Thursday, 27 March 2008

Waiting 4 New Zimbabwe

By Langelihle khoza

ADDRESS TO Help Zimbabwe Campaign

The Chairman, invited guests, friends and fellow Zimbabweans, Good Evening.

Before I go any further, I would like on behalf of all our Zimbabwean brothers and sisters including myself, to particularly express our gratitude, to the people of Yorkshire and the United Kingdom in general, for the warm welcoming and the support that you continue to extend to us during our stay in this country.

We will never take your generosity for granted and will always remember and treasurer these moments even after our eventual return to Zimbabwe. We hope that one day soon, God willing, in a free and prosperous Zimbabwe, we will be able to reciprocate this unique kindness to you or even to people from any other country, in their moment of need. May the Lord almighty God bless you and your leaders, and bless you more abundantly.

What prompted over 3 million ordinary people, leading ordinary lives in Zimbabwe, to turn their backs on their country and their jobs, lifestyle and loved ones in order to travel to all four corners of this earth was not an adventure but fear. Fear that one day you might be discovered in a shallow grave, a mortuary, a prison or a hospital if you are lucky. Most of these people did not wait to find out, but we do have a significant few amongst us who bear the scars and testimony to what I have alluded to.

The criminal regime of Robert Mugabe and ZANU PF has worked very hard and tirelessly, and for a number of years managed to hoodwink its own people, the SADC region, Africa and the rest of the world. But thank God today and tonight, I can tell you that they can no longer take any one for a ride any more. The whole world knows, even if they don’t openly say it, that this regime is the worst ever curse to have happened to my people. It is now an open secret that they have no moral principles and not a care for humanity. Mugabe and his hangers on are vindictive, cruel, ruthless, corrupt, greedy and selfish and hungry for power. They have done and will continue to do anything to stay in power.

Just as I speak, businesses are being bullied to operate at a loss in order to force them to shut shop, further worsening the unemployment and food shortages. Workers are forced to accept uneconomic wages whilst the regime is fuelling inflation through printing more and more money to buy foreign currency from the black market and sustain their lavish lifestyles. People are starving, have no medication in hospitals, no shelter and no hope for tomorrow. It indeed, is a sad situation which no normal person would inflict on another.

So if I may pose a simple question to all of us gathered here: Why have Zimbabweans of all persuasions, colour, tribe and creed deserted Zimbabwe inorder to live as fugitives in other countries like the UK, USA and SA? Is it because they are spineless, stupid, dumb or careless? No, it’s because they are desperate helpless and disillusioned. They have given up hope of getting rid of the blood sucking goblin tyrant. They can not take it anymore and probably believe that a lonely cell in the UK would be a better option than the living hell called Zimbabwe. What kind of desperation is this?? Is this how life should be like in the modern, democratic and so called civilised world?? I don’t think so and do believe that you all feel the same. Zimbabweans deserve better, from the international community, the African Union, SADC and all.

It can not be business as usual for the rest of the world whilst Zimbabwe is going up in flames. Something really needs to be done. We yearn for our motherland and miss our relations who are experiencing unimaginable suffering right now. We can only beg you to help us put pressure on your Government and the International community and Africa to use their influence to help us rid ourselves of the evil and vile dictatorship now ruining our country.

The brutality of Mugabe’s government is well documented and as you might have seen in the media. The man knows no limits or boundaries. He is law unto himself and will do anything to destroy all those he feels are a threat to his Government. In Mugabe’s world, political opponents are enemies of the state who have got to be exterminated by whatever means at his disposal.

So how did it all begin? It all began with the Matebeleland Genocide. 20 000 innocent people of the southern region were murdered maybe because they spoke a different language from his but definitely because they dared to support a man called Joshua Nkomo and the opposing political party ZAPU. Next on the line were the Zimbabwean WHITE farmers. Maybe partly because of their skin colour, but definitely because they dared support the MDC opposition. As if that was not enough, Mugabe has gone on to destroy homes for 700 000 innocent urban dwellers, driving them into destitution and abject poverty. Their crime, definitely, being their refusal to vote for him and his party in all elections and instead supporting the opposition candidates.

The economy is now in tatters and on auto-pilot with unemployment at over 80% and inflation at 100 000%. Public services are collapsing and the majority of people have been reduced to beggars. People are homeless and dying like flies whilst the rest of the world watches on the sidelines. Something really needs to be done to stop this horror movie.

  • Now let us pose and reflect on what’s happening in Zimbabwe through a powerpoint presentation:_______________

As Christians, we believe in the power of prayer and also that all peace loving people across the world have a moral obligation to support the voiceless and oppressed people of Zimbabwe in their fight against oppression and poverty.

We therefore, in our own small way, invite and encourage you all, to pray with us, lobby and express your solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe in their greatest hour of need. We also ask everyone to pray that the forthcoming elections next week 29 March 2008 be peaceful, free, fair and deliver an answer to what us the majority Zimbabweans yearn for!

To the Zimbabweans in this country I say this to you: Please, please don’t abuse this country’s generosity and friendship in the way you conduct yourselves within the host communities. Show them that we are different from Mr Robert Mugabe and that all we want is to live in peace and harmony with our new neighbours, enlightening them of our plight and mobilising for their support to put pressure on their Government to assist in regime change in Zimbabwe. Let us integrate, network and forge mutually beneficial and long lasting relationships or links that will live on, even long after we have gone back to Zimbabwe or returned to our loving Father above.

Our Leaders back home have demonstrated a high level of maturity and maintained the high moral ground in the face of great adversity, even threats to their own lives and extreme provocation. We are cautiously hopeful, God willing, that the forthcoming elections might finally bring an end to 28 years of living hell in Zimbabwe. Yes our leaders are continuing to preach, unity, forgiveness, healing, re-engagement, peace and love for thy neighbour, all important Christian virtues. It is however important for Zimbabweans and everyone here to note that the only long lasting and enduring unity will be the one that brings together all our people of all opinions, party affiliations, races, tribes, gender, colour, religion and so forth into one big family that feels and cares for each other. A nation built on good and solid Christian values. This is the only way we can guarantee that dictatorship never raises is ugly head again in Zimbabwe. It is my view that Zimbabweans the world over should put aside their petty differences and start working towards togetherness and brotherhood as the first step towards a democratic and prosperous nation.

The pressing issues for Zimbabweans outside the country are as follows:

  • Fighting for peaceful, free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.
  • Raising the profile of the Zimbabwe crisis and lobbying the international community to intervene.
  • Fighting for the granting of asylum to genuine victims of Mugabe’s rogue regime. This requires support from local communities and human rights bodies.
  • Fighting for voting rights for Zimbabweans in the diaspora. It is best practice for normal democracies to allow citizens outside the country to also have a say in the democratic process
  • Fighting for repeal of all draconian and oppressive legislation in Zimbabwe and establishment of independent and non partisan delimitation end electoral supervisory commissions to ensure a level playing field and a truly democratic dispensation.
  • Fighting for the establishment of new democratic constitution and institutions that accommodate and protects everyone, including minority interests.
  • Advocating for setting up of a truth and reconciliation commission that will deal with all cases of genocide and human rights abuses in Zimbabwe, based on international law and leading to a permanent resolution and conclusion to our sad past.

It is those issues I have highlighted that I ask all Zimbabweans and friends here present to PRAY FOR, Also pray for all people of Zimbabwe including Mugabe, to have the wisdom, courage and conviction to restore our dignity and human rights.

Again thank you for giving me this platform to share with you our dreams and aspirations and God bless you all. Good night.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Monday, 3 March 2008