Journalist-In-Exile Chronicles The Decline Of Zimbabwe Under Mugabe
Ever since going into exile in the United States in 2004, Zimbabwean Geoffrey Nyarota has been looking forward to returning home. But whenever his country’s president, Robert Mugabe, sticks his tongue out at critics angling to see him retire, Nyarota knows – better than most – that that moment remains all too remote.
Before he left Zimbabwe, Nyarota was editor of the Daily News, the country’s only independent daily newspaper. His book, Against The Grain, is a first-hand account of how those who expose what’s happening in Zimbabwe are treated by Mugabe’s autocratic government.
As a young man, Nyarota hoped his children would enjoy living in the kind of democracy that he had been denied under colonial rule. But when Mugabe took power in 1980 after the war of liberation, Nyarota discovered that many of the celebrated freedom fighters were more interested in enriching themselves than helping the millions of poor in the country.
Nyarota’s dogged pursuit of stories lifting the lid on the Mugabe regime’s ill-gotten gains was bound to upset many powerful people, and he was subjected to extreme harassment by the state. It was only after repeated arrests, torture and intimidation, costly legal fees and, finally, a contract on his life, that Nyarota took the difficult decision to leave his homeland.
Against The Grain is a revealing account of how a governing party’s political thuggery and unashamed cronyism has trashed one of Africa’s most developed economies and killed the spirit of a people who fought hard for their freedom.
But it’s also an inspiring story of how a courageous journalist – seen by President Mugabe as Public Enemy No. 1 – refused to surrender his principles or be silenced.
- Against The Grain
by Geoffrey Nyarota
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