You lied, Delta


In 2011, I said something so unpopular that several of my close friends took me to task over it.

But of all the people who vehemently disagreed with me; I remember that Munyaradzi (who’s more like a young brother to me) called me a liar.

In reaction to a blog post titled, I once met a Zimbabwean…, Munyaradzi really let me have it, lol… and given the fact that he is quite fond of me…it says something for him to have responded in such a vehement fashion:

I must say how disappointed I am in you for allowing emotions instead of simple logic to run you my dear, first of all, you as a journalist you must be aware of the donor funding that is circulating in this country, if the Americans want to fund internet access, they can, and let us not be naive about that.

The issue that America does not have a perfect democracy does not exonerate us from the injustice that has been suffered in this country.

It is no reason why there were land grabs that caused more harm than good, it is no reason why the militia was let loose on the general populace.

The violence that has been a common feature in the political landscape, families that have been crippled families.

It is not all rosy as you were trying to paint.

We have weaknesses and the first step of emancipation is accepting who we are and that we surely need help.

The economy is struggling because of people who are so ignorant and refuse to be told anything. You lied as our representative Delta.

“Those who never retract their opinions love themselves more than they love truth.” ― Joseph Joubert

And in my response, on the comments section of the same blog post – I said:

You are proving my point Munya….. my point was and is – that what you have just narrated is ALL that is known about Zimbabwe…

But if anyone, including you, wants to argue that what you have outlined above is the entirety of the Zimbabwean story – then I certainly differ with them.

You want to talk about the land grabs; why don’t you go right back to the beginning of the dispute over the land and to why the land was such a contentious matter?

That way you can fully appreciate the extreme sense of frustration that must have driven those people to take such drastic and unlawful courses of action.

While I totally condemn the unlawfulness of what they did – no one can deny the legitimacy of their grievances – not even you.

No one can deny the moral claim that they (and we all) have to the land.

Please don’t just pick out nyaya yema-land grabs as if it was all an isolated event and not part of a greater process in which blacks tried (without much success) to remedy a historical wrong of land dispossession.

And in trying to remedy this wrong – some took the law into their hands and invaded the farms.

They were wrong – it is true.

BUT what was done to them – to us – (dispossession) was wrong as well.

There is no need for me to be emotional when there is a clear historical context to explain the events and possible motives that I believe contributed to the chaotic, violent and infamous land grabs.

My question now is – who ever tells that side of the story? The story that goes beyond just the grabbing of the land?

Who ever tells the story of a disenfranchised black majority and a privileged white minority?

Who ever bothers to explain the deep feelings of frustration, disgruntlement and genuine grievance that I believe fueled the land grabs?

Who ever bothers to mention that men and women went and got killed fighting to own a piece of land?

This is the missing part of the narrative Munya.

I am not disputing what you have raised but I think in leaving out the context (or regarding it as irrelevant) you perpetuate an incomplete narrative of Zimbabwe and a distorted account of the land dispute.

So I told the stories no one else seems to bother about and the stories no one seems to care to remember…because they are all stories about Zimbabwe – in its various epochs and each successive event triggering a myriad of reactions.

If you concentrate only on the “consequences” of things and ignore the causes… how can you then state that you have done justice to the story of our nation?

In it’s ugliness, in its splendor – we must own our history and we must tell it and we must occasionally use it to understand our present.

What you have narrated is what is already out there – who is going to tell the bits that you have left out??

So having established in my post from yesterday that I have a right to be wrong – this post is about continuing a conversation around the emotive land issue.

It is a conversation I started in a YouTube video (whose backlash was the subject of my last blog post) and it is a conversation that carried over to the blog post which is the subject of this current post and it is a conversation that carried over into my MA dissertation where the enlightening views of academics such as T.O Ranger, Blessing-Miles Tendi, Sabelo Gatsheni-Ndlovu, Sarah Chiumbu, James Muzondidya, Brian Raftopolous, Norma Kriger, Sue Onslow among many others shed a lot of light on my own preoccupations with Zimbabwe’s history and the centrality of the land question.

I am still on a quest to fathom the meaning and nuances of it all. And if advancing unpopular views and playing the devil’s advocate is a price to pay for a more honest reflection on the issue – then I will exercise my right to be wrong and defy every ideological bully who would presume to insult me into ‘submission’.

How can we know the answers if we’re too scared (of what people will think of us) to ask the questions?

5 thoughts on “You lied, Delta

  1. Our love for the mother land is born out of its historical pains against colonialism. However that love can only be grown by what it is politically and socially AGREEABLE to deliver (by consensus) to its current citizens as well as any guaranteed liberties put in place for future generations to determine their own destinies.
    Presently, we have in place a homeland with a past that resonates with gallantry and heroism, beautiful sceneries and natural resources (basis of our love) but littered with post colonial genocide against its own children, treachery, murder and plunder amongst its erstwhile liberators (basis of our anger and exodus) living us with nothing guaranteed for our children but this ‘land grab, love thy country despite what, future is in your hands’ kind of rhetoric which, as I see it, is going to go on for a very loooooong time indeed.

  2. Ozziah says:

    i dont think you lied, Delta, you simply told the other side of the story that sometimes we have not wanted to dwell on because of the many negative things that have come out of the land redistribution among them corruption,cronyism,violence and blatant disregard of human and property rights. indeed we were served an injustice by the white settlers. but it is a sad day when our fellow black brothers have treated us like trash, the same approach has been taken into the mine and mine concession grabbing….not benefiting the majority but an elite few. so such noble polices which have been consistently adulterated, make it hard for many people to identify with,. in fact it spreads resentment and anger such as was shown by Munya. As Paulo Freire put it

    “Any situation in which some men prevent others from engaging in the process of inquiry is one of violence;… to alienate humans from their own decision making is to change them into objects.”

    the majority of people in Zimbabwe are angry at how the authorities have not given them a voice, have been treated as mere objects to the extent that whatever positives may be within the said programmes, they have grown blind to them ..but as one once put it, facts do not cease to exist because one ignores them….there have been positives

    even a dead wall clock is correct at least twice in a day!

  3. SIZANI WEZA says:

    The way forward keeps changing because the way backward is not a constant. We tend to get involved in some debates with very limited information and try to fit history within the framework of our original misconceptions. Great inventions have been a product of such trajectories. Yet, in the process of framing what we desire, have a responsibility to the next person and those that we so much love and hate. Sometimes we get caught up in the propaganda wars to the extent that facts that do not confirm our original misgivings- either due to socialisation or education- are discarded. Again, history is not a constant, and what we know about it is subject to change. It all depends!

  4. pfimbiyangu says:

    One question? Would you out of the blue just slap then punch yourself? So why diss the motherland? The rule is you always, ALWAYS defend your mothers honour. I will not be caught dead standing among foreigners helping talk about Zim as tho there is nothing good here. There is danger in a single narrative, the other side has to be told. We have our faults, yes, which the outsiders can go on and on about while we go on and on about the not so bad stuff. Pachedu is where we need to have the conversatios about whats going wrong and how we can right it.

  5. Tafadzwa says:

    You are raising critical issues. Give me a few days to type my thinking

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