Open Letter to Pastor Evan Mawarire

Dear Pastor Evan:

I hope I find you well. Asking is just a formality by the way, in Shona we say ‘’kubvunzira chirango’’.

What could hurt you when you are now living in a country were lack is rare and abundance is the norm? A land were over 100 million votes are counted in 24hours while back home 6 million take over three weeks. The land were democracy and progress are more visible than not. You are that clever guy who took a shortcut to the life we thought we were fighting for together. Oh, before I forget; Congratulation on the arrival of your new girl. I saw the pictures, she is beautiful. If I talk much about her in this introduction, I will be forced to conclude before I even start, so hold on a bit. We mustn’t defy logic. Remember the sun rises then sets, not the other way round.

This can’t be the 1st letter you received from a ’fellow citizen’ as you call us. As we slowly trickle down from the terraces of denial we shall bombard you until you come out and give genuine answers to our genuine questions. The symptoms of flue are a sore throat, similarly the symptoms of your disappearing act were witnessed when you posted that video with a braided young girl via your Samsung phone. God knows where you had put your wedding ring. Back then I defended you on the pretext that you were a humorous man. Unfortunately now I feel, I am the only joke in this plot.

In this country, I have seen and heard stories scarier than any of Jason Voorhees movies. To me abstaining from any fight with the system was not only sensible but also logical. I wouldn’t walk into a spear battle stuck naked basing my courage on a cooking stick. What happened to Jestina Mukoko on December 3, 2008 is not a secret. Since May 2015 no one can account for Itai Dzamara remember? In that light I was more prepared to be called a coward than to walk into a raging fire hoping thousands other people similar to me will dilute the pain since we will be sharing the experience. Ever since our government started urinating on us, I based my decisions on my own common sense thus never set foot at any protest. Not even that one by Ms Khupe were she was simply making noise with empty pots.

People say I am a hot head; I always stick to my guns, but only one man swayed me. That man is you!

Pastor. I unexpectedly got hooked up on your ‘#thisflag’ videos. From day one to the last one before your arrest, I was moving further away from my hole of fear. I began to shed off my old skin and somehow began to believe in fighting. Your zeal and seemingly steel-made courage gave me confident. It fueled the little fighter within me every day. Because of your convincing speech I moved to the front assuming I was with a bigger man.

Pastor Evan you remind me a lot about Joe Munyengeri. Joe was one of my friends in High school. In fact he was part of our seven-boy crew. On one Thursday Joe came up with an idea that we all come to school spotting bald heads ‘mazuda’ the following day. This was against the school’s ‘no zuda’rule. We had an insatiable appetite for attention and Joe somehow convinced all of us that the

Headmaster’s case would be weak against the seven of us. Seven was a prophetic number he told us. Guess what, on Friday six of us were in the Headmaster’s office with our shiny heads. Looking stupid awaiting our share of a thorough beating. Meanwhile Joe was attending class. He hadn’t gotten his bald, his excuse; ‘’my mother warned and threatened me against breaking school rules.’’

School rules my foot! They were there when you were preaching like a Zion church elder at break time on Thursday Joe. So yes, you remind me a lot about Joe. You drove us into the fearless fighting mode knowing very well what the regime can and cannot do. It’s unfair for you to then start reciting the family-comes-first mantra as if you didn’t know this when you were sharing those amateur footages that spread like a veld fire to Zimbabweans all over. Would I be lying if I say it was your USA Visa project? Of late you have given me every reason to think so and no reason to not.

From #Hatichada #Hatichatya now we are left within the same proximity as the wounded beast whilst you preach to us about the importance of family safety. Do you mean yours is the only family that must be protected? Forgive me but I will ask again, didn’t you know what you were getting into when you propelled yourself into the limelight? A thousand apologies if I sound emotional, but I guess I have every reason to. You used us Brother Evan! Where I come from (ghetto), boys lure girls into premarital sex only for bragging rights. The girls are then left counting their losses singing numerous songs of sorrow. I am singing those songs now. I feel used. I often fee a lump on my throat when I think of how much you made me believe I could bravely fight and not retreat.

Sometimes l even feel like that girl who denied her man sex, got dumped then gave it to the new one and still got dumped again. I thought I had found a God fearing leader to rally behind as we move to Canaan, but I guess I was wrong.

In my personal diary you were a Moses, but now I don’t know which bible character you resemble.

