Britain reignites Mugabe hysteria
by Mai Jukwa
THE British media routinely subjects its unquestioning audience with a villainous portrayal of a tyrannical Robert Mugabe menacing the streets of Harare with a Kalashnikov in one hand and a machete in the other. This mischievous narrative is not the child of ignorance. There is quite some method to this seeming madness on the part of the British.
Consider a leading article in the UK Daily Mail on August 11, 2010, which carried allegations that child slaves were being forced to dig for Marange diamonds with their bare hands. The culprits, we were told, were Mugabe’s bloodthirsty militiamen who also roamed the surrounding mountains with “vicious killer dogs,” harassing vulnerable locals.
Not to be outdone, the Guardian followed with a screaming headline alleging that Robert Mugabe had a secret diamond fund and was preparing to launch a “terror campaign” across the entire country.
The British are not alone in this dishonesty but have co-opted their kith and kin. The American Huffington Post recently published ‘damning’ revelations of the tortures suffered by a lesbian Zimbabwean who now lives in America. The article told of how the said woman was held in a cell strewn with faeces as the police station had no toilet facilities.
For six days, the report claims, this woman was tortured with batons, kicked in the stomach and made to endure various forms of violent interrogation. On day six, the police demanded she write down the name of every lesbian and homosexual in Zimbabwe because Mugabe had instructed that all of them should be arrested and imprisoned!
The reader in Zimbabwe will immediately identify these sensationalist allegations for the fictitious nonsense that they are. However, the crucial political question is why otherwise competent journalists are engaged in what are patently ridiculous fabrications and an unquestioning acceptance of testimonies by individuals who are likely nothing more than economic migrants that simply want political asylum to allow them permanent residency in these countries.
The reader must not be so naive as to assume that these publications lack the editorial rigour to correctly evaluate these allegations. The decision to allow publication of these decidedly ungenerous articles on Robert Mugabe is part of a wider campaign by Western foreign policy hawks that work in cahoots with media proprietors and politicians.
The core objective is to dehumanise Robert Mugabe. Once the generality has accepted this notion of Mugabe being a black Hitler of sorts, Western governments are then empowered to act against this perceived evil man. Recall how George Bush called Zimbabwe an outpost of tyranny.
To highlight the propaganda of for instance "Mugabe And The White African", that 'Mugabe compared himself to Adolf Hitler, which after two seconds of contemplation should strike anyone as absurd. This is the original quote, according to Rense.com:
Mugabe noted in the speech that he had been compared to the former Nazi leader in the British press, and said he was ready to embrace such a role.
"This Hitler has only one objective: justice for his people, sovereignty for his people, recognitition of the independence of his people and their rights over their resources," he said.
"If that is Hitler, then let me be a Hitler tenfold."
I draw the reader's memory to those now infamous headlines in the Western media alleging that Saddam Hussein was in possession of dangerous weapons of mass destruction and how the world could waste not a minute longer without intervening. History tells us that there were no WMD’s in Iraq.
This is quite similar to how Ian Smith, together with the Western media, portrayed ZANLA and ZIPRA liberation fighters as terrorists. Dehumanise! That is the objective. As such, when Ian Smith committed atrocities, killing thousands of women and children at Chimoio and Nyadzonya, this was painted as a noble ‘termination’ of terrorists. It is an effective technique that has worked through the years and is still ever as effective today.
When Julius Malema began making unwelcome noises about nationalising the country’s mines, he was quickly labelled an extremist radical. The concerted efforts of the Boer-controlled media in South Africa successfully portrayed a noble concept as the dangerous agitations of a madman. He was defeated, for now at least.
This seemingly innocuous reportage has had a devastating effect on Zimbabwe’s tourism. The continued vilification of the government as a rogue regime drunk on blood has had the effect of giving the impression that Zimbabwe is unsafe. The truth of it is that Zimbabwe is perhaps one of the safest tourist destinations in Africa, but this narrative runs contrary to Western foreign policy objectives that dictate that Zimbabwe be reduced to a failed state to ‘teach’ other Africans a lesson never to attempt the ‘foolishness’ of taking back their resources from their former colonial masters.
Once the first stage of demonisation has been completed and Western populations are convinced that a demon is on the loose, the next level of operation is the expression of demands that something be done in the interests of fighting for good to prevail. Western governments then dress themselves in the regal apparel of angels and vow that they will do everything necessary to help the poor people that are supposedly being held ransom by this rampaging demon.
So we are told that the West’s actions in Libya had nothing to do with oil. It was because they so loved Libyans and wanted to see them set free from an evil Muammar Gaddafi. The war in Iraq was not because of oil but because the West so loved Iraqis and wanted to see them set free from that cruel serpent called Saddam Hussein. But one wonders why these Western angels did not offer ZANLA and ZIPRA a single bullet to help them overthrow the racist oppression of Ian Smith. In fact, it is not only that they did not assist – they actively worked against the liberation struggle describing the guerillas as savage terrorists, a narrative which still finds expression in the House of Commons today.
