The Chimurenga Protocol
By: Nyaradzo Mtizira
Published: Botshelo Publishing
The issue of land ownership in Zimbabwe has long been a point of contention between the governments of Zimbabwe and the UK. This is the point of focus in Nyaradzo Mtizira's history-inspired novel, The Chimurenga Protocol. Mtizira sets out to make a case for the present day land redistribution by outlining the injustice to indigenous Zimbabweans, whose ancestors were forcefully evicted from their lands under British colonial rule.
Chimurenga is a Shona word for "revolutionary struggle", and in this case, the struggle of Zimbabwean freedom fighters against the rule of white settlers hell-bent on taking over their land.
From the First, Second, and Third Chimurengas to the present-day dispute over land, Mtizira takes us on a journey in this four-part story. He starts in the 1800s and lays the foundation of the First Chimurenga, where he paints a picture of the resilient and persistent force of the local people who refused to let go what was rightfully theirs without a fight.
It was a bloody engagement on both sides, and Mtizira depicts William Mason, the Queen's representative in Rhodesia at the time, as a sadistic, racist and condescending man on a mission to rid the indigenous people of all dignity:
"In my experience, I have never engaged a dedicated fighting force similar to these men. They are deeply committed to halting the expansion of the Queens's Empire. Our presumption has been that because they are Africans and...