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The Revolution, Passive Endurance: The Africans Vs The Brutal Colonial System Of Land Dispossession

15 January 2014

By Reason Wafawarova

Zimbabweans have had enough of economic misery.
We can no longer entertain those among us who wish to give our people an anaesthetic that slumbers them into perpetual suffering in the very short days of our lifespan on this planet.
Our ultimate goal in this revolution is not to point our people towards the direction of our enemies, perceived or real, but to bring happiness on the faces of Zimbabweans.

The year 2000 marked the beginning of the revolution we christened the Third Chimurenga — in essence the derided but victorious land reform programme that has drastically transformed the agrarian regime in the country, not least by way of a just ownership of the land resource.

There was a time when the collective inspiration behind this revolution was the memory of those heroic militants that prematurely left us as we fought in that relentless liberation war of attrition — to fulfil the aspiration of their war effort and for us to rest in the comforting belief that at long last their departed souls would rest in solemnity and dignity.

We must never forget that this revolution only took place because of the dynamic power of the dispossessed — the impoverished community created by the brutal colonial system of land dispossession.

Our leaders, historians and intellectuals may as usual contrive credit for themselves as always happens in many revolutions across the world, but our eyes cannot be taken away from the precarious conditions our people continue to live in, even after the valorous land reclamation that brought back our stolen land from the colonially privileged white elites.

Our resettled indigenous farmers have had more promises than delivery from the politicians, and sadly the promising side has no issue forgetting their promises.

Capitalisation of the farming process has been so popular to preach particularly on the part of Zanu-PF politicians, but season after season our resettled farmers have gone unmechanised, and farming inputs have remained a dream to many of our determined and incredibly committed resettled farmers.

While there has been an impressive surge in tobacco production, the country is still direly struggling to meet its net consumption for maize meal, wheat and other food crops.

The politicians find it easier to blame the Western illegally-imposed economic sanctions for our poor harvests than to accept their joint culpability in failing to support our farmers.

After all, we have the Malawian agrarian miracle performed by the British during the Mutharika era, and no doubt our politicians find such aid-driven miracles easier to believe in than the gospel of self-emancipation.

If Zimbabwe does not immediately correct this false-hearted patriotism where our elites only align with the people through vainglorious political utterances while their actions all point to selfish prodigality we are going to deteriorate into a living definition of outrageous poverty.

We cannot play heroism in a country where the majority of our people do not live with the dignity they deserve. That kind of hypocrisy is diabolical.

While our people have been discerning enough to reject emphatically the kind of change preached by the opposition MDC formations, what cannot be brushed aside is that the ordinary people of Zimbabwe are today a force that wants change — revolutionary change.

It is only the revolution we started in 2000 that can overturn the old order, that can satisfy the people's aspiration.
Our people's conscious commitment to the revolution is unquestionable, but we cannot continue on this path of betrayal where our politicians aim to reap votes out of our commitment to the revolution, recklessly abandoning their part in implementing policies that would bring to fruition the aspiration of our people.

Some of our politicians must be living in a make-believe world where all non-politicians are assumed to be highly credulous, incontrovertibly looking up to the word of the politician for all solutions to life.

That mentality in our politicians has created the primordial chef culture– a pernicious phenomenon intoxicating our leaders into demi-gods that believe only lesser mortals can sin, the non-liable lot that takes criticism for crime.

We will be betraying our people if we in the media allow ourselves to celebrate mediocrity in the name of patriotism.
We are not doing the nation any favour by celebrating the backward peasant that has been resettled on some land formerly occupied by some long departed white fellow — all to be left resigned to his fate, all the time languishing in ferocious hope that stands no chance of fulfilment from his own governors.

We want to be celebrating the birth of a new farmer who is serious and aware of his responsibilities, working for the future by arming himself with new technology.

We are talking about the great actor and beneficiary of our policy of building an independent national economy through the two pillars of land reforms and indigenisation.

Our farmers must be elevated to synonyms of respect, not this laughing stock where our detractors keep reminding us of the glory farming days of colonial Zimbabwe.

