Friday, November 20, 2009

(TALKZIMBABWE) Global Political Agreement: The vested interests

Global Political Agreement: The vested interests:
Opinion piece by Reason Wafawarova in MELBOURNE, Australia
Fri, 20 Nov 2009 10:35:00 +0000

IN the West, the media coverage of the political events in Zimbabwe will give one the impression that Prime Minister Tsvangirai is this herculean democratic leader of a ubiquitous political party supported even by yet to be born Zimbabweans, but surviving in a brutally skewed relationship with Zanu PF – a party that in the eyes of Westerners is nothing more than a tyrannous gang of support-less thugs who survive on stealing votes from the MDC-T.

The Global Political Agreement: that misnamed document that forms the basis for an inclusive Government between Zimbabwe’s three major political parties is so misnamed to the advantage of the MDC-T; whose leadership seems to be more than convinced that the agreement is a global affair where the governance of Zimbabwe must become an all man affair through the facilitation of the MDC-T.

The West’s vested interest in the GPA is unambiguous and well spelt out. They want a transition from Zanu PF rule to MDC-T rule, and clearly any other outcome from this transition has to be fraudulent by definition. The issues that the MDC-T say are outstanding in the GPA are issues to do with perceived political leverage in elbowing Zanu PF out of power and these are the same issues that are highlighted as matters of staid concern in the West.

Finance Minister Biti has been fronting the anti-Gono spume with the dedication of a zealot from the first day he took office and the backing he has received from external forces has arguably made Dr Gono the most publicised central bank governor in the history of mankind.

Prime Minister Tsvangirai and others from the MDC-T have been directing their arsenal at the Attorney General, Mr Johannes Tomana. They too have tremendous support from Western auxiliary forces such as the political activists that have over the last ten years been planted in the NGO community resident in Zimbabwe.

There is also this unequivocal support from Western sponsored media that churn out anti-Zanu PF propaganda and hate speech unabated on a daily basis. The articles written by columnists in Western media characteristically follow a pattern reminiscent of what was happening in Central America in the 1980s.

They carry one opinion – that of the MDC-T and there is no other opinion that one can pick from mainstream Western media.

Noam Chomsky went through fifty articles written by Stephen Kinzer of the New York Times on Nicaragua beginning October 1987.

It turned out that in fifty articles Kinzer did not talk to one person in Nicaragua who was pro-Sandinista. Surely there had to be somebody – maybe Daniel Ortega’s mother or wife, at least somebody had to be pro-Sandinista. Well, Kinzer’s quotes were all from anti-Sandinista sources.

This is exactly what is happening in Zimbabwe today. This writer has had a few journalists from the mainstream Western media reprimanded by their superiors for either booking interviews with him or actually carrying them out. The tolerated opinion here is the anti-Zanu PF one. That is the unwritten media rule.

Independent polls that were carried out in 1987 showed that the opposition in Nicaragua had 9 percent support of the population. These are the people who had 100 percent of Stephen Kinzer’s coverage. Everyone he bumped into apparently supported the opposition and that was amazingly for a good fifty articles.

This writer is reminded often that the indictments of subtlety that he makes about the media are too simplistic and puerile. The argument forwarded is that readers, listeners and viewers should not be viewed with a low opinion, since they are intelligent and knowledgeable enough to pick up on any biases. That would be true if the same readers, viewers and listeners had access to other sources of information.

Here in the West the suspicion that news about places like Zimbabwe may be biased is quite rife, but that alone cannot bring out the true extend of the bias, for as long as there are no alternative sources of news to tell the other story.

The West has developed a very sophisticated version of freedoms where what one does is not so much important as to what one thinks. So we have a situation where one can protest, criticise, or complain about certain things and nothing will happen to them. What is controlled is what they protest about, what they criticise and what they complain about.

That control comes through what they are exposed to as news by the media. Topics are selected carefully to suit the agenda of the state, sources are selected carefully as we have seen with the Kinzer example, the tone is adjusted to send particular messages, and the analyses is engineered to create a desired emphasis and so on.

It may as well be true that practising journalists want to tell themselves that they are doing an honest job but unfortunately that is not how it works in the media fraternity. A reporter who goes out of the vested interests will firstly be hotly pressed for the highest levels of evidence.

There is no need for verification when a journalist goes for vested interests. These are self verifying as it is. Like, if you are reporting on atrocities “carried out” by Zanu PF; all that is needed is one hearsay witness and that will suffice.

The same goes for a story on corruption by any of the leaders from Zanu PF. All that is needed is someone saying there is such corruption and that the whole country’s wealth is now in the hands of “Mugabe’s cronies” and that will suffice. There is no need for verification.

You talk about the MDC-T campaigning for sanctions against their own country, and you are going to need videotapes. You talk about Western sanctions killing thousands and thousands of innocent people in Zimbabwe and you are going to need mountains of evidence to prove that.

