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The National Pledge: What a load of tosh!

By Lloyd Msipa

“Almighty God, in whose hands our future lies, I salute the national flag. United in our diversity and our common desire for freedom, justice and equality, Respecting the brave fathers and mothers who lost lives in the Chimurenga/Umvukela and National liberation struggles. We are proud inheritors of the richness of our natural resources. We are proud creators and participants in our vibrant traditions and cultures. So I commit to honesty and the dignity of hard work.”

Lloyd Msipa
Lloyd Msipa

The government of Zimbabwe recently unveiled what it calls “A National Pledge” which according to press reports is meant to be cited by school children as instructed by the education ministry.

It apparently is meant to instil a sense of nationalism amongst the youth in priding themselves as Zimbabweans.

The purpose and timing of the introduction of this pledge seems to many rather suspicious and at best a cynical advanced notion to pre-rig the elections next year.

Firstly by making reference to the “Almighty God to whom our future lies” the authors of the pledge assume that all Zimbabweans are religious in one form or another.

Granted we are largely a Christian God fearing nation, but how then can we be “united in our diversity” if one assumes all Zimbabweans are religious?

A pledge that does not celebrates our religious diversity and at same time upholding the supremacy of God or any other supreme being as in other faiths cannot be uniting Zimbabweans in their diversity.

Secondly, the National pledge talks of Zimbabweans saluting “the national flag…in our common desire for freedom, justice and equality”.

The National flag as an institution is protected by the Zimbabwe Constitution. It is a symbolic political institution that is a powerful tool if used correctly and respectfully by all other political institutions that complement it.

For the authors of the national pledge to think that merely saluting the symbolic aspect of a national flag brings with it unity in “our diversity and a common desire for equality and justice” without the government of the day nurturing those virtues is at best foolish and stupid.

Anyone familiar with Zimbabwe and the prevailing politics should be aware that we are are a much polarised citizenry with deep historical injustices that need to be addressed at a national level before we talk of “unity in our diversity”.

The Gremlins of the Gukurahundi massacres in the Midlands and Matabeleland continue to haunt us remain a divisive issue and no national pledge however worded can ever sweep that under the carpet.

The injustices and violations metered out to the people in that region on tribal and political grounds can never be addressed by the mere indoctrination of our children in schools through a national pledge recited each morning at school assemblies.

The history of what transpired at this time continues to be passed on orally by the same parents that are up in arms over this “pledge” from generation to generation.

The injustices of the Gukurahundi era will unless addressed remain an albatross around any real unity in our diversity across the political and tribal divide. Truth and reconciliation and some form of restorative justice are a prerequisite for this to happen.

The pledge further goes on to talk of “respecting the brave fathers and mothers who lost their lives in the Chimurenga/Umvukelo and liberation struggles, we are proud inheritors of our national resources”.

Zimbabweans across the political divide have a general respect and appreciation for all those that sacrificed leg and limb for the liberation of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe’s surviving war veterans are an integral part of the legacy of the liberation struggle.

However recent toxic politicisation of this institution has divided and its legacy remains in doubt as to its respectability. Genuine war veteran bemoan the hijacking of this institution by unauthentic war veterans for political expediency.

Having spoken to many authentic war veterans, I am convinced that genuine war veterans remain unappreciated and unrewarded. What we have are a lot of “wannabe war vets” who are in their forties claiming to be genuine war veterans who fought in the war of liberation.

No parent having the best interest of their child at hand will take this kind of indoctrination lightly.

The pledge concludes by making reference to the fact that “we are proud inheritors of our natural resources” and that we commit to the “dignity of hard work and honesty”.

Surely if we were the proud owners of our natural resources, Zimbabweans will not be wallowing in the poverty they do today! The truth is our natural resources, our diamond mines have been mortgaged to State entities and the Chinese.

It is these entities that have remained the primary beneficiaries of the resources and today the government of the day cannot account for over fifteen billion of the proceeds of these “inherited resources”.

No individual citizen under Zimbabwean law is allowed to mine diamonds unless authorised from the very top. How then can we talk of us being “proud inheritors of our resources?”

The pledge speaks of “dignity of hard work and honesty”.

In Zimbabwe we have a system in place that glorifies riches without work, millionaires that do not build anything or make anything.

We have a system that allows “millionaires” to pour millions into concrete thirty to forty bed roomed houses whilst people are dying in poorly resourced hospitals.

A system that glorifies criminals whilst well educated citizens wallow in poverty.

How then can we pledge to teach our children the values and dignity of hard work when those that hold authority do not uphold the same values?

We need to lead by example. That is the greatest pledge we can ever teach our children.

We cannot pledge to teach our children the value and dignity and hard work when all the leaders walk around with dirty hands.

The national pledge should start in Parliament.

The national pledge should start with the leadership that claims to have the people at heart.

The national pledge should start with the leaders declaring what they own today and what they owned five years ago.

The national pledge should be symbolic face of all who purport to be true Zimbabweans.

The national pledge can never be premised on empty rhetoric.

Zimbabwe needs to heal first and foremost.

