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Zimbabwean Election Poster
3.08.02
Politics and Economy:
Election in Zimbabwe
More on This Story:
An Activist's Story

Meet a young activist named Tom Spicer. He's everything Mugabe despises: white, affluent and determined to end Mugabe's rule. In turn, he's been beaten, tortured and thrown in jail for nights on end.

Tom Spicer
Tom Spicer

TOM SPICER'S STORY: TRANSCRIPT

NARRATOR: In addressing this opposition rally Tom Spicer speaks fluent Shona. He's the son of a prominent family that has lived here for generations. He's a senior in high school. But at the moment the most important thing to him in life is defeating President Robert Mugabe and his ZANUPF party.

TOM SPICER: If we don't, if...the country will decay to such an extent that no one will be able to scrap together a half decent meal every night.

EDWINA SPICER: What gives you the right to do this? You're a white boy.

TOM SPICER: So? What doesn't give me the right? I'm a Zimbabwean. Yeah, I'm white but before being white I'm Zimbabwean.

NARRATOR: Spicer learned Shona from his family's maid and her children. He entered into politics two years ago after attending rallies where he heard Mugabe's party blaming the country's problems on whites.

And got very annoyed at hearing slogans like "[down with] mabhuno," "mabhuno" is a derogatory term for white people. The slogan means down with white people.

But opposing Mugabe is dangerous. Tom's friend, Trymore Midzi, also a campaign activist for the opposition party, was beaten to death by a gang of civilian militia, young men who are using violence against dissenters.

TOM: I think people in the western world don't actually know what it's like to a have a friend killed. To know with absolute certainly that those people under the current legal system will not have to pay for killing that person.

NARRATOR: Trymore Midzi had been handcuffed by a policeman and then beaten to death by Mugabe supporters.

TOM: Three years ago hearing that someone that I knew had been killed might have shocked me. These days it doesn't really.

NARRATOR: Now Tom Spicer's own life is at risk. He's been arrested six times, threatened, beaten, and stabbed. And at this moment he's waiting in the family home. He's been told the police are coming for him again.

EDWINA: You're not getting fed up with this?

TOM: Of course I'm getting fed up.

NARRATOR: Tom Spicer says his anger is an anger shared by black and white alike.

TOM: I don't know how in words you can capture the rage of a generation. People, young people in Zimbabwe face no future. We have no future.

TOM: Any self-respecting citizen, of any country, won't just sit back and watch the country that they live in, that they love, that's their home be eaten away, and destroyed and take no action.

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