Paul Dzimano FAS Zimbabwe Party President
It is the day that reminds us that sacrifices were made, lives were lost and comforts were deferred. Chimurenga, one of our greatest ideas took great sacrifices of our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters yet we still lose lives due to the same reasons Chimurenga was staged.
We’re losing many battles in our lifetime countrymen and countrywomen. We have lost the battle for nationhood. Disunity defeated us. We’re losing the battle against poverty. Many die due to poverty, corruption is upon us and we’re not winning.
We’re still living our lives in fear. Just like before, Zimbabweans are not yet in control of the economy. Like before people live in fear of the same government that must make us safe and yet every year in forty years we celebrate independence day. Why did we stop fighting? What happened to Chimurenga?
What is independence to us fellow Zimbabweans? On 12 September 1890, the British Union Jack was hoisted at Salisbury marking the official politico economic colonialization of Zimbabwe.
On 18 April 1980, the Union Jack was taken down marking the official end of British colonialism. We celebrated that year, thinking that the sacrifices that had been made would undo the discrimination, the torture, the suffering, the impoverishment and the dehumanization of Zimbabweans. We were wrong! Who knew that 41 years later, things would be worse?
Who knew that amongst the ‘comrades’ some would personalize the feat of independence just to be on power at the expense of the dreams that had fashioned and coloured the desire for freedom! We were fooled. The so-called ‘comrades’ personalized the struggle and sought to personally benefit by deriving political authority over blacks, mimicking oppressive tendencies of the colonial regime to oppress blacks politically, socially and economically.
The leadership that’s making us celebrate independence every year is no different from the previous minority rulers. They derive pleasure from political power to collaborate with foreigners to discriminate, to disenfranchise, to dehumanize and to decimate citizens from political and economic participation.
The political and cosmetic independence that we celebrate today is a mockery of the sacrifices and desires that our scars testify about. We still bear the wounds of suffering under the weight of unfair global and local capitalism. Why are we not fighting this anymore?
Today is the day we are reminded of the wounds that aren’t given a chance to heal. 41 years of so glorified independence failed to give us freedom. It didn’t give us peace. In four decades we failed to be truly united: we are still torn and wounded.
We treat each other with conjecture, suspicion and hatred. Fellow citizens, this is an opportunity to reflect on how we’ve traversed our journey of independence and ponder about the trajectory we need to take as a country. What I know is, we cannot continue in this great betrayal.
We still cry about countless injustices at the hands of neo-colonialists whom we import in the name of foreign direct investors. Our tears are still shed due to ill treatment by our leaders who hypocritically brag about being patriots. The youths need jobs, women need real empowerment, Zimbabweans need industries, roads, justice, democracy, health care and human rights. Workers need decent remuneration and our leaders must be accountable.
There are so many things we cry about yet after every celebration of independence our cries become louder. At 41 years, we’re tired of celebrating just political and flag independence. Not everyone is a politician and yet we all have to benefit from our independence in our own ways. For total independence we need to continue to fight.
This must be the independence celebrations where we realise that the political independence of 1980 was the not the end of the fight. It was the beginning. We were supposed to leverage on our political independence to bring about socio-economic transformation which would deliver true independence of this great African state.
Our hearts bleed as we are celebrating independence today, yet we know our neighbours in Mozambique are being butchered every day. It is these events that must show us that African independence means total unity of the African nation: From Egypt to South Africa.
The greatest African patriot Kwame Nkrumah once said, “OUR INDEPENDENCE IS MEANINGLESS UNLESS IT IS LINKED UP WITH THE TOTAL LIBERATION OF AFRICA.” In the same vein, it has to be categorically stated that the unfortunate events in Mozambique call upon Africa to wake up to the reality and gravity of our problems and raise one federal army.
We are also celebrating this day knowing that there are so many other enemies we need to face together united. The scourge, of COVID-19, HIV and AIDS, infant mortality, malaria and other threats to our health are real enemies we must face together as a united front.
One thing we should learn from independence celebrations is that, once we were united and that the same unity we had was responsible for the victory of 1980. FAS ZIMBABWE insists that unity is both a strategy and a solution and we are here to lead the fight for both national and African unity.
FAS ZIMBABWE PARTY PRESIDENT