Response re: Zimbabwe
In 1980 I was in Lesotho, in southern Africa, teaching science at a rural boarding school. Everyone, both staff and students were following the events unfolding in Zimbabwe that April. On the 18th, Transkei's Capital Radio announced Rhodesia was no more. It was Zimbabwe now, the worlds newest nation. We thought it meant an end to oppression, an end to war. We rejoiced.
There was a Shona girl in my O level biology class. She was very tall, muscular with crooked teeth and a brooding air of competence about her. After school that day she told me she was leaving to go back to Zimbabwe. I was happy for her and I asked what she'd do when she got home. "Kill some Ndebele," she said. I saw the country's future in her eyes. Hatred, tribalism, blood hunger. And so it came to be.
I don't know what happened to her after she left Lesotho, but I'm sure of one thing: She killed some Ndebele.
Mike Fearon of Annapolis Royal NS comments as well:
You, like the rest of CBC, swallow Mugabe's propaganda to the effect that he led the resistance to Ian Smith's racist regime in Zimbabwe. The resistance was in fact led by Joshua N'Komo, a man with a presence like that of Nelson Mandela. At the time Mugabe was just a thug, as he still is. He used the same techniques as he does now to rid himself of Joshua N'Komo. I suggest that you ask Nelson Mandela to tell you what he Knows about Joshua N'Komo.
Michel Mondou of Ste--Claire, Quebec adds his experience
Back in 1985, 5 years after independance, I was a French Canadian teacher, teaching economics in Masvingo (Fort Victoria) in the southern part of Zimbabwe.
It was still very difficult for people living in Ndebeleland. Many times, I wanted to go to Bulawayo but most convoys were blown up midway and it was too dangerous to go. But, in 1985, it was not easier even for people living in Mashonaland.
It was during the propaganda for the one party state and threats and killings were common for any Shona who was too soft to join the Zanu PF party, including expatriates. I have been at gunpoint a few times during my stay because I proclaimed that I am Canadian and not involved in local politics. Shonas were not as lucky as I was. Even for Shonas, it was a difficult time.
Categories: Africa, Your Dispatches
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