THE puerile rantings of Rob Sacco “Trevor Grundy article was trash, why publish it?”, (Zimbabwe Independent, November 24) cannot go unchallenged.
Grundy’s article was a cogent and factual article which, although spec
ifically dealing with Didymus Mutasa’s metamorphosis from a fighter for freedom and justice into a strident supporter and practitioner of dictatorship and oppression, could as easily have been written about many other members of Zanu PF.
Grundy made extensive use of factual evidence in presenting his case, a pity that his critic, Sacco, did not do likewise.
Sacco’s attempts to trash Grundy, Roy Bennett, Diana Mitchell, Terence Ranger, Eileen Haddon, “white liberals who have left the country” and whites in general, merely serve to suggest that he is a member of that noisy choir of Zanu PF sycophants who sing for their seat on the gravy train, lyrics vastly different from that of the pre-Independence era about freedom and equality, social, political and economic justice for all.
Sacco complains that Grundy “supports his case by quoting white liberals” yet much of Grundy’s case comes from quoting Mutasa’s own vitriolic verbiage — about which Sacco has nothing to say.
Sacco appears to doubt Bennett’s popularity in Chimanimani despite obtaining overwhelming electoral evidence. He questions and derides virtually all whites who, he claims, in 2000 “retreated into a laager, short-pants Rhodies alongside sophisticated and apparently progressive intellectuals … remaining within the cocoons of their comfort zones, disparaging that which they do not have the courage or commitment to assist”.
Far from wondering why the Independent saw it fit to publish Grundy’s well-written and well-argued article, I would be more inclined to wonder why the paper gave space to “such unmitigated rubbish” as the rantings of some craven apologist for political dictatorship.
However, I know why — because, unlike the government’s propaganda papers, the Independent is prepared to give space to different political viewpoints, however unsavoury. Sacco does not appear to be someone who would let facts get in the way of his sycophantic tendencies, but just in case I am wrong, perhaps he could respond to the following questions/comments that relate to his attack on Grundy and others, including myself as a white person for which accident of birth I offer Sacco no apology:
* Sacco states derisively that white liberals “have left the country, perhaps because it is no longer comfortable for (them)”. Could he explain the reason why so many black Zimbabweans have fled Mugabe’s (and Mutasa’s) paradise and why so many young Zimbabweans see no future for themselves in the country of their birth?
* Sacco avoided any reference to Mutasa’s own comments, perhaps he could explain why. Additionally, and more pertinently, perhaps he could explain what conclusions he would draw from Mutasa’s public utterances such as those quoted by Grundy;
* Sacco makes several accusations against Bennett, perhaps he could substantiate them and explain why Bennett was once a member of Zanu PF and someone whom the party had hoped to recruit as its parliamentary candidate.
* Sacco describes Bennett as “a thug, a violent man”. One wonders how Sacco would characterise those responsible for the Gukurahundi of the early 1980s, the violence of the “land reform” programme, the Murambatsvina of more recent times, not to mention all the well-documented individual acts of violence and torture committed against opponents of Zanu PF;
* Sacco asks what, since Independence, “have the whites, liberal or otherwise, done to build a truly liberated Zimbabwe?” I would rather ask Sacco what has this government, in power since 1980, done to build a truly liberated Zimbabwe — a Zimbabwe based on the principles for which the liberation war was fought? and,
* Sacco refers to whites as having “remained within the cocoons of their comfort zones”. Presumably he is implying that they live in a world divorced from the realities of life as it exists for most black Zimbabweans.
Would he comment on the perception that it is the Zanu PF chefs who “remain within their comfort zones” driving their Mercedes vehicles, living in mansions in Borrowdale Brook and elsewhere, rather than identifying with the ordinary people (and their suffering)?
Is it not the black political leadership which should be setting an example to their white fellow citizens by taking a walk say, through Mbare without the suffocating presence of armed soldiers and police? Is not the presidential motorcade a prime example of being “cocooned within a comfort zone”?
Leave your own political comfort zone, Sacco, and take a walk through Mbare, Chitungwiza or Mpopoma. Visit what were once productive commercial farms and see how the lives of former farm workers have been affected by the so-called “land reforms”. See for yourself, if you dare, the reality of life for the vast majority of liberated Zimbabwean — the highest inflation rate in the world, the lowest life expectancy in the world, the world’s highest proportion of orphans, a standard of living lower than it was pre-Independence, etc. It is not a pretty picture.