We need to first nurture accountability, respect of political institutions and not worshipping individuals. We need to nurture servant leadership and in terms of that we have a long way to go. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

  • Lloyd Msipa is a Lawyer based in the United Kingdom. Article appears on Khuluma Afrika – a nonpartisan center for political analysis and investigative journalism
  • Nyaya yakakosha panguva ino ndeye ZVIHUTA nesignificance yazvo paRwendo rwevana vaIsrael

  • mastadon

    Very well said sir.The whole thing is just another fuss.The Natural resource Part is pure Science Fiction,given how we don’t even know how much Mineral Wealth we have left,we don’t know how much of the Mines have been Mortgaged to China and if our Children might end up living in a Mineral poor Nation as so much Pillage is going on under Mugabe’s Watch and his Far Eastern buddies.

    • Gono

      Lloyd Msipa, 38, was approved by the OISC to work as a voluntary organisation in March 2007. Msipa, originally from Zimbabwe, and with strong ties to Zanu-PF through his uncle Cephas Msipa was only authorised to provide Level 1 immigration advice,
      which includes basic applications for entry clearance. However, evidence showed
      he had been engaged in Level 3 work. In addition during a search of his
      premises evidence was found which showed Msipa had charged clients hundreds of
      pounds for his work, despite only being authorised as a ‘not-for-profit’
      organisation. This included, representing clients at the Asylum and Immigration
      Tribunal (AIT). He had also been submitting judicial reviews applications,
      which OISC advisers are not permitted to do. Msipa at one point threatened to
      sue ZimDaily after we had exposed him for practising Law without accreditaion
      in the UK. The Story published on ZimDaily in January led to an investiagtion
      by UK immigaration authorities. Trading under the name ‘Virtaluk & Co’,
      Msipa was registered to work from his home address in Barking, Essex. But the
      OISC discovered he was carrying out his illegal operations from a different
      address, which he had not informed the OISC about. When faced with the
      allegations, Msipa claimed that people had been coming into his office and
      using his company paper, and computer, to prepare and submit their own
      application and Judicial Reviews without his knowledge. However, documentary
      evidence from the AIT, and statements from his clients, revealed it was Msipa
      who had been carrying out the work. Msipa pleaded guilty to six counts of
      illegally providing immigration advice. He was sentenced at Southwark Crown
      Court on June 9, 2008 to 9 months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, and
      was ordered to pay £1,450 in compensation to his victims. Lloyd Msipa’s is also
      believed to be linked to a Zanu-PF funded company Angwa Associates registered
      in Wallsall UK, which duped thousands from Zimbabweans in the diaspora through
      the Reserve bank of Zimbabwe. Angwa Associates had been contracted by Gideon
      Gono to provide stands and sell properties to Zimbabweans abroad. Lloyd Msipa
      who has never hidden his Pro Zanu-PF views is the latest victim of the Fair
      Deal campaign ran by ZimDaily last year. The campaign meant to target
      beneficiaries of Zanu-PF thievery has seen Gono’s and Chihuri’s kids deported
      from Australia.

      The conviction leaves Msipa with a criminal record and faces jail if he
      practises Law in the UK in any form.

      • Keresenzia

        Lloyd’s past has nothing to do with this well-written article.

        He didn’t advertise himself as an immigration lawyer. Illegal Zimbabweans who wanted to regulate their stay went to him asking for advice. He gave most of this advice free of charge in a lot of cases. Vamwe venyu makabatsirwa asi nemajairosi makaenda kunomhangarira munhu. I know a number of people who would have been deported were it not for him. Hamunyari, busy beating down the people who help you. Ndosaka tisingaburire isu maZimbabweans muno muUK. He is still a qualified lawyer, therefore a lawyer. Fortunately for him, he has moved on from his past.

        • Makosi

          You are crying more than the bereaved. Gono copied an article which appears factual. He is a criminal by the very definition of the term, more specifically a fraudster. Lloyds past has everything to do with his present. He lied to people that he was something that he was not while accepting money. Illegal or not those vulnerable people were entitled to fair and proper representation. You are just as bad as him if not worse. Condoning criminality you have no morals. How did he help people yet he was unqualified to do so. Its more like he ruined peoples lives .

        • Venencia

          It does not appear like he can move on. His criminal record is one of dishonesty and deciept so people will question Lloyd’s motives. He is another who thinks politics is hereditary. With a criminal conviction involving dishonesty I wonder if he will be allowed anywhere near a court room anytime soon.

        • Davina

          You are defending the indefensible with a very myopic arguement. The man has a criminal past involving duping people that he was something he was not and accepting payment for it. If that does not make him a fraudster then I an not sure what is. Itsotsi Lloyd wako full stop. ChiZanu chakabaya chikatyokera.

  • Dunny Sana

  • Taryn Nefdt

    What a powerful piece – I think I’m going to make some graphic designs based on this. Brilliant analysis and insight and critical thinking………….

