Luke-ing the Beast in the Eye: Independence… A wedding without a bride
... and when Easter morphs us into the Citizens Coalition for Christ ( CCC )
Today is Easter Friday. And Monday is our national Independence Day. Both are important days of sacrifice. While on Monday we will remember the stoic sacrifice of the gallant sons and daughters of this land in the heroic fight against colonialism, today we remember the more gargantuan sacrifice when the Son of Man gave himself up for the redemption of the world’s citizenry; that ultimate sacrifice when Jesus Christ gave himself up for all humanity.
For today is the day when the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) relegates itself for the elevation of the Citizens Coalition for Christ (CCC) as Zimbabwe joins the global Christian community in the veneration and remembrance of that huge sacrifice on the Cross at Golgotha.
There is neither Jew nor Greek , there is neither slave nor free , there is neither male nor female ; for you are all one in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3 verse 28).
indeed, in spite of our differences we all became united and conjoined through Jesus’ sacrifice for all humanity. Similarly, there will be no Zanu PF, CCC nor any other political label. There will just be citizens who will all contribute to this great, monumental wave that will certainly result in political change next year under the leadership of the people’s champion, pastor Advocate Nelson Chamisa.
Last week, this column posited that the right to vote was at the core of our brutal war of independence, which independence has now been betrayed by an avaricious political elite that is denying citizens the same right to vote for which they waged a brutal struggle.
Some have even been killed for their political choice and Nyasha Zhambe and Mboneni Ncube fall into this category.
Also at the core of our struggle for independence was the issue of land. The sanctity and centrality of land to our brutal struggle is common cause.
Sadly, both our rural and urban areas remain congested because the land has been parcelled out only to the political elite and those oligarchs umbilically connected to Zanu PF, known variously either as land barons or multiple farm owners.
The land story is a sad story and it tragically reflects the hollowness of the independence that we ought to be celebrating on Monday.
In my other life as a journalist, it was always every journalist’s wish to interview Eddison Jonas Mudadirwa Zvobgo. The eloquent Harvard-trained lawyer had this knack of giving you a quotable quote and a potential lead story.
I remember when Zanu PF started its senseless murders of white commercial farmers in the name of land reform.
As the Zanu PF secretary for legal Affairs, Zvobgo was expected to justify his party’s actions but instead he gave out a brilliant quote that was not only against his party’s position but that made headlines across the globe:
” It is unfortunate that as a party , we have turned an otherwise glorious revolution into a racist agrarian enterprise .”
Zvobgo was just dramatising the betrayal— through senseless actions— of an otherwise justifiable crusade. A revolution perverted and bastardised by ignoramuses and dimwits ensconcing the seat of power.
Next Monday, we ought to be celebrating our independence and sovereignty. And yet even the sovereign Constitution that we wrote ourselves as citizens and affirmed in a referendum has largely not been implemented.
It has instead been unilaterally and illegally amended by the political elite sworn only to the agenda of power retention. In that Constitution are embedded our basic freedoms enshrined in a comprehensive Bill of Rights that we have not been allowed to enjoy.
Just how does one become independent when they are not free? Just how do we celebrate our independence on Monday when in fact we are all not free?
The judiciary is not free and the illegal and unConstitutional extension of Luke Malaba’s tenure is evidence to that. All the chapter 12 institutions including ZEC and others that are supposed to be autonomous and independent are not free of Executive control.
In fact, it emerged early this week that ZEC is shackled and tethered to the military through Africom.Yes, the military has mounted yet another coup on the autonomy and independence of ZEC.
Independence without freedom is trite, vacuous and empty. Freedom is a key ingredient of true independence and any purported independence that is bereft of freedom is akin to a bus without a driver, a school without students and without a head, a church without congregants and a political party without followers or supporters.
Indeed, freedom is at the core of independence. But in 1980, our so-called independence came alone, unaccompanied by the requisite freedoms that ought to have given it proper import, relevance and meaning.
On Monday, we will be commemorating an empty day. A carcass. Monday will be what renowned poet Freedom T. V. Nyamubaya called a mysterious marriage, a wedding where the groom came without his bride.
This week, I will allow Nyamubaya to poetically address you, dear readers, on the hollowness of our independence. It was from Nyamubaya that I borrowed the first part of this week’s title.
Nyamubaya penned a poem on the inadequacy and hollowness of our Uhuru; an epic, imaginative, poetic verse that I republish here today.
This poem is a true rendition of our situation, a vexing wedding where only the groom (independence) is aimlessly walking down the aisle without his bride (freedom).
A Mysterious Marriage
Once upon a time
there was a boy and a girl
forced to leave their home
by armed robbers
The boy was Independence
The girl was Freedom
While fighting back , they got married .
After the big war they went back home
Everybody prepared for the wedding Drinks and food abounded ,
Even the disabled felt able ,
The whole village gathered waiting
Freedom and Independence
were more popular than Jesus
but Freedom was not there
An old woman saw Freedom’s shadow passing ,
Walking through the crowd , Freedom to the gate
All the same , they celebrated for independence
Independence is now a senior bachelor
Some people still talk about him
Many others take no notice
A lot still say , it was a fake marriage
You can’t be a husband without a wife ,
Fruitless and barren independence staggers to old age ,
Since her shadow , Freedom , hasn’t come .
Happy Easter Zimbabwe as we prepare to commemorate—not celebrate—our national independence on Monday. Indeed, next week there will be no cause for any carnival amid this deep-seated national gloom. There is nothing to be joyful for.
We are Africans and we hold dear the institution called family.For that reason, we cannot celebrate bachelorhood; this forlorn bachelor called independence who for 42 years has kept us waiting for the arrival of his bride called Freedom.
It’s a half prize!
Luke Tamborinyoka is a citizen from Domboshava and a champion in the Citizens Coalition for Change ( CCC ). You can interact with him via his facebook page or his twitter handle @ luke_tambo.