Thank you Cde Herbert Chitepo!


THANK you Cde Herbert Chitepo for teaching us so clearly, so succinctly, that it is all about the land, that the land is the cause of the struggle:
“It is about the land because land is the thing on which you live. You build your house on it, and you get your food from it.
Life is sustained on the land, and without it you are really facing death. And so when the white man took away our land, the very best land we had, he took away everything.
So that a man who had lived on a piece of land, cultivated, built his home and reared his cattle and goats on the same piece of land suddenly woke up to be told by a European who had come from afar: No you are a tenant, you are a squatter.
If you do not pay rent to me, you must work for me as a kind of payment for continued residence on my plot.
The anguish, the trauma, the hurt that goes so deep, is inexplicable, for each African household, the bewilderment, how do you suddenly comprehend that the pastures are no longer yours, the hunting grounds, you can no longer fish in the rivers at will, there are boundaries your forefathers never knew, how do you reconcile yourself to this sudden most callous dispossession, overnight you lose everthing, suddenly you are no-one in the land of your birth, you can no longer fend for your family as of old, this pain, this sorrow, this trauma was multiplied a million times across the land…”
When you rose and challenged this, you opened vistas of understanding for all of us to fight for ourselves, our people.
Thank you Cde Chitepo.
Thank you for helping us understand the soul of our people who never forgot that the land is theirs, never condoned this robbery and chose to live by confronting the white robber than to face the death of despair.
Where the whites were comfortable regarding us and treating us as flora and fauna, you stood for and boldly fought this evil notion that:
“We were a natural resource, for exploitation, the same as the grass, the gold mines, the minerals underground.”
It was necessary for you to put it so clearly so that those who had robbed us of our land would know that we would never accept to live below that status of humans; that we were not inanimate objects for exploitation.
Your teachings on these fundamentals of the struggle rallied all those who loved Zimbabwe.
Because of these your teachings, we understand better why people could be thrown in jail over and over again, why and how they could spend as long as 10 years in jail, without ever giving up.
We understand better why you never took the bait of a life among the privileged elite; being one of eminent African lawyers you could have had all the material comforts but for your Zimbabwe, for your humanity, you gave it all up.
And so thank you for leading us by example.
You would not live the life of a venerated ape, while your brothers and sisters languished in slavery.
Instead you chose to be your own true self and it cost you dearly; it cost your very life.
You stood up against the deadly white machinery knowing that each court appearance could be your last, that you might never get home after you had been in court defending your compatriots, that you might not see yet another day, and indeed, they tracked you comrade and that morning of March 18 1975 was your last.
Imivo munoti kudini kana pakava nemunhu wakadai, unoziva chose kuti murungu haaoni munhu mutema sechinhu zvachose, kwaari murungu, munhu mutema akangofanana nenhuzi asi iyeyu munhu akaramba achipikisana naye murungu mudare rake asingatyi kuurawa uko kwaiva kwakamutarisa mumaziso zuva nezuva, nguva dzose.
Like a homing comet, Cde Chitepo, you blazed a fiery trail, and we could never get lost.
Your teachings fueled us during the liberation struggle and today they challenge us for defending the motherland.
You will not let us forget that:
“…the history of Zimbabwe by the white settlers ever since, has been to exploit, not only the natural resources of the country but the people.”
And we forget this, not only at our own peril but that of generations to come.
You underlined: “We don’t merely seek a so-called rough change in society in Zimbabwe.
We seek what we describe as a systemic change.
We want to change the whole system.
We want an entirely new system based on no exploitation, true equality and true justice for all.”
And for this, you paid the ultimate price.
You died a gruesome death because you stood for the truth that Zimbabwe should be the land of milk and honey for everybody.
Thus the supremacy of those who robbed us of our land, the British armed robbers, to enrich themselves and their kith and kin has to end and the owners of the land must be lords of their heritage.
The British commercial venture called Rhodesia has to die, their exploitation of our land and minerals has to end.
We did not err when we waged the Third Chimurenga, neither are we mistaken in the indigenisation drive.
When some blaze a fiery trail, others must follow.
Amai Victoria Chitepo followed the fiery trail, she worked for and protected what you died for.
For 41 years after you died for Zimbabwe, she followed in your footsteps.
Thank you for recruiting for us this great warrior for Zimbabwe, Amai Victoria Chitepo, who like the Ruth of the Bible not only loved you but your people as well, today she is our great national heroine.
The seeds you sowed up to March 18 1975, were not interred with your body, they have remained a perpetual spring that continues to inspire us all.
It is our duty and responsibility to pass the torch to our children.
Amai Victoria Chitepo said: “I am Chitepo”, and lived out the principles for which you lived and died for.
Our children should say: “We are Chitepo”, and guide their lives with these principles that were so true to your heart and for which you laid down your life.
When we open Chitepo law schools, schools of ideology or whatever institutions that bear your name, they have to be founded on the principles for which you gave up your life:
l That Zimbabwe in its entirety belongs to the people of Zimbabwe and no jurisdiction on earth can change that;
l that the land of Zimbabwe and all that is found on it should benefit all Zimbabweans equally.
As we celebrate your achievements, your dedication this day of March 18 2017, we say, thank you comrade.
We are also reminded of your spouse and friend, Amai Victoria Chitepo who was recalled home so soon after March 18 last year
Thank you Cde Herbert Chitepo!
Thank you Chairman!


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