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Zimbabwe and its people

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You could try looking up the word "mfecane" or sometimes "mefecane" and follow the links.

 

As you know, history is rewritten by the victors. Those in power today and those who were in power for most of the last century. If you really want as unbiased as possible view, the diaries and accounts from the first visitors to the region are the safest bet.

 

What you do get from a smidgen of research is the explosion of the myth that the non-white population was settled, successful, growing, viable or prosperous at the time when the white settlers were expanding Northwards. Although there had clearly been periods of relative prosperity in the region in earlier times.

 

What the indigenous population and tribes were or weren't doing prior to the arrival of whites is irrelevant, it was their country when the settlers arrived. The incumbents took advantage of a nation and its people for their own end.

 

Your position appears to be one where you believe the arrival of whites consolidated the tribal conflicts and brought stablity to the region, so they are blameless.

 

If this is so, it was entirely for their own benefit and in the process they denied the people of Zimbawe the right to self determination.

 

As misguided as the indigenous population may have been, they were grown ups, we even allow idiots in this country access to democracy without too much interference.

 

A little analogy for you...if I'm poor and stupid and a stranger arrives and starts digging up my garden and finds buried treasure, they have no business taking possession of it, just because of my ignorance and weaknesses.

 

Zimbabwe was a phenomenally wealthy country from a natural resources point of view. The white settlers would have had no problem with black people or Mugabe now (he would have been in a power vacuum), if they had shared out the new wealth equitably and not been avaricious, this has certainly contributed to the difficulties they face now, despite what you and other posters may believe about mis-directed criticisms of colonialism.

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Boyfriday.

 

What the tribes were doing is completely relevant. The vacuum that existed was hugely instrumental in the way in which the area was colonised. I find your view interesting here: One ethnic group migrates to an area, subjugates it by military might and forcibly disperses the inhabitants. A few years later, another ethnic group migrates into the area, subjugates it by military might and doesn't disperse anyone. Yet your sympathies lie with the first of the two, I wonder why?

 

I do believe that the arrival of the whites brought stability to the region, after all it was massively unstable before they arrived wasn't it?

Blameless? I don't think the word passed my lips or entered my thoughts. Yes they did take advantage of the situation for their own end, just as all the other ethnic groups were trying to do at the time.

 

As for denying the people of Zimbabwe (sic) the right to self determination, was there anywhere in the world that had universal suffrage at the time?

 

Your tale tugged at my heart strings and I'm sorry for your loss. But we're talking mass slaughter, huge migrations and depopulation, adventurers and frontiersmen; your back garden doesn't paint the picture.

 

Funnily enough, when I was out in that part of the world, Zambia was always reckoned to have far better farmland as well as much more easily accessible mineral deposits, so wealth is relative. As for sharing, most settlers (mining or farming) started with nothing. They had nothing to share. Unfortunately for any later attempts at 'sharing', the means of producing the region's wealth was totally at odds with the black African beliefs about distributing it.

 

It wasn't always going to end in tears. There was a huge amount of optimism in the mid eighties that Mugabe was going to be able to walk the fine line between the two paths but it wasn't to be, sadly.

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It wasn't always going to end in tears. There was a huge amount of optimism in the mid eighties that Mugabe was going to be able to walk the fine line between the two paths but it wasn't to be, sadly.

 

That would be after he had massacred the Ndebele minority.

 

Denial would seem to be a better word than optimism.

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You could try looking up the word "mfecane" or sometimes "mefecane" and follow the links.

 

As you know, history is rewritten by the victors. Those in power today and those who were in power for most of the last century. If you really want as unbiased as possible view, the diaries and accounts from the first visitors to the region are the safest bet.

 

What you do get from a smidgen of research is the explosion of the myth that the non-white population was settled, successful, growing, viable or prosperous at the time when the white settlers were expanding Northwards. Although there had clearly been periods of relative prosperity in the region in earlier times.

 

I'd never heard that myth before, I'd alway thought that many African tribes were quite mobile.

 

Cheers for mfecane, I'll have a read up.

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I travelled extensively around Rhodesia in the early 70s - what a beautiful country it was back then. The fields were full of crops, the shops full of food and goods - despite the West's ill-conceived oil sanctions.

 

The vast majority of Africans were a happy cheerful lot then. Except for the bitter and twisted commies who craved power at all costs.

 

As always, the commies promised the people that, "getting rid of their rulers", was the key to a new Utopia, as always, the people fell for it - and lived to regret it.

 

It's too late now, foreign, particularly "white", intervention would only be resented.

 

We should leave Africa to solve it's own problems - Africa has to evolve.

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Boyfriday.

 

What the tribes were doing is completely relevant.

 

It's irrelevant, since two wrongs don't make a right. Your flawed logic demands an outcome where I, if I were stronger than you, could claim your property simply because I can or we're in conflict.

Yet your sympathies lie with the first of the two, I wonder why?