Perhaps Jonah? Can Donald Trump be the whale that will send you to your true calling? I wouldn’t want to be a prophet of doom, only time will tell. What I can testify is that you are now in a land that has clean running water and sufficient electricity 24/7. You even had the audacity to show us that you were watching NBA live the other time. I also love basketball, but I think that time I was being chased by water cannons from 4th Street to Copacabana here. Come to think of it, I wasn’t even protesting, I was just going about my normal daily errands. Thanks to you, the system is now aware that ordinary citizens are enough a threat.

‘Mukoma Evan’ if I may call you that, the last time I checked you were saying you are out of Zimbabwe to refresh and plan the next strategy. Are you still refreshing? Or you are now refraining?

Calmly enjoying KFC French fries. You also told us that you left on a pre-planned mission. Was it a pre-planned get-a-green card mission? You have the time and space to prove me wrong, but for now you are guilty in my world. Prove me wrong Pastor.

I still have the vivid images of myself and others as we prayed every thirty-minutes outside the

Harare Magistrate courts during your trial. We sang and prayed fearlessly thinking our leader was at the front and we were in a battle together. That day I was engulfed in emotion I was willing to do anything to take you home. I compared the environment to a scene in ‘Sarafina’. Indeed we sang freedom songs. In the moment I had no fear of the infamous riot police because you had seeded in me the spirit of pushing forward and never retreating even in the face of Goliath. Little did I know you would leave us to the mercy of the lion whose tail we had pulled together. You simply took us from our comfort zone, placed us in the battlefield and pulled a Houdini Pastor.

There is no need for anyone to over-emphasize the magnitude of charges that were being levelled you. We all understand the gravity, but we also know is that man who take up the shoes you had worn are more than ready for such. Besides, it’s optional to take up the shoes isn’t it? Morgan

Tsvangirai was on trial for treason over a long time until he was acquitted. He is still in the trenches.

Munyaradzi Gwisai was charged with the same crime and he fought the system head-on until 2012 when justice was served. He is still at the war front. My point is not that you had to fight for freedom in the courts; my point is you didn’t have to betray the struggle, period! If you didn’t know what a struggle is, why did you indulge? Since you were my leader, Instead of making me believe I can, you have set an example that indeed, I can’t. That’s not nice Pastor.

Shaka Zulu used to kill soldiers who return to camp with wounds on the back. To him that was a sign that you were retreating on the battle front. Pastor Evan you retreated, I will live it to your imagination to see what Shaka would have done to you. I stand to be corrected, but you are the main reason why *‘Munhu wese didn’t go muroad’* on the 18th of November. Your disappearing stunt has done more damage than good. You have given sceptics good reasons to stand back and watch. Everyone fears to be used again. Who knows what Linda Masarira and Zvorwadza have under their sleeves? Once bitten twice shy they say. I would personally give them benefit of doubt though. They have been there longer than you and we have seen them go in and out of jail for the struggle. They are fighting from the front. Where are you fight from now Sir? From Madison Square garden?

Coming to the issue of your new baby, the one with human rights I can only dream of from this end of the world. I am not an expert in USA Immigration law, but I have it in good faith that the fact that she was born in the US makes her a US Citizen by birth. Good for her right? The best part is now that you have a child who is American; getting USA Citizenship for yourself is as easy as cutting butter with a hot knife. I earlier on mentioned you are clever and I might as well repeat the same sentiment now. ‘Mapinda mukoma’ your math has borne fruit my brother. Even if they change their mind on this ticket you are riding on, you are covered. I am angry at you as I write this letter, but to be honest, part of me wishes l could be like you.

In parting I will say, go on enjoy the American dream, ‘you worked hard for it’. It wasn’t an overnight project of cause. At this juncture I am forced to agree with one of the state papers’ headline which read “Pastor Evan sold Zimbabweans a dummy’’. You indeed sold us a dummy. The only Evan I miss is the wedding MC, public speaker, marriage teacher and Church leader. The guy with a flag, no I don’t miss him, I have more bones to chew with him. His words go were his body can’t be.

I pray and hope we meet again in good times. For now I am not into hash tags, ‘ndakazvimbirwa’ thanks to you. If things could go my way, I can only push for #YoungPeopleGoAndVote

PS: Pass my greetings to Maiguru Samantha and the girls. I know they are enjoying, they have every reason to. From the movies, America is a nice place.

Yours truly

Simba the ExFlegist   for more of Simba’s pieces

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