Requiem for Rebecca Mafukeni: 1984-2013

HARARE - Wananchi, we live in extremely difficult times.

Each day is its own monster, it’s own master and as I say tomorrow is another country.

Today the Glen View 29 are no more. They are now the Glen View 28.

Rebecca Mafukeni has vacated these shores. Gone to be seen no more, taken away by a force we will never understand.

So another blow is unleashed to an already smothered and fragile landscape.

She had been at Parirenyatwa Hospital for the past two months. Blinded by an indecent regime that denied her medical treatment despite a court order.

Already emaciated, already gone. What they took to Parirenyatwa was a mere shadow, an empty shell. A wreck.

Since May 29, 2011 life has never been the same for a brave group of people and their families.

Tungamirai Madzokore,Yvonne Musarurwa, Last Maingehama, Solomon Madzore, Simon Mapanzure, Stanford Mapanzure, Gabriel Shumba, Phineas Ngatirakwa, Stefan Takaidzwa, Stanford Maguro, Cynthia Fungai Manjoro, Linda Masiyamhanje, Tafadzwa Billiat, Simon Mudimu, Zwelibane Dube, Edwin Muingiri, Augustine Tenganyika, Francis Vimbai, Nyamadzawo Gapare, Kerina Gweshe, Memeory Ncube, Lovemore Taruvinga Magaya, Oddrey Chirombe, Abina Rutsito, Tendai Chinyama, Jephius Moyo, Paul Rukanda and Rebecca Mafukeni.

They have had to content with the horror story that Chikurubi Prison is.

A grey faceless, loveless structure that is an indictment to the present regime. How such a vulgarity should be allowed to stand 33 years on is unpardonable .

Unlike Harare Central or Harare Remand, the place has serious water challenges, never mind the reality of housing the most hardcore of the country’s convicted criminals.

Why in any event should persons on remand, with the presumption of innocence still in their favour, be incarcerated in a prison for serving convicts.

It does not end there. Reading the pleadings and the various judgments in this matter, it must be asked why the courts are not concluding the same expeditiously.

Why were the accused made to suffer when the State could not secure in the shortest time possible the foreign medical doctor who conducted a post mortem on the deceased.

In the words of the Court itself, the case against all but five accused persons has been weakened, if that is the case, why are they still on trial? Why in any event should different scales of justice exist for the same Wananchi?

Wananchi, on a day a nation celebrates its heroes, we of this movement mourn one who would never have been celebrated in Warren Hills.

A young woman whose life has been dramatically taken away.

A life typical of the thousands of youths in our ranks.

Born yesterday on July 24, 1984, she like most joined the movement in 2000. Like all of them being in a prison was second nature. In 2000 they caught her and tortured her.

On May 30, 2011, they caught her and incarcerated her for nine months and two weeks. She was out for a mere nine days before she was back in.

A 29-year-old robbed of a beautiful life, sucked dry to the bone marrow. Born unemployed, died unemployed.
Is this the way we treat other people’s daughters?

I guess those responsible for her death do not give a hoot. They will pour their double shots in crystal glasses bought from Dubai or Shanghai and feel very good about themselves.

Life will continue as normal with one less scam out of the way.

We of this pain will bury our loss quietly.

As we did with Cephus Magura, Ndira, Jongwe, Machiridza, Chiminya, Matongo, Mudzengerere, Seiso Moyo, Gladys Gombani, Enna Chitsa, Mabika and many others.

We that remain must carry on with the torch until that victory of democratic forces over autocracy.
Cry the beloved country. Just cry.

They were there in their numbers at the Warren Hills. Even those not there physically were there, scanning for little words of wisdom, scanning for direction, hoping to hear departure and a new paradigm.

The country yearns for strong unifying leadership, even if it were to emerge from those that cannot claim legitimacy.

The nation thirsts for healing and the strength to be able to carry one heavy foot forward.

The foot that will drag the other and at last some bit of motion.

Alas that was not forthcoming. A general spoke to his troops.

The nation waited for a drop of redemption, of peace and of direction.

The wise words of a leader speaking to a bitter, divided nation.

The leader who could arise above the wreckage of a nation so deeply divided and fractured by a broken plebiscite. Rise to rebuild the cracks, sculpture a new direction.

The more things change, they more they don’t.

So the stage is set then for cataleptic months of pain, lack of direction and suffering of our people.

Those of us in the stands will be watching. We will pursue our peaceful quest for the return to legitimacy of our country.

Without legitimacy, everyone knows we cannot move forward. It is that simple.

To those languishing inside, Morgan Komichi, Last Maingehama, Tungamirai Madzokore, Yvonne Musarurwa, Simon Mapanzure, the pain is not eternal.

The taste of freedom will be the more sweeter.

Rebecca, in that brief moment you were here, you shone and burnt brightly.

Now the candle burns no more.

Rest in Peace my sister. Zikomo.

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