You Don’t Deserve Freedom

I’ve been lying in bed sick and it’s given me some time between bouts of stomach pain. Today 10 Zimbabwean citizens appeared in court, vendors grabbed and beaten up by police. They should have been 11, but one of them, Hilton Tafadzwa Tamangani, died in pain in a cell because the state refused him medical treatment. That’s him in the picture. If you don’t remember anything else, remember that guy lying on the floor. He’s dead now.

In some places in the world, this would cause an outcry. Marches. Riots. But you don’t know Hilton’s name. You could have come to court… but you didn’t. Hilton, after all, wasn’t your popular pastor. And they shoot people these days… Hilton was an ordinary guy who sold his wares on the pavement. Much like others who were shot last year. You weren’t there for him or them, you won’t be there for each other, and one day, no-one will be there for you, when your turn comes.

You cry about the hell our country has become. When we tell you to resist, stand up, you make excuses. You say you need leadership, but when some brave souls stand up, you laugh at them and say ‘Itai tione’. You hope someone will fix the problems, as long as it isn’t you.

You can make time to get drunk over the long weekend. You can bitch and moan about corruption and injustice. But you can’t do unity…. ah no. You can’t take a step out of your way to link up with each other and go to court to support your own. You don’t want to take any risks. You don’t want to get shot, you say. You’d rather die slow than die fast it seems, because this isn’t living. This is purgatory.

So your tribulations will carry on, and your children will inherit your problems, because you are too afraid to step up and do your duty to your country and each other. You’d rather run away and let someone else do the hard work. After all, they shoot people these days.

Don’t let me hear you complain you aren’t free. You don’t deserve freedom. You chose the ‘safe’ route of non-involvement, and this is what it’s gotten you. This is the bed of nails you’ve made for yourself. By your cowardice, your greed, your fear you have made it. Now lie in it.

There are some, like my friend and comrade Tatenda, who fight for your freedom. Tatenda was abducted and tortured, his limbs broken. When the doctors marched, he marched with them on crutches. While you were keeping yourself safe, planning your weekends, there are people like that putting themselves on the line. They fight for freedom. If we are free one day, it will be because of people like that. Not you. Those people will fight and die for your freedom. Not because you deserve it, but because it’s the right thing to do.

Source: Dirk Frey