HARARE - As we prepare to celebrate 34 years of independence, the country’s leadership, led by President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party must reflect on aspirations of the liberation war heroes who perished in their fight for freedom.
Great sons of Zimbabwe and real liberation struggle heroes like Josiah Magama Tongogara, Alfred Nikita Mangena, Lookout Masuku, Ndabaningi Sithole, Jason Ziyapapa Moyo, Leopold Takawaira, Joshua Nkomo, Hebert Chitepo and Solomon Mujuru among others, successfully fought injustices that had been imposed by the British colonisers. They fought for people’s liberties, so that Zimbabwe would be freed from the shackles of colonialism and that everyone would be equal before the law.
Ian Smith led a brutal and racist regime which trampled on people’s rights and created laws specifically to discriminate and abuse blacks, most notably, the Law and Order Maintenance Act (Loma).
Our liberation fighters sacrificed their lives so that brutal colonial laws would be removed. They must be turning in their graves as the country seems to have inherited archaic laws that are now being used by the black majority rulers against their fellow black and helpless subjects. Black Zimbabweans are being abused by Smith-style laws like the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa) and the Public Order and Security Act (Posa), which is basically the colonial Loma which has been renamed.
Are we to believe that the Zanu PF regime is obsessed with Loma that they use it against their own people 34 years after independence? God have mercy!
Lest this government has forgotten what liberty is all about? Mahatma Ghandhi, the preeminent leader of Indian nationalism in British-ruled India and who led the country to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world, sums up liberty in two famous quotes:
- Liberty and democracy become unholy when their hands are dyed red with innocent blood.
- To deprive a man of his natural liberty and to deny to him the ordinary amenities of life is worse then starving the body; it is starvation of the soul, the dweller in the body.
Zimbabweans are independent from colonial rule today but the question is are they really free? Are we as Zimbabweans enjoying our freedoms under Posa, Aippa and a regime which allows powerful and well-connected individuals to abuse the law and be the law unto themselves?
Mugabe must take it upon himself to smoke out elements within his regime who are using archaic laws to cause untold suffering to innocent Zimbabweans. Thirty four years into the promised land, why is the country’s leadership still using Smith’s laws to govern? Zimbabweans want answers.