by David Chandisaita
If you want to measure how far Zimbabwe as a nation has ruinously strayed from its core beliefs, MDC Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa, would not be a bad cue.
Growing up in rural Zimbabwe, it was customary that a child belonged to the village/community – raising children was a collective obligation and not a role that was consigned to their biological parents alone.
Before traces of tears of MDC founding leader, Morgan Tsvangirai’s, death had dried, Chamisa usurped power and assumed leadership of the party unconstitutionally.
He went as far as unleashing violence on fellow party members and Dr Thokozani Khupe bears scars of this contemptible chapter.
The nation watched in awe as Dr Khupe scurried for cover and desperately sought intervention to return the party to Constitutionalism.
We didn’t care; we ignored her because it was an in-house affair that didn’t affect as a nation in anyway, at least then.
If at that time as a nation had been conscious of the values and ethics upon which our culture is grounded, the post-election violence would have been mitigated, lives could have been saved.
But no, we needled Chamisa consciously or unconsciously – by our arrogance and indecision.
Or as a nation had Martin Niemöller’s (1892–1984) poem been heeded.
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
MaKhupe as she is affectionately known by her supporters, must be saying, I tried to caution you, but you would have none of it.
As the nation tries to find its soul in the aftermath of this post-election violence, Zimbabwe must reconnect with its roots.
I vividly recall how our ancestors would say mudzimu weshiri uri mudendere mayo (the spirit of the bird resides in its nest); it is only in the values, norms and ethics that our ancestors instilled in us as a people that the solution to the Chamisa challenge lies.
Chamisa would have been nipped in the bud, had we remembered that grooming a child was the responsibility of the village/community.