Makorokoto women of our struggle!


ON April 13 last year, we interred two heroines, Cdes Amai Victoria Chitepo and Vivian Mwashita; it was a moment to be proud of.
It is characteristic of the history of our struggle that women have always played illustrious roles dating from the days of Mbuya Nehanda, an incredible icon, whom the whites were so afraid of they labelled her a witch.
Today, as we celebrate the lives of these great ZANLA girls, these special women and as we also celebrate our independence, that special moment that sent shock waves in the Western world, we want to remember all the women who fought tirelessly for our independence, all the mothers and grandmothers who cooked for the freedom fighters, who nursed them when they were injured, all the chimbwidos; this moment is theirs, the trophy is ours.
Thus it is a special moment to ask some questions, to clarify certain issues so that the record of these special women is cleaned of the mire that is constantly thrown at them.
Victoria Mahamba-Sithole, married Hebert Pfumaindini Chitepo in a very beautiful wedding in South Africa — every woman’s dream!
They were together in the struggle, they loved and cared for each other and raised a family.
The enemy knew that the best way to break a man’s heart is to hurt his family, the Chitepos’ knew this as well and yet Cde Victoria did not say: “Let me seek refuge with my family in South Africa until the struggle is over,” neither did Cde Hebert Chitepo ask his in-laws to look after Victoria and children until the war was over.
How does a man who has wed his sweetheart so magnificently, head an organisation in which women are treated as ‘sex slaves’, as some vitriolic voices have accused ZANU.
How could he be a part of such?
To believe in marital bliss that is rooted in the best African traditional values as well Christian values and still turn a blind eye when women under his wing are so callously abused is too contrarious.
Would Chitepo, a man of such lofty principles, who fiercely fought the brutal beast of Rhodesia because he wanted justice and equality for all Zimbabweans, have been unmoved when young girls were commandeered to the chefs’ postos for rape as is alleged?
Would he be a hero to countenance such?
Would Amai Victoria Chitepo have admired and committed to an organisation with such vile practices, even when her husband was no longer present to protect her.
Would she have stayed on among such, would she have continued to work with such for 41 years after Hebert was gone?
If for some reason she had been constrained to be with ZANU during the struggle, would she not have left for home soon after independence?
Would she be a heroine if she had turned a blind eye to such depth of treachery and debauchery?
Where is the honesty in turning a blind eye to such inconsistencies and insist that women in the struggle were captive concubines for the males?
To impose your own morality on others, because what they achieve shines so brilliantly and you cannot bear the light, is selfish and cruel.
When we tell you we were in the struggle and such did not happen you claim we are too timid to tell the truth, but why should we be afraid to tell the truth, even when you try to bribe us to lie?
Would men, leaders who have spent years in prison, some up to 10 years, fighting for the freedom of their country, find it acceptable that women are raped in the camps?
Would they rape these young girls themselves?
Humility would teach us to be circumspect of all these theories that are designed to denigrate everything so special, so beautiful, a struggle prosecuted to restore justice and equality for all.
Kwazvinobva zvokuti Zimbabwean males are so degenerate that no matter how revolutionary they are, they cannot rein in their lust ndiko kumwechete kunobva maNGOs; it is where the degenerate mentality that women’s emancipation means that women should feel free to sleep around comes from.
The idea of lecherous freedom fighters stems from Western anthropological view of African males; that they are brute sexual beasts.
But we were not destitutes at the mercy of prowling predatory males.
We had mothers in the struggle, who advised young girls. We had Amai Urimbo, we had Amai Victoria Chitepo, Amai Julia Zvobgo, Comrade Sheba Tavarwisa and many others who took care of us.
When we came from the struggle and continued to commit ourselves to the Party and to pursue the goals and policies it set out, it was not blind allegiance, it was not out of fear, it was dedication on the basis of the same principles that saw us cross borders to join the liberation struggle.
There was honour and principle in the liberation struggle, otherwise it would not have been a liberation struggle but a travesty of the basest kind that would never have succeeded.
We salute you all women of the struggle in this most auspicious moment, your moment of glory in which your brave sacrifices shine with the brilliance of the sun, our moment of independence!
Makorokoto/Amhlope macomrades!


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