Color Revolutions: Washington Funds Venezuela's "Made in the USA Opposition"
$20 million in 2012 for anti-Chavez groups
by Eva Golinger
Global Research, August 11, 2011
Washington is preparing funds to support the opposition’s campaign against President Hugo Chavez during the coming presidential elections in 2012. Since Hugo Chavez won his first presidential elections in 1998, the US government has been trying to remove him from power. With multimillion-dollar investments, every year Washington’s agencies advise and aid anti-Chavez groups with their campaigns and strategies against the government.
Despite multiple attempts, including a coup d’etat in 2002 that briefly ousted President Chavez, their efforts have been in vain. The Venezuelan President’s popularity continues to rise and opposition leaders have failed to convince constituents of their plans. The latest polls show Chavez’s support above 57%, while the opposition fails to even reach 20%.
Nonetheless, Washington continues to seek new mechanisms to achieve its eternal objective of recovering control over Venezuela’s strategic resources – the largest oil reserves on the planet – and this means putting an end to Hugo Chavez.
One of the US government’s principal tactics has been feeding the internal conflict in Venezuela through the consolidation of an opposition movement, that despite its impossibility of uniting, continues to maintain itself active in the country’s political sphere.
The main engine behind this tactic has been the multimillion-dollar investment of Washington’s agencies, together with several European and Canadian foundations, in the Venezuelan opposition. The money has come with strategic support from top campaign and political consultants, who aid in everything from image to discourse.
Through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a congressionally created entity funded by the State Department, and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Washington has channeled more than $100 million to anti-Chavez groups in Venezuela since 2002. A majority of those substantial funds have been used to run opposition candidates’ campaigns, as well as finance those well crafted media campaigns against the Chavez government that flood the national and international press.
Despite the economic crisis in the US, the funds to Venezuela’s opposition continue to flow.
In February 2011, President Barack Obama requested $5 million for opposition groups in Venezuela in his 2012 National Budget. It marked the first time a sitting US president openly requested money in the national budget to fund Chavez’s opposition, especially during a time when domestic funding is being cut. Apparently, Obama prefers to spend US taxpayer dollars on efforts to oust the Venezuelan President – elected democratically and supported by the majority – instead of investing in the health and well being of the US people.
Those $5 million comprise only a quarter of the total funds so far prepared by Washington for the Venezuelan opposition in 2012.
The US Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, has been the center of distribution and coordination of the majority of USAID and NED funds since 2002. However, until the end of 2010, USAID maintained offices of 3 contractors in Caracas: International Republican Institute (IRI), National Democratic Institute (NDI) and Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI). Through these entities, particularly DAI, USAID channeled millions each year to hundreds of opposition groups, programs, projects and campaigns in Venezuela. IRI and NDI supplied more political advice and aid than liquid funds.
These three agencies abruptly parted Venezuela after the nation’s legislative body passed a law in December 2010 prohibiting foreign funding for political means in the country. In early 2011, USAID published a statement on its website claiming its Venezuela program had been transferred to the Washington office. No other information was provided.
Nevertheless, USAID’s 2012 budget includes $5 million more for its work in Venezuela. The agency, which is a funding branch of the State Department, has no authorized projects in Venezuela or agreements with the Venezuelan government. From the beginning, its motives have been purely political.
Without the presence of these three agencies in Caracas, the US Embassy has taken on an even more important role – evident in the major boost in its 2012 budget. In 2010, the Embassy in Caracas had an annual budget of $18,022,000; in 2011 it dropped to $15,980,000. But in 2012, the budget swoops up to $24,056,000, nearly a $9 million increase.
The US doesn’t even have an ambassador in that embassy, nor plans to name one. Relations with Venezuela are frozen and handled at the “charge d’affairs” level. Furthermore, the number of embassy staff has remained the same since 2010: 81 employees. So, what is the extra $9 million for?
There is no doubt that these funds are destined for the electoral campaigns in 2012, when Venezuela has both presidential and regional elections. Now that USAID and its contractors are no longer operating in-country, the embassy will be the principle channel to ensure those funds reach their destination.
So far, the total reaches $19 million – at minimum – from Washington to the Venezuelan opposition in 2012, but that’s not all.
In the State Department’s 2012 budget, $48,160,000 was requested to fund the Organization of American States (OEA). In the justification for those funds, State specifies that part of the money will be used “to deploy special ‘democracy practitioner’ teams to states where democracy faces threats from the growing presence of alternate concepts such as the ‘participatory democracy’ advocated by Venezuela and Bolivia”.
Additionally, the budget claims the funds will be used to support “the appropriate responses to threats on freedom of expression and abuses by governments against their people, particularly in states such as Venezuela and Cuba”.
At minimum, a few of those $48 million will be filtered to groups in Venezuela that work against the government of Hugo Chavez.
And then there’s still the NED, which funds with at least $1 million annually a dozen groups in Venezuela, including Sumate, CEDICE, Futuro Presente, Liderazgo y Visión, Instituto Prensa y Sociedad (IPyS), Consorcio Justicia, Radar de los Barrios, Ciudadanía Activa, and others.
The NED’s budget for 2012, which is $104,000,000, states the following: “In the Andean region, the Venezuelan presidential election scheduled for December 2012 will have relevant consequences for the country and the neighborhood, as President Chavez seeks reelection for an additional six-year term. NED will support civil society organizations in their efforts to enhance voter participation and promote free, fair and competitive elections”.
Although the exact amount of money the NED will be providing to Venezuelan opposition groups in 2012 is not specified, it’s plans to intervene in Venezuela’s electoral process is obvious.
These multimillion-dollar funds destined to the Venezuelan opposition in 2012 leave no doubt that Washington will continue its plans to interfere in Venezuela’s internal politics, while trying – by any means – to impede the future of the Bolivarian Revolution. At the same time, these millions reinforce the decade-old belief that Chavez’s opposition remains “Made in USA”.
Eva Golinger is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Eva Golinger
Labels: COLOUR REVOLUTIONS, HUGO CHAVEZ, NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY, VENEZUELA
Wake up, SA: It's time for your reality check, says Tutu
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - Aug 12 2011 13:53
Whites need to accept that they benefited from apartheid, cabinet ministers need to sell their expensive cars and South Africans need to be less indifferent. This is according to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who spoke at a book launch at the University of Stellenbosch in Cape Town on Thursday evening. The damage apartheid had caused was impossible to escape, he said.
"Thus we must not be surprised at the staggering statistics of violent crime, murder, rape -- when you suffer from self-hate you project it to others who look like you, and so, we have so-called black-on-black violence, frequently gratuitous violence, where the victim of a hijacking is shot dead even when she has surrendered her car keys."
Tutu said the self-hatred was shown in the "disgrace of littering", which was not a function of poverty.
"Our parents were poor but our surroundings were scrupulously clean because apartheid had not yet done its pernicious work. I am nothing, I am rubbish and so it does not matter that I live amongst all this rubbish which reflects what I think of myself," said Tutu.
He said this mind-set materialised in many ways.
"We show it in how we drive recklessly, inconsiderately, aggressively because deep down we are angry, and so, the appalling carnage on our roads during the holidays, horrendous statistics, we just accept.
"NFP [National Freedom Party] leaders are assassinated in KwaZulu-Natal and there's no outrage, just indifference from us all. Four children die in a fire. Poor black children, no outcry. We are wounded," said Tutu.
He said white citizens needed to accept the obvious: "You all benefited from apartheid."
"Your children could go to good schools. You lived in smart neighbourhoods. Yet so many of my fellow white citizens become upset when you mention this. Why? Some are crippled by shame and guilt and respond with self-justification or indifference.
"Both attitudes make that we are less than we can be."
But Tutu did not spare the government in his criticism either, saying urgent action was required to narrow the gap between rich and poor.
"My appeal to our Cabinet ministers: There is much dehumanising poverty abroad. There are people in our country who, unbelievably, go to bed without a meal.
"Your handbook permits you to buy very expensive cars and most of you have done so. In the spirit of ubuntu to show that you care, that you are compassionate, please sell your expensive cars and replace them with slightly less pricey cars - to show you care about these poor people. Your humanity depends on it," said Tutu. -- Sapa
Labels: APARTHEID, CORRUPTION, DESMOND TUTU, LAND REFORM
COMMENT - The MDC showing their democratic credentials.
'Weird' Malema silencing Zim opposition, says youth group
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - Aug 12 2011 13:39
The Zimbabwe Youth Wing on Friday condemned ANC Youth League president Julius Malema for "silencing" opposition members in their country. "It is judgmental, weird and... incites xenophobia," the human rights group's spokesperson Brian Muziringa told journalists in Johannesburg.
Malema has previously called Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) "imperialists". MDC South African district chairperson Solomon Chikohwero said he was appalled by Malema going to Zimbabwe and showing support for its President Robert Mugabe in April last year.
"We saw him going to Zimbabwe and dining with the Zanu-PF [ruling party] and Mugabe. He was campaigning for them and in the end they gave him 21 head of cattle ... we don't know if this was payment or a gift of thanks," Chikohwero said.
The Zimbabwe Youth Wing and the MDC in South Africa called on Malema to apologise for his statements.
Zimbabwe Youth Wing founder Ismael Kauzani said if Malema did not apologise, it would consider legal action. -- Sapa
Labels: JULIUS MALEMA, MDC
Gautrain: Fast track to the slow lane
YOLANDI GROENEWALD - Aug 12 2011 00:00
I was assaulted on the Gautrain this week. By an Afrikaans oupa from Pretoria. As I got off the train at the Sandton station, the man grabbed my arm and nearly knocked me over in his haste to get on.
Behind him, his family and a host of other commuters were pushing forward as if the Beatles had reunited and were holding one last performance right there on the train. Clearly they did not heed the "please wait until passengers disembark first" refrain that has now become a part of my daily commute.
I have been using the Gautrain for just one week but I still long for my black Terios, which has been parked in the garage, and the freedom it represented to go wherever the road would take me. But my little Terios also came loaded with stress, road rage, traffic, a hefty fuel and toll bill and carbon emissions. It had to go.
On the right track
The Gautrain has launched its much-anticipated Hatfield link, which promises to greatly reduce commuter traffic between Pretoria and Johannesburg.
