Reminiscence: me and Zimbabwe

The Christmas season is as good as any to indulge in ‘lite’ nostalgic ruminations and what follows in two parts tells the story of a minor event leading up to the political ascendency of Robert Mugabe. It may also remind us of the toxic influence race/ethnicity could have on the political process; that although other factors such as the invention of the birth control pill in 1957 made a tremendous contribution, of the interrelated but significant part young people of the period played in transforming our social consciousness and since the University of Warwick provides the backdrop for this story, it also allows me to congratulate veteran businessman Yesu Persaud for having the Centre for Caribbean Studies at Warwick renamed after him.

Politics tends to disappoint and like the politics of Robert Mugabe, some thoroughly so. I was a university student at Warwick in the early 1970s, when one could hardly have avoided becoming involved in the general Southern African struggle against racism and for independence. Since then my interest in Zimbabwe has continued even if in disillusionment it later waned. When Mugabe came to government in Zimbabwe in 1980, I thought that justice was finally being done. Needless to say, when he was thrown out a few days ago, I was very happy as in my opinion he took what was a difficult but yet promising socio/political context and made it impossible by transforming it into a corrupt, sordid, grab for power that cost the lives and livelihoods of so many, of even his own people.

From the late 1880s, when Cecil Rhodes’ British South African Company introduced white gold miners into Zimbabwe and turned them into farmers when the mining venture failed, the quarrel between the Europeans and the native Ndebele and Shona peoples began. By 1914, 24,000 white settlers owned just over 19 million acres of the best land while 750,000 Africans occupied just over 21 million acres, including most of the marginal lands. (http://raceand Zimbabwe/faactssheet.html). By independence in 1980, the situation had deteriorated somewhat: Africans who made up 97% of the population owned just under half the total area of arable land, while the rest was controlled by whites who made up only 3% of the population. ( factsheet.html)…..


Sad but not at all surprising

One must have to be a dolt to believe that the treatment at present being meted out to the sugar workers is because the country cannot afford to keep them at work.

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Zimbabwe: a nefarious proposal

In 1972 Julius Nyerere, one of Africa’s iconoclastic leaders, stated that the African position in relation to southern Rhodesia ‘is now, as it has always been, the attainment of independence for Zimbabwe on the basis of majority rule, and under conditions which allow the development of human dignity for all citizens.’ ( uploads/after_the_peace_ commission_1972.pdf).

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Equality: a requirement for justice

Last week two events were reported that deserve some comment. The first had to do with the case between DIPCON Engineering Limited and the Attorney General (AG) of Guyana before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), which the AG, Mr.

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The President: assuaging moral anxieties

About a week after President David Granger made his controversial choice of Justice James Patterson as the chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission, which many viewed as signalling the PNCR’s intention to manipulate future elections, he took to the podium to speak to the North American Chapter of the PNCR in Georgia, USA.

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PPP/C: a massive deficit in leadership

The present political impasse has yet again presented opposition leader Bharrat Jagdeo and the PPP/C with an opportunity to reposition the party as a positive national rather than communal institution.

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