Letters 13-7-06

We are not tribalists
EDITOR - We wish to raise our concern on the reports and insults that have been peddled on CAJ news and reprinted in your newspaper on our organisation and the Ndebele people in general.
For the last 26 years the people of Matebeleland have had the wo

rst treatment coming from the genocidal Mugabe Regime. We are deeply saddened by reports based on rumours, half-truths, lies and forged documents.
It is mischief on the part of journalists not to seek our comment since we disassociated ourselves from any form of tribalism during the Umdala Wethu Gala. None of the reports are based on comments from our office bearers.
While we note that Mugabe has excluded Ndebele people from the mainstream economic and political activities we do not take kindly to stereotypes that Ndebele people are uneducated as reported by CAJ news on Friday June 30.
Such kinds of treatment by media vindicates our position that the rights of the Ndebele as a minority group are being trampled upon hence the need to advocate for a free society in Zimbabwe where people are not judged by their village of origin but by their qualities.
How on earth could a self-respecting news agency concentrate on tribalism, ignoring the overwhelming success of the Gala where Zimbabweans rekindled their quest for freedom which is the hallmark of Joshua Nkomo’s legacy.
The Nkomo commemoration brought the two warring factions of the MDC to share a platform when Nqabutho Dube and Sox Chikowero represented their different
factions. I think this was an achievement! What does CAJ news think?
Africa is in turmoil today in the DRC, Uganda and Sudan because of group of individuals who mistakenly think by virtue of their numerical superiority and access to resources they are ordained to speak and act on behalf of others.
As Mthwakazi Forum we wish to give a platform to Zimbabweans to chat a way forward in pursuit of their freedom and democracy.
Mlamuli Mhlaba Nkomo, Director, Mthwakazi Forum, SA

Mapfumo – ever inspiring
EDITOR – I would like to thank Thomas Mapfumo for his “all season” music. His music is ever inspiring to the suffering Zimbabwean masses. During the colonial era he fearlessly stood against oppression and a lot found solace and inspiration from his songs. After attaining what we believed was independence, he helped us celebrate by such songs as CHITIMA CHERUSUNUNGUKO. That time no doubt everyone hoped rosier times were beginning to unfold. With the passage of time and the Zanu (PF) government beginning to show its true colours, he came up with timely hits like CORRUPTION. And since then he has refused to be cowed into toeing the party line and has never sung praises were there were not due. He has steadfastly maintained his true revolutionary spirit. Listening to his song “Vanoita Sevanokudai” one cannot help but get a clearer picture of the relationship between Mugabe and his ministers. MAGOBO sums up the daily struggle by the masses for survival in very difficult circumstances. I hope in the near future we will dance to his song PIDIGORI after the fall of the current dictatorship. Dr Mapfumo is one person I think should finally rest at The National Heroes Acre, although I also believe that those who have polluted the national shrine must be exhumed should an accountable government take over.

People Power does work
EDITOR – Because of total mismanagement of the country by our leaders we are now in an extremely critical state, with, among other things, erratic to zero fuel supplies, an inflation rate topping the 1200% mark, unemployment at over 80% and the Zimkwacha losing value daily, even over the Mozambican metical. What are we to do?
The ballot-box doesn’t work, dialogue doesn’t work, international pressure doesn’t work, so let’s get up on our hind legs and show that people power does work.
Those who have ridden roughshod over us for so many years, murdering, raping and looting with impunity, cannot be left to go free in a post-Zanu (PF) Zimbabwe under the auspices of the United Nations – this would be condoning grand larceny and murder, but to name a few crimes committed in tenure of office. Exchanging a return to sanity for amnesty should not be an option – the guilty must be punished, no matter who they may be.
The leader of the pack hates failure at whatever he does; I’m afraid, my friend, you have failed dismally to manage what was once a pristine country with everything going for it. You have failed the people; you are a failure and will leave behind a legacy of ruin. What a shame for your family and totem (if you have one). You fulfilled a very small part of your dream by getting rid of a few Whites. I wonder what it’ll be like going to the grave a non-achiever?
TAYLOR, Manicaland

We need 2 Heroes Acres
EDITOR – Your 15-21 June edition under the headline “Jokonya threatens the media” reported him as saying traitors would die: “The end of traitors is death”. Well, it has happened.
Unfortunately, he was unable to distinguish Zimbabwe from Zanu (PF) and was terrified of alternative opinions which opposed his prostituted totalitarian force-feeding.
(The Voice seems to have met a traitor’s end as well.) He was a Hero, which he never was in life. Those who opposed him often were. We need two Heroes’ Acres: one for Zimbabwe and one for Zanu (PF).
His prophecy reminds of his boss’s threats to people power advocates .Nowhere has that led to violence. 99% of violence in Zimbabwe since the Gukurahundi pogrom has been perpetrated by supporters of the government. If the opposition decides to operate outside the forbidden areas of state media and police-enforced invisibility.

