By Mashingaidze Gomo
IF black people harbour hopes of ever restoring their dignity as human beings, it requires them to have the intellect and courage to recognise that it shall not be through humility and prescribed knowledge of the history of Israel.
Rather, it has to be through brutal introspection informed by the trauma of slavery and colonial dispossession.
In this regard, the black man has racists like Benjamin Freeth to contend with.
In his racist documentary, Mugabe and the White African, Freeth foregrounds the black prayer warrior’s naivety for public ridicule.
The racist, masquerading as a man of God, specifically made the documentary (downloadable on YouTube) to demonise the economic empowerment of black people through the recovery and re-distribution of land violently taken from black ancestors by Benjamin Freeth’s terrorist kith and kin.
The film documents the racist’s attempt to reverse land reform through the now defunct SADC Tribunal that was based in Namibia.
The attention of those who have access to this documentary is drawn to the scene before Freeth departs Mt. Carmel Farm, Chegutu, for the SADC Tribunal hearing in Namibia.
In the scene, Freeth has assembled his black farm workers for a briefing, and his final instruction to them is: “Ok.
“As you know this week we are going off to Windhoek in Namibia tomorrow.
“Early in the morning.
“So you need to pray heh..
“Pray for the case.
“Because God needs to be there.
“And I will get you some blankets in Windhoek.”
Needless to mention, the black prayer warriors slaving it on land stolen from their own ancestors giggled in assent.
The rudimentary education they were prescribed as child labourers in the farm school (if it was even there) gave them only enough numeracy to count the racist’s cows, seed bags and mangoes and then only enough literacy to read the word ‘poison’ on cattle dipping chemicals.
It is impossible to imagine the racist Benjamin Freeth and his apartheid war criminal father-in-law, Mike Campbell, allowing their black workers to really know about the colonial dispossession of their ancestors or the Mugabe-led liberation struggle against British sponsored racist tyranny.
This would not serve their purpose since it would weaken the complex of servitude (in the workers) sustained by the intellectual destitution of the black farm-workers.
The only knowledge they are fed is therefore that Mugabe is a dictator who must go; that black Africans practise human sacrifice and that he (Benjamin Freeth) is coming into Zimbabwe as the biblical light or salt of the earth determined to single-handedly stop the spirits of the underworld at play in Zimbabwe.
And, one really wonders how it is possible for such a person to remain so totally disconnected from sustainable reality and reject so callously a history of dispossession so self-evident that it must force him (if he were human) to zip his mouth in shame.
And, the foregoing is the black prayer warrior’s challenge: How to handle self-righteous racists like Benjamin Freeth who actually think God sent them to Africa to save black people from themselves.
The black prayer warrior’s challenge is also, how to handle Rhodesian foot-soldiers and apartheid war criminals like Mike Campbell, David Coltart, Iain Kay, Roy Bennett and Eddie Cross when they suddenly pitch up preaching a God they have created in their own image and then wanting to convert their black victims into prayer warriors celebrating self destructive ignorance.
The following instances show how the power of history knowledge saved Zimbabwe in her worst moments.
In response to the CNN Amanpour’s demonisation of Zimbabwe’s compulsory acquisition of land from white people for equitable re-distribution to landless black people, President Mugabe challenged her if she knew the provisions of the Lancaster House Agreement and she didn’t know.
And when again, she argued that Zimbabwe’s economic woes were not the result of illegal sanctions, but economic mismanagement, President Mugabe challenged her if she had read the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA) passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by George Bush.
The truth was that Amanpour had not read ZIDERA and President Mugabe had to explain to her the economic effects of the illegal act on Zimbabwe.
And today one feels that it is imperative that every prayer warrior who preaches the gospel of prosperity must in his own interests understand that ZIDERA is not an act of racial goodwill towards black Zimbabweans.
Among other very evil intentions, ZIDERA directed the United States Secretary of the Treasury to instruct the United States executive director to each international financial institution to oppose and vote against any extension (by the respective institution) of any loan, credit, or guarantee to the Government of Zimbabwe; or any cancellation or reduction of indebtedness owed by the Government of Zimbabwe to any international financial institution.
Another instance is when Minister Patrick Chinamasa was hosted by Stephen Sarckur on the BBC HardTalk.
He used the history of the traumatic dispossession of black Zimbabweans to identify an unmistakable devil in the British.
And his solution to the historical injustice was not a suicidal love for the unrepentant enemy. Without mincing his words, he said to the HardTalk megaphone for British imperialism: “The whole war was basically to reclaim our land.
“My forefathers were kicked out of all that land. It’s our entitlement.
“I have no conscience over that, I tell you.
“I make no apologies.”
And, this takes us to the propaganda used by prayer warriors against themselves.
They argue that they do not see the logic in seeking the intervention of their ancestors in their quest for prosperity if those ancestors had lived and died in poverty.
And yet they want to draw strength from multiple generations of Jews that lived and died in servitude and poverty for a period spanning four hundred years in Egypt.
Black prayer warriors think it is not their business to find out why their ancestors died poor. What happened to their livestock and land?
Is it logical for black prayer warriors to want to hold their meetings in the Meikles Hotel, but at the same time not want to know whom the Thomas Meikles Loot Committees stole from?
Is it logical for black prayer warriors to not want to know that it is the Rhodesian Land Apportionment Act that impoverished black people and empowered white racists?
The point is that the black prayer warrior’s new-found gospel of prosperity cannot be sustained by ignorance of what originally happened to black’s heritage.