So, I was following the story in the media the other day on the land grab situation in Zimbabwe in regards to an allegation made against a Zimbabwean doctor that resides in the UK. My sentiments about this issue are that; much as I agree with The President of Zimbabwe, that any white people that own land in Zimbabwe should return it to the indigenous people, I however feel that not every white person should fall under this obligation. Of course, there are going to be white people that took the land unfairly from the blacks, and there will be those that inherited the land from those that obtained it unfairly. By all means necessary, this whites people that fall under that category should give the land back. However, there will be some white people in the country, who purchased their land with their own money. I feel sorry for these people, if one day they were suddenly uprooted and displaced because of the colour of their skin without the understanding of how they came to possess the land. For those that bought their land, fair enough, I would say give them a refund. As for the issue of sending them out of the country; this is of course the responsibility of the immigration office. They would know what to do with those white people that have somehow evaded immigration rules and stayed in the country. As far as I am concerned, Zimbabwe must not be found doing anything that is unjust, and I understand that as a country we have a complicated past that has lead us to where we are today; however, we must not be stuck and trapped in a cycle of wrong doing. I am all for black people repossessing and owning their land, but it must be done in the correct fashion.
I often reflect on the land issue in Zimbabwe and wonder if it is really about giving the land back to its people whilst being fair to those that have paid for it, or is the issue of land in Zimbabwe about race and simply wanting to run the white man out of the country? My issue is this, having left Zimbabwe for Europe myself at the tender age of nineteen. I travelled to countries that never quite gave me the opportunity to own land or own a house for that matter. Everything that I had access to had limitations to it because I was foreign. To begin with, I did not just arrive and settle unlike the white people that came to Africa. I needed permission and had to follow the laws of the land, which in most instances did not work much in my favour or interests. I was insignificant because of the colour of my skin, I had to prove I was worthy even for cleaning jobs. I had to go the extra mile to fit in with the society and to integrate.
Parts of my character as an African fell away whilst trying to integrate with the Europeans and I wondered if their experience had been similar when they came to African to spread Christianity and colonise us in the process. Of course, history tells us that they did not lose much even within their character. They came in believing they were superior and the evidence is there to prove it. White people did not have to change anything about themselves to integrate into our society, instead, they made sure that they changed us. They imposed their ways on us Africans, like a rapist would on someone defenceless, and they had their way….by whatever means possible. Our ancestors paid a great price. They were treated as slaves and harmed or even killed if they disobeyed or did not follow orders. Part of what was considered disobedience, was refusal to convert to Christianity. Our people were burnt alive for refusing to accept Christianity. White people came and dominated us- and might I add that they got away with it.
There is so much to think about, in terms of our history and migration. There is also much to reflect on biblically. It is written in Leviticus 25:23 “The land must never be sold on a permanent basis, for the land belongs to me. You are only foreigners and tenant farmers working for me” (NIV). If the White man came to Africa using the bible to deceive the African, then how wrong is Robert Mugabe, as a leader of a nation, to use the bible to justify why White people should not own land in Africa? it’s not theirs to cry for to begin with. Why should they be treated fairly around the land issue, when they stole, plundered and killed the indigenous people of Zimbabwe for it?
Now, having started a family of my own whilst living in Europe, I would not even want to imagine that one day, my children would find themselves in the exact situation, as some of the white people in Zimbabwe. That is; to wake up one morning and be told to leave because they do not belong here, because they do not have the right to own anything in Europe, because they are not Europeans, even though they paid for their property and did not inherit it because I, as their parent gained it deceitfully. It happens now anyway, a Child born in some EU countries is not eligible for that country’s passport if it’s parent were not born in that country, or if they were living there illegally at the time that child was born. Now we are living in a world dictated by the Trumps, Mays and Farages, what chance to foreigners stand five years from now? So why does everyone look at Mugabe as though he was Lucifer? It saddens everybody that the world has double standards. I will not appeal to anyone for ways on how real positive difference may achieved because we are still quite far from achieving this. We only need to remember that people like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X were assassinated roughly around 50 years ago, for wanting positive change – and they didn’t achieve their objective. Since then we have seen the injustices that happened in the 50s, 60s 70s & 80s plague us today, with white people continuing to refuse to treat black people with respect and dignity. The world has gotten into a habit of watching these injustices as if for entertainment. It appears that everyone, whether black or white, only looks out for their immediate interests. So long live Mugabe in that respect!
“How can you say that?”, “how can you support Mugabe after all the other things that he has done to make his own people suffer?”, I hear you say…….
That’s a separate issue and a debate for a different day.