Oppression masquerading as good governance

Author: Nikki Gwati

What kind of man do you have to be to continue accumulating wealth at the detriment of your brother…that is the story of our Zimbabwean government. I grew up hearing about the liberation struggle and how the blood of the people was shed to set the black people free from the white man’s rule of oppression. Blood was shed so that the rule of oppression would never have to hang around our necks again and that we would be our own people. When our forefathers sacrificed themselves for us, I don’t think they envisioned that the Zimbabwean people would yet again be under the yoke of oppression, but now at the hands of their fellow black brothers. When people live in perpetual fear for their lives, from the very people who are supposed to protect them…that is not freedom. When hundreds of people are evicted from the homes that they have built to make room for one person who wants to add to their wealth…that is not freedom. When parents cannot afford to send their children to school…that is not freedom. When our friends and families are dying because we cannot afford to pay the hospital fees…that is not freedom. Where is this freedom that are forefathers died to give us?

The constitution of Zimbabwe states as some of its founding values and principles the following: supremacy of the constitution, the rule of law, recognition of the inherent dignity and worth of each human being, recognition of the equality of all human beings and good governance.


On Wednesday the 26th of March 2017 people were evicted from Arnold Farm in Mazowe despite a court order outlawing the evictions. These are families with children who were subjected to the indignity of watching as their homes were destroyed and not be in a position to do anything about it. In my eyes this is not recognising the inherent dignity and worth of each human being. When a person’s precious possessions are strewn around like rubbish, where is the dignity in that? It is alleged that these evictions are to make way for the expansion of the First Lady’s business empire…how much more wealth does she need? As a mother herself how can she justify seeing another mother cry for the plight of her children and not be moved to compassion? The constitution clearly has a different meaning to those who hold office in government to the one that they lord over the rest of the population. The government does not view the equality of human beings as it is clear that one person’s interests far outweigh the interests of hundreds of people.


A picture says a thousand words and these pictures break my heart. This is the worst kind of oppression because it is being perpetrated by the people who have always told us that they would never allow the Zimbabwean people to be oppressed again. My mind cannot comprehend the heartlessness that it takes to leave families stranded and their possessions left out in the rain. The residents of Arnold farm have since written to the SADC for them to intervene and stop these evictions. In a country that has a government in place and where the rule of law is said to be maintained should it really be necessary for its people to ask for help from outside the country? These violations are inhumane and show that the government has been negligent in its duty of care towards its people.

In starting this blog I found myself personally challenged because the temptation is always towards self preservation and that state of mind always prevents one from being involved in anything that causes discomfort. I am a Christian and when I look at Jesus’ life here on this earth, He never shied away from controversy and He always stood up for what was right. Isaiah 1:17 says, ‘Learn to do right, seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.’ If God is against injustice then my mandate here on this earth is also very clear to me…to stand up against injustice.


  1. Nikki Gwati ‘Oppression masquerading as good governance’ from:http://nikkigwati.blogspot.co.uk/

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