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Bridging The Divide to Rebuild Zimbabwe
Posted: Thursday, April 22, 2010

By Dambudzo Mapuranga
April 22, 2010

Zimbabweans are the masters of their destiny. SADC and AU despite pressure from the West to intervene militarily or other wise have over the past decade affirmed this with their repeated assertion that only Zimbabweans can find a solution to their problems.

The divide Zimbabweans have to bridge is an enormous one. As the saying goes the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. ZANU PF and MDC leadership have taken the first step. President Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai have illustrated that as leaders they might have different opinions but this does not mean that they cannot work together for the betterment of Zimbabwe.

What does it mean to be Zimbabwean?

A people with no history have no identity and as such they have no direction. The ethos of the men and women who laid the foundation of Zimbabwe, a country born out of a protracted war, dictates that everyone who has the right to call themselves Zimbabwean embrace a philosophy that strives towards total black empowerment and freedom.

As Zimbabweans we have to find common ground and the tide that binds us together is that the land of our birth and heritage is meant to reflect the determinations of those who fought for our country's liberation. Independence came about because they were men and women who had a vision of a free society where opportunities were open to every individual regardless of colour, race or creed.

It is unfortunate that one can never rewrite the past despite several attempts by forces that seek to justify a colonial system that was not only discriminatory but also not reflective of our African values and way of life. Democracy comes at a cost as witnessed in Zimbabwe. Not only has the country and its people been under siege from neo-colonial forces who seek to maintain a value system that promotes a racial elite but creates and funds institutions and individuals whose primary role is to subversively maintain such a system under the disguise of democracy.

As Zimbabweans we are divided because we relaxed, we forgot that freedom is not something that we got on a platter but had to fight for. In our relaxation we created opportunities for our enemy who to this day maintains that it would eventually have won the war against Black nationalists had peace not been brokered. It is such unrepentant statements that make it quiet clear that 30 years into Zimbabwe there are still forces that are fighting to reverse the gains of Independence.

If there is anything that is constant in life it is change. Change whether good or bad is inevitable and as circumstances change those who have goals to achieve adapt to this change and take advantage of the relaxed. This explains why a plethora of groups mushroomed all over the place claiming to be fighting for democracy in Zimbabwe. Funded by the George Soros' of the West, economic hit men invest and trade on behalf of their governments, abusing human rights of developing nations and undermining their sovereignty.

Bridging the divide

He who controls the politics controls the economy and he who controls the economy controls the politics; it's one of the more complex but symbiotic relationships in the game of survival. This is why you find that the West has no problem getting into bed with some of this world's worst dictators; for them it's a numbers game and as long as there is a dollar more that can be squeezed out of a nation the West will turn a blind eye to activity which is immoral but will threaten their balance sheets.

The economy and politics divide Zimbabweans. Chester Crocker in his support for ZIDERA acknowledged that the only way to destroy ZANU PF was to make the economy scream and that would see its membership base dwindle. The current debate on the Indigenisation Act is very interesting because those who attack the act have not been willing to face the truth about the Act. In the same manner the Land Reform Program was attacked by "democrats and analysts", Zimbabweans are fed misinformation and half-truths because if there is one thing that capitalism does not support it is the concept of majority empowerment.

With the help of the media, analysts and commentators whose livelihood depends on a skewed system of resource and wealth allocation, manufacture fear and conspiracies in order to hamper development in Zimbabwe. Instead of focusing on this our attention had been diverted to petty squabbles fermented by those whose vision is not nationalistic in outlook but more self-centred and serving. They coin words like hardliner as taunts and insults creating negative perceptions in a bid to further their warped views.

As Zimbabweans we share common values that include our rights, our love of liberty and out commitment to principles of equality. Political acrimony can only be left on the roadside if we as Zimbabweans acknowledge our shared principles, which are nationalistic in outlook and are a basis for true political discourse and consensus building.

The Healing Process

The power of any nation lies within its people. It is the political grassroots that have to reach deep inside themselves and pick up the national ethos where they dropped it to take on current values that have cost the nation not only economically, but also socially and morally.

The majority sets the course and in this case Zimbabweans have to harmonize their politics and the national ethos in order to do away with confrontations and violence. Their political leadership should institutionalise a culture that engages in constructive dialogue.

In the rural areas traditional leaders have an important role to play as guardians of our "ubuntu". It is their duty to bring back decency to their subjects and bring finality to the violence of yesteryear.

Women and youth leagues from both sides of the political divide make up the largest constituency in Zimbabwe and as such their leaders should take it upon themselves to give direction and open room for discourse.

Now is the time to stop hate messages, violence, wilful destruction not only of infrastructure but also of institutions that are a symbol of the power Zimbabweans have in mapping their destiny. It is time to show those who sow seeds of discord among us that not all Zimbabweans are attracted by the filthy lucre but can rise above personal ambition and fight for their place as a sovereign state.

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