Who killed the cock?

Wendy Nyakurerwa Assistant Editor
When I came into this world, the born-free that I am who has had the privilege of going through a couple of chimurengas in her short life, Zanu-PF was already the people’s party.

It still is. At party meetings, clenched fists are always thrust into the air. But back in the day, the cockerel (jongwe), was always emblazoned on anything Zanu-PF; talk of posters and regalia.

Then there was the Great Zimbabwe monument, that ineradicable national feature. It remains Zanu-PF’s official symbol. You would have thought the party constructed that gigantic national wonder, considering the way its members carried it with zeal.

But a good 37 years after Independence, the ruling party has evolved -for better and for worse. So much has already been written about the good, therefore, today we will chew on the bone of the worst – fading identity within the party.

It appears very few within the ruling party, especially the younger generation, still remember the significance of the cockerel, not to mention the Great Zimbabwe monument.

These two symbols are the epitome of Zanu-PF and are fading into oblivion. It’s a shame really as symbolism bears reality. Who doesn’t remember the slogan “Pamberi neJongwe”?

It had a unifying effect; it was no coincidence that the party dominated the entire political space then. This universal symbol, because of its crowing, announced the dawn of a new Zimbabwe. It symbolised national pride, strength, honesty and watchfulness.

Instead, these are the attributes that have been replaced by ego-rubbing and divisive slogans. Who killed the cock, ndiani akauraya jongwe? Maybe in this new dispensation, this might be the perfect time for Zanu-PF to retrace its footsteps to its real identity and resuscitate the cock.

At a time when President Emmerson Mnangagwa has openly declared that he doesn’t fancy praise songs that idolise him, this might be the most opportune moment to consider magnifying the name of the party itself, not that of individuals, with the two symbols emblazoned on anything Zanu-PF.

Zanu-PF has proved beyond reasonable doubt that its lifespan does not depend on any individual or situation. Party members — big or small — will die, retire or even get fired, but the party will outlive them all.

It will trudge forward because Zanu-PF has its roots deep inside an ideology which pushes a revolution. A revolution never dies. But it is also very important for the younger politicians to know why they always raise those fists whenever they are sloganeering.

Inasmuch as former President Robert Mugabe was popular for that, it has to be mentioned that the fist does not only belong to Zanu-PF. Rather, it signifies the black man’s power, his empowerment and consciousness.

This is the reason why several pan-Africanists and black rights defenders often thrust their fists into the air. Think of Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko and Martin Luther King Jnr. They were not Zanu-PF supporters. Through the fist, they were simply demanding their rights. This is the reason why it becomes a problem when Zanu-PF subconsciously replaces its symbols with the fist. Yes, the clenched fist is part of the revolution, but the revolution goes beyond it.

It is also a problem when the opposition decides that an open palm symbol offers freedom of sorts. Instead, the message is very clear – they have completely let go of black empowerment. They have subconsciously surrendered, and that is a great national catastrophe when a segment of our population, no matter how small, so eagerly waves open palms at political gatherings.

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  • Sandura1

    Mugabe destroyed the Zanu PF symbols because he had captured and personalised the party. Unfortunately some of those who assisted him do that still exist in the present gvt that is why they went to sleep and ended up with the green sheets with ED’s face.