WELL after all the huffing and puffing, a bunch of British journalists were allowed in to Zimbabwe to cover the cricket tour.
As we see from their various reports
, that’s not all they have been doing. We hear of the great risks they have been taking to interview Zimbabweans and of how careful they were to protect the identities of those interviewed (well at least the British learned from Tianenmen Square). But quite frankly, I’m disappointed.
The reporting remains superficial, predictable and plays into the stereotypes that must bring joy to Zanu PF hearts. Who do we have but rich white ex-farmers lolling at a poolside drinking ice-cold beer delivered by smiling black servants and at the other end of the scale, 15-year-old black maidens forced into prostitution. And that appears to be it.
What about the people in the middle — black, brown, white? For these are the ones targeted by the regime.
Zanu PF can live with the rich and can afford to ignore the poor but it’s those wretches in the middle who are the nuisance and therefore the targets.
The ones in the middle are the “lucky ones” who go to work everyday, usually for other people, but who resent paying chunks of their salary every month to sustain an illegitimate regime; they are the ones who wander the supermarket in a daze trying to figure out how to make it to the next salary cheque; the ones who lie awake at night worried sick about their children’s future, their aged parents or orphaned nieces and nephews; who know their car is not really roadworthy but can’t afford to get it fixed this month and as for their own bodies, who has got time to be sick?
Perhaps the British public don’t want to be made too uncomfortable or too depressed. It’s okay to write about the rich because we all aspire to that and it’s okay to write about the really poor because we can patronise them and give thanks that it’s not us, but the ones in the middle could be “us” and, well it really is too depressing and wouldn’t sell newspapers after all.
Yes, I’m cynical. Thanks for your efforts chaps and for keeping the city centre hotels in business, but none of you should be here at all.
If the world could boycott South Africa during the apartheid days, why do you find it so difficult to boycott this ruthless regime?
One in the middle,