This month the last of Winston Churchill’s children Mary Churchill Soames died. Winston Churchill was the British Prime Minister who fought and defeated the embodiment of evil in the 20th century in the form of Adolf Hitler and his senseless nazi doctrine. Winston Churchill’s daughter Mary was married to Christopher Soames the last governor of Rhodesia now Zimbabwe.
Mary Soames and her husband became friends with the legendary or infamous Robert Mugabe depending on your political perspective. In an interview Lady Soames spoke of the colonial structure that ensured that no black people would be trained in high levels of decision making or given the opportunity to put their education into practice for the few that were educated. She attributes this lack of opportunity skills deficit in the public sector as a contributing factor to the economic demise of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwean government.
Mugabe and a lot of the senior government officials had the academic credentials but lacked the experience. The white colonialists did not want to train the new black leaders to ensure the failure of new African governments and Zimbabwe was no exception. Some the government officials had to go to Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia, Cuba, and China to get a crash course in governance.
Mary’s husband Christopher was heavily involved in securing investors for Zimbabwe in the early days. Apparently his dinner was graced by the famous Rotschilds and O’ Reillys other international investors.
It was Lord & Lady Soames who bought Sally; Mugabe’s first wife her own dialysis machine in the 1980s. Lady Soames spoke affectionately of the Mugabes in ways that few British people do especially those without farms or diamond mines. This account of the dialysis machine is contrary to false accusations that were peddled by white farmers that spoke of the dialysis machine as an example of Sally’s excess and corruption.
The Mugabes showed kindness to Lady Soames when her husband Christopher died. She did not expect them to come but the Soames’ must have meant a lot to the Mugabes. At that time Mugabe had not been banned in Britain and London was his second home and he didn’t an excuse to go London.
Mary Soames represented Queen Elizabeth at Sally’s funeral. Mary Soames humanized Mugabe and gave us insight into the life of mysterious Mugabe. I guess it took a Churchill to divulge to us a piece of Mugabe and this relationship can best be described by the British adage
“We have no eternal allies and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.”
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