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Why I couldn’t shed tears for Muzenda

I JOINED thousands who bade farewell to the late Vice-President Simon Muzenda and those who shed tears, but my tears were of a different colour.

I rebelled agains

t the natural call to the living to unite in respect of the departed. I confronted the biggest of all of humanity’s frailties – recalling only the dead’s noble deeds and forgiving the misdeeds.

My tears were offspring of the memories of the terror we have experienced in the past couple of years. They were tears for the abused political power in my country. I grieved for the under-used office of the vice-president. I was humbled by my fellow Zimbabweans’ ability to forgive, to forget political quarrels and unite in burying one of their own.

Bravo Zimbabweans, but this rebel monster stalks me still.

I haven’t got the stamina to challenge conventional wisdom but it’s my conviction that death should neither eliminate nor water down our judgement of political leaders, especially if they have been part of a rogue regime.

As a little boy growing up in a village near the late vice-president’s home, Muzenda’s name stirred in me more terror than respect.

The elders’ whispers of VaMuzenda’s Peugeot 504-driving CIO operatives and bodyguards reminded me of disappearances and death. The whispered terror was a harbinger of the real terror that’s stalked us in the past couple of years. Terror is the bedrock of tyranny.

Tears of grief hail from an oasis of memories of the departed’s noble deeds. Give me one example of what the late vice-president did to alleviate this pain, and I’ll swallow my venom. In a democracy, the vice-president helps the president to rule democratically. Muzenda cannot be exonerated for failing to soften Mugabe’s rage; he stands guilty as charged for his inaction and association with Mugabe’s rogue regime.

I mourned the absence of role models and true heroes. All but a few of Zimbabwe’s so-called “Founding Fathers” fall under that title. The mammoth Theresa Muchapedzei mansion at Zvavahera awed me when I was a little boy, but I have since grown up. We Zimbabweans have graduated from being political toddlers to political adulthood.

I just couldn’t shed tears for Muzenda on the basis of the office he held.

Obert Ronald Madondo,

Toronto, Canada.

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