PROGRESSIVE minds from across the globe will, by now, be seized with the fact that attempts by the opposition to foment politically motivated violence are firmly rooted in the old-age agenda of Cecil John Rhodes and Ian Douglas Smith of halting black people’s march towards total control of their land and natural resources.
Both Rhodes and Smith never hesitated to perpetrate violence on innocent citizens of this country in their rabid bid to control the means of production.
The appalling ghosts of this duo are being awakened by their inept protégés who are planning to unleash violence in the run-up to the 2023 harmonised elections.
As has been the case in the past, where the opposition has orchestrated violence in the country, thereby causing acrimonious divisions among the citizens, the intrusive hand of the crumbling West can never be concealed in the unfolding drama.
We are fully aware of huge amounts of money that are being offered by Western embassies, particularly the UK and the US, to train Zimbabwean youths to perpetrate violence ahead of the 2023 polls.
If they have not learnt that the State, this time around, means business, they should look no further than the beleaguered Job Sikhala’s ongoing case in the courts.
And the celebrations that have been taking place under the purported cover of darkness by some senior CCC officials over the bellicose Sikhala’s incarceration should serve as a timely reminder to those unruly youths that their leaders are no more than opportunists who are merely relying on some stroke of luck to have a chance at the throne.
They will, however, never get any closer to 1 Chancellor Avenue and they are fully aware that theirs is a wild goose chase that will be halted by the ballot come August 1 2023.
We will, for once, warn the pugnacious Tendai Biti that his colleagues are coming after him with all their might.
They too want him arrested to pave the way for the CCC that Nelson Chamisa, not the people, wants to ‘build’.
This is a party that has done little to mask its ideological bankrupcy when it comes to the interests of the majority.
It is a party bereft of ideas to take the country forward, hence their calling Smith’s ‘prowess’ unrivalled.
By also invoking Rhodes, they have made themselves a complete package of useless pretenders to the throne drawing inspiration from violent activities of their vile white ‘heroes’.
But they will be stopped in their tracks.
A missed point, especially by those in the opposition, is that by embarking on violence, they are following, to the letter and spirit, their ‘heroes’ template.
Let us look, for example, at how their beloved Rhodes used all his resources to violently and cruelly subdue the indigenes.
We will borrow heavily from William Beinart’s May 9 2022 paper titled ‘Racial Segregation in the Cecil Rhodes Cape Colony and Violence in Zimbabwe’.
“A military intelligence report from February 1897, when rock shelters were being blown up and villages destroyed in Mashonaland, justified these strategies: ‘[I]t seems to me that the only way of doing anything at all with these natives is to starve them, destroy their lands and kill all that can be killed’. Rhodes seems to have shared some of these ideas. Lockhart and Woodhouse wrote a substantial and generally respectful biography, which they claimed was the first to look fully at his own and other private papers,” reads the paper in part.
“Woodhouse, who completed the book, was Conservative MP for Oxford and a fellow of Nuffield College. Yet they remarked on Rhodes’s ‘ferocity toward the Matabele in the campaign’ and his deep prejudices towards them, who ‘unlike children … may be shot when they get out of hand’. And it is they who record the report, later disputed, of Rhodes saying ‘you should kill all you can … it serves as a lesson to them when they talk things over at night … and they begin to fear you’. Addressing settlers and soldiers in Gwelo (Gweru), where he was based in May 1896, Rhodes was reported to say ‘that no time should be lost in thoroughly thrashing the natives and giving them an everlasting lesson’.
In a speech given in Bulawayo in early June 1896, Rhodes said ‘[n]ow we shall have to hunt them in the bush, and in the stones, and in the kopjies …Their food supplies will fail, and their courage will disappear … this country will be the abode of a white race’. Rotberg reinforces such material about Rhodes’s reaction to the rising as ‘harsh and vindictive’, repeating the report of ‘kill all you can’.
He reports an observer who accompanied Rhodes to burn villages and capture cattle: ‘I have been out with Rhodes looting corn all the morning’. Grey, recently arrived to replace Jameson as Administrator, wrote in mid-June 1896: ‘[w] e must go on hammering and hunting them’ until ‘we … thoroughly convince them that this country is to be the country of the white, and not the black’.”
We leave it there and in our future installments, we will tackle Smith’s violence while unravelling why he has suddenly become a hero among the CCC lot.
But anyone who believes he/she can use violence to gain power in the country is in for a rude awakening.
Let those with ears listen.