THE recent elections in the Canadian province of Ontario, while inviting my keen interest, drove me to conclude that Zimbabweans are the most racially tolerant species in the world.
Ordinary Zimbabweans, that is.
Few of us attached significance to the farming community of Chimanimani electing a white MP in 2000. Why didn’t urban constituencies dominated by blacks reject white MDC candidates on the grounds of race? Did we see a milestone in the making?
Forget the narrow-minded argument: “People would’ve voted a cat to shame Zanu PF anywhere”. The bottom line is, Zimbabweans rejected Mugabe’s racial propaganda as the most vicious. Remember, Zanu PF’s campaign message was caked with the sensitive issues of land and colonialism.
In case you haven’t noticed, dictators are fond of leaving a trail of chaos in their wake. Racial tension is Mugabe’s trump card. Still, we rose above the expected. We wedded the current struggle for political change with the search for racial harmony. We’re already killing two birds with one stone.
Politics is all about the interests of the represented. In the democratic Zimbabwe we aspire for, it would be suicidal for David Coltart to substitute his constituency’s interests with his own. The moment a politician volunteers himself for public office, he automatically puts on the line his life, that of his family and pets.
For whites representing blacks, the consequences are manifold. They’ve got to deliver; their failure would automatically justify Zanu PF’s misplaced assertions.
I’ll grudgingly accept that the acquisition of power by a fraction of the minority is the equivalent of true political power for that minority. In my concept of a peaceful, stable Zimbabwe, the calling to minorities to participate has yet to begin.
We can be forgiven for the slow progress. The world is too busy to censor hate peddlers and tighten the bolts and nuts of racial tolerance.
In our humble way, we’ve made political change and racial equality urgent priorities and part of the same struggle.
Racial tolerance is the beginning of Zimbabwe’s emergence from obscurity.
Obert Ronald Madondo,