    • Kwindi

      Lloyd Msipa, 38 (at time) from Barking, Essex, was convicted in June 2008 of providing immigration advice and services that he was not authorised to provide. Msipa pleaded guilty to six counts of illegally providing immigration advice. He was sentenced to nine months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, and was ordered to pay £1,450 in compensation to his victims.

      • Kwindi

        Lloyd Msipa, 38, was approved by the OISC to work as a voluntary organisation in March 2007. Msipa, originally from Zimbabwe, and with strong ties to Zanu-PF through his uncle Cephas Msipa was only authorised to provide Level 1 immigration advice, which includes basic applications for entry clearance. However, evidence showed he had been engaged in Level 3 work. In addition during a search of his premises evidence was found which showed Msipa had charged clients hundreds of pounds for his work, despite only being authorised as a ‘not-for-profit’ organisation. This included, representing clients at the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT). He had also been submitting judicial reviews applications, which OISC advisers are not permitted to do. Msipa at one point threatened to sue ZimDaily after we had exposed him for practising Law without accreditation in the UK. The Story published on ZimDaily in January led to an investigation by UK immigaration authorities. Trading under the name ‘Virtaluk & Co’, Msipa was registered to work from his home address in Barking, Essex. But the OISC discovered he was carrying out his illegal operations from a different address, which he had not informed the OISC about. When faced with the allegations, Msipa claimed that people had been coming into his office and using his company paper, and computer, to prepare and submit their own
        application and Judicial Reviews without his knowledge. However, documentary
        evidence from the AIT, and statements from his clients, revealed it was Msipa
        who had been carrying out the work. Msipa pleaded guilty to six counts of
        illegally providing immigration advice. He was sentenced at Southwark Crown
        Court on June 9, 2008 to 9 months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, and was ordered to pay £1,450 in compensation to his victims.
        Lloyd Msipa’s is also believed to be linked to a Zanu-PF funded company Angwa Associates registered in Wallsall UK, which duped thousands from Zimbabweans in the diaspora through the Reserve bank of Zimbabwe. Angwa Associates had been contracted by Gideon Gono to provide stands and sell properties to Zimbabweans abroad. Lloyd Msipa who has never hidden his Pro Zanu-PF views is the latest victim of the Fair Deal campaign ran by ZimDaily last year. The campaign meant to target beneficiaries of Zanu-PF thievery has seen Gono’s and Chihuri’s kids deported from Australia.

        The conviction leaves Msipa with a criminal record and faces jail if he practises
        Law in the UK in any form. The OISC currently regulates almost 4,000 advisers
        across the UK and provides a list of those allowed to give advice on its
        website – http://www.oisc.gov.uk. The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) is an independent public body set up under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. Since 30 April 2001 it has been a criminal offence for an adviser to provide immigration advice or services unless their organisation: – has registered with the OISC; has been exempted from registration by the OISC or ministerial order; or is otherwise qualified under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 The OISC is responsible for ensuring that all immigration advisers fulfil the requirements of good practice. The OISC is committed to the elimination of unscrupulous advisers and the fair and thorough investigation of complaints. Whilst it does not regulate solicitors it does take complaints against solicitors.

      • Taryn Nefdt

        Maybe he felt for them and tried his best to solve ZANU’s messes and predicaments they put people in ………………………………..

        • Dig Deeper

          Hazvishamisi kunzwa kuti avekuPF as chairman of UK branch. Oppotunism izere panaLlodza, bvunzai isu tinokupakurirai ese mafiyera.

  • Chitimkulu

    I have a problem with people talking of Gukurahundi (of course it’s their right) and nothing on the Entumbane slaughter (ethnic cleansing frenzy that included even school kids as active participants) of people from Bulawayo who happened to not belong to one group. Refrigerated train wagons had to be brought in to keep the corpses since the mortuaries were overwhelmed. Some bodies were just picked on by dogs and till now families know not what became of their relatives. We have to be honest with history and I have deliberately limited it to the modern or shall I call it Christian era in Zimbabwe.

  • Gono

    What a despicable & dishonest man. I had not seen this before I posted above. He used to also say he was ZAPU for a few days before resigning because he wanted to take over and appoint himself to a senior post.

  • Emma Neuso

    You have his files for sure. So why is he calling himself a lawyer when quite clearly he is a criminal. Eeish!

  • NoRetreat NoSurrender

    Kwindi your expose kind of puts his opinion into perspective and makes a mockery of the high pedestal that the author tries to put himself. Judging by the time he committed and was convicted of the offence in 2007 Lloyd was abviously preying on vulnerable Zimbabwean asylum seekers and fleecing them of their hard earned money with dodgy immigration advice. That is also about the time the Zim economy was plummeting in similar fashion as it is today so times must have been brutally hard to those seeking his “professional” advice. This puts him on a par with those corrupt Zanu PF politicians that he is criticising in his rather eloquent opinion piece. The kettle calling the pot black so to speak. This is very sad indeed for him to now adopt a holier than thou attitude, he is clearly a hypocrite unless he has truelly repented something I would doubt very much after I too googled him. He is as nasty as they come. Well done Kwindi for exposing this charlatan.

  • Nyasha Dhoro

    Mwari ngavatibatsire