Tuesday, November 14, 2017

(BLACK OPINION SA) President Jacob Zuma explains white monopoly capital and Western imperialist interference in Africa

COMMENT - Oligarchy and globalisation are a problem all over the world, and in few places is it older than South Africa. South Africa and Botswana's diamonds were 90-95% of all the diamonds traded in the world in the 20th century, courtesy of De Beers only. President Zuma of South Africa on oligarchy - MrK

(BLACK OPINION SA) President Jacob Zuma explains white monopoly capital and Western imperialist interference in Africa
By admin Posted in Featured Politics
Posted on November 14, 2017

By BO Staff Writer

South African President, Jacob Zuma sat down with progressive 24 hour news channel, ANN7, to discuss his tenure and views on state matters. In the interview, Zuma said be doesn’t understand why people are still arguing about white monopoly capital, saying that it is a sad reality we cannot ignore. The president also touched on Western imperialism’s longing to maintain political anf economic control in Africa.

On white monopoly capital:

“In so far as white monopoly capital, I think the issue to me is very simple. If you have a history of South Africa where the majority was deprived of everything – and this is what people don’t like us to say, but it’s a fact, it’s not a manufactured story. We are not mad. We are telling the truth.

This is what, as a freedom fighter, we fought for. We are not saying something we don’t know. They took everything. The political power, which we now have, and the economic power, the land, everything.

When we say there is a monopoly, let us take the mines. Companies which dominate in the mines are not many. [Companies] who really are benefiting are very few. Whether you go to gold, diamonds, platinum, manganese or whatever, you will find the same companies in charge. That means they are dominating. That means they are monopolizing the economy. They are therefore monopolies. And, they are not black. The companies are not black.

You’ve got companies today that are basically white. They start from the biggest commodities to the broom. Their names are written there. They are monopolizing every space of the economy, it’s a fact. I don’t know why they shouldn’t be called by what they practise. I don’t know why there is a debate in fact, because there is a monopoly capital and in South Africa it is white. In all other countries there are monopolies, it doesn’t have colour as such. But here, because of our history, it does have a colour, it is white.

If you look at the land, stretches of land which was land that belonged to the majority, that was changed. It is now the minority which dominates. And that’s why we are saying these are monopolies. It’s not an insult it’s just explaining the position of the economy. Who is owning bigger, Who is poor.”

On Western imperialist interference:

“Yes, there are some foreign countries who look at some leaders in Africa as their enemy and I’m one of those. It is an accepted thing, or a known thing that if they want to undermine a country, they use the citizens of those countries. In other words, they buy them, they recruit them, they use them to undertake their own. They would also want to choose the people to lead the country who might agree to their policies or people they might actually control. That is a general thing in Africa, it’s not a secret.

Former colonial countries want to influence former colonies in one form or the other, for their own interest. You know for quite a few decades there used to be coup d’état’s in Africa and they were engineered by people from outside. In other words to change governments so that they put people who will support them. I don’t think South Africa will be immune from such a thing. It’s a reality. Leaving aside what I know, or what we know, just as a general kind of practise that has plagued Africa for a long time.

At times, even the issue of elections, how people influence elections in one form or the other, how those people have preference in terms of individuals. That’s what happens. I don’t think you could say South Africa is not affected by that. I think in South Africa what has been a difficulty to many of them is that the ANC has been too strong. It’s an old organisation. In fact some of them have been wishing for the ANC to disappear. But the ANC has been very strong. I think they have been trying every method to weaken the ANC. To create disagreements. To create friction within the ANC. To influence factions etc. There are forces which are always there trying to influence confusion and misleading people so that they can have things in their own way. So that they can be satisfied that they are in control. That one is a reality we cannot ru away from.”

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Rothschild Baron Monopoly Capital And Trevor Manuel

COMMENT - In this hilarious exchange, former Southafrican Finance Minister Trevor Manuel takes issue with the use of the term White Monopoly Capital, which he perhaps even correctly ascribes to PR people working on behalf of the Guptas. This is ironic, because right after stepping down as Finance Minister, Trevor Manuel stepped up to join the Rothschild Group, the real and ultimately only monopolists in South Africa. The Rothschild barons funded Cecil Rhodes, Randolph Churchill, Disraeli, and their Anglo-American De Beers dominates the mining sector and economy. See posts just below. And yet even Julius Malema and Andile Mngxitama won't mention their name, and instead use the euphemism 'White Monopoly Capital'. That's how powerful they are. - MrK

(DAILY MAVERICK SA) Fikile, do you remember the tears you shed over the Guptas?
11 June 2017 14:39 (South Africa)
Trevor Manuel
09 Jun 2017 10:24

I have tried, unsuccessfully, to understand the purpose of the article that was first published in your name in the Daily Maverick. You clearly did not understand what I said in the recent panel discussion about Nelson Mandela’s economic legacy.

Dear Fikile,

The drafters of your letter to me try, unsuccessfully, to weave a story that drifts from Andre Odendaal, Moeletsi Mbeki, Anton Lembede and Martin Luther King, to lies about our household income. The only result is absolute confusion.

I stand by what I said at the Nelson Mandela Foundation: the term "White Monopoly Capital" was conjured up by Bell Pottinger on behalf of the Guptas, and filtered into the political discourse to serve their agenda. Since then I have become aware of the specificity of the facts. As Ranjeni Munusamy reminds us, the term was developed by Bell Pottinger's Victoria Geoghegan, who in an email to Duduzane Zuma styled "White Monopoly Capital" as a narrative and filtered it into the discourse via Collen Maine, Andile Mngxitama and Mzwanele Manyi.

The idea of 'White Monopoly Capital' (WMC) is a ruse to draw attention away from our pressing policy priorities. It is for this reason that I asked what the alternative is:
inRead invented by Teads

"Is it Indian Monopoly Capture out of Saxonwold?”

In case you haven’t understood my initial statement, this is a specific reference to the wheeling and dealing of the Guptas. It goes without saying that the scandalous conduct of this particular family must be separated from the significant contributions to the liberation struggle of many thousands of people of Indian origin.

To recast for your benefit, WMC is an instrument of propaganda that draws attention to one issue in a manner that ignores the realities confronting us. I must assume from your implacable belief in its existence that you have consumed the idea - hook, line and sinker.

I agree with the views of the SACP, as expressed in their recent statement following the Central Committee meeting of 2-4 June, that one of the “features of the Gupta parasitic-patronage network” is “a diversionary populist ideological platform”. Amongst other insightful points the SACP makes, which you would do well to read carefully, it says:

“In the face of growing public exposure of their misdeeds, there have been a number of ideological interventions from the parasitic-patronage faction."

If you also took the trouble to read the Economics Resolutions of each ANC Conference since the 49th in 1994, you will not find the language of 'White Monopoly Capital' in any of them. This is because WMC is not part of the lexicon of terms used in ANC policy. It was conjured up as a red herring to obscure the misdeeds of the Guptas and those who benefit from their patronage network.

Words are important, and in the political economy terms such as monopoly have a distinct meaning. The tasks at hand remain enormous. I would welcome a rational policy discussion with you but that depends on your getting facts right. To use terms such as “neoliberal sleeper” to describe me obfuscates the real issues. Extensive research, including by international economists, has established that South Africa has the most redistributive income tax system in the world, and that its social expenditure is largely progressive. But our ongoing challenge is of course economic growth to sustain this, the creation of jobs to improve the standards of living for our people, and the dramatic reduction of inequality by improving public education, and changing the apartheid landscape of our cities.

The National Development Plan placed its central focus on how to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality. These remain cornerstone challenges. They will not disappear simply because some new nefarious slogan has been dreamt up by Bell Pottinger and the Guptas. Our problem is that too many people are left behind, excluded from access to good quality education, better quality public service and an investment in skills. Of course, 23 years on, the exclusion of so many still bears all of the dimensions of race, class, gender and geography. These challenges are not wished away; we need action, measurement and communication with all South Africans.

You would recall that the ANC’s 53rd national conference in 2012 adopted the National Development Plan as a policy of the governing party. The NDP also makes a series of recommendations about policing to deal with the realities of poverty, and I would advise you to scrupulously examine these. Unfortunately, it is as though the NDP has been abandoned as people who occupy senior positions of State appear more focused on demonstrating that it is their turn to eat.

It is odd, Fikile, that a mere five years ago you described President Zuma as a “politically bankrupt” leader who married “every week”. Odd, because I have a clear memory of an incident that may be at the heart of why you have responded to me in the manner you have. That memory goes back to an ANC NEC meeting in August 2011. There, the Fikile Mbalula we once knew wept as he spoke. He explained he'd been called to Saxonwold by the Guptas in May 2009 and was told that he was being promoted from the position of Deputy Minister of Police to Minister of Sport. A few days later the President confirmed this change. The weeping was about the fact that he, Fikile, was happy that he'd made it into Cabinet but that it was wrong to have learnt this from Atul Gupta. That weeping was then, and this is now. Perhaps there are still a few debts to be called in by Saxonwold.

On the questions of service to our country and people, I will leave history to judge my contribution.


Trevor DM

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Tuesday, June 06, 2017

PF Refuses To Collect Dividends, Takes On Eurobond Debt Instead

COMMENT - The Eurobonds, IMF/WB, Privatisation, Anglo-American Corporation and it's many holdings (De Beers, Tongaat Hulett) all lead back to the same family and banks. When dealing with one, you are also dealing with the rest.
ZCCM-IH says FQM defrauded it repeatedly from 2006 to 2012 by hiding profits from Kansanshi Mining Plc and using proceeds from that period of high copper prices to build other mines without its consent as a shareholder.

The FQM executives sued by ZCCM-IH included chairman and chief executive officer Philip Pascall and directors Arthur Mathias Pascall, Clive Newall and Martin Rowley.

