How can one make sense of the history of colonialism and liberation to such a generation? Can this generation of students distinguish between the faces of colonists and liberators? Both colonists and liberators in the eyes of these students are underwriters of grinding poverty, corruption, misery, death and underdevelopment.
They have experienced neither colonialism nor liberation in their own lives. Theirs is a life of struggle to survive at the university. All they hear and see on the streets are protests for the end of the grinding poverty and state security brutality.
The 37-page Mbeki-Mugabe Papers, outright rejected by both Zanu-PF and the MDC, can be a useful starting point for the first-year student to understand the genesis of the Zimbabwean crisis.
It is high time the Zimbabwean leadership across the political divide and civil society asked the question: How did the liberation narrative of the 1980s go wrong? Bob Marley sang in Harare at Independence Day in 1980 that Africans liberated Zimbabwe.