More videosLike a smoker trying to break the habit on their first day, I gave up my addiction without much thought. But when the bus from my home in Kempton Park to the Rhodesfield station took half an hour, I started to calculate the time spent -- I could have been halfway to work by now. And I was the only passenger on the bus. So much for less stress or saving the environment.
But once I got on to the train, my bus rage evaporated. The blue seats became my serene retreat. I planned my day, and wasn't interrupted by blaring horns.
Interruptions came only in the form of overeager commuters dying to talk about the fabulous Gautrain. (I quickly understood why people have their iPods on.) By the time we passed the Kelvin power station in Isando, puffing smoke into the air, pride had taken over -- my little SUV wasn't contributing to climate change any longer.
Besides, the train was filled with promise of what South Africa could be. It was a utopian society where no poor people existed. The abundant security made sure the posted rules were clearly adhered to -- no soiled clothes, no begging and certainly no informal trading.
But if you're thinking only the white middle class was on the train that would be a gross miscalculation. There were advocates in their robes on their way to court sitting next to funky students with dreadlocks and all sorts of commuters from office blocks around Gauteng reading the daily newspapers. I felt as if I was sitting in a South African Breweries ad.
On the move
As I passed Marlboro's modern station, which sits in stark contrast to the abject poverty and RDP houses off in the distance, I was reminded of the huge bill the Gautrain came with and what that money could have bought.
Twenty-five minutes later I walked out of the Rosebank station, the paper under my arm, ready to attack the day and not a taxi driver. And the 10-minute walk to the Mail & Guardian offices made me feel good about myself. This couch potato was moving.
Then I had to meet a contact in Melville. All the company cars were out. I was stranded. Office-bound, I rescheduled.
That afternoon the walk back to the station was a little bit colder. And I couldn't even order a coffee at nearby Motherlands to warm me up. Eating and drinking is forbidden on the train and that coffee (or even a stick of gum) could end up costing me R700. Very Singaporean.
It was dark, too, when I had to walk back to my house after the bus had dropped me off. Suddenly I felt very exposed and alone. So I decided not to abandon my trusted little Terios completely but rather to find a parking space for the little guy at the station on my next trip.
On Monday morning it felt strangely comforting to move into the driver's seat again. Near the station I was nearly pushed off the road by a maniac in a red hatchback, bringing back all the memories of why I ditched the car in the first place. With the long weekend, Monday also brought families on to the train. In hordes. With grannies and gogos and oupas.
This time, I had to head to Pretoria for a meeting. It soon became clear that the good people of Pretoria had heard that there was a train in town -- and they were getting on to it. So travelling to Rosebank from Hatfield, it took 40 minutes just to get on to the train. Some people gave up and left. Others bemoaned that it was typical South African style. It turned out that some genius had pushed a panic button near the Midrand station, bringing the whole system to a halt.
That day, I calculated that I could have made the trip to Hatfield twice with my Terios and I felt cheated. I started fumbling in my bag for the familiarity of my car keys.
Once on the train, however, the enthusiasm of the masses created a buzz that infected me. Yes, the train has huge financing issues. The feeder systems are inadequate, taxpayers will be funding its often prophesised failure, and the poor, those affected most by our nearly non-existent public transit system, are in no way addressed with the Gautrain. But for that moment, watching toddlers press their noses against the window in wonder as the Gauteng landscape sped by, I felt proud to be a South African.
Financial tunnel vision
So what if the Gautrain and its buses are not as full as expected? Who will pay the price? Seemingly you, the taxpayer. This is owing to the project's controversial patronage guarantee and it has the potential to cost taxpayers R360-million a year if there aren't enough bums on seats.
The Gautrain project's total cost currently stands at just over R26.2-billion. In 2006, the national treasury approved a cost of R25.2-billion for the Gautrain's public-private partnership contract.
The largest partnership of its kind in South Africa, it is a "fixed-price and fixed-scope" 15-year contract. This means the bill for the train is not supposed to go up, unless more stations are built or extra work is required. If the price of cement went up, that would be for the account of the private partner, which is supposed to carry all the risk of building in a volatile economy.
It is still a sweet deal for concessionaire and private partner the Bombela Consortium, which guarantees Bombela that if not as many passengers use the Gautrain as expected, it will receive a government subsidy to ensure its operation of the train does not run at a loss.
Just how many passengers Bombela needs, no one has been able to say.
Barbara Jensen, spokesperson for Gautrain management, said Bombela would take all the operating risks other than full demand risk. "The provincial government provides a patronage guarantee in months where the revenue from the system is greater than Bombela's forecast revenue. In the event of buses or trains not running according to schedule or in the event of security breaches, the patronage guarantee diminishes."
Bombela, for instance, will have to handle the costs of the waterlogged Park station tunnel.
She said the guarantee was provided because the project was the first of its kind in South Africa and the market was untested. She was unable to estimate numbers because the length of the trip is a factor in determining the revenue needed for the patronage guarantee. But by its own estimates Gautrain's management wants 108 000 passengers a day by the end of January next year. On Monday this week, 36 000 used the train and the cars were packed.
The Gautrain project is one of the priciest infrastructure projects in recent years and many have questioned whether the public-private partnership model it used was not, in fact, too beneficial for Bombela.
Eyebrows were raised when more than a third of the Gauteng department of roads and transport's budget for 2011/12 was set aside for the project. This included R259-million for the patronage guarantee this year and a possible R360-million for next year.
Britain’s Riots: Thuggery, Looting, Lawlessness… By the Ruling Class
by Finian Cunningham
Global Research, August 11, 2011
After a conflagration of arson attacks, riots and looting in several British cities, including the capital, London, there is a sense of order having been restored from a massive mobilisation of police forces.
There now follows the tracking down and prosecution of individuals involved in the mayhem. Conservative Prime Minister is leading “the fight back” to punish anyone who has inflicted damage and destruction to Britain’s society.
The events have visibly shocked the political establishment of all parties, police chiefs and the mainstream media. But what should be more shocking is the myopic and incredibly banal commentary that is being offered to “explain” the outburst of street disturbances and violence.
As pundits sit in comfy television studios trading inane insights about the “evils” of individual immorality, criminality, dysfunctional families, gang culture – in the background, so to speak, are the glaring signs scrolling across the screens of the cause of this societal breakdown. And yet the preponderant signs escape the mental radar of pundits and politicians alike.
The fact that the capitalist economic system is in worldwide meltdown is not even registered in the mainstream commentary. This is the system that the mainstream political parties have facilitated and fawned over, whether Labour, Conservative or Liberal, and which has resulted in social devastation across Britain while the corporate and financial elite has ransacked economic resources. This system of legalised looting has been going on for decades, but certainly took on a precipitous dynamic starting with Cameron’s Conservative predecessor Margaret Thatcher in the early 1980s. Labour’s Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were merely purveyors of the same dynamic.
In surveying today’s Britain, Karl Marx words are so right: “An accumulation of wealth at one pole of society indicates an accumulation of misery and overwork at the other”. That is the hallmark of capitalism in today’s Britain, the US and Europe.
All other problems are largely secondary in causation. Crime, racist policing, disorder, the lack of police budgets to restore order (so ironic), alienation and self-destruction, and so many other ills including the mobilisation of resources to fund illegal wars – most of our present day problems flow from the tap root of dysfunction that is the capitalist economy.
Speaking in the House of Commons Thursday, Prime Minister Cameron's “explanation” for the outbreak of street disturbances across England demonstrates a total ignorance and poverty of understanding on his part of the nature of the breakdown in his society. He blames it on “criminality pure and simple” and “pockets of sickness” and “lack of individual morality and responsibility”.
This view is largely echoed in the British political establishment of all parties and the media.
The looting, thievery and lawlessness that Cameron so condemns is but the reflection at the street level of British society of what is taking place on a much greater scale at the upper echelons of government and the economy.
Despite the appearance of pinstripe suits and well-groomed accents, we can, if we are honest, see decades of looting and thievery of economic and financial resources by corporate elites aided and abetted by Labour and Conservative governments. The taxpayer bailout of corrupt banks initiated by Labour PM Gordon Brown and now overseen by Cameron, paid for in large part by austerity in public spending cuts, is but the latest manifestation of official robbing of the majority to swell the already outrageous wealth of the ruling elite class.
Cameron and his gang of plumy-accented thugs are gunning for $150 billion in public spending cuts to pay for the criminal enterprise known as British banking. This is racketeering that a street gang in London’s east end can only marvel at… and indeed, in a very real way, only emulate.
Combined with that looting by the elite we see the total lawlessness and criminality of British governments who have worked hand in glove with other criminal governments to launch wars of aggression (Nuremburg standard war crimes) in Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Libya, resulting in the deaths of over one million civilians. Where is individual responsibility for that mass murder and destruction Mr Cameron?
This social decay and necrotism is a symptom of the collapse of capitalism, an economic system that enriches an elite at the cost of the majority. It polarises political power beyond democratic accountability to the point where, among other deformities, wars and planetary looting are being carried out even blatantly against the consent of the majority public.
So when Cameron and his political cronies fulminate about pockets of sickness, looting, criminality, lawlessness, and the need for “consequences for actions” – his words and exhortations are so richly ironic and benighted.
For he is inadvertently describing the very society and world that capitalism creates in its own image. The indoctrination of Cameron's mind and that of the entire political establishment prevents them from seeing the inferno for the sparks. An inferno that the government of Cameron and his Labour predecessors, and in other western countries, have been dousing fuel on with their slavish policies aiding and abetting capitalist kleptocracy, both at home and abroad.
The real lessons from Britain will not dawn on, never mind be drawn on, by mainstream politicians or media. And the same can be said for the US and other western countries. To paraphrase a slogan used by former US President Clinton: “It’s the capitalist economy, stupid.”
Finian Cunningham is a Global Research Correspondent based in Belfast, Ireland.
Labels: NEOLIBERALISM, RIOTS
COMMENT - Julius Malema: “South Africa is divided as we speak, we got two economies in one country, two nations in one country, and it is nationalisation that will unite us.”