Mike Mulongoti:
He further asked the rationality of Zambia yearning to borrow from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) an amount of US$1.6 billion when they were in cahoots with FQM over US$1.4 billion.

We are convinced that they must have been paid because there is no way they can insist on going to the IMF to borrow US$1.6 billion and yet there is more than US$2 (billion) from the mine that they are trying to collect. How can that be?
Because the family that owns the mines is the same family that controls the IMF/WB, and they're making money both ways.

(THE MAST ZM) State House wants to rob Zambians through the ZCCM-IH, FQM fraud case – Mulongoti
Malawo Malawo

MIKE Mulongoti says State House’s attempt to rob Zambians out of billions of kwacha from First Quantum Minerals must viciously be watched and later followed up.

According to reliable sources, State House has bowed to pressure and is forcing Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines-Investments Holdings (ZCCM-IH) to discontinue the fraud case in which it claims First Quantum Minerals (FQM) swindled it out of US$1.4 billion.

In November last year, ZCCM-IH, which holds shares on behalf of the Zambian government in the privatised and now foreign-owned mines, sued FQM in the Lusaka High Court for fraud and simultaneously commenced an arbitration process in London in an attempt to recover the money.

ZCCM-IH says FQM defrauded it repeatedly from 2006 to 2012 by hiding profits from Kansanshi Mining Plc and using proceeds from that period of high copper prices to build other mines without its consent as a shareholder.

The FQM executives sued by ZCCM-IH included chairman and chief executive officer Philip Pascall and directors Arthur Mathias Pascall, Clive Newall and Martin Rowley.

On April 21, 2017, Arthur, the director of operations, wrote to Attorney General Likando Kalaluka requesting him to force ZCCM-IH to drop the matter that is actively before the courts of law. The FQM directors also asked Kalaluka to protect them from prosecution. As the matter continued being battled in the Lusaka High Court, State House press aide Amos Chanda announced on May 10 that President Edgar Lungu would interfere in the ongoing legal dispute between ZCCM-IH and FQM and direct the matter to be settled outside the courts of law.

And last week, while the case was being heard in court, the Ministry of Finance issued a statement saying the first round of negotiations on the matter were fruitful.

Commenting on the matter, Mulongoti, the People’s Party president, observed that there was no morality in President Lungu’s government. He wondered what incentive was there for President Lungu, who recently hinted that he did not interfere in active court processes, to now call for a friendly resolution of the ZCCM-IH and FQM legal battle.

We have a problem when it comes to the issue of integrity in the PF government. The President, together with his spokesperson, has emphatically said they will not interfere with any court issues. When the outside world and everybody was persuading him to secure the release of HH (Hakainde Hichilema), he refused! Now, there is a court process (between ZCCM-IH and First Quantum Minerals) which involves resources of Zambia where ZCCM-Investment Holdings want to get money from an investor who has behaved dishonestly and he wants to intervene! How?

Mulongoti, who served as a Cabinet minister in various ministries during the MMD reign, wondered in an interview in Lusaka.

“This is a matter that must be followed up very viciously. What we’ll see is that they will become richer and Zambia will get poorer! They (FQM) have spent money that is supposed to come to Zambia on developing their own companies and the (ZCCM-IH) chief executive officer Dr Pius Kasolo is trying to get that money back. But for whatever reason, they (government) want to stop that money coming back to the people of Zambia.”

He further asked the rationality of Zambia yearning to borrow from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) an amount of US$1.6 billion when they were in cahoots with FQM over US$1.4 billion.

We are convinced that they must have been paid because there is no way they can insist on going to the IMF to borrow US$1.6 billion and yet there is more than US$2 million from the mine that they are trying to collect. How can that be? Mulongoti asked.

“So, there is no reason to allow them even to go to the IMF if they can’t collect that money which is here! This issue of insincerity is not right and along the way, the people of Zambia who are suffering will demand for little more than just ordinary explanation.”

He cautioned those who were currently looting public funds in the PF government that money could not be hidden.

They have become so rich such that some of them don’t even know what to do with the money. There is no secret in the world today -whether you’ve hidden your money in South Africa, Dubai or wherever, we’ll get to know and the people of Zambia will demand for that money, cautioned Mulongoti.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

(BLACK OPINION SA) Who Is Lord Robin Renwick, Julius Malema’s Handler From London?

COMMENT - On the EFF's betrayal, their deal with the infamous Lord Renwick to turn away from land reform. So who is Lord Renwick? Lord Renwick has directorships of the following:

Vallar PLC - the investment vehicle of Nat Rothschild, son of Jacob, 4th Lord Rothschild (great-grandson of the 1st Lord Rothschild who funded Cecil Rhodes) and the future 5th Lord Rothschild.

SABMiller - which was advised by NM Rothschild.

According to Sourcewatch, Lord Renwick also advised Lord Carrington during the Lancaster House negotiations. (Lord Carrington was also the Chairman of the David Rockefeller founded and once chaired Bilderberg Group.)

However Lord Renwick's main job seems to be Vice Chair of Investment Banking at JPMorgan Europe and Vice Chair of JPMorgan Cazenove, ultimateley owned by the Rothschild/Rockefeller's JPMorgan Chase:
The Chase-Equitable merger not only created the world’s largest bank in terms of assets and deposits but also gave the Rockefeller family, which con-trolled Equitable, a strong connection to Chase. The Rockefellers have been asso-ciated with Chase ever since.

(BLACK OPINION SA) Who Is Lord Robin Renwick Julius Malema’s Handler From London?
By admin Posted in Featured
Posted on April 13, 2016
By BO Staff Writer

During October 2015, the top leadership of the ostensible “Marxist-Leninist” parliamentary party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) led by its “Commander in Chief” Julius Malema took a tour to London where they met amongst others, ‘Lord’ Robin Renwick. The meeting with Renwick and other representatives of imperialism happened under the secret rule called the “Chatham House Rule”. Up until now no one knows what was said between the EFF and the representatives of British colonialism. The media is also not interested to ask the relevant questions. What is known is that after meeting Robin Renwick and others, EFF changed its policy in a number of significant ways.

Renwick gloats about being the man who converted Nelson Mandela from demanding nationalisation of the economy to becoming a servant of capitalism and private property. Since meeting with Renwick, EFF has been quite on things like “land expropriation without compensation” and “nationalisation”. EFF has been focused on the “Guptas Must Go” and the “Zuma Must Fall” campaigns which are in turn fully supported by British and Afrikaner imperialism.

We don’t know what was said between Malema and Renwick but leaked pictures show the two men in deep conversation. After meeting Lord Renwick, EFF radically altered its anti-imperialist stance and has since become an agent of imperialism. They have also denounced radical land reform as well as Robert Mugabe, who is the only person who has been able to return land to black people in Southern Africa in recent times. The most bizarre, and still to be explained, policy change of the EFF after meeting Renwick is the attack on the late President Mandela’s legacy. Not even a year before, the EFF was singing praises of Mandela including leading a big procession to his home after his death to pay homage to him.

What has led to the change of heart? One explanation is that white global capitalism is worried that it has elevated Mandela to such a high point that he is likely to be regarded as a saint by even the white population. This is not acceptable as its inconsistent with black representation by white supremacy. In this context Mandela must necessarily be brought down to normal black status as a figure with no legacy to celebrate. Whites have used Mandela when it suited them – now they are abusing him. It’s the same old story. What is shocking is to see the willingness of Julius Malema and company to do the dirty work of white supremacy.

Robin Renwick with Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela referred to Robin Renwick as his advisor.
Robin Renwick with Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela referred to Renwick as his advisor

Lord Robin Renwick – Malema’s new friend – is a nasty piece of work. He is a chief imperialist negotiator who was deployed to Southern Africa by the Queen under the Margaret Thatcher administration. He has successfully negotiated neo-colonial settlements consecutively in Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa. In November 1978 he was deployed to Zimbabwe, where he was appointed head of the Rhodesia Department in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He later served as Political Adviser to the Governor of ‘Rhodesia’. He had clear instructions to find a suitable black successor government that was: amicable to working with the British, willing to keep the economy in the hands of White Monopoly Capital, and, willing to accept the neo-colonial constitution drafted by the British that served to protect White minority rights. As indicated below, in order to delay and confuse the process of negotiations Renwick is not shy to share his strategy:

“So we produced a rather wild plan, if you like, rather than recognising Muzorewa we should change the constitution into a respectable constitution but with protection for minority rights and that we should ourselves take over the running of the country for a period and then de-colonise it as we had in other countries.”

Bishop Abel Muzorewa signs the Lancaster House Agreement seated next to British Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington.

The Muzorewa sham independence process fell apart but it did buy the British colonialists breathing space and cut the momentum of the armed struggle. The British were reluctantly forced to hand over power to Robert Mugabe via agreements made at Lancaster.

Robin Renwick was closely involved in the process of what he calls ‘decolonising’ Zimbabwe. He convinced Robert Mugabe, who was adamant on arm struggle for liberation, to delay the real liberation of the Zimbabwean people by another 20 years by leaving the economy and the land in the hands of the British. The Queen awarded Renwick with the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 1980 for his service to the crown. Traditionally these awards go to those who “hold high and confidential offices within Her Majesty’s colonial possessions, and in reward for services rendered to the Crown in relation to the foreign affairs of the Empire”.

In 1987 Robin Renwick was deployed to South Africa by the Queen under similar instructions. South Africa had declared a state of emergency and like Zimbabwe (seven years earlier) was costing European investors billions of rands. Renwick’s orders were to find a suitable successor to President PW Botha, for the purpose of freeing Nelson Mandela who the British had identified as the black leader that they could best work with, and drafting a new neo-colonial constitution that protected the rights of the white minority who owned the SA economy. Renwick also had instructions to get SA to agree to giving Namibia its independence. Two conditions were attached to this nominal independence. Firstly, that no radical return of land must be realized and secondly, that SA destroys all its nuclear weapons. South Africa has been allowed to develop nuclear power under white rule but the global white system was worried that independence would put the bomb in black hands. Renwick, achieved both objectives within a four year period.

