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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Message for Zimbabwe

I normally wouldn’t reproduce an entire post, but I’m making an exception. I want to be sure that this is read as widely as possible and that Zimbabwe’s citizens who are devoted to the idea of democratic change are given every opportunity to succeed.

For the rest of us, when these political reformers do succeed in toppling Mugabe’s regime, the nation of Zimbabwe will need our help in picking up the pieces. Feeding the poor, rebuilding a ruined economy, providing emergency health care for the nation with the shortest life expectancy on the planet--these are just some of the help that they will be needing. Given an opportunity, I have no doubt that the wonderful people of Zimbabwe can rebuild what was formerly the second largest economy and best educated populace in Sub-Saharan Africa.

This is reproduced from a post by my friends at Sokwanele.

Declare your Independence!
Sokwanele Article: 18 April 2007

Send an e-card from our website!What is Independence? It is the period that comes after oppression. It is the time when you turn away from fighting for basic liberties to finally living your life in full. It is a time when you get to move across town, send your children to better schools, work with dignity and enjoy being a citizen of your country regardless of your economic status.

Have you got Independence? Have you moved across town? Do your children have qualified teachers who are concentrating on the job of preparing your children for a life style that is better than the one you had? Are you working with dignity? Can you even make it to work? Above all, are you enjoying being a Zimbabwean?

Four million of our people have left this country in the last six years because the fruits of independence have been stolen from them by a ruthless and uncaring regime whose aim all along has been to acquire power.

That regime is led by a man who has tricked Zimbabweans and the rest of Africa for ages.

We began to see his true colours in Matabeleland between 1983 and 1985, but we were too preoccupied with gazing at the fruit of independence as it lay just beyond our reach. We saw another flash of true colours just after the referendum, and still we remained blind to the fact that the kind of fruit he offered was poisoned; now that it is clear that it is anyone who opposes him who is an enemy of the state, we have responded with fleeing the country or silent embarrassment.

It is time to reclaim our independence from this monster of a regime. We have been used, abused for far too long by people who think us too docile to respond. Their arrogance stares us right in the face every day in the newspapers, on the evening news, at rallies and as they swagger around town in their jeeps, mercs and heaven knows what else. We have to defy them now.

From April 19 we need to individually and collectively do the following:

  • Stop buying the Herald and Chronicle. We must make sure their propaganda machine grinds to a halt. You have the individual power to do that.
  • Serve notice on those companies who advertise in these papers that you will boycott them if they do not stop financing government propaganda. Write hundreds of thousands of anonymous letters to the companies and give them the deadline of 1 May, Africa freedom day, to stop advertising or face a boycott.
  • Stop buying from companies who advertise in the Herald. The South African defeated a more powerful system by translating individual pressure in to collective pressure through the rent boycotts for example.
  • Do not go to work on the 2nd and 3rd of May. Call in sick. Every one has a tummy ache from time to time.
  • Real lives were lost in the war for independence and their sacrifice must not be in vain and was certainly not to put a few fat cats in power so that you watch them in awe as they threw a few scraps from the fruit table to you. We must reclaim our independence now, and we must prepare for both the worst and best case scenarios.
  • Prepare for elections and make sure you and your 18 year olds are registered to vote. The regime will do everything it can to make sure they do not vote. Work on your relatives and appeal to them to prepare to come back home to vote when the time comes. You have to start working on them now so they can save up and come home in less than a year’s time.
  • Talk to the police, gently, and persuade them within the secrecy of your homes that they are being used by a rogue regime and that you do not want them to face the day of reckoning when it arrives. Tell them you understand what pressure they are under but also remind them that the people know who gleefully and enthusiastically beats people. Make them understand that while they beat up people in an area far away from their homes, some other policemen are beating up their relatives back home.
  • Use graffiti and let the youth militia know that you know who they are and advise them to flee the militia or risk facing the justice of the people one day.
  • Support those families whose members have been beaten up, tortured or killed.

There is no better opportunity and moment for us to regain our dignity than now.

The day of reckoning will surely come. Kamuzu Banda, Idi Amin, Mobutu Sese Seko; all those evil men were defeated eventually.

We shall overcome! We shall overcome!

We in the West watch with hope.

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