Nationalisation will unite SA: Malema
Sunday, 07 August 2011 00:44 International News
It is nationalisation that will reconcile and unite South Africans, ANC Youth League president Julius Malema said on Thursday night.
“Everyone has the right to benefit from wealth in South Africa,” he told students at residences at the University of Johannesburg, Soweto campus. “Since the debate on nationalisation, every rich family has spoken in defence of their property
. . . all of them, they are in Stellenbosch, the Stellenbosch mafia.”
Malema believed they had spoken against nationalisation because they stood to lose.
He urged students not to believe economists, especially “the three white men” being televised on SABC, as they were “feeding people lies”.
He referred to the Commission of Employment Equity report released on Wednesday, which said that whites still occupied 73,1 percent of top management positions in the country.
“South Africa is divided as we speak, we got two economies in one country, two nations in one country, and it is nationalisation that will unite us.”
He said that 10 percent of the South African population was made up of whites yet they controlled 90 percent of the wealth.
“We want to resolve this, every generation has a mission. From today, you are the generation of economic freedom fighters.”
Malema said nationalisation would lead to industrialisation and job creation.
The Kimberley community would no longer have to be hopeless, even though “the coloniser continues to exploit mineral resources, and failed to build even one university in Kimberley, yet they continue to benefit”.
Malema said the discovery of diamonds should have made Kimberley like Johannesburg. He said the mineral wealth must benefit these mining communities.
“In fact mines have brought nothing but pain and suffering and illnesses to those communities, and we sit back and allow that to continue,” he said
Malema said that the struggle was not over and that it was the league’s responsibility to campaign for economic freedom. — Sapa.
Labels: JULIUS MALEMA, NATIONALISATION
SCRAMBLE FOR JOMIC: MDC formations, Fishmongers in bid to transform group into donor-funded instrument
Sunday, 07 August 2011 01:15 Top Stories
By Munyaradzi Huni and Tafadzwa Chiremba
A FRANTIC scramble has erupted among UK, US, EU governments working closely with a group of donors known as the Fishmongers
with assistance from the MDC formations and some elements in the Sadc secretariat along with some officials in President Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team to use the forthcoming annual Sadc summit in Angola to seek the transformation of Jomic into a donor-funded instrument in a bid to influence the results of the impending elections, it has been established.
It is understood that there are clandestine efforts to move away from the current scenario where Jomic is financed by Treasury and make it a donor-driven instrument to influence the forthcoming harmonised general elections beyond the proposed election roadmap signed on April 22 by GPA negotiators.
This bid to hijack and corrupt Jomic comes in the wake of a July 19 meeting of the Fishmongers in Brussels after which they said they “looked forward to an acceleration of the implementation of the GPA and an agreement between all political parties to a roadmap that leads to credible and peaceful elections”, adding that “the appointment of Sadc representatives to the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic) should strengthen the crucial role of Jomic”.
The Fishmongers is a like-minded grouping of donors named after a Harare restaurant where they meet monthly. The membership of this grouping consists of countries that have imposed illegal economic sanctions against Zimbabwe in pursuit of illegal regime change such as Britain, the US, Germany, France, Holland, Norway, Canada, Australia, Sweden and Japan, whose neutrality is blurred.
The Sunday Mail has learnt from its investigations over the last month that the convenient cover and motive of this scramble is hidden in the belief by the Fishmongers that Jomic can ostensibly increase and enhance its monitoring and implementation capacity as an independent entity outside the GNU if it is decentralised from the national level, where it has operated so far, to provincial, district, ward and village or street levels where “things happen”, especially regarding incidents and allegations of political violence.
The communications manager at Jomic, Joram Nyathi, yesterday said: “The decentralisation of Jomic entails that there will be a district liaison committee at district level where each of the three parties in the GPA second four representatives to constitute the committee.
“There is also going to be Jomic at provincial level. All the parties’ provincial chairpersons will be members of the provincial committee.
“The idea is to deal with violence. People will not have to travel to Harare to report cases of violence.”
Ironically, the scramble for Jomic by the Fishmongers is taking place when the prescribed 24-month lifeline of the inclusive Government under the GPA has, in fact, expired.
Political analysts say this development is explained by two considerations with far-reaching implications on the country’s political landscape and national security.
First, they say there is an apparent attempt by the Fishmongers to use Jomic to create devious political infrastructure for deploying election monitors through the backdoor. Second, and building on this backdoor infrastructure, analysts say there is a determined backdoor attempt to help the MDC formations to match Zanu-PF’s national capacity by enabling them to have an organised nationwide presence at provincial, district, ward, village and street levels through Jomic structures.
Various highly placed diplomatic sources confirmed the analysts’ observation, adding that this scramble has been underpinned by two seemingly different yet supportive recent developments rooted in the initiative of the Fishmongers. One involves the decentralisation of Jomic and the other relating to the pending and controversial secondment of three officials to Jomic to represent the three countries that make up the Sadc Organ Troika whose composition is set to change at the Angola summit where South Africa will have to decide either to assume the chairmanship of the Troika or remain as the facilitator on Zimbabwe since holding both positions would be unprecedented and contrary to principles of natural justice.
With UK, US and EU donor funding, the assistance of the Sadc secretariat and some members of President Zuma’s facilitation team, last month Jomic started setting up what it called, “provincial inter-party liaison committees” in the country’s 10 provinces. These committees are expected to be fully functional by the end of the year.
A July 8 Jomic statement claimed that the committee had “resolved that members of the provincial liaison committees will help in selecting members from the political parties who will form similar sub-committees at district and ward levels”.
This revealing statement, which has gone unexamined when it has far-reaching implications on Zimbabwe’s future, added that “the provincial committees will be expected to co-opt other members from civic society, traditional leaders, farmers’ groups and faith-based organisations, among others”.
Observers say the backdoor inclusion of the heavily donor-funded and driven civil society into Jomic against the backdrop of the proposed secondment of three Sadc officials is designed to open the floodgates for donor manipulation of the Jomic process in violation of the GPA’s Article xxi(22.1) which states that “to ensure full and proper implementation of the letter and spirit of this Agreement, the parties hereby constitute a Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (“Jomic”) to be composed of four senior members from Zanu-PF and four members from each of the two MDC formations. Gender consideration must be taken into account in relation to the composition of Jomic”.
The donor expectation of the Fishmongers is that these political committees, which they say should be composed of people who are empowered to take decisions on behalf of their respective political parties, will cascade through decentralisation from the province to the district to the ward and from there to the village in the rural areas or the street in the urban areas where ordinary people live and where political contest takes place.
Information gathered by The Sunday Mail shows that the real intention behind this decentralisation of Jomic, which is now fully underway, is to create a solid infrastructure on the ground, funded and manipulated by the donor community for election monitoring well in advance of the elections whose date remains locked in what some observers say is needless controversy given the 24-month lifeline of the September 2008 GPA.
Analysts who spoke to this paper say that what this means, in effect, is that the roadmap to Zimbabwe’s elections is being negotiated on several fronts including back channels that are outside GPA negotiations or Sadc processes such as the forthcoming annual summit in Angola.
This startling development whose import is to undermine Zimbabwe’s sovereignty in violation of the country’s Constitution and GPA itself has apparently been triggered by the fact that, under the Sadc-sanctioned SA-led mediation, GPA negotiators from Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations have not been able to agree on the content and timeframe of all the issues outlined in the draft roadmap to Zimbabwe’s election signed by the three parties on April 22 after the ill-fated March 31 Livingstone summit of Sadc’s Troika.
Issue “H” and item “viii” of the April 22 draft roadmap deal with election monitors and provide that there should be the presence of such monitors in Zimbabwe from Sadc and other African countries six months prior to and six months after the elections and “implement Sadc Organ Troika resolutions made in Livingstone on 31st March 2011 in respect of which three Sadc-appointed officers are to be deployed in Zimbabwe to work with Jomic”.
But GPA negotiators are not agreed on this, not least because of the fact that while Zimbabwe has always welcomed election observers it has not accepted election monitors since 1985 given that they can by definition influence the outcome of elections while observers would be there just to observe the process.
Asked to comment on the infiltration of Jomic by donors under the guise of decentralisation, Zanu-PF spokesman Cde Rugare Gumbo said this would not happen.
“We do not see any harm. There has been too much talk at the top yet the grassroots was not represented. Decentralisation will enable people on the ground to air their views,” said Cde Gumbo.
MDC-T spokesperson Mr Douglas Mwonzora said it was important for Jomic to decentralise “so that it becomes accessible. For example, a person in Nyanga does not have to travel to Harare to air their views. The manpower at Jomic is seconded by political parties. I don’t see the infiltration.”
Other observers are arguing that Jomic has outlived its purpose as there is no GPA to monitor and implement, now that the only outstanding issues are the draft new constitution, the referendum on that draft and elections, none of which need to be monitored or implemented by Jomic.
Labels: 2011 ELECTIONS (ZIMBABWE), COLOUR REVOLUTIONS, JOMIC, NGOs
Salamao under fire over Zim utterances
Thursday, 11 August 2011 02:00
SADC executive secretary Mr Tomaz Salamao has no right to determine policies for the regional bloc as he only serves as an employee of the organisation, Government officials have said. This follows his recent media reports that President Jacob Zuma's mediation role in Zimbabwe was not on the Sadc summit agenda set for Luanda, Angola, next week.
President Zuma, who is the Sadc appointed facilitator to the inter-party dialogue in Zimbabwe, is expected to assume the chairmanship of the Sadc Organ on Defence, Politics and Security Co-operation in Angola. The facilitator reports to the organ on Zimbabwean issues.
Government last week indicated that the summit should consider the possibility of President Zuma playing the two roles.
Mr Salamao immediately responded saying that issue was not on the Luanda summit agenda and there was no problem with President Zuma wearing the two hats.
Ms Lindiwe Zulu, who is a member of President Zuma's facilitation team, concurred with Mr Salamao's assertions.
However, Government sources yesterday said Mr Salamao's remarks were not authoritative because the matter of facilitators is determined at Head of State level.
"Mr Salamao is just an executive secretary and he does not make authoritative decisions on behalf of the bloc. The issue of Zimbabwe's facilitator is for Heads of State to decide on and he (Mr Salamao) should stop causing unnecessary confusion," a Government official said.
