Former Zimbabwe Education Minister apologises for atrocities in Rhodesia piling pressure on Mnangagwa


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STATEMENT BY DAVID COLTART ON RHODESIAN ATROCITIES, HIS TIME IN THE BSAP AND AN APOLOGY FOR HIS ROLE IN SUSTAINING AN UNJUST SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT WHICH DISCRIMINATED AGAINST PEOPLE OF COLOUR

26th January 2018

This week I have been the subject of a sustained social media campaign seeking to portray me as an unrepentant Rhodesian who has refused to condemn atrocities committed by the Rhodesian security services. I have also been accused of killing Black Zimbabweans during my time in the police and of refusing to apologise for the role that I played. This portrayal of my views and the allegations made against me are patently untrue. I have addressed these issues comprehensively in my book The Struggle Continues: 50 years of tyranny in Zimbabwe and in speeches and interviews throughout my professional career spanning the last 35 years. Nevertheless, I feel it necessary to make this statement to make my position clear:

1.        I unreservedly condemn the atrocities committed by the Rhodesian regime, such as the Nyadzonia massacre in which an estimated 1028 men, women and children were killed. I also unreservedly condemn the unjust system of governance in Rhodesia which was based on a white supremacist ideology and engaged in the brutal oppression and systemic discrimination against Black, Coloured and Asian people. This is a position that I have held since the early 1980s and affirmed when I wrote “ I regret some of the things I have done (and) if I had my life over I certainly would not have done some of those things”. In my book (at page 68-69), I called the Nyadzonia incident “a massacre…(which) left a searing wound” and stated that “atrocities were committed by both sides” (page 81). I expressed how I feel “ashamed that I did not do more (as a nineteen year old) to prevent (the use of torture) or speak out against it” (page 85). I expressed my deep anxiety at the time when I realised that “everything (around me) was bad, evil, awful, wicked and soul-less” (page 84).

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The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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