YOUR correspondent Rovambira says of UN staff working in Zimbabwe: “We do have wonderful international colleagues who are dedicated to their humanitarian work, but mostly they are racists bent on creating little fiefdoms where they ride r
oughshod over locals behind the diplomatic smokescreen.”
As an ex-resident of Zimbabwe, and also an ex-worker in the field of aid in several African countries, I would like to make a couple of comments.
First, in defence of the UN, it does not operate in countries which don’t have severe internal problems. Therefore the view of UN staff, while often not conforming to the wishes of the locals, is sometimes more balanced and objective.
Second, it is not enough to make a blanket accusation of racism. If there is racism, which I would certainly accept is possible, Rovambira has a duty to specify who is involved, and exactly what their racist actions are.
Anonymous blanket accusations don’t serve any purpose, as they are unverifiable, and neither does silence about racism, as it only allows it to continue unhindered.
So tell us who these people are and what they are doing which is wrong. Even if they genuinely attempt to serve Zimbabwe my experience is that racism only hinders such work in the end.