I am ashamed to admit it but I am scared. Scared to make a stand for my country.
Certainly not disinterested as some may have said, certainly not weary after forty years of fighting, certainly not ground down into a whimpering morass, but just plain scared of standing up for Zimbabwe even on social media which is under strict scrutiny by the powers that be.
There was a time when I would march with WOZA, when I would make a proud and open stand as an Activist, then it was a covert stand as an Activist, but now
I am just plain terrified.
I watch in awe and despair as brave women such as Farai, Cecelia, Joana, Netsai, Jenni, and Tsitsi protest openly and are imprisoned and tortured. I scan article after article on Zimbabwe covering the brave men and women who risk their lives for their country and yet, I cower behind distance and anonymity.
Why Because I have been indoctrinated and coerced into believing that even a stand made online, can lead to imprisonment and victimisation. There will be no Arab Spring in Zimbabwe, we are all too scared to even send an e mail making a stand against the State, even sending a seditious WhatsApp is tantamount to treason. Carrying a placard calling for peace in Zimbabwe is regarded as insurrection.
As a retired journalist, having 'served my time' for my Country, I am now gagged and bound by fear. Our only hope is now with brave folk like Hopewell Chin'ono, Jacob Ngarivhume, author Tsitsi Dangarembga, the missing Itai Dzamara, man of the cloth - Evan Mawarire, and the indomitable David Coltart.
Our lawyers are vilified, arrested and tortured, brave wonderful men and women like Beatrice Matetwa, Doug Coltart amongst others, and pastoral intercession by our men of the cloth, I quote 'Fear runs down the spine of many of our people today. The crackdown on dissent is unprecedented," the bishops said in the strongly-worded letter. But even our revered Catholic Bishops, are dismissed as being evil and described as 'encouraging genocide'.
How I envy my colleague Noreen Welsh who is able to command support for Zimbabwe from afar, day in and day out, bringing us all the news that we would never have heard had it not been for her and for other fearless journalists worldwide. Is she scared too Is Alex T Magaisa scared He is a great advocate for Zimbabwe and for that we thank him.
We have nowhere to turn. The fearless journalists of the world are scared to set foot on Zimbabwe soil because of the pandemic, we have few international voices and the wonderful local journos who day in and day out risk arrest if they put one single foot wrong.
The pain and anguish of watching one's country literally dying before ones eyes is just too hard to bear.