I once gave a presentation on the UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS to a group of High School students. I rattled through what the UN is, what gave rise to the declaration and then went through all the 30 articles in the declaration.
I then asked the students to pick one or two of the rights they consider are the most important.
“The right to education,” was the most popular answer. “Especially, passing the coming exams!” one of the students had added to the amusement and approval of all.
I did my best to explain that the right to education, shelter, a job, etc. are social economic rights; they are important but not as important as the right to life, the right to a fair trial, etc., the political rights. The students listened politely but I could see the right to education and passing the coming exams was the most important right, as far as they were concerned.
Everyone want away for the lunch break.
After lunch, the discussion was totally different, everyone now agreed that the right to life was the most important right. It turned out that during lunch one of the student had a life-threatening reaction to something in her food. Her tongue swell-up and there was panic would stop her breathing. Fortunately for the girl, her condition was known and she was quickly attended to.
The whole episode had been so upsetting that many of the students had no lunch, they had lost their appetite.
Whilst earlier they had been adamant that the right to education and passing the exams was the most important right; when they were faced with a real life and death situation they quickly realised just how precious life is!
This presentation today is not to a few High School students but to the millions of Zimbabweans out there, especially but not exclusively, the millions now out of work and living in abject poverty, who do not understand why you are suffering so and, more significantly, how the hell can you extricate yourself, your family and, if possible, the nation from this nightmare. Yes I can say, without even a moment’s hesitation, that we can all extricate ourself and the nation from this hell-on-earth we find ourselves in because:
a) Zimbabwe is endowed with natural wealth and great potential, all we need to give all our people all they will ever need to live in peace, liberty and happiness.
b) The sole source of all Zimbabwe’s social, economic and political problems is man, what one-man has created another can pull down what one-man has destroyed another can rebuild and expand to new heights. And we have all the human and material resources we will ever need to turn Mugabe’s ruins into the great nation we can be.
The one thing we need to extricate ourselves from the hell-on-earth Mugabe and his Zanu PF thugs have landed us into is KNOWLEDGE; a clear knowledge and understanding that we are in this economic and political mess because Mugabe and his Zanu PF thugs have systematically us our basic human freedoms and rights as spelt out in the 1948 UN declaration of human rights including the right to meaningful say in the governance of Zimbabwe and even the right to life. The regime has murdered over 30 000 innocent Zimbabweans to establish and retain the dictatorship.
The people will also need to have a clear knowledge and understanding that having established the de facto corrupt and murderous one-party (Zanu PF) cum one-man (Robert Mugabe) dictatorship Mugabe and his cronies have no intention of dismantling the dictatorship and restoring the individual freedoms and rights. The regime created the system so it can enjoy absolute political power and it has enjoyed absolute power plus all the trappings of wealth and influence that it brings for nearly four decades now. They are now addicted to absolute power and they will never ever give up any of their dictatorial powers, not without a fight.
National elections often the best chance to have regime change; this will not happen in Zimbabwe because Zanu PF has mastered the art of rigging elections as we have seen in past elections. If we are ever to have any meaningful political change then we must demand the implement all the democratic reforms designed to dismantle the dictatorship and restore the individual freedoms and rights including the right to free, fair and credible elections.
After the wanton violence and blatant vote rigging in the 2008 elections Zanu PF was forced to agree to the implementation of the raft of democratic reforms to end vote rigging. Sadly, not even one of the reforms were implemented and hence the reason Zanu PF was able to once again rig the 2013 elections that followed.
It is vital that people understand that not even one reform has been implemented, since the rigged July 2013 elections; there is therefore nothing to stop Zanu PF rigging the 2018 elections. Nothing.
Zimbabwe’s opposition camp has been trying to sell the nation the idea that they can win next year’s election, even with no reforms in place, all they need to do is form a grand coalition and mobilise the people to register to vote and then vote.
This is nonsense because Zanu PF’s vote rigging capacity and versatility has already proven it is more than equal to whatever the opposition throws at it. In 2008 Tsvangirai won 73% of the vote, by Mugabe’s own admission but after six week or recounting 5 million votes ZEC reduced this to 47%.
Millions of Zimbabweans found registering to vote for the 2013 elections a taxing challenge because of the number of obstacles the regime placed in their way. Nearly one million voters were denied the vote because their details were not in the constituency voters’ roll they expected.
Meanwhile Zanu PF supporters were bussed from one polling station to the next casting multiple votes.
Zanu PF has been using food aid and other state assistance to buy votes. The party continues to harass, beat, rape and even murder people to force the electorate to vote for it. It is totally unacceptable that anyone should have to be frog marched to a polling station to vote!
The truth is the opposition know Zanu PF will rig the elections and win, the only reason they still want to contest the flawed elections is to win the few seats Zanu PF gives away to stop the opposition boycotting the elections.
If all the main opposition boycotted the elections then Zanu PF will be forced to accept implementing democratic reforms as MDC-N Senator David Coltart ready admitted in his recent book. It is up to us therefore to make sure that no opposition party contest next year’s elections with no reforms in place. All those that continue to defy the people’s demands must be cast out with the Sodomites!
The key to Zimbabweans extricating ourselves out of the hell-hole Mugabe has landed us is, first of all, understanding the tyrant is denying us our basic freedoms and rights. Second, demand their restoration, in particular the implementation of all the reforms followed by the holding of the country’s first ever free, fair and credible elections.
It took the near death of one of the High School students to make them realise that the right to life is important. After 37 years of one of the most corrupt and oppressive dictatorship in human history that has forced millions into abject poverty, murdered over 30 000, etc. have shocked this nation out of its comatose complacence to finally realise their freedoms and human rights are important and are worth fighting for.