WHY do political parties seek to rewrite history? British classical political novelist, George Orwell’s allegorical novel titled Nineteen Eighty-Four answers this question. The novel is overwhelmingly reflective of the situation obtaining in Zimbabwe today in general and in the ruling ZANU-PF party in particular. The novel is set in Great Britain, a province of the super state Oceania in a world of perpetual war where state surveillance on citizens was omnipresent. The government places people under the control of a privileged inner party elite, the archetype of its tyranny being the “Big Brother” character at the helm of the party — a semi-divine principal, enjoying an extreme personality cult built around him.
The party seeks power exclusively for its own sake, without interest in the good of the citizens. The central character of the novel, Winston Smith, works for the ‘Ministry of Truth’ responsible for propaganda and historical revision. His job is to rewrite past newspaper articles so that the historical record always supports the current party line. He secretly hates the party and dreams of rebellion against the Big Brother. Through Smith’s department, history is constantly altered to the party’s liking.
The dictum thereof rings; “he who controls the present […]