Stupid black men- Chapter One


After reading Michael Moore’s book : Stupid White men, I felt I could write a similar book entitled Stupid black men. Where he wrote an open letter to former United States President George Bush junior, I felt I would write an open letter to President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, president of my own country.

My letter would go like this:

Your excellence, at 87 and after 31 years in power, I believe that it is now time you handed the baton over to someone else? I know a lot of people – the British, the Americans, and all the gay gangsters- want you to go. Don’t listen to them. They did not elect you in the first place.

We did. And it is us, your fellow Zimbabweans, your loyal admirers that are asking you in good faith and for the love of our country- the most beautiful country on earth otherwise all these foreigners would not be making so much noise about it-who are asking you to retire.

And the reason is not because you have overstayed or all the other reasons people give. It is simply that we would like you write your memoirs and you can’t do that while in office because you won’t have the time.

You see, I personally admire you for what you have done for our country. I know that like any other human being you have made some serious errors of judgment, but that it only human. These can all be forgiven if you retire while people still have some good memories about what you did -liberating us from colonial rule, raising the standard of education in the country, bringing land to the people and now indigenisation.

Well there were mistakes here and there but these can be corrected by your successor. What is most important is that you delivered. I know most people might not believe it but very few would have managed to deliver land. But you did. You have done your part. Leave others to finish the job.

As one of those who was born and grew up in the then Rhodesia, I am quite interested in your memoirs because I think they will shed a lot of light on issues that have been clouded throughout history.

I was complaining the other day to one of my mentors Saul Gwakuba Ndlovu, who I believe you know quite well, that your and his generation which knows Zimbabwe’s history first hand are dying without writing the true history of our country. Stories have been told but by third parties whose motives I am not even sure of and whose interests I believe you would not share.

You see, I believe that your memoirs could shed light on how Samuel Parirenyatwa, for example, died. You have already named the country’s biggest hospital after him but most people, I in particular, still do not know how he died except the distorted reports I have read.

I would love to hear from you how Herbert Chitepo died. Some Rhodesians have claimed they did it to stop or derail the liberation struggle while others say this was a struggle within a struggle in the Zimbabwe African National Union as it was then known. I think you know the truth.

I believe you could also answer the question as to how Josiah Tongogara died so close to our independence. You know, Zimbabweans are so fond of gossip that they tend to believe rumours more than the truth. You could tell us the truth since you were the commander-in-chief of the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army.

There have been too many theories about Gukurahundi. What sparked it? Was it a purge of ZAPU or there were genuine coup plotters who wanted to destroy our believed country at so early a stage in our independence. Some people are even calling it genocide. I believe you could tell us in your memoirs what really happened and why you found it necessary to deploy Five Brigade into the area.

The same applies to our intervention in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Did we simply go there to help a friend or was there more to it. Did we really fund the war or our loyal friend Kabila, senior or junior, paid the expenses for our soldiers.

Of course you are the only person who can truly tell us why you delayed implementing the fast track-land reform. You have some admirers, including myself. I do not want a farm and have not benefitted but I believe this was a necessary exercise. Perhaps you could explain why you did it the way you did it, spoiling your good name in the process.

Then there is Operation Murambatsvina. You see, people underestimate how you have managed to maintain standards in Zimbabwe. Was it simply meant to maintain standards or as some of your enemies claim this was political. You wanted to get rid of Movement for Democratic Change supporters.

But why? You had already won a two-thirds majority in Parliament? I know you are a man of principles and having lived in Highfields and still owning a house there I do not believe you could have been that vindictive.

I would also like to read about your personal life. You see, you have been an industry – a money-spinning industry though most of the money is not coming to you. Some say you already have enough. Whenever I visit a bookshop, especially in South Africa, there are shelves full of books about you and most of them to be honest are not in good taste and I believe they are based on research from material that was itself never corroborated.

It seems when it comes to you anyone can write anything. Sorry, your excellence, come to think of it, I may be doing the same thing right now. Of course some of the people interviewed you and some had dinner with you, but I believe something coming from you would be very enlightening.

I would like to know for example how you met Sally, your first wife, and what influence she had on your life. Some people claim that she was a good influence. Zimbabwe would not have gone the way it went if she had lived they claim. Some even say you would have long retired from politics if she had lived. Toying around with theories is very interesting, but you could set the record straight.

I would particularly want to know how you met Grace. More importantly I would love to know why you chose her when I understand- these could just be rumours to tarnish your image- that she was already married and had a son. The reason why I would want to know why you chose her is that I am told there were other girls in your office who were just waiting for you to flick a finger and they were very available. People talk. They even claim that some have never given up on you and are still waiting.

Sorry for getting side-tracked your excellence. It’s just that people want to know about other people’s sex lives yet this has nothing to do with them at all. But I must admit, it sells.

Back to serious business, I would love to hear your side of the story about how you left Zimbabwe for Mozambique and how you rose to lead ZANU. I would love to know how you survived the battles within ZANU while still in Mozambique and how you survived the Rhodesians on your return to become the country’s first Prime Minister. I remember that there were several attempts on your life at Quorn Avenue and in Masvingo just to name a few.

I would love to know, in your own words how you outwitted your polical challengers- the Eddison Zvobgos, the Solomon Mujurus, the Emmerson Mnangagwas. Looking back from stories published and your own words when the party drafted the leadership code, I did not believe you would survive beyond 1990,but we are now in 2011.

And it looks if you were to live longer, you could lead that party forever. How do you do it? This would be a very good lesson on political survival. I am told your arch enemy former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was so devastated by your continued survival that he did not want to hear your name at 10 Downing Street.

It would be a pity if you were to pass on before you told us how you survived these battles. I, like most of my colleagues, had written you off after the 2008 election results. How did you really survive, a lot of people would love to know that.

You see, your excellence, your life is so rich. We need answers to all these questions. And you are the only person who can provide the answers. My very good friend George Charamba has tried his best. The brilliant Jonathan Moyo is back and is trying his best. But they are not you. We want the answers from you and when I say we, I mean Zimbabweans all over the world.

I have to admit your excellence that though a lot of people want you to retire, they love to read about you. Check on Google. You are a best -seller and your memoirs would definitely be a best seller. As a publisher, I would love to publish them myself. That would not only put me on the map, but would also make me an instant millionaire. I am not joking your excellence. I really would love to publish your memoirs, if only you could get time to write them and of course give me the right to publish them.

I remain your humble servant.


To be continued- Watch this space


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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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