Lancaster House, was the venue, in London of the negotiations to end colonial rule, in the then Rhodesia, which is now Zimbabwe. It was there the first Constitution to be adopted by the country, was agreed at the end of 1979.
‘There is a clause in the constitution, which specifically says that every Zimbabwean “shall have the right to impart information, without hindrance.”…. I was there, when it was adopted. Discuss it with your lawyers; I think it could be helpful with your case. It’s not over, if you have the courage to go to the Constitutional Court.’
‘This caller of yours, did he also tell you that you have to file a completely new application; one that has nothing to do with the PTC? If you want to strike out a monopoly, you have to sue the government, before a special court, that rarely meets, called the Constitutional Court.’ This was the opening remark of Advocate Adrian De Bourbon, as we sat down in his office, with my lawyers, from Kantor and Immerman. We had gone there to get his legal opinion on whether; a special application could be made to strike down the monopoly of the PTC, to allow private companies to offer telecommunication services. He continued, ‘I have studied Clause 20 of the Constitution very closely, I believe it is possible legally to strike down this monopoly, on the basis that it is hindering freedom of expression. Our challenge is that is has never been done anywhere in the world; and there are monopolies like this everywhere, including in the developed world.’
It was not a long meeting, and it ended by my authorizing them to start working on the papers. I asked them not to file, until I was ready. And by this I meant, “Spiritually” ready; meaning weeks of prayer and fasting, until I knew The Lord wanted me to proceed…
I never saw my caller after that call. He did not call me again.
Then one day, more than 10 years after the call, he called me, and told me he had been diagnosed with cancer. I arranged to visit him, with a friend and Brother-in-Christ. He had specifically asked that I come and discuss my faith in Jesus Christ. Taking my bible, I carefully took him through my own journey to believing, and accepting that Jesus Christ is the Lord. I will never forget the expression on his face, when he said quietly, “yes, I believe … Yes, I believe … What I shall do?”
And with that, I led him through the prayer of salvation in Jesus Christ.
“All along, as I watched you fight, I thought it was courage. I kept saying, this boy has courage, but it was not really courage…now I am beginning to understand something.” He later remarked.
“No, Mukoma (senior brother), it was not really courage, as people usually think of courage, mine was simply an outward manifestations, of what we call FAITH.”
He died peacefully a few weeks later.
To be continued.
God bless you.
Strive Masiyiwa is the founder and Executive Chairman of the Econet Group. He serves on several international boards including Unilever, and the Global Advisory boards of the Council on Foreign Relations and Stanford University. A board member of the Rockefeller Foundation for 15 years, he also serves as Chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). He is a co-founder of the Carbon War Room, Pathways for Prosperity, and the Global Business Coalition on Education. He and his wife, Tsitsi, co-founded the Higherlife Foundation and are signators of the Giving Pledge.View all posts by Strive Masiyiwa