By Hon Job Wiwa Sikhala
We have read the tweet by Dr Alex Magaisa where he says the #31stJuly2020 hashtag was a leper to many political players; because of their opaque miscalculations that the mobilisation was doomed to fail. This was a narrative that was being sold in the political market by different players for different reasons. Some sold the narrative because they are the looting faction in ZANU PF. Some are the surrogates of the system and yet others peddled the doomsday line because they don’t have a plan to tackle the myriad of challenges we face today as a nation. Some imagined wrongly that this was a repeat of November 2017 where the military abuse the support of the people. Nothing can be further from the truth.
The doomsayers misunderstood the unshakable resolve of citizens in our country to unite and fight for a common purpose on issues that affect their lives and livelihoods on a daily basis.
Corruption stinks to everyone. Looting is abhored by everyone. Abductions, torture, violence against citizens and all forms of human rights abuses are hated to high heavens by everyone.
These are the issues that have rallied us together as citizens across the length and breadth of our country. Nothing brings more unity than issues that affect the generality of the people across the full spectrum of political interests. The concerns of citizens are beyond any individual cultism or political party interest.
Some of us can’t sacrifice living in the bushes, as we are doing, far away from our families whom we dont know where they are going to get the next meal, only to do so for selfish personal goals that are divorced from the needs of ordinary Zimbabweans. We don’t need anything except the freedom and happiness of all the people of Zimbabwe.
When those who initially shunned and even despised the #31July2020 Initiative crawl from their caves, after the world had spoken, we must not be ashamed of their appetite to be heard or to be part of the movement of the masses. Every Zimbabwean has a right to be heard and must thus be heard. That’s the essence of the 31st July Movement: to give every Zimbabwean a voice.
That’s why Zimbabweans spoke in unison. That’s why the world spoke in one chorus. From ordinary individuals, political leaders, celebrities, the African Union, South Africa, EFF, Julius Malema, Thuli Madonsela, Mmusi Maimane, Ian Khama, the United Nations Human Rights Council, professional bodies, churches(see the powerful pastoral letter by the Catholic Bishops) including the Vatican. We cannot list everyone here, save to say that every voice counted. That is the beauty of the voice of citizens.
Then you hear someone saying the #31July2020 was not a success or that citizens are being used. To us the citizens, it is exactly what we wanted to achieve, and it was therefore a resounding success. The ZimbabweanLivesMatter was born out of the #31July2020 success. It lives on and indeed do so until we, the citizens achieve our ultimate freedom.
Even countries in a war zone have never witnessed the deployment of the entire security services against the citizens like what was witnessed on 31st of July. No one remained in the barracks, camp or offices. Even as they roam around the street following illegal intructions from top, we know they and their families are also suffering under the weight of corruption, misgovernance and mismanagement. They were running allover the place, but they also want change. Thank you beautiful Zimbabweans.
Let me reassure you dear compatriots that our desire for a free and truly independent Zimbabwe has emboldened us. We are with you all the way to the true people’s victory. We want the people’s victory and that victory is coming.
Don’t be misled. Nobody will stop me from talking and speaking about the Zimbabwe we all want. That is the basic freedom I will die fighting for. So anyone dreaming of gagging me must take a nap and have another dream. Victory for our people is coming. No retreat, no surrender.
No to Corruption
No to Looting
No to Abductions
No to Torture
No to Violence Against the Citizens
No to All Forms of Human Rights
Honourable Job Wiwa Sikhala is the Spokesman of J31M