"The whole mediation role in Zimbabwe has got a historical anomaly that is inconsistent with Sadc practices when it comes to facilitation roles.
"The Sadc norm on facilitation is to rely on a former Head of State and not a sitting president. It is only the Zimbabwe case that has been subjected to a sitting President."
Another official said Sadc leaders should deal with the matter at the forthcoming summit.
He said the argument that former South African President Thabo Mbeki once served as Sadc chairman while being facilitator in Zimbabwe was invalid.
"That was an anomaly and we cannot use yesterday's anomaly to justify another anomaly today.
"Furthermore, President Mbeki's case is different in that the Troika is an active instrument of engagement whereas Sadc is an occasional office.
"A facilitator is not occasional and in that case we cannot compare President Mbeki's case with that of President Zuma."
Said political analyst Professor Jonathan Moyo: "To say President Zuma should execute the two duties is utter nonsense. Things must be right because of their inherent rationality. He should choose one of the two hats because either way he will still be seized with the Zimbabwean issue.
"The question is which hat should he wear because he cannot wear two because he does not have two heads. President Zuma should choose either to remain as facilitator and allow another head of State to assume the Troika chairmanship.
"Or if he chooses to be the Troika chairman then he should allow another person to take the task of facilitator in Zimbabwe.
"If they insist that he should take the two responsibilities, they will be inviting clear conclusion that there is a sinister agenda. That will create unnecessary tension within the facilitation team and Sadc itself."
He said since 2007, President Mbeki's facilitation role was being challenged by MDC-T and now there was a problem with some officials in President Zuma's office who practised megaphone diplomacy.
"A facilitator must be acceptable to all parties being facilitated. There was controversy right from the beginning with the MDC-T contesting President Mbeki's facilitation role.
"Now it is common cause that there is a problem because of the megaphone approach of the officials in President Zuma's facilitation team as exemplified by the constant noise by Lindiwe Zulu.
"Every time when Zanu-PF holds a meeting, Zulu will comment saying she is doing so on behalf of the facilitator. She comments on everything in Zimbabwe as if Zimbabwe is incident free."
Labels: JACOB ZUMA, SADC, TOMAZ SALOMAO
MP urges Govt to indigenise banks
Thursday, 11 August 2011 02:00
THE Indigenisation and Empowerment process should start with banks because it is the financial sector which drives the economy, legislator and businessman Mr Simbaneuta Mudarikwa has said.
The success of the programme, said Mr Mudarikwa, would depend on the country's national strategy, hence the need to focus on what was the core of the economy.
The Uzumba MP was giving oral evidence before the Senate Thematic Committee on Indigenisation and Empowerment recently.
He had been invited in his capacity as shareholder of Natural Stones Export, a granite firm extracting granite in Mutoko, Munyati and Uzumba.
The committee, chaired by Mutare/Chimanimani Senator Monica Mutsvangwa, had called Mr Mudarikwa to appraise it on what his company was doing to comply with the indigenisation law.
"You can indigenise my company but as long as banks are not, it doesn't help. You should start with banks. When you want to kill a snake you don't hit the tail but the head," said Mr Mudarikwa.
However, the majority of Zimbabwean banks are indigenous owned with the exception of Standard Chartered, Barclays, Ecobank, MBCA and Stanbic while the others have foreign investors who are minority shareholders.
He said there were several people who were holding on to mining claims but could not move in because they did not have the finance and they could not secure funding.
There was need, said Mr Mudarikwa, to amend mining legislation to ensure that local communities benefited from the extraction of minerals in their communities. Zimbabwe, he said, was the only country that regarded granite as a mineral.
He said while it was prudent to have mining firms perform corporate social responsibilities in their communities, the Minerals and Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe, which levies 2 percent for every invoice a company makes for any sale, was not obliged to pay back to that community.
"It's parastatals that are shortchanging the community, MMCZ levies 2 percent for every invoice but when it comes to sponsoring, they go to St John's here in Harare to sponsor golf where their children learn," said Mr Mudarikwa.
He said there was no point for royalties to continue to go to central Government at the expense of the community concerned.
Mr Mudarikwa also castigated the quasi-fiscal term requirement that existed three years ago compelling firms to surrender 45 percent of their foreign earnings to the central bank in return for the Zimbabwe dollar.
"We were losing 45 percent of our income to the RBZ and getting useless Zimbabwe dollars. We were just doing national service," he said.
Turning to the operations of his mining firm, Mr Mudarikwa said it was 80 percent foreign owned and was in the process of regularising it so that it complies with the law.
The legislator, however, slammed some members of the thematic committee for driving to Mutoko on a fact-finding mission. He said most of the information the committee had gathered was false and exaggerated.
Some of the allegations the committee had gathered include tribalism in recruitment, high accidents, failing to pay back to the community and observing safety conditions.
On allegations of employing people who did not reside within the area, Mr Mudarikwa said while he was not a tribalist who asks where people come from, most of the general hands were locals.
"But if you go to a meeting with the people being planted for them to dramatise that I don't belong here it's a problem," said Mr Mudarikwa.
He said some members of the committee were board members of a non-governmental organisation called Streetwise that purported to represent the Mutoko community when it was based in Harare.
There had been complaints from wives of workers at the mine that their husbands were failing to satisfy them sexually because of the hard work they were subjected to.
The committee was also told that 60 accident-related deaths had occurred at the mine.
In his response, Mr Mudarikwa said the world over, there could never be such high statistics of accidents because the mine would be closed.
He said there had been a surge of applications for money for maternity fees, an indication that the allegations by the workers' wives were false.
Labels: MINING, SIMBA MUDARIKWA
Wildlife-based land reform way to go
Thursday, 11 August 2011 02:00
By Johnson Siamachira
IN some areas of Zimbabwe, the number of wild animals is growing, not as a consequence of conservation but of utilisation. Zimbabwe's game and nature reserves cover 13 percent of the country's total surface area. Wildlife is also extensively managed on twice as much land on private farms, cattle ranches and the traditional communal lands belonging to the indigenous people.
Underlying all this is a nature conservation policy, which can be called game or wildlife farming. The seeds for this were sown 37 years ago by an amendment to the wildlife legislation.
"Prior to this, wildlife belonged to the state and had no value for the landowner. Therefore, it was not looked after and a lot of wildlife was wiped out in favour of domestic stock. All this changed in 1975. The decision was one of the most important moves in southern Africa," says Charles Jonga, the director of the Community Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources. Once the people in the countryside started to benefit from the wild animals, they no longer saw them as a nuisance but as a source of livelihood, and so began to take care of them," says the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority of Zimbabwe.
Game farming has had a dramatic impact on the environment. The wild animals are returning to areas from which they were at one time expelled. Tough but easy to handle, farming wild animals is not a new idea. What is interesting is its scale.
One of the earliest to experiment in the country was Norman Travers, who owns the Imire Game Ranch near Harare. He brought a few animals to his farm in 1972 on an experimental basis and fenced off an area to see what would happen. That is how it all began. Now there are a thousands of animals on his farm.
In principle, keeping cattle, sheep or wild animals is all the same, but of course, you have to know how to handle them. Compared to cattle, wildlife has a lot of advantages, such as a built-in tolerance to drought, tsetse flies and ticks.
Game farms and ranches are also very important to the conservation of endangered animals.
"Cattle were brought to Africa from outside and wild animals were forced off farms because domestic animals were easily manageable. But now people have seen that wildlife can use the vegetation much better than the cattle. So why shouldn't we utilise our own wild animals?" said Jonga.
"The game farmer has a vertical acre instead of a horizontal one - a wide variety of animals from the giraffe eating leaves off the tops of trees to the warthog digging roots in the ground," he adds.
There are a number of game farms and ranches in Zimbabwe. They range in size from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands of hectares.
Apart from farms and ranches, a large area is also taken up by communal lands belonging to the indigenous people. The nature-oriented use of such lands is extremely important from the conservation perspective.
The Campfire programme was launched on communal lands in 1989 which promotes the use of local natural resources, such as wild animals, as an economically sound and sustainable land use option. The villagers benefit from their conservation efforts either directly in the form of meat, or indirectly by eco-tourism incomes.
The Parks and Wildlife Management Authority defines annual game hunting quotas and the villages and districts themselves decide how to make use of these. The hunters also provide employment.
"One hunter may directly or indirectly provide work for 50 people: guides, trackers, camp builders, bearers and cooks," explains a consultant with a private constancy hunting firm.
The money gathered is often channelled into the construction of schools, hospitals and grinding mills. But, despite all this, the rural communities say they have not yet benefited from the wildlife-based land reform programme. Now, there are concerted efforts for the communities to push for an effective stake to benefit from the programme. However, this has been meeting stiff resistance from conservancy owners
A wildlife expert in Zimbabwe has said the government's push to implement the wildlife-based land reform will impact negatively on tourism.
John Rodrigues, chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, says wildlife is the hallmark of tourism in Zimbabwe and the programme would disturb tourism through poaching of wildlife.
Parks and Wildlife Management Authority director-general Vitalis Chadenga maintains:
"Implementation of Wildlife-Based Land Reform remained one of the unfinished business of the country's land reform programme. The policy has been on our shelves for more than five years and for a variety of reasons, its implementation had remained elusive.
"Thirty-nine indigenous people have been allocated leases in Masvingo, 21 in the Midlands, and three in the Matabeleland region. The authority's role is confined to regulation and support for the private wildlife industry," he said.
He added: "Government remains committed to having wildlife managed by land-owners themselves to promote commercial production and services. However, there is also the expectation that other players must be allowed on board."
Save Valley Conservancy representative David Goosen welcomes this initiative.
"The Save Valley Conservancy is pleased to be part of the process of furthering the interests of conservation and finding a way forward for genuine indigenous investor participation in the wildlife industry. The Save Valley Conservancy has always been proactive in including its surrounding communities in the benefits of conservation, which will set new standards of confidence for all and safeguard the wildlife heritage of Zimbabwe for future generations," he said.
The wildlife-based land reform programme provides the following key linkages with the Campfire programme:
* Wildlife production will be maintained where it is the most appropriate land use option through transfer of leases or allocation of shares.
