Wednesday, April 18, 2007
The Independence That Never Was
Today marks 27 years of self-rule for Zimbabwe, but the sentiment amongst all Zimbabweans is not celebratory but rather that of ignominy. There is nothing to celebrate, unemployment at 90%, inflation at 3000%, life expectancy at 34 for women and 36 for men, 6 million people facing famine. 3000 people die from AIDS related diseases each passing week. 22% of the population are HIV positive. Today we find our basic rights, like the right to freedom of speech, right to assembly, freedom to leave and return to Zimbabwe heavily curtailed by pieces of repressive legislation.
If our being Independent meant we were free from colonial bondage then our freedom was in vain as today more and more Zimbabweans find themselves in worse captivity than that the white supremacist government of Ian Smith ever inflicted on black Zimbabweans. If our independence meant we would get more protection from the police, then our assumptions are wrong as police are now murdering innocent people, arbitrary arresting anyone who does not conform to the ideas of Mugabe's despotic government. The severity of state organised violence against their own citizens cannot be understated, noone is safe men, women and children all face state orchestrated brutality.
4 million Zimbabweans have emigrated from Zimbabwe, some out of their own accord others forced to leave or face death at the hands of people that purportedly liberated us from the yoke of colonialism. Many of the Zimbabweans in the diaspora are living in appalling conditions, some are denied the right to support themselves financial by getting gainful employment while at the same time they cannot return to Zimbabwe where they would definitely face torture or death if not both. Some do demeaning work in countries they have emigrated to yet in Zimbabwe they were teachers, managers, barrister....
Today Zimbabwe finds itself dependent at every level, once the bread basket of Africa now a basket case. We should strive now to give ourselves true independence because frankly we have never been truly independent. What happened on April 18 1980 was a marriage of convenience between people that wanted independence and a despot that wanted power.