you found fighting cadres. Vana mukoma vaya vaizoimbwa vachinzi “gandanga haridye derere.”
Now, these fighting cadres, some of whom are in key positions in Government now, knew very well that they were fighting for land. They know this up to this day. To these fighting cadres, Tsvangirai was tempering with the Base. He was a direct and sponsored threat to this Base. Yes, some will argue against this point, but don’t we all remember that sorry picture of Tsvangirai clapping hands like a little toddler as white farmers gave him money to fight the land reform programme?

It’s no longer a disputable fact that the MDC in general and Tsvangirai in particular were funded by the British and Americans in 1999 as a response to the war veterans-led land reform exercise. And indeed, the British and American funds, almost got Tsvangirai into power and he was going to reverse the land reform programme. This is what his funders wanted and after spending their money, Tsvangirai had no option but to oblige.

Fortunately, the machinations failed to work. Now Tsvangirai has died and some people start dreaming that he can be declared a national hero? Kuvigwa at the National Heroes Acre pamwe chete naLeopold Takawira, Joshua Nkomo, Josiah Tongogara, Simon Muzenda and so on? Hey, imi vanhu ndati itai mushe.

The Base is never tempered with. Tsvangirai akada kutambira mahumbwe muBase and those responsible for the relations of production don’t have a short memory. As Marx argues, the Base determines the Superstructure. It’s not the other way around.

One can tinker around with the Superstructure and that’s why we had some media organisations, lawyers and so on calling on the Government to declare Tsvangirai a national hero. Mahumbwe ekuSuperstructure but Base haribatwi. Chine vene vacho chinhu ichi? Mucharangarira? If your memory is not serving you well, a call to one Professor Jonathan Moyo will be of great help.

The issue about Tsvangirai being considered a national hero was never an issue for discussion in Zanu-PF. Sometimes Zanu-PF appears like haizivi zvainoda, but that party is very clear about zvaisingadi. Tsvangirai for the National Heroes Acre? Ahh, that was a none-issue for the Base and a little issue for the easily excitable Superstructure.

Yes, wafa wanaka but let’s be honest – Tsvangirai and his MDC were a Western-sponsored project to block the aspirations of millions of indigenous Zimbabweans. History will record that.

Yes, wafa wanaka, but if the truth is to be told, Tsvangirai and his MDC gave birth to toxic politics that is not home-grown. Now each and every opposition party that’s being formed in the country thinks the best way to fight Zanu-PF is to engage the West. Have we ever paused to think kuti dai Tsvangirai akawuya ega without those Western robes, what were his chances in the political ring?

Yes, Tsvangirai was very courageous and yes, he gave Zanu-PF sleepless nights but wasn’t that borrowed courage? Without British and American funds, was Tsvangirai going to be the same politician? After receiving millions of dirty foreign money, did Tsvangirai have a choice? Kupihwa mari yevachena wodya hako mutema wakahwanda?

One can even ask; was Tsvangirai really courageous or he was just reckless and drunk after receiving foreign funds? Maybe what matters is the courage and not the source of the courage. But then if we see a madman jumping right in front of an on-coming train in the futile bid to stop the train, can we say this madman has courage?

Indeed, Tsvangirai was a people’s hero and when we say people, we mean opposition supporters and other activists. Government has given him a State-assisted funeral and that’s what he deserves as a former Prime Minister.

Remember Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole and Cde Chinx are not at the National Heroes Acre. Mozotiwo Tsvangirai zvake? “Kana zvanetsa tsvagaiwo chikomo chenyu.”

Bishop is out! Sunday Mail 


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