In his book ‘Mission to South Africa, Diary of a Revolution’ Renwick details the critical role he played in convincing Nelson Mandela to abandon there ANCs policy on nationalisation. He became close friends with Nelson Mandela who regarded him as his advisor during the negotiation process between 1987 and 1991. The Queen Knighted Renwich in 1989 for his service rendered to the crown in SA.

Renwick serves in the House of Lords in the British Parliament and has business links to the Rothchilds, the Ruperts and some of the biggest multinational companies in the world including mining companies in Asia, Europe, Australia and Africa that mine gold, diamonds, copper, coal, natural gas, petroleum etc. In Africa he has held director positions in SAB Miller the second largest brewery in the world, Harmony Gold the third largest gold mining company in SA, Gem Diamonds a company linked to forceful removal of Bushmen peoples in Botswana. I must be pointed out that Gem Diamonds also has mines in the following African countries: Angola, Botswana, Central African Republic, DRC and Lesotho.

Here are some of the key changes to policy that Renwick has already achieved with the EFF:

Abandoned revolutionary violence to reclaim land.
Pledged loyalty to section 25 of the SA Constitution which is about buying land.
Attacked Zimbabwean land redistribution.
Announced alliance with the DA.
Embarked on an anti Gupta and anti Zuma campaign instead of fighting white capital.
Formed an anti Gupta and anti Zuma alliance with the representative of white monopoly capital, Johann Rupert.

Malema is attending private meetings in the Chamber of Commerce under the ‘Chantam House Rule’. This means that it’s a secret, that one bind oneself to, not to reveal who one is meeting with. This includes meetings with affiliates of the principal party(s). White Power handlers like Renwick are preparing Julius Malema, like they prepared Nelson Mandela in the 1990’s, to carry out the mandate of the Queen.

In the press conference held after the London tour, the EFF had promised to make the footage of the secret meeting available. In fact the media was asked by the EFF to get directly in touch with the award winning film maker Rehad Desai to get the footage. All attempts to get the footage from Desai has been totally unsuccessful. Check this exchange with a Black Opinion journalist:

“[2015/12/02, 10:46 PM]

Hi Rehad and Zivia,

I heard on news that you recorded meetings held during EFF UK tour. Please advise when footage will be uploaded on the net and if you managed to film all meetings held during EFFs tour?

Response from Rehad:


My arrangement re: footage is with Mbuyiseni, what he decides to put up on the internet is a matter for him to decide. Any queries you may have I would ask you to contact him directly.

Best “

But this is contrary to the publicly stated view that the film maker would make the footage available to whoever asked for it. Anyway the BO journalist persisted; and sent another request to Desai:

“[2015/12/02, 10:53 PM]

Hi Rehad,

Please assist with clarity with the following:

Did you film the investors meeting at the royal institute of international affairs also known as Chatham house. The one where lord Robin Renwick was?

Also the footage you captured was for EFF, where you hired as a camera man for EFF or were you there as a film maker? “

Rehad’s response:

“No not all. I have been granted privileged access to film for a documentary I am making.”

The BO journalist asked further:

“Did you film the investors meeting at at the Chatham House the Royal Institute of International Relations? The one wherelord Robin Renwick was?”

Rehad responded:

“As I stated I am making an independent documentary film, I am not hired by the EFF. We filmed all of the meetings including Chatham house.

In what capacity are you asking these questions? Please desist from attempting to use me to fight your battles with the EFF whatever they are. I find you questions and tone objectionable.”

BO left it there. Its clear that Rehad Desai could not make available the discussion at the secret meeting. The public offer that the footage would be made available was just for show and EFF knows that the media would not follow up on the matter and therefore the meeting remains secret. Clearly, the film maker was put in a difficult position where he was put on the spot for a matter he had no mandate to deliver on. This seems to be the modus operandi of EFF. It knows the media is not interested in its contradictions or lies. The media has for instance up to now not cared to ask what happed to the promise of occupying ABSA which was the key demand of the march to the JSE. The relationship between the media and the anti Zuma faction is now decidedly unethical.

EFF shall not reveal the content of the secret meeting. However we can clearly observe the policy changes that are directly linked to the meeting.

Lord Robin Renwick is yet again being mandated to make sure that the coming post 1994 revolution is subverted. Finding a South African Abel Tendekayi Muzorewa like leader, who would be wiling to ensure that white interests are taken care of while presenting the fight as one for economic freedom, is an integral part of that mandate. There is little doubt that South Africa is facing real prospects of an anti capitalist and anti settler colonialist revolution in terms of which every sector of black life – the poor, the unemployed, the landless, the black middle class which faces racism everyday and black business that is subverted by white capital – shall all come together as one radical block to defeat white monopoly capital and thereby end white rule. Just like in the the 1970’s in Zimbabwe when colonialism was under attack by revolutionary forces a reactionary was found in Muzorewa, in South Africa under similar conditions Mandela was tamed to lead the people to the 1994 sell out settlement. The same colonial forces are now terrified that they may be swept under by a revolutionary upheaval in SA. To this end they have identified their South African post 1994 Muzorewa – Juluis Malema.

So, what unites Malema and Robin Renwick who up to a few years ago was still trying a regime change in Zimbabwe? An important dimension that needs serious consideration here is that Renwick has massive interest in the energy sector. EFF support for the Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan, who is poised to unleash privatization, explains how the financial interests of Renwick shall be taken care of. The big question in this context is, what is Renwick giving in exchange? The value of the pound right now is very high and this makes conditions conducive for Renwick to spend for his political and imperialist project. Evidently, Renwick has been very consistent in serving the British Empire. It must be asked – has Mr Malema now finally agreed to serve Empire, if not, what is he doing with the servant of the Queen?

The following questions must be asked to the EFF leaders:

When are they releasing the unedited footage of their meeting with Robin Renwick and company?
What did EFF hope to achieve by meeting a coup plotter and arch imperialist?
What did Renwick give EFF and what did they (EFF) promise in return?
How is working with Johann Rupert consistent with their stated aim of “land expropriation without compensation” and “nationalisation”?
Has EFF now changed policy from viewing white monopoly capital as the enemy into seeing it as a strategic partner to topple Zuma?
Does EFF care for the billions stolen everyday by white capital?
How is working with the DA advancing the interests of the black majority?

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Friday, December 30, 2016

(NEWZIMBABWE) Farm row: F/affairs, lands ministers clash as diaspora returnee et al farmers take eviction

COMMENT - The same corrupting factor again - Tongaat Hulett, South African regional sugarcane refining monopolist. Tongaat Hulett is at least 20% owned by Anglo-American Corporation, the same company that holds 85% of De Beers, the diamond monopolist. (Also see: The Diamond Empire, 1994) Anglo-American Corporation was formed in 1917 by sir Ernest Oppenheimer and J.P. Morgan, Rothschild baron associated family member and their US agent, respectively. (Read: The House Of Rothschild, by prof. Niall Ferguson) It's the Rothschild Barons. The reason I say all this, is because it is important to know that whether it's the IMF/WB setting conditionalities like ESAP, De Beers going after the Chiadzwa and Marange diamond fields, or Tongaat Hulett bribing minister Douglas Mombeshora, the reason it is all in the same interest isn't some general class interest or 'White Monopoly Capital', but the interest of one very wealthy very specific family. - MrK

A source said the government had been put under pressure to honour its obligations under the BIPPA arrangement hence the speed with which it moved to evict the farmers.

A farmer who spoke to Newzimbabwe.com last week said government had been put under pressure by “senior sugar business people” and that large sums of money had exchanged hands.

(NEWZIMBABWE) Farm row: F/affairs, lands ministers clash as diaspora returnee et al farmers take eviction to court
by Mthulisi Mathuthu

THE dispute over the Triangle Ranch in Masvingo turned ugly this week with the foreign affairs department accusing the minister of lands of resettling A2 farmers on the property without following “proper procedures”.

Newzimbabwe.com reported last week on the eviction with “immediate effect” of the farmers from a part of the sugar cane ranch which was acquired from Tongaat Hulett and subdivided into various plots for the resettlement of 174 A2 farmers.

On Wednesday, the Lowveld Sugar Cane Growers Association, mostly diaspora returnees, children of liberation war heroes and poor people, filed an urgent chamber application for an interdict. The association is part of the Hippo Valley Farmers Association-the broader group which represents the 290 farmers issued with the offer letters by Minister Douglas Mombeshora in April this year.

The hearing started on Thursday and will continue on Friday after lawyers from the foreign affairs said they needed time to file opposing papers because they needed to obtain affidavits from Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and the Permanent Secretary Joey Bimha. Only the lands ministry had filed opposing papers by Thursday.

The matter is being heard by High Court judge Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo. The farmers are being represented by Mberi and Associates while the foreign affairs department is represented by Mumbengegwi and Partners.

The farmers made the urgent application to stop their immediate eviction pending another application to the Administrative Court which opens next month.

In his eviction order, minister Mombershora said the farmers should “cease all or any operations” and leave the property “immediately” because the “purpose for withdrawal outweighs the representations” made by the applicants.

But the farmers argue that they should be allowed to harvest their sugar cane while government must compensate them.

A member of the association told Newzimbabwe.com that during the brief appearance on Thursday, officials from the foreign affairs were “clearly unhappy” with the urgent application, labelling the evictees “enemies of the state”.

The spokesperson said the government officials felt that the farmers should have waited for the administrative court case.

