‘Mugabe’s Zim same as Smith’s Rhodesia’

FORMER Education minister David Coltart has claimed that the title of his recently-published book, The Struggle Continues . . . 50 Years of Tyranny, had offended remnants of the Rhodesian era and Zanu PF acolytes after he described both regimes as tyrannical.

Source: ‘Mugabe’s Zim same as Smith’s Rhodesia’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 1, 2016


Coltart told dozens of people who attended the official launch of the book on Wednesday that he had been excoriated by Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo and some Rhodesians after he described both regimes as different faces of the same coin.

“I have been attacked by some Rhodesians and the likes of Jonathan Moyo because of the choice of the title of the book: The Struggle Continues . . . 50 Years of Tyranny. But for me, that is what is more satisfying. The fact that it has evoked emotions is truly gratifying for me personally,” he said.

Coltart’s book — which has evoked mixed reactions from anger to acceptance across the political divide — touches on the emotive Gukurahundi atrocities committed by President Robert Mugabe’s government on predominantly Ndebele-speaking people under the guise of hunting down a handful of armed dissidents and the former Education minister’s role as a young legal practitioner.

“We have not dealt with our past in the best manner possible. White people in Zimbabwe and beyond have not been able to acknowledge that the Rhodesian Front was tyrannical and black Zimbabweans have also found it difficult to accept the fact that the past 36 years have been equally tyrannical,” he said.

“My abiding hope is that this book will inspire other people to write because there is so little in terms of literature on this country. We can interrogate our past in a more constructive way and despite all that has been said, I retain a deep sense of passion for my nation and unquestionable optimism for the future.”

The launch was sponsored by the European Union Delegation to Zimbabwe and Ambassador Phillipe van Damme said he had decided on funding the exercise “despite the fact that it is hot”.

“Some people do not want to relate to the book because of the subjects it touches, but we were inspired. David (Coltart) is an honest man. This is a testimony of an honest person struggling with himself and changing along the course of his life,” Van Damme said.

After initially declaring a policy of reconciliation and racial harmony at independence, Mugabe turned on white people at the turn of the century, accusing them of joining hands with the opposition to effect regime change in Zimbabwe.

Coltart said he had struggled with his own racial demons.

“It is difficult to deal with racism when it is ingrained in you. For me, it took real friendships with people like Cephas Msipa and (the late Chief Justice) Enoch Dumbutshena to get to where I am. I was taught white supremacy and it has been an ongoing struggle which has been hard to deal with. I battled with war experiences and my wife had to deal with my midnight swings,” he said.

Former Midlands governor Msipa, who has turned into an arch-critic of Mgabe’s administration, also attended the event, but declined to describe the government he was once part of as tyrannical.

“I would not say it was tyrannical, but we could have done things in a more civilised way. We still need to change and make sure our people are governed in a more civilised manner,” he said.


  • comment-avatar
    Piankhi 6 years ago

    David Coltart, just one of the maining white devils wanting to sell his book. Why are people being distracted by this coward and thief. There are more important issues to tackle than engage one of the oppressors that benefited off the backs of black Zimbabweans. We can no longer engage a people whose sole purpose was to keep an indigenous population as slaves and servants. This is one the the last shameless white devils making his last stand to profit of our people. If my people are foolish enough to engage or help this devil profit one cent off of fantasies and lies than that is sad. He need to go and lay in a casket and bury himself. Mentally demented demons. 100 year occupiers and nothing is of concern to them but their time. And a very short time at that. Against thousands of years of African culture. Common white trash. Self indulgent to their soulless creation.

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      Jono Austin 6 years ago

      Chip on shoulder much?
      You’re a slave and servant to Mugabe, by the way. And if you’d rather be slave to a black man than a white man, you are differentiating and that makes you a racist ‘black devil’
      And thousands of years of African culture brought you a Mozart symphony. Let’s see, you in your own words had thousands of years of African culture, culminating in what exactly? Let me guess-magnificent universities, art galleries and marble sculptures, bodies of music and opera, castles, libraries of literature, and a rich architectural heritage to name but a few. You are to be congratulated. Common white trash?!! Projecting much? I don’t think I can even pity you because you are so deluded and bitter. That certainly is evident for all to see. The tragedy of course, for you, is that you have to continue running cap in hand to the hated white masters begging for money (look at Chinamasa at the moment) and it rankles so much that you are forever beholden to them. I guess the truth hurts that you are simply incapable of running a country that by all measures should be a paradise due to its rich and abundant natural resources.

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    Joe Cool 6 years ago

    Mr Coltart has numerous issues which I find suspect, although I support his overall sentiments, and I would like to challenge him on them personally. If he would like to respond to this post with his email address, I will contact him with a view to a meeting.

