Sunday, May 12, 2013

(STICKY) (HERALD ZW) Election 2013: How Mugabe will win
Sunday, 05 May 2013 18:20
Mai Jukwa Political Mondays

Skilled negotiators begin their work by investigating and seeking to understand the mind of their opponent. This is crucial. It is only when you fully grasp the hopes, fears, beliefs and ignorance of your opponent that you can mount a successful seduction.

This election hinges a great deal on being able to convert voters from one persuasion to another. To succeed in this regard, it is important to enter the mind of the opponent and to see the world through his eyes. Let’s consider some generally held beliefs within opposition ranks.

1. Zanu-PF has destroyed the economy through incompetence.
2. Zanu-PF took all the farmland and gave it to a handful of cronies.
3. Britain is working with the MDC-T because they want to help us.
4. The indigenisation drive does not benefit ordinary people.
5. Sanctions only targeted Zanu-PF officials.

The master plan

Thus far, Zanu-PF has only communicated incidental facts. The problem with this kind of story telling is that only the most curious political junkies will take time to add these facts into a coherent political story. The vast majority of voters have neither the interest nor aptitude necessary to join the dots together to make for a coherent message.

It is for this reason why talk of sanctions is not nearly as effective as it could be. We have heard incidental mention of ZDERA but few voters could tell you how this actually worked to strangle the economy. Only a minority knows that the United States is holding onto funds belonging to Chinhoyi council.

Let us consider a more excellent approach, a better way to explain the Western master plan.

What really happened?

Through the 80’s and a greater part of the 90’s, Robert Mugabe was considered a competent leader and Zimbabwe was an example to other nations in Africa. He was so highly regarded that in 1994 the Queen knighted him.

It is this background that makes for quite some perplexity. How did this paragon of goodness suddenly turn into a bearer-cheque-printing monster portrayed by the West? Surely it cannot be that a man who was supremely competent the night before suddenly wakes up clueless as to how an economy is managed?

It’s all about Land

The Zimbabwean story is inextricably bound to the land question. This is the genesis of the crisis. The British now claim their interest in Zimbabwe is limited to democracy and the rule of law. This assertion is false.

A catalogue of video evidence shows the British explaining in their own words that they wanted farm seizures to stop.

Robin Cook makes for delicious viewing and paints quite the picture of an overbearing white man as he declares that he has “made it clear the land seizures must stop.”

Andrew Young is also captured on video candidly explaining why Zimbabwe had to be punished to prevent South Africa from following a similar pattern of land redistribution. There is an abundance of such material floating in the archives, it is the context and manner in which it is delivered that can give it - or rid it of — efficacy.

After failing to stop the Land Reform exercise, there was a concerted campaign to discredit it. It is widely reported that the land was taken by a handful of Zanu-PF cronies. Is this true? The voter would be interested to know that Welshman Ncube, Arthur Mutambara, Morgan Tsvangirai and Tendai Biti all own farms.

This is hardly a picture of Zanu-PF cronies.

The MDC now wants to abandon its previously declared policy on land. At one time Tsvangirai vowed to kick the new farmers off the land. One of his officials promised an intrigued BBC interviewer that his party would restore the white farmers. They now deny having ever said any such thing in the same way Tsvangirai denied having ever married Locardia. Video does not lie.

Sanctions

We are told that sanctions were imposed because the British love Zimbabwe and want us to be good girls and boys that live in accordance with democratic virtues. It is all for our own good.

These are puzzling contradictions when you consider that the first imposition of sanctions specified that these measures were meant, inter alia, to restore “property rights.” The property rights referred to the restoration of white farmers.

It was always about land and this much must become clear in the mind of every voter.

The West, supported by the MDC, has always maintained that it cares for the people of Zimbabwe and has not imposed any sanctions that would affect the generality. This dishonest narrative has been repeated to the point of being elevated to fact.

Let us break down the argument. Is it possible to sanction Agribank, ZB Bank, the GMB, ZMDC and other key institutions without affecting ordinary Zimbabweans? It is a bizarre argument. It is similar to arguing that one can sanction Britain’s National Health Service without affecting ordinary people in that country.

No economy can survive without Balance of Payments support.
How then can ZDERA, which prevents Zimbabwe from borrowing, like all other nations, be considered a targeted sanction? It is not enough to ask these questions. The message must be delivered in a manner that allows the voter to conceptualise the issues. The voter must see the United States for the devil that it is, preventing Zimbabwe from accessing funds. The impact of this financial blockade must be understood.