She added, “We are now being labelled enemies of the state but we went to the High Court because Mombeshora said we should leave immediately. But how can we just leave after we have invested in our plots and do so without compensation?”

A government lawyer told Newzimbabwe.com that their argument is that Mombeshora resettled the farmers without following “proper procedures” hence the minister was put under pressure to evict the farmers “immediately”. The lawyers said, as such, the farmers have no case because they occupied the property due to the minister’s “error”.

The spokesman for the farmers said they had been told to claim compensation from the original owners of the farm, something she said was ridiculous.

She added, “But how can we claim compensation from Tongaat Hulett when we did not get the offer letters from them?”

She said while the lands ministry was offering alternative land, there was no guarantee yet that that was a genuine offer and that they would be compensated and allowed to harvest their sugar cane which is now one and half meters high.

Tongaat Hullet, whose core businesses are sugar, starch and property management is listed on the

Johannesburg Securities Exchange.

The Triangle Ranch is covered under the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA), hence the ministry of foreign affairs involvement. Agreements under BIPPA require that government pay fair compensation in currency of the former owner’s choice for both land and improvements. Zimbabwe and South Africa signed the BIPPA deal in 2010.

South African president Jacob Zuma was in Zimbabwe recently.

A source said the government had been put under pressure to honour its obligations under the BIPPA arrangement hence the speed with which it moved to evict the farmers.

A farmer who spoke to Newzimbabwe.com last week said government had been put under pressure by “senior sugar business people” and that large sums of money had exchanged hands.

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Saturday, December 17, 2016

(NEW ZIMBABWE) Transactions up 23pct on bond notes

COMMENT - More cash increases the number of transactions. Dollarisation stopped hyperinflation, however it also reduced currency in the economy. - MrK

(NEW ZIMBABWE) Transactions up 23pct on bond notes

HARARE:The value of transactions processed on Zimbabwe’s National Payment System (NPS) increased from $1,2 billion to $1,5 billion as the volume of transactions went up by 13 percent in the week the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) introduced bond notes, a report by the central bank has shown.

The central bank on November 28 injected $10 million worth of bond notes into circulation followed by an additional $7 million last week. The notes which trade at par with US dollar are expected to help ease a banknote shortage.

The RBZ has said it will release a total of $75 million worth of bond notes by the end of this year.

Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) transactions which accounted for 83,25 percent of the total value of the NPS transactions, increased by 23,25 percent to $1,284 billion in the week to December 2 . Point Of Sale (POS) transactions also increased by 11 percent from $104,97 million to $116,88 million during the week under review.

Mobile transactions increased by 29 percent from $92,28 million to $119,43 million while ATM transactions rose by 23 percent from $16,76 million to $20,61 million.

Cheque transactions, which account for a paltry 0,1 percent of the transactions on the NPS, declined 17,8 percent from $1,65 million to $1,36 million.



Friday, December 16, 2016

(LUSAKATIMES) IMF advises Zambia to delay re-financing $2.8 billion of Eurobonds

COMMENT - IMF: please don't pay off those Eurobonds so quickly.

(LUSAKATIMES) IMF advises Zambia to delay re-financing $2.8 billion of Eurobonds
December 14, 2016

Zambia should delay its planned re-financing of $2.8 billion worth of Eurobonds until financing conditions ease, an International Monetary Fund representative said on Monday.

“We would caution the government not to tap into the international markets at this time,” the IMF’s resident representative, Alfredo Baldini, told reporters during the release of an IMF report on growth in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Eurobonds were issued from 2012 to 2015, and the Zambian government planned to re-finance them with longer-dated bonds at a lower cost, Finance Minister Felix Mutati said on Dec 7.

“The financing conditions are pretty tight right now, and it will be very expensive,” Baldini said on Monday.

In fact, the bonds would only fall due in 2022, 2024 and 2025, so the government didn’t need to rush into re-financing them, Baldini said.

The Zambian government has relied on external financing as its spending rose over the past few years while revenue remained almost the same, which has put pressure on its exchange rate, Baldini said.

Mutati said last week the equivalent of 19 percent of Zambia’s gross domestic product was being used to service debt and the government wanted to reduce that to about 15 percent.

Zambia issued a $750 million Eurobond in 2012, followed by a $1 billion issue in 2014 and another worth $1.25 billion last year, mainly for infrastructure projects.

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The overwhelming success of austericide

COMMENT - These are the effects of austerity. They do not regrow the economy or make it more sound. They just destroy the existing economy and replace it with a more globalized economy.

The overwhelming success of austericide
Posted by revoltingeurope ⋅ April 19, 2013

Vincente Clavero

The austerity Taliban will be satisfied by the announcement by the IMF that, despite the policies advocated by them, the debt crisis in Spain may now extend for no less than ten years. According to the latest report of the Fund, presented this week by its chief economist, the Frenchman Olivier Blanchard, there’s no expectation, even by 2018, that the budget deficit will have fallen to 5.5%. And this means countless sacrifices by citizens demanded by today’s Popular Party government and its Socialist predecessor have failed in the objective to balance the public accounts.

This colossal failure, to which Angela Merkel’s Germany and well-paid technocrats of Brussels have contributed, can only surprise those who did not want to see the blindingly obvious. Cut after cut to the budget, without accompanying measures to counteract the effects of recession, meant it was guanateed that our economy was going to end up as a complete ruin. Just take a look at the main forecasts of the IMF to understand the magnitude of austericide, which in 2013 will leave us with an unbearable unemployment rate of 27%.

To hide their shame, the Popular Party Government is determined to make us believe that next year the economy will recover and begin to straighten out the dire employment situation. I hope so, but neither the Bank of Spain, nor the European Commission, nor the IMF have been able to find sufficient reasons to substantiate that optimism. Quite the contrary: the view shared by the three agencies is that unless a miracle happens, in 2014, with a fall in GDP of 0.8% – we will continue to be immersed in the the deepest economic crisis.

Rajoy has announced that next week he will launch a new reform plan, which will affect entrepreneurship and pensions. That’s bad news, based on the measures taken so far on these matters. The self-employed have seen VAT rise significantly and tax arrangements in other areas deteriorate, and since the Right returned to power in late 2011 pensions have deteriorated substantially.

As usual, Rajoy, his party and the media chorus that encourages him say that socialist PM José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero is to blame, but he’s hardly the only culprit. Zapatero’s big mistake was being overcome by a panic attack in May 2010 and to have embraced neoliberal policies that the Popular Party then gladly accelerated. But Rajoy has been in the Moncloa Palace for a year and a half and to date has not only not fixed anything, but he has done further damage, plunging Spanish society, including those who voted for him, into utter despair

El Publico 19.4.2013

Translation by Revolting Europe

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Monday, December 12, 2016

(NEWS 24 SA) Avoid land invasions plant the crops

In his keynote address, former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene, who is now a resident adviser at Thebe Investment Corporation and a nonexecutive board member at Allan Gray, referred to the World Bank review of South Africa’s agricultural sector published just before the 1994 democratic election.

The review had found that large-scale producers had been able to generate substantial volumes of output, achieving national food self-sufficiency for most commodities. It also found that the agricultural sector was, and to some extent continued to be, characterised by significant policy distortions that have resulted in less than optimal levels of efficiency in many parts of the sector, average farm sizes were too large, and ownership of rural assets, most notably land, was highly skewed.
COMMENT - The World Bank in 1994 concluded that farm sizes in South Africa were too large for efficient use, which is not surprising, considering 87% of the land was given to fewer than 10% of the population. That's why 71% of South Africa's population is 'urban'.

Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde: On the EFF call for illegal land invasion, he said the party was specifically “a flashing light to us”.“We haven’t found a solution to land reform in the province. We need to up our game. We have to find a solution within the market space.”
'Market based solutions' aren't going to lead to landredistribution.

(NEWS 24 SA) Avoid land invasions plant the crops
Dec 11 2016 06:01 Peter Luhanga

Don't blame others for land invasions - Makhura
ANC youngsters behind Joburg land invasions, ANC supporter confirms

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister Senzeni Zokwana has urged farmers and investors in the agricultural sector to use and plant crops on all available arable land to prevent the call by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) for illegal land invasions.

Addressing more than 600 industry specialists attending the recent two-day African Agri Investment Indaba in Cape Town, Zokwana said: “Let’s not fear what the EFF is saying. Any piece of land that is meant for agriculture, let’s use it. Let’s plant on all available arable land to prevent them [the EFF] from invading.”

He said about 65% of South Africa’s population was urban, which is projected to reach 71.3% by 2030 and nearly 80% by 2050. Feeding this burgeoning population is a challenge.

“We hope our potential investors will see this as a perfect opportunity to invest in agriculture, and associated upstream and downstream industries,” he said, adding that it was sad to note that Africa spent about R340 billion annually on food imports alone, and most African countries continued to be exporters of raw materials and net importers of value-added products.

“Our natural resource base in the form of abundant agricultural land, combined with our tested ability to produce primary products, should be a leading motive for us to initiate an industrialisation programme through the promotion of downstream agroprocessing industries,” Zokwana said.

In his keynote address, former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene, who is now a resident adviser at Thebe Investment Corporation and a nonexecutive board member at Allan Gray, referred to the World Bank review of South Africa’s agricultural sector published just before the 1994 democratic election.

The review had found that large-scale producers had been able to generate substantial volumes of output, achieving national food self-sufficiency for most commodities. It also found that the agricultural sector was, and to some extent continued to be, characterised by significant policy distortions that have resulted in less than optimal levels of efficiency in many parts of the sector, average farm sizes were too large, and ownership of rural assets, most notably land, was highly skewed.

“This performance, combined with the active suppression of black farming, meant that the agricultural sector had underperformed in terms of its contribution to national income, exports and employment creation,” Nene said.

