Friday, November 14, 2008

(ALLAFRICA, HERALD) Zimbabwe: Let's Disembowel Tsvangirai on June 27

Zimbabwe: Let's Disembowel Tsvangirai on June 27
The Herald (Harare)
23 May 2008
Posted to the web 23 May 2008


The ongoing wave of price hikes, while designed to compel people, particularly urbanites, to endorse Morgan Tsvangirai over President Mugabe in the run-off on June 27, should actually awaken the doubting Thomases to the manipulation we have been subjected to since the stand-off with Britain began in November 1997.

The Western countries -- led by Britain and the United States -- mooted the idea of an opposition to topple Zanu-PF and President Mugabe from power for daring to go beyond the fa├žade of flag independence to holistic empowerment. This is the whole discourse of regime change. They, however, realised that in Zanu-PF and the Government, they faced insurmountable odds on account of the great strides Government made in improving livelihoods since 1980. To this end, they decided to systematically undo those gains in a bid to separate the majority from the leadership by laying the blame for the erosion on the Government while presenting the MDC as a viable alternative.

This strategy was exposed by former US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Chester Crocker who, in a testimony to the US Senate in 2001, said "to separate the Zimbabwean people from Zanu-PF we are going to have to make their economy scream".

This set the stage for the imposition of illegal economic sanctions that cut our lines of credit from all multilateral lending institutions that have dealings with the US. The situation was not helped by the fact that the economy was, and still is dominated by over 400 British companies that were only eager to toe London's line. These companies either deliberately cut down on production and channelled the few products they made to the illegal parallel market where they were sold at extortionate prices, or simply hiked the prices of goods and services to unrealistic levels, all in a bid to abet the sanctions and force people to vote against the Government. This is why every major election has been preceded by a wave of price hikes. We saw this ahead of Election 2000, we saw it in the 2002 presidential election, we saw it in the general election of 2005 and again in the just-ended harmonised elections.

The closeness of the last contest that saw Zanu-PF trail the MDC-T in the presidential and House of Assembly elections on the back of protest votes made the Western hounds smell blood. They, thus, decided to ensure that voters are really squeezed so that come June 27, they seek recourse in the MDC-T. This is why the past few weeks have been characterised by spiralling inflation, shortages of basic commodities, incessant power cuts, high transport costs and intermittent disruptions to water supplies, which are all part of the regime change agenda as President Mugabe pointed out on Wednesday.

Thus, if some among us continue giving the Westerners hope by voting for the MDC, they will only be too eager to keep ratcheting the pressure in the hope that one day; we will capitulate. However, if we send a clear message to them that we have seen through their ruse by shunning Tsvangirai and overwhelmingly endorsing President Mugabe, they will be compelled to leave us alone.
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Southern Africa

June 27, is the day we should send that message, let it be the day we disembowel the neo-colonial project.

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