ZIMbabwe: the time for action is now

Mothobi Mutloatse

Mothobi Mutloatse

The people have spoken. Which people? The people in Zimbabwe's general elections. The ordinary people are the true heroes and heroines of Chimurenga - the liberation of Zimbabwe - yet again.

They showed their mettle in April 1980, didn't they? Now what is delaying the people of Africa from respecting their wishes, their democratic sentiments and their aspirations?

What is this dithering on our part? Why this shadow-boxing in the dark? Why can't we show some solidarity, eh?

Why can't we embrace them for their bravery, their valour, their boldness, their daring?

Don't they deserve this year's Nobel Peace Prize as a collective, as a nation with true grit?

I implore all African laureates such as Archbishop Tutu; Tata (uMadiba); FW de Klerk, Bafana ba Peace; with Mme wa Peace, Kenya's Wangari Maathai.

I also ask the literary laureates, comrades Nadine Gordimer, Wole Soyinka and JM Coetzee to rally all other laureates of the democratic world (and even the repressed world) to join the heroic people of Zimbabwe in their new challenge: to help rebuild the Great Zimbabwe.

There is no time or resources to embark on a Nuremberg-type court or inquisition against the villains and human rights violators in the defeated Zanu-PF tribal cabal.

Good Old Smithy, the Rhodesian who would die virtually orphaned in democratic South Africa, was not hauled before any court for the sins and atrocities of his Rhodesian Front during the war of Chimurenga.

Neither did the new South Africa charge apartheid tyrant PW Botha, who had steadfastly refused to appear before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, or recognise it. So why the double standards now?

Even so, ex-teacher Malome Ro-hbaht is our brother-in-law, and an old boy of the University of Fort Hare to boot. He is married to a South African girl Ausi Grace.

Ask the people of Soweto - the people in Pimville - where you'll find some of his Mtshanas.

Malome is entitled to the same treatment as Ian Smith when he left Zimbabwe for good - no harassment or ridicule.

Malome should be free to visit South Africa without being questioned or treated like a common criminal, even if the actions of his party qualify as human rights transgressions.

Yes, Malome used to be our collective liberation hero. Now, all he is - and I say this sadly - is a democratic zero.

I met him once at the 1984 Zimbabwe International Book Fair in Harare. He came up to me and not the other way around. He made me the envy of the other publishers around me.

Why me? Don't ask me! Earlier I had published the doctoral dissertation in book form of Paresh Pandya's study of Zanu-PF guerilla tactics, called Chimurenga.

I have nothing personal against Malome7-Mabone (he has degrees, comrades!).

Actually, Uncle began his presidency with a strange philosophy then for a revolutionary leader, quaintly called reconciliation. He would later include yet another ubuntuism called "People First", which, coincidentally, would be adopted by democratic South Africa as ... wait for it - Batho Pele.

Aha! So that's where it springs from. Yaa-ma'an, so what? People First (being Zanu-PF people first). Just as in Batho (ba bangwe) Pele? Other People First?

But I digress. 'Tis just a pity that Malome 7-Mabone was unable to obtain the most academic achievement of all: a PhD in common sense.

And there's the rub: no such degree exists in the highest educational institutions.

Zimbabwe lies in virtual ruins in economic terms because common sense is in short supply. Do we still have the collective energy to rise again like the phoenix?

Of course we do, if only we could place our trust in ourselves as humans to invoke our inner gods to speak softly and humbly and quietly, and allow the truth be told; truth to be respected; truth to be hugged; and truth to be honoured.

Tell me I am wrong, and then I will "shaddap'', never again to offend any human rights violator. But then, stubborn as I am, I cannot offer that guarantee.

Not when my Ndebele Khumalo cousins in Bulawayo (in the west, Matebeleland North) and Shona Bangwayo relatives in Chipinge (in the east, Manicaland) on both my maternal grandfather and paternal grandmother's sides, respectively, would have it.

I have blood ties to Zimbabwe, which explains the passion and earthiness of this outburst. And that is why I have a vested interest in the Rebirth of Zimbabwe, dammit.

Also, because April is not only my birthday month, but the month of independence and freedom of Zimbabwe and South Africa, on April 18 and April 27, respectively. See what this issue has made me do? Become agitated rather than rational.

Is it true that justice is delayed, or is it being denied? Are the Nobel Peace Prize committee and adjudicators in Norway listening?

Presidential candidate Robert Gabriel Mugabe - now is the time to act honourably and timeously. Now is the time to do the right and only thing.

Now is not the time to engage in a meaningless and costly presidential run-off.

With the ruling party earning the most humiliating honour of becoming the first liberation movement to lose a parliamentary majority, what more evidence do you need to realise it is all over?

Avoid the Polokwane harakiri route. Don't run again. Rather take the A Train, Comrade Mugabe. In Africa, umntu akalahlwa, my fellow Africans.

lMothobi Mutloatse is a publisher and author.