Rev Dr Levee Kadenge the man: Through the eye of a Journalist:
In my short yet eventful life, I have met but a few rare species of humankind the likes of Rev Dr Bishop Levee Kadenge. Not only is the man a witty and likeable character, he is one with a way with people and his passion and dedication to the struggles of fellow humans particularly in bringing truth and justice is second to none. True to the old age assertion that when the right man keeps silent, the whole world perishes, Dr kadenge has lived up to his calling and his life is a hallmark of a Christian leaders’ struggles for democracy. He is man with no ordinary ideas for an ideal Zimbabwe that is home to all. Through Bishop Kadenge’s ideals and quest for a better Zimbabwe one can easily grasp the fact that an idea whose time is yet to come is stronger than armies. He is a man vindicated and indeed yet to be vindicated by time.
Through this introduction, I won’t give you an account of Dr Kadenge’s upbringing or history but just an appraisal of the man that he is, what he stands for and his vision for an empowered and critical Christian mass that looks at issues than people. Bishop Kadenge has proved through his actions that unlike politicians of today, he doesn’t believe in using people to build a great work but rather using your works to build a great people. Ngugi waThiongo says, “Since man to man has been unjust, who can I trust?,” this poser conjures in me memories of a Zimbabwe on fire particularly at the height of the political violence; the June 2008 Presidential election violence. All hope was lost and most victims sought refuge in churches in urban Zimbabwe. It is during such times that the need for man of Dr Kadenge’s caliber is evident; champions of true democracy. Yes, the church provided the shelter but did they voice their concern amidst such evil?
Rev Kadenge mirrors the life of a man underestimated from day one but always destined for greater heights. To borrow from former UN Secretary General Mr Koffi Annan, the future of humanity is endangered by humanity itself. In view of this terrifying yet true reality; the question is who can we trust to provide the checks and balances in governance issues particularly in the third world countries. While the first world have somewhat liberalized their governance systems in such a manner that former and current British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Gordon Brown can be openly grilled for their flawed policies and the same is true for America’s Mr. George Bush(Jnr or Snr) or Australia’s John Howard; can this happen in third world countries like Zimbabwe or Uganda where “national interests” are made to outweigh the people’s rights to challenge the status quo. This is regardless of the national value of the so called “national interests”. Such hair-raising realities call for man of an upright stature that can be entrusted with fighting for people’s rights or at least mobilize for that. As we all know this protection of national yet personal interests is mere power games aimed at self-preservation. There is little if any thought spared for the nation or its ordinary citizens.
However; what I have seen in Dr Kadenge is an epitome of sacrifice and dedication to a worthy cause. Bishop Kadenge is a man who doesn’t sacrifice principle for expedience and if Zimbabwe and the whole world could emulate such jealousy safeguarding or principle and self-belief albeit upright and not self-serving, the world would be a better place. A respected theologian, human rights activist, people person and academic par excellence, this man of God has defied all odds, death threats included in his defense of what he believes is a worthy undertaking.
As you delve deeper into this book, you will come to terms with a crying voice calling on not only Zimbabwe but the whole world to stand firm in defense of people’s God given rights for the world to be a better place. This effort is not about drawing the reader’s attention to the writer but to the contents and the subject matter. As Dr Kadenge advances in age, he is increasing becoming a calabash of ideas, denhe roruzivo in Shona and that his peace and justice struggle is not a reserve to a certain corner of the world makes this piece of art and even more interesting experience. All said and done, fact is Zimbabweans and the world at large cannot pretend that they are living in a better place.