By Job Wiwa Sikhala (MP Zengeza West)
They generally don’t call. This early morning call transmitted confusion to me when I was bathing. It always does not happen that way. I quickly knew, some red alert message was coming. I knew it was no time to waste for a second. I answered the phone when I was already in my the bedroom ready to bolt out. Bathing was abandoned. It was a morning I was preparing to go to my office then mid morning appearance at Chitungwiza Magistrates Court to fight for other people’s freedom.
I received the message and quickly jumped into my car in my undergarments and away I vamoosed. I immediately phoned Hopewell Chin’ono and Jacob Ngarivhume that I have received some dangerous news that the previous night JOC meeting had resolved to get us arrested and dump us in prison for a long time. Hopewell told me that his house was already surrounded. Jacob said, he was already nabbed while on his knees praying in the church next to his house.
I walked away into the bushes. Kwakaenda imbwa ndokwaenda tsuro. An old woman kept me before I moved to my rural village. What happens thereafter is a story for another day.
I heard that my friends Hopewell and Jacob were denied bail and thrown at Harare Remand prison. Bail was denied and I called upon and challenged myself that, the agenda to abort 31st July will not work. Even if they were going to arrest me someday, the impact of the people’s outcry against corruption, human rights abuses, torture and closure of political space must be heard loudly on all corners of the world.
I intensified the campaign from wherever I was and made sure that ndapinza regime and its surrogates busy. I vowed that even if I remain by myself I will make the noise that will be felt right on the doorsteps of the evil regime.
I was kept informed step by step and updated on the intensification of my manhunt. The regime released all its security apparatus to every corner of the country hunting for me. Everytime I received that message, I would kneel down and pray. Never underestimate the power of prayer. I am testimony to how much it kept me going.
I sharpened my intelligence skills to sniff every small detail of what was happening. This kept me going for sometime. The mistake was moving with a team. Big lesson learnt there.
I still had the desire and energy to keep them busy. The support among the people of Zimbabwe was unprecedented. The world was now focused on Zimbabwe. SADC countries were speaking. AU was speaking. The UN Human Rights Council was speaking. Former and present Heads of State where speaking. Zimbabweans were speaking. Everyone was speaking. It was folly for anyone to underestimate the wave of the moment. It was the people’s moment. I could feel it wherever I was.
Zimbabwe was ready for the time. Contacts from throughout the world urging me not to buckle kept me going. When the nation from rural villages, to townships, growth points and towns where shutdown, I look back with pride how Zimbabweans flexed their muscles.
That was the gigantic moment of the people.
The regime was left nose bloodied, angry and in confusion. I liked every moment of it. The spirit of the emancipation of our people was at its peak. That was the 1960s, 1970s moment. When people were full of the euphoria for their freedom and independence.
Freedom and independence shall truly come. I 🤞.