Who Is The True Revolutionary? Black History And History


14 Feb 2012

By Reason Wafawarova

This writer was a mere 13-year-old on the eve of Zimbabwe's national independence in April 1980. Then there was an enigmatic political atmosphere pitting the overrated and defeated camp of capitalist-leaning political leaders who had favoured an internal settlement with Ian Smith, now standing in opposition to revolutionary leaders Robert Gabriel Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo, of the Patriotic Front.The former group was fronted by avowed capitalist Abel Muzorewa and ex-revolutionary Ndabaningi Sithole.

To us insiders, we simply had popular and heroic returning freedom fighters pitted against pathetic traitors that shamelessly opposed the war that finally brought independence.

To an outsider like Bob Marley, what had been sold by Western media was a country whose "progressive political leadership" was facing a challenge from "terrorists" with a fiendish intention to turn the country into a communist state.

In response to this exaggerated ambiguity, Bob Marley composed the song "Zimbabwe," which he sang on the eve of independence; and the following are part of the lyrics: "To divide and rule could only tear us apart;In every man's chest, mm - there beats a heart. So soon we'll find out who is the real revolutionaries; And I don't want my people to be tricked by mercenaries."

This year in April Zimbabwe will be 32 years and we are back to that Western created dilemma where we are still debating who is the real revolutionary. And my people still stand "tricked by mercenaries"!

This writer started writing this column in August 2006 and in all honesty his understanding of the revolution was as theoretical as was his understanding of imperialism - theoretical if we want to be charitable, but nave if we want to be realistic, stupid if we want to be spiteful. Once published, this writer began getting a lot of acquaintances and friends mainly from the media and political fraternity, and of course scores of avowed fistic foes sworn to destroying the person and character of a man they viewed as fighting from the corner of a Western-loathed Robert Mugabe - that view coming sometimes objectively, but largely irrationally; especially from those who criminalise support for Zanu-PF.

Making friends and enemies is an inevitable fate for any political columnist worth the name. But this writer has discovered parts of the revolution that he had never known before, just like he has discovered parts of imperialism that were never in his know before column writing. The revolution is not always as revolutionary as its membership makes it appear. In fact the revolution in Africa is an endangered legacy - not least because it is always started by the petty bourgeoisie, itself generally comprising Western trained intellectuals. How easy it is at the beginning of every revolution to mobilise and to hype up the fighting and dying spirit!

Did we not have tens of thousands of youngsters deserting schools, abandoning professional jobs, abandoning families, giving up blossoming dating relationships, and all of them literally choosing between winning the homeland or death? It had to be either of the two. That is how Mgagau Camp was populated by Zimbabwean youths in Tanzania, how Nyadzonia and Chimoio became fierce rear bases for military action against Ian Smith. It is how Zipra established legendary military bases in Zambia.

We got it so ideologically easy when the enemy was the colonialist who had developed himself into a huge bourgeoisie. That was easy because the colonialist was the European foreigner who had marginalised and enslaved us. He was easily identifiable by his discriminatory laws, by his open brutality, and by his brazen racism and sense of racial supremacy. We knew who Ian Smith was and we went after him and got him. We tamed him and we defeated his little empire he thought would live for at least "a thousand years".

As a little boy I had this giddy sense of celebration, memorising all members of Zanu's High Command, or was it Central Committee, and dutifully singing the names in song. Robert Mugabe, Simon Mzenda, Sydney Sekeramayi, Ernest Kadungure, Herbert Ushewokunze, Edgar Tekere, Teurai Ropa (Joice Mujuru), Emmerson Mnangagwa, Robson Manyika, Josiah Magama Tongogara, Kumbirai Kangai, Rex Nhongo, Eddison Zvobgo, Leopold Takawira and Herbert Chitepo were some of the prominent names we sang out, literally every night, as we celebrated the revolutionary heroes that helped bring down the arrogant domination by Ian Smith and his co-colonialist.

We were then told that if we excelled in primary school we would go to a place called "maForm," or "The Forms," a reference to secondary schools. There were only 177 of them across the country that time, enrolling a creamy 66 215 students only. We were told that after "The Forms," only the intelligent ones would go to a place called University and of course there was only one at the time, with less than 2000 of the brainy of our people, the majority of whom where white Rhodesians who only needed their skin colour to enrol.

In this context we were mesmerised to hear that our founder Prime Minister had seven of the revered degrees, and that most of his Cabinet Ministers had at least one such degree each. We were awed, inspired and perplexed all in one, or flummoxed, to borrow Nelson Chamisa's complex word.

The leaders of our revolution were therefore these intellectuals whom we considered to be the torch bearers in this motherland revolution of ours, and rightfully so, if we wind back to the role they played in liberating our nation. It was then all for the love of the nation.

Now when some of these leaders behave the way African leaders did when the West attacked Libya in 2011 we have no option but to make the people's revolution attack them. When our liberation leadership aspires to replace the big bourgeoisie, the people's revolution will have to attack them. But when we attack these dear leaders of ours, we attack the very leadership of the people's revolution. That is the tragedy of the African revolution.

