WHITE former Zimbabwe Peoples’ Revolutionary Army (Zipra) freedom fighter, Jeremy Brickhill has warned that Zimbabwe is heading for conflict and urged citizens to find each other and stop the blame game.
Addressing a public lecture for the late Zipra commander Lookout Masuku, last week at Small City Hall in Bulawayo, Brickhill also described Finance minister Mthuli Ncube’s economic policies as a reincarnation of the infamous Economic Structural Adjustment Programme.
The memorial lecture was held under the theme Commemorating the sacrifice of the unsung heroes: Truth: Our tool and our pride by Zipra freedom fighters in partnership with Ibhetshu lika Zulu.
Masuku died in 1986.
Brickhill served in the military wing of the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo’s Patriotic Front -Zimbabwe African People’s Union (Zapu) and has experience in conflict and post-conflict processes in Africa and the United Nations.
Brickhill said he was a political adviser in the Zipra commanders’ legal defence team, adding that this gave him the opportunity to spend more time with the late Masuku while he was in prison, and even in hospital to discuss political issues.
“We can say that we have independence, but what kind of independence is this? We go about begging, we sell resources belonging to our children and grandchildren to buy houses for our girlfriends. The skin colour has changed, but what has changed for people? No food, no fuel; this is not the Zimbabwe we fought for. There must be fair access to resources,” he said.
“During the liberation struggle, we had our own differences, but we managed them. What are we doing today? Fighting each other; shooting at demonstrators. This road is a road to conflict. A hungry man is an angry man and a hungry woman is a dangerous sister.”
Brickhill described Masuku as a strategic and determined fighter,.
“His three main wishes before his death were that he thought of his family, the bigger family of Zipra forces and the issue of the liberation war. It was his concern that the fighters and their families be rewarded, the fallen heroes be remembered and their graves be identified and upgraded, shrines be established so that those remaining should know the history, and the youth will know about the liberation struggle of Zimbabwe,’’ Brickhill said.
He further said he carried out Masuku’s wishes, which resulted in the formation of Zapu war shrines and subsequently Mafela Trust. Brickhill indicated that Zipra’s history had been suppressed for too long.
Ibhetshu lika Zulu chairperson Melusi Moyo said they wanted Zipra liberation heroes to be recognised.