Wake up Britain
EDITOR – “Wake up, Britain, it’s pay-back time” had its omissions, half truths and errors. Anyhow, it’s a little late!
Britain did not capture a “number” of “magnificent countries” because of the ruthlessness of Rhodes. He had nothing to do with Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana, Malawi becoming British , or South Africa for a few years; he died, having lost power, just after the start of the Anglo-Boer War, and in a decade S A was independent. The Boers had been the liberal world’s heroes -Britain should pay them back, as Mashonaland should pay Matabeleland for the Gukurahundi Pogrom…etc.
What is now Zimbabwe (roughly) wasn’t a ‘magnificent’ country, except for its animals. Not a good word has ever been said about the Matabele Ascendancy of 50+ years. When Lobengula died only a few “Zimbabweans” mourned. The Mfecane had spread nastiness up to Nyasaland. I recall a letter in the “Bulawayo Comical”, which congratulated “indigenous” Zimbabweans on making room for these refugees fleeing Tshaka. It was actually ethnic cleansing. Oddly the Ndebele are now called Indigenous. Are Turks in Germany?
The population was about one to a square kilometre. By 1980 (in 90 years) it had multiplied by about 40 times. (France’s at that rate would have doubled China’s.)
At least twice in the early 70’s the UN put S Rhodesia top. Yet the missionary Moffat once reported that he had travelled 100 miles without seeing one human being.
Peti Nyemba is right about Rhodesia’s magnificent civil service, efficient and, of course, incorruptible. It was dismantled in1980 when whites were told by the PM that they had no chance ever of promotion. Corruption wasn’t mentioned before 1980. Soon it showed itself in the theft of vets’ pay, the BCCI, the Sandura Commission, etc.
Pioneers had expected gold; disappointed, they introduced farming – Africa’s best.
In the 80’s, of course, the new regime spent all its money on education and health, but by Marxist folly destroyed industry and the economy, so by 1990 we were in the hands of the IMF. Well, you know the rest…

Violence deplored
EDITOR – I read with great sadness reports of the attack on Harare North Member of Parliament, Honourable Trudy Stevenson, Linos Mushonga, Simangele Manyere and Others by youth suspected to be loyal to the MDC.
I want to thank the MDC leadership for the commitment they have demonstrated by quickly appointing a commission of inquiry, a commission made up of people outside the party structures. This is the first time in Zimbabwean politics I have heard a commission composed of lawyers who are not senior officials in a political party being appointed to investigate an incident involving violence.
While officials from Honourable Trudy Stevenson’s party have been quick to accuse the MDC President on this latest incident, it is quite sad to recall that when some MDC activists were equally seriously injured in Bulawayo by youth suspected to belong to the Professor Mutambara lead party, we didn’t hear that party’s leadership blame the incident in the same manner as has been expressed by MDC officials. Not only have they condemned the act, but a commission of inquiry comprising a lawyer from the Zimbabwe Human Rights Lawyers Association has been put in place to investigate the incident.
I am also happy that ZIMCET will also investigate the incident. Any claims by anybody that the MDC tolerates violence is therefore very unfortunate, especially juxtaposed to the deafening silence by the same officials when MDC activists were attacked in similar fashion in Bulawayo, and when President Tsvangirai narrowly escaped an attack by people suspected to be activists of the Professor Mutambara-led party.
Whoever the culprits are, and whichever party they belong to, they should be brought to book. If they are found to be members of the MDC, then the party should deal with them accordingly.
For peace and stability, all political parties are encouraged to discourage their youths from violent activity, and to condemn acts of violence, even when they could have been carried out by their own activists.
I wish them all a speedy recovery.

