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Scissors in the Belly- Reflections of Thirty Years of Independence in Zimbabwe.

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There are numerous reports in medical history where people have

suffered excruciating pain for years after undergoing abdominal

operations. Only after x-rays are carried out does the cause of pain

emerge as one of a surgical instrument embedded in the belly of a

patient. Another painful excursion into the theatre usually follows to

correct this man-made medical anomaly. Such is the contemporary

history of my country, Zimbabwe. Almost thirty years after

independence, we celebrated our independence anniversary on April 18,

2010 with lots and lots of post-independence surgical instruments

inadvertently tucked 'safely' in the national belly politic and

causing untold misery, discomfort and pain.
Thanks to the Robert Mugabe movement backed by an unholy cabal of

misguided zealots, some of us now have a lifetime commitment of

inciting tantrums just to raise awareness of the country's unenviable

Many Africans wonder why progressive Zimbabweans are disgruntled with

the black majority rule of Mugabe. More accurately, those Africans who

closely follow my commentary are at a loss why I dislike the Robert

Mugabe brand of governance. In Ghana and Nigeria, many otherwise

well-meaning citizens have been sold on the disfigured contraption of

what Mugabe calls 'land distribution', so much that they believe how

this draconian policy was meant for my benefit! The cycle of tragic

deception has continued with another lie that our troubles begin and

end with 'illegal Western sanctions'. Some have now gone to an extent

of attempting to persuade me to see the good side of Mugabe, with very

little success. In USA, whole communities of Afro-Americans have

elevated the ageing dictator to iconic status simply because they

perceive him to be a rare breed of African leaders who has stood his

ground against the bullying Uncle Tom. I am probably labelled a member

of the mischievous minority ungrateful dead who do not appreciate the

essence of liberation!
Thirty years into so-called independence, none of my critics have

bothered to interpret my political, social and economic x-ray. The

contortions you see on my face, guttural groans you hear are not

symptoms of gluttonous constipation. I sleep with my knees tucked into

my belly because there is a hedge-trimmer size scissors placed

precariously just below my liver, and Mugabe insists it is discomfort

cause by the Americans, Europeans and the Movement for Democratic

Change [MDC]. In a country where Municipal Councillors are arrested

for investigating fraudulent acquisition of council land, there ought

to be a bellyful of pain. In a country where a mere minister can

prevent a Parliamentary Committee from investigating 'state sponsored'

diamond smuggling, the pain surely must be paralysing. Which country

can a mere businessman order police to arrest civic leaders he claims

tarnish his name by questioning his ill-gotten land assets?

'Independent' Zimbabwe!
It is not like Mugabe does not know the 1987 'unity agreement' was

more of a surrender proposition than an opportunity for

reconciliation. The man is aware that the Chiyadzwa Diamond Mine is

an expropriated venture benefiting only his cronies and that his

cousin, property tycoon Philip Chiyangwa connived with party activists

to secure 20% of Harare land through shady deals. Mugabe is alert to

know that Roy Bennet, who has been on trial for treason was in fact

innocent. Most of all, Mugabe knows that it is he who is scampering

the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement [GPA].

Therefore those who argue that Mugabe's cronies 'keep him in the dark'

are themselves misinformed. The man reads and comprehends the minute

On this and future independence anniversary days, there must be

collective unison from all progressive Zimbabweans that one-man

presidential contestant Robert Mugabe is the pair of sore scissors in

our bellies, and that as long as he is in active politics, abdominal

discomfort will persist before developing into fully-fledged

intestinal cramp. The rogue Southern Africa Development Community

[SADC] appointed doctor dispatched from South Africa to seek a panacea

to the frozen GPA has no clue what afflicts us. Both African Union

[AU] and SADC have given him several tons of placebo painkillers to

prescribe, hence the pain persists. The adage that: “when pain

persists, see a doctor” does not apply. The doctor is on the side of

pain! Someone has to tell them that this pain is not the cure but an

extension of the problem!
In this respect, it is now left to us, the citizens of Zimbabwe to

seek out our political redemption. ZANU-PF's contempt for agreements,

their disrespect of legitimate authority, arrogance and bravado

requires robust, collective and decisive response. Ruling elites are

essentially a minority, even if they are backed by a partisan army.

Their main strategy is intimidation and abuse of power. We the

citizens, have the numbers on our side. In the absence of free and

fair elections; when deprived of freedom of association and press;

face to face with autocratic brutality, corruption and patronage – our

only chance is to limp to the operating table, stare defiantly at the

anaesthetising ray of hope and beckon courage to pull out the

scissors. This is a call to all Zimbabweans at home and abroad that

the era of mourning about abdominal pain is over. Dictatorship can be

defeated, the scissors can be extricated. “Get up, stand up. Stand up

for your rights,” sang the late reggae maestro Robert Nesta Marley.

There is no Knight in Shining Armour or Buffalo Soldier who is going

to rescue us from the clutches of racist fascism. We are our own

Rejoice Ngwenya is Executive Director of Coalition for Liberal Market

Solutions and an affiliate of

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