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Appropriately dubbed by many as a magical plant, St.
Johns Wort (hypericum perforatum) carries a rich history, full of cultural nuances and mystical legends. Jonathan Zuess, in his book , The Natural Prozac Program, eloquently captures the emotion and quintessence of St.
At our meetings, he spoke endlessly about how Rhodesians had been more British than the British, how Churchill - had he been alive - would almost certainly have emigrated from corrupt, liberal England to Rhodesia, and how this small community of decent, fair-minded whites had been betrayed by, well, just about everybody he could think of - the Tories, Labour, the Afrikaners, the OAU, the UN.
Not surprisingly, he called his ponderous autobiography The Great Betrayal.
However ponderous, however humourless and unsophisticated he was, Smith had run a successful emerging African country and, although the whites were the main beneficiaries, there was increasing prosperity among the black population.
Above all there was a sound, intelligently managed economy, free from the post-colonial blight of corruption.
Those words surely apply more to his own leader than to Ian Smith.Mugabe had summoned Smith to Government House and Smith was surprised to be greeted with a warm handshake and a broad smile; after all, the country's new Marxist leader had promised his people that, come liberation, he would have Smith publicly hanged in Harare's main square.At that meeting, Mugabe told Smith he was acutely aware that he had inherited from his old adversaries, the whites, a jewel of a country, and he praised its superb infrastructure, its efficient modern economy, and promised to keep it that way.Today, Zimbabwe is a failed state with a non-functioning economy, a once-flourishing agricultural sector now moribund, and a population on the brink of starvation.According to a UN Development Programme index, life expectancy there today is one of the lowest in the world. Although the first 20 years of Mugabe's rule saw a slow, somewhat even-paced decline, the calamitous collapse has been achieved in little more than half a decade, an extraordinary feat of self-destruction when one considers that it took more than a century for Ian Smith's white antecedents to carve a modern, functioning, European-style society out of raw African bushveld.
He became the embodiment of corrupt, violent, amoral African dictatorship - just as Smith had warned his supporters.