Happy Zimbabwe Liberation Day! Joyous barely begins to explain the feeling we share with our friends in the struggle for a peaceful and democratic Zimbabwe!!!
For 37 years, Robert “Uncle Bob” Mugabe ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist, giving legitimacy to his authoritarian friends in Angola, Uganda, Rwanda, Swaziland, Sudan… to name just a few.
But a new day for Zimbabwe and potentially for others living under similar rulers on the African continent has come. Today, Zimbabwe! Tomorrow… there is new hope for all!
It has been a long road for Zimbabwean activists, and it is one of those rare days in the fight for social justice that we get to see the fruits of our labors. Today, we celebrate in solidarity! We dance with our Zimbabwean friends, sing with them, draw strength from them.
But we also know that the road to freedom is always long. The dictator has stepped aside, but it will still be up to the Zimbabwean people to determine what happens next. Activists know this, and we stand with their central demands:
- Mugabe Must Go. (Check!) But this also means that former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was fired by Mugabe two weeks ago, should not stand in his place. Nor should Grace Mugabe, old Bob’s young wife. It is time for real change and multi-party rule.
- NO to military rule. The military definitely played a helpful role in putting pressure on the Mugabe regime to step aside, but it is critical that they now step aside and let the people rule.
- YES to a peaceful transition process. What should follow is a constitutional process that allows for elections and for the people’s voices to be heard.
We stand with them as they call for a peaceful, democratic transition.
A powerful movement that has been gaining ground over the last few years has laid the foundation to ensure that the next stages of the resistance are driven by the people. Their agenda must not be coopted.
Today begins a new era of dreaming big for Zimbabweans. Today, any future is possible. Today, millions around the world are heartened that change is possible through the power of collective action. If it can happen in Zimbabwe, it can happen anywhere.
The road ahead may be long and winding, but we are here, together, to support and stand in solidarity with Zimbabweans every step of the way.