It is like talking about torture carried out by American soldiers. You need videotapes and you need to prove that such tapes are authentic, or that the people being tortured were real and so on.

To prove that Zanu PF is a “dying party” is as simple as quoting an unnamed “senior Zanu PF official” admitting that the party is dying.

If a journalist were to quote an unnamed MDC-T official or even a named dissident from the MDC saying something like the MDC drafted ZDERA or that they compiled all the sanctions lists used by the West to cripple the Zimbabwe economy then they would have to start digging and backing that up with mountains of evidence.

They can most certainly expect to pick up tonnes of flack, to be humiliated, to be ridiculed, demoted or even lose their jobs. In Zimbabwe Joram Nyathi will give a good testimony of how this works.

With the GPA it is very easy. There is no need for verification on the MDC-T claims that Gono and Tomana are part of the GPA. That is not necessary. What is necessary is to say the SADC communiqué that covered the issue of the offices of these two senior officials is part of the GPA, even if that is a baseless thing to say.

There is no need to verify that the communiqué in question suggested discussion on this matter but did not prescribe a solution. What is important is to create the impression that the communiqué directed the removal of these two officials from office.

It is when one asserts that the MDC-T has an obligation under the GPA to call for the lifting of Western illegal economic sanctions on Zimbabwe that the burden of proof is required and it is demanded in a very hostile and irrational manner.

This is when Prime Minister Tsvangirai will come out wielding a veil that says there is no such thing as sanctions on Zimbabwe; all there is, are “restrictive measures”. With the president of the MDC-T going this way it is very predictable which way the pro-West media will go.

It becomes absolutely understandable that James Maridadi has to pick the easy way; the phenomenally lazy way that will keep him in employment as Tsvangirai’s spokesman, or whatever it is that he does in the Prime Minister’s office.

Maridadi is that sweet Junior Three talk show host who used to remind Zimbabwean kids not to lie and he would repeatedly tell them to be honest. That has all changed now and that Samantha kid of yesteryear must be a young adult now, and she really must be wondering what has happened to her childhood hero.

Maridadi has the boldness to tell the West and the rest of us that there are no sanctions on Zimbabwe regardless of the standing condition from the West that “sanctions will remain” until “we see meaningful reforms on the part of President Mugabe and Zanu PF”.

We need mountains of evidence to prove that pirate radio stations beaming from the UK and the US are spreading nothing more than blatant hate speech against Zanu PF and the people of Zimbabwe but there is no need for such evidence when it is alleged The Herald spreads hate speech against the MDC-T.

That is how it works with vested interests. Many people have been misled by the MDC-T that they are in the inclusive Government because it “is the only option” out of the economic crisis. This is the same party that says there is no such thing as sanctions. It is the same party whose secretary general cries fowl when Zimbabwe secures a bit of funding from the IMF, regardless of the fact that he holds the post of Finance Minister.

In fact the GPA to the MDC-T is the only option to try and oust Zanu PF from power. This is the kind of assertion that will invite hostile challenges for tonnes of evidence. But we know that Nelson Chamisa has already excitedly told the public that removing Zanu PF from government was the sole reason the MDC-T joined this inclusive government.

Again Chamisa will never be asked to comment or verify this kind of assertion but this writer will be challenged to provide videotapes of Nelson playing the excited boy.

One way of inviting fury from MDC-T sympathisers in the West is to say such things like Zanu PF carried the popular vote in the March 2008 parliamentary election despite trailing the MDC-T by a single seat in the Lower House. You attract more fury when you say with Professor Jonathan Moyo rejoining Zanu PF the MDC now has the same number of seats as Zanu PF in the Lower House.

This is the kind of talk that is viewed as undemocratic, fascist, tyrannic and against the “democratic forces” in Zimbabwe.

The democratic slant is that the MDC-T is the majority party in Zimbabwe even if they did not manage the highest most popular vote in the general election.
One seat ahead of Zanu PF in the Lower House against six seats behind Zanu PF in the Upper House is still good enough to make the MDC-T the majority party in Zimbabwe.

In this vein the GPA has to be implemented according to the wishes of Mr Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC-T party and surely SADC and the AU must ensure that this wish of Western elites is observed and achieved.

Zanu PF is not a party without blame. Far from it; they will need to answer for their part in allowing corrupt people to hide under the cover of the party while enriching themselves at the expense of the nation. They need to tell the nation why some cabinet ministers and senior officials sat on approved policies for years without implementing them.

They need to answer for failure to decisively deal with abuse of farming inputs over the years. The list could be longer but the point is that we still have an underlying reality where Zanu PF has to make way for the MDC-T purely on the basis of creating a Western client state out of Zimbabwe, and some in the West still hazard to guess that there is a possibility to reverse the land reform programme – dangerous as such a wish may be.

Zimbabwe we are one and together we will overcome. It is homeland or death!!

Reason Wafawarova is a political writer and can be contacted on or or visit

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