Our problems are not premised on how we have been defined but how we have defined ourselves and critical facets of our lives.
The problem is not about how the concepts of independence and freedom have been defined but how we have decoded and defined them.
If our understanding of freedom is merely within the confines of black majority rule then there is a problem. It is not only shallow but a facade.
What we have witnessed in Zimbabwe is the fact that oppression has merely changed its color from white to black.
The coming of independence in 1980 has been misconstrued as tantamount to the coming of freedom. The fact that Zimbabwe has transitioned from white minority rule to black majority rule is incontestable but that did not culminate in a change in the substance and application of leadership. It is therefore undeniable that we transitioned from white oppression to black oppression.
I was born 6 years after independence, in 1986. From a very tender age my virgin and unsophisticated mind was bombarded with the misconstrued fallacy that independence is the same as freedom.
Young and obviously naive as I was, that understanding invoked within me a deep regard for those who helped to usher in the independence.
I still have enormous respect for all those who sacrificed their comfort and even lives in order to usher in independence but I am sure that what is obtaining on the ground is not what the majority of them extrapolated.
Those who died while fighting for an independent Zimbabwe will be shocked by what they will see if they wake up today. They will be shocked that we have allowed a gang of ‘ancestors’ to drive this country to a precipice. This is certainly not what motivated them to take up arms. This is certainly not what they envisaged an independent Zimbabwe would be.
The twin elements of independence and freedom must be eternally married. Unfortunately, in the case of Zimbabwe independence has been forced to walk a lonely adulterated road. That is abnormal and it must be addressed.
The fact that for many years we have failed to determine the dichotomy between the color of rule and the form of rule offers an ostensible explanation as to why we have been gullible to the extent of believing blatant lies.
For many years, the ZANU PF government has been urinating on our heads and they convinced us it was rain. Sadly, we believed them.
The change in the color of rule did not come along with the change in the form of rule – freedom. This explains the reason why we are independent but not free. Mr. Mugabe and his surrogates have successfully but erroneously indoctrinated Zimbabweans with the lie that a change in the color of rule is tantamount to a change in the form of rule.
Before independence we used to have white oppressors, after independence we have black oppressors. What makes the latter more subtle and hard to come to terms with is the fact that it is administered by our color under a pseudo articulation of sovereignty.
On the 18th of April 2016, on the occasion of Zimbabwe’s Independence, I took it upon myself to remind my fellow countrymen, especially the black oppressors themselves that indeed we are independent but we not free. We are oppressed in an independent nation.
For choosing to take a stand against oppression and misrule, my brother Itai Dzamara was abducted on the 9th of March in 2015 by the state.
Itai’s abduction was not the only one presided over by the ZANU PF government after independence. Many Zimbabweans who chose to take a stand have been killed by the black oppressors since the attainment of independence in 1980.
The black oppression’s most brutal episode was the Gukurahundi massacres in Matebeleland and Midlands which led to the death of over 20 000 people in 1987. Throughout the history of the black oppressors’ rule, many Zimbabweans have been exposed to fear, intimidation, abuse and victimization.
Fellow Zimbabweans, the same way we gained our adulterated independence from the colonial rulers is the same way we ought to gain total independence married to freedom from these black oppressors.
We may have to employ different tactics in order to attain our freedom but what is unquestionable is that destiny and time chose us to dismantle the black oppressors. They must fall.
We refuse a Zimbabwe where some of us are treated as second class citizens. We refuse a Zimbabwe where some of us are forced to constantly look over our shoulders because we are afraid of the black oppressors. We refuse a Zimbabwe where some of us are treated as slaves.
This Zimbabwe belongs to all of us; there is no one who is more Zimbabwean than others. We choose to redefine our independence. It is not independence without freedom.