Human rights and political activist, Judith Todd, daughter of former Southern Rhodesian Prime Minister Garfield Todd, says she feels safe under President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government but it will take 30 years or more for the country to get back to what it should be.
Judith, who was arrested several times by the Rhodesian regime of Ian Smith before being forced into exile, returned to Zimbabwe at independence but was later stripped of her citizenship by the Robert Mugabe administration.
She told the New Zealand Herald that she feels safe under the Mnangagwa administration but says there is a lot of work to be done to overcome Mugabe’s legacy.
“The fabric of the country was torn up; the economy was smashed, agriculture was smashed, so many of our brightest people….have gone into the diaspora so, I am sorry, to say it will probably take a generation or two to get back to what it should be,” she told the paper.
A generation is 30 years.
Mugabe presided over Zimbabwe for 37 years, the first seven as Prime Minister.
At the time the President was ceremonial while the Prime Minister had executive powers.
Judith, now 76, was quoted by the New Zealand paper in a review about a play, Black Lover, which is about the life of her father who was born in New Zealand in 1908 and came to Zimbabwe as a missionary in 1934.
Garfield Todd joined the Southern Rhodesian Parliament in 1946 and was elected Prime Minister from 1953 to 1958.
He was appointed to the Senate at independence in 1980 and retired in 1985.
He was, however, stripped of his Zimbabwean nationality in 2002 and died shortly thereafter at the age of 94.