POLITICAL analysts yesterday gave the thumps-up to former Education minister David Coltart’s assertion that white Zimbabweans had an equally crucial role to play in shaping the country’s politics just like other races.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
In an interview with Southern Eye on Sunday, Coltart spoke strongly against racial discrimination, describing politicians who always raised the race card as divisive elements.
His assertion, however, stirred a hornet’s nest with some top Zanu PF officials labelling him an “intolerable Rhodie” who had “nothing to offer but hate”, but analysts interviewed by Southern Eye described the ex-minister’s statement as spot-on.
“This @DavidColtart is full of intolerable Rhodie hate against Zimbabwe’s independence. Nothing to offer but hate,” said Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo, a staunch Coltart critic.
President Robert Mugabe has often publicly chastised whites citing their ill-treatment of blacks during the colonial era.
Analysts, however, said it was wrong to approach politics with racial lenses, saying every Zimbabwean had a democratic right to participate in national politics.
“Every Zimbabwean, whether black or white, has a democratic right to be involved in politics, our Constitution is clear on who is a Zimbabwean,” analyst Blessing Vava said.
“Mugabe is not sincere in his remarks because there are many white people who served both in his party and Cabinet before, Denis Norman and Timothy Stamps being examples.” Stamps is currently Health Advisor in Mugabe’s office.
South Africa-based media scholar Trust Matsilele said Mugabe was living in the past.
“It’s embarrassing for a President to try and divide the country across whatever line — race, tribe, ethnic, gender or region — but Mugabe has unfortunately done that unabated. He is caught up in the pre-1980 era if not 1890.
“He has also been divisive first through regional politics, tribal politics, ethnic politics, racial politics and even went as far as dividing the nation through religious, cultural and class lines,” Matsilele said.
Mugabe, as the then Prime Minister, offered a hand of reconciliation to white minority former colonisers after the liberation struggle in 1980, saying oppression by any race was unacceptable.