By Tinomudaishe Chinyoka
Today, on 18 November 2017, when the children of Zimbabwe stand up in solidarity with their defence forces, it is easy to miss to moment. This is the day we must all remember for aeons to come, when the death of our great nation was stemmed and we all stood up to say with one voice: we are all Zimbabweans now.
This is not the day to be analytical, there is nothing to analyse. Grace has fallen, and Mugabe is halfway out the door. Instead of pontificating in borrowed languages about the propriety of the method and the personages of those bringing the deliverance, it is time to focus on one thing: Grace has fallen and Mugabe is halfway out the door. Analysis be damned.
There are those that will talk about how a military solution is not ideal, and I say to them: stuff and nonsense! Mugabe, with his rigging machine, was never going to allow a non-military solution. Besides, do you honestly think that a President Grace was ever going to allow the Diaspora to vote? Do you honestly think that we were ever going to get this family out without divine intervention?
The patient does not go to the doctor with a prescription and say, I am unwell, please prescribe this. The patient takes the problem to the doctor, and the doctor decides on the treatment. We prayed for our country to be delivered. God has answered in this manner. Others died in trying to get our country delivered, and their blood pleaded kumidzimu yavo for deliverance.
Some were beaten, many tortured, yet even more lost everything. All these toils and tribulations sent out a plea to our God and ancestors, and deliverance came. When Mbuya Nehanda said mapfupa angu achamuka, she did not say once, or only against Smith. The children of Zimbabwe have suffered enough, and help came through the military.
This is not the time to engage in useless rants about how Mnangagwa himself is not a saint, we are all not saints. This is the time to be real, and say, every one of us and their donkey would be better than Grace.
What we need, what we so desperately need on a day like today, is to listen to ourselves more. We have said all the right things. We spent the last two years or so with our opposition (aside from one delusional physicist) talking about coalitions and saying uniting to remove Mugabe was the goal. Well, let us unite now! This is the time. Now.
Now is the time to recall that the prey has been caught, if we do not stand together with the military to slay it, who do we have to blame if tomorrow they say ‘to the victor the spoils.’ Now is the time to lend a hand, all into the breach, so that the removal of Grace and her husband is not a feat accomplished by some but by all. All of us, Zimbabweans.
Now is the time to stand up and say, yes, I never envisaged a day when a military coup could be the method by which help comes our way but hell yeah, this one is in my name. Now is the time to show solidarity with out military and tell the regional talkshow, SADC, and their smug comments about ‘Zimbabweans must solve their own problems’ while making us labourers and waiters that hell yeah, the people of Zimbabwe are behind their military. Call it a coup if you like, but it was not done by the military. By all of us. This is one crime I might not have thought up, but I am solidly behind it. This has my blessing. It might be a coup, but it was by me. Definitely done in my name.
Now is not the time to raise those foolish criticisms of Mutsvangwa and his war veterans. But, a day to recall that these grizzled old men and women, who perhaps do not speak English like you and I, because they decided to forego education to go and fight for our freedoms, really do love this country. Forget our differences, forget our backgrounds, we are all Zimbabweans in this, solidly behind Gen Chiwenga and the military.
Ignore the stupid comments about this being just a Zanu-PF implosion, Grace was not wrecking Zanu Pf but our beloved Zimbabwe. Ignore so-called analysts and other paid mouthpieces of donor interests who will tell you that Mnangagwa is not suitable: he sacrificed to fight for this country, and Grace….did what exactly? Those that will judge him, where were they when Grace was cruising to the Presidency? Did Zuma not give her diplomatic immunity when there was finally a chance for her to face the music for her shenanigans?
This is the day to stand in solidarity with our military and our war vets and our youths and our unemployed and our mothers and fathers and our neighbour and his dog. This is the day when Grace and Mugabe need to know that we are not for the taking, that we are something that their trips to Singapore might have made them forget to recognise: Zimbabweans.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote in a celebrated poem, said:
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.
We ride not to our deaths, but to our freedom. We ride not as six hundred, but as millions scattered across the globe by the actions of this tyrant, boldly we go, voices raised, pride adorning our visages and joy filling the heart.
When all hope had seemed lost, when we were about to have Grace inflicted upon us, there arose Gen Chiwenga and his men and women in uniform. Parochial constitutionalism to the front, Jonathan Moyo snipping at their heels, Chipanga with his delusional zealotry on the flanks, and a charge of treason squarely in sight, they rose up and said no, not in our name.
Now is the time to say, if there is a charge of breaking the constitution, count me in. If treason has been committed, arrest me too. If anyone is guilty of removing Mugabe, here are my hands, arrest me too. If there is to be an accused person from all this, count me in.
Let them struggle to find witnesses, because we will all the in the dock. Let them search low and wide for voices of discord, because like a choir attuned to the song, we are all accused, and all guilty. Our crime? We love Zimbabwe. In the abyss of hyperinflation, from the deepest depths of pain at seeing a family donate $60,000 cash which they do not own to their rich in-law while we hunger in queues for days to withdraw $50 we own, from being reduced to vendors and servants in foreign countries, from being turned against each other because of competition for squalor, the military has brought back something that redeems us all. Pride in that beautiful country of ours.
Today, let us all be one. Because we are all Zimbabweans now.