* Wildlife management responsibility and authority will be devolved at the most appropriate level.
* Recognition of the importance of authority, responsibility and incentives in fostering viable wildlife production systems.
In a recent presentation to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism on the Wildlife-Based land Reform Policy Jonga said: "The policy provides for partnerships between the public, private and community sectors. In the context of the wildlife industry, a partnership is a business activity undertaken between the owner of land or resource, and other business partners.
"Such partnerships are therefore not just a product of mutual agreement between two or more parties, but also an appropriate mechanism to facilitate the sharing of costs and benefits, sharing of risk, sharing of experience, and transfer of learning.''
He also said: "With appropriate support, conservancies, representing large and small operators, can offer viable options for partnerships and greater involvement of local people."
The local-authorities membership-based organisation, Campfire Association, in partnership with Bio-Hub Trust, a local consortium of environmental agencies, is currently rolling out a feasibility study on communal game ranching. The assumption is that the future of wildlife and wildlife based activities is tied up with greater involvement of local communities who share their space and life with this resource.
"Demonstrating the viability of alternative wildlife management systems becomes an urgent issue for rural development and wildlife conservation with spill-over effects to forests,'' says Jonga.
"But for the potential to be realised, there is a need to address the institutional framework through which new settlers do operate, and more importantly how they (the settlers) must adapt to wildlife compatible income generation as viable options.''
The study will also lead to the selection of pilot sites and communities to promote game ranching and any related wildlife enterprise.
However, there is an urgent need for a transparent understanding of the income chain in conservancies, and who benefits by how much. Without such transparency the new joint ventures may be one-sided, and there is also the possibility of ‘elite capture' and corruption among communities themselves.
Labels: GAME PARKS, LAND REFORM, WILDLIFE
MDC-T should embrace national values, ethos
Thursday, 11 August 2011 02:00
By Farirai Chubvu
EVERY nation has founding values and ethos that all in leadership are expected to uphold and defend and values constitute the bedrock of the nationhood the leadership pledges allegiance to when taking the oath of office. Zimbabwe is no exception.
Ours is a country that was born out of protracted liberation struggles culminating in the Second Chimurenga War (1966-1979) that ushered in black majority rule. The expectation, therefore, is that all in leadership be it they from Zanu-PF, MDC-T and MDC, and anyone aspiring for high office will strive to uphold the values for which our forebears, living and fallen heroes committed themselves to for 90 years till the attainment of majority rule, independence and democracy on April 18, 1980.
Though the MDC-T has some ex-Rhodesian security forces personnel in its ranks; the likes of Giles Mutsekwa and Roy Bennett to mention just a few; and is led by a man who deserted a liberation war camp within hours, the party's leadership must remember that they are free to form such a party today because of the democracy accruing from the liberation struggle.
Indeed, the likes of Eddie Cross of the "crash and burn" infamy are free to insult us like that today because Chitepo died for Cross to say that in independent Zimbabwe.
The sacrifices of the men and women who risked life and limb to win us freedom made it possible for the MDC-T leadership to participate in issues of governance even as they pursue an embarrassingly foreign agenda.
It is that democracy that enables even those who fought against black majority rule to stand for elective office today let alone having the black component of the MDC-T rub shoulders with the Roy Bennetts and Eddie Crosses of this world who constituted a privileged class in Rhodesia.
To this end, the attitude of the MDC-T leadership towards the liberation struggle as manifested in their scant disregard for Heroes Day as evidenced by their perennial absence at Heroes Day commemorations deserves strong censure.
On Heroes Day, MDC-T leaders chose to gather at Warren Hills Cemetery for the burial of Professor Eliphas Mukonoweshuro, former public service minister, slotting the burial to coincide with Heroes Day commemorations at the National Heroes Acre.
I do not, for a minute buy the MDC-T leadership's line that the burial time and date were the prerogative of the Mukonoweshuro family since the late Cabinet minister was accorded a state-assisted funeral; and there was no way the family would have slotted the burial to coincide with Heroes Day commemorations. I saw this as the MDC-T's attempt to shun this important national event.
And my suspicions were confirmed when Ministers Saviour Kasukuwere, Walter Mzembi and Olivia Muchena who attended the Mukonoweshuro burial on behalf of the Presidency managed to make it to the National Heroes Acre on time.
What is more, MDC-T spokesman, Douglas Mwonzora also tipped his hand when he tried to put the late Mukonoweshuro in the pantheon of national heroes.
What is even more revealing is the fact this was not the first time MDC-T leaders had organised a sideshow during Heroes Day commemorations for on two separate occasions in 2009 alone, the party's leadership showed utter scorn for the struggle and its heroes.
Firstly, when Vice President Joseph Msika passed on in August that year and as his body lay in state in Harare, MDC-T legislators gathered in Dangamvura for Giles Mutsekwa's victory celebration.
In other words as the nation mourned, they were celebrating.
Their gathering would have passed off as an oversight were it not for the statements made there to the effect that the MDC-T should identify and honour its own heroes.
Utterances that implied that the holding of the victory celebration at the time of the demise of a venerated national hero was not coincidental, and may not have been about Mutsekwa's victory in the 2008 harmonised elections.
Secondly, on October 31 that year, it was party leader Morgan Tsvangirai's turn to play truant as Cde Misheck Chando was being interred at the National Heroes Acre.
Tsvangirai chose to tee off with the US ambassador at Ruwa Country Club as other leaders gathered for the burial at the national shrine, oblivious to the fact that were it not for the sacrifices of the likes of Cde Chando, he would only have been allowed on the Ruwa green as a caddy.
To this end, I urge the MDC-T leadership to embrace national values, respect the legacy of the liberation struggle so that they can be trusted to uphold its gains.
Even Article VIII of the GPA, Respect for National Institutions and Events, which the MDC-T leaders claim to uphold, counsels the same.
My advice to Tsvangirai, who always dreams of receiving a salute from our venerated commanders, is such a salute will remain a pipe-dream as long as you do not fit the straitjacket of a progressive, patriotic national leader.
As long as you refuse to exorcise the western demon, you will remain a security inconvenience to be tolerated but never countenanced.
Labels: HEROES DAY, MDC
Zanu PF: an introspection
By Jonathan MoyoPolitics Last updated on: August 10, 2011
WHAT critical questions should preoccupy our national introspection this week and throughout this month as we remember and celebrate the memory of the selfless sacrifices of our gallant sons and daughters of the soil, some who paid the ultimate price to free our country from colonial bondage in 1980 and others who, thanks to providence and history, have lived long enough to variously contribute in immeasurable ways to the making of a liberated Zimbabwe whose sovereignty is today under illegal regime-change attack from the same interests that colonised us in 1890?
If the truth were to be told without fear or favour, there are at least seven current and critical national questions whose mere mention ties the tongues of some comrades in the nationalist movement in ways that betray the revolutionary commitment and ideological clarity of the liberation heroes whose legacy we celebrated on August 8. These issues are the following:
# Why is it that some comrades in the nationalist movement in general and in Zanu PF in particular seem to be afraid of change when it is a fact of everyday life and is thus essential to the survival of any living thing whether biological, social, economic or political?
# Why is it that comrades appear to have lost the distinction between transformation and change and the understanding that transformation is revolutionary and that those who, like the MDC formations and their sponsors, use change to attack transformation are in fact counter-revolutionaries seeking reactionary or negative change?
# Why is it that some comrades in the nationalist movement do not seem to understand that the whole debate about when elections should be held has absolutely nothing to do with the alleged implementation of the GPA or the need to fulfil the so-called SADC election roadmap but is all about confusing everything to ensure that the next elections are held when it is practically impossible for President Robert Mugabe — whom the UK, US and EU governments and their local puppets see as an unbeatable electoral opponent in the post-GPA era — to be candidate?
# Why is it that there continues to be utter confusion and a total lack of fiscal and monetary leadership on the fate of our national currency whose destruction was instigated by merchants of regime change some of whom inflicted their damage by pretending to be on the side of the people when God knew better? When will the Zimbabwe dollar return given not only the fact that an overwhelming majority of our people, especially in the rural areas, cannot access any of the foreign currencies in use but also given that the same ordinary people are losing their assets such as their livestock in ways that are yet to be told through barter trade led by the some of the same sharks that instigated the fall of the Zimbabwe dollar?
# Why is it that the political class in the nationalist movement appears unwilling or unable to come to terms with the fact that the logical consequence of our independent country’s unprecedented and unparalleled investment in education since 1980 is that we now have an empowered youth, based on the principle that the most important empowerment is education? In particular, why are some comrades trying to block the inevitable fact that the time has come to allow and enable our country’s Generation 40 to take charge of the national indigenisation and empowerment thrust as an expression of the legacy of our heroic liberation struggle whose legacy we celebrated on August 8 and throughout this month by remembering the historic sacrifices of the youth of yesterday?
# Why is it that some comrades in the nationalist movement have allowed a situation where the vanguard party, Zanu PF, has come to be associated with political violence and has, by definition, been made a perpetrator thereof by merchants of violence in the MDC formations and their founders and funders when the truth is that our party is the only political organisation in the country with a substantive political and economic programme to benefit the majority of our people rooted in our history and aspirations?
# Why is it that some important comrades in the nationalist movement are afraid of denouncing corruption when all indications are that this has become a cancer that threatens the gains of the liberation struggle whose heroes we celebrated on August 8 and throughout this month?
# Why is it that some comrades in the nationalist movement appear to believe that our leadership cannot make mistakes and that in that vein, our leadership must not be criticised?
Starting with the last point, it is almost axiomatic that we have comrades in our midst that will have the world believe that our leaders in the nationalist movement should be treated like corruption-free demigods who never do or say anything that is wrong. But of course this is not true. No wonder why charlatans have taken full advantage of the untruth to misrepresent not only Zanu PF policies but also the legacy of the liberation struggle itself.
Yet the fact which we should acknowledge as we commemorate and celebrate our heroes is that there is no leadership on earth which is infallible or which does not make mistakes. All human beings by their very nature make mistakes and that is part of the essence of humanity. As such, it is important to acknowledge mistakes when we make them and to commit ourselves to not only correcting them but also to avoiding them in future under similar circumstances.
