Tuesday, January 01, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) Manheru a small mind that Mugabe does not need

COMMENT - 'Businessman' Mutumwa Mawere owns an asbesthos mine, which means that even more than with a gold or diamond mine, his 'employees' are dead men walking. Welcome to the MDC's Zimbabwe.

Manheru a small mind that Mugabe does not need
31/12/2012 00:00:00
by Nathaniel Manheru Vs Mutumwa Mawere

In his Saturday column in the Herald newspaper, Nathaniel Manheru tackled a gamut of political issues as he normally does every weekend. The eloquent wordsmith - believed to be Presidential spokesman George Charamba - concluded his installation with a diss on Mutumwa Mawere.

The South African-based Zimbabwean businessman was not amused, and decided to exercise his right to respond. Under a sub headline title ‘When Zanu's defeat becomes the raison d'être’, Nathaniel Manheru wrote:

As we move into the future, we shall see both MDC formations seeking to de-escalate interest on the constitutional theme in order to hide their retreat from it.

As we move into the future, we are likely to see Welshman Ncube and his faction gravitating towards some alliance with Dabengwa's ZAPU, the only issue being the low worth of such an alliance.

Of course Makoni will make occasional barks, none of which will ever bite anyone, except of course the very mouth carrying and conveying the bark.

Mawere's, oh Mutumwa! He is exactly that, is he not - a messenger! I thought his sender was going to more and more come to the fore. But that is now highly unlikely, given the clownish beginning of the whole project. This column shall disclose who the sender was, but as a small detail of a bigger history, much of it done for comic relief.

He has to answer one simple, even humorous one: he has created a party to vie for elections in which country? Is he not better dealing with post-Mangaung South Africa, his adopted country? Of course MDC-T will continue to pilfer icons and traitors indiscriminately, hoping by some chance to hit an emotive trigger.

I don’t need to tell you we will have lots of noises on the need for some unity pact of the opposition in order to defeat Zanu PF. Not in order to unfurl this or that vision, but to defeat Zanu PF! The defeat of Zanu PF has become the ideology, the raison d'être of these parties! And we all know who needs Zanu PF's defeat so badly. We shall see.

Icho!

And below we publish Mawere’s response

By Mutumwa Mawere

In the last paragraph of Manheru's article above, my name is conveniently invoked on a point that seeks to locate the contemporary Zimbabwe condition outside the realm of the people who should be seeking a new mandate on their record rather than on the record or lack thereof of imagined enemies.

Zimbabwe is a 32 year old person, a point that is occasionally lost to small minds that see the world in binary terms.

As a 32 year old person, the country has been under the control of Manheru's party whose leader has been a constant feature in the Zimbabwean narrative.

Like any 32 year old, Manheru who has positioned himself to be a spokesman or "messenger" of the party must be proud of his party's record and indeed he must stand for something rather than against other people.

Zanu PF must run on its own record and yet it is evident that the record will not be sufficient to encourage Zimbabweans to vote for it for another 5 years hence the need for diversionary tactics and strategies.

When the independence flag was raised in 1980, the expectation was that the challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment would be efficiently, justly and effectively addressed.

To the extent that those who offered themselves to serve, including Manheru's principals, they are no doubt compelled to look themselves in the mirror and answer the question whether under their watch, the frontiers of poverty, inequality and unemployment have increased or been reduced as expected.

It is regrettable that Manheru abuses the Queen's language to distract attention from the core issues that need to be addressed in order for any future leader in Zimbabwe to account for his or her tenure in office.

The fact that Manheru has made it a habit to attack any perceived threat to incumbency should come to a stop because Zimbabwe deserves better and the squandered opportunities are there for all to see including backward leaning spin doctors.

Zimbabwe should be somewhere and yet finds itself at the bottom of the opportunity ladder with parents including President Mugabe electing to externalize their children in the search of platforms that can deliver the promise that Zimbabwe was meant to deliver.

President Mugabe was right at the recent conference to confess ignorance of known corruption and more importantly that his name has been abused by no other than his circle yet no casualty will be expected.

There is no doubt that after former President Mbeki shocked President Mugabe how rotten his ministers had now become that he could find no face in Zanu-PF that represents corrupt behavior. This is typical and expected. However, one would expect Manheru to use his sharp language to help the President expose the ministers who were asking for brides.

