The Sunday Mail
By Jonathan Moyo
26 January 2013
David Coltart, the Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture, wrongly deployed to that key role by Welshman Ncube’s MDC, just does not get it. His not-so-cleverly-hidden commitment to the Rhodesian racist cause has finally come out of the bag, leaving his human rights and rule of law charade up in stinking smoke.
The irrefutable evidence is now there for all to see from Coltart’s manifestly racist, illegal and even barbaric ministerial directive which he has fraudulently issued in the false name of the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) to the effect that from February 1 no person shall be appointed as a selector by any national sport association for a national team unless they have represented Zimbabwe in that particular sport.
The fact that Coltart’s directive smacks of sickening and intolerable racism last seen in Rhodesia has already been made beyond rational disputation not least by Givemore Makoni, a true son of the soil who is currently Zimbabwe Cricket’s Convenor of Selectors with a solid 26 years of professional experience in the troubled sport of cricket behind him. Indeed, well experienced and respected sports journalists such as Robson Sharuko, Lawrence Moyo and Kevin Mapasure, among others, have made telling media interventions that have raised questions which Coltart has failed to convincingly answer about the racist implications of his misplaced directive.
While the racism behind Coltart’s directive is now common cause, there are three equally damning aspects of the directive that have not been sufficiently interrogated yet each and all of them expose Coltart for the fake human rights and rule of law activist that he is.
In the first place Coltart issued his directive in a fraudulent manner under the false name of the SRC.
This is because the commission does not have a board to formulate and implement the purported directive. A perusal of the record shows that the term of the previous board of the commission expired on October 31 2012 and there has been no replacement. Where there’s no board there can be no directive.
In an emotionally charged response to an article written by Kevin Mapasure last Friday Coltart revealingly wrote that, “The SRC directive by Col Nhemachena I sent to him last week states clearly that my proposal to the SRC was sent by me to the SRC on December 3 last year”.
This shows that, in the absence of an SRC Board, Coltart has been abusing Col Nhemachena by making him do unlawful things that he has no power or authority to do in terms of the law.
The fact that Nhemachena has obliged is a total shame. As such, the purported directive sent on January 8 in Col Nhemachena’s name and under his signature on Coltart’s instruction is a fraudulent piece of paper not worth the ink printed on it.
In the second place, the fraudulent directive issued by Coltart through Col Nhemachena is barbaric in that it targets incumbents like Givemore Makoni and seeks to use the backdoor to remove them from their legal, legitimate and contractual roles and obligations by the stroke of a racist pen through a fraudulent decree purporting to be coming from a board that does not in fact exist at law. That is jungle stuff typical of Rhodie antics with no basis in the rule of law.
It is an established human rights principle and a tenet of international best practice that the effect of a change of law or rule must not be retroactive.
Givemore Makoni was legally and thus contractually appointed as Convenor of Selectors on November 2 2012 by Zimbabwe Cricket well before Coltart sent his fraudulent directive to Col Nhemachena on December 3 2012 and it is barbaric for Coltart or anyone else to seek to shamelessly nullify that appointment through a racist decree which is intended to take effect from February 1 for a specific hidden reason that is too apparent.
In the third place, and above everything else, Coltart’s directive fraudulently issued through Col Nhemachena in the absence of an SRC Board in order to unleash barbaric consequences on targeted individuals such as Givemore Makoni is patently illegal. There is absolutely nothing in the Sports and Recreation Commission Act (Chapter 25:15) that gives either Coltart as the Minister or the SRC Board the power to do what Coltart’s racist directive seeks to do.
In simple terms, while the SRC has the policy duty and responsibility to oversee the affairs of sporting associations in order to co-ordinate and develop sport at the national level, it has no legal right whatsoever to run the affairs of the associations or to make or amend their constitutions through directives.
As a matter of fact, in all situations where the law gives a minister or board any “power”, that power is always specifically defined and is always exercised in statutory terms by first being gazetted in the Government Gazette. In terms of the law, power cannot be exercised arbitrarily or in general and nebulous terms at the whim and caprice of a minister without reference to a specific section of the enabling law and without gazetting the desired action on the basis of that law.
