In shona there is saying "Chembere or harahwa mhenzi yakabva pahumhandara or pahujaha yakadaro." Literally translated it means something like, "A brutal or malicious old lady or old man was like that as she or he grew up." It cannot be refuted that people have got the right to choose either to be virtuous or to be evil.
It was like that even with those who went to take part in the Zimbabwean liberation struggle, some chose to die and never sold out whilst others enjoyed being sell-outs. This was simply because the spirit of selling-out was always flowing in their system and not even a blood transfusion could do them any good for selling out was part of their DNA.
The audacity to lie, misinform or to be treacherous is arguably a human dimension of some man who can never become one with the people because they have nothing in them that can be rehabilitated. They must in all earnest be taught to realise the essence of being African, being patriotic and being combatants for African independence and unity.
All progressive Zimbabweans must not forgive those who refuse to understand the past, live the present and guarantee the future of our children. We must be able to draw lessons from all events, be they cultural, political or economic factors that have made Zimbabwe progress to where it is today.
It is beyond any reasonable doubt that if Zimbabwe continues to progress and travel along the revolutionary path that it chose then it is going to be a success story. Zimbabwe will become a beacon of hope not only for Southern Africa but for the African continent as a whole.
What all progressive Africans must realise is that neo-imperialism in this "global village" has gathered a momentum of its own, a neo-imperialist global momentum that is cruel and unscrupulous. Paradoxically its actions mutate, at one point it rears its ugly head as economic stabilising western induced programmes, at another point it presents itself as 'humanitarian intervention' in Libya, Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, Mali etc., and it has also become a weapon for regime change.
It is also a pseudo guarantor of 'free and fair elections' to further the Western interests in the so called western democracy drive. What the West wants is to maintain a firm grip on all activities on the African continent. Must Africa then accept this as a natural phenomenon?, certainly not, Africans must no longer be hoodwinked into believing that a log in the river is a crocodile or to mistake an eagle for a chicken. This is the truth that Steve Bantu Biko, Patrice Lumumba, Thomas Sankara and Herbert Chitepo among others understood very well and that is what motivated them to fight against colonialism.
President Robert Mugabe and other leaders like him understand this very well and this is why he is never tired of pointing out the evils of neo-colonialism. Africa's mineral resources have been looted and continue to be looted in broad day light. Africa's economic and national emancipation continues to be wantonly violated by the strong and will Africa ever be able to build a better life? Innocent African blood has been shed and continues to be shed and wounds cannot be healed.
Africa can only develop if its people shed their centuries old cocoons of treachery and begin to speak the language of love, peace and unity. Our political leaders, the clergy and the intelligentsia must be activated to play the role of conceptualising, formulating and articulating thoughts and actions for the development and maintenance of peace.
It is a future that we must begin to build today. It is sad to note that Mr Nelson Chamisa's outburst against his colleague Mr Matinenga depicts contradictions in what some members of the MDC-T really stand for? Are they for peace or for violence? What is supposed to be the MDC-T role in the newly independent Zimbabwe and how far have they gone misinforming the choice of innocent men and women who want to defend the Zimbabwean revolutionary ethos and guarantee a dignified future for their children?
Zimbabweans who belong to any political party must not encourage hate speech slogans that incense those who are not members of their party.
Mr Chamisa as a still growing politician is missing the point; it's a pity that he still has not yet fully mastered the rules of the game. Propaganda is not all about lying or trying to insulate a naked lie that can be interpreted by a fool. How can he guarantee that the people comprehend that he is not inciting violence when in actual fact that is what he will be implying when members of their party continue to do such ill-reputed slogans during their gatherings? Dear reader what does it mean to say, "Simudza mudenga, roverai pasi, bwa! One time, tsikai tsikai.....?" Must Mr Nelson Chamisa make us believe that his learned colleague honourable Matinenga failed to clearly understand the meaning of the slogan that was crafted by his own party?
In all honest they must let the late academic Professor John Makumbe's spirit rest in peace. The president did not in any way insult any member of the opposition party at Vice President John Landa Nkomo's funeral, why then would some MDC-T elites allow their followers to do so when the political party leaders are calling for the observance of peace? Mr Chamisa wittingly or unwittingly betrayed the academic and the masses that have trust in him and might have thought developmental politics would be displayed by such budding politicians. It is young politicians like Chamisa who must exude the importance of peace as an indispensable weapon for development.
