Tomorrow, we mark a combined Easter and Independence Day to celebrate our significant freedoms as a nation from both political and spiritual bondage. There was death on the two occasions by both our Lord Jesus Christ and the sons and daughters of Zimbabwe for us to attain both our human and spiritual freedom.
Not only are we cherishing the work of our sons and daughters who lost life and limb so that the whims of future generations could walk again in Zimbabwe, but we also glorify Jesus Christ this Easter holiday for having died so that the entirety of human-kind could have eternal life.
As Zimbabweans, we respect independence day, a day when we undid a century of racism, exploitation and oppression in the country of our birth.
Through a protracted armed liberation struggle, we brought about our independence and hoisted a new national flag. Regrettably, we found out that our political independence did not bring freedoms. It came bare and unclothed; without the respect for basic freedoms and human dignity that we expected after having lost so much as a nation.
Independence came without the basic freedoms and the attendant freedom of choice for which many of our sons and daughters had died.
Today, we are independent but not free, as many Zimbabweans will testify. We are not free because we continue to be persecuted for our political choices. Thousands of innocent Zimbabweans have been murdered, raped and maimed for supporting the MDC while millions are failing to access government handouts of food and farming inputs because of their political affiliation.
Only in the last election, many Zimbabweans failed to exercise their right to vote. Either they were deliberately prevented from registering or they found their names not on the voters roll; in the process being disenfranchised and prevented from exercising their right to vote for which so many died for.
We fought for the right to self-determination as a people and the freedom to determine how we want to be governed. Despite millions of Zimbabweans overwhelmingly endorsing a new Constitution, there is no keenness to put into effect the new people’s charter. The Zanu PF government is taking long to align the country’s laws to the dictates of the new, democratic Constitution which affords many rights and privileges to the ordinary citizens of this country. We ask, is this why we went to war as a nation, to repudiate the people’s sovereign will and expression as enshrined in a Constitution made by the people themselves?
Where one race had privilege, that has now been simply changed to mean privilege for one political party. Where your race mattered, it is now your party card. Is this what our sons and daughters fought and died for?
Zimbabweans said they wanted devolved power in the new Constitution but the Zanu PF government has appointed Ministers of State of Provincial Affairs, even in those provinces where they lost the election. This was a deliberate ploy to deny the power and authority of provincial councils, controlled by the MDC, that ought to be now in place in line with the new Constitution.
We call for the implementing of the new Constitution and the aligning of the country’s laws so that we turn our independence into true freedoms that are now enshrined in the new people’s charter.
We must be united in our diversity, giving true meaning to the rivers of blood that were shed by the sons and daughters of this land who fought a good fight so that our lives would truly change for the better.
Yes, we fought a violent war so peace would eternally prevail in our land. It was a justifiable war fought to achieve true peace so that as a nation, never again would we fight each other over our petty differences which pale into insignificance compared to our greater oneness as a nation.
As a people, we fought a brutal war so we would sink or swim together and not have a selected few who grab farms, plunder our diamonds and earn millions of dollars per year while the rest of us suffer in hopelessness, peace and helpless quietude.
Our liberation war heroes and heroines fought for change, the same change that those of us in the MDC continue to fight for. Indeed, ours in the MDC is a glorious quest to complete the unfinished business of our liberation struggle.
This Easter day, we also glorify the Lord for remembering us by giving us His only Son to carry our burdens on the Cross. We remember that He died for us on the Cross so that all humanity in its entirety and in its diversity would have eternal life.
As a people, we use this day to invoke the eternal mercy of God to intervene in our politics so that we have a national leadership that loves; a leadership that cares. We ask for a God-fearing national leadership that does not segregate; a government that unites and not divides; a government that serves all people regardless of their diversity.
On the day they nailed the Son of Man to the Cross, we learn a great lesson from Jesus’ betrayal by those who walked and lived with Him.
It remains a great lesson to us as mere mortals, that the betrayal by those close to us should not sway us from our mission. We learn that the thirty pieces of silver in the pockets of those around us should never sway us from the sanctity of our mission because we know that our cause is just.
We ask our loving God to cast away the spirit of Judas Iscariot, the spirit of betrayal that continues to afflict and roam the earth to this very day. We know our Lord God will expel and exorcise this bad spirit from some among us; the spirit to sell out for the love of a mere thirty pieces of silver. Just as the 30 pieces of silver were not worth Christ’s mission, so too is our cause and struggle too great to warrant a prize.
We ask the Lord to bless the people of this great country as we trudge towards our destination of change and transformation, a destination for which some of our fellow countrymen died for.
Wishing all Zimbabweans a Happy Easter holiday and Independence Day.