Statement from Dr J R Mujuru* (if only)

If l were Amai Mujuru’s speechwriter, this is the statement that l would issue today: 

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Tino Chinyoka
By Tino Chinyoka

“The journey that we travel as a nation is one that has not been smooth. From the outset we as a people were afflicted by a colonial power that sought to make our country their own while making us slaves in our homes.

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We fought a bitter war of independence to reclaim that which had been stolen from us. We won our political independence and embarked on a process of nation building.

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Led by a leader whose commitment to his people was second to none, the nation embarked on an ambitious programme, with education for and increased access to public health at the core, but it was not until 20 years later that the liberation of our country was complete; when the land, for which many of our number paid the ultimate price, was finally ours.

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The journey was complete.

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And we walked it together.

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But, when two people walk together, from the start of a journey to the last mile, the mountains, the forests and the ravines that they have traversed are not made less real by the fact that some of them choose to forget them, choose to forget the bonds they forged at each difficult crossing, choose to trivialise the memories of that journey by choosing to misremember.

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I have been on record saying: dhimoni rehanganwa rinoda kunamatirwa! This is a truism that bears repetition: the journey is not in any way less real just because others choose to forget.

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So l choose to remember, that the Spirit of Mbuya Nehanda and Sekuru Kaguvi made us all one. I choose to remember, the sacrifice of the gallant sons and daughters of this country, living and departed. I choose to remember Hebert Chitepo.

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I choose the remember, Josiah Magama Tongogara. I choose to remember, Josiah Tungamirai, and I choose to remember, Solo Maimbodei.

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I choose to remember, day and day out, Rex Nhongo, who more than anyone walked this journey a hero to a nation and husband to myself, until his life was tragically extinguished before his time.

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Just as l ask myself, let me ask you, those that remain yet walked this journey with us, if we are being true to their sacrifice, why are we choosing to misremember?

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With them, these gallant heroes, we left this country ready kuteura ropa redu for this nation. Comrades. We know each other. The bonds that we forged go beyond everyday discourse. They will stand the test of time. They will survive the venom of revisionists with an agenda, who spit venom clothed in what they call facts.

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We were united by one thing then and one thing alone: our love for this country. There was no Karanga or Zezuru or Manyika or Shona or Ndebele. We were one. So much so that to know oneself was to know one’s comrade. Your hands were my hands, your arms my arms, your legs mine as well.

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So today, when Teurai Ropa stands accused of high treason, expelled from the party she gave her life for, it is Joyce Mujuru that laments, and Comrades must look at themselves and ask, which part of your body is capable of such a crime?

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Because you and Teurai Ropa are one. I ask my fellow comrades, many in number, but all one with me: how is this even possible? Can the widow and life companion of Rex Nhongo truly betray this country?

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Chokwadi paarere Solomon pagomo apo, achiti chii nazvo? Comrade Dominic Guveya Chinenge, Comrade Peter Maridzamhere, Comrade Tonderai Nyika, Comrade Simbi Chinembiri, and you all my Comrades that l cannot name without speaking all day, tell me true;  which part of your body, spirit and soul is capable of betraying this country; because perhaps then l can see it on myself.

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Because for now, all l see is a readiness to sacrifice for this country, true today as it was when we stood together in the Second Chimurenga, united in purpose and true to one another.

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God alone knows what tomorrow holds. One can be down today but raised high tomorrow. Inga wani the bible tells us kuti ibwe rakaraswa ndiro rakazoitwa musoro we corner. Mwari vanoziva.

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As for me, I will not forget to remember, the journey we have walked, comrades. I will not forget to remember, the work we have done together.

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I will not forget to remember, the challenges we faced together and the setbacks we survived, together. Equally, I will not forget to remember, the goals we set together and the joy we shared together when we surpassed them together.

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I will not forget to remember, my fellow comrades, those that spilled their blood for this country and those that bleed for it today. I will not forget to remember, the joy that independence brought, and the promise of it that remains to be attained. I will not forget to remember, that Comrades are one, united in our love for Zimbabwe above all else.

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I will not forget to remember.”