Saturday, September 19, 2009

(HERALD) MDC-T, EU allies singing from same hymn book

MDC-T, EU allies singing from same hymn book

Is devil in the detail again? Susan Forward, in her book, "Obsessive Love: When Passion Holds You Prisoner", has an intriguing chapter titled, "Connection Compulsion: The Root of Obsessive Love".

She writes: "What mysterious power propels obsessive lovers to feel, think, and act in ways that are so contrary to emotional balance, common sense, and loving behaviour? Why are obsessives so needy? Why are obsessives so angry? Why are they so confused?"

For so long, President Mugabe has been accused of playing the victim card against the West. However, when Prime Minister Tsvangirai, who is also leader of MDC-T, addressed party supporters last week in Bulawayo during commemorations of the party’s 10th anniversary, he dejectedly said: "I’m not threatening anyone, but a time will come when we say enough is enough. If as a wife you are being abused and beaten by your husband don’t say, ‘I will remain in the marriage because I have children’. Get out of the marriage."

Marriage! What a relevant metaphor that represents the best and the ugly in human relationships. It is the cornerstone of any society, for it is through this sacred and most revered institution that we end up having family values, which are an integral part of any respectable society.

But married to whom? Although the MDC-T leader seemed to be referring to their acrimonious relationship with Zanu-PF in the inclusive Government, a careful analysis shows that this, after all, could be remarks directed at MDC-T’s other marriage partners — the West (EU), whose representatives were in Bulawayo at the time.

For the West proved to be the obsessive lover who chose an opportune time to come to Zimbabwe under the guise of a fact-finding mission on how the Global Political Agreement was being implemented, when in fact they were coming to tell the MDC-T to toe the line.

The resigned MDC-T leader acted like most abused women who will shout insults at the hubby, threatening to go, but only end up saying, "Dai pasina vana vangu ndaienda kumusha kwangu (Were it not for the kids I would pack and go)." And this will be repeated time and against as long as there is conflict in the home.

Thus you end up a miserable person because you will be pandering to the whims and caprices of the husband.

Considering therefore all the concessions and compromises made by Zanu-PF, the MDC-T cannot say the marriage partner they are referring to is Zanu-PF, for they have never pandered to Zanu-PF’s demands. It has actually been the other way round.

Tsvangirai, who of late was getting commendations about how well he was handling national issues with the exception of the sanctions, seemed to be in a quandary. Thus it seemed convenient to lay all the blame on Zanu-PF.

However, it was understandable. After Sadc and the revelations about the PM’s Office running a parallel government in Munhumutapa Building with assistance from the West, followed by Biti’s handling of IMF funds, it was also evident that the bruises sustained at the Sadc summit in the DRC were too much to bear.

For someone so used to being pampered by the Western and online media, it must have come as a shock to Tsvangirai that even the Voice of America’s Studio 7 also called the MDC-T’s demands "so-called outstanding issues". When things turn out this way, you feel that even those who have accommodated your mistakes, are your enemies.

For in the DRC, Sadc leaders sounded a death knell for the MDC-T. They would not settle for anything less. They wanted the illegal economic sanctions removed as a matter of urgency since they continued to hurt ordinary people. The MDC-T’s much hoped for extraordinary summit on Zimbabwe failed to materialise. Thus after the joint European and American meetings that raised money for the PM’s Office and his cronies in the NGO community, Kinshasa failed to bring anything to the people.

It was time to face reality? After this, how best then could someone celebrate 10 years of existence when the architects, sponsors and benefactors of the project had sent a 14-member delegation to review "progress", and obviously to press on their demands of an illegal regime change?

When situations of that nature arise, it becomes convenient to look for scapegoats and pass the buck. And, this is exactly what the MDC-T leader did. Everything that stalled the pace of the implementation of the GPA was Zanu-PF’s fault, especially President Mugabe since he was refusing to resolve the "so-called outstanding issues".

However, no lessons seemed to have been learnt from the DRC. For none of these leaders has ever called the illegal sanctions "restrictive measures"; travel bans or targeted sanctions. They did not display any semantic mix-up, but called them what they are — sanctions. For, there is a marked difference between the sanctions and restrictive measures, and they impact differently.

Turning back to Forward, I could not help but feel that the MDC-T leader was fulfilling what she says: "When we suffer a setback in the separation process, whatever the reason, we do a psychological about-face.

"Outwardly we may appear to be increasingly independent, but inwardly, we feel frightened and we terribly try to reconnect with that now-unattainable original feeling of total fulfilment and safety.

