By Geoff Hill (2005)
By Melinda Chikukura ‘History is propaganda written by the winners’- Winston Churchill. GEOFF Rex Alexander Middleton Hill is an ‘African Writer’ whose birthplace is not on record, but spent his childhood on the continent and later moved to Zimbabwe in 1997 with his Australian bride. He is the author of The Battle for Zimbabwe and this Book What Happens after Mugabe revolves around the theme of the land. The book is about strategies that should be put in place at the end of the present regime. He is currently Africa correspondent for the Washington Times and claims to speak Shona fluently thereby making him an expert and a voice in Zimbabwean. On the cover of the book the Washington Times writes ‘well researched and recommended’, this is another illustration of America’s dominance over the world. That The Washington Times recommends a book written by one of them shows the bias from the start and their objectivity is compromised as l shall highlight later. Obama recently paid a visit to United Kingdom where he declared they are ‘indispensable’ in their ‘resolve to lead the world’. In 2010 when the United States defence secretary was asked whether the Wikileaks would damage American relations with other countries, he replied that other governments deal with America because it is in their best interest. Hence it is no surprise that the white Africans in collaboration with the Western powers are already planning for the post-Mugabe era. This again shows the dictatorial position of the Americans in issues around the world, how they have over time patronised the world. The Wikileaks revealed a letter by Christopher Dell, the American Ambassador to Zimbabwe, in November 2010 where he said MDC is ‘far from ideal’ and will need ‘massive hand holding’. Dell was informing America that it should move in once Mugabe is removed as Tsvangirai is a ‘flawed figure, indecisive and with questionable judgment in selecting those around him’. He went on to say “Zimbabwe should not rely on the opposition to lead the country to full recovery”. This echoes the sentiments of Geoff Hill in What happens After Mugabe where he says the opposition lacks the How in terms of implementing change. He, however, proceeds to point out that the land reform programme was not necessary, that it was a political move that had nothing to do with the local citizens’ welfare. He basis his argument on an interview he held with Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, for example Gabriel Shumba. Shumba says: “Zimbabwe today is an educated and increasingly urban society, with no use for land.” Coincidentally it is the same argument that Rhodesian writers claim, that the Africans before the white man came had no use of the land. Hill argues that the Shonas who were the owners of the land were under attack and subdued by Lobengula. They stayed in hills and only came down when the Ndebele were not around. The issue now is that the African has no use of the soil and the land should return to the white farmers. The writer proceeds to suggest that after Lobengula signed the concession, which he was tricked into doing in the first place, he agonised over it but never bothered further about it. History actually tells the story of Lobengula agonising over the deal as he sent envoys to Queen Victoria to tell them he had changed his mind but was told it was it was already too late. The most ironic aspect about the whole land situation is that Africa continues to provide most of the raw materials for Europe yet the continent cannot feed itself. Mugabe now advocates indigenisation that will allow the citizens to own and produce for their livelihoods and deny the big markets the chance to sell the products back to the producers . Most Westerners want Africa to remain in their ‘democratic’ clutches. One thing the reader has to be aware of is terms like ‘truth’, ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’. Interpretations are influenced by individuals’ different world views. The white commercial farmers did not build secondary schools because to them the black man was seen as a source of unskilled and semi-skilled labour. The white writers want to portray these farms as places where the ‘Baas’ and his workers were one and a haven of equality. This can be noted when the writer boldly claims, “farm workers, with their cash income and a lifestyle better than those on the communal land, formed a major part of the MDC…voter base”. To Hill that is part of the reason for the land reform, to displace voters on the voter’s role. As is the trend with Rhodesian writers, he goes on to suggest that the international community should revisit Gukurahundi. According to the writer’s biography, he moved to Zimbabwe in 1997. Why, like so many other whites, did he wait until the land reform programme disturbed their comfort zone to talk about Gukurahundi? The simple answer could be that the whites are not concerned with the welfare of the general black majority. Hill mentions a symposium that was held in Johannesburg where the international community gathered to discuss compensation and accountability in Zimbabwe. Some people thought any talk about compensation should start in 1890. This was discarded as it was too costly so they decided to start with Gukurahundi. This goes to show their hypocrisy. This is because their superiority complex is hampered by one man, Mugabe, and once the lightweights are manoeuvred into power the way they want to be perceived is guaranteed!