The MDC’s sanctions spanner

The MDC clearly stated that Mugabe could only be removed from power by making the country ungovernable. Tsvangirai is captured on magnetic tape calling for South Africa to sanction Zimbabwe. In 2002 he said to the BBC: “South Africa should say, ‘OK, under those circumstances we are going to cut fuel, we are going to cut transport links’.”

Even after the formation of the GNU we find evidence of MDC-T perfidy in a damning cable from the United States embassy. Tsvangirai tells the ambassador that he wants the sanctions to remain in place and explains that his public calls for their removal are merely for show. The voter must understand the dishonesty and hypocrisy of Morgan Tsvangirai. In public he says the sanctions must go but then in private he urges on the Americans to maintain them.

The death of tourism

Even more devastating than sanctions is the ‘failed-state’ propaganda war. Condoleezza Rice called Zimbabwe an “outpost of tyranny.” Their media have characterised Zimbabwe as a warzone while Robert Mugabe is portrayed as a bloody-thirsty Hitler type figure.

The view of Zimbabwe is now so contorted by lies that many in the world imagine it to be a violent land ravaged by civil war. Harare is routinely and dishonestly referred to as the worst city on earth in a relentless assault on the image of the country. Their goal is choke off any tourism revenue and scare away would-be investors.

A Zimbabwean woman living in Germany blogged about how she invited a hesitant group of friends to a trip around Zimbabwe. She has to offer assurances that they would be safe.

After some persuasion they agreed. On arrival at the Harare International Airport they were quickly whisked to Meikles hotel and retired for the night. The next morning after breakfast they went on a drive around Harare. During that tour one of the Germans asked, “so where are the gunmen?”

This might surprise Zimbabweans but many Westerners have been subjected to such vicious propaganda as to believe the country is in the same league as Somalia. The effect of this dishonest campaign has been the destruction of our tourism industry.

It is important for the voter to see the dishonest claims in the Daily Mail that slave children are being used to dig diamonds at Marange. The voter must understand how these lies have been used to isolate the country.

Indigenisation — the new battlefront

Africa faces a common problem. It is blessed with abundant resources but that wealth continues to be siphoned out of Africa. Consider the copper rich Zambia.

The Western businesses that are plundering this continent want to continue to do so uninterrupted. These forces have rallied their surrogates in the country to claim the indigenisation drive does not benefit ordinary Zimbabweans. This is the same message we heard as regards the Land Reform.

Can Zanu-PF offer a coherent explanation as to why indigenisation is important? Can it give examples of how the failure to indigenise has adversely affected other mineral rich African nations?

Can Zanu-PF articulate how the man in the street will benefit from these reforms? We recently heard the Zimbabwe Teachers Association asking to draw 10 percent from indigenised shares. That misguided request betrayed a gross ignorance as to what the entire programme is about and how benefits will trickle down to ordinary Zimbabweans. It is a question of communication.

A complicated story

The story of what Zimbabwe has suffered is complex and borders on conspiracy theory but is not impossible to tell. This election boils down to whether or not Zanu-PF can layout the following arguments, among others, in a coherent and plausible manner.

1. The dispute with Britain is entirely over land. Their claims to be protesting over human rights are dishonest.

2. Sanctions were not targeted but affected the wider economy.

3. The sanctions were designed to cripple the economy and to send a message to other African nations that land reform would have adverse consequences.

4. The MDC lobbied for and supported these sanctions.

5. The West has waged a propaganda campaign painting Zimbabwe as a war zone. This has adversely affected tourism.

6. The MDC is a Western project.

It is not merely a question of whether or not the above points are true. Rather, it is how well Zanu-PF can draft this into a compelling message that exposes falsehoods, brings about ideological clarity on Land Reform and Indigenisation and in the process rouses and rides the nationalist sentiment.

On the eve of the election, if even a single voter still believes that sanctions were targeted then Zanu-PF will have failed to communicate the facts. If even a single person still believes that only a handful of cronies benefited from the Land Reform programme, Zanu-PF would have lost a voter to a lie.

The deceptive and manipulative nature of the British must be painted with clarity in the mind of the Zimbabwean voter, none must be left in the naiveté of thinking their meddling is because they care for us.