THIS is an open letter to President Robert Mugabe.
In 1980, you promised this nation reconciliation. You asked all to exchange guns for hoes. As a white Zimbabwea
n I did exactly that. I listened to you, as then I believed in your leadership.
I learned farming, later leased a farm and eventually bought it. I only did so after your government turned down the previous owner’s offer and issued a certificate of “no interest” to that piece of land.
Over the subsequent years you appealed to farmers to increase production. Again I listened to you, as then I believed in your leadership. I borrowed from banks, sunk boreholes, put in irrigation, built more barns, ploughed more land and produced more as per your encouragement.
I felt good and considered myself a true Zimbabwean. I was now contributing even more to its economy and food security. I had created more employment. I felt an integral part of this new nation and its development, paying my taxes and assisting others on their way to self-reliance. We had you as a leader and I then believed in your leadership.
One day, out of the blue, you called for all those “whites” with dual nationalities to choose. Again I, like many others, listened to you: we chose to be “wholly Zimbabweans”. We were then still naïve enough to believe in your sincerity.
From that moment on, you had us of your subjects with no recourse from other quarters. We had been conned and became willing victims of your canny premeditated planning. You had set the trap and we had walked right into it.
All this time you had a hidden agenda with horrific intentions, and to achieve this you had lied to me. I was now like your subjects, at your mercy. Like an elder with mischievous and evil intentions towards a child, you had lured me away from the protection of others.
With the liberty to do upon me as you wished, you sent in the middle of the night your youth to chase us from our farm. My children were chased from their beds, ousted from their homes. We lost it all.
As the very first member of my family to have ever come to this country in the 1970s, what could I or any of my predecessors have ever done to you or this nation to deserve such brutality? Are you, sir, telling us that because we are “whites” we have no rights?
Are you then, sir, insinuating that I, like many of my fellow “white Zimbabweans”, are being made to pay for wrongs you claim are injustices of the past? Does that mean, sir, that by this very warped logic, you accept the concept that any injustices of the present are to the accounts of your children?