Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Cde Zhuwao, let’s tell the President the truth

By Kerina Mujati
The people of Zimbabwe cannot be considered to be at fault when they look upon the President as responsible for making sure that the people are safe and secure.

First and foremost, let me express my gratitude for getting the opportunity to address the specific and associated the issues that the Zhuwao Brief shared with in The Sunday Mail of January 18, 2015.

In what appeared to be a rather haphazard way, the Zhuwao Brief touched on a number of issues, some of which involved my name.

In the column, my name was cited 12 times.
Patrick Zhuwao
What the columnist had to say about me, to the Zimbabwean people, was personal and non-flattering.

I will do my utmost best to refrain from making this response similarly personal and the language less caustic than the tone in the cited column.

Given that my name was denigrated before the Zimbabwean people, it is significant that I briefly introduce myself to the readers and followers of the Zhuwao Brief.

My name is Kerina Mujati. I am a Zimbabwean by birth and heritage.

I trace my paternal lineage through the Soko-Ncube people, which is as Zimbabwean as it can get.

All I am is a simple and ordinary Zimbabwean with no access to anyone who can be said to be powerful.

Like most Zimbabweans, I am passionately attached to Zimbabwe.

Simple and ordinary though I might be, my personal aspirations revolve around making sure that Zimbabwe and her children can make the most out of her opportunities, natural resources and the impressive work ethic of the Zimbabwean people.

By the grace of God, Zimbabwe is a land of great opportunities.

Although I am based in the UK, when I left home my umbilical cord remained in Zimbabwe’s blessed soil.

Nothing will ever change that.

When the opportunity for me to work for the betterment of my family and myself came in the Diaspora, I also left behind dearly beloved family, close relatives, friends and wonderful neighbours.

These people make up the community that groomed me to be what I am today.

In good times and moments of tragedy, they are always on my mind even when I may be physical absent from the scene.

This being the case, Zimbabwe cannot be nothing but an imagined community as curiously defined by Benedict Anderson, the American academician and social scientist whose postulations were used as a whip to flog my name before the people of Zimbabwe.

As with most people in the Diaspora, I can tell you that being away from home does make the heart grow fonder of that home. There is no choice on that matter.

With great frequency, I have had to answer phone calls that come in the middle of the night bearing messages of a desperately ailing family or friend in dire need of financial help to get medical attention.

Typical of the emotional agony of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, I have had to deal with the depressing news of the deaths of close relatives.

I have family and neighbours whose children have the kind of future that looks bleak, this, in the land of plenty.

There is harrowing poverty in my neighbourhood of Chitungwiza.

It is important to point out that all this suffering is not a product of my imagination. The sufferers are not imagined identities. They are my people, my relatives, my friends, my neighbours.

These are real people with real problems that require real solutions.

Academic theories will not help my people.

Their suffering and my emotional agony cannot be wished away through academic explanations out of American universities. It is because of this constant pain that I have consciously sought to be politically active even when I am a “simple-minded” nobody.

To me, the purpose of politics has to focus on improving the lives of our people. I am not going out in search of the road to paradise for our people.

All I want is to have the people of Zimbabwe, my own people, live relatively free from the kind of suffering that can be tackled as long as there are enough people who care.

This is the context of my exchanges with the writer of the Zhuwao Brief.

Of all the people who we expect to show the most care for the people of Zimbabwe, no one holds as high an office as that of the President.

The people of Zimbabwe cannot be considered to be at fault when they look upon the President as responsible for making sure that the people are safe and secure.

The delivery of services is part of that safety and security. In principle, the President is expected to fulfil this part of his office since that offices makes its holder a servant of the people.

As a supporter of President Mugabe, I feel it is my duty to be vocal in my support when he does well.

It is also just as important for me to let him know of his failures and flaws whenever they come to the surface.

I point out the failures with the objective of getting them resolved as quickly as possible.

The President has to know the condition of the country and the people he leads.

The nation has a crisis whereby safe drinking water has become a luxury, cheap medical access has left a nation full of orphans, widows and widowers. The roads have become every passenger’s nightmare as they are in poor condition, full of incompetent, negligent drivers.

Many children are out of school due to the educational institutions being expensive and not delivering the best possible academic standards.

Workers are vulnerable to abusive employers, losing out on salaries and pensions. The plight echoed by an ordinary woman touches me as I am a parent.

Drug and substance misuse is on the rise yet our social services have no systems to tackle this challenge.

To be an effective leader, it is important that he has a good understanding of what is happening in our urban areas and rural communities.

He has to know the reality on the ground if he is to be as effective as I, his fervent supporter, hope he can be.

These are matters of the heart.

In my hope that the President is effective, I have taken it upon myself to make sure that there are no impediments in his path.

With some of the people who I share my aspirations for a better Zimbabwe, I have publicly championed the political cause of this President here in the Diaspora.

At a time when most people were cowering behind dubious asylum claims or openly demonstrating against President Mugabe, I was part of a few and very narrow group of people who publicly supported this President in the United Kingdom.

This was at a time when his supporters were vulnerable to harassment, physical assault and deportation.

I was part of a group that stood resolutely by President Mugabe since I felt he was the best-placed person to solve our problems as long as stumbling blocks like sanctions were not placed in his way.

Like Daniel in the den of lions, I have stood by this President. I have stared the lions in the face.

He will improve his chances of success if he listens to people like me, the simple-minded people.

This is the reason I have taken the opportunity to engage in discussions with his lieutenants whenever possible, especially in open social platforms like Facebook where I encountered the author of the Zhuwao Brief.

The discussions do get passionate but this does not erase the objective of my political activism.

The same author brings up the issue of the factional struggles within Zanu-PF, the party that I have supported through good and bad times.

I will not address this subject because there are better and more knowledgeable people who can do so more effectively than me. However, I suspect that the Zhuwao Brief brought up the charges of treason and blasphemy in light of the factional struggles that are currently being waged in open galleries.

I am not sure I understand the reason my name was put into the mix but I will say that the charges of treason and blasphemy are not to be taken lightly if we are to avoid problems like what Nigeria is facing with the Boko Haram.

The political stature of the author of the Zhuwao Brief and the tone of his accusatory column make his charges very disturbing in that regard.

In my “simple-minded” opinion, it will help us if we avoid mixing politics and religion. Zimbabwe does not need to follow the path of the Taliban mullahs who issue fatwas against people whose only objective is to make sure that our nation brings peace and prosperity to the people.

To have high aspirations for my country is not blasphemous.

There is nothing seditious about holding Zimbabwe’s top public servants accountable. Treasonous behaviour is when we fail to let the President know that the situation is dire.

We become guilty through negligence and deliberately avoiding telling him the truth.

The safety and security of Zimbabwe begins with telling the President the truth.

Lastly, Cde Editor, let me thank you for the wonderful opportunity you have given me to share my thoughts with your readers as I addressed the above-mentioned material by the Zhuwao Brief.

God bless all the people of Zimbabwe. - Source: nehandaradio.com
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