He also said the National Development Plan identified agroprocessing as a potential driver of economic growth, job creation and increased exports, and an opportunity for the creation and growth of small and medium-sized businesses.

It also identified obstacles; historically high levels of concentration in agricultural value chains; high and increasing levels of vertical integration between agriculture and agroprocessing; access to infrastructure – specifically irrigation and farming equipment; and lack of access to consumer markets.

Among other insights Nene pointed out were that finance remained a critical challenge for new and black-owned businesses, while alternative sources of funding that have emerged from settlements by the Competition Commission, for example, have facilitated entry into agricultural value chains.

“These funds had less stringent requirements, allowing greater flexibility to take a risk on new entrants. Increased competition means some new entrants will fail. The volatility in commodity prices and key variables such as the exchange rate also require support to ride out shocks,” he said.

Asked about US president-elect Donald Trump and what his victory and policies meant for Africa and particularly the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), he said the agreements are signed and sealed, and were supposed to be honoured, while Zokwana said some of Trump’s policies might not work in real politics.

Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde said what was worrying was Trump’s view of Africa. However, “Agoa is a concern because of his views, but it’s a signed deal”.

Asked whether the Western Cape farm workers’ strike in 2011 and talk of farmers embarking on mechanisation had led to job losses, he said mechanisation led to the loss of about 65 000 jobs in the sector. This compares with the total South Africa agricultural jobs today of 196 000.

In his keynote, Winde said foreign direct investment flows into Africa’s agricultural, forestry and fisheries sector reached more than $200 million in 2014 and projections showed the upward trend is set to continue.

On the EFF call for illegal land invasion, he said the party was specifically “a flashing light to us”.

“We haven’t found a solution to land reform in the province. We need to up our game. We have to find a solution within the market space.”

Wesgro chief executive Tim Harris said that the fundamentals of agriculture remained strong in the Western Cape.

Harris said that the Western Cape agricultural industry could create 100 000 jobs in a few years and the EFF call for illegal land grabs had not had any impact on investors flocking to the province.

“The best way to deal with populist policies is to make them less popular,” said Harris.

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Saturday, December 10, 2016

(THE MAST) EX-MINERS CALL FOR A REVOLUTION …to end peoples sufferings

(THE MAST) EX-MINERS CALL FOR A REVOLUTION …to end peoples sufferings
By Thulani Phiri and Michael Kasonde

RETRENCHED Miners’ League of Luanshya chairperson Alex Musosha says there is need for a revolution in Zambia to end poverty and the inequalities that exist in society.

And the ex-miners from Kitwe and Mufulira have threatened to walk to Lusaka to press President Edgar Lungu’s to fulfil his promises.

Musosha said in an interview that the current leaders were selfish and never cared about the suffering masses.

“The crisis we are in can never be addressed by the PF. PF can't create any jobs for us. We need to look for hope somewhere; we need a revolution and revolutionary leaders to end this poverty and suffering in this country. Mr Lungu's government has turned us into destitutes,” Musosha said.

“Twachula pafula (we have suffered enough)! PF should stop mocking us because we can react. The poverty we are going through will speak for us some day.”

He said the ex-miners would have received what President Lungu promised them if his government was not selfish.

�“If President Lungu and his government were not selfish, we would have gotten the benefits we deserve. The farming plots, the ex-gracias and loan debts they promised that they would help us to settle could have been fulfilled if this country had sincere leaders. They have deserted us after giving them a vote," Musosha complained.

He said the PF government was abusing citizens’ rights by telling lies in a country they claimed was a Christian one.

�“Why should people suffer like this with insincere leaders in a Christian nation? Good leaders are those that sacrifice for the poor. We have a crop of leaders that are so selfish and only interested in personal gain. This is why there is so much poverty," said Musosha.�

"We also have a President in Edgar Lungu who can't defend his own citizens. It seems our President sees it normal. Things are not normal in the country. The Presidency has gone to the head of Mr Lungu. He can't see us as citizens any more.”

The ex-miners recently regretted voting for the Patriotic Front and President Lungu in the August 11 general elections as none of the promises made during campaigns had been fulfilled, except for a few who had connections in the ruling party and government.

And in Mufulira and Kitwe, the ex-miners are mobilising for a protest walk to Lusaka to alert President Lungu's government that it had failed to fulfil its promises to them.�

“Surely fellow ex-miners, how can the issues involving the employer and ex-miners be politicised? It is a shame and disappointing indeed. There are even some people among us masquerading as spokespersons of the former miners, they are paraded and busy praising President Edgar Lungu on state owned ZNBC but what's on the ground is something else. All we want is the money that was taken from us dubiously and the land [that was promised to us],” said Donald Kabashila, chairman of the Ex-miners’ League of Mufulira.

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Friday, December 09, 2016

(ZAMBIAN OBSERVER) British envoy calls for immediate stop to Zambia’s high expenditure

COMMENT - British Ambassador, himself a neoliberal appointee doing Captain Renault in Casablanca: "I'm shocked, shocked to find gambling going on in here!". What effect did you think the Eurobonds were going to have? And what was this money spent on? Not fuel and agriculture subsidies and pensions. And yet they're the ones who have to pay for this heist. - MrK

(ZAMBIAN OBSERVER) British envoy calls for immediate stop to Zambia’s high expenditure
December 8, 2016
By Mike Riley

BRITISH High Commissioner Fergus Cochrane-Dyet says high expenditure by the Zambian government must not be allowed to continue because the country has been spending more than it can afford.

And EU head of delegation to Zambia Ambassador Alessandro Mariani says 2017 is very promising for the country as new projects are due to come on stream in the new year.

Speaking during an EU-Zambia Partnership media breakfast in Lusaka yesterday, High Commissioner Cochrane-Dyet said the current trajectory of high fiscal deficits and mounting public debt could not be allowed to continue.

According to ZIPAR, Zambia’s external debt increased by 6.3 per cent from US$6.3 billion as at August 2015 to about US$6.7 billion as at September 2016.

“Zambia’s need for economic reform is pressing. It is sad that debt servicing has returned to become a major feature of government expenditure. Subsidies, public sector costs, along with debt servicing, dominate. This cannot continue indefinitely. Expenditure must be reduced and revenue increased. This process will not be easy for the government – or painless for ordinary Zambians,” High Commissioner Cochrane-Dyet told stakeholders at Lusaka’s Taj Pamodzi Hotel.

“For some time, Zambia has been running a fiscal deficit; in layman’s terms – Zambia has been spending more than it can afford. The clearance of external debt that occurred under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC) over a decade ago, has been obliterated by the accumulation of new debt, including three Eurobonds.”

He added that while the EU welcomed the Zambian government’s steps to address the country’s serious economic problems through the “Zambia Plus” approach, he appealed to the government for continued positive engagement to ensure effective implementation of the cooperating partners’ financial and technical assistance.

“For cooperating partners to support Zambia, we require positive engagement from the government as well as other Zambian partner organisations, including those among civil society. It is important that we have access to ministers, permanent secretaries and other senior officials to ensure our assistance is aligned with government policy. Occasionally, it is extremely useful to meet with HE the President himself [Edgar Lungu],” said High Commissioner Cochrane-Dyet, who also stressed that part of the EU member states’ assistance was directly relevant to the government’s economic reform programme as outlined through the five pillars in the 2017 national budget.

Earlier, Ambassador Mariani told stakeholders that 2017 was set to be “a very promising year” with new projects quickly reaching an advanced stage.

The end-of-year joint briefing highlighted, among others, a comprehensive review of the EU’s project assistance during 2016 in various sectors such as the 40 million euros signed for renewable energies on November 28, and a 2017 outlook.

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Stealing Pensions Is Passive Eugenics

COMMENT - This is typical neoliberal boilerplate theft of public and private resources. 1) Run up government debt, 2) say that 'we don't have the money' for subsidies and programs that help people instead of transnational corporations and 3) start slashing food, agriculture, energy subsidies, and target the biggest prize of all, pensions. This is theft. There is no rational economic reason to start doing away with pensions, which is what he talks about. And frankly, part of this economic streamlining of society, is getting rid of the very old, the sick and very poor in what amounts to passive eugenics. This is at the real heart of elite, neoliberal thinking. Anyone who is concerned about the economy will want people to have more money, not 'more choices', which ends up being the choice you can afford. - MrK


Pension reforms or theft of workers’ money?
December 8, 2016

In the 2017 budget speech, the Minister of Finance, Felix Mutati, alluded to the need for pension reforms in order to give people “more freedoms and choices”.

He stated that “the government will in 2017 present legislation that will allow new entrants into public schemes, revise the employer and employee contributions upwards, facilitate private sector management of pension funds and revise the benefit scheme to ensure longer-term protection for pensioners”.

The first question to the finance minister would be: where and how did the current pension system fail the Zambian workers? Without clarity on this issue, the direction of the proposed pension reforms will be muddled in ambiguity. Giving the workers “more freedoms and choices” is a poor and dishonest explanation of what has gone wrong.

The pension system in Zambia has failed on account of political inertia, massive corruption in the management of pension funds and archaic operational systems. This is failure by design and not by default. The three factors allow our ruling and business elite unhindered access to workers’ money without having sweated for it.

Since 1992, several studies have been undertaken and recommendations made on how to improve the pension management system. Several countries were visited, stakeholder consultations held and the national budget speeches by Ronald Penza, Emmanuel Kasonde, Edith Nawakwi and subsequent finance ministers made mention of pension reforms.

Why have these reforms remained illusive? Why is it proving difficult to prioritise such a critical aspect of livelihood affecting hundred thousands of our workers? Why do ministers, permanent secretaries, chief executive officers of corporations get their post-retirement or end of contract entitlements that quickly? Yet the same system is lethargic in dealing with the pension needs of the ordinary workers!

