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Magora guilty of same bigotry as Tau

DENFORD Magora is guilty of the same crime that he accuses Botswana’s Dikgang Tau of committing, “Bigotry, stupidity of Batswana laid bare” (Zimbabwe Independent, April 15).

Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Magora rebukes Tau for saying Zimbabweans should not flock to Botswana because they failed to remove the corrupt Zanu PF government from power in the recent election.

While Tau’s comments are not entirely accurate because they assume Zimbabweans should have similar political views, and also do not take into account the fundamental differences between rural and urban voters, Magora’s criticism should not have centred on insults and name calling.

The economic and political problems we face today have nothing to do with a war that was fought a quarter of a century ago. In fact, Zimbabwe was a success story for over a decade and a half after the end of that war.

Therefore, to compare the colonial histories of the two countries and present Zimbabwe’s as the better one is to miss the point.

It is unfortunate that Zanu PF has instilled in us a sense of fear for the past 25 years to an extent where anyone who dares to challenge their continued use of history to justify their stay in power is either labelled a traitor, or is assumed to have been brainwashed by the British and the Americans.

We have now been conditioned to find solace in achievements of the past, and the majority of the rural votes Zanu PF got were based on Zanu PF’s historical achievements.

Zimbabwe’s restrictive media laws and the prevailing economic difficulties have largely affected the rural people who have no access to the Internet while the remaining weekly independent newspapers are too expensive for them. They therefore rely on the government-controlled electronic and print media which always churn out Zanu PF propaganda.

President Mugabe has capitalised on this ignorance and is happy to keep the rural areas marginalised for his own political survival. Therefore, although the overall result gave Zanu PF a majority win, this does not reflect the wishes of the active working population and those who could make an informed decision.

The likes of Tau certainly do not understand this, but this is not because they are short Bushmen without a soul.

It has also got nothing to do with the fact that Botswana lived in the shadows of apartheid and Magora should have understood these simple realities.

Magora selectively picks an adverse research paper by some two obscure professors to reinforce his view that Botswana is not a model of good governance in Africa.

However, he also says Zimbabweans are setting up mobile phone companies and commercial banks in Botswana. If Botswana is as bad as he suggests, why would Zimbabweans — professional and non-professional alike — continue to seek opportunities in that country?

I agree with Magora that Zimbabwe, at its best, can perform better than most countries in Africa.

However, things are not at their best and, to borrow a phrase from Professor

Jonathan Moyo, “if you cannot understand this then you will not understand anything”.

Hudson Taivo,


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