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Zimbabwe: Symptoms and causes – returning ex-Zim farmer takes on Eddie Cross

Zimbabwe banksCAPE TOWN — If you thought that Zimbabwe is neatly and racially divided into victors and victims, the rulers and the vanquished, think again. David Jesse, who like thousands of other mainly white farmers, has been ploughing foreign fields for years, now intends returning to his homeland. He has a far more hopeful, progressive idea of what is required and provides historical reasons for why Mugabe behaved the way he did – and more specifically why holding onto old wounds and blaming will get Zimbabwe nowhere. He confronts Zimbabwean opposition MP Eddie Cross, whose contribution to Biznews on Monday painted the hawkish new President Emmerson Mnangagwa, as a massive disappointment, with more of the same expected from Zanu PF. Jesse says Cross’s views belong to a bygone colonial era, ‘When-we’s’ who resort to nostalgia, unable to adapt to a country run by black people for black people. He considers himself a native of Zimbabwe, willing to live side by side with the majority black population, supporting one another, rebuilding. It goes to trust and reconciliation, with a potentially similar situation imminent here, (except for the means of take-over). Ramaphosa trying to reverse Zuma’s mess is another intra-party scenario that would put us in a similar, albeit slightly more democratic, position. – Chris Bateman

By David Jesse*

As strange as it may seem, not all ‘Rhodesians’ are anti-ZANU PF or anti-Mugabe.

The question that always has to be asked is: Mugabe, the symptom or the cause?

Clearly, Mugabe was not the cause, but only a symptom of radical British oppression; the cause. His a reaction to Colonial action.

It is common cause that Garfield Todd, the then Rhodesian Prime Minister agreed to an inclusive government, which would have ended all oppression and all future conflict; but he was then impeached and Ian Smith and the RF took up the cudgel of radical racism and enslaved a nation and dispossessed them of their dignity and all material birthright, namely ‘land.’

Emmerson Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe’s president elect, center, and his wife, Auxilia Mnangagwa, acknowledge the crowd as they arrive for his presidential inauguration ceremony at the National Sport Stadium in Harare, Zimbabwe, on Friday, Nov. 24, 2017. Source: Bloomberg

Some of us, whites, loved Mugabe for his liberation and an end to the war and a semblance of equality. His policies, however, did not go far enough and the colonials believed they were indispensable and were rapidly brought down to earth with Mugabe’s eventual land seizures. It was and always will be their fault, not Mugabe and not ZANU PF.

The answer doesn’t lie in Morgan Tsvangirai nor any of the opposition and commentary from persons like Eddie Cross is so indeterminably idiotic as to be ignored.

The white era is gone. The Colonial era is gone. God forbid it were to ever gain a foothold, again. It is a black country, run by black people, for black people, and it shouldn’t be anything else.

For us white Zimbabweans who consider ourselves Africans, there is a place in Zimbabwe, besides our black brothers. It does not require dispossessing black owners or smallholders, it requires fitting in amongst them and rebuilding our economy together. There remains one peremptory rule: NO COLONIALS!

If Morgan Tsvangirai gets into power with his cronies Coltart (and Cross?) whites of a bygone era, Zimbabwe is doomed. It will be more idiocy.

The great majority of the whites who left now to ‘Rhodesia’ websites or army websites like RLI and who spend their downtime reliving the war, playing soldiers and talking about white colonialism. We don’t want them back, ever. The countries that now have them, are welcome to them.

That Mugabe became a rapacious despot, drunk on power, is there for all to see. The finger shaking by ZANU PF detractors is imbecilic.

Read also: Tendai Biti: Zim’s land question must end, time to compensate white farmers

Mugabe gave Zimbabwe freedom from colonial oppression and he tolerated colonial arrogance until it became apparent that they would never change and adopt a spirit of reconciliation and instead continued in their mistaken arrogance of infallibility.

What Zimbabwe now requires is a ‘born free’ government unshackled by the past and willing to embrace the future from all sides, to serve the people and benefit all the people, which includes the Ndebele and Matabeleland.

The dinosaurs from a bygone era, stay away, you are unwelcome and will be run out. Those of you who want to embrace a truly multiracial democratic country which is free of oppression – come home and help rebuild.

  • David Jesse, Farm SC 6, Hazyview, RSA, (returning to Zim next month). 
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