THE peaceful demonstration was going on better than originally thought possible.
Harare downtown was burning.
The instructions to make Zimbabwe ungovernable ahead of the President’s address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York were being followed to the dot.
Police had been overwhelmed and made a tactical withdrawal with only a few ‘civil’ captives anointed by the ugly man of God.
Police General Headquarters was inundated with May Day calls from victims of the freedom to demonstrate.
Victorious peaceful marchers, among them peaceful teachers, peaceful nurses, peaceful civil servants, peaceful pastors and prayer warriors as well as peaceful opposition party cadres were consolidating broken ground and mopping broken businesses.
Some peaceful cadres were dancing on the roof of an abandoned police van.
Other peaceful marchers were loading empty cardboard boxes into the van.
A peaceful marcher brought out a lighter and set the cardboard boxes alight.
A woman shouted a warning: “Imi sudurukai munoputikirwa!”
A street dweller with a head as dirty as a public toilet mop brought out a dirty cellphone and started filming the arsonists.
The arsonists were amused.
A woman arsonist said: “Hona benzi riya ranhonga phone.”
Another said: “Ah iwe unofunga kuti i-phone chaiyo here? Riri kutevedzerawo zviri kuitwa nevamwe.”
Another said: “Let’s pose for him afarewo. Ko ndiye adii?”
And they posed in the foreground of the burning police van
The woman arsonist said: “Asikana-a! Tarisa chete how the whole thing is seeming real to the lunatic.”
Another said: “Kupenga kwakaoma asikana.”
After the photo shoot, the arsonist pageants ran to join the rest of the madding crowd extending the frontier of peace towards the central business district.
The street dweller ran after them, his dirty head mopping everything.
KuMastones, Highfield, the police arrived in time to save lives but not the man on the ground’s Ford Ranger. It lay burning in the yard.
The house windows had been broken and burning missiles guided through the broken windows to burn out the man on the ground and the wife who had splashed pictures of pizza, Chicken Inn and a microwave oven on social media not knowing that the husband had bought his smallhouse a red VW Polo and a double door fridge fully stocked with fancy eats.
The teenage son lay bloodied but alive in the yard … the teenage son who had filmed the beating of the peaceful marchers who had tried to sneak out with beers and the other things and given the images to his father to edit and send to Washington as evidence of State-sponsored youths breaking up a peaceful demo.
The man on the ground’s luck was that, owing to the water woes facing Harare, the wife had kept the bath tub filled with water and it is the water reserves that had come in handy in putting out the fires thrown into the house.
Out of the 40 plus peaceful marchers who had attacked the house, only nine had been netted and thrown half-dead into riot custody.
A police detail helping put out the fire out in the study was attracted by a flashing message on the desk-top.
It was a message from Washington.
The detail called the troop commander.
The troop commander sat on the swinging chair and scrolled through the communication in shock.
He said to other details: “Grab every communication device in this house for further investigation.”
Outside the house, the man on the ground looked around and could not believe kuti this had actually happened to him.
He had been reduced to zero in a matter of minutes.
He was thinking kuti it could have been worse if the police had not come.
The wife who had splashed pictures of pizza, Chicken Inn and a microwave oven on social media not knowing that the husband had bought his small-house a red VW Polo and a double door fridge fully stocked with fancy eats had accompanied the son to hospital in the police ambulance.
The man on the ground was anxious to know how they were doing.
The troop commander came out of the house.
The distraught man on the ground approached him to say something and the troop commander ordered his arrest.
The man on the ground was surprised: “Aikazve!”
The troop commander told the man on the ground his crime and his rights.
The man on the ground protested: “You cannot do this to me. I know my rights.”
The troop commander asked the man on the ground: “What are your rights?”
The troop commander looked him straight in the eye and said: “I wish you also knew and respected the rights of fellow citizens. I wish you understood that your rights are not exclusive and cannot be defined and expressed in a manner that is harmful to fellow citizens.