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    zambuko 6 years ago

    Some tyrannies work and some do not. Discuss.

    Political Science 101. University of Zimbabwe.

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    Debating the title of Coltarts’ book is probably futile. One point of difference though, that no-one can dispute, is the conduct of the prison system. Under the Smith government, prisoners had three meals a day, were properly clothed, were exercised, paid, taught skills, and managed their own farm, which was productive and beneficial to the prisoners and the guards.
    Under the Mugabe government, prisoners are dying like flies. Full stop.
    The measure of a civilised nation, or one of the measures if you will, is how a nation deals with its nationals in their prisons.

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    IAN SMITH 6 years ago

    Johannesburg: Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe walked away from a group of journalists in South Africa commenting “I don’t want to see a white man”, television footage showed on Friday.




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    Reverend 6 years ago

    I know Dave, and he is a good moral person but we do disagree on the fact that the Rhodesian government was tyrannical, but that is like many things a matter of opinion, and the difference is that Smith worked for the people where in this present tyrannical regime the people are expected to work for Mugabe and accept his corrupt ways of enriching himself. It is a fact that Smith warned Mugabe in 82 of hi corrupt stealing from the coffers and was fired as Mugabe’s advisor. I find it hard to believe a man who abhors corruption can be called tyrannical. A man, as Prime minister who rides a bike to parliament to be an example to the country in a time of fuel shortage … Tyrannical ?! Look at the present leader in comparison. I rest my case.

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      Kevin 6 years ago

      Reverend, the Rhodesian Front Government was tyrannical. You were obviously not exposed to it and so choose to live in ignorance. My late Mother was an MP from 1958 to 1965 for the UFP and when she stood down to pursue a business career she was banned from appearing on TV. There were atrocities committed by the Rhodesian Government, there were forced removals from land starting right from the beginning of white settlement and reaching a crescendo in the 1940s. I have copies of hansards from this era and they disclose this. After all my late Grandfather was an MP (from the 1940s) and Cabinet Minister in Welenskys Government. I was threatened by the Police and by a Colonel in the military for my anti Rhodesian Front Government stance in the 1960s and 1970s. I elected to leave the country because Smith’s and the Rhodesian Front’s excesses and stupidity gave us Robert Mugabe. I knew David Coltarts Dad and David appears to be a well intentioned man. I might add that my sister is currently and MP for the MDC T.

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        Joe Cool 6 years ago

        Hi Kevin,

        There have been ‘forced removals from land’ throughout history, including that of the San by the Bantu peoples who migrated here around 200-300AD, and this fashionable pastime was only outlawed in international law after the Second World War. So, there is therefore no logic in incorporating it into a debate on Ian Smith’s conduct. Similarly, atrocities are carried out by members all countries in times of war and while Smith’s military carried out some cruel acts, and so did the freedom fighters. Score even, because the conduct employed by homo sapiens in killing one another is outside the realm of moral assessment.

        Smith was an an unintelligent and intransigent man who’s stubbornness inadvertently, led to this country’s current difficulties, but his intentions were sincere, if misguided. Mugabe, on the other hand, is a cynical scheming man obsessed with himself.

        And, after 36 years, there is certainly no evidence yet that Smith’s 1000 year prediction of inability to govern was inaccurate. The fact is that, tyrannical or not, Smith’s objectives now have more adherents than ever before, including many black Zimbabweans.

        As for threats, I’m threatened daily by the police at many of the dozens of roadblocks I encounter and the threats that you received indicate that, in the good old days, well-connected people, as you apparently are, didn’t assist one at all, and that patronage was not alive and well then, as it is now.

        Lastly, being an MP for the MDC-T is really not a good advert, because the reality is that they are no better than Zanu PF in waiting. There are currently no politicians in Zimbabwe who have the interests of Zimbabweans at heart.

        – Just an alternative view.

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    Reverend 6 years ago

    Hey Kevin,
    I reckon Joe added a pretty balanced post and I go along with most of what he said, and yes I was exposed to it all and did 10 years of military service in RR. I also supported MDC-T in past years and was dropped like a hot rock when zpf came to get me. Not one MDC “comrade” came to support me as they took flight for the hills. I don’t hold it against them but my allegiance is with others now and people of high moral standing and men and women of fiber who I trust because of their faith in God. I don’t live in ignorance Kevin, but we may just have a difference of opinion.

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    Zimrealist 6 years ago

    Bottom line, at least Rhodesia was a functioning country with it’s own Industry and currency. And even with the world against it, Rhodesia prospered. Wonder why?.