Published in The Standard 20 March 2011
We live in a world that celebrates disorder, violence and confusion. When there is peace, that is not news.
When you are outside Zimbabwe and you hear nothing, that is good news. No news means good news. This seems to be our reality today for the attention of the world is focused on trouble spots and not on the good that is happening around the globe.
Between March 2008 elections and June 27 2008 run-off elections that pitted Mugabe against Tsvangirai, I was invited to a two-day meeting in Tanzania organised by African sharp minds across the continent on the Zimbabwean situation.
The first day deliberations were concentrated on what Zimbabweans were not doing. I was so frustrated that I decided not to make any contribution.
“Zimbabweans must help us to help them,” was the battle cry. “Kenyans did it and the whole world came and helped them to establish a unity government.”
This was in reference to Kenyans butchering each other in 2007 which led to Kofi Annan being dispatched by the UN to broker peace in that land. More than 2 000 Kenyans lost their lives in a bloody ethnic strife.
The following night I agonised about what to say in the morning. After much soul-searching I prayed that I would be the first to contribute.
My contribution went like this: “Sisters and brothers, we are making the same mistake the world is enticing us to make.
The world over is fast-moving towards rewarding disorder, giving accolades to perverts and celebrating that which destroys life. Africa must not succumb to that. Why can’t we learn and celebrate what Zimbabweans have done?”
“Under much provocation when election results were not announced for over a month, everyone expected Zimbabweans to run amok and kill each other in their thousands. Reason prevailed and such is what we should write home about, ‘celebrating Zimbabweans’ restraint’.”
The tone of the meeting changed from then onwards. I could hear random comments about celebrating Zimbabweans’ restraint at the venue of the conference.
In spite of what is happening north of Africa, Zimbabweans should remain resolute. There is no need to follow other examples. We have our own way.
Remember when the Israelites wanted to be like other nations; God gave in and gave them Saul for a King. Saul made the children of Israel see hell and fire. As Zimbabweans, do we have to be like other nations?
In such times like the present when those who do not want to see the peoples’ wishes carried through and wait for battle, the Zimbabwean majority should restrain themselves and teach the world that peace can come through peaceful means.
Rev Dr Levee Kadenge