"For obsessive lovers, the wish to recapture that blissful connection is more than a yearning, it is an overwhelming compulsion — what I call the ‘connection compulsion’." And, rejection is deemed to be the cornerstone of the connection compulsion.

This behavioural phenomenon manifests itself within MDC-T not within the context of its relationship with the other parties in the Global Political Agreement, especially Zanu-PF, but in relation with its Western backers.

Obsessive lovers are also said to "have an insatiable longing either to possess or to be possessed by the target of their obsession, and their target’s unavailability or rejection must drive them to behave in self-defeating ways".

However, the dangers of obsessive relationships are summarised by an anonymous poet in "I Got Flowers Today". It speaks of a woman who stayed on in an obsessive relationship, but only to speak out at the end when she gets the final flowers on her grave when it was already too late: I got flowers today; Today was a very special day; It was the day of my funeral.

After Biti’s behaviour regarding the IMF funds, questions abound. What is it about this marriage that either party cannot let go preferring to sacrifice the people’s well-being on the altar of expediency? What are the people supposed to say when a whole finance minister makes one of the most reckless and unilateral actions — block the much needed and long-awaited IMF funds?

When the retraction is made a week later, is it done because someone has seen the light, or it is a face-saving gesture since MDC-T resolved to go and consult "the people" on whether they should stay in "this Government".

"As a party, we have agreed that in the next month, we are all going to consult the people of Zimbabwe on the future of this Government. We are coming to ask you if this Government is viable. It is you who will tell us what to do," said Tsvangirai.

It beats me that the MDC-T would want to pull out of a relationship with their ilk, preferring closer ties with the West instead.

Masters of the universe or partners?

Since when did celebrations of a party event translate into a diplomatic visit, which the media touted as an EU-Zimbabwe dialogue meant mend fences between the Government of Zimbabwe and the EU?

Why did the much celebrated EU delegation’s visit turn out to be a non-event to people who are weary of these fact-finding missions and attendant talk shops, that do not put food on their table?

Was it coincidence that the troika’s visit coincided with MDC-T’s 10th anniversary? Was it also accidental that the team came just after a US advance team had been in the country a week before the Sadc meeting? Was it also coincidental that complaints were raised about the attitude of both teams towards Zanu-PF and the sanctions issue?

As "masters of the universe", were they coming to pass the guilty verdict in person? For it was a verdict that seemed to be orchestrated on MDC-T success in Kinshasa: sanctions would not go, and the MDC-T leader had no power to have them removed, for he was not the one who imposed them in the first place! This was a statement that needed a lot of discernment to understand the depth and breadth of the Zimbabwean issue vis-à-vis the Anglo-Saxon world. But it was also an action that poured scorn on the people of Zimbabwe.

So, the exasperation in the MDC-T leader was comprehensible. They are in a marriage relationship where the obsessive passions of the other partner have kept them prisoners. Extricating themselves from that union where the other party has a saviour complex and mentality is a mammoth task.

Persecution and victim mentality

It is also interesting to note that when the MDC-T leadership makes allegations of persecution of its membership, there is always a white voice that endorses those claims, by claiming violence perpetrated against them by alleged "Zanu-PF thugs".

The same with the Western media who think that the so-called violence is being perpetrated against white former commercial farmers. It’s a sham that a white farmer thinks of saving computers and a passport when his property is being ‘‘burnt’’ down. What nationality is on that passport, and what information was on the computers, which had to be saved when everything else was going up in flames? All these done to add impetus to the EU troika’s visit!

Nobody denies the existence of violence and conflicts in the past decade. Otherwise there would not be three ministers from all three parties in the inclusive Government overseeing how best national healing and reconciliation can be brought about. But it does not help the situation if people create scenarios that are so hollow.

Let us hope that this does not escape Jomic’s attention and the police, for the Ministry of Home Affairs is co-shared by Zanu-PF and MDC-T.

How much assessment did the EU do in two days? The delegation was not even interested in the alleged clandestine activities in the PM’s Office where a partner in a properly constituted Government admits receiving funding from a multilateral organisation.

This was not a problem to them because they have a different perception of peace and national security than Zimbabwe.

Spain is taking up the EU presidency soon. It has been a victim of terrorist attacks after 9/11. We ask what the Spanish government would do if they formed a unity government with Eta. Would they stand by and allow it to receive funding from all and sundry, especially if those funds would compromise its sovereignty and national security?

Swiss bank accounts used to be almost untouchable. However, 9/11 changed all that. Technological advances are making it easy to trace the legal and illegal movements of money, leading to an atmosphere of disaster preparedness. It is, therefore, mind boggling that the World Bank is alleged to be secretly funding a section of the inclusive Government without the knowledge of the other parties.

