The spirituality of Chimoio


AT this time when the ‘blessings’ of Chimoio are upon us, it is necessary to reflect on some defining moments in our history.
It is time to thank Musikavanhu for the gift of His children who were prepared to lay down their lives for others, for us. Musikavanhu did not refuse to answer Mbuya Nehanda’s prayer when she said her bones would rise, that her flesh and blood would come forth after her and destroy the scepter of evil that had come upon her people.
Indeed her bones rose and confronted the white scourge thus because her prayer was answered, our country was restored into our own hands.
During the liberation struggle our detractors called us by all sorts of names – terrorists, murderers, atheists, agnostics.
For defining ourselves as socialists, we were condemned as communists, anti-God and anti-Christ.
As we celebrate this most sacred sacrifice of Chimoio by our people, something deep in our hearts refuses to be at peace at this desecration.
It is time to be candid.
When the Hebrews finally left Egypt, it was after a vicious war. In their helplessness as slaves, God fought for them, ultimately killing all the first borns of Egypt, and wiping out the Egyptian army in the Red Sea.
To this day, they celebrate their passage from Egypt as Passover, a most sacred time for them.
Why would our own quest to end brutal armed subjugation by the British have been anti-God?
Why would our war of liberation to end foreign rule be evil? Musikavanhu walked with us in this war of liberation.
Right from the First Chimurenga, the chief mediums, Mbuya Nehanda and her compatriots were instructed by Musikavanhu to get rid of the white menace (pfumo jena) or there would never be peace in the land.
Throughout the Second Chimurenga too, Musikavanhu guided and assisted the liberation war.
When we triumphed, it was His triumph, His children were now free to live meaningful lives in the land that He gave them.
Because it was a sacred war, it had to be waged according to certain key values, precepts; it had to be principled.
There was to be no adultery.
The masses had to be treated with love and respect and prisoners were not to be abused.
Kwakanga kuine nzira dzemasoja, the eight points of attention.
In adhering to these principles, freedom fighters not only won the hearts and minds of the masses, but first and foremost that of Musikavanhu, thus the struggle triumphed.
The truth is too simple sometimes and it is totally amazing how it can be glossed over seemingly so easily.
When Christ says, ‘there is no greater love than to lay down your life for others’, how then is it possible to say freedom fighters who were laying down their lives for others were evil and anti-God?
But it happened, others claimed that purely by virtue of attending Church services regularly, they were closer to God than those who actually carried out His will.
If this is what Christ said and there are those who do precisely what he said, where is the lack of consonance between the two? Where is the contradiction?
When Christ says: “If you want to be my disciple take up your cross and follow my footsteps,” only the extreme blasphemous mind would claim that this means what Father Hartman, a Jesuit priest of the Catholic Church did when he accompanied the band of brigands who spearheaded the armed robbery of our land, the one they euphemistically called the Pioneer Column.
To say God would ensconce with such, is blasphemy.
When we pause and think of those who laid down their lives at Chimoio, the thousands who were killed for our liberty in both the First and the Second Chimurenga, it cannot be too hard to see that they are the real martyrs, and not Father Hartman, Father Richartz, the one who asked Nehanda to denounce her loyalty to her people and seek forgiveness from the marauding robbers the British, nor Father Biehler, the one who advocated genocide of the Africans.
What was Christ’s cross about?
To die for others, and that is precisely what freedom fighters did.
They died to free us from British bondage, so that we could define and pursue our own destiny, so that we can enjoy the wealth of our land and raise our families in joy and peace, while enjoying the fruits of our labour.
In Luke 4: 18, Christ defined His mission as follows:
“The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel of the poor: he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.”
Christ had a class position, on the side of those who were marginalised and underprivileged.
He admonishes that it is not everyone who calls Him Lord who will enter His Kingdom but what He shall ask is whether you visited Him while He was in hospital, in jail, whether you fed Him when He was hungry, thus only those who looked after the needy, qualified to be His friends.
Where does this leave the band of brigands, the so-called Pioneer Column and their resident priest, Fr Hartmann?
Clearly they were anti-Christ, their mission was against His.
The missions were diametrically opposed.
And where does this place the comrades, the freedom fighters? There is perfect consonance between their mission and His, it is the same mission.
This being the case, why fight so hard to call them enemies of Christ and not His friends.
Is it to demean them because their achievement is so illustrious?
Is it to diminish their influence in society because their potential is so great, so their capacity to achieve great things for the people of Zimbabwe is boundless?
Is it because they are such a threat to the capitalist establishment which Fr Hartmann and company came to install so they must be vilified?
As we honour and celebrate Chimoio, let us remember that it is our values which define us, not the values and purposes of others.


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