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This moment of controversy

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I am worried. I am worried that, caught up in the throes of the fight for power sharing, we will compromise the principle of justice and reparations. I am worried that we will turn the real deaths, torture and dismemberment of real people into mere statistics to be read out on Heroes Day for years to come. I am worried that the real stories of real 74 year old men in Gokwe whose limbs have been broken, by design, for daring to father children who grew up to be opposition activists, will disappear; that the stories of real grandmothers who have succumbed to injuries from real beating by real hordes of real youths sent by a real political machinery to spread fear and rob people of their dignity will be but a distant memory.

I am worried that we will achieve peace but not justice. I am worried that weary of all this crap, we are now preparing to favour expediency over conviction. I look at the Simon Wiesental Centre that has given some measure of justice to the Jewish people. I look at the truth and reconciliation commission of South Africa that has given some measure of closure to the people of South Africa and then I look at the struggle for “‘power sharing” in Zimbabwe and I worry.

How can you share power with the people who, by design, not in a civil war, but by cold, calculated planning terrorised an entire nation just because they lost an election? What manner of pragmatism is this that achieves results for an elite and leaves gaping wounds seared into the memories of thousands upon thousands of Zimbabwean citizens whose sole crime was to exercise their right to choose? Have the chosen ones taken this very real choice with very real consequences in vain?

Justice where art thou? Conviction, have you fled our hearts as we savour the prospect of wood paneled offices? Shall we pay for this later and start the cycle all over again? Who, in “this moment of controversy” shall remain true to what we stand for?

“Truth above power, nation above government!”

One comment to “This moment of controversy”

  1. Comment by Tammi:

    James Hall – thank you for your honesty, thoughtfulness and despair. I too worry that Zimbabwean politicians will take the (presumed) softer, easier route of granting clemency to those who are responsible for the mess Zimbabwe is in today, only to find that clemency does not breed forgiveness, nor should it. If this is the chosen route, what a disservice to all those who fought for freedom in that beautiful country, what disrepect to those who have given their lives or the lives of the parents, siblings or children.

    It is time for democracy in Africa in general to ‘grow up’ and realize that along with freedoms and rights, come responsibility and accountability. It is time for African leaders to be taken to task for overstaying their welcome and for abusing their long-suffering and most neglected countrymen. It is time that those who are elected to rule, rule on behalf of those who elected them and not according to some personal or political agenda. If Africa is unable to do this, perhaps it is time for donor nations to understand that handing Africa all the fish in the world is NEVER going to make them better fishermen. As long as donor nations can be depended on to bail them out, the incentive to run viable, economically sound country’s remains secondary to leaders who are intent on stuffing their own pocketbooks while running their country into the ground – Robert Mugabe, one time hero of his people, is currently the best example of this.