Are Rhodies on the road to Damascus?: Part One


RECENT reports in the media that a group of white Zimbabweans led by Mathew Smith will officially launch a lobby group called Zimbabweans Against Sanctions on March 24 2014 have received mixed reactions in Zimbabwe itself.
There are some who feel that this is a late, but welcome initiative which should be encouraged and others who object on the basis that this is coming when the anti-sanctions battle is almost won!
Why are these Rhodies acting now? — they ask in disbelief — when all along they seemed happy that their kith and kin from Britain and her Western allies were doing a good job — imposing economic sanctions against the Mugabe government which they passionately detest even today!
Have they, like Saul on the road to Damascus, experienced a Pauline conversion of sorts?
It is important that the resurgent media found in Zimbabwe these days is reflecting various views on this matter, but the question still remains: Has all that should be said on this matter been said and if so, has the debate shed much light on how Zimbabweans themselves should relate to this white group claiming to share a common destiny with Zimbabweans?
Put another way, do Zimbabweans now understand the underlying motives which influence the outlook and activities of this white group?
A number of observations are in order not only for the sake of Zimbabwe, but also for Africa as a whole!
And some of these are:
a) In a narrow national context Rhodies continue to represent the vision of those desperate generations of whites who came to Zimbabwe in the 1890s in search of fortunes to better their own lives.
That search, which depended largely on the availability of cheap labour and resources of Africans, continues up to the present!
Accordingly, Zimbabweans should not expect Rhodies to leave them alone just because they recently lost the land which they stole from Africans in the first place!
b) In a broader continental context Rhodies and all those descendants of white colonisers, especially those who continue to reside in Southern Africa, find themselves functioning as an organic extension of the West, often representing the interests and ideological values of Western capital.
As a result, these descendants find themselves playing a role which involves interpreting Africa to the West for the benefit of the same West and or interpreting the West to Africa!
These self-appointed latter day interpreters are keen to constitute themselves as a crucial bridgehead for the expansion and consolidation of Western interests in Africa; they are often the preferred intermediaries, the first and last to be consulted, before Europe and the USA make decisions which affect Africa!
This group, which claims to know Africa from the inside, exercises the kind of influence far disproportionate to its tiny numerical strength in a manner which dwarfs the significance of black elites vis-a-vis Western interests in Africa!
c) Accordingly, much as Mathew Smith, Gary Smith and Heath Streak might appear like the proverbial opportunists of this world, the ‘mucheka dzafa’ characters who try to benefit most from the effort and sweat of others—the black majority who have weathered the storm on their own!
By launching an outdated and an unnecessary outfit purportedly meant to fight against Western sanctions, the three musketeers are already looking far ahead into the future and re-adjusting their roles so as to become more acceptable image- wise to future generations of Africans!
What we are seeing here is the same old story whereby diehard racists like David Coltart, Roy Bennet, Iain Kay etc –all former white soldiers who literally fought hard and long against ZANLA and ZIPRA forces in order to forestall the liberation of blacks in Zimbabwe mysteriously metamorphose into human rights and democracy activists soon after 1980!
And some Zimbabweans, more so the youth, fell for this deceitful transformation to a point of regarding the whole detestable lot as their leaders in the MDC party!
White racists know that most Africans do not read their history and that if they do they do it so badly that they cannot even remember who their real enemies have been!
This African weakness means that while right now the campaign against sanctions by Mathew Smith and company might appear an unnecessary and duplicitous moral fraud, with time the effort will pay off dividends in so far as future African generations, smitten by amnesia as has happened in the past, will come to regard them as heroic fighters against sanctions! After all, William Wilberforce who benefited immensely from the enslavement of Africans is today given more credit for the abolition of slavery than enslaved Africans themselves!
a) The cliché which says — if you cannot beat them join them—is not as useless and or sterile as it may sound!
According to Richard Dowden of Chatham House, Zimbabwe has inflicted a major foreign policy defeat on the British–hands down!, a defeat which it has not suffered for over sixty years!.
No doubt the Rhodies have taken note of this and have to start rehabilitating themselves before British policy on Zimbabwe changes at their expense.
Being a deeply racist lot that they are, Rhodies believe that the British policy makers are more inclined to appear to be listening to whites than to blacks, more so for the sake of their white constituencies in Britain which go for elections in 2016!
Therefore one can argue that the impending launch of the anti-sanctions lobby is a master-stroke at two levels: first Rhodies lose nothing by doing so; if anything they are likely to recoup some of the moral high ground that they lost during the last 14years and redeem themselves especially in the eyes of those gullible Africans who believe anything that a white man says!
Why not do something now against sanctions with as much noise as possible before they are phased out as they are bound to be soon!
Second such noise might after all provide a face saver for the British government which feels deeply humiliated by a tiny African country such as Zimbabwe!
In brief, the role of Rhodies in Zimbabwe, just like that played by all those descendants of European colonisers who have decided to settle in Africa, remains the same as it has always been — to champion the interests and outlook of their countries of racial origin and hardly those of Africa and its children!



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