“I want you to understand that, unlike you, I am not imagining the rights I am defending. Mine is not a text book or social media experience of those rights. I went to war for those rights you now think you know. I fought American mercenaries whose recruitment by Rhodesians was allowed by the US government for the sole reason of defending white Rhodesian tyranny against black people in Zimbabwe.
“You think it is your right to invite the US government to sabotage African self-determination?
“And you think it is not my democratic right to defend what I fought for? You think it is not my democratic right to defend the aspirations of those who laid down their lives for those rights?
“I fought for the rights you think you are invoking. They were not exclusive rights. They were for everyone. The proof is your knowledge that they exist. Now, tell me what you are fighting for?
“I see you lost a Ford Ranger. The licence plate shows that it is a recent entry. It would be interesting to know how you got the money.
“So, I fought for your rights and you betrayed those rights for benefits that exclude everyone.
“And you drugged all these youths in order to use them. You are distorting their understanding of rights.”
The man on the ground could only repeat: “You cannot do this to me. I know my rights.”
The troop commander raised his arm to give the man on the ground a backhander across the face and a subordinate advised kuti it was no use.
He said: “Ndivo vanhu vaya vaya shefu.He is a lost cause.”
The troop commander cursed.
The man on the ground was hand-cuffed and pushed into a van.
In the sky, military helicopters had appeared.
The madding crowd of peaceful marchers was undaunted and pressed on singing and dancing, stoning and burning cars and making Zimbabwe ungovernable.
One helicopter dropped altitude, made a wide circle of the violent peaceful marchers and then came in low over the violence with white smoke trailing it.
The violent peaceful marchers bomb-shelled into a blind stampede of choking individuals running for dear life.
Behind his visor, the gunner surveyed the pandemonium in amusement.
He was remembering earlier incidents in Mabvuku and Tafara when MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai had attempted one of his many ‘final pushes’ against black sovereignty, encouraged by Tony Blair’s address to the British Parliament that he was working with the MDC to effect regime change in Zimbabwe.
During one of those peaceful demonstrations when exclusive minority rights democracy had gone on the war path to oust inclusive majority rights democracy, they had spotted a peaceful demonstrator carrying a whole hind quarter of beef he had ‘freed’ from a kind butcher’s vandalised cold room.
At the clinic in the Avenues, the first casualty of peace had come in and it was a young woman with an ugly gash on her left forearm.
She had fallen on some sharp object during the stampede.
She had no money, no medical aid, no job and she was in shock, angry and disappointed.
The doctor agreed to stop the bleeding and to give only the basic care necessary to keep her out of danger.
He made her understand that was how far he could stretch his professional obligation and hunhu hwaakabva nahwo kumba kwamai vake.
He said: “Unlike your generation, I was schooled in compassion. I cannot film a dying person and post the videos on Facebook for socialites to ‘like’.”
The casualty concurred: “You are describing exactly what happened early this morning when we were coming into town for what we all knew deep inside would not be a peaceful demo because the instruction was to make Zimbabwe ungovernable.”
The patient who had been allowed to take shelter until the peace on the streets had abated was curious: “Tell us what happened.”
“We came across a mugged couple. The man was dead but the woman was still alive. No-one helped. Instead, they filmed her death. It was a heartless thing considering that we were marching against human rights abuses.”
The peaceful marcher looked down and said: “Mufungeka, ndinoti Mwari waAbraham, Isaka, Jakopo naDhavhiti akukomborerei.”
The doctor said: “Spare me all that. I am not a Christian and I don’t believe in all that.”
The woman was surprised. “Saka how come you are so kind?”
The receptionist answered her: “Kindness is not Christianity. If you read and understood world history, you would understand that the history of Christianity is not a history of kindness or tolerance. Neither is it a case study of democracy or love. You would understand that we are in the problems we are in today partly because our ancestors, who were not Christians, were kind to Christian white settlers and lost everything.”
The good physician smiled and said: “Slavery of the blackman was championed by white Christians. In that respect, I want you to please understand that the kindness I have shown you ndihwo hunonzi hunhu kwete chitendero. Chivanhu hupenyu. Chivanhu hachisi chitsidzo.”
To be continued…