What about mental freedom?: Don't cry for me, Mr Fidelis Mhashu, I can do fine without my "former colonial power".

Author:Regina, Jere-Malanda,

My little boy saw me shed a tear while writing this column and I couldn't explain to him why in simple terms.

"Mummy is just sad for Africa," I tried to say.

"Is it because of Mozambique, or is it because that man who tried to beat Mr Mugabe fainted", my seven-year-old wanted to know.

I said yes to both questions because, indeed, the two incidents played big on British television news and were both depressing. The second one was even too insulting to watch.

As the whole world may know, my son was referring to the distressing floods in Mozambique and the incident in Brussels, where Peter Tatchell, the British gay rights fundamentalist, whom the British media call a "equal rights campaigner", was sorted out (and rightly so) by President Mugabe's bodyguards (who drew no guns to protect their leader whose life could have been in danger. Tatchell should try doing that to George W. Bush and see how many bullets will hit his head).

I had not recovered from wondering how the Belgian authorities could permit Tatchell's haughty and fat-headed behaviour on a visiting head of state, when barely 24 hours later, a spokesman for Zimbabwe's opposition MDC party, Fidelis Mhashu was begging for "material support from Britain."

After half an hour of answering yes or no to leading questions on Tim Sebastian's BBC News 24 "Hard Talk" programme, Mhashu was asked a final question. His answer greatly worried me.

Sebastian asked him: "What do you want from Britain? What does the MDC want from Britain?"

Mhashu: "Because Britain is our former colonial power, we want you to give us material support as well as political and moral support.

Honestly, Mr Mhashu, so Britain should give the MDC material support "because" it is your former colonial power" (repeat COLONIAL POWER?!)

Mr Mhashu, please wipe my tears away and tell me what benefits has this colonial past brought Zimbabweans today to merit you going back to your coloniser for "material support"?

Hear this from Botswana. A recent "official" press release from the Botswana High Commission in London, comparing life in the country today and under British colonialism pointedly said: "Botswana has built over 6,000km of roads, there were 6km at independence in 1966, and there are now 300 secondary schools, compared with 3 in 1966."

Britain ruled Botswana for 111 years -- from 27 January 1885 when the British Protectorate of Bechuanaland was declared, to 30 September 1966 when Botswana gained its independence. And in all...

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