Putting Geoffrey Nyarota in the longer historical context: Part Two …he owes Zimbabwe an apology


THE argument that perhaps Geoffrey Nyarota doesn’t even know that he is a despicable super sell-out does not mitigate his treasonous track record in any way.
Rather, such an argument leaves him in a worse off position because it invites more serious questions like: If at his age (63), he still does not know that he is a traitor, is there anything else that he knows?
If a man who lived three decades in Rhodesia and three decades in Zimbabwe cannot tell that the same racist settler interests he defended in Rhodesia are still the same racist settler interests he is still defending in Zimbabwe, what could such a person claim to know?
Nyarota’s history as a journalist dates back to 1978 when he became one of the first black journalists to be recruited and trained by the Rhodesian newspaper, The Rhodesia Herald.
Like media houses everywhere, The Rhodesia Herald operated from an ideological standpoint, and in Rhodesia, the tabloid was the mouthpiece of the racist Smith regime which did not believe in the self-determination of black people.
As a matter of fact, even though the Rhodesian Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) had been modelled after the American Declaration of Independence, the acknowledgement that all men are born equal had been willfully omitted in order to keep black people (Nyarota’s own kith and kin) under racist servitude.
It must be pointed out that the ideological standpoints of media houses also divide not only the journalists, but the readership too; to the extent that in a country at war, media houses (more often than not) become as polarised as the belligerents, and the same applies to the media practitioners and the readership. 
And, the case in point here is that the decision to be a media practitioner is essentially an ideological one and, more critically, a matter of faith.
The foregoing means that Nyarota’s decision to join The Rhodesia Herald should be interrogated as an ideological choice and a matter of faith.
While his age-mates who aspired to be journalists were putting their lives on the line, crossing mine-infested borders to join the ZANU media house, Zimbabwe News in Mozambique, in order to tell the Zimbabwean story in its correct perspective, Nyarota was celebrating his acceptance by The Rhodesia Herald and its commission to distort the true story of liberation struggle.
It is therefore highly improbable that there was ever a time when Nyarota did not know that he was a sell-out.
Nyarota willfully and confidently joined the side he believed would win.
He joined the side he wanted to win.
And, it was not the side of his own black kith and kin.
He knew it was a side that had been insensitive to the interests of his own people for a brutal 88 savage years.
And, if that doesn’t make him a traitor, what would?
At the very mature age of 27, Nyarota would have known that The Rhodesia Herald was not recruiting him to be the ‘defiant voice’ for the silenced black race. Or the fearless critic of racist Ian Smith who was committing genocide unrestrained by the same Anglo-American ‘champions of human rights’ who are now rewarding him for being a ‘defiant voice’ and fearless critic of Robert Mugabe who brought democracy and black human rights to Zimbabwe.
It just would have been naive to expect the Rhodesian mouthpiece to recruit staunch supporters of the liberation struggle.
Not after Nyadzonia, Chimoio and Tembwe, and the bounty that had been placed on the heads of the leaders of liberation struggle!   
Nyarota was recruited for the simple reason that he was anti-liberation struggle.
A super sell-out!
Nyarota’s pride (and not remorse or shame) at having been one of the first black people to join the Rhodesian mouthpiece makes one wonder if the 63-year-old grandfather has the cognitive capacity to recognise that it is one thing to have been the first black doctor (like Cde Samuel Parirenyatwa), the first black lawyer (like Cde Herbert Chitepo) or the first woman guerrilla (like Sheba Tavarwisa), and quite another thing to have been the first black officer in the Rhodesian Army (like Tumbare), the first black Selous Scout or one of the first black journalists with The Rhodesian Herald (like him).
One side must beat their breasts with pride while the other (inclusive of him) must hang their heads in shame.
In 1978, the memory of Cde Herbert Chitepo who had been assassinated by the Rhodesians less than three years before would have been still fresh in Nyarota’s mind as he joined the Rhodesians.
Reviewing the Chinhoyi Battle in his famous 1974 speech in Australia, Cde Chitepo had said:
‘We realised before very long why we hadn’t made very much progress.
“It was because there had not been a complete hug between the freedom fighters and the masses of the people in Zimbabwe.
“And, it is for that reason that during the period that followed, we concentrated on a regime of political education of the masses to get them to appreciate the goals that the struggle was aiming at.
“To be fired by the new vision of a new Zimbabwe and to participate in its realisation and to realise that the realisation of the new Zimbabwe, the new vision that we tried to sell, which we tried to inspire in their hearts could only be achieved by struggles which involved life and death.
“By armed struggle!”
The irony here is that the democracy and human rights for which Nyarota is today being celebrated for fearlessly defending were brought about by those who believed Chitepo and joined the armed struggle, while he (Nyarota) believed Ian Smith and joined The Rhodesia Herald to rubbish the armed liberation struggle.
And, those who recruited him to rubbish his own liberation are the same who have now awarded him The Committee to Protect Journalists International Press Freedom Award; the UNESCO Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize for 2002 and the World Association of Newspapers Golden Pen of Freedom Award.
How is it therefore, possible that a whole 63-year-old grandfather cannot see that what he was in the Second Chimurenga is what he still is in the Third Chimurenga? A traitor!
And his masters are still the same Rhodesians.
The reader is reminded that in her interview with President Robert Mugabe, racist Christiane Amanpour, actually said she had Rhodesian friends who were in the Rhodesian army and then became journalists.
And, the reader is further reminded that Christiane Amanpour was a member of the board of directors for the Committee to Protect Journalists that gave Nyarota the International Press Freedom Award for a being a ‘defiant voice’ in a silenced land.
If Nyarota believed that the armed liberation struggle was futile in much the same way he believed that taking land from the racist white settlers for re-distribution among his own landless black kith and kin would be futile, just how is it possible that this whole 63-year-old grandfather cannot see that he has been wrong both times?
How does Nyarota manage not to see that he is a traitor who caused millions of Zimbabweans to lose their live-savings, pensions and insurances because he (Nyarota) irresponsibly campaigned for illegal economic sanctions against his own people?
How does he not see that he is guilty of treason and owes the whole nation an apology?
To be continued


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