The negative reportage on Zimbabwe has recently been reignited. Last week the Western media was awash with synthetic expressions of concern over human rights in Zimbabwe. This was in response to the dispersal of WOZA protestors by the police. One WOZA protestor was so eager to provoke the police to react that she stepped into the police station and stripped naked. She was arrested and immediately became the poster child for Western calls for closer Western involvement in the coming elections to make sure ‘peaceful protest’ is allowed.
Jenni Williams, the woman who leads WOZA, knew full well they would be arrested and released without charge but upped the ante with the deliberate provocation of police officers in an effort to generate headlines in step with the narrative that is currently being developed by her donors in view of the coming elections.
This is important in view of the reputable opinion polls by MPOI and Freedom House showing that Zanu PF will likely win the coming election. Western governments are at a loss as to how to they can continue to legitimise their portrayal of Mugabe as a murderous despot if he is shown to have won the election.
What we are witnessing are the birth pains of what is going to be a vicious information war in the coming months. If Zanu PF wins the elections, as it likely will, the West will immediately move to discredit the vote as not having been free and fair.
And that shows they do not respect the will of the Zimbabwean people. Any more than they respected the will of the Vietnamese people from 1965 to 1975, for instance. The foreign funding of NGOs is anti-democratic, and is intented to subvert will of the local people, who should be the only ones with a say in the Zimbabwean elections. - MrK]
It is important that Zanu PF responds in kind with equal sophistication. Over the years the party has allowed the West to control the narrative and assumed a defensive position.
A fresh approach is necessary; it is time to take the fight to the enemy. Zanu PF has at its disposal an arsenal of fact and history that exposes the West for what it is. The party must use this to devastating effect and take charge of the conversation.
Someone should do a documentary on the New Farmers. There are tens of thousands of success stories there. Also, it should be pointed out who the MDC is, the implications of their neoliberal policies, and their Anglo-American De Beers connections. Morgan Tsvangirai used to work as a miner for them. To quote his biographer, Sarah Huddleston:
“Morgan loves the mining industry because he was a miner and was given his start in life by Anglo American. He is a miner at heart but he sees both sides of the picture and this policy is not good for the workers or investors,” said Tsvangirai biographer Sarah Hudleston. ”
The British often want to paint themselves as the salt of this earth and position themselves through empty charitable gestures as a caring nation that has the interests of our people at heart. Some weaker minds – especially amongst our youth – have been taken in by this sleight of hand. It is a dishonest prestige and there is no good reason why it should carry on unmolested.
Zanu PF has been negligent in allowing the British to carry on this hypocrisy for so long. This coming election let the facts be articulated so clearly that it becomes clear in the mind of every Zimbabwean that Britain does not have our concerns at heart. It is for the white farmer that their heart bleeds.
Amai Jukwa is a loving mother of three. She respects Robert Mugabe, is amused by Tsvangirai and feels sorry for Mutambara. She loves being followed on Twitter @AmaiJukwa
this AGAIN IS MASTER PIECE!!! this woman wrote stuff i have been dwelling on lately.. back in 2000 all the way upto 2008, BBC and CNN were powerful and couldnt be challenged as the west's war machinery BUT that is not so anymore!!!!! you dont have to watch BBC or CNN on television set, you can do that on a laptop/online...and the point is THERE IS NO EXCUSE ANYMORE FOR ZANU TO not match and surpass BBC and CNN on the conversation on ZImbabwe. a silly dance move gains a millions of hits in day on You tube....SURELY ZANU can you 'You Tube' the history and contemporary challenges of zimbabwe, the genocide of about 3000 people engineered by MDC and implemented by the white house by use of devastating sanctions!!!
after libya and iraqi, zimbabwe is not in a bad position at all, in been listened to by the world.
yes the west and their Puppets by the name of MDC are going for broke this time, in discrediting a zanu victory and it appears zanu is in sleep mode like stompie idiots...
zanu pf would be total idiots to think that the campaing ground for this election is just zimbabwe. zanu has to make online vedio for africa first and then world. This morons of MDC LIKE to be seen as 'VICTIMS' yet its MDC that was instrumental in the cholera genocide, its time THE RECORD IS SET STRAIGHT to the world, so the world knows the truth of the matter!!! if i were zanu, i would hold memorial services every friday for the 40 000 killed by the racist regime of smith, supported by UK and USA an SA, and the following friday, it would be a memorial day for the those mdc murdered by use of sanctions ie the 3000..this is what zanu has to go over the election period..
The question that zanu has to take to african states is, if we are saying no to military coups, why are we embracing those who come in power on the strengh of sanctions implemented by those that are economically might, when we know a military coup is cleaner and be bloodless whereas sanctions cause serious pain as is shown by the 3000 who died deaths engineered by sanctions, sanctions brought by MDC???