By Tafadzwa Masango
FEBRUARY is Black History Month in the US, and one would think that those who represent the world’s self-appointed ‘policeman’ in our borders would have the decency to not only remember their history, but also acknowledge that the very system that persecutes the blackman abroad continues to persecute those on the motherland who would provide a haven to their brothers and sisters in the West.
Carter Godwin Woodson, the founder of the Journal of Negro History wrote:
“If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated. The American Indian left no continuous record. He did not appreciate the value of tradition and where is he today? The Hebrew keenly appreciate the value of tradition, as it is attested by the Bible itself.”
The word history can be broken down to two words – his story- it is a story that one has to tell and many a time, our stories are told by those who have never walked our road as well as those who seek to silence us and rob us of our resources.
For more than a month, the Zimbabwe story has been mainly in the hands of those who seek to steal, kill and destroy us as a people, because their main goal is to place willing puppets in position of power in order to loot our mineral resources.
Our story is not a story of violence, rape, abuses, destruction and distress as potrayed by the foreign media and their enablers in the opposition circles.
Ours is a story of resilience, a story of people who have weathered an illegal war that is being waged against them because they chose to stand up for their rights.
The use of allegations of rape as a weapon of war by the opposition and its handlers once again highlights the importance of telling our story to the world.
The politicisation of rape as a weapon against ZANU PF and Government by the MDC and civil society, in efforts to further the regime change agenda, is not only abhorrent, but should serve as a wake-up call to those who were warming up to some form of romanticised relationship with the West.
Making rape part of the political agenda is part of a well-crafted strategy to refocus attention on Zimbabwe.
For years, the foreign media has reported on the alleged violence in Zimbabwe. We were bombarded with reports of how former President Robert Mugabe was militarising the Government, parastatals, state-owned enterprises and even ZANU PF.
With each election, the private and foreign media have been competing as to who could provide the most gruesome reports on alleged violence in the run-up to the election.
Never did we have a time when rape was alleged to be used as a weapon against the populace.
So what has changed now?
There has been no major change in terms of the command structure of the military since the days of former President Robert Mugabe, which one could point to and say a change in the command means new tactics.
Even in the Mugabe era, security services have been on the streets before to restore order and there were no reports of these alleged rape cases.
Rape is a heinous crime and its use by the opposition and civil society to fight ZANU PF should not be lost on the population.
It is a crime that is carried out with physical force, coercion, abuse of authority and, more often, against a person who is incapable of giving valid consent.
The irony of the allegations of rape being levelled against the security services by women who appear to have been coached is lost on the men and women who are part of this criminal scheme.
Zimbabwe has been raped by Western countries since the inception of the Land Reform Programme.
At one time the British wanted to use physical force to remove the revolutionary party, ZANU PF, from power.
Former President Thabo Mbeki revealed that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair wanted to send his troops to invade the country and institute regime change.
The US and the EU have placed economic sanctions on Zimbabwe in a bid to coerce the people of Zimbabwe to dump ZANU PF.
In the words of one US official: “…to separate the people of Zimbabwe from ZANU PF, the economy has to scream.”
These same sanctions are targeting Zimbabweans and yet they are packaged as targeted travel bans.
Various business persons, individuals and companies with no link whatsoever to ZANU PF or Government have been denied opportunities and funding because of the so-called targeted sanctions and travel bans. Is this not a serious injustice; but no one is telling this story!
Coming back to the actual crime of rape, and why it is being used as a weapon by the opposition.
Global audiences have been desensitised to violence, day-in-day-out. In the US, law enforcement officers shoot and kill citizens, with the bulk of them never being reprimanded if these shootings are not justified.
The murder of black men, women and children at the hands of the police are no longer news; such incidents nor longer shock or create concern on the conduct of law enforcement officers in the US.
In Europe, the law agencies learnt from the days of the anti-globalisation movement and have now perfected crowd control tactics that are intended to restore order at all cost.
The handling of French and British protestors in recent times are a case in point.
What it means is that, even abroad, citizens are now aware of the lengths to which law enforcement officers and security agents will go to control violent rioting crowds.
Citizens have had a front row seat to the war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Palestine; and to add to this real time coverage of wars, Hollywood has been picking up the flak by producing blockbuster movies that give a more graphic and detailed account of these wars and operations of Western forces in foreign lands.
It is through these that we have learnt of cliches such as ‘collateral damage’ which are the deaths, injuries and/or other damage inflicted on unintended targets.
Innocent men, women and children are sacrificed in pursuit of military victory and the cost of these lives is chalked down to causalities of war.
If there is anything that, however, has not been tolerated by global audiences, it is the use of sexual violence against targets.
It is against this background that one makes the conclusion that the use of allegations of rape as a strategy of calling unwarranted attention to Zimbabwe is not just ‘tsuro yamukira mumakumbo’.
It is a strategy that was chosen based on research and understanding of what is likely to hit the raw nerves of global audiences.
The stage was set and the actresses were hand-picked, possibly because of their links to the opposition.
In one of the reports flighted by the foreign media, one of the so-called victims says she does not want her husband to know she has been raped and yet she has been housed at the ‘safe house’ for a while.
My question is: If you do not want your husband to be aware of the ordeal you have gone through, would you grant interviews, albeit with your face hidden, but surely any man would recognise his wife’s voice.
To top it off, you have been away from home for over a week in a safe house, where exactly does your husband think you are?
Our story is being told by liars, Judases and power hungry individuals who would sell their own mothers to the devil.