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The Symbolism of Mako

Frantz Fanon in his seminal and immortal text; “The Wretched of The Earth” prophetically and provocatively said that “Each generation must out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it”.

At that particular moment Fanon was throwing a generational gauntlet during the height and fever period of anti colonial struggles in Africa and the colonized world. However, this prophetic text has become transcendental and inter-generational.

As such, it has become a reference and rallying point for the youths in post colonial Africa to derive ideological satnav and radical thought process in their quest to chart their own generational political course and mandate.

Accordingly, Makomborero Haruzivishe, who has been considered the latest prisoner of conscience within Zimbabwe, is the apt metaphor of the generation that is fulfilling its generational mission.

Therefore, this demands us to locate and contextualise the political, generational and demographic significance of Mako within the increasingly tyrannised and Talibanized political ecosystem of Zimbabwe.

Makomborero Haruzivishe is finally released from prison

This is especially relevant against the backdrop of his much delayed release from remand prison due to refusal of bail. Optics of a heavily armed police presence juxtaposed with the large fanatical support base that greeted him during his much delayed release from Harare Remand Prison after the granting of bail by the High Court breathe significance to the political dynamics currently prevailing in Zimbabwe.

Over the last three years, the youths of Zimbabwe have to a greater degree been controversially classified and critiqued as the “unfocused youths”. This is due to the fact that demographically, they are the largest population group which possess so much untapped political clout and political capital.

Coupled with the fact that, youths have been historically considered the vanguard of the revolution. Suffice to say, the Zimbabwean youths as a demographic block have largely been depoliticized, demobilized and disengaged from the democratic, political and civic struggles of Zimbabwe.

This pejorative term of unfocused youths has largely been put into glaring focus, through the manner in which they gravitate towards the politically bankrupt and ideologically shallow socialites, who are affectionately referred to as “mbingas” in street lingo.

Therefore, this is where the politically and civically engaged youths such as Mako bring a breath of revolutionary and radical fresh air.

The radical and risk-taking political and practical consciousness of Mako has inadvertently put him on a collision course with the repressive and paranoid ZANU PF authoritarian governmental apparatus.

Simply, because Mako is considered a thorn in the flesh for merely exercising his democratic and constitutional rights. The selfless nature of Mako`s organic democratic resistance, organizing and mobilizing coupled with his willingness to challenge injustices, repression and violations of human rights whenever it rears its ugly head consequently and unwittingly put Mako at the pedestal, as the catalyst and heartbeat that can radicalise, politicise and conscientise the youths.

Prior to his release from remand prison on Saturday the 8th of January 2022, Mako had served an unlawful prison sentence of 10 months and 22 days. The significance of the manner and fashion in which he was released from the remand prison have national significance in the political and democratic struggles of Zimbabwe.

Looking at the optics that accompanied his delayed respite from the political persecution within the prison walls of Zimbabwe are quite revelatory and insightful. The heavily armed police presence clearly showed that Mako possesses and carries ideas and thought processes that strike fear and unsettle the autocratic and repressive power structure of the ZANU PF government.

Thus, the system was and is not fighting an individual but rather the ideas and the potential of that vessel or carrier of those ideas in terms of politicising, conscientizing and mobilizing the youths. This was put into perspective with clips of interviews he made upon his release.

Mako, far from being physically, mentally and politically broken by prison, nonetheless came out as reinvigorated and re-energised to continue with his generational mandate. He spoke in revolutionary fashion about how the struggle against tyranny and dictatorship is not an easy road.

That , there is an ultimate price that inevitability had to be paid and that the inevitable dangers come with the territories. This comes from Steve Biko’s political thought process, that the struggle without casualties is not worth its salt.

Makomborero Haruzivishe is finally released from prison
Makomborero Haruzivishe is finally released from prison

Moveover, the heavy police presence betrays a regime which is paranoid and insecure, which is further afraid of a politically engaged youth with a clear ideological and political clarity on matters relating to governance, upholding of the constitution and human rights.

The scenes and optics on the Remand Prison were reminiscent of the manner in which anti-colonial nationalists and anti-apartheid stalwarts were treated by colonial and apartheid regimes upon their release from the prison.

Thus if both Ian Smith and Pik Botha were to wake up from their graves on that particular Saturday morning, they would have been mistaken to believe that, they are both in apartheid Rhodesia and South Africa.

The only difference being that its black police officers instead of white police officers acting as enforcing shock troops of repression. Thus, its black on black repression, that is the supposedly and hitherto liberators have metamorphosed into Frankenstein oppressors and autocrats.

Makomborero Haruzivishe is finally released from prison
Makomborero Haruzivishe is finally released from prison

On the flip side of the other optics on that Saturday morning at the Remand Prison, which were strikingly the polar opposite of the heavily armed police presence was the jubilant, vociferous crowd of friends, relatives and opposition supporters who had braved the wet weather and possibly the intimidating threat of the police to welcome and embrace their comrade, leader and friend.

This clearly points to the noble cause that Mako is fighting, thus, the contagious and infectious resonance of his cause within the progressive opposition community created an enigmatic larger than life personality clout around Mako.

However, despite the phalanx of adoring supporters and comrades, the clear humility, discipline and ordinariness in his personality was quite remarkable and humbling.

When he referenced and acknowledged political and democratic martyrs like Itai Dzamara, it shows a young man who was cognisant of Karl Marx’s ideological analytical prism that; “Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please ; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past.”

Furthermore, by invoking the name of Itai Dzamara he is reminding us that freedom has never been free and ultimately striving for freedom and democracy under a repressive regime comes with mortal dangers.

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