We all along took it for granted that he understood the complexity of the stance that our heroes and heroines took because of the suffering they experienced during the colonial era. Does he in any way truthfully tell the electorate who voted him into office that their invitation of foreign sanctions has disastrously affected Zimbabweans from all works of life? Does he tell them that this was a moment of madness in the history of their party? Instead of making hate speech slogans they must explain to the electorate and educate them on whether they are devising any strategies to salvage the people from the effects of the illegally imposed sanctions or see to it that they are lifted altogether.
As long as the illegally imposed sanctions are in place then there will be no joy in the households of the of the electorate, men and women in the industries that have experienced irreparable damage from sanctions and the civil servants who are earning far less the poverty datum line.
Zimbabwean politicians must carry the banner in which they unreservedly and relentlessly work and advance socio-economic and political policies that bring food on the tables of the ordinary men and women. This must be a revered principle that they as leaders of the people must defend at all costs. We must remember that our fallen heroes and heroines did not fight for flag independence only.
They fought to liberate us from any form of colonialism, neo-colonialism or any kind of exploitation. If the people are still subjected to any kind of exploitation then they are still not free. We must bear in mind that it is not only the yester year colonialists who practise exploitation. There are some of our own who are more than ready to exploit their own fellow countrymen. What Zimbabweans want are politicians who despite belonging to different parties understand the importance of putting country first before self, politicians who are ready to understand that all Zimbabweans have the right to benefit from their resources and to work for the benefit of all as they contribute to the nation's development and success in their own way.
The people of Zimbabwe's minds are already preoccupied with how they have been betrayed and cannot entertain politicians who shed crocodile tears. The people feel betrayed. What people want are not slogans but politicians who proffer solutions to challenges being encountered by the Zimbabwean people. What progressive Zimbabweans want is to know is how Zimbabweans will benefit from the indigenisation and empowerment programme as it rids itself from the shackles of the neo-imperialist onslaught and not cheap politicking by pseudo politicians who are bent on mudslinging the brilliant personality of His Excellency President R.G. Mugabe.
The President has shown unlimited courage to make sure that Zimbabweans benefit from their God-given resources. The Zanu-PF policies are undoubtedly creating a new man and woman in Zimbabwe and many Zimbabweans are now conscious of their national obligations of safeguarding their heritage. The Zimbabwean masses must therefore continue to be politically educated so that they are informed about national and international issues which affect their livelihoods. What is still disturbing is that some Zimbabweans have not yet embraced or even embellished the thought of being masters of their own destinies.
Arguably these are people who have been erroneously misinformed that as soon as there is a new government in power that is not revolutionary like the Zanu-PF led government; policies are going to change. They have been made to believe that the policies that Zimbabwe will adopt will be at the bidding of one or more foreign nations. This is what has made some sections of the Zimbabwean people to adopt a wait and see attitude, wanting to see what will emerge. These are Zimbabweans who have not benefited from the land reform exercise, they again are not benefit from the indigenisation and empowerment programmes because they have been made to follow a wrong path.
They have been misinformed, they have been lied to hence they cannot even call the feet they walk with their own.
All progressive Zimbabweans must liberate themselves from such weaknesses. They must realise that meaningful development is firmly fixed in adequate knowledge of reality; there is no need for anybody to rehearse what they already know. The Zimbabwean common men and women must not be deceived. They must be able to tell a true politician from a pseudo politician for gone is the era when a politician was a politician. Gentlemen are being separated from the men and those who are not for the Zimbabwean national interest are now being revealed and are showing their true colours.
In the past it was very easy to bundle everyone and to think that we were all fighting for a common goal. In such incidences even lizards were erroneously thought to be crocodiles. The truth is simply that it does not matter for how many years a lizard has stayed at the bank of a river it does not become a crocodile. True sons of any homestead can never be mistaken for passers-by otherwise our fallen heroes and heroines will turn in their graves. All Zimbabweans must understand that unity, peace and love are indispensable weapons for development and progress. This is why the late vice President John L. Nkomo was very much applauded by President Mugabe for saying "Peace begins with me, peace begins with you, and peace begins with all of us."
Darlington N. Mahuku & Bowden B. C. Mbanje are lecturers in international relations & peace and governance with Bindura University of Science Education.