Pick Up The Baton and Finish the Race/ Dr. Noah Manyika

A good friend said to me this morning: “Only in Zimbabwe…” When he did not complete his thought, I encouraged him, whereupon he said: “Only in Zimbabwe do people think something which put so much fear in the government that it shut down the whole country was a failure.”

I could have taken offense, but that is the truth we need to be telling ourselves. How was #July31 a failure when it exposed the brutality of this regime, provoking Malema and others now to denounce it?

When will we stop giving ourselves an excuse not to build on the efforts of others and recognize the power of this moment? Today non-Zimbabweans are pushing the #ZimbabweanLivesMatter precisely because of how Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government exposed itself in response to #July31.

When did Zanu(PF) ever seem so panicked and unsure of itself? Change won’t come through what we Zimbabweans are fond of, i.e. subjecting the actions of others to endless analysis instead of picking up the baton, even when someone has dropped it or been tripped, and completing the race.

The people who were arrested, including Fadzayi Mahere, Tsitsi Dangarembgwa, Hopewell Chin’ono, Jacob Ngarivhume and all those the regime has been hunting did not fail. They have exposed the system. No one who has lost their freedom, their livelihoods, even their limbs and lives in the cause of freedom has failed.

Itai Dzamara protested alone. He did not fail. The failure belongs to those who refuse to be inspired by the acts of courage of those who are fighting not just for their own freedoms and rights, but for everyone.

Two months ago we started a petition to stop the Zimbabwe army, police and state security agents obeying unconstitutional orders.

May we Zimbabweans and friends of Zimbabwe refuse to be silent until the abuse of Zimbabwean citizens by the government of Emmerson Mnangagwa stops, and we transition to the free Zimbabwe that has been long in coming but that we all deserve. Help us promote this petition.

Is There Not a Cause?