By Noah Manyika
I have driven to many parts of the country and seen many once thriving farms in complete ruin, most of them owned by prominent government leaders or people connected to them.
The idea that in 2019 there are thugs still defying court orders and evicting farmers like Gary and Jo Hensman on purely racial grounds while the police look on tells us why it is important to disabuse ourselves of the delusion that Eddie Cross’ presence on some RBZ committee, or Kirsty Coventry’s inclusion in cabinet is all the proof minorities need that E.D. and Zanu(PF) have changed.
Shortly after the coup, E.D organized a meeting with the White community. Many came back from it completely besotted and donning the scarf. They had found the best protector of their interests, his 37-year record notwithstanding.
It did not seem to matter that this was the same man who oversaw Mugabe’s instruments of repression as Chairman of the Joint Operations Command for decades. It was lost on them that the same instruments of repression that had brutalized many innocent Zimbabweans, including farmers some of whom had lost not just their property but their lives, had finally brought Zimbabwe’s most feared men to the throne.
In the euphoria of the toppling of Robert Mugabe, I heard many who had been sympathetic to our cause say it was over. ED was the best guarantor of stability and their safety. After all, Catriona Laing said so.
All of a sudden, the simple and obvious truth that the best protection for the interests of those in the minority was not going to be found in E.D’s private promises to them, but the wholesale reforms that would ensure everyone was treated the same under the law, became a relationship breaker.
We can only bring our nightmare to an end when we seek the protection of everyone’s interests. Make no mistake about it, the same government that will shoot innocent citizens exercising their constitutional right to protest will turn a blind eye on the eviction of a white farmer from his land.
The same government that will raid an escrow account jeopardizing billion dollar projects funded by the Chinese will not hesitate to raid individual and corporate FCAs.
The same government that will let people die in hospitals rather than address the legitimate demands of the striking doctors will allow vendors to be beaten and stripped of their wares.
Their incompetence and corruption will affect us all. Today the security services might celebrate getting the biggest chunk from the National Budget, but at our rate of decline, history shall soon repeat itself and we shall once again see Zimbabwean trillionaires living in abject poverty.
In the English language, a palindrome is a word that reads the same backwards and forwards. Allow me to leave you with somewhat of a palindromatic truth that can only lead to our total emancipation if we apply it both ways: The oppressor of the minority can never be the best guarantor for majority interests. The oppressor of the majority can never be the best guarantor for minority interests. We must be all in in this together.
Is there not a cause?
Dr Noah Manyika is a Zimbabwean political leader