Maybe it is high time the tables are turned and President Mugabe asks the UN Security Council through Sadc and the African Union to have the issue investigated.

Tale of two Elders

The first one is a real Elder and an Australian aid worker, for that is his real name: James Elder who used to be a Unicef communications officer in Zimbabwe until mid-last year.

However, after leaving the "violence-infested and undemocratic Zimbabwe", he was posted to Sri Lanka where he does not seem to have had much fortune. On August 14 the Sri Lankan authorities gave him two weeks (until September 21) to leave Sri Lanka on allegations he issued statements that supported the views of the defeated separatist Tamil Tiger rebels.

Australian media reports believe that former Australian diplomat-turned Sri Lankan foreign secretary, Palitha Kohona, was behind James Elder’s expulsion for speaking out on child war casualties and malnutrition rates.

Kohona said that the Unicef spokesman should be treated no differently from Australians deported or languishing in jails across the world for breaking the rules of a sovereign country. "He is supporting a terrorist organisation. When you express views that are taken from the propaganda arm of a terrorist organisation I don’t think there’s much room left for doubt," he said. Unicef has denied the allegations.

Meanwhile, Dr Kohona, who has dual Sri Lankan-Australian citizenship, moved to New York a week ago as Sri Lanka’s representative at the UN. What irony! Aussies treating each other this way, while their government maintains its sanctions regime on Zimbabwe.

The other Elder is none other than former US president Jimmy Carter, American democracy’s perfect apostle. Another irony, both are James.

Last November an impromptu visit to Zimbabwe by a trio of Elders that included Kofi Annan, Graca Machel and Jimmy Carter was aborted when they were denied entry into Zimbabwe, seeing as it were that they were coming on a dubious mission.

After being denied a Zimbabwean visa, Carter said it was a "novel experience" for him since he had never before been denied a visa. He also told the media, "there are no economic sanctions against Zimbabwe . . . "

However, "Elder" Carter, whose quest for an American archetypal democratic order is unprecedented since he has observed elections in many countries around the world, was given a rude awakening this week after realising that American democratic ideals did not seem to have an impact in war torn Afghanistan, despite the life and limbs lost, and the millions the Angl-Saxon world has poured into Afghanistan to prop up Hamid Karzai.

On Tuesday, Carter described the recent Afghan elections as "despicable". He accused Karzai of stealing the election, and went further to advise Obama against sending any more troops to Afghanistan.

As usual, Zimbabwe had to be lumped together with the US’s failed experiments across the globe?

Why is Carter crying foul when it was the US and its Western allies that created the Iraq and Afghan scenarios? They also did the same in Zimbabwe, under the guise of bringing democracy, when the true reasons were to plunder using local accomplices.

Carter and those of his ilk should therefore not shed crocodile tears after realising that their models only work in the US and nowhere else. For every nation has the right and capacity to create its own mode of democratic values as dictated by local conditions. It is time that they also realise the unipolar world no longer exists, and that if it does, it only exists on paper.

IMF’s most indebted nations

After reading Sandrine Rastello’s report on September 9 saying that Somalia, Sudan and Zimbabwe were the most indebted nations with overdue financial obligations to the IMF, bringing total arrears to the lender to about US$2,09 billion, I wondered whether this was an apparent smokescreen to the EU troika’s Zimbabwean visit. Was it also meant to give credence to Biti’s unilateral decision to block the Fund’s allocation to Zimbabwe on the basis of previous debts?

Said Rastello: "the three countries also have financial obligations with the World Bank and the African Development Bank, according to the IMF."

In response, I responded to Rastello’s report and asked her whether "the three nations were the only countries that owe in an organisation with a membership of close to 200 member states? What are you trying to communicate to your readers when we know that the IMF is a big lender and all member states owe? Is this selective amnesia on your part? How about the US? How much does it owe? Doesn’t their debt to China run into trillions of dollars?"

I also questioned: "Have you ever objectively asked why the three countries owe, and why they are unable to repay? Who is fuelling the tensions/conflicts/wars in these countries that affect debt repayment?

I told her: "We also wonder at the timing of your story — soon after the IMF released more than US$200 billion to member states to cushion them from the vagaries of the current global recession.

"In any case, who is responsible for this recession? In Zimbabwe’s case, we are surprised because the IMF has decided to take a partisan approach when it released the second tranche into an escrow account".

l tendai.manzvanzvike ***

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