All party cadres know what this means. First and foremost they must have been applying party principles into practice. To all those who participated in the liberation struggle, they do not have
anything to fear because they are aware of the basis, the principles of the liberation struggle, Chimurenga and what they wanted to achieve.
This is strongly embedded in what President Mugabe and the late father Zimbabwe and Vice President Dr Joshua Nkomo did in 1987, that is unity.
Amilcar Cabral in one of his writings stressed the importance of not only unity but also of struggle. There should be a symbiotic relationship between unity and struggle. The masses must be made to understand the importance of unity in a struggle.
It is a fact that during the liberation struggle there were others who sold out, people who collaborated with our erstwhile enemies. Even now, during a time when we know that we are politically independent, when we know that we a sovereign state and must determine our own path we still have among us some who continue to sell out to the neo-liberal and neo-imperialist god.
They still want to sell their heritage in the manner that the biblical Judas did. People must be made to know what unity is and what struggle is. It is only through unity and struggle that Africa and its people will be able to fulfil the dreams of the founding fathers of the Organisation of African Unity now known as the African Union.
If we fail to appreciate and know where we are coming from then it means we do not know where we are going. Unity entails a situation whereby a united people seek one path to better their political and economic livelihood. This cannot be done outside a struggle just like how you cannot cook sadza outside the pot.
Cabral advised that if this is to be carried to fruition, then Africa and its people “must be one, an entirety, ‘seeking’ to achieve a given aim.” This means that unity is taken in a dynamic sense, as something that is in motion.
If it is Zimbabwe then the people must understand the objective to which we must unite. What we must know is that we Zimbabweans as members of Sadc and the African Union are at a certain stage of our history that must never be compromised. We have taken a certain course on our path and we must never go back.
This is a path which begun with Mbuya Nehanda, Kaguvi, Lobengula, Mashayamombe, Chingaira and others. This was the same path that was followed by Chitepo, Moyo, Tongogara and others, the path that President Mugabe and all progressive Zimbabweans are still following. A path that has been cast in our own spirits, in our own livelihoods, a path that must always be remembered.
This is the path that Herbert Chitepo clearly stressed in his address at Queensland University in Australia, the struggle for the Zimbabwean land and all its resources. We can only become masters of our own diamonds, platinum, gold and other resources if we are united and remain resolute.
All Zimbabweans are therefore being called and encouraged to be part of those who are fighting to finish the “unfinished business.” This can only be achieved when all progressive Zimbabweans unite and “remove the enemy’s potential for exploiting the contradictions there might be among” our people.
Africa must be aware that “a struggle is a normal condition for all living creatures,” the moment we stop struggling then we seize to be a people. The importance of our struggle is not only in respect to neo-imperialism but also in respect to us. We must be prepared to defend all that we have so far gained.
We must not subject ourselves to a situation that we know is “slavery.” We must ensure that this time around in the coming elections, there is no “bhora musango” it must be known that a collaborator is worse than the real enemy. We opine that the point of departure for all progressive Zimbabweans is to therefore gauge, sieve and be aware of one‘s position in relation to the party.
The party leadership must not blindly bring people on-board. There must first be put in place a purification process, whereby impurities are separated and thrown away, leaders being subjected to a political blast furnace. The revolutionary party must remain only with those who are genuine.
Cadres who have interest, who put others before self, those who are prepared to be the good Samaritan and not those who want to go away when they have lined their pockets. We must therefore be prepared to say, “NO! to all political Nicodemuses.”
All progressive Zimbabweans have a moral duty to go and vote in defence of all that we have so far gained, in defence of what our fallen heroes and heroines died and stood for. Our fate lies in our own hands.
Secondly, we posit that members of the party must call and convince a group of people among us who are “undecided,” those who are not keen on arranging their life-styles and that of their children. They must be made to see the world as it really is. Their failure to take part in the voting exercise will be synonymous to painting themselves with the same brush with the sell outs.
The liberation-revolutionary party must be prepared to convince them that all that glitters is not gold. As Zimbabweans they must not continue to be passive observers or fence sitters. They must work up to the reality that not all that is considered African is bad despite the fact that everyone is free to believe what he wishes. We must never forget our origin for that is the greatest betrayal of all time.
Zimbabweans must remember that when Ian Smith said “never in a thousand years,” he was declaring that those below must continue being subjected to a situation that they knew was oppressive. If Africa is not very careful then it is going to take “a thousand years” before they can economically determine their own economic developmental path that is be beneficial to their own people.
Neo-imperialists like Ian Smith are also chanting the Smithian slogan, “never in our life time” will African be determinants of their destinies economically. This is evident in how Tony Blair, George W Bush, Sarkozy and many other European leaders have and continue to meddle in African affairs like what happened in Tunisia, Libya and what is happening in Zimbabwe.
This is why Africa must continue to fight because one who fights will in the end have his own piece of land to cultivate. This is why we hail Nkrumah, Cabral, Neto, Machel, Chitepo, Ziyapapa Moyo, Nkomo, Biko and others because they had great love for Africa and its people.
This is why Cabral said “we advance towards the struggle secure in the reality of our land with our feet planted on the ground.” This means that Africans must be aware of their reality and it is only when they do so that they can fight against the neo-imperial blitzkrieg.
It is an economic reality that if we are not controllers of our own economic resources then we will never be able to call our lives our own and continue to witness the disastrous reality of neo-imperialist exploitation. All progressive Africans must therefore strive to end this neo-colonialist exploitation.
We must let the West be aware that it is now a reality that we are ruling ourselves, that Africa is made up of sovereign states and they must not continue being an albatross around our economic wellbeing.
Dear reader, I want to call your attention to the fact that Africa must not afford to sleep with all eyes closed because the developed world wants to serve its own economic ambitions, this is a reality of the modern world that we are living in. This is why they do not want Africans to be united, the reason why they are divisive, and the reason why they embarked on regime change agendas. Africa must take hid of Cabral’s advice that this ‘struggle against neo-imperialism’ “must not be a debate or verbiage . . . it must be a struggle, daily action against ourselves and against the enemy.”
To the “political Nicodemus” we opine that there is no way you can walk in the mud without soiling your feet, the Zanu-PF 2011 December congress spelled out loud and clear that you adhere to party principles or you are out. Zimbabweans are tired of opportunists be it in MDC or Zanu-PF.
The masses’ message is clear, “we are saying “NO! to political tourists.” What we want are representatives who are committed to the struggle, representatives who lead us and are prepared to defend the ideals that our beloved heroes and heroines died for.
Remember that the Zimbabwean struggle has transformed itself into a very fundamental stage that will give all Zimbabweans more and more, more in moral behaviour, more in political awareness and more in how they can economically transform their livelihoods and move from rags to riches.
This is a struggle that will show who is worth and who is worthless, a selective process that is availing itself in the historic 2012 Zimbabwean harmonised general election. The Zimbabwean general populace want nothing except leaders who are prepared to give in everything and demand nothing except respect, dignity and opportunity to serve them correctly and along the correct path.
l Darlington Mahuku and Bowden Mbanje are lecturers in International Relations, and Peace and Governance with Bindura University of Science Education.