The fact that a foreign former head of state had to tell the President about the state of affairs in Zimbabwe under his watch tells its own narrative. One, however, would expect Manheru to pursue the line opened by the President for the worms that may come out of Zanu PF may very well cause President Mugabe to resign.

Manheru's writings have a singular purpose to insulate President Mugabe from the truth. How can he know the truth when he is being told of weekly and daily that Zimbabwe is where it is solely because of enemies, stooges, and puppets?

Only Manheru and the small circle can be considered to be patriotic and loyal to the manipulated cause.

Manheru is no better than a person who denies that the Emperor is not naked when he is. Indeed, he represents the foundation of real and substantive abuse of state power with impunity. President Mugabe needs to be freed from the circle that his supporters have created for him to the detriment of the nation building project.

Manheru obviously takes people for fools. The President has been lied to and the attempt to see evil in every victim of misguided rule fits into the frame of what is to be expected when the very idea of change becomes toxic.

If one were to imagine what is in the mind of President Mugabe after 32 years in state office, I have no doubt that the mind will be of the opinion that Zanu PF is a party of saints and political virgins. Manheru would know better but the inescapable conclusion is that his column's target audience can only be the President who through the distorted and self-serving eyes and ears of Manheru would believe that the grass is green when it is not.

Zimbabwe is a country of my birth and my heritage can and should never be a subject for Manheru to play games with.

I am and will always remain a firm believer in the Pan African idea that no inch of African soil is foreign to me. Accordingly, I am an African child and will be judged by the weakest link in the African chain. If Zimbabwe is weak because of misguided policies and choices, I can never rise above that. My connection with Zimbabwe is already established outside the birthright corner to allow people to use my name to expose that which has kept Zimbabwe down.

Like Jesus said, if two or three people meet in his name he is present. Anyone who uses my name in the interests of progress indeed is better than those who benefited from my actions and choices but would rather be silent.

The fact that SMM employed more than 20,000 people is easily lost to small minds. It is the lives and aspirations of these people that have been brutally affected that makes my name relevant in the quest for a Zimbabwe that works for all.

I do not have to qualify to be Zimbabwean but any other identity I acquire is and will always be a consequence of choice.

No one chooses where one is born let alone the parents to have. The fact that I am a Zimbabwean as defined in the constitution of Zimbabwe can never be reduced to a joke for political expediency.

Manheru's principal, President Mugabe, is a proud father and has made a choice to let his children acquire education in foreign lands and if need be they will choose the identity of the host country but when they decide to return to Zimbabwe, there is no doubt that they will not be required to complete any form confirming their allegiance to Zimbabwe.

In as much as Manheru calls Zimbabwe his home and erroneously his country, so should I and others who fall into the same category.

The future of Zimbabwe has to be of interest to any person who has interests in the country. My interests in Zimbabwe's future are substantial and obvious.

However, what is not obvious is Manheru's interest other than signing for his supper. He is after all a civil servant who is paid from other hardworking people's incomes that is collected as taxes.
Instead of serving the interests of the country, he has chosen to serve partisan interests exposing the kind of mind that informs his diatribe.

It not surprising that after 32 years of monopolizing the state, everyone is perceived to be a minor incapable of making rational choices.

It is for this reason that Manheru talks of the "sender" as if to suggest that I do not have a mind of my own. He is, indeed, and not me a messenger not of the truth but of divisive propaganda.
Anyone who has been in existence for more than 32 years must be proud of his actions and choices yet in this case, Manheru is not proud of his administration's record.

It is now common cause that SMM has been destroyed not under the watch of Ian Smith or some distant colonialist but under the very watch of Manheru who wants to hypocritically claim a higher moral ground on the issue of empowerment without speaking to the people of Zvishavane and Mashava whose lives have been irreparably destroyed.

If there was a clown, Manheru would be the first in line. Only a clown would be oblivious of the squandered opportunities and what time it is in Zimbabwe.

Indeed, President Mugabe by his own admission is a prisoner living in a den of liars including Manheru. The people of Zimbabwe have a stake in what will happen in 2013 and their weapon cannot be better than their vote.

They are the ones that should decide who should be the face of their state. Such a face must be credible and if it is Manheru's assertion that Zanu PF must run on the Prime Minister's record even my own or others then we are all compelled to respond and put him in his place.

