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Veritas torches racism storm

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Golden Guvamatanga and Elizabeth Sitotombe

A DAMAGING racism scandal has hit pro-opposition entity, Veritas, amid alle- gations that one of the directors ‘illegally’ employed her husband, Brian Crozier, who is now abusing black workers at the organisation.

Veritas has, over the years, been tout- ing itself as an advocate of ‘democracy’, but 44 years after Zimbabweans emancipated themselves from the yoke of of colonialism, some Rhodesian elements in our midst have still not repented.

The Western-funded local non-governmental organisation is now in the eye of a storm, with its black Zimbabwean staff  accusing their bosses of rabid discrimination and racism.

Veritas claims to be a Parliamentary and civic rights watchdog.

It carries out its ‘mandate’ under the guise of human rights, good governance and democracy — wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing to be exact, when in reality the organisation harbours former Rhodesian diehards with scores to settle with the Zimbabwe Government.

Thanks to this ‘mandate’, Veritas re- ceives millions in donations from the West each year to undermine black ma- jority rule in Zimbabwe.

The Patriot can reveal that Veritas staff have had to endure insults and shocking racism from its long-time direc- tor, and one of the last remaining Rhode- sian diehards, Val Ingham-Thorpe.

For the record, Ingham-Thorpe is the author of a controversial article titled ‘Reconciliation in Zimbabwe: Reality or Illusion?’. In the article, she makes ridiculous claims that racism and eth- nicity were being used by the ZANU

PF-led Government to make scapegoats

of certain individuals and groups while creating a smokescreen to conceal its alleged failure to deal with underlying issues, such as land reform or economic emancipation.

“It is far easier for politicians to blame any difficulties on racial conflicts than to tackle such issues in a genuinely problem-solving and just manner,” Ing- ham-Thorpe alleged, oblivious to the log in her own eye.

The contradiction was clearly lost on Ingham-Thorpe!

In December, Veritas constitutional lawyer Lizwe Jamela quit his job citing mistreatment and racial slurs spewed by Ingham-Thorpe.

Jamela had been hired as a project co-ordinator to oversee a US-funded project called the Zimbabwe Constitutional Movement, but fell out with the

NGO’s leadership after what she termed ‘gross mistreatment’.

Investigations by The Patriot revealed that racism and ill-treatment of workers by whites are indeed rife at Veritas. The working conditions at the NGO are an undisguised throwback to the dark days of colonial Rhodesia, where blacks were derisively referred to as ‘kaffirs’. For an organisation purporting to be fighting for human rights, Veritas’ treatment of its black workers leaves a lot to be desired.

According to well-placed sources, Ingham-Thorpe makes no secret of her dislike for blacks, which she openly says stems from what she believes to be ‘un- fairness’ in Zimbabwe’s highly successful Land Reform Programme.

So strong is her disdain for her black staff, Ingham-Thorpe has a filthy habit of shouting unprintable obscenities at them, for real or purported mistakes.

She has even gone to the extent of bar- ring workers from preparing tea or coffee

within the office premises on the grounds that it was a privilege reserved for her and her husband only. To rub salt into the wound, she tries by all means possible to avoid rubbing shoulders with blacks in what she deems to be her own personal space.

The Patriot can also reveal that the black workers at Veritas are living in perpetual fear of losing their jobs as they are constantly threatened with dismissal for no apparent reason at all.

She unashamedly pays white consultants thousands of US dollars while pay- ing peanuts to blacks because she claims ‘they deserve little’, the sources said.

Ingham-Thorpe is said to have openly declared that black people do not have the capacity to lead, hence she will ensure they will always play second fiddle at Veritas.

Furthermore, she is said to constantly tell workers the door is open if they want to leave and apparently has the board on her side, said another worker.

They deploy their whiteness (or is it pinkness?) to cover for corporate incest. The white employees earn more than their black counterparts despite holding identical (if not higher) qualifications and job descriptions.

Ingham-Thorpe has become so brazen she is said to have had her husband appointed a board member and ‘consultant’ at the same time. This publication also gathered that some officers in the finance department have also left the organisation citing ill-treatment, with many others threatening to follow suit.

Sources within the civil society also said Ingham-Thorpe, who boasts connections at the British and Swiss embassies, is seeking to exert control and arm twist certain organisations to dance to her tune, with the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum being one of her major targets.

The Forum held its elective AGM recently where Ingham-Thorpe was seeking power to consolidate her position in a bid to control the secretariat. However, her attempts to do so have been strenuously resisted as her brittle character is not endearing. Given her bullying attitude, Ingham-Thorpe threatens anyone who dares cross her path that they will not get funding from the Swedes or Brits as she can attract and control donors by virtue of her being white.

Sources said, in seeking to exert influence and control over civil society, the white cabal is working flat out to cheryed boys at the helm

of the NGO Forum and ZimRights.

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