Yet another view on Zimbabwe that is purely subjective

Title: Through the Darkness, A life in Zimbabwe

Title: Through the Darkness, A life in Zimbabwe

Author: Judith Garfield Todd

Publisher: Zebra Press

Reviewer: Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

A lot has been written about Zimbabwe in the recent past. And it is really difficult to justify yet another account of how Robert Mugabe and his cronies have ruined the country.

Judith Garfield Todd tries to give her own spin to this tired story.

The first few chapters are too detailed. The author mentions too many people's names, places, dates and times, and all this information becomes rather confusing.

But she could not avoid this approach because the book is based on her diary and the letters that Todd kept when she communicated with people, especially the Zimbabwean authorities.

Todd says: "It is neither a history nor an analysis of events, but simply charts one person's impression along Zimbabwe's roller-coaster ride from its birth on April 18 1980."

The book relates how Zimbabwe was born and how the majority of her people pinned their hopes on President Robert Mugabe's government to improve their lives.

But she says that it turned out that they were wrong because he deserted them.

To substantiate her claims about how the country deteriorated, Todd says she visited one village and found children cooking grass. She writes that Mugabe became a monster who crushed anyone who stood in his way.

She writes about the atrocious acts Mugabe meted out to his opposition and laments how the economy and political stability dismantled after Zanu-PF took over the country.

Todd describes Mugabe as the evil responsible for all the woes in Zimbabwe.

The book gives the impression that nothing good ever came from Mugabe's rule.

The author also gives her opinion about the land issue.

Todd believes that the land should have been left in the hands of the white minority. It is not clear whether her stance on this issue is coloured by her father once having been a prime minister of Rhodesia and also a farmer or whether it is a matter of principle.

Todd writes about herself as an angel. She boasts about her involvement with organisations that help the poor and political prisoners.

Judith Garfield Todd might have hoped that readers would find her book objective, but Through the Darkness, A life in Zimbabwe is as personal and subjective as it can get.