For the past decades before the colonial regime came in. The African sons and daughters had been enjoying the fruits of Africa, they enjoyed the fresh waters that flowed in the rivers without any interference, they had a peace of mind. Everything was in place with families staying intact and united enjoying the fruits of their Zimbabwean land.
As time began to take place another inferior race from the other side of the continent invaded the land of Africa, at first some of them came with a real intention of spreading Christianity which is the word of God his work was done by the missionaries.
It is important to note that some of these missionaries from various denominations such as the Roman Catholic, Methodist, Anglican, Seventh Day, Lutherans among others came with pure intentions for sure
However, during that same period some of them came to withdraw the privileges that the children of Africa were enjoying as they came hiding in hypocrisy with the Bible in order to ensure that this land of Zimbabwe to be precise would be owned by them. They did everything to manipulate all sorts of tricks. Such actions had been supported by the UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS in 1948, by the United Nations in Article 14 Section 1&2 which stated that”(1) Everyone has the right to seek and enjoy in other countries asylum……This resulted in the Scramble and Petition for Africa, whereby many European countries took advantage of this to spread their ideological tantrums in Africa and also to loot resources that the local people were enjoying.
So, after having done all that they went to the extremes of engaging the local chiefs of that time with various treaties being signed such as the Moffat treaty among other treaties that were signed. They even engaged local leaders such as Lobengula and others. Hence,Zimbabweans began to realise that these were just tricks that sought to deprive them of them owning their land and they ended up engaging themselves in both passive and active resistance especially active resistance at large. This, resulted in the 1st Chimurenga where they attempted to fight for their land though they were subdued by the whites who had superior and modern weapons. This was now a turning point of oppression.
The whites took the land and they started to rule enjoying themselves in the land that was not theirs at the expense of the blacks who were the real owners of the land. During this era when Smith was ruling diabolical and heart rending aspects such as Discrimination, Ostracism and Promiscuity became the order of the day. During this era blacks were severely beaten, they were treated like tenants yet it was their country.
The pioneer column as well as the so-called British was brutalizing blacks so that they would maintain their dominance over the real owners of the land. On a rather pathetic note in urban areas blacks were put in these so called western suburbs (high densities) where smoke from industries would go that side whereas the whites enjoyed themselves in the luxurious eastern suburbs.
Blacks were put in those areas with dilapidated, haphazard and attached houses with small rooms. Not any one of them was allowed to be seen in areas in the CBD such as OK, Edgar’s etc. To those of you who are familiar with the City of Gweru you will agree with me that blacks were only confined to areas such as N Richards near Kudzanai Bus terminus. Blacks were severely beaten by the police, freedom only belonged to their dreams in sleep. The low and medium densities were only made for the whites and the coloureds in Rhodesia.
The then University of Rhodesia now known as the University of Zimbabwe was only attended by the whites. In those days education became a privilege for the whites. Quite a number of rights were awarded to the whites they were discriminatory in nature.
This then motivated our gallant sons and daughters of the soil to fight for the freedom that we have now. This was a tough decision that many risked their lives, others sacrificed their education in their quest for the freedom of Zimbabwe. Some, left families to fight and they had to spend their entire youthful age in dangerous forests with snakes that have got a deadly venom as well as other harmful wild creatures, they had to climb hills and cross dangerous rivers in the fight for autonomy and freedom.
This actually culminated the zeal and they had to accept the challenge. Up to this day some of our gallant sons and daughters of the soil were heavily wounded and crippled for the sake of freedom.
This reminds me of one of Nelson Mandela’s famous quotes” An ideal that I am prepared to die for”. So, they were some who had an ideal of a free Zimbabwe that they were prepared to die for. Their efforts did not go in vain, they won the struggle. Such efforts brought about a free Zimbabwe that we have today. Currently, through the new dispensation quite a number of democratic reforms are taking shape with women now being allowed to run for even political contestation, several commissions being set up to advocate for human rights such as the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, Zimbabwe Gender Commission among others. Such things were never found during the colonial regime.
Education for all is now a mandate as Zimbabwe has become one of the most educated nations in Africa due to the right to education that is now open to everyone unlike during the colonial regime. Our education system is being revised with the recent 5.0tertiary education system having been commended by the new dispensation to pave way for innovation in order to develop this country that was won back to us. Zimbabwe now boasts of various natural resources that it has. People can now move freely wherever they want to go without any interruption.
This is a result of others who sacrificed their lives for the sake of freedom. Freedom was granted to us hence there is need for us to continuously guard the gains of the Liberation struggle that was fought decades ago. This Independence day is a day that is open to everyone that is supposed to be enjoyed by everyone despite political affiliation.
This is due to the fact that we are all Zimbabweans and for Zimbabwe to continuously prosper economically there has to be stake holders involved and other well wishers and such well wishers are not them him or her but us Zimbabweans.
By Dexter Mwanamombe Midlands State University Student