For the ordinary Zambian worker, life after retirement or at the end of a contract is a nightmare. Forms have to be filled in, countless journeys made to “push” the papers and unending phone calls made in follow-ups. It is rare to receive all pension dues within a year. We have in our midst retired workers that are still not fully attended to 10 years after retirement. The hopelessness and frustrations on their faces tells it all. These are dejected and impoverished citizens. Yet they served their homeland diligently over a long period of time. Now that they are no longer needed in revenue generation, they are cast aside like garbage! Many of them have been spared the misery of dealing with the pension offices through death. They died after retirement without accessing their pension money.

Who is the beneficiary of this daylight robbery?

Increasingly, pension funds are now being channelled towards financing the construction of shopping malls, “gated” housing complexes and upmarket office spaces. All of these target the rich. The poor Zambian worker is therefore financing the luxurious living and working environment of the rich. It is an investment that is not in the best interest of the workers.

What if the pension funds were used to construct modern public markets in the compounds where the majority of the workers live?

How about low-cost houses that would be rented or eventually owned by an ordinary worker?

Why not channel some of the funds into profitable micro-credit schemes owned and managed by workers themselves?

Unfortunately, this will not happen. We live in an economic system where the interests of the workers come last. The worker’s wealth is appropriated for the wellbeing of the elite.

The 2017 pension reform is therefore meant to formalise an existing trend. Workers will be forced to pay more towards pension funds whilst the private sector will now have unhindered access. This is not about ensuring longer-term protection for pensioners. It will be a reform that enhances the avenues for stealing workers’ hard earned pension funds. Just like civil works’ contractors get away with millions of dollars without completing projects, the private pension fund managers will follow suit. They will join the bandwagon. They will make millions out of the pensioners but give nothing back. Ours is a country where political patronage overrides legal, commercial and economic considerations. Zambian workers have not gained much from the existing pension system; they stand to lose even more from the envisaged 2017 pension reforms.

Yes, pension reforms are urgently required in our homeland. These should be reforms that put the interests of the workers first, that empower organised labour in running the pension funds, where viable investments that improve working class communities and services are prioritised and where robust ICT platforms and mobile phone application services will make it possible to access pension funds on day one of retirement without stepping foot away from one’s locality.

Some countries having similar GDP per capita to that of Zambia are successfully moving along that path. All it takes is a dose of political will and honesty.

Our trade unions could also play a significant role in enabling this change. Their collective voice has been missing all along. It is time for justice and fairness to prevail.

A pension system is too important for the working masses to be left primarily in the hands of politicians.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

(LUSAKA TIMES) ZESCO workers oppose its pending privatisation

(LUSAKA TIMES) ZESCO workers oppose its pending privatisation
November 29, 2016

Unionised workers at state run power utility ZESCO have opposed government’s intention to privatize the company.

The National Union of Energy and Allied Workers (NESAWU) has revealed that around 58,000 workers will be thrown into the streets if government goes ahead with its intended privatisation of State Owned Enterprises.

Union General Secretary Mansom Musawu said workers at ZESCO are alarmed at government’ intention to privatise the firm and other State Owned Enterprisers (SOEs) as announced in the 2017 National Budget.

“As workers who have grown with ZESCO, we would like to put it on record that ZESCO is a viable organisation whose cash flow and availability of materials have improved tremendously since the introduction of the prepaid electricity metering system,” Mr Musawu said.

He said the workers are demanding that ZESCO remains in the hands of the government as a strategic company for economic growth and development.

Privatisation has only worked to the advantage of investors who are reaping huge profits

Mr Musawu charged that the private sector cannot be trusted to take electricity to the rural areas due to their narrow focus on profits and cost recovery.

“The evils of privatising ZESCO far outweigh the benefits. We have learnt lessons from the privatisation of ZCCM and other parastatals which are paying very little mineral loyalty tax and company corporate tax below what the 944,000 formal workers are paying to the treasury through Pay as You Earn (PAYE),” he said.

He said the loss of quality jobs in privatised companies such as ZCCM, Zambia Airways, UBZ, Zambia Railways, Zamtel (LapGreen) led to an explosion of precarious jobs through casualization and outsourcing.

“Evidence is there that privatisation took bread from the mouth of poor workers. Privatisation has only worked to the advantage of investors who are reaping huge profits while failing to grow jobs and pay enough taxes to fund our developmental needs.”

He added, “The intended privatisation of state owned enterprises will throw over 58,000 workers in unemployment and poverty. According to the 2014 Labour Force Survey published by the Central Statistical Office (CSO), the electricity, gas, stream and air conditioning sector employs over 16,000 workers.”

we would like to see more professionalism, transparency and no political interference in the way ZESCO is managed on issues such as ZESCO’s earnings from its power exports.

He stated that throwing 58,000 jobs contradicts government’s policy of creating 100,000 jobs by the year 2017 and 1 million jobs by 2021.

“NESAWU would like to see more professionalism, transparency and no political interference in the way ZESCO is managed on issues such as ZESCO’s earnings from its power exports.

“How much is ZESCO earning from its optic fibre cable which is being used by companies such as commercial banks, Airtel, MTN, ZAMTEL and government institutions?
How much is ZESCO owed by government institutions in electricity bills such as police, the army, water utility companies, government ministries, office of the President, education sector and government institutions?”
He asked, “How much are contractors siphoning from ZESCO on security, construction and cleaning when the company has its own staff to do this kind of work?
How much is ZESCO spending on personal emoluments and fringe benefits for its top heavy management which is leading to corporate greed?
How much is ZESCO losing by selling electricity through vendors who get a commission of 3% from ZESCO and at the same time charge customers through a Commission?”

Mr Musawu said the Industrial Development Corporation should not be used to kill companies but to create more companies and quality jobs through economic diversification.

“The electricity industry will always remain viable as it is critical ingredient in every economic activity. Given the presence of large rivers in Zambia and the positive economic growth, the country has recorded, government should borrow enough funds to build large hydro-electric dams in the Northern Province where the rain belt has shifted. Such projects should be able to pay for themselves as there is ready market in Zambia and the sub region which are experiencing power deficits.

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Sunday, November 13, 2016

(LUSAKA TIMES) ZCC IH sues FQM claiming $1.4 billion

COMMENT - This is awesome. What happened?

(LUSAKA TIMES) ZCC IH sues FQM claiming $1.4 billion
November 14, 2016

ZCCM Investments Holdings has started the process of claiming up to $1.4 billion from First Quantum Minerals Ltd accusing the firm of engaging in fraud.

The claim includes $228 million in interest on $2.3 billion of loans that ZCCM-IH said First Quantum wrongly borrowed from the Kansanshi copper mine, as well as 20 percent of the principal amount, or $570 million, according to an internal company presentation, dated Nov. 4, obtained by Bloomberg.

The company is also seeking $260 million as part of a tax liability the Zambia Revenue Authority said Kansanshi owed it, as well as the cost of the mine borrowing money commercially that ZCCM-IH said could have been avoided.

ZCCM-IH said in papers filed in the Lusaka High Court on Oct. 28 that First Quantum used the money as cheap financing for its other operations.

ZCCM-IH also last month filed a notice of arbitration against Kansanshi in London over the same matter.

No figure was mentioned in the court filings.

ZCCM-IH owns 20 percent of Kansanshi.

But in a statement released Monday evening, FQM President Clive Newall said having carefully studied the claims made in both the Notice of Arbitration and Statement of Claim, First Quantum is firmly of the view that the claims are utterly without merit, or indeed any foundation in facts.

“It is notable that the Kansanshi Mining Plc deposits were fully repaid to KMP and were then used to fund a major investment program in Zambia, including the successful construction and commissioning of the Kansanshi smelter and expansion of the processing plant and mining operations.

“On October 28, 2016, KMP also received a Statement of Claim filed in the High Court for Zambia naming additional defendants, including First Quantum, its subsidiary FQM Finance Ltd., and a number of directors and an executive of the named corporate defendants. This dispute arises out of the rate of interest paid on deposits made by KMP with the Company’s financing entity, FQM Finance Ltd. The funds on deposits were retained for planned investment by KMP in Zambia.”

He said, “FQM Finance paid interest on the deposits to KMP based on an assessment of an arms-length fair market rate, which is supported by independent third party analysis. ZCCM disputes that interest rate paid to KMP on the deposits was sufficient. Unfortunately, ZCCM has taken the extra-ordinary additional step of commencing a further action in the High Court for Zambia, making allegations repeated from the Notice of Claim against certain First Quantum directors and an executive that are inflammatory, vexatious and untrue.”

“In fact, KMP is now indebted to FQM Finance for the funding of further investment in Zambia. The Company is currently engaged in constructive discussions with representatives of the Zambian Government, which holds a 92% direct and indirect majority shareholding in ZCCM, with a view to achieving an amicable resolution. We do not believe it is appropriate to comment further on the arbitration or court proceedings while they run their proper course, but we will provide further information as and when required.”

Meanwhile, Philippe Bibard, a spokesman for a minority shareholder group based in France said FQM is disregarding the rights of minority owners in ZCCM-IH in dealing directly with government.
*With Additional Reporting by Bloomberg

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The Post if offline, shut down by Edgar Lungu's PF

The Post has gone offline.


The Post is slowly turning into The Mast.



Sunday, October 23, 2016

(LUSAKA TIMES) IMF Bailout: A Strangulation of Zambia’s Future

COMMENT - Excellent article. Even more, it is already known that if there is this level of economic violence, pushed to a head by austerity measures, there are going to be what the former World Bank Vice Chairman Joseph Stiglitz has called the IMF Riots.

