Isn’t it ironic?


Isn’t it ironic that a person becomes a prime minister for five years, fights bitterly for the advancement of the black nationalist movement, offers land to ex-combatants and ends up being told he is not a citizen of that country?

Isn’t it ironic that a person is born in Zimbabwe, is harassed for supporting the black cause, is forced into exile for this, but at the age of 60, she is told she is not a citizen of that country?

Isn’t it ironic that while father and daughter are not citizens of this country, several primary schools are named after the only person they share, a wife in the case of the father and a mother in the case of the daughter.

This is the sad story of Garfield Todd, the man who made it possible for blacks like Herbert Chitepo and Samuel Parirenyatwa to open chambers and surgeries in the urban areas when they were barred from doing so.

Todd was even appointed a senator by Robert Mugabe when he was still Prime Minister but was stripped of his citizenship shortly before he died.

Todd gave half of his farm to ex-combatants long before the land reform programme had kicked off so that they could uplift their lives.

His daughter, Judith, was considered an outcast by the Ian Smith government because of her pro-black stance and was forced into exile during the Smith regime.

Perhaps her sin is that she has tended to be on the “wrong” side, supporting ZAPU in the run-up to independence and then the Movement for Democratic Change when the party was formed.

The final blow was perhaps her ditching Zimpapers to back the Daily News.

But ironically, while father and daughter are considered outcasts, Grace Todd has a number of schools named after her. Isn’t that ironic?


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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