Freedom...good, bad and ugly too

HARARE - Colonialism had little to commend it. It was ugliness personified. For those of us born when it was at full blast, the memories are difficult to erase.

That is why I have declared that I personally have forgiven the fat white lady who, in 1956 in the city of Salisbury, asked about me: “What is that monkey doing there?”

I have also sworn that, if the white racists had voted for Garfield Todd’s party in the 1958 general elections, 60 000 lives would have been saved — 40 000 during the struggle and 20 000 during Gukurahundi.

Politicians who insist that the latter should be forgotten are being entirely hypocritical.

Personally, I think worthwhile lessons on basic human rights ought to have been learnt before anyone suggested Gukurahindi was of no significance to the struggle for unity and independence.

It is quite likely that if there had been lessons on this subject, there would be less corruption in high places and the real politicians would have emerged to lead the country without pandering to ethnicity or what was previously called tribalism.

As for the present-day Zimbabwe, the economic horrors which have visited us are a result of the deficiency of a political system that refuses to accept that a political agenda without an economic spine is doomed.

President Robert Mugabe’s slogan, Zimbabwe will never be a colony again, should be translated into Zimbabwe shall never be a basket case again. Zanu PF’s curse has been to put politics before economics.

The indigenisation programme was thought to be the be-all and end-all of our economic problems. As usual, not enough thought had been invested in the people who would run the economy.

The idea that people with only a rudimentary understanding of basic economics could be at the forefront of the economic revival of the country was farcical and remains so to this day.

On the political front, Zanu PF has proved itself to be entirely conical. In the next general elections, it would be a miracle if the party won the election as soundly as it has done in the past.

Even without attempting to insult its leadership, the majority of the people of Zimbabwe are properly fed up with Mugabe’s party.

Its record of corruption is among the dirtiest in Africa.

In the squabbling within the ruling party, it has emerged clearly that this is an organisation unfit to run a country which hopes to be respected by other organisation in the world.

Mugabe himself, apart from displaying symptoms of terminal aging, refuses to accept that the country is sorely in need of youthful leadership.

Unless the younger spectrum of the leadership persuades or forces the old man to leave the rostrum, this country is heading for disaster, both political and economically.

As for the role of his wife in the political sphere, this is entirely unpredictable. Obviously, the best alternative is for the young lady to be persuaded to confine herself to the party’s woman movement.

She ought to leave the nitty-gritty matters of the party to people with the background and guts to handle such matters.

Grace Mugabe may have scored points of some sort during her campaign throughout the country, but she has neither the acumen nor the political savvy to match that of the young men in the party leadership. She has caused enough problems as it is.

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