If I had audience with Uncle Bob I would want to know; Who do you consider Zimbabwean?
For me the issue is not about vote rigging or anything else but moving forward together as a nation. If an 89 year old man can pull off a landslide win with no blood shed, on his terms, surely he has demonstrated leadership skills. Part of democracy is accepting defeat, and according to the constitution for those torn up by his victory, this will be his last term. I myself am no politician and am extremely vulnerable to propaganda so as I write this please note my apolitical stance and bear in mind that I’m a development practitioner above all. But since development on any front and politics have familiar ties, I have one very pressing question for my Uncle Bob; please define for us a Zimbabwean.
The reason I ask this question is because Zanupf’s mantra is Zimbabwe for Zimbabweans. A simple enough statement on the face of it but given Zimbabwe’s troubled history on the untalked about tribal disunity between the Shona and Ndebele, one has to ask for clarity on these issues, just to be sure.
I have the greatest admiration for the visionary that Mugabe is. I have so much respect for his discipline, foresight and tenacity. I get it, what he’s trying to do for Zimbabwe and its not easy. Breaking new ground when the whole world stands against you. Reclaiming what was stolen inhumanely, the ‘black burden’ they call it. Standing mutely on the side while the west takes from you in one form or another over time placating you with democracy while still controlling your economy. There is a bigger picture and I see it: Zimbabweans controlling our raw materials and having the patience to build capacity to industrialize and process our own finished products for domestic use and export. Who is a Zimbabwean though?
There are other bread and butter issues, yes. Like how can hungry people be expected to be patient? But because of these bread and butter issues, there is a real danger in making permanent decisions over temporary matters. That’s what I’m trying to avoid as I embrace indigenisation. Development takes time but it does happen, real development can not be rushed and the process can be frustrating.
So Uncle Bob, do you call me, a Ndebele child, your niece? Am I allowed in the Utopia you’re fighting hell and high water to create? Can the Ndebele have no doubt that you acknowledge them as true Zimbabweans? I see your vision and it needs us all to stand and work together, to believe in each other, to trust each other, to hope together. We can no longer afford to be divided along tribal lines as a country if the world is who we are fighting for our economic freedom. You won, and for the next five years you hold the sovereign chair to preside over the nation of Zimbabwe. Who are your people? Like an insecure child crying, ‘Daddy do you love me?’ is who I am as I ask you who hold power over the country I call home but am unsure if I’m welcome there. Together as a united nation we can charter the next five years to see Zimbabwe in a much better space, regardless of political affiliation.
Sadly I doubt I’ll ever have the audience of my sovereign president Robert Gabriel Mugabe, but if I do I’d really like to know that like Mandela, he dreams of a rainbow nation that includes the Ndebele and the White child.