As nationalists, we have not fared well on this score. We have tended to be shy to acknowledge our shortcomings and this has given cheap and undeserved ammunition to our UK, US and EU detractors and their local puppets who have shamelessly sought to define us on the basis of our mistakes and not on the basis of our values and yet surely our mistakes are not and cannot be our values. It is in this connection, for example, that we have not been able thus far to deal adequately and resolutely with the Gukurahundi scourge which some among us have sought to avoid dealing with or have sought to explain away or have sought to even justify when it was a monumental mistake that should not have been made and which, having been made, should have been corrected as it still must be in an open, honest and responsible manner in the national interest that unites rather than divides us as a nation.
The fundamental point on this issue is that the heroes we commemorate and celebrate this month would not be shy today to criticise each other constructively or to admit or correct mistakes. There’s no leader anywhere in the world who has never made a mistake and that is why the essence of leadership is to learn from mistakes and that accounts for experience. What we must reject and resist resolutely is any attempt by merchants of regime-change to define our cause, values and objectives on the basis of our mistakes.
That we should never ever allow because our founding values are clearly rooted in noble and gallant sacrifices of the heroes whose standard and legacy we celebrate and commemorate this month.
Second, it is unfortunate that some comrades in the nationalist movement are afraid of denouncing corruption when all indications are that corruption is the number one cancer in our public life. This cancer threatens the gains of the liberation struggle because it short-changes the masses who are the beneficiaries of our liberation struggle. As nationalists, we must be the first to denounce corruption not least because it is always committed by individuals who must not be allowed either to hijack the revolution or to tarnish its cause.
It is not possible for the nationalist movement itself, or for Zanu PF, to be corrupt. What is possible is for some among us to be corrupt under the cover of the nationalist movement or of our vanguard party. The challenge is whether our movement or party gives cover to corrupt individuals whose despicable deeds soil our movement and party.
If our commemoration and celebration of our heroes is to be as meaningful as it should be, then we must be prepared to denounce corrupt individuals in our midst without fear or favour. That is the least we can and must do in the name of our fallen heroes. We need to be willing and able to do this especially now when the UK, US and EU alliance is pouring millions of dollars to corrupt NGOs and the media in pursuit of illegal regime-change. In fact, there’s now enough documented evidence of dirty brown envelopes all over the place to show that the whole quest for regime change is nothing but one hell of a corrupt enterprise. There are no important, selfless or enduring values behind this enterprise of regime-change besides stinking corruption whose shocking extent and depth is yet to be told.
Surely, the nationalist movement has every reason to be above this kind of fly-by-night corruption which is driving the so-called private media, NGOs and other sections of our society. Anyone at a loss about this should find inspiration in the August 8 commemoration and celebration of the heroes of our liberation.
Third, it is as surprising as it is disappointing that some comrades in the nationalist movement now seem to believe the propaganda that the vanguard party, Zanu PF, is by definition guilty of the political violence as alleged by its detractors. If the media propaganda about violence in Zimbabwe were true, our country would be the most violent not only in Southern Africa or in Africa but in the world outside a war zone.
While we cannot deny that there have been unacceptable incidents of political violence in our country, on the basis that a single case is one too many, the fact, for example, is that there is by far more violence in South Africa than there is in our country yet South Africa is ironically supposed to be mediating peace in Zimbabwe. The gun is more prevalent and more used to settle all manner of issues in South Africa than it is in Zimbabwe. The heroes we are commemorating and celebrating used the gun to liberate our country. It would take a lunatic to say we have used the gun to run our country. The evidence that’s there for anyone and everyone to see is that we have used our brains to run the country and used the guns to defend it as a matter of pride recognised by the United Nations which explains why our security forces have participated in many UN peace-keeping and peace-making missions around the world.
Violence is therefore not part of our culture as an independent nation yet it clearly has been the manifesto of our detractors. The time has come to be bold about this fact and to state it robustly given that the MDC formations have nothing to offer besides falsely seeking to present us as a violent party. None of the MDC formations has the programme or capacity to benefit ordinary people better than Zanu PF. Nothing. The truth of the matter is that the two MDC formations find meaning and support only when they claim to be under attack from Zanu PF, and never when they promise to do anything for the people as they have no capacity to deliver anything whatsoever.
We must, therefore, denounce and shun violence in the strongest and visible terms possible and assert our values, ideology and superior policies such as land reform, indigenisation and empowerment in honour of the heroes we are commemorating and celebrating this month as a matter of our belief and practice.
Fourth, the commemoration and celebration of the heroes of our liberation struggle is a perfect opportunity to recall that our struggle for independence was fought and won by young people. This is true of every revolution. The current struggle for indigenisation and economic empowerment will not be won unless young people are its core fighters. At the moment, we have an excluded Generation 40 whose marginalisation by the nationalist movement is not in the national interest. We have started addressing this issue in both Zanu PF and the broader movement but far more still needs to be done otherwise our country might suffer undeserved counter-revolutionary Facebook and Twitter quakes.
We have educated our youth. Now we must hear them by giving them real responsibilities in the running and management of our public affairs with the demand that they must be guided by the legacy of the selfless sacrifices of the gallant heroes of our liberation struggle we are commemorating this month. The time has come for Zimbabwe’s Generation 40 to consolidate the gains of our liberation struggle by winning the Last Chimurenga through indigenisation and empowerment.
Fifth, it is really a sad commentary on our country that we have no national currency. The symbols of our sovereignty are our national flag, national anthem and national currency. It is a shame that we have no national currency because of policy failure and even outright treachery on the part of those who were charged with the responsibility of defending our national currency as their primary public responsibility. Mozambique went through arguably worse experiences under the Renamo attack than we did between 2000 and 2010 under the MDC attack but survived with its currency while we did not. Even Somalia with all its chaos and mayhem still has its currency.
Some of the heroes we are commemorating and celebrating are tossing and turning in their graves over the fact that we dismally failed to defend our national currency with the result that the majority of our people in the rural areas have been forced into exploitative barter trading as if we have no fiscal and monetary authorities in place.
The currency situation is a clear threat to our national security and either we get new appropriate policies to deal with the situation or we get new responsible authorities capable of coming with requisite policies. The current situation of self-indulgent fiscal and monetary authorities is simply unacceptable as it as an affront to the heroes we are commemorating and celebrating this month. We made a mistake and we must now correct it by coming up with a clear and actionable plan to restore our national currency in the public and national interests.
Sixth, the comrades we are commemorating and celebrating tomorrow, whether departed or among us, would be aware and thus disappointed that some comrades in the nationalist movement don’t’ seem to understand that the current UK, US and EU driven debate in SADC and in our country on when elections should be held is not about the alleged implementation of outstanding GPA issues or about the need to fulfil the so-called SADC election roadmap or about the pending referendum on a new constitution but only about finding roadblocks and not roadmaps to ensure that President Mugabe is not a candidate.
The narrative in currency is that if Zimbabwe holds elections in 2011 or 2012, the likelihood is that President Mugabe will stand as the Zanu PF presidential candidate. If that happens, so goes the narrative, it is more than likely that he and Zanu PF would win because President Mugabe commands the respect and support of the security sector more than any other potential Zanu PF presidential candidate. The prevailing presumption is that the security sector would either ensure that President Mugabe wins or would be in place to allegedly reverse his defeat.
In the circumstances, the enemies of Zimbabwe peddling this narrative in and outside SADC have resolved to do everything possible to throw all manner of spanners in the works to ensure that there’s no election in Zimbabwe until the last second permissible by law in 2013. The thinking behind this strategy is that at that time it will not be practical or reasonable for President Mugabe to be a presidential candidate given the allegations that are being made about his age and alleged poor health. Furthermore, the detractors peddling this narrative believe that no other Zanu PF candidate will be able to unite Zanu PF and the security sector as President Mugabe, hence the mayhem they are promoting.
The challenge for the nationalist movement arising from this is obvious. Is it right that we should allow our enemies to determine when we should hold elections in a manner that is counter-revolutionary in pursuit of our personal interests? This time of remembering our heroes gives us an excellent opportunity to examine this question with the seriousness it deserves.
Seventh and finally, the time has come for comrades in the nationalist movement to understand that there is an important difference between change and transformation. The heroes we are commemorating and celebrating knew this and that’s why they succeeded. Change is a constant of life because everything changes. As a revolutionary party, Zanu PF seeks change to bring about the transformation of our society from a colonial state to an independent, developing state. This change will not be overnight, it will take decades if not centuries. Whereas the MDC formations seek reactionary change to benefit our erstwhile colonisers, we seek revolutionary change to effect the transformation that the heroes fought for.
We must, therefore, embrace change and lead it in every respect so as to connect with today’s youth who make up the current Generation 40 while also connecting with yesterday’s Generation 40 whose gallant sacrifices we are commemorating and celebrating this month.
Moyo chides Zanu PF, demands change
by Staff Reporter
JONATHAN Moyo has scolded Zanu PF for failing to measure up to its critics; being hesitant to “change”; tolerating corruption and failing to act decisively on public concerns about the Gukurahundi “scourge”.
Zanu PF’s main political rivals, the former Information Minister said, had “no programme or capacity to benefit ordinary people,” but they “find meaning and support only when they claim to be under attack from Zanu PF”.
“We must, therefore, denounce and shun violence in the strongest and visible terms possible and assert our values, ideology and superior policies such as land reform, indigenisation and empowerment ... as a matter of our belief and practice,” Moyo said in a candid newspaper column published under the title ‘Zanu PF: an introspection’.
Urging his Zanu PF party to embrace “change”, Moyo said the party could not move with the times without tackling issues that were “betraying the revolutionary commitment and ideological clarity of the liberation heroes whose legacy we celebrated on August 8 [Heroes’ Day].”
“Why is it that some important comrades in the nationalist movement are afraid of denouncing corruption when all indications are that this has become a cancer that threatens the gains of the liberation struggle ...?” Moyo wrote in the Zanu PF-leaning Sunday Mail newspaper.
He added: “As nationalists, we must be the first to denounce corruption not least because it is always committed by individuals who must not be allowed either to hijack the revolution or to tarnish its cause.