The fact that Coltart is a lawyer and therefore should know this is enough to prove his sinister intentions because no self-respecting lawyer would seek to implement an arbitrary directive that has no legal basis and that does not even have Cabinet authority.
What is particularly shocking in this case is that Coltart is seeking to use an ungazetted and fraudulent directive to amend the constitutions of sport associations such as Zimbabwe Cricket that are legally registered with the SRC.
This alone shows that Coltart is a fake human rights activist and the noises he always makes — especially at international fora where he is now seeking a job at some international anti-nuclear proliferation agency — are hollow and self-serving.
Against this background the position taken by Zimbabwe Cricket should be commended and supported by all Zimbabweans beyond cricket because it is legally and morally correct and is in the national interest.
Instructively, the fact that there’s a not-so-hidden racist agenda in Coltart’s directive has been exposed by his outrageous response to the decision by Zimbabwe Cricket not to implement the illegal directive. Upon learning of the Zimbabwe Cricket decision last Friday, Coltart took to the social media with a post that made this shocking claim:
“I see that one of the reasons for defiance advanced by Zimbabwe Cricket is the following: ‘Further, the actions of the Commission, in that regard, would be in violation of Article 2.9(B) of the ICC Articles of Association which prohibit government interference in the management of the affairs of the member associations’. This is one of the most disingenuous arguments I have seen. I wonder how Zimbabwe Cricket reconciles this statement with the following article published yesterday regarding Sri Lanka’s selection procedures where the Sri Lankan Minister of Sport chooses the selectors”.
It is bad for Coltart to base his response on a secondary reason used by Zimbabwe Cricket and worse for him to misrepresent that reason in a manner that clearly shows that he takes Zimbabweans for fools.
Zimbabwe Cricket’s rejection of Coltart’s directive is primarily and essentially based on the law of the land and Coltart knows that because it is in black and white in the five-page letter Zimbabwe Cricket sent to the Col Nhemachena on January 24. Except for only one paragraph in its conclusion, the entire five-page letter is based on the Sports and Recreation Commission Act (Chapter 25:15) and painstakingly shows how and why Coltart’s directive is illegal in terms of this law and this alone.
Coltart’s failure to respond to the detailed legal issues raised by Zimbabwe Cricket in terms of the Sports and Recreation Commission Act and his uninformed reference to a useless newspaper article about how the Sri Lankan Minister of Sport chooses selectors show how childish and irresponsible he has become in defence of his racism in sport.
Zimbabwe Cricket’s reference to Article 2.9(B) of the ICC Articles of Association which prohibit government interference in the management of the affairs of member associations is an important and relevant secondary and not primary reason for rejecting Coltart’s illegal directive. The primary reason is the Zimbabwean law.
What is as shocking as it is revealing is that Coltart, who is a lawyer, wants Zimbabweans to ignore the fact that Article 2.9(B) of the ICC Articles of Association does indeed exist and wants them to focus instead on the fact that Sri Lankan and Pakistan cricket are in violation of this ICC Article 2.9(b) of Association and that this violation somehow justifies his illegal directive.
In other words, Coltart is saying “if Sri Lanka and Pakistan are doing it illegally, then we must also did it illegally”. This is utter crap which shows that Coltart does not get it and is an enemy of the rule of law. His shocking irrationality is equivalent to a stupid lawyer who defends a client accused of murder by submitting that his client must be left alone to murder some more because there are other murderers out there going scott free.
The fact is that the ICC stands by Article 2.9(b) of its Articles of Association and has given Sri Lanka and Pakistan a reprieve and is closely working with them to comply while Zimbabwe Cricket is already in compliance which partly explains why it has rejected Coltart’s illegal directive.
