I wish Mandela had been Zimbabwean
By Vince Musewe
The late former South African President Nelson Mandela would not have boasted of having degrees in violence. At times like these, we are forced to examine our own lives.
Are we going to live ordinary boring lives dominated by the mundane routine of daily life and accept the circumstances shaped by others without our consent?
Or are we going to be like Madiba — as Mandela was affectionately known by his clan name — and dedicate our lives to challenging the status quo and fighting for the creation of the circumstances we desire?
Are we going to be victims and claim that we are powerless, poor and unable to rise above the circumstances which we find ourselves stuck in?
Mandela rejected this mentality and so should we.
I do not think that we should let sadness overshadow the joy of Mandela’s achievements and the principles which he lived by so that we all could be free.
We must celebrate that, for once, in our lifetime, God looked kindly upon Africa and gave us a man who selflessly confronted the bondage of racism, hate and poverty. He was a man who was even prepared to die so that Africans could be free.
It is, therefore, our duty from today to do whatever we must to carry his flame forward. We must create a better Zimbabwe, free from racism, hate, poverty and the oppression of men by other men. This we must do at any cost.
In reading the history of African politics, it is apparent that most of our leaders ran out of steam once they became used to the comforts of political power.
We have a clear example here in Zimbabwe where a President has occupied the highest office in the land and refuses to let go despite his failures. Likewise, his minions continue to hang onto their positions simply as a means to an end.
In fact, in Zimbabwe we promote failure and persecute competence and independent thinkers and yet these are the very people we should celebrate. We only celebrate “heroes” once they are dead and gone. This is the very reason for our regression.
I wish Mandela had been a Zimbabwean. If that had been the case, I doubt we would be where we are today where political power, and not the people’s aspirations, is the priority. Where those in power suppress their conscience and do the wrong thing for the wrong reasons.
Where adhering to the Constitution even at the highest level, is an inconvenience; where a President on “winning” elections announces that those Zimbabweans who did not vote for him are enemies.
Mandela would not have boasted of having degrees in violence, nor would he rule by fear, but through persuasion. He would never have allowed the killing of thousands in Matabeleland and Midlands, nor would he have approved the displacement of 700 000 families.
He would never have allowed the plunder of our national resources or the violent displacement of white farmers. Mandela was no racist.
As we move towards 2014, we must declare it the Year of the People’s Revolution where all Zimbabweans demand good leadership and the expunging of all laws and institutions that continue to oppress us.
At his death, we must all let the Mandela in us come out so that his legacy may live on through us.
Nothing is impossible!
Zimbabwe must rise and we must make it rise to the ideals that Mandela imagined and lived for. Robert Mugabe has had his time and it is time for him to relinquish power and hand over to others. That would be the best gift he can give to Zimbabwe in 2014.
When true heroes go, we are obliged to acknowledge our own dispensability so that we know that we are here only for a brief moment of time. We are suffering from the entitlement of power. The false belief that only a select group of men and women can lead us.
The people come first!