Civil society desperate for donors: Part Two


IT is my prayer that the National Transitional Justice Working Group that has taken it upon itself to ‘interface between transitional justice stakeholders and the official transitional justice processes in Zimbabwe’ does so in full awareness that what Africa desperately needs is respect.
The primary task is to restore African dignity which the western world has progressively shattered for the last five centuries.
My next most sincere prayer is that the black membership of the group has the intellect to recognise that it is ‘self-respect’ that invites and makes respect from others deserved.
In that regard, the group is hereby advised that there certainly is no self-respect in black people spearheading  the demand to compensate the white settler community for the loss of the land they originally stole from black people.
If that is the intention, then the group risks forfeiting all moral authority to talk about human rights.
It is good that in its press release, the NTJWG makes a commitment to be guided by the following values:
Integrity –  Professionalism, commitment, truth, transparency, diligence, honesty, confidentiality
Inclusivity – Involving everyone regardless of sex, race, ethnicity, age, sexuality, belief, ideology and geography
Impartiality – Non-partisanship, independence, objectivit
However, what is worrying is whether there is enough moral duress or conscience in the origins and sponsorship of the NTJWG to render the group historically non-partisan, historically independent, historically objective, historically truthful, historically transparent and historically honest enough to claim the moral authority to historically judge and recommend justice in terms of punishment, compensation and reparations to deserving recipients regardless of race, ethnicity, belief, ideology and geography.     
What is clear, however, is that in attempting to address the human rights issue in Zimbabwe, the choice which the NTJWG cannot escape is between remedying the cause and remedying the symptom.
Remedying the symptom means taking human rights out of the historical context that originally made them an issue and assuming that the minority white settler community are innocent victims of an impulsive and greedy black majority.
This, of course, is what the white settler community and their western allies want. It is the view they would obviously sponsor the NTJWG to sell to the world. But it is also a travesty that is so heinous that it is unsustainable even by the most rudimentary logic.
On the other hand, remedying the cause means re-visiting five centuries of slavery and colonial servitude and acknowledging the unacknowledged holocaust’s direct bearing on current human rights abuses of black people by white settlers and their western allies.
It means re-visiting the partitioning of Africa among Europeans at the Berlin Conference in 1884 and acknowledging that no African sovereign was invited to the heinous rape of the whole continent because the stakeholders at the conference had already learnt not to respect Africans during the European trade in African slaves.
This means that while Zimbabwe was not a victim of that gross, yet still unrecompensed, crime against black humanity, she was, nevertheless,  a victim of the racist attitudes that had given birth to, and sustained the crime.
It was the same slave trading criminals who occupied the country and subsequently dispossessed and murdered Nehanda and her compatriots.
In light of the foregoing, it must be admitted that from any objective human rights stand-point, the partition and occupation of Zimbabwe as a slavery paradigm constitutes such a monolithic violation of black people’s human rights that it would be an outrageous travesty to ignore its bearing on the human rights issues which the NTJWG was purportedly formed to address.
The descendants of white settlers inherited the economic benefits of the crime against black humanity and we, the black descendants of Nehanda, inherited economic victimhood.
For the NTJWG, the foregoing irrefutable definition of the crime by irrefutable historical fact should constitute a cast iron indictment of the white settler community and a call for deserved ‘affirmative reparations’ for the black victims. The stubborn historical logic here is that interests founded on fraud and human rights abuse, whether first hand or inherited, cannot be converted into inalienable human rights for the white settler criminal without entrenching the plight of the black victim into an institution of eternal servitude.
Having established the foregoing facts in recognition of the genuine need to address human rights issues in Zimbabwe,  the NTJWG that has fortunately already committed itself to professionalism, truth, transparency, diligence, honesty, non-partisanship, independence and objectivity, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, belief, ideology and  geography, is now invited to a tour of the human rights history of Zimbabwe:
In 1884, Nehanda and her compatriots were not invited to the Berlin Conference where Zimbabwe was apportioned to British settlers without their knowledge or consent.
In 1889, the British government authorised, through the Royal Charter, Cecil John Rhodes to occupy Zimbabwe, an African country which did not belong to Britain.
In 1890, British settlers occupied Mashonaland without the consent of the owners and without paying them any compensation.
In 1893, British settlers invaded Matebeleland and drove Lobengula out.
The Ndebele king died in mysterious circumstances, and to date, his final resting place is not known. Again, the Ndebele received no compensation for what was stolen from them.
In 1896, Zimbabweans rose up against occupation in the First Chimurenga. They were suppressed through genocide.
On 27 April 1898, Nehanda and fellow leaders of resistance to British occupation were murdered and denied decent burial.
The survivors had their livestock confiscated and they were driven into barren lands. In the resultant colonial administration black people were taxed and subjected to forced labour and yet did not have a say in the administration.
In 1902, Cecil John Rhodes died and he was buried at Malindidzimu in the Matopos.
Malindidzimu constituted one of the most sacred spaces in Zimbabwe and the burial of the homosexual in that space was the grossest insult to the people of Zimbabwe and their belief system. It is an obscene violation of black people’s human rights that has persisted to this day, especially given that the final resting places of Nehanda, Kaguvi, Mashonganyika among others who were murdered by the homosexual have never been revealed to us.
The insult becomes worse when one considers that the same homosexual was responsible for the beheading of Mashayamombe and Chingaira and the appropriation of the heads as trophies of conquest. The resistance icons have been denied decent burial to this day.   
It is my sincerest hope that the NTJWG that has fortunately committed itself to professionalism, truth, transparency, diligence, honesty, non-partisanship, independence and objectivity, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, belief, ideology and geography will recognise the critical need to end this historic insult to Zimbabwe by lobbying for the homosexual’s remains to be disinterred from our sacred shrine for a befitting burial among his own kind in Britain.
The human rights history tour of Zimbabwe continues in Part Three.


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