Another example of Coltart’s failure to understand the compelling legal issues raised by Zimbabwe Cricket was exposed last Friday in his Facebook exchange with Darlington Tendai Majonga whom he sought to confuse if not smear by rhetorically asking: “Can you ever imagine Zimbabwe Cricket adopting this attitude if it was a Zanu-PF minister involved?”
Again and because he has no case besides his racist agenda, Coltart failed to give Majonga the legal basis or reasons why Zimbabwe Cricket should comply with his racist directive and instead — and rather foolishly — decided to go political in very personalised terms by claiming that “Zimbabwe Cricket would not insist on following the law if it was a Zanu-PF minister involved”.
This again shows that Coltart does not get it. No Zanu-PF minister would treacherously dare seek to reverse the gains of our hard-won and heroic independence by giving a directive intended to disempower the indigenous population in favour of erstwhile Rhodesian interests. That is unthinkable.
It appears from the record that Coltart suffers from an acute case of delusions of the grandeur.
He imagines himself to be a champion of human rights and the rule of law only by dint of the white colour of his skin simply because his race easily and readily connects him to Western interests and that gives him an exaggerated sense of a superiority complex.
By his own admission posted on his personal website, Coltart claims to have become a human rights activist for the first time in his life in 1983 yet he was born in 1957. But interestingly he claims in his curriculum vitae that he was “conscripted into the British South African Police Force stationed in Mashonaland, Matabeleland South and Masvingo Provinces” during the height of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle between 1975 and 1978. Although he claims that he was “conscripted” into the Rhodesian Selous Scouts network under the BSAP he boasts in his curriculum vitae that he was judged to be the “best recruit” in July 1975. Best recruit!
It is unthinkable that an unwilling soldier of conscience in Rhodesia could have been the best recruit. There’s clearly more to Coltart’s Rhodesian history than the people have known and his recent racist directive is a telling window into his dark past.
This perhaps explains why there’s nothing in Coltart’s history that locates him in support of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle or its legacy. Nothing
According to his own curriculum vitae posted on his personal Website he became a human rights activist not by choice or God’s calling as he would have the uninitiated among us believe but after he was “instructed by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace to record affidavits from people who had suffered at the hands of the Fifth Brigade, affidavits subsequently submitted to the Chihambakwe Commission of Inquiry”.
Coltart prepared these affidavits not as a human rights activist — which he has never been — but as a hired lawyer under instruction from Rhodesian interests! The same is true with his legal defence of the likes of the late Sydney Malunga, Edward Ndlovu, Stephen Nkomo and other members of the then PF-Zapu Central Committee. Coltart defended them as a hired lawyer and not as a human rights activist not least because he did not support their heroic liberation history or role in that struggle.
He just supported their unfortunate misunderstanding with their nationalist colleagues in Government. And to this day Coltart does not support the liberation struggle or its gains. This is because to him human rights and the rule of law are the antithesis of the liberation struggle and its gains.
It is for this reason that Coltart cannot stand the likes of Givemore Makoni whose rise in cricket is an expression of the gains of the liberation struggle.
Indeed, Coltart’s opposition to the liberation struggle and its gains also explains why more often than not on a given day in his Government ministerial office, he is wont to be found surrounded by hordes of Rhodies. In the same vein, his policy thrust as education minister is run by a so-called Education Transition Trust which meets once a month at his ministerial offices and whose composition is 70 percent white with the 30 percent remainder made up of the black employees of the same 70 percent white bloc that runs the trust plus a sprinkling of a few ministry officials.
Under Coltart, the last four years have seen a concerted effort to kill the very system of public education that has been Zimbabwe’s national pride by not only privatising it but also by creating white colonies within it that are reminiscent of the Rhodesian “Group A” schools that are now once again springing up as colonies in our country.
As part of Coltart’s racist initiative in education, these schools are running their own foreign syllabi and have become apartheid islands that are not relating to the rest of the schools in the public educational system even in sports and recreational activities.
Coltart has a dangerous racist agenda which he is pursuing with his racist cabal of Rhodies in a fraudulent manner with no legal basis. He must be stopped by any and all means necessary.