HomeOpinionRemembering victims of Zimbabwe's failed operations

Remembering victims of Zimbabwe’s failed operations

By Cde Pfepferere



WHEN we were young and growing up, going into hospital for surgery (an operation) no matter how minor, was always considered a serious undertaking.
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Then, hospitals were places where people went to be treated and not to die as is the case these days.


We were often told that if someone was undergoing an operation they had to be put to sleep (anaesthetised) and that waking up was not guaranteed.


We were also told that forms had to be signed by those being operated on, or their lawful representatives so that in the event that they decided to proceed and meet their creator, no fingers would be pointed. In short, an operation was a response to a crisis, and often a last resort response.


I have been having this disconcerting sense of déjà vu on the first anniversary of Operation Murambatsvina, whether Zimbabwe would wake up from its political slumber. Consistent with most responses to the crises Zimbabwe currently faces, most government reactions are presented as militarist.


It is the military mindset that has seen the implementation of disastrous operations such as Murambatsvina, Garikai, Taguta, etc over the course of last year. Contrary to what our current political leadership would like us to believe, that their politics and ideologies were influenced by their past military prowess, only a handful of them were ever involved in actual military undertakings, especially the top brass. The tragedy that we face today is that we are being served unworkable military solutions to problems that are of a socio-economic and political nature by folks who have never been to the frontline, and can hardly tell the barrel from the butt.


The majority of those that have authentic revolutionary and military credentials either perished heroically fighting for their motherland, have been totally marginalised from political decision-making, or have moved on and are doing something productive in life. What Zimbabwe has had to go through in the past year is similar to a very sick patient who has repeatedly come under the surgical knife of the same unqualified doctor. Not only is the doctor unqualified, but he/she is lying that he/she has the requisite qualifications to perform such an operation, knowing fully well that they never as much as seen the door of a medical school.


The author is a Johannesburg-based human rights lawyer and has used a pseudonym in honour of a freedom fighter killed at St Augustine’s Mission School in 1979.

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