Racist Rantings of a Senile Old Man
Just this past week one of the old guard of Zanu PF, Didymus Mutasa,
statement about the remaining white farmers who somehow have survived
agricultural holocaust launched by Zanu PF in 2000. He said far from
considering allowing white farmers to come back and occupy their farms
leasehold arrangements, the State was bent on taking all land from
We have about 600 of the former large scale commercial farmers still
farming - many are dairy farmers where they still provide 90 per cent
output of the industry, for some reason dairy farming is not an
option for the thugs in Zanu PF. Someone once said that to be a success
dairy farming you have to love your cows - that may be a problem for
PF, hate cows, that is another matter - that comes naturally! There are
or so large scale tobacco farmers trying to stay in the industry and
year they will grow 35 000 tonnes out of the 50 000 tonnes of tobacco
expected to be grown and marketed.
The old guard of Zanu PF - the equivalent in Zimbabwean terms of the
"survivors of the long march" in Mau Tse Tung's China - are now a
elderly minority in the Party - still in control because of the
position and influence and power, but now on their way out. Mutasa is
those and is a particularly nasty bit of work. Right now he runs both
CIO and the Lands portfolio and of late has become a euro phobic racist
the worst kind.
This is a strange turn of events because there is no one in Zanu PF who
more to the former liberal white minority who fought Ian Smith and the
Rhodesian Front all those years ago, than Mutasa. He was very much the
protegee of Guy Clutton Brock who was a thorn in the side of the old
Rhodesian government and who worked all his life for the rights of the
majority. Now Mutasa is probably a worse racist that the men and women
ran the Rhodesian government 50 years ago when he was just a young man
growing up outside the capital city of Salisbury.
He is also not a very nice man in his personal life - he has prospered
Zanu PF patronage like all the others, lives a life of comparative
and knows no shortages. I traveled with the man on a flight to Europe
late 80's and was disgusted at his behavior even then. His behavior on
plane was no advert for the government he represented.
African governments and human rights movements must acknowledge this
of the recent activities of the Zanu PF regime in Harare. I am one who
spent his whole life fighting racism in this country. I suffered for it
under the Smith government and lost many good friends as a result
community. My family also made sacrifices for our stand. Now I see no
why we should stand by and be silent when those who have benefited from
struggles of the 20th Century espouse the very evils we fought against
the 60's across the world. Black racism against whites in Africa is no
acceptable than white racism in Europe or the USA against the
Mutasa also made a racist remark about the whites in the MDC - there
few of us, no more than a couple of hundred in a membership that runs
million. But Zanu PF continues to claim that we "run the MDC". Nothing
be further from the truth; we sometimes wished we had a little more
influence. But we are in the MDC because we are committed to the
on which the Party was founded and we find a home in the MDC as white
Africans, which was never offered to us by Zanu PF. In his statement
called us "Mabhunu", a derogatory term that has come down from the days
the Boer farmers. If I was to use a similar term to describe him I am
would find myself on the receiving end as a "racist".
The truth of the matter is that white Africans like myself have a right
be accepted as just ordinary citizens in African States. Regimes like
one that is in power here have no right to deny us that - it is our
birthright or our right as adopted citizens. If that were not so then
should we demand the reciprocal rights of black migrants and their
in their own adopted countries?
It is also true that without security over assets no economic progress
possible. The question of title rights is not something to be protected
special agreements between countries on a bilateral basis but rather by
State as an obligation to its productive citizens. By denying white
those rights, the Zanu PF regime has undermined the rights of all
including the 800 000 small scale peasant farmers in Communal areas and
25 000 black commercial farmers on freehold land. That is why output
collapsed not only in the sectors previously dominated by large-scale
farmers but across the board.
The same principles apply to mining rights, to industrial assets and to
private homes. If you deny these rights on a racial basis to anyone,
deny them to all. Any attacks on private property are an attack on all
private property and will therefore constrain investment and savings
encourage capital flight. Most of the latter is no longer generated by
fleeing white and Asian minorities but by black Zimbabweans who see no
future for themselves or their families in a Zimbabwe governed by a
destructive Zanu PF minority government.
I think we can brush aside the remarks by Mutasa as the rantings of an
of date racist who will soon just be a bad memory. In the past month
have become so much worse here - shortages of food, fuel and
crippling our ability to continue to operate. The regime simply has no
as to what to do to halt and reverse the decline because anything they
will create the conditions they fear most.
Inflation in January went over 1000 per cent against January 2005 and
no signs of slackening. At this pace soon, no one will be able to cope
changes will start to come. When that does, a trickle will soon become
flood and will wash away all the debris we have accumulated over the
years. It was like that in South Africa, it will be no different here.
Hopefully we can then start to rebuild our lives and our country.
Bulawayo, 12th February 2006.