(LUSAKA TIMES) IMF Bailout: A Strangulation of Zambia’s Future
October 23, 2016

Fellow countrymen and women, comrades and friends, allow me to first echo the wise words of the revolutionary icon Thomas Sankara. “Debt is a cleverly managed reconquest of Africa.” “He who feeds you, controls you.”

Once again, our leaders today have failed to think. They were employed by the Zambian people to think wisely on behalf of the nation. They were voted to improve and safeguard the welfare of the Zambian people. They were not employed to contract gigantic loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or any other lending institution. Even at gun point, I refuse to accept that borrowing money from the IMF at the detriment of Zambia’s future is part of their mandate. Their mandate is to think of alternative sustainable ways to resuscitate the economy, as opposed to rushing to the IMF for a bailout that strangles the country’s future especially the poorest citizens. A government that cannot think of alternative ways to regrow the economy apart from borrowing from these money-lending institutions is not fit to hold public office. It is now clear, our ministers are appointed, not to think on behalf of the ministries they lead, but to ceremonially occupy such positions while shamelessly enjoying free housing, transport, electricity, airtime, state security and gallivanting around the globe at the expense of taxpayer’s money.

the IMF promotes a fertile ground for breeding poverty, making it impossible for poor countries to eradicate poverty and realize food security

I am struggling to understand why our politicians have failed to comprehend that the so called bailout package from the IMF has never been a viable and sustainable option to resuscitate an ailing economy. You do not need a PhD, bachelor’s degree, diploma, or certificate to understand the ramifications of an IMF bailout package. A simple perusal through the conditionalities attached to such a bailout package should enable even a rural dweller, who has never been to school, to understand that the IMF bailout is a well-calculated scheme to keep the poor poorer.

There is no rocket science involved in understanding that the IMF discourages you from subsidizing your own farmers. In this regard, the IMF promotes a fertile ground for breeding poverty, making it impossible for poor countries to eradicate poverty and realize food security. The IMF further emphasises reduction of government funding to health and education, a condition that goes counter to the campaign championing access to education and healthcare for all. Such a condition further strangles the country’s efforts to build a productive human resource pool. It is simple. If you don’t fund your education system, then the country’s capacity to produce its own skilled manpower – teachers, nurses, medical doctors, lawyers et cetera is substantially curtailed. In the long term, such skills will have to be sourced externally at an astronomical cost on the country’s treasury. Moreover, privatization and liberalization, which are a hallmark of the IMF, have the potential to completely decimate domestic industries. Fellow Zambians, you will agree with me that we have been yearning for a Zambia with the capacity to produce its own goods and services. The IMF is here to shatter this dream. Surely, with all these real-life practical examples, it is shocking to see our ministers, some of them very educated, failing to understand that the IMF is here to perpetuate poverty. Our dream to become a politically and economically independent country will remain an illusion as long as we embrace institutions like the IMF and the World Bank.

Fellow patriots, allow me to conclude by stating one logical fact. Should Zambia accept this IMF bailout, it is the elite politicians that should bear the burden of austerity measures. Ordinary Zambians have suffered enough already. As part of austerity, the republican president should be relocated to another modesty housing. This may sound crazy to most of you because you are accustomed to seeing a republican president living a lavish lifestyle in state house. It cannot be disputed that the country spends astronomical sums of money in trying to sustain state house.

Moreover, it is immoral to continue enjoying a lavish life in state house while your citizens are dying of hunger induced by austerity measures from the IMF. Unless an international trip will add value to the country’s well-being, the republican president and his ministers should not gallivant around the world. It is important to note that most of the international trips are totally irrelevant to the suffering common man. Additionally, the use of a private jet aircraft on international trips should be abolished. We should also scrape off free entitlements such as housing, fuel, electricity, transport et cetera from our ministers. Most importantly, the ridiculously big and expensive ministerial cars which guzzle unreasonable litres of fuel should be auctioned and cheaper cars purchased in their place. There are many other ridiculous entitlements that we need to scrap off from our public office bearers. Politicians too, need to share in the burden of austerity.

By Peter Mubanga Cheuka

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

(MINT NEWS PRESS) Mugabe: The Dictator?

COMMENT - Rhodesia was named after Cecil John Rhodes, the Founding Chairman of the board of directors of De Beers, which was to become the world's largest diamond mining company. De Beers was founded by the First Lord Rothschild in 1887. Zimbabwe could seriously upset the diamond market by supplying 20% of global diamond production from the Chiadzwa and Marange diamond fields. Morgan Tsvangirai used to work for Anglo-American De Beers when he was a miner.
"Morgan loves the mining industry because he was a miner and was given his start in life by Anglo American. He is a miner at heart but he sees both sides of the picture and this policy is not good for the workers or investors," said Tsvangirai's biographer Sarah Hudleston.
Or their desire to turn Chiadzwa and Marange into DebZim or ZimDeb, like Debswana and Namdeb - the MDC's Plans For The Mines:
We will nationalise diamonds and ensure that government goes into partnership with genuine investors.
Like the world's biggest diamond miner, De Beers. - MrK

(MINT PRESS NEWS) Mugabe: The Dictator?
Is Zimbabwe’s 92-year-old leader really the oppressive dictator the West makes him out to be, or is he demonized for not succumbing to a history of destabilization and intervention attempts by the West?
By Caleb T. Maupin | August 27, 2016

WASHINGTON — (Analysis) In covering a recent protest movement unfurling in Zimbabwe, mainstream Western media seem unable to report on country’s president without making references to him as a “dictator” and “authoritarian.”

Yet the case against Robert Mugabe, the 92-year-old president of Zimbabwe and leader of the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), is difficult to justify, especially considering all of Zimbabwe’s recent elections have been monitored by the United Nations, and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the main opposition party, currently divided into two factions, is widely represented in the government.

Further, Zimbabwe’s emergence as a nation struggling against not just the power of colonialism and white supremacists, but also the economic domination of a settler minority, tells an entirely different story.

Opposition parties like the MDC, which receives support from the United States, are allowed to operate freely in Zimbabwe. Newspapers that support the MDC and openly praise the previously existing apartheid regime are widely distributed, coexisting alongside pro-government state media. The idea that Zimbabwe is a totalitarian state that forbids dissent is simply not consistent with reality.

While Western media has few positive things to say about Mugabe, Zimbabwean voters clearly disagree. A 2015 survey by Zimbabwe’s Mass Public Opinion Institute found that Mugabe continues to enjoy popularity among the country’s urban and rural populations.

Even in 2012, a year before the last elections were held, popular support for the MDC was on the decline. In May 2013, The Guardian quoted Raymond Majongwe, secretary general of the 14,000-strong Progressive Teachers’ Union, as saying: “I’m feeling seriously let down by the MDC.”

His statement came after the party entered into a power-sharing agreement with the ZANU-PF following contested elections in 2008, but before that so-called “unity government” ultimately dissolved. He noted, presciently:

The power-sharing agreement could be the undoing of the MDC leadership. They exposed their own naivety and appetite for opulence and extravagance. In four years the level of wealth these MDC guys have accumulated is shocking. If the MDC wins the election, fine, they can go ahead and loot the country like their predecessors.”

US has long planned to oust Mugabe

U.S. machinations to overthrow the Mugabe-led government in Zimbabwe are nothing new, particularly in terms of Washington’s support to the MDC.

Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the MDC, who served as prime minister from 2009-2013, toured the world in 2009, meeting with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and U.S. President Barack Obama. After his meeting with Obama, Tsvangirai said he was “grateful to him for his leadership” and that Obama would “continue to provide us with direction.”

In “Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The U.S. Record 2005-2006,” the State Department reported: “The U.S. human rights strategy in Zimbabwe focused on maintaining pressure on the regime, assisting democratic forces, strengthening independent media, increasing public access to information, promoting accountability for the regime’s crimes, and providing humanitarian aid for Zimbabwe’s suffering people.”

The report further noted U.S. efforts to disseminate information on civil rights and made accusations of fraudulent parliamentary elections.

The State Department’s 2007 Performance Report on Zimbabwe boasted of the United States’ role in propping up the MDC as a viable opponent to Mugabe’s ZANU-PF:

“Following the bloody onslaught of the Mugabe regime against the MDC and civil society during the past year, USG [U.S. government] assistance helped rebuild the party’s battered structure and better position it to participate in the upcoming elections. The USG also assisted the MDC to effectively identify, research, and articulate policy positions and ideas within Zimbabwe, in the region, and beyond. In particular, USG technical assistance was pivotal in supporting MDC\’s formulation and communication of a comprehensive policy platform, which demonstrates the party’s preparedness to take over the reins of government in 2008.”

In a 2008 analysis of the document, Stephen Gowans, a Canadian writer and political analyst, noted:

“The neo-liberal, foreign investor-friendly economic policies Washington favors are central to the policy platform of the Tsvangirai faction of the MDC. The State Department document reveals that the MDC’s policy orientation may be based more on US government direction than its own deliberations.”

It’s also important to consider the role of U.S. aid money and the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, in Zimbabwe. The organization, which has a long history of imperialist intervention under the guise of humanitarian aid, has remained active in Zimbabwe despite targeted sanctions imposed by the U.S. In fiscal year 2012, for example, Zimbabwe received $152,534,664 in U.S. economic assistance, including $61,987,763 from USAID and $49,648,024 from the State Department.

‘Rhodesia’ was wiped off the map

To understand why Washington is working to topple Mugabe, the country’s repeatedly elected president, and the ZANU-PF, its internationally-recognized government, one must be familiar with Zimbabwe’s history.

Defenders of the Israeli settler regime will often accuse their critics of being “inflammatory” and “extremist” for wanting to “wipe Israel off the map.” However, there is historical precedent for the erasure of European settler regimes. Zimbabwe became a country after Rhodesia, a country whose 1969 constitution enshrined the rule of whites, was toppled.

