Are we therefore not Zimbabweans

HARARE - We, people of mixed race, want to know and want to know now. If you, black, indigenous people decide that we have no future here, lets us know plain and simple.

“Don’t lead us down the garden path pretending you want nationhood for all Zimbabweans and then pick us off one by one when it’s convenient.”

These words by a contributor to a report on an Internet news site last week couldn’t have said it better when it comes to describing the pitiful state of affairs in our country.

White, brown or beige, born and bred Zimbabweans have all become helpless pawns on the country’s chess board.

We are living in a state of constant uncertainty, not knowing when another law will change and discriminate against us or if our life’s work and assets are ever going to be safe here again because of our skin colour.

One by one, minorities in Zimbabwe are waiting to be picked off depending on who is in power or which piece of land, farm, mine, business or asset is trying to be seized for self enrichment. 

The mixed-race Internet contributor saying that he just wanted to know if he had a future in Zimbabwe, was responding to the report about ex-Gwanda Mayor Lionel de Necker.

Like thousands of white Zimbabweans before him, De Necker said he had just been visited by officials from the National Indigenisation Authority.

De Necker was told he was breaking the law because ‘‘foreigners’’ cannot own more than 49 percent shares in businesses such as his which deal in the retail sector. 

De Necker, born and resident in Zimbabwe had been assumed to be “foreign” because of his name.

Like thousands of white Zimbabweans in the same situation, De Necker said he was born in this country but was now being targeted by Indigenisation officials because he was of ‘‘a particular race.’’

De Necker, a mixed race Zimbabwean, expressed exactly the same sentiments as thousands of white Zimbabweans when they were being evicted from their homes during land seizures.

“Many people do not understand the feeling of trepidation and uncertainty associated with waking up one day and finding that you have been stripped of your country and possessions on the say-so of some official.

“Right now I am worried about my family and for every person of my racial background who may be contributing immensely to the economy but faces an uncertain future under the current policy.”

This is exactly how it felt for farmers: waking up each morning and wondering if that would be the day their life’s work would be grabbed by a rabble at the gate.

Wondering then, and still wondering now, 14 years later, if they would ever get paid for their seized home, buildings and infrastructure which was taken because they were of a particular race. 

De Necker’s employees and their families and dependents are undoubtedly feeling exactly the same way thousands of farm workers felt when their employers were being targeted: will they have a job tomorrow, next month, next year?

How will they pay their rent, feed their families, find school fees?

White, mixed Race, Indian or whatever skin colour God gave us — if we are born in Zimbabwe, then we are Zimbabweans.

We did not choose to be born here but we do choose to live here and contribute to the country and economy.

Whichever way you look at it, empowering a few is disempowering a nation and is plain and simple racism.

Two wrongs will never make a right.

Comments (4)

What a hypocrite you are, .Cathy......you will never be indigenous , no matter how hard you try with your European sentiments.

Comrade - 18 June 2014

Hypocritical politicians thrive on racism.But racism is very primitive & therefore uncivilized. Indeed, racism has contributed immensely to our economic problems in Zimbabwe today. The whole world is now a global village where peaceful co-existence of different races has actually become a way of life. The so-called 'INDIGENIZATION' is nothing but a way of hoodwinking black people in Zimbabwe for the ruling party to win support.

RENGENYA - 19 June 2014

Hear hear well said Rengenya!!BOO to comrade!!

patience - 20 June 2014

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