“If we cannot live as free men, we will die as free men” – Guest Blogger

Dear Zimbabwe, All Our People,

First, I would like to thank the prevalence of technology that enables us to speechify without standing on a podium which has allowed this speech to reach to you.

If there was a Zimbabwean dictionary of politics, we would add the new word Feya Feya.

The Kenyans have their own political jargon in vernacular. Wananchi means the broad citizenry. Uhuru means Freedom (All Swahili).

The South Africans have Asijiki, which we have borrowed here. Now Feya Feya means democracy plus equality generally.

It is democracy in our own language and lived experiences.

Feya Feya is an expression of our individual and collective longing for freedom and fairness


That is also the theme which runs throughout our new Constitution. Regardless of which province we come from we must see equal prosperity (devolution and equality of the provinces in oneness).

Regardless of our past we are all Zimbabweans now, black or white alike.

Regardless of our social standing we must see the same treatment before the law.

Regardless of which way we look at our national politics we must feel the same comfort to reveal our standing and have the same freedom of speech.

We must have a vote that weighs the same for each citizen. Regardless of where we come from we must be treated fairly at work throughout the country with particular attention to merit.

There should be no doubt both in our minds and in our actions that the natural resources both on and below our land belong to us all today.

I am glad to be a fighter for Feya Feya toward and beyond the 2013 elections.

Even the pre-Independence struggle was a struggle for Feya Feya. Feya Feya is not only a political principle; it is also a social and economic principle.

Borrowing from the most emotional statement from the Mgagao Declaration of our true freedom fighters in Tanzania, in December 1975, indeed, some of whom did not live to see the betrayal and new oppression:

if we cannot live as FREE men, we will die as FREE men.

Today, we accept that we are all equal Zimbabweans.

Indeed, Feya Feya is what we should have lived from day one of our independence on 18 April, 1980. Feya Feya has been delayed, but cannot be denied.

The slogan is forever that: Feya Feya In Our Lifetime! Pamberi ne Feya Feya! Mayibuye iFeya Feya! iFeya Feya Namhlanje!

Sincerely in Support of the National Program of Feya Feya,

Yours Comradely,

Vivid Gwede

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My hope for a Feya Feya Zimbabwe – Guest Blogger

So I decided to share my journal with my two year old son. I imagined it would help sharpen his creative and expressive prowess (fingers crossed).

At the end of the day I reluctantly ‘donated’ the journal to him because he appeared to have somehow convinced himself that it was his (so much for sharing). memory

So I found myself thinking that my son’s un-Feya Feya behaviour was pretty similar to what has been obtaining in our media, politics, social space and even our pockets.

Having recently caught the ‘Feya Feya fever’ that has gripped town (if you are not part of it Walala wasala – you’re getting left behind) campaigning for free and fair elections; I am somewhat obsessing over the notion of fairness.

Obsession being the key word.

Feya Feya is like a fever, a bug, highly contagious and is moving at a breakneck speed.

Feya Feya …. is a colloquial term for “Fair Fair”. The phrase is a corruption of the English term, meaning in accordance with the rules or standards; legitimate and just or appropriate in the circumstances.

The Feya Feya campaign is aimed at promoting peaceful, free and fair elections in Zimbabwe in which the will of the people is respected!

I bought into the Feya Feya campaign because it resonates with me. I believe that at its core, the Feya Feya campaign is about upholding the sanctity of the ballot and protecting the will of the people as expressed through the ballot.

I am taking part in the Feya Feya campaign because, like many Zimbabweans, I’m tired of being taken for granted and of the national stagnation.

For more than a decade we endured the fuel and bread queues and we helplessly watched our country’s fall from grace.

Over the years, some have sought refuge in neighbors’ homes, while others fell victim to political violence and a few remained hopeful that Zimbabwe shall rise from the ashes.

I want a Feya Feya election because I think it is fundamental to the fruition of my aspirations.

I want a Feya Feya Zimbabwe where my voice is heard and respected. I want to live in a Feya Feya Zimbabwe where my dissenting views are tolerated, listened to and respected.

I want a Feya Feya Zimbabwe where the pains of my labour shall bear fruits and where my effort is justly rewarded.

My heart aches for my disenfranchised relatives and friends who are in the Diaspora and who often echo the proverbial Shona sentiment, “Kusina amai hakuendwe” (loosely translated to mean that one’s home always best).

I am campaigning for a Feya Feya Zimbabwe where violence is shunned, criminalized and condemned in the strongest of terms…a Zimbabwe where electoral choices are made without fear of victimization or disfranchisement.

