Unity or absurd revenge

HARARE - My millions of apologies go to all readers of this column, as we approached the end of the year.

I was not exactly AWOL (absent without official leave).

If the truth be told, other people were absent from their stations when they should have been there.

But, as an extremely forgiving African, I’ll do my usual great thing — forgive and forget.

But I will note the substantiated allegation many that Zimbabweans are falling into that slothful habit … there is always time for it … whatever it is. Let’s just say that we all hope this habit will be abandoned soon.

I would have held forth on unity, if I had the chance to do so.

We all celebrated Unity Day — I hope — and tried to recommit ourselves, seriously.

For me, the memories were of real madness, sadness, of needless death and strife.

Those nearest to the scene of the crime (as some would probably prefer to call it) will remember my presence in Bulawayo as editor of The Sunday News.

My most vivid memory was of an unforgettable encounter in my office with a young man who was near tears, muttering incoherently about not being allowed to see his relatives in the village somewhere in the deep interior of Matabeleland.

We asked for details and were given a chunk of them. We asked how we could help, as a newspaper. We should talk to “them” — the soldiers, I assumed.

Where would we talk to them? Wherever we could find them? Probably at army headquarters? We asked, logically.

The reporters and I looked at each other, skeptically. Did that make sense? The young man, still rubbing tears from his eyes, looked at each of us as if we were already giving up. At the end of it all, we did what we could to calm him down, to promise to do all we could.

As he left our office, we knew he would probably say silent prayers to the Lord and to his ancestral spirits and ask them if they could help — as only the supernatural could help, as the last resort.

I am sure many of us have pondered this question: was that slaughter necessary — 20 000 lost?

It was an expensive price to pay for the Unity Accord, I would say.

But what have we learnt from that nightmare experience? Are we, at last, united, in protecting our country from internal and external enemies?

How do we define unity? I once remarked that if the people of Kenya had been truly united, that horrific carnage at a Nairobi arcade would never have occurred.

It is said to have involved Somalis, living in Kenya as Kenyans.

In most African countries, where there is strife, the causes are of such a minute nature you wonder how adults could resort to murder to settle such matters.

The same has been said of the major cause of Gukurahundi and the Lumpa uprising in Zambia.

In describing the massacre as “a moment of madness”, Robert Mugabe had stumbled upon the exact description.

What kind of penance will it take to forget such a slaughter of innocents?

The year 2014 has its own problems for us, some of them from the recent past, including the success of the Unity Accord.

We have piled up more problems on top of those. The massive purges of politicians in the ruling party cannot possibly be explained logically.

So far, few people can relate to them in logical or political terms, because some were motivated by stupid revenge.

    Comments (6)

    Remember Roy Welensky's ( Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland Prmier) - "A Horse and its Rider" analogy? Only this time around, it is Zanu PF and its Chefs using it. Certain misguided people joined the organization thinking that they could be part of the insiders, through praise - singing. Were it not for the slaughter of the 20,000, innocent, unarmed, civilian citizens in Matebeleland, the subject would have been left alone despite the fact that Jabulani Sibanda and Simon Khaya Moyo, got it on the chin too.

    Yepec - 2 January 2015

    at one point , mugabe said not only the notorious 5th brigade were involved in the massacre of the people during gukurahundi. i think one day he will be in a position to tell us who else was involved.

    antizanupf - 2 January 2015

    Suppose you know it today what would you do about it for the good of the nation?Give us a clue

    carson Macate - 2 January 2015

    In comment Number #1, it was a regrettable omission not to include Mliswa's warning that "next time, it will be the fate of Jonathan Moyo to leave, though, he is one of the four, homosexual gangsters in the Party". Jonathan Moyo lost the Tsholotsho Constituency and is in Government by appointment. Therefore, like the other three (Rugare Gumbo, Jabulani Sibanda and Simon Khaya Moyo), is being used and when his usefulness is over, will surely be discarded. What had Mliswa seen as the Chairman of one of the most important Provinces of the Party?

    Yepec - 2 January 2015

    @ carson, i'm not sure if he had suggested he was going to do anything about it.But ask yourself this - why are people like you making strenuous efforts to have people not debate or talk about the issue?

    Tahir Iqbal - 5 January 2015

    @ Tahir...he is of the 'Gukurahundi denier' type. It get's even worse....they also claim the evil committed was necessary.

    mukwerekwere - 5 January 2015

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