FORMER Education minister, David Coltart, has said the white community has a huge role to play in the country’s politics despite their public ridicule by President Robert Mugabe.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
In an interview with Southern Eye, Coltart described politicians who always raised the racial card during campaigns as misguided and divisive elements.
“Race and ethnicity is always used by unscrupulous politicians to promote their own support — so I just disregard those comments,” Coltart said.
“I remain involved in politics because I am a Zimbabwean, born and bred here, and love this country and all her people. I can’t speak for others, but that is why I am involved.”
Coltart said whites have a role to play in Zimbabwe’s politics, just like any other citizen.
“Whites have a role to play – every citizen has a role to play – in the politics of Zimbabwe, so long as we remember the role that we have played in creating the bitterness that exists in the country. In other words whites who have an agenda of re-creating Rhodesia belong to another age and cannot make a useful contribution to politics.
“Whilst they have a constitutional right to pursue their own agenda — so I am not saying they can’t — that sort of involvement is not constructive. However, those whites who have a vision for a tolerant, multi-racial, democratic and free Zimbabwe have an important role to play,” he added.
During his lavish 91 birthday celebrations in Victoria Falls early this year, Mugabe threatened to kick out the remaining white conservationists from game parks, saying he will only allow them to own animal sanctuaries if the United States unconditionally lifts sanctions imposed on his family and members of his inner circle.
In 2000, Mugabe allowed Zanu PF supporters to grab white-owned farms as part of his government’s land reform programme to “correct colonial imbalances that condemned blacks to poor soils”.