 

I'll refer you back to the OP, sandie was lamenting the treatment of white settlers, not black folk, so my posts reflect that.

 

Had the OP been about how Mugabe has brutalised other Africans, then my post would have addressed that issue, making no mention of the white settlers.

 

Incidentally, Im very sympathetic towards the white farmers there now, why have you come to a contrary conclusion?

I do believe that the arrival of the whites brought stability to the region, after all it was massively unstable before they arrived wasn't it?

Yes, it was massively unstable, but why was it the business of foreigners to impose their brand of 'stability' on the indigenous people?

 

If that argument had any credibility, then the rights of indigenous people everywhere would be secondary to a more compelling argument from a more powerful, invading force. I daresay most of us wouldn't roll over and play dead if the tide of Islam became such a force.

 

Blameless? I don't think the word passed my lips or entered my thoughts. Yes they did take advantage of the situation for their own end, just as all the other ethnic groups were trying to do at the time.

 

At least the country belonged to the other ethnic groups, they had a historic, vested interest, so could determine their future how they saw fit, it was not for outsiders to butt their noses in and jump on the bandwagon.

As for denying the people of Zimbabwe (sic) the right to self determination, was there anywhere in the world that had universal suffrage at the time?

Again, why is that relevant, the troubles in Zimbabwe are based on historical events. If white settlers had shared things equitably from the start then we wouldnt be having this conversation.

Your tale tugged at my heart strings and I'm sorry for your loss. But we're talking mass slaughter, huge migrations and depopulation, adventurers and frontiersmen; your back garden doesn't paint the picture.

 

I wasn't searching for your approval or sympathy, this is a classic case of 'you reap what you sow' and I was responding to the OP. White settlers had kept the lion's share of the country for decades, so they are largely responsible for the outcome of their present.

 

Personally, I believe Mugabe's tactics and behaviour are utterly wrong, just because blacks suffered doesn't mean they should make whites suffer now, absolutely not.

Funnily enough, when I was out in that part of the world, Zambia was always reckoned to have far better farmland as well as much more easily accessible mineral deposits, so wealth is relative. As for sharing, most settlers (mining or farming) started with nothing. They had nothing to share. Unfortunately for any later attempts at 'sharing', the means of producing the region's wealth was totally at odds with the black African beliefs about distributing it.

 

It was the black African's country, in the first place.

 

I'll have some sympathy with your view when Muslims take political power, throw the indigenous people off their land and deny them the vote, then complain when the native population want to kick them out.

It wasn't always going to end in tears. There was a huge amount of optimism in the mid eighties that Mugabe was going to be able to walk the fine line between the two paths but it wasn't to be, sadly.

 

The problems in Zimbabwe began long before the Eighties, Mugabe was seen as iconic because he generally unified black africans against what they perceived to be a common enemy..white rulers had made that easy for him in the preceding 100 years.

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The vast majority of Africans were a happy cheerful lot then.

 

..how patronising, Massa.

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Boyfriday. Every single border throughout the world has been created or imposed through conflict. The claim of any people of the right to exist on any inhabitable part of this earth has been won via conflict.

 

"It was the black African's country, in the first place." - Was it? It was earmarked then? Your only allowed to invade and slaughter the inhabitants of this particular parcel of land if your skin pigmentation is of the requisite brownness?

 

Mugabe was seen as iconic because he murdered all opposition within ZANU PF, leaving him as top dog in the organisation which had the support of the Shona majority.

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"It was the black African's country, in the first place." - Was it? It was earmarked then? Your only allowed to invade and slaughter the inhabitants of this particular parcel of land if your skin pigmentation is of the requisite brownness?

 

Please reflect your responses to the sentiment of the OP, which was saying how awful it is how white settlers in Zimbabwe are being treated.

 

I'll repeat what I've said previously, my replies are addressing this issue and the consequences of white rule in Zimbabwe.

 

Whatever your views are on the political situation before then or the influence of Black communists since, Europeans went there to line their pockets and impose their dominance on the indigenous people.

 

The British rightly have a healthy disregard for people who try to do the same to them and I don't know who 'earmarked' this country for them either.

 

Mugabe was seen as iconic because he murdered all opposition within ZANU PF, leaving him as top dog in the organisation which had the support of the Shona majority.

 

He also had an appeal to the British Tory governmnent, and at least had the support of a 'majority', Ian Smith and his predecessors certainly did not.

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To be honest Boyfriday, I found the OP somewhat confused but I didn't think he was bemoaning the death through starvation of white children? More regretting the fact that the economic situation had deteriorated so badly since the white farmers had been forced from their farms.

 

There's an interesting use of the word 'we' in the OP's pen-penultimate sentence.

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The gift of democracy, unless you happened to have been black

 

Actually blacks could vote under Ian Smith but they had seperate electoral rolls with whites allocated 50 seats in parliament and blacks 16. It was undemocratic in the sense that whites were very over represented and blacks very under represented but everyone could at least vote and there was no ballot rigging like today.

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