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This war

So far, I am untouched by this war. My family was profoundly touched by earlier wars. My great uncle was killed in Chimurenga. Not in combat, in a training accident while he was still in his teens. A cousin of mine was killed when his helicopter was shot down in Congo. I’ve run my fingers across his name on the Veteran’s monument in Gweru. My family felt as if they had to go there and do that. Make peace with it.

Arguments over the Congo War caused permanent rifts in our family. One cousin was even a draft dodger: he fled to South Africa. His father never let anybody mention his name.

Now, this Mozambique war has been going on longer than the Zimbabwean army’s part in Chimurenga did– but I have no friends or family in the military. More than that– none of my friends have any friends or family in the military! I live in a nice secure bubble. I work in an industry where business is booming, thanks to military contracts. Every year brings me a raise and a bonus. I enjoy a lifestyle filled with luxuries my great uncle couldn’t even dream of– luxuries he wouldn’t have been able to buy even if he had lived to come home from the war and earn as much money as I do. Back then, the tax rate on incomes like mine was 90%. Thanks, ED!?

Destroyed hospital in Eastern Mozambique

Frankly, in so far as it affects me at all, this war has been very good to me. Still, I see it as a series of mistakes. Intellectually, I consider our entire enterprise in the East to be futile at best; and at worst, harmful to our country and the world. So? The result is a troubled ambivalence. As long as nothing is asked of me personally, I’ll continue to support this war– by my passive acquiescence. The moment a sacrifice is asked of me? I will turn actively against it. By sacrifice I mean ANYTHING. One extra dime in taxes, one mandated gas rationing, one hint that a cousin might be drafted?– ANYTHING would be too much. I’d be out of here.

By the same author;

House Number 230
Elmswood Park
Along 1st Road
Marondera, Mashonaland East 00000
Zimbabwe
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Published by K. T. NHAMO

I would rather entertain people and hope they were educated than educate them and hope they were entertained.

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