I have noted that the amount of abuse that perceived political adversaries of Zanu PF have been exposed to by Manheru suggests that there may very well be no grounds for his party to seek re-election. I am for a Zimbabwe that delivers the promise of a better life. My heart bleeds when I think of the lives of the people who were under the SMM umbrella and find themselves on the wrong side of the opportunity mountain.

Manheru should know better that a party is a club of members and no foreign party would be allowed to run for elections in Zimbabwe and, therefore, he must look closer at where the call for change is coming from.

Zimbabweans need to reclaim their lives and future. For how long can Manheru pretend to speak on behalf of others? Everyone knows where Manheru's bread is buttered. The mind that allows Manheru to believe that he is superior to others is the very mind that must be put in the political dustbin. People are not stupid and the fact that the majority have chosen to vote with their feet must tell its own story to small minds.

Zimbabwe could be somewhere were it not for the minds like that of Manheru who will continue to believe that a flat tire can be raised by pumping more air. The tire is simply flat and this fact must be known to Manheru and anyone with real interests in the prosperity of the country.

The real traitors may very well be close to the President but the structure and design of the post-colonial state allows chameleons to become ambassadors of retrogression and not progress.

The real question that emerges after reading the weekly Manheru columns is what does he take Zimbabweans for? Zimbabwe's problems pose a security risk to the region including South Africa.

The sooner the freedoms that Zimbabweans rightly expected from the post-colonial dispensation are restored the better for Africa. It cannot be acceptable that the Chinese are more welcome to be partners of Zimbabwe than me.

To Manheru, I am a foreigner and, therefore, I should have no interest in ensuring that my country of birth is better governed and friendlier to blacks.

South Africa is host to millions of Zimbabwean-born residents and nationals the majority of whom have relatives in Zimbabwe. This cannot be said about the Chinese that are now better friends of Manheru and his principals.

To a small mind there is always a bigger story hence the threat by Manheru that he will disclose who my alleged sender is. There is no sender and Manheru should know that I have interests in as much as he may on the future prosperity of my country of birth.

The SMM companies that were subjected to commercial violence are situated in the territory of Zimbabwe and it is high time that the truth about the SMM matter and the consequential loss of jobs and income must be told.

We have yet to hear from the government about the real state interest in SMM.

If SMM was state indebted why then would a creditor in the name of the state seek the protection of a law that did not exist to assert perceived rights or interests? If the government that Manheru purports to be a messenger of was genuinely interested in the advancement of black entrepreneurship, why would the actors in the same government be allowed to use the state to undermine the promise?

The fact that SMM was acquired before the birth of the indigenization and empowerment law must speak volumes about the value of the law in terms of genuine empowerment.

Surely, Strive Masiyiwa, James Mushore, Muponda, Vingirai, Makamba, Makoni, and many others were not victimized by the colonial administration.

The licenses of the companies in mining who are now being forced to give up shares in the name of empowerment and indigenization were granted by Manheru's administration. There is no better time than now for Manheru to explain why a government committed to empowerment would facilitate the licensing of enemies.

If Manheru wants to campaign on the record on indigenization, then he must know that the names of Mawere and others necessarily have to be part of the conversation.

What is remarkable is that a law that was put in place to address the 1979 issues is now being used for power retention. Surely, a 32 year old Zimbabwean must not be eligible for state assisted empowerment premised on the facts that could only be relevant for the period before the person was born.

The state cannot claim to benefit from indigenization programs for it is common cause that the post-colonial state of Zimbabwe was born 32 years ago.

Equally, the community in the form of community ownership trusts cannot conceivably be eligible for empowerment programs in the name of historical race-based wrongs.

Zimbabwe was not colonized by communities rather it was colonized by individuals who took the long journey to advance their interests.

Accordingly, after 32 years in office the question must be asked whether Zimbabweans in the majority are better off than they were in 1980. If not, then surely, they must be allowed to express themselves and make choices that move their agenda forward.

Manheru must know that talking about the colonial past and finger pointing will not produce the next job, income let alone wealth.

No leader can be good for all seasons. Change is no such a bad thing and Manheru must welcome fresh ideas and new thinking that can empower people to think and act in their self-interest.

Manheru must be warned that we will never shy away from the battle of ideas and I sincerely hope that 2013 will be used to sharpen our minds on what is required to lift the majority of Zimbabweans out of a humanly created tragedy.

Mutumwa Mawere is a Zimbabwean businessman based in South Africa.

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