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Opinion

Chiredzi villagers deserve justice

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We live in interesting times.

Who would have ever imagined that a time would come when Zanu PF, which never loses an opportunity to posture as a “revolutionary” party, would find itself grabbing land from helpless villagers and handing it over to a white-owned company?

The government has gazetted Statutory Instrument 50 of 2021 designating 12 940 hectares of communal land in the Chilonga area of Chiredzi for the production of lucerne grass for milk producer Dendairy.

It is a massive scandal by all measures, highlighting the nexus between the naked cronyism of Zanu PF’s champagne revolutionaries and the vested interests which feed the monster of injustice.

There is no better exposition of an authoritarian dictatorship that lamely preaches the gospel of “anti-imperialism” during the day while supping with purveyors of capitalist greed at night.

The grotesque irony of this unacceptable persecution of citizens in Chiredzi is that it is happening at a time the Zanu PF government is trying to champion a so-called Patriotism Bill. We are told this piece of legislation will punish traitors and mould super patriots.

The self-serving political zealots who formulated this harebrained legislation — the product of unmitigated impunity — are missing the point. They lack an understanding of the intricacies of statecraft and nation-building.

Genuine patriotism is not about cheap sloganeering; it is about about real devotion and service to the only country we call home. Patriotism comes from a shared vision, not from the jackboot of oppressive rule.

It was Samuel Johnson who once remarked: “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.”
In this country, we have seen how journalists, pro-democracy campaigners and human rights activists have been falsely labelled as “unpatriotic”.

Their only crime is exposing high-level corruption, highlighting bad governance and holding leaders accountable for the multi-faceted crisis which has reduced Zimbabwe to a sorry state.

The people of Chiredzi deserve justice. They are not second-class citizens.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa must uphold the constitution, which stipulates in clear and unequivocal terms the benchmarks of responsible leadership.

The supreme charter spells out the founding values and principles of this republic. It also outlines the importance of transparency, accountability, justice and responsiveness.

What the government is doing to the people of Chiredzi is anathema to all these constitutional precepts.

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