Rhodesia was the name given by settlers to the region in southern Africa that the indigenous people called Zimbabwe. It was named after Cecil Rhodes, the famed colonizer and advocate of British imperialism. When Zimbabwe declared its independence from Britain in 1965, the white minority owned almost all of the land, except for the Tribal Trust Lands, where black Africans were forced to live, similar to the “bantustans” of South Africa. During the day, blacks worked as servants and laborers in the estates, plantations, and cities owned by whites, and at night they returned to the designated areas where they were allowed to live and farm.

Roger Riddell, a staff member of the Catholic Institute for International Relations and editor of the institute’s series “From Rhodesia to Zimbabwe,” wrote an article in 1980, titled “Zimbabwe’s Land Problem: The Central Issue.” In the article, Riddell explains that not only did Europeans hold vastly more land than the Africans, they also held more fertile agricultural land:

“The importance of land in Rhodesia does not lie so much in the inequalities per se, but because inequalities in access to land are accompanied by growing overpopulation, landlessness, land deterioration, and increasing poverty in the African areas alongside serious underutilization of land in the European areas.”

The 7 million Africans were not full citizens of Rhodesia, unlike the white minority, which peaked at just under 300,000 in the late 1960s. Ian Smith, the wealthiest white farmer and prime minister of Rhodesia from 1964-1979, said: “The white man is the master of Rhodesia, has built it and intends to keep it.” The country’s 1961 Unilateral Declaration of Independence, which was committed to independence from Britain but not majority rule, reserved 50 national assembly seats for the country’s white settler minority and just 15 for the African majority.

Receiving weapons and support from both China and the Soviet Union, the indigenous African population took up arms against Smith’s white-minority rule in the 1970s. ZANU-PF, currently the ruling party in Zimbabwe, is the result of a merger of several different armed revolutionary organizations that fought against the apartheid government of Rhodesia. Britain deployed troops to fight against the African people, and the U.S. formally recognized and backed the Rhodesian apartheid regime. International media and Western politicians generally referred to the uprisings of impoverished African people as “terrorism” and supported the white settler government in the name of opposing “communism.”

As the white settler government of Rhodesia faced a wider insurgency from African people, it became a favored cause among white supremacists. Neo-Nazis and fascists from all over the world went to fight against the African rebels. James Earl Ray, who was convicted of assassinating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., had worked closely with the “Friends of Rhodesia.” During his 2015 killing spree inside a church in South Carolina, the white supremacist murderer Dylann Roof wore the flag of the long deposed Rhodesian settler government.

Mugabe emerged as the charismatic leader of the armed uprising. With Mugabe as their commander and representative, guerrilla fighters carved out what the white settlers called “no-go areas,” liberated territories which were controlled by the African revolutionaries and served as bases for the uprising. ZANU-PF described itself as a socialist party. Interviewed during the war, Mugabe said:

“It is absolutely wrong to allow a set of individuals to acquire control and ownership of those resources that are God-given. They are not man-made, the land, the water, the forest, the animals, the fish in the river, the minerals. These are given to us by nature, and it is in principle wrong for any one man to claim ownership of such resources that should belong to the people as a whole.”

On Dec. 21, 1979, the prolonged conflict known as the Rhodesian Bush War concluded with the signing of the Lancaster House Agreement. Rhodesia was abolished, and the Republic of Zimbabwe came into existence. The treaty specified that the new government could not seize white-owned land for ten years. At the time of the agreement, the country’s 120,000 white families controlled at least half of the country’s arable farmland, while 7 million Africans lived in extreme poverty.

Eroding white supremacy, changing property relations

Many predicted a “white genocide” following ZANU-PF’s election under the new constitution. However, once ZANU-PF assumed power in the elections following the 1979 treaty, no such thing occurred. Despite leading a “white republic” and ordering his troops to slaughter tens of thousands of civilians, Ian Smith, the leader of the white settler government, was spared any punishment for his documented war crimes. He lived in luxury on his estates until his death of natural causes in 2007.

Many whites left Zimbabwe, relocating to South Africa or Europe, but aside from a few incidents, no reports of widespread revenge killings took place. In accordance with the Lancaster House Agreement, whites who were owed pensions by the oppressive Rhodesian apartheid government continued to received payments from the new government until 1990.

The government led by ZANU-PF vastly expanded access to education, and Zimbabwe leads Africa in adult literacy. During the 1990s, the economy of Zimbabwe, presided over and tightly regulated by the ZANU-PF, was described by the Washington Post as being “among the strongest on the continent.”

The ZANU-PF government stayed true to its promise not to forcibly redistribute property until 1997, long after the ten year period agreed to in the treaty. Prior to 1997, many white farmers left Zimbabwe, voluntarily selling their property to the state for negotiated compensation. Britain welcomed white farmers with open arms, and has even established Zane, a charity that supports whites who wish to migrate from Zimbabwe.

Beginning in 1997, land belonging to the white minority has been gradually, forcibly redistributed to Africans. Veterans of Zimbabwe’s revolutionary army were the first to receive land, and by 2011, over 237,000 African families had acquired their own land, while 300 white farms remained intact.

When the land seizures began, Western press reports alleged the land reform was corrupt and giving land only to government bureaucrats. However, The Zimbabwean published the results of a 10-year study of the program, which found that less than 17 percent of the land went to civil servants, and the overwhelming majority went to rural peasants, unemployed Africans, and others who were not deeply connected to government officials.

No one debates that the majority of those who have received land hold a favorable view of the ZANU-PF government. Following the land redistribution campaign, violence erupted on more than a few occasions when white farmers refused to give up land and held violent standoffs with government officials and locals.

‘We want to be left alone’

As the reforms began, Mugabe was subject to demonization in Western media. In 2000, ZANU-PF suffered its first major defeats at the polls and began sharing power with the MDC, which has received funding from the State Department and whose leader has openly admitted to taking “direction” from President Obama.

The redistribution process slowed agricultural production in Zimbabwe. The process of transitioning farms from the large plantations owned by white settlers, to small individual plots owned by African families, was difficult on its own. But it was also compounded by the fact that Africans who had never owned their own farms did not have easy, immediate access to many types of modern agricultural technology previously employed by white farmers. The U.S. made the economic situation far worse by imposing economic sanctions on Zimbabwe starting in 2001, heavily restricting its ability to export agricultural goods. The sanctions also limited Zimbabwe’s access to key agricultural imports needed to make fertilizer.

Speaking at the U.N. General Assembly in 2008, Mugabe said, “We want to be left alone.” He urged Western forces to stop meddling in his country’s internal affairs, and to allow Zimbabwe to alter its economic system toward one featuring a more equitable distribution of wealth.

Despite continued demonization in Western media, Zimbabwe continues to make economic changes. In December, Zimbabwe announced that it was adopting the Chinese yuan as legal tender. In exchange, the People’s Republic of China cancelled Zimbabwe’s $40 million debt to Chinese banks.

In March, Mugabe announced that the country’s diamond mines will be nationalized.

“Companies that have been mining diamonds have robbed us of our wealth,” Mugabe said. “That is why the state must have a monopoly.”

When making the announcement, Mugabe also pointed out that a recent drop in diamond prices has increased the frequency of swindling and corruption surrounding the already crime-stricken industry. Zimbabwe supplied about 13 percent of the world’s diamonds in 2013, but experts quoted by Reuters warned that the country is expected to account for less than 3 percent of the global supply this year.

The president criticized not only Western-owned mining corporations, but also those based in China, and argued that nationalizing the mines will ensure that the people of Zimbabwe get a fair share of the wealth created by their natural resources.

For those who follow U.S. foreign policy, it should be clear why Washington seeks an end to the rule of Mugabe and the ZANU-PF: Zimbabwe’s government is seizing control of the country’s natural resources, redistributing land, and cutting into the profits of Western corporations. Furthermore, Zimbabwe has aligned itself with China, an emerging economic rival of Wall Street.

Western intervention is never the answer

Western media and the CIA have learned to manipulate humanity’s basic feelings of compassion and solidarity for the purpose of conducting “regime change.” Media campaigns routinely highlight atrocities — both real and invented — and build up public opinion for “humanitarian intervention.”

This is the case in Zimbabwe, where Western media selectively report on corruption, violence and suffering in line with biases for regime change held by Washington and its Western allies.

It also happened in Libya, where NATO bombing and a coordinated campaign to topple the government of Moammar Gadhafi were carried out with the stated objective of saving the lives of innocent people. However, the result has been widespread chaos and poverty in what was once Africa’s most prosperous country. The previously stable country stands divided today, as rival factions battle for power, while militant groups like Daesh (an Arabic acronym for the terrorist group known in the West as ISIS or ISIL) have set up shop.

Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria have all suffered the effects of U.S.-backed regime change waged in the name of human rights. The populations that were championed as oppressed victims in the Western media broadcasts that built the case for intervention, are far worse off than before.

American media’s talk about human rights is selective. Governments that reject economic domination by American-based banks and corporations, and those which compete with them on the global market, become targets of demonization. Meanwhile, atrocities perpetrated by repressive regimes that cooperate with the U.S. are generally overlooked, or, as in the case of Saudi Arabia, supported.

A movement like the one unfolding in Zimbabwe right now — a movement championed in Western media and led by someone who has since fled to the U.S. — is unlikely to improve the situation of Zimbabwe’s people. U.S. efforts to cripple Zimbabwe’s current leader and party by funding the opposition isn’t evidence of U.S. concern for human rights; it’s evidence that Mugabe and the ZANU-PF aren’t adhering to the rules of U.S. hegemony and Western dominance.

While Zimbabwe certainly faces social and economic challenges, the Pentagon will not solve them. Western destabilization and intervention will make matters worse. Only the African people — people who have defeated an oppressive regime and rolled back the horrors of white minority rule — only they can lead the country forward.

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