Since starting this column this writer has painfully discovered that imperialism is not a cowardly venture by defeated colonialists. It is a monster, with claws, fangs, horns, venom and it bites mercilessly as we just saw it doing against Gaddafi in Libya. Learned revolutionaries and eloquent speeches cannot in themselves scare imperialism.

Neither can poverty-stricken villagers or disease-afflicted and dying African children deter imperialism. It has no conscience, no mercy, no heart, and it has no morals whatsoever.

As Thomas Sankara once said, "Every revolution that starts out with the petty bourgeoisie come to a crossroads where it must choose."

We have a choice to confront the petty bourgeoisie and protect the revolution, and those who have tried to confront political "Chefs" will testify of the difficulties involved in this thankless venture of nurturing revolutions. Many times our people have been coerced to coddle the bourgeoisie or the Chefs. That way there are no difficulties at all, except that you no longer have a revolution.

Zimbabweans have seen how Members of Parliament from all the three political parties in Government are united like Christianity's Early Church when it comes to fighting for higher salaries, or evading repaying car loans. They are the petty bourgeoisies and they cannot see the benefit of lowering salaries to benefit the peasants and the common person. To them people are votes and nothing more.

We have Cabinet Ministers who are plainly not interested in their jobs to the point of not even pretending to be. But they are avowedly excited about the job of a Cabinet Minister and that is why they fought to get one, not to carry out one but to possess one for every other reason except doing what is expected of a Cabinet Minister by the masses. These make up the majority across Africa, and we have come to accept our sorry reality of according to these greedy and useless people the prestige and honour of national leadership, with them paying us back by routinely stealing from us and selling our countries to the highest bidder.

Go to any of these politicians with a real challenge in the revolution and then you will see their true colours. They are no longer prepared to fight even a single battle. That is why the illegal Western economic sanctions against the people of Zimbabwe affected mostly the masses.

Instead of sharing the scarce resources synonymous with sanctioned countries, the petty bourgeoisie would hoard whatever commodity was left for own personal benefit. One prominent Zimbabwean preacher recently called this kind of behaviour "finding favour in the eyes of God," thus blaming those not so privileged of not being good enough to attract God's favour. Exploited and blamed for it even by the divinely anointed ones!

This writer has had personal challenges in his role as an anti-imperialist writer and can assure you dear reader that one way of annoying an office-occupying politician is to visit them with your problems, or those directly pertaining to the revolution.

You are dearly entertained by those seeking to be elected in the next election, and once in office the cycle is the same - everyone from the masses becomes a nuisance. Even those in the bureaucracy who stand to benefit from politicians have become notorious for alienating the needy and the poor.

As if the betrayal by the politician is not bad enough, we have media practitioners whose pens are directed by the purse of power, or by power of the purse - by external financial giants pursuing imperialistic goals in poor but resourced countries. These languid journalists pathetically yield to the touch of the moneyed, abandoning all journalistic ethics and responsibility. They misinform instead of informing the people, they lie blatantly to deceive the people in betrayal of the people's revolution.

Then we have columnists and other intellectuals abandoning all intellectual responsibility and reducing themselves to partisan propagandists and shut-minded pen activists. They play a gladiatorial role using the pen as a sword of death in their vainglorious exploits of betraying the revolution.

We also have the idolatrous youth so excessively attached to the deceptive rhetoric of mavericks in politics. Even a plain clown like Job Sikhala can attract a sizeable number of this kind of youth, coming as they do in amazingly huge numbers from the midst of our revolution, often bought out by money and petty rewards. It is this youth that can serve a revolution with might, and the same youth that can betray the revolution by engaging in acts of violence directed by selfish petty bourgeoisies only motivated by preserving illicit privileges.

The youths fighting for Tsvangirai's "new Zimbabwe" must ask themselves if there is a chance in hell that what they have seen of Tsvangirai and the MDC-T leadership through the inclusive Government will change simply because these leaders' co-bourgeoisies from Zanu-PF will be absent. Will those thieving Councillors ever suddenly become true revolutionaries at the service of the people?

Will those privilege-obsessed Members of Parliament suddenly remember the ways of the people simply because Zanu-PF will be gone, if ever that were to happen?

And our most abused women in politics! Always singing and dancing for pseudo-revolutionaries who in a fair world would deserve a thorough public flagellation from betrayed masses. Dear sisters, mothers and daughters: Would defeating the truly insidious and treacherous MDC-T in the coming election mean that those lazy and thieving leaders within Zanu-PF become true revolutionaries?

The vote-buying crooks whose idea of politics is illicit wealth accumulation will not and cannot suddenly become true comrades in the revolution simply because we have defeated a treacherous political party funded and directed by Western imperialists.

We cannot sustain the revolution through hymnology - fantasising in the idea of people singing undeserved praises for political parties and politicians whose identity with the revolution are questionable and treacherous. We cannot develop this country by buying our way to power, or by spawning patronage.

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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