Time to stand up and be counted

HARARE - Below is a version of the famous poem attributed to pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) about the cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazis’ rise to power and the subsequent purging of all their chosen target groups.

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Socialist.

“Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

“Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Jew.

“Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me”.

The poem is as relevant to Zimbabwe today as it was in the German context, as mad Adolf Hitler wreaked havoc in Europe then.

One of the disturbing aspects about Zimbabwe’s perennial political crisis is the reluctance by many to speak out against Zanu PF’s well-documented misrule.

In this light, many unspeakable atrocities have been committed since the end of British rule in 1980 — with many citizens choosing to turn a blind eye to the anarchy, as long as they thought that they were personally safe, or benefitted from the chaos.

Among the atrocities that have visited many innocent Zimbabweans are Gukurahundi in Matabeleland and the Midlands; and the cold-blooded murder of hundreds of opposition MDC supporters in 2008 after President Robert Mugabe lost to Morgan Tsvangirai.

Then there was also the forced closure of the Daily News by Mugabe’s government in September 2003, for eight long years, which ensured that the disputed 2005 elections, the 2008 anarchy and the terrible years of hyperinflation were never properly spotlighted and documented.

Now the hyenas are turning on their own, with Vice President Joice Mujuru under the cosh.

Even the notorious Chipangano leader Jim Kunaka, who wreaked havoc in Mbare in the name of Zanu PF for years, was bludgeoned and left for dead by fellow “comrades”.

And the same sorry end has visited “birthday suit” drama queen, Sheila Mutsenhu remembered for her vile fouling of the Daily News offices in 2011, and her shameful disrobing in front of US ambassador Bruce Wharton.

The question is, who is next?

This is why it is time for all good men and women in our beloved country to stand up and be counted, and say enough is enough.

After all, all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men and women do nothing.

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