“It is not possible for the nationalist movement itself, or for Zanu PF, to be corrupt. What is possible is for some among us to be corrupt under the cover of the nationalist movement or of our vanguard party.
“The challenge is whether our movement or party gives cover to corrupt individuals whose despicable deeds soil our movement and party.
“... we must be prepared to denounce corrupt individuals in our midst without fear or favour. That is the least we can and must do in the name of our fallen heroes.”
In a lengthy piece that read like an urgent internal memo to the party, Moyo said a denialist approach on some critical national problems, like Gukurahundi, had allowed Zanu PF’s “UK, US and EU detractors and their local puppets” to “shamelessly define us on the basis of our mistakes and not on the basis of our values and yet surely our mistakes are not and cannot be our values”.
He added: “It is in this connection, for example, that we have not been able thus far to deal adequately and resolutely with the Gukurahundi scourge which some among us have sought to avoid dealing with or have sought to explain away or have sought to even justify when it was a monumental mistake that should not have been made and which, having been made, should have been corrected as it still must be in an open, honest and responsible manner in the national interest that unites rather than divides us as a nation.
“The fundamental point on this issue is that the heroes we commemorate and celebrate this month would not be shy today to criticise each other constructively or to admit or correct mistakes. There’s no leader anywhere in the world who has never made a mistake and that is why the essence of leadership is to learn from mistakes and that accounts for experience.”
The Tsholotsho North MP, who is a member of Zanu PF’s politburo, has been vocal about the 1980s army crackdown in Matabeleland where rights groups say more than 20,000 people died after President Robert Mugabe accused his main political rival Joshua Nkomo of arming dissidents to carry out an insurrection.
Moyo’s CV submitted at the time of his appointment as minister in 2000 stated that his father was killed by the 5 Brigade, a special army unit created for the Matabeleland operation under Mugabe's direct command.
In 2006, Moyo drafted a ‘Gukurahundi National Memorial Bill’ which said in its text that “ensuing encounters between the 5 Brigade and dissidents took on a life of their own and resulted in what on July 1, 2000, His Excellency President Robert Mugabe described as an ‘act of madness’ that led to what is now commonly known as the Gukurahundi atrocities in which thousands of ordinary people were killed while many more lost their homes or livelihood or both”.
The Private Member's Bill, which would have criminalised the denial of the atrocities; established a Gukurahundi National Memorial Shrine; Fund; and Board “to develop and maintain a credible record of Gukurahundi atrocities and plan and implement national programmes aimed at eliminating any tension or divisions caused by or related to Gukurahundi atrocities”, never reached Parliament but it was widely-circulated among legislators.
Further in the Bill, Moyo said: “It remains indubitable that the wounds associated with the dark Gukurahundi period are still open and the scars still visible to the detriment of national cohesion, national unity.
“These open wounds and visible scars have diminished the prospects of enabling Zimbabweans to act with a common purpose and with shared aspirations on the basis of a common heritage regardless of ethnic origin.”
In his Mail column, Moyo also chided Zanu PF for failing to change – although his comments appeared not directed at 87-year-old President Robert Mugabe, whom he is backing to lead the party at the next elections.
Moyo said “comrades appear to have lost the distinction between transformation and change and the understanding that transformation is revolutionary”. He called on the party to put what he called the “Generation 40” at the forefront of its programmes.
He blasted: “Why is it that some comrades in the nationalist movement in general, and in Zanu PF in particular, seem to be afraid of change when it is a fact of everyday life and is thus essential to the survival of any living thing whether biological, social, economic or political?
“The heroes we are commemorating and celebrating knew this and that’s why they succeeded. Change is a constant of life because everything changes. As a revolutionary party, Zanu PF seeks change to bring about the transformation of our society from a colonial state to an independent, developing state. This change will not be overnight, it will take decades if not centuries.
“Whereas the MDC formations seek reactionary change to benefit our erstwhile colonisers, we seek revolutionary change to effect the transformation that the heroes fought for.
“We must, therefore, embrace change and lead it in every respect so as to connect with today’s youth who make up the current Generation 40 while also connecting with yesterday’s Generation 40 whose gallant sacrifices we are commemorating and celebrating this month.”
This "change", Moyo said, must be visible in the party’s programmes for indigenisation and black economic empowerment.
“The current struggle for indigenisation and economic empowerment will not be won unless young people are its core fighters. At the moment, we have excluded Generation 40 whose marginalisation by the nationalist movement is not in the national interest.
“We have started addressing this issue in both Zanu PF and the broader movement but far more still needs to be done otherwise our country might suffer undeserved counter-revolutionary Facebook and Twitter quakes,” he warned.
Labels: CHIMURENGA, JONATHAN MOYO, ZANU-PF
Zimbabwe's forgotten minorities
by Rejoice Ngwenya
OPPONENTS of liberal democracy and purveyors of ethnic hatred have of late accused hitherto unknown firebrand educationist Dominic Muntanga of attempting to nurture the mentality of rebellion.
He has reignited the long-held debate of politics of minority exclusion in Zimbabwe. Across the border, Jacob Zuma is quoted by the Mail&Guardian to have advised the traditional affairs department to process a National Traditional Affairs Bill providing for “the recognition of Khoisan communities, leaders and councils”.
Muntanga hails from what narrow socio-political minds term the “minority” tribe of Tonga people, nestled in the humid jungles of the Zambezi Valley in Northern Zimbabwe.
He recently publicly roasted President Robert Mugabe for presiding over the political demise of his late father and perpetuating the culture of neglect of the Tonga people. The debate of “minority groups” comes at the ideal time when we Zimbabweans are weighing options for a new constitutional order that promotes and protects the interests of previously “neglected ethnic, tribal and behavioural groups” (NETBGs).
Mugabe and Zanu PF have a long history of misconceptions about NETBGs, mainly founded on their suspicions of political competition by the late Joshua Nkomo’s PF Zapu party.
In my world, the best constitution is one that protects and promotes NETBGs, because whenever it does not, human conflict is inevitable. NETBGs have always something to offer. The United States has a President derived from one such group.
Zimbabwe’s leading workers, entrepreneurs and innovators are from NETBGs.
There are no official records, but at one time, farming and mining — the leading contributors to Zimbabwe’s GDP — were hosting the largest chunk of NETBG employees.
It is then the fear of socio-political domination that made Zanu PF annihilate organised commercial farming, rendering millions of workers and dependants homeless.
Engineering companies, mines and retails shops attract the attention of NETBGs. Here I mean Greeks, Jews, Indians, Mixed Race Africans and Europeans.
Of late, Zanu PF corporate occupation hitman Saviour Kasukuwere has trailed his guns of plunder towards them.
He claims some NETBGs are reluctant to “share” their wealth with “indigenous Zimbabweans”.
South Africa’s world-renowned liberal constitution recognises gays and lesbians as “official” NETBGs, much to the chagrin of conservative Zimbabweans.
These include Zanu PF and Christian fundamentalists who want to play God.
I am a progressive Christian who knows that politics and pulpits are patronised by alcoholics, adulterers, marital cheats, money launderers and gamblers.
That’s fine with me because the Jewish prophet and founder of the Christian faith invited “sinners” into his church (“Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden” etc).
He also accepted his political role as the King of the Jews (who probably were oppressed by the Romans then).
What then this means — at least to me — selective application of constitutional recognition of NETBGs — especially by so-called Christians — is a travesty of (constitutional) justice.
The phobia against NETBGs in Zimbabwe has no historical justification. Khoisan, like our own “local” Bushmen, were hounded out of Zimbabwe by industrialisation.
Not all “whites and Indians” were part of the much-hated Pioneer Column that “took our land”. It is not all of us Ndebeles (Zulus, Vendas, Tongas, Suthus, Shanganis) who “raided Karangas and Zezurus to plunder their cattle and women” as portrayed by Zanu PF “historians” Aeneas Chigwedere and Vimbai Chivaura.
In fact, NETBGs have contributed to Zimbabwe’s immense socio-cultural diversity, if not political emancipation. Liberal Europeans like Garfield Todd — though part of the Rhodesian Empire — constantly promoted recognition of black political rights.
Africans of Mixed Race (unfairly referred to as “coloureds”, whatever that means since every human being has a skin colour) were critical components of Zanla and Zipra’s chains of military command.
And so South Africa’s progressive — actually liberal — recognition of NETBGs must be hailed as another giant step towards African constitutional revolution which Zimbabwe — particularly Zanu PF and MDC-T — should learn from.
I “smuggle” Morgan Tsvangirai’s political party here because he has of late been quoted as accusing Welshman Ncube of heading a regional (another euphemism for Ndebele) party.
Considering that Roy Bennett is the chief finance officer of MDC-T, that party’s attitude towards NETBGs must change before Tsvangirai presents his presidential credentials in 2012.
Rejoice Ngwenya is a social commentator. This article was originally published in NewsDay
Labels: MDC TRIBALISM, SAN PEOPLE
COMMENT - More propaganda from the BBC - and in an election year too. It were shenanigans like these that got them kicked out of Zimbabwe in the first place. The old BBC had much higher standards of proof and what was reported as fact. But then, this has been going on for a decade now. I completely agree that this is about influencing the Kimberley Process. Zimbabwe has 20% of the world's known diamond deposits, but has to work with a global diamond market that is 90% controlled by Anglo-American De Beers (source: The Diamond Empire). Another fact the BBC leaves out.
BBC panorama: Battle for Zimbabwe’s diamonds
Posted by By Munoda Mararike at 10 August, at 01 : 23 AM Print
I SAT in this sofa last night and watched the much-advertised BBC Panorama Programme on Zimbabwe’s diamond industry called “Mugabe’s Blood Diamonds”. I did not want to be guided by my intrinsic bias, but I thought it appropriate to key in salient points for further debate.
I have reproduced these in point form and would welcome healthy ideas based on critical thinking, meaningful debates and opinions on paramount matters that affect our country.
Content and Context
1. The documentary is not collaborated by the state – there is no input from the state, military and police. Why did the BBC refuse interview that was granted by the Minister of Mines? Why did they not approach the army and the Police, or put them of record as having declined to be interviewed? Why did they not approach the President’s Office? Better still, approach the Prime Minister’s Office on the probity of a functional coalition Government in respect of Zimbabwe’s diamonds?
