Tunisia -The power of political sacrifice
 by Mazuba Mwiinga

Who wants to die just because some damn leader is damn bad? Most of us will rather suffer at the hand of a bloody bad leader than kill ourselves as a protest against his atrocious rule.

Sacrifice, as we have seen, simply means to give up things which we love and hold dear, which in our eyes have some value for us, for the sake of peace, freedom or independence. But is there anything more valuable to us than life itself?

Tunisian, Mohammed Bouazizi 26, gave out what very few would do in his position. A revolution never before thought of in the Arab world is now raging on because of his actions; from Tunisia, it has crossed over to Algeria and Morocco; and word is going round that pressure is mounting in Egypt.

Bouazizi burned himself as a protest against the Tunisian government of run-away dictator Ben Ali. Un-employed University graduate, driven into the streets, Bouazizi had his vegetables and fruits he was selling confiscated by government agents. Full with passionate anger and resilience he delivered his message in a very shocking but vivid way; he set himself ablaze. That was the start of what Tunisia is today; Dictator Ben Ali rod out of his country as people marched with Bouazizi’s spirit of sacrifice for change.

For more than two decades, Ben Ali ruled Tunisia with an iron hand; detaining political opponents with impunity and lived in dire luxury as his people languished in dire poverty. Can you imagine his wife even escaped with a multi-million dollar worth barrels of gold in her ‘hand bag”!! It took one gallant self-inflicted flame on Bouazizi’ body to stop Ben Ali’s atrocities; His youthful blood could not go un-answered by the nation, for it carried purity and innocence of a young man calling for justice and equality before the law. His one step; very gallant sacrifice, has already changed the face of Tunisia.

This is what these African leaders need to know; they are not gods to which people should kneel and worship for. Every dog, we are told has his day. How he gets his chance is unpredictable but it always comes his way and he always snatches the opportunity with victory.

Most African leaders get drunk with power so much that they end up thinking they are running taverns where everyone is temporarily a maniac. Like the way Bagbo in Ivory Coast, is breathing lies to himself; a time waster and dreamer who will never see that seat again whether by hook or crook. He doesn’t know that people’s voice is greater than the nation itself, for people are the nation. Mugabe just needs a bit of slaps from those who know how pinch grand pas like him. He is a retrogressive old man, whose thoughts are nothing but just incoherent rants on America and Britain.

And then someone comes to me to sale Rupiah Banda for Zambia’s 2011 presidential elections? Oh my God! Am I that insane! What else apart from the tour of the world at tax payer’s expenses has he done since 2008? Wearing bikins with King Mswati and praising those innocent nude girls for their beauty? Feasting with Mugabe and calling him a damn good president? Any way, much as old age takes eyesight, so is reasoning.

But what is happening in Tunisia today and the flames already set up in Algeria, are writings on the African wall for every African nation to know that, ‘you can fool some people some time, but you cant fool all the people all the time’. Victory comes with sacrifice, for without sacrifice, the imperialist wouldn’t have left Africa. For the future to be bright for our children and their children’s children, we have to give up what we love most and set the record straight and clear.

The world will never forget Bouazizi; for Tunisia owes him his life. Selfless love is mightier than the bullet; for a conceited heart is nothing but a void of anger and weakness. The most cowards this world has ever seen are dictators. They can’t stand a challenge from even a kindergarten child.

South Africa today never forgets the 1976 killings of courageous boys and girls who rose against the apartheid regime. In the face of death, the school girls and boys saw freedom, and freedom they fought for and won for their future young generation; those who survived lived to tell the tales today. Steve Biko, at age 30, never spared his life in the face of racism and the worst discrimination the world has ever witnessed in Africa; today he is a pillar of inspiration and courage.

When you touch the lives of the least of these brothers of mine, you touch the heart of the most of High. Politically the year has begun on a step of no return. The people have spoken.