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Midgets gaffe ruffles feathers

I am compelled to write to the Zimbabwe Independent for the world to know that it is time the people of Zimbabwe put a stop to hate speech.

lvetica, sans-serif”>Since Independence in 1980, hate speech has been the hallmark of our ruling party leadership and that has not allowed the people of this country to chart a common destiny.

The Sunday Mail of July 11 carried this piece on President Mugabe’s closing remarks at the Fourth Zanu PF National Youth Congress:

“Mount a vigorous campaign across the country to push Tony Blair’s midgets out. Yes they are midgets who can’t grow…”

As I read the article I felt very sad and angry and maybe I had no reason to as next to that article was a picture of the architect of Aippa (Jonathan Moyo) launching a new war song after Sendereka on CD appropriately called Back 2 Black.

My close friend Dave and Mpho have three lovely children – one of whom Peter is a midget. They are a God-fearing family and have brought up their children in love and respect.

Peter, like his brother and sister, performs the family chores with one limitation – height. Otherwise he is an intelligent young man and has great respect from his teachers and peers and wishes to be a lawyer like his father.

I know the couple probably read the paper and their friends too and Peter’s classmates and teachers as well. For me and others who have known Peter and others like him, it was Back 2 Black and my friends had a lot of comforting to do to their devastated siblings.

South Africans, having learnt from history, put an end to hate speech in their first decade of democracy and it was not difficult for them to do so as they had experiences of Rwanda, Nazi Germany and many others.

For us the people between the two great rivers of Zambezi and Limpopo, we have learnt nothing from more than two decades of self-rule as we have perfected hate speech from:

“Mwana wenyoka inyoka (siblings of your enemy are your enemies too),” to “Dissident muNdevere,” then “Whites are our enemies” then “Gays are perverts” and now “All the opposition are midgets”.

Zanu PF has won every election since 1980. Surely, could the president not have used other words to describe his enemies than to insult our children.

To the Zanu PF youth leadership I say, when Joshua Nkomo and others called us to join the war it was to bring about peace but what we have known since Zanu PF electoral victories are more wars – first Gukurahundi, then Third Chimurenga. When will true nation-building start as the country has been turned into a land of locusts?

Satsha Bo,


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