The print and electronic media was there to give the whites a voice. The few independent newspapers and magazine serving the blacks were expected to help keep law and order by not questioning the blatant racial injustice. And so such publications as Moto, a Roman Catholic Church backed magazine, were harassed and censored by the white regime for publishing strongly held views by blacks. The whites could not tolerate any black person do dared to think for themselves; they were considered radicals and dangerous.
In white ruled Rhodesia, blacks had no meaningful say in the governance of the country. They had no vote; period.
Zimbabwe's independence in 1980 has brought an end to white colonial oppression but only to replace it with black ruling elite oppression. All pretence of Zimbabwe being a multi-party democracy completely evaporated with the signing of the Zanu PF and PF Zapu Unity Accord in 1987; merging the two parties to form the de facto one-party, Zanu PF, dictatorship.
Zanu PF assimilated the laws and practices designed to silence and oppress the blacks, lock, stock and barrel, and keep the white in power; only this time they were to keep the Zanu PF dictatorship in power.
In Zanu PF ruled Zimbabwe, blacks had a vote in theory but not in practice. Starting with the 1980 elections Zanu PF has blatantly cheated and used violence varying from subtle intimidation to beatings, rape and even cold-blooded murder to secure electoral victory. Zimbabwe has never ever held free, fair and credible elections.
The root cause of Zimbabwe's economic mess is the failure to hold free and fair elections. The country has been stuck with a corrupt and incompetent Zanu PF regime for 40 years now. 40 years of gross mismanagement and rampant corruption have left the country in economic ruins and millions are now living in abject poverty.
The economic situation in Zimbabwe has reached alarming levels, unemployment has soared to 90% plus, basic services such as education and health care have all but collapsed. 34% of the population, according to WB 2019 report, were living in extreme poverty. The corona virus pandemic has made the health and economic situation even worse. The human suffering caused by the economic meltdown has become intolerable.
It is extremely annoying therefore that instead of the nation addressing the country's economic mess and the underlying cause of rigged elections the nation being forced to discuss a side show.
"Zanu-PF takes strong exception to being lectured on issues of human rights by citizens of countries which perpetrated the brutalities accompanying the Atlantic African Slave Trade and colonial conquest of Africa, and who refuse to render apologies or pay reparations," said Patrick Chinamasa, Zanu PF's acting spokesperson. "As a consequence of seeking to redress the brutalities that occurred in the colonisation of Zimbabwe, accompanied by dispossession of our land and brutal confiscation of livestock by colonialists, the country has suffered 20 years of naked bullying, economic isolation and severe sanctions regime by the former colonial powers now acting in concert as economic and political powers in support of what they allege are rights of 4 500 white former farmers," he said.
Ordinary Zimbabweans have been calling for the restoration of their basic freedoms and human rights including the right to a meaningful vote and the right to life itself. Of course, they have been crying for freedom, peace, justice and human dignity all their lives; they are at the coal face of Zanu PF oppression just as they were at the coal face of white colonial oppression.
Last month President Cyril Ramaphosa of SA send envoys to Zimbabwe whose mission was to encourage Zanu PF to accept meaningful democratic changes and end the country's worsening economic and political crisis. SA was told in no uncertain terms to mind its own business.
"We are an independent sovereign country. We agreed in our meeting that we are equal sovereign States. South Africa has no mediatory role to play in Zimbabwe. We know that the South African government is controlled by white men," remarked Patrick Chinamasa.
So Zanu PF has completely ignored the ordinary Zimbabweans who have crying for their freedoms and rights because the regime is indifferent to their suffering. And, more significantly, Zanu PF, just like the white colonial regime before it, does not recognise ordinary Zimbabweans as human beings entitled to the same freedoms and rights as other human being.
"That at the time of abolition of the Atlantic African slave trade the British through the British Parliament approved and paid 20 million pounds to slave owners already rich through the labour of the slaves," concluded Chinamasa.
This is just madness! And so, ordinary Zimbabweans be denied their basic freedoms and rights because the British compensated the slave owners but not the slaves. What has that got to do with me?
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