Sunday, April 24, 2011

Zimbabwe: What Might Have Been

Sometimes I wonder what would have been had "good eggs" like Garfield Todd and Edgar Whitehead managed to stay the course. They were enlightened fellows, well ahead of their time and they represented all that was best of the Colonial British. With Harold MacMillan's "Winds of Change" blowing, the then colony of Southern Rhodesia might have acquiesced to black, majority rule like all the other European colonies (barring South Africa and the Portuguese colonies). We could have had the upper orders of the colonial British co-managing the country with the best orders of the indigenous Africans. I'm thinking here of people like Joshua Nkomo or even urban professionals like Dr. Silas Mundawarara. We would have had no Liberation War, and therefore no war Veterans to deal with. Instead -- like in Zambia or Malawi -- independence would have been negotiated, with no shedding of blood.

With decent, enlightened, economic policies our country could have been an "African New Zealand" on the Southern African highveld, with living standards to match. Sadly, that was never meant to be. Instead, the lower orders of the Colonial British upended the political tray and had their man, Ian Smith, to represent them. These mechanics, hairdressers and all the rest of the sundry hordes who had been flushed out of the gutter of Great Britain, and banished to the tropics, were never going to acquiesce to black majority rule. "Not in a thousand years" was there supposed to be majority, black rule, so said Smithy.

Well, any extreme action always produces an extreme reaction. Since enlightened racial co-existence, and mutual, economic development was now impossible, we had to wage a guerrilla war to expel these barbarians from our midst. And we're now paying for that short-sightedness and lack of foresight by those "Petit-Blancs" who had managed to worm their way into power. Instead of a multi-racial, thriving country under the management of an enlightened, technocratic, elite, we're now being held to ransom by the last remnants of a guerrilla army. Lord help us.


dernali said...

Indeed extreme actions produce extreme reactions. My greatest fear is that the people being held hostage have now taken on characteristics similar to those holding them hostage..God save us all...

James Chikonamombe said...

Thanks for the comment. Where all this will end, no-one knows. I've long since abandoned any hope for a reasonable end to the Zimbabwean debacle.