Behave, or go home
EDITOR – I am appalled to read in the D/Mail of 6th July of the behaviour of the Zim
student Dexter Hungwa from Abbey Manor College in Lewisham, who assaulted his headteacher on being asked to close a door. The lady suffered facial injuries in the violent attack.
His actions may be regarded as normal back where he came from today, he would
do well to remember that there are rules to live by in UK. An apology from his mother would be more apt than the excuses she offered the press. He should behave or go back “home”.

Britain gained most
EDITOR – I agree with Peti Nyemba that the African continent and its people should have been allowed to develop naturally, at their own pace and following their own proven way of life.
Today, Mugabe has been clever enough to exploit the race card and jump into the international ‘no man’s land’ where black cannot be questioned or brought to justice. However, I believe that even the uncontrolled violence and corruption that is encapsulated within Mugabe and Zimbabwe today is a result of Britain’s hasty and poorly planned retreat from the country.
Sadly, the old British pensioners are still waiting for Lord Carrington’s promises to safeguard their pensions and civil rights, to be fulfilled.
The truth is that Britain is the prime culprit where the collapse of Zimbabwe is concerned. Britain gained the most benefits out of the country – therefore Britain should pay the price of retribution and restoration.
SJ, Brixton

Smart sanctions
EDITOR – Apart from smart sanctions against the Politburo, etc., here is a complete list of sanctions against Zimbabwe:
Of course, firms and people shun a failed state and tyranny, but that’s their choice, not sanctions. As with North Korea also.

No dream of returning
EDITOR – Like Jackie Robinson (The Zimbabwean 29 June – 5 July) I also left my
homeland two years ago. Unlike her I know who to blame. She has the great advantage of the resilience of youth and she will adjust and adapt to life so much quicker. At my age trying to adjust to a culture which, although of my forefathers, is so alien and whose standards, principles, behaviour and ‘socialising’ are so very different are, to say
the least, very difficult for me and it is slow going.
The life I knew in Zimbabwe is dead and gone and I mourn it’s passing but I appreciate and am very grateful for what I have here – so much more and better than ‘back home’. Although I yearn for my ‘home’ I do not dream of returning – I know I never will. If everything miraculously ‘came right’ it would take decades to get the country back to what it was like even at the end of the UDI war!
S.I.R-Behn, (a lot older than 14!) Scotland

Where is our moral fibre?
EDITOR – What is it about Zimbabweans that takes them so long to make a decision? Ever since I can remember, it has been a case of “let’s wait and see”. Now we’ve waited so long we can hardly see a way forward.
In days gone by, if inflation hit 15-or-so% more than GDP (in Zimbabwe’s case probably just about zero!), there was unrest – now we’re in excess of 1,000% inflation and still we just whine – where is our moral fibre? Our gangster government just walks roughshod over us, and like happy whores we just roll over and take it. We seem to think that the UN will maybe solve our woes, or Britain, or China or the United States – but it is only us who can get ourselves out of the mess we’ve put ourselves in.
So what if 30,000 of us die in the process? Those 30,000 will save the remaining 12-odd million – and we’ll bring attention to ourselves, because the lily-livered “free world” only takes cognisance when thousands are killed, not only a few hundred, as is the case in Zimbabwe. Plus we’ve got no oil, so the West couldn’t give a damn for us.
The only way out as I see it is, like the majority of African states, we need a good old-fashioned bit of civil strife. And all you cowards in the diaspora, come back and shout the odds from your home turf instead of from the safety of faraway shores.
TAYLOR, Manicaland

All forced to be middle-men
EDITOR – We wish that the country would go back to the old days where you would be rewarded even if you did not have any qualifications. My father only had a grade seven education, but he managed to get a clerical job which enabled him to buy a house and send us three children to a good boarding school. We spent two years at that school, this is something you can only achieve today with the help of someone in the diaspora.
During this time the art of being a middle-man commodity broker was a sophisticated job, today almost everyone is forced into this role. The life we lead is not good at all. We spend the whole day at our official work places and after work, or in our lunch times we try and sell goods to make ends meet. On the weekends we go across the Limpopo and even fake sick leave as a way of getting by.
We no longer have time to visit relatives and friends and are often unable to go to funerals because we are only worried about where our next meal is coming from. If we do visit someone it is for strategic reasons, perhaps he can buy what you are selling or perhaps he has something to sell which you need. How do those who have not mastered the art of the middle-man survive?
It is now a laughable matter to keep your savings in Zim dollars. Are these the benefits of black empowerment? You can change this situation if you really want to, where there is a will, there is a way.

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