We owe our new farmers the respect for proud and worthy combatants who defend the just cause of indigenous emancipation — combatants who adequately shoulder their part in agrarian production.

But we have unflinching politicians who seem convinced that the new farmer must be left to fight this battle alone, and they believe input support is hierarchical and must follow the protocols of Zanu-PF power structures.

After seven years of writing in support of the Zimbabwe's revolution relatives, friends and foes are equally surprised that this writer does not own a flourishing farm purely on the basis of political connections.

We live in the culture and days of patronage politics.
The assumptions are not without basis. We have a system of patronage politics that stinks to high heavens, and that is why being connected politically to the Zanu-PF leadership structures is considered mandatory for anyone who still wishes to farm.

Today we must look at our land reform programme and draw lessons and clarify the road to further success.
For this revolution to succeed, we need an entire population that is truly convinced, not one that is submissive and ready to passively endure its destiny.

But we have half-hearted leaders that cannot see anything beyond wrestling for political power, people that swiftly go to sleep at the mentioning of the word policy, but are deadly alive when it comes to eliminating political opponents at intra or inter party levels.

We are not going to build a successful Zimbabwe with leaders that believe in submission to imperialism and perpetual begging as a way of developing the country.

Neither can we ever build a successful Zimbabwe with kleptomaniacs sitting in our Parliament and Cabinet.
In the absence of our defeated opponents of yesteryear, the greatest adversity that stands in our way today is the traitorous leader that aspires for self-enrichment in the name of us all.

We are in a revolution where some of our most strategic cadres enjoy treacherous islands of riches surrounded by an ocean of poverty.
We hear our hard-working civil servants dream of earning just US$6 480 a year and the dream may not even come true. Yet some CEOs of public owned companies are earning as much as US$40 000 per month, and of course as our new farmer goes unabatedly unfunded, season in season out.

Yes, Zanu-PF legitimately claims custodianship of our revolution, but there are erroneous practices and ideas that are harmful to the revolution easily found within the power corridors.

Not only have we seen nefarious opportunism at work within Zanu-PF politics, but we also have been made to watch the rewarding of the same opportunism.

We have watched this revolution heading towards decay as cadres in leadership desert the revolutionary struggle and abandon an intransigent defence of the people's interests as they embark on this frantic search for personal and selfish advantage.
Opportunists within Zanu-PF are not guided by the revolution or by its needs or dictates.

In any revolution unity is always considered a key issue, but in Zimbabwe we must be wary of this monolithic and sterile kind of unity that paralyses progress as blind loyalty is elevated to appear like patriotism.

Uniting around power-brokers pursuing power away from the democratic mandate of the people is not the kind of unity nations are built upon, and those in Zanu-PF who have followers they call their own are doing nothing short of destroying the party.

Without the happiness of our people our revolution is a mockery to our national identity. We are not going to feed this nation on mind stimulating speeches that are divorced from the practical interest for the daily lives of our people.

This writer sincerely hopes that Zim-Asset is not another notorious flow chart from abstract schemas that have no purpose in real life and is of no interest to the masses.

We have had other policy documents.
The most notorious was Esap in 1992, and as history has already recorded the policy was a monumental disaster. We can easily remind ourselves of the glorious rhetoric that ushered in Operation Garikai/Hhalani Kuhle, or Baccossi and the simplistic conclusion we arrive at is that implementation of flowery policies is what our leadership notoriously lack.

The politics of velvety policy papers may be good and impressive for a handful of dreamers, or for misguided political fanatics in delusional seeking of self-gratification, but in the land reform programme we are looking for the opposite of these fantasies. We are after transforming the country's agrarian regime. We are after feeding the nation of Zimbabwe and even feeding the entire region.

It is achieved by practical agricultural activities spearheaded by ourselves and by our own skilled experts.

Zimbabwe we are one and together we will overcome. It is homeland or death!!

REASON WAFAWAROVA is a political writer based in SYDNEY, Australia.

 

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