By Daniel Molokela
I was NOT one of the invited guests at the formal event that was held at Whange today at the Edmund Davies hall at the Colliery club.
However, this did NOT dampen my patriotic spirit at all.
Instead, i used most of the Independence Day today to interact with some the marginalised local people who are facing the reality on the ground of the failure of our post-colonial state.
I started my day with a highly-interactive meeting with the local leadership of the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe.
We had a very intense discussion on the various issues affecting women today, ranging from access to quality healthcare services, education, food and water, housing, social welfare and economic empowerment, among other relevant matters.
In this darkest hour for most women in Zimbabwe, we all desperately sought for the fabled silver lining.
By all accounts ours was NOT a very easy endeavour. This is not so surprising to say the least.
In this country, it is now easier for most women to despair and lose hope.
Indeed, it is now so much harder for most of them to aspire and dream about a better tomorrow.
Later in the day, I travelled across the Whange Central constituency to rural ward 13 at Dinde.
There, I had another open and frank strategic planning with the representatives of the various local community stakeholders.
The participants included traditional leaders, ward Councillor, Dinde Residents Association, faith-based leaders, among others.
Like me, the local folk were totally excluded today from the Independence Day celebrations.
Just as well.
The Dinde residents are in no mood to celebrate anything right now.
Not only are they based in Matabeleland North, which is one of the most marginalised provinces in terms of the national development agenda.
But they are also based at the Whange district that boasts of rich coalfields, Whange national park and the globally-acclaimed Victoria Falls; yet it is one of the poorest, most rural and grossly underdeveloped parts of the country today.
Most of the residents of the Whange district are supposed to be rich or wealthy but 41 years after the so-called independence, they are clearly now more poorer today than they were at 1980, when the racist colonial era formally came to an end.
Worse still, they are now also facing yet another forced migration process just like their forebearers about a century ago.
They were forced from their ancestral homes like at Bumbusi, Matowa and Sinamatela by the racist colonial government to make way for the expansion of the now world-famous Whange national park.
And now today, in the most horrific of all ironies, about 800 families are now facing eviction to make way for a determined Chinese mining company.
In their wildest imagination, the Dinde residents never ever thought they would see a day, 41 years after independence; were there will once be forcibly removed from their ancestral homes.
Sadly, this time this gross injustice is no longer being perpetrated by a racist colonial regime but by a fellow blacks-led regime that falsely claims to be the People’s government.
The truth that is now dawning upon all residents of Dinde is simple and straightforward. This is clearly NOT a people’s government at all.
This is in-fact, an elitist government that is only serving the interests of a few Zimbabweans in partnership with their new colonial partners such as China.
Indeed, 41 years after independence in April 1980, i had no choice but to join the Dinde residents in fully acknowledging that this whole talk about independence is to all practical purposes and intents, a huge pie in the sky.
It is a great pipe dream.
Indeed at Dinde today, there was absolutely NO need to join those celebrating the so-called Independence Day.
Instead, at Dinde today, the focus was fully turned on the looming battle against the so-called government that is now so determined to uproot them to another land not even known to any of them.
So far, all indications are that the so-called government still has no clear plan for them and their future.
The only clear plan it seems to have right now is to loot the local coalfields with its highly extractive Chinese partners.
Indeed, to me and the rest of the good compatriots at Dinde, today was definitely NOT Independence Day.
Instead, it was yet another day of preparation for a long and protracted struggle against a so-called People’s government that is so much at war with its own.
We will definitely celebrate our Independence Day sone other day but certainly NOT today.
Now is the time to fight on.
Now is the time join the struggle for our People’s survival.
Now is the time to start the fully-fledged fight for a truly People’s government and a truly People’s President.
IT IS DEFINITELY NOT YET UHURU!
—Daniel Molokela is the MDC A Hwange Central MP