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Thursday 18 December  
Children await arrival of Mugabe at Harare Airport on 4 July 2008
Harare, Zimbabwe
Harare, Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe Independence Day: what's there to celebrate?

Published on : 18 April 2013 - 1:47pm | By RNW Africa Desk (Photo: Alexander Joe/AFP)
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On the blog beat

Mwana wevhu is a Harare-based blogger who is passionate about her motherland, Zimbabwe, and believes it belongs to all who live in it. When not blogging, she documents life in images, working as a photojournalist and documentary photographer.

RNW's Africa Desk is proud to feature as part of its content local bloggers who have a knack for expressing their unique perspectives, independent thoughts and engaging stories. The opinions written here are those of the author and not intended to reflect those of RNW as an institution.

Today Zimbabwe celebrates 33 years of independence. But to many the day has ceased to mean anything, finds our blogger.

By Mwana wevhu, Harare

To a lot of people, this is just a day like any other. In fact, some business owners would rather keep operating and capitalize on the day than allow their employees to take off and celebrate the day that Zimbabwe was born.

Independence Day is largely seen as a Zanu-PF day and the celebrations, as Zanu-PF celebrations. The rhetoric is all about how the country was liberated, how much the young generation should appreciate the ‘hard-won’ independence and how they should ‘jealously guard the country’s sovereignty’.

In the Bible, Joshua 24:13 reads: “I gave you a land on which you had not laboured and cities which you had not built and you dwell therein; you eat the fruit of vineyards and olive yards which you did not plant.”

This much sounds like the rhetoric that, year after year, is churned out by the leaders who fought in the war of liberation. The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Station – not only government-controlled but also the only TV station operating in the country – also does a pretty great job of reminding us of this every single day. A million times a day. They start counting down the days to independence. They’ll profile some of the dearly departed heroes (God bless their souls). They do it in such a way you feel sick to the stomach.

Not supposed to question
Also in the Book of Joshua, the children of Israel say: “It is the Lord our God who brought us and our fathers up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage...therefore we also will serve the Lord for he is our God.”

It is in the same manner that the people of Zimbabwe are expected to remain grateful and forever indebted to the liberators of the country. We are supposed to not question things that have happened over the years since independence. We are not supposed to question the social injustices, such as the inability to provide safe and clean drinking water to the masses, unequal distribution of wealth, a staggering 90 percent unemployment rate and a whole lot of things that have gone wrong in our country.

Come on. Please! Yes, we are very grateful to be free, whatever that is. And some are grateful for the land – those who got some anyway. But is it not time to give us something else? Shall we remain stuck in the past, dwelling on how hard the war was and why it had to be fought? Was the war’s point not to ensure a better life for the black majority?

And is life any better? Sadly no. Even after going to school and getting a good education, a lot of people remain unemployed. They have hardly enough money to pay rent, or to feed their families. On top of that, they have no electricity and no running water – despite living in the capital city of Harare!

So what, really, is there to glorify on Independence Day? As some Zimbabweans celebrate and ululate, others will continue with business as usual, trying to make ends meet.


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Tholumusa Favoured Mlalazi 9 May 2013 - 4:15pm / Zimbabwe

There is no independence... but interdependence!!! :)

jasmin 21 April 2013 - 7:21pm

I agree, the independence day celebrations should be there to honour those who sacrificedd their present for our future. Good governance is another thing-we get the govt we vote for and our choice is limited-to chose better from the worse. In most developing nations, leaders work for self rather than the country. We, in India face a similar dilemma..

Kingskid 19 April 2013 - 12:39pm / Zimbabwe

It is great to see the Word being used freely in a news paper article, and one would like to see the relevance of the scripture used in relation to the situation and sometimes we try to fit scripture to a situation and it ends up being totaly wrong. One must understand that the verses used were when God gave the Isralites the promised land, and that does not mean the turning of the government on its own people. We in this country have allowed our leadership to reject God and His Glory and we need seriosly to take heed of 2nd Chronicles 7;14 If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. It is time the children of THE LIVING GOD took a stand agaist the evil that has tormented us so long, and stand against the corruption, murder,toture,rape and genocide in this land in the Name of Jesus.You need to read a book called the Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn(a Christian Jew) about the imminent fall of the American empire.

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BernhardAKats 19 April 2013 - 8:43am / Israel

Read the chapter on Zimbabwe in my book

ISBN: 13 9781481120661 Turmoil in Africa

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