I envision a Feya Feya Zimbabwe whose representatives in Parliament, leaders in Government respect and adhere to the oath of office. Whose dedication is to take Zimbabwe to greater heights.

My Feya Feya Zimbabwe shall rise against the odds and reclaim its former glory.

Like a mother who nurtures and protects the fruits of her womb even in hardship, I remain hopeful for a Feya Feya Zimbabwe.

Journalism can make or break elections

11. Reporting of elections
a) Media practitioners and media institutions must report on elections in a fair and balanced manner.
b) Before reporting a damaging allegation made against a candidate or a political party, a media practitioner should obtain, wherever possible, a comment from the candidate or party against whom the allegation has been made especially where the allegation has been made by an opposing candidate or an opposing political party.
c) A media practitioner or media institution must not accept any gift, reward or inducement from a politician or candidate.
d) As far as possible, a media practitioner or media institution should report the views of candidates and political parties directly and in their own words, rather than as they are described by others.
e) A journalist must take in reporting the findings of opinion polls. Any report should wherever possible include details about the methodology used in conducting the survey and by whom it was conducted.

Thanks to the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) for outlining what constitutes feya feya journalism for on reporting elections.

Feya Feya is about saving ourselves

I can not in all earnestness say that I have ever applied myself to imagining a better future for Zimbabwe. Partly because I am afraid to hope. Partly because I am afraid to care too much about it because caring would make me obligated to act. Caring would make me obligated to do something. Even a small thing. Partly because I didn’t know what to do. And even when others suggested what could be done and their suggestions were great – I let myself be smothered by the futility of trying to change things. Despair is easier than hope. Far more comfortable and far less risky.

A Zimbabwean blogger shares her fears of losing a country she loves if the next elections are not feya feya. Read more about it from her blogpost titled I have a country to lose.

Let’s make it feya feya – just free and fair!

The perfect Feya Feya ingredients

Take your memories from the last election out of the oven and let them simmer for 5 minutes. Throw them in the bin.

Don’t over complicate the preparation: use 1 birth certificate to register, not the contents of your (and your landlord’s) entire life. Peel the skin off party politics and massage the real issues that face the country.

We get the perfect ingredients for free and fair elections – not from the Jamie Oliver cookbook – but from a witty Zimbabwean blogger who reckons that we should:

Heat up a pan and place the dreams of the average Zimbabwean in them. Remember where you come from.

Read more on this from the MasterChef himself via A recipe for free and fair elections found on the Kalabash website.

Feya Feya is protection of the voter…

It’s good to know that members of the disciplined forces now have an opportunity to cast their votes in a secret environment because this means that they can vote for any party and person they wish.

The Feya Feya campaign is founded upon 11 Principles (Feya Feya 11) which will be revealed later in the week. Among the Feya Feya 11 is a demand that:

free formation of voter preferences [be allowed to] take place without cohesion, manipulation or intimidation and [ZEC must facilitate] the insulation of this choice through effective secrecy of the ballot.

No more fear for members of the disciplined forces…cast your ballots in SECRET!

It is commendable that ZEC has announced that July 14 and 15 has been set aside as dates for casting of the special vote.

In terms of Section 81C of the Electoral Act, Special Votes are cast by members of the disciplined forces who would be deployed to cover security matters on the day of actual voting by the general public.

What is significant and which is a departure from the past is that the people casting the special vote that is mainly Police and Soldiers will cast their vote into an UNMARKED envelope and deposit it to a ZEC presiding officer in the presence of candidates or Chief Elections agents and Poling agents of all political parties and Independent candidates interested to witness this process.

Let’s protect the voter (whether he/she is uniformed or not); let’s protect their vote through a secret ballot; let’s make it feya feya!

In the past Police and Soldiers would cast their votes in the presence of their seniors and this is no longer the case.

It is the Police and the soldiers (the majority of whom intend to see a ‘feya feya’ free and fair election) that made this submission during the seventh parliament and hence Parly responded by amending the Law, now its their turn to fully express themselves in secret and have their vote remaining a secret.

ZEC has advised that:

All Political parties and Stakeholders who intend to witness the process of special voting from sorting of ballots right up to allocation and counting can contact their nearest ZEC offices, those who want to be accredited as Observers for this process can visit ZEC sub office at Harare International Conference Centre beginning 1 July 2013.

Protect the VOTE. Protect the VOTER. Respect the outcome. Let’s make it feya feya – just free and fair!