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The values of the liberation struggle have been betrayed – CiZC

By Obert Masaraure

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) joins the nation in commemorating Heroes’ Day (2022).

On this national day, we pay tribute to living and fallen heroes for their sacrifices in the fight for an independent Zimbabwe.

These gallant fighters understood that freedom could not be given to them as a gift. They knew it had to be relentlessly fought for and achieved.

As we commemorate Heroes’ Day, it is imperative that as a nation, we self introspect in as far as achieving the values of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle is concerned.

Compatriots; it is disheartening that the multi-faceted crisis prevailing in Zimbabwe reveals a betrayal of the values of our liberation struggle.

It is unfortunate that Zimbabwe is commemorating Heroes’ Day at a time the democratic space continues to shrink with the government making concerted efforts to further entrench authoritarian rule.

Attempts to criminalize the work of civil society organisations through draconian legislation such as the Patriotic Bill and amendments to the Private Voluntary Organisations (PVO) Act show a regression to the Ian Smith regime.

The country continues to witness persecution of civil society and opposition activists who have chosen to speak out against misgovernance and this is totally against the values of the struggle for an independent Zimbabwe.

Continued weaponization of the judiciary, high level corruption and plunder of national resources by political elites, militarization of key state institutions, failure to uphold the constitution, elections with disputed outcomes, abductions, torture and murder of civil society and opposition activists among other ills have plunged Zimbabwe back to the colonial era.

Fellow Zimbabweans; it is evident that the “new dispensation” has failed the democratic test and we continue to witness the same brutality that motivated living and fallen heroes to fight for an independent Zimbabwe.

The values of the liberation struggle have been betrayed with the majority of Zimbabweans still economically disempowered and dissatisfied with the economic gains from liberation. The level of inequality remains high.

The current situation prevailing in Zimbabwe is a call for progressive Zimbabweans to reclaim the liberation war narrative as we move towards inclusive national development.
Implementation of comprehensive electoral, social, economic and political reforms is critical for political legitimacy and the restoration of Constitutionalism.

Therefore, Zimbabweans across societal cleavages (political, religious, civic, business and labour) must engage in collective dialogue on the fundamental challenges facing the country and fashion a shared vision that moves the country forward towards democratization and away from the twin crises of poor governance and illegitimacy.

As Zimbabwe commemorates Heroes’ Day, we implore the State to uphold constitutional democracy, transparency, accountability and respect citizens’ fundamental rights- these were the values of the liberation struggle.

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition implores the State to lay the ground for nation-building and this should be anchored on respect for the constitution as well as genuine reconciliation processes to heal the wounds inflicted by atrocities such as Gukurahundi, the bloody 2008 election violence among other acts of terror by the State which dealt a blow to the concept of nation building.

Obert Masaraure is the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Spokesperson

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