2. Judging from the responses of the interviewees, those ‘interviewed’ were probably bribed in some other ways or given money. Does one get an impression that the BBC takes advantage of political and socio-economic conditions prevailing in the country to advance a cause that is purpose driven here? How permissible is it to extract information this way? Surely all respondents cannot just be narrating the same themes? People are diverse and ideas are not packed as homogeneous blocks articulating same causes. What is the agenda here?
3. About the dead civilians that are catalogued – there is no evidence that the dead died from army gunshot wounds! Where is the evidence of the ‘dead’ apart from showing pictures of an overgrown graveyard exaggerated as a ‘mass grave’? If this was a well orchestrated Panorama interview, then of course, common sense is that there must be people to support the storyline. There is no co-relation between the dead and those names that were scribbled on an unofficial piece of paper. It would have been credible to show the name(s) of the deceased then collaborate with the hospital authorities (mortuary); and proceed to support the storyline by interviewing the relatives of the dead persons. That is evidence-based than speculative.
4. I am also curious that the documentary was originated from Mozambique – why? The BBC is now allowed and actually based in Zimbabwe at the moment – where, of late they appear to be sitting on their laurels or busy clandestinely doctoring records to justify ‘human rights abuses’? What is the point of totally freezing out the Ministry of Information out of the debate to which they are affiliated? Where is the balance? It was not necessary for the BBC to go to Chiadzwa through Mozambique, unless there was a justified cause. Why would one go through Angola to make a report in Namibia? I get the impression of over-exaggerating security concerns for purposes of imprinting a sense of brutality and intolerance of Zimbabwe as a country?
5. Showing the world a graveyard does not necessarily mean that those buried in it are ‘victims’ of police brutality. They may well have died of other natural causes including AIDS. Again, the aspect of connectivity or a correlation comes to the fore. Why does the BBC blatantly seek to mislead the world in a highly calculated strategy of dirty politics? On another note, showing the world of existence of the so called ‘records of death’ does not mean that they become credible enough for political consumption. Some of the information was stolen from hospitals and re-typed to produce evidence for The Hague. How reliable is such evidence?
The British press is known for ‘doggy dossiers’; ‘technical inaccuracies’ of figures facts and statistics and ‘sexing up’ documentaries and ‘doctoring’ of documents!
We hear tirades of how the press is manipulated by politicians especially at British Prime Minister’s Questions.
The BBC itself is part of the hugely corrupt web of ‘freedom of press’ candelabrum, where journalists, newspaper owners and reporters bribe the Metropolitan Police to avert prosecution for libelous and criminal reporting!
As I write this note, Scotland Yard bosses resigned over the News of the World phone hacking scandals where the police are alleged to have taken bribes to absolve journalists from prosecution.
It is a sickening world.
6. Why do civilians continue to occupy fields demarcated as ‘protected’ where they remain illegal occupants? Different reasons apply. By way of examples, some may still wonder about what happened to the demonstrators in UK’s Sell fields a few years back? How about at Stanstead Airport? How about at the third runway at Heathrow? How did the military police handle them? Why did the police use button sticks and ammunition on its people in Bradford? Why are the police using high-handed brutal means including live shootings in Tottenham, Enfield, Walthamstow, East Ham, Brixton and Croydon – to name just a few places?
Indeed these are riots triggered by the racist shooting of an innocent black man!
As I write this article, what is happening in Tottenham, a satellite borough of a first world capital, London is worse than what took place in Marange!
Common knowledge is that if an area is designated ‘protected’ by the state, then trespassers will meet the full wrath of the law including imprisonment! Chiyadzwa is protected, and efforts to relocate people are underway. Many of the people who were ‘displaced’ have since been successfully relocated. The area is a lot calmer now and ‘jambanja’ is a thing of the past. Why is this not being accurately reported by the BBC?
7. I hear the BBC reporter mentioning ‘The Hague’. What for? Former Liberian president, Charles Taylor’s ghost of imperialist machinations is being reincarnated? We now hear of The Hague and see the desperation of the UK’s quest for greater influence in the management of Zimbabwe’s own diamonds – a new-found wealth! Taylor was ‘punished’ for being an obstruction to the wanton looting of resources in Liberia mainly by imperialist countries, including Britain. Inasmuch as Gaddafi has to pay heavily for the oil and the bombing of the Pan American Jumbo that fell over Lockerbie! Mugabe must fall on their sword for ‘human rights abuses’ including the land question – i.e. land reform programme that saw even the royal family’s land in Zimbabwe being redistributed to landless peasants! This is ‘works in progress’ so to speak.
8. The fact that Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Constantine Chiwenga went to Chiadzwa does not necessarily mean that he was stage-managing processes of repression as insinuated in the programme. For God’s sake someone must use their reasoning capacity. Why does the BBC now love to mention Chiwenga and Air Force chief, Perence Shiri’s names? Again, a case of building a fortress in their ‘New Zimbabwe’ agenda is well pronounced! To connect this argument: former opposition party of Morgan Tsvangirai, MDC-T is calling for the reforms of Zimbabwe’s security services by citing specific names as ‘problematic’. It cannot be a mere coincidence that the same names are also being touted in BBC’s Panorama Programme!
Atrocities in Iraq
On the other hand, we have lost count of the number of times the British PMs or USA Presidents have been to Iraq. It would be mischievous for one to speculate that they go to Iraq to motivate their soldiers to kill innocent civilians for oil or yet alone label the oil as ‘bloody’! On a related note, we are yet to see a Panorama document fully detailing atrocities being perpetuated in Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan Northern Ireland and Libya to name a few countries. We saw one about Guantanamo Bay, but to date, no one in authority has repeated putrid statements about it. As a footnote to the foregoing, human rights become a relative term, a lexicon that is applied subjectively and discreetly for power and expedience. We need to watch the use of extreme language and diction dominating this programme.
The reporter used the term ‘serious human rights abuses’ as an emotive term designed to conjure up images of brutality.
She went on to say that ‘our cameras could not stay there long’. Again this denotes situational fear which is often appended to dictatorship and the military junta.
The true reason why cameras had to be moved from a non-existing image was that there was literally nothing to focus on!
But the impact of speculative journalism through the use of diction is used reinforce psychological fear and pressure in calculating the notion of a military state.
Thus, to portray President Mugabe as a dictator is the selling point of regime change or collective international action because ‘Plan A’ of sanctions has failed.
9. Statements that the diamond revenue is not benefitting the ordinary people appear to be insipid and dry! Do we have to, as a country, open our financial books and budget statements to the West for inspection? How we use our financial resources as a country in entirely our own story. Of course they will inspect Botswana books and draft that country’s national budget as they please, but I do not think Zimbabwe is prepared for that. There are so many projects that have now been initiated from diamond sales proceeds.
It is up to the government to disclose the nature of the projects but really, the government is not obliged. After the coalition government was put in place, Zimbabwe’s promised AID never materialised. Zimbabwe has recovered using a combination of robust fiscal measures and macro-economic policies despite some questionable packages and strategies by the finance ministry. We are using the proceeds from diamonds to kick-start and stabilize the economy in different ways. It is only the UK which is too keen and wary of tracking minute events of Zimbabwe’s recovery process. We are not going to ask the reasons for this.
10. A point of correction is the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (Kimberley Process, or KP) is not in turmoil as suggested. The BBC report is designed to influence the Kimberly Process in terms of making decisions on the resumption of the sale of diamonds. The pressure on the KP is being exerted selectively, privately and publicly at different wavelengths. We saw this drama unfolding as the Panorama is now a tool designed to tip the scales in favour of British interests. This is live drama which the world is now well used to.
What happened on the eve of the election of FIFA’s Blatter? People saw the build up and desperate attempts to persuade voting members into making decisions which Britain really wanted? What happened to the over-drummed corruption case of FIFA? They say that the UK is a scarecrow that relies on its very powerful media and press for world domination. This is very true.
11. Britain is at liberty to boycott Zimbabwean diamonds. We have alternative markets. Britain is jealous that it has been isolated by Zimbabwe for too long a time when the world has moved on. It is only unfortunate for our beloved former colony that diamonds were discovered when it was almost irrelevant but significant to our political dispensation. There are contradictions and inherent in capitalist global economies: For example, I hear certain quarters of the MDC alluding to the fact that diamonds must benefit locals. But on the other hand, Britain is against this because they are arrogant, full of rapacity and greed – they want to benefit exclusively from what they think is a ‘loot’ of the day! Britain supports the MDC-T.
Master’s Hymn Book
However, MDC is singing a different song that is not even found in their Master’s hymn book. MDC ‘concurs’ with Zanu–PF by parroting that there is ‘no reverse to land reform’; but Britain wants the whole project cancelled and are prepared to ‘fund for proper land reform’. Thus, it becomes an anathema if British interests are totally marginalized, and therefore, a project is not good enough! The British culture of pursuing protracted agenda under the banner of the Empire is what keeps them on the pedestal of dominance and patronage! Truly liberated Zimbabwean compatriots find this approach rather archaic and deprecating!
12. Concoctions about who is personally benefiting from Diamonds are downright insidious and malicious. It is like perpetuating a storyline that the grand mansion that sprawl over literally the whole mountain in Highlands for Prime Minister Tsvangirai is being built from the proceeds of diamonds! It is equally unqualified to speculate that even MDC-T MPs’s pick-up trucks are a product of Marange? Hei! There is no evidence that President Robert Mugabe is personally benefitting from the diamonds – the British are paranoid and afraid of Mugabe! Inzwai, Bona is not going to school using Marange diamonds!
Social research methods call for enquiries that are based on scientific and ethical methods of extracting information through evidence-based practice. Paying inducements to ‘interviewees’ to release certain information is all but a good way of distorting findings. The halo effect is possible! Whatever the situation, the BBC must hang their heads in shame for producing such a one-sided, ill-researched, half-backed documentary for the world to see!
*Munoda Mararike can be contacted via email@example.com
Labels: BBC, BRIBERY, CHIADZWA, CONSTANTINE CHIWENGA, DIAMONDS, MARANGE DIAMOND FIELDS, PERENCE SHIRI, PROPAGANDA