By Luke Tamborinyoka
“Zuva nezuva hachitonge matare chibhakera
OLIVER Mtukudzi is a polished musician and his music continues to touch the hearts and minds of ordinary Zimbabweans.
I am not an ardent fan of Mtukudzi myself. I believe Alick Macheso is the real deal. After all, I grew up in Chitungwiza and I am naturally inclined towards sungura music.
But the song with the above lyrics, sung at the height of the Zanu PF-inspired violence in the run-up to the presidential election of 2002, remains my favourite from Tuku Music. Zanu PF was literally dripping with the blood of innocent victims of its despotism and for me the song was a message to Zanu PF.
The stage is set for yet another gruelling presidential election. For some of us, the election presents Zimbabweans with yet another opportunity to start afresh. It presents us with a perfect window to either vote for the future as represented by Morgan Tsvangirai or the past as embodied by Robert Mugabe.
As a nation, we all thought we had broken away from the past of violence and bloodshed. The dialogue in South Africa should usher in a new era where Zanu PF begins to respect the opposition by staying away from the barbaric politics of machetes, catapults and knobkerries.
The new spirit of dialogue should mean that Zanu PF has to break away from the past and refrain from violence as an instrument of coercion. The dialogue process should see Zanu PF respecting the Sadc initiative by shying away from its legendary affinity for human blood.
At the time of writing this article, Clemence Takaendesa, an MDC activist who was allegedly shot dead last week by Retired Brigadier Benjamin Mabenge in the Midlands town of Kwekwe, was set to be buried in his home area in Gokwe on Wednesday.
The Zanu PF goblin should be satisfied with the blood of innocent MDC supporters it has sucked over the past seven years. From Talent Mabika and Tichaona Chiminya to Phibion Mafukidze and Gift Tandare, it is a sad and tragic story of human trophies in Zanu PF’s cabinet.
As we speak, the negotiating table in Pretoria has been soiled by the hands of Zanu PF which are dripping with human blood.
Recently, I was part of an MDC delegation that met with Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi over the escalating violence against opposition supporters and civic groups. Mohadi’s body language and Mugabe’s utterances thereafter showed that Zanu PF is in denial about the real violence taking place against the innocent people of Zimbabwe.
The talks should translate into a conducive political atmosphere in Zimbabwe. As Nelson Chamisa puts it, it cannot be winter time in Harare. The sun must shine in Harare.
The sun is the desire by Zimbabweans to be able to freely express themselves next year. The sun represents the tangible evidence on the ground that Zanu PF is really committed to this dialogue.
Zimbabweans want practical deliverables that show Zanu PF’s sincerity. The shining sun means Posa and Aippa must go. The people want the Daily News to come back. They want a non-partisan police force. They want to freely wear their MDC and Woza T-shirts. They want to be able to freely preach the gospel of change in Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe.
They want visible evidence of a nation in dialogue with itself. They want to practically enjoy and live the benefits of the dialogue process. They want Zanu PF to lock up its merchants of death and allow the free expression of their collective desire for a new Zimbabwe and a new beginning.
It appears it will be a long road to a free and fair election. Zanu PF has walked us along the dark road of violence and we do not want to walk it forever more. Over the past seven years, we have seen the evidence of the degrees in violence.
The battered and bruised images of Tsvangirai and Chamisa, the callous murder of Tandare and the brutal assault of Naison Mazambani are all a sordid testimony that the regime will continue to maim and kill with neither shame nor compunction.
We have enough evidence that Zanu ndeyeropa is not just a statement. It is a guiding principle of this murderous regime.
Sadc must rein in Mugabe. This violence has to stop.
The MDC is not an illegal underground movement of criminals. It is a legitimate political party that is in parliament.
Mugabe cannot frighten us into abandoning what we believe in. He must not be allowed to violently stampede us out of the conviction of our conscience. He cannot continue to frighten the nation by criminalising regime change.
Some of us are not ashamed. We are committed to the agenda of regime change and we are ardent regime change activists.
Zanu PF has become a collective African shame. It has to rid itself of its murderous tag as a confidence-building measure to the dialogue currently taking place. They must find time to listen to Mtukudzi’s lyrics on the futility of violence as a political weapon.
As Mtukudzi would put it: “Hatidi hondo. Hatidi mhirizhonga.”
* Luke Tamborinyoka is the MDC’s director of information and publicity. He writes in his personal capacity.