A concert by Bryan Adams seems to have brought out the worst in the Herald’s vituperative stable of columnists.
One, called Tichaona Zindoga who wears dark glasses, commented on the large number of whites at the concert two weeks ago. In fact, he deplored the number of whites present suggesting they had obtained their tickets as part of an underground network.
“One of the few blacks who attended told me he could only see one other black soul about,” Zindoga remarked. This is really strange. Well, perhaps those dark glasses wouldn’t have helped him see things any better!
‘One commentator believes that if a bomb had detonated at the HICC we would have lost about all of our white species in Zimbabwe. That would have been such a pity, wouldn’t it?” he wrote facetiously.
Obviously, Zindoga doesn’t think so and is busy promoting a hostile agenda in the state press. Dressing up his remarks as somebody else’s doesn’t excuse his bigotry. And the calculated targeting of any minority should, as hate language, be a matter for the Human Rights Commission.
Racism at its worst
In this case, we have an official voice of the regime asking whether the removal of whites would be a good thing, suggesting it would.
“The whites, most of them of the genus we call Rhodies” — or rather what he calls Rhodies — “as well as their exiled kith and kin are supposed to reap the fruits of the suffering and emasculation of the black Zimbabwean”.
This is disgraceful racism. And the paper’s editor was obviously happy to let it pass across his desk untouched.
“The million-dollar question (actually it’s US$64 000), the obviously dull but malicious Zindoga asks, “is how the 3 475 people — almost all of them whites — managed to know about the concert and buy tickets?”
That could be because, contrary to Zindoga’s assertion, the concert was, in fact, well advertised.
“In fact,” he declares, “this brings the valid observation that whites in Zimbabwe are generally not part of Zimbabwean life. They have their own shopping malls, bars and clubs.”
Where are those malls, bars and clubs for whites only?
Been to Borrowdale?
Has Zindoga ever been to Borrowdale, we wonder? The shoppers there and the mansions they inhabit are remarkably similar to each other.
Zimbabwe’s elite aspires to share a colonial template!
“It was a Caucasian thing, organised, sponsored and ultimately held by and to serve the white interests,” Zindoga confidently claims.
Can we really talk of a new way of doing things when there is poison like this being disseminated across the land within six months of the passage of a new constitution?
Zanu PF’s bitterness
Leaving aside the Adams issue, a clue as to Zanu PF’s bitterness was evident last week.
President Ian Khama expressed his disillusionment with Sadc and the AU’s decision to look the other way over Zimbabwe’s election mismanagement. Botswana, by the way, has increased in wealth 30-fold over the past 20 years. Zimbabwe has dramatically gone backwards. It must be infuriating for the regime’s propagandists. No wonder Khama keeps getting blasted in the Herald. At least Botswana knows what to do with its diamonds.
And how’s this for a fatuous conclusion: “The whites of this country should be reminded that if they do please (sic), they can keep their Brian (sic) Adams, and we keep our Warriors.” What tosh!
Judging a nation
There have also recently been warnings from Zanu PF’s mandarins not to abuse the constitution by having to resort to it. Speaking at the Staff College, Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa declared “you may assume to be rich, but you will be ideologically poor if you are not in control of your resources. You are a laughing stock among the community of nations,” he said, “because a nation is identified by its territory and resources it controls. The reason why we talk about indigenisation is because it is reflective of our history.”
It is true a nation is judged by the resources it controls, it is also judged by the way it enhances its economy by investment and manages its internal affairs by sensible and judicious decision-making.
Zimbabwe is not run like that. It prefers grabbing other people’s and investors’ property on the spurious grounds that it was once a victim of foreign assault (1893). Armed with this logic, a review of the Battle of Hastings (1066) might be useful in justifying the Norman occupation of England. But it is selective history all the same.
Closer to home Zanu PF appears indifferent to clauses in the law that require the sellers of farm property to first offer it to the government.
A sensible proposal ignored in the main was the UNDP agreement on land distribution (1998) that would have made Zimbabwe a successful economy. President Robert Mugabe probably thought it would get in the way of his populist programme.
We don’t know how Mnangagwa’s speech went down at the Staff College. But appealing to the courts for redress is fundamental to all successful societies and should not be frowned upon.