The Zimbabwean independence illusion?
By Ashton Bvute
With eight years left to celebrate half a century of independence, Zimbabwean citizens like me have observed how the struggle our forefathers fought for has turned into sour grapes. As we celebrate the life of our new Zimbabwe, I wish all citizens understand the true meaning of independence constructively and make up a mantra that will outlive us all and be the guide of our country’s future generations.
The key to a free and sustainable nation is a Zimbabwe which is free from corruption, nepotism, kleptocracy, and tribalism. Independence gave us the opportunity to define our trajectory, generate organic laws which made it possible to have a winning blueprint in a modern globalized world. With the wounds of our parents still healing from the guerrilla wars, we haven’t seen the adoption of ways to eradicate corruption, theft, and mismanagement and one wonders what our parents fought for.
The independence of a nation should come with every benefit that comes with it. The freedom which gives its citizens rights and obligations, unshackling them from the jaws of the oppressors whether they are the old white liberators or the current wolves in sheep’s clothing who are still milking the independence free ticket. The celebration bash of independence this year must incorporate everything our grandparents were promised and even more.
The independence we Zimbabweans were promised was picture-perfect where citizens would without limitations enjoy the fruits of their sweat, the dividends from their land and that’s includes the shiny rocks from Marange we sell to India for polishing to the Kapenta from Kariba dam. A government voted for by the people should create equal opportunities for all and empower its citizens in all sectors of the country. With compassionate leaders as the torchbearers, the youths play an integral part in the future economic developments of our teapot-shaped nation.
I value independence where leaders from across the political divide put their personal ambitions aside and give precedence to the desire of the masses in the fight against hunger, cancer, HIV and AIDS, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Responsible and accountable leadership capable of steering the country is part of the promises our parents heard at the birth of the new Zimbabwe.
All Zimbabweans have the right to celebrate Independence Day collectively despite their gender, political differences, or skin color. The road to independence was due to sacrifices by selfless brothers and sisters who despised their status and hoped for better beginnings even at a great cost. No Zimbabwean should be belittled, mocked, degraded, marginalized because we all participated in the perseveration of sovereignty and independence of our state.
I regard Independence Day as a day to send a message of collectivism, unity, nationalism, patriotism, and political tolerance among Zimbabweans. These voices strengthen the economic recovery path, peace, and tranquillity from the Zambezi to Limpopo. Collectivism brings charitable life to all citizens. With unity and patriotism, I see independence as the ability of leaders and citizens to dialogue and give peace a chance. In an independent state, leaders settle their differences amicably in a civilized and diplomatic way setting an example for citizens.
It is a long struggle and the current predicaments show nothing but a great independence illusion we are still waiting to feel and enjoy.
Ashton Bvute is a Zimbabwean contemporary writer whose interest is on politics and social issues affecting people currently. He has published two books namely The Contested Diamond and Racism or Ignorance ?