Thursday, June 30, 2005

Zimbabwe's worst enemy.

Earlier this year Robert Mugabe fixed his eyes on Zimbabwe’s newest enemy saying, “Let us make inflation Zimbabwe’s enemy number one.” He was flat out wrong.

Before that it had been Tony Blair, George Bush, the British, the Americans, the EU, Morgan Tsvangirai, MDC, Bretton Woods institutions, the climate and many more. The cynic sages have debated ad naseum about whether Mugabe or the people themselves are Zimbabwe’s worst enemy. But Mugabe, even at his most cruel is hardly cruel enough to match up to it and the breadth of its wrath reaches much wider than the confines of Zimbabwe’s borders.

Our nation’s worst enemy is not in the West, nor the East; not in the State House, the White House nor any house. Zimbabwe’s worst enemy is not the people of Zimbabwe or any people at all.

It is not as physical as much as it is psychological, not as tangible as it salient, and not as quantifiable as it ubiquitous. It’s both evasive and pervasive, persisting, yes thriving, throughout the harshest of times and against the toughest of odds that our people face.

And the discovery of Zimbabwe’s worst enemy is not a novice discovery either. It has been known and was named as far back as the earliest human narratives can trace but it always finds a why seep beneath the surface time and time again. The last time it was called out was almost a hundred years ago. It’s time once again to name Zimbabwe’s, and indeed humanity’s worst enemy.

In 1933, the situation in the United States was grim, almost like it is in Zimbabwe today. The business elite lost millions upon millions on Wall Street, factories were closing, inflation and unemployment were spiraling. Meanwhile hunger and cold became children’s new companions. Times were rough. The great depression was upon the nation. Misery and gloom met the eyes of anyone who cared to look around and notice.

It was against this background that Franklin D. Roosevelt correctly singled out the greatest challenge facing the American people in his firs inaugural address,
“This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
It is fear that is restraining Zimbabweans from protesting the brutality they are suffering at the hands of so called “clean-up operations” and perpetuating our gloom. It is only by fear that Mugabe retains such a repressive grip on such a well endowed nation. People are afraid for their lives and the lives of their families. Fear is causing us not see that we have nothing more to lose than what they’ve already taken from us.

It is time to fight the fear that is inside of us. We must face the demons inside us that tell us that pain, prison and even death are unbearable.

If we are to salvage our nation and our freedom from the grips of a selfish and heartless tyranny, we all have to echo the words of that gallant warrior of justice, Roy Bennett, after his release from Zimbabwe’s hell of a prison;
“I’m not worried about dying, I’m not worried about death. I will stand strong for righteousness and justice.”
We can’t let fear be a factor anymore.

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