The Struggle Continues: 50 Years of Tyranny in Zimbabwe by David Coltart
‘ …This magnificent book is far more than just the autobiography of one of the most significant figures in Zimbabwean history; it is also a history of Zimbabwe itself, and a moral testament.’
– Peter Oborne, Political Columnist of the Daily Mail, and author of The Rise of Political Lying, The Triumph of the Political Class and Basil D’Oliveira: Cricket and Conspiracy – The Untold Story
‘ ...searing, heartfelt, brutally honest’
– Douglas Rogers, author of The Last Resort
David Coltart’s roots in Africa might be deep generational ones but his love for and commitment to the country he grew up in, Zimbabwe, goes far beyond the accident of birth. This is an authoritative work, spanning the last 60 years of Zimbabwe’s history, told from the unique perspective of a first-hand witness. Reflecting his career initially as a human rights lawyer in Bulawayo and later, from 2000, as a member of Parliament for the MDC opposition party, Coltart’s personal narrative is compelling and his scope broad. With sharp insight and intelligent analysis, he is as unsparing of himself as he is of those who continue to wash their hands in the blood of a traumatised people.
Coltart throws new light on the shaping and undoing of a country, from the obstinate racism of Ian Smith that provoked Rhodesia’s UDI from Britain in 1965, the civil war of the 1970s which brought independence and hopeful democracy to a scarred nation, the Gukurahundi genocide of the 1980s and the terror of the Fifth Brigade, to Mugabe’s war on white farmers and the urban poor, and seemingly unshakeable grip on power.
Fearless in his championing of peace, non-violence and justice and in speaking truth to power, Coltart was branded by Mugabe as a traitor to the state and survived several attempts on his life. Through it all he kept meticulous notes, records, letters and diaries, much of which is source material for this book.
‘David Coltart has delivered a masterful account of Zimbabwe’s unfinished struggle for freedom. If you want to understand in particular the frustrations and setbacks of the last decade under Robert Mugabe, you should read this book.’
– Alec Russell, head of news at Financial Times and author of After Mandela: Battle for the Soul of South Africa
‘What emerges from this dramatic journey is a sense of courageous personal conviction and a faith in the inspiring resilience of his countrymen and women.’
– Nicholas ‘Fink’ Haysom, Special Representative of the Secretary General for Afghanistan, and former Legal Advisor to President Nelson Mandela, 1994 – 1999
‘David Coltart’s meticulously detailed narrative and analysis should be required reading for anyone with an interest in the history of Zimbabwe, but also for those who want to know how the bright dream of African freedom and democracy can be stolen by those posing as revolutionary saviours.’
– Brendan Seery, Executive Editor, Independent Media South Africa
‘David’s determination to fight for the rights of all Zimbabweans, regardless of skin colour or ethnicity, alongside his colleagues in the human rights movement and later the MDC, is ultimately an uplifting story. If, as the book’s title suggests, Zimbabwe may still realise its potential it will be due in no small measure to the efforts of the many unsung heroes who emerge from the pages of this book.’
– Sir Brian Donnelly, British High Commissioner, later Ambassador, to Zimbabwe, 2001–2004
DAVID COLTART is a Zimbabwean citizen and is resident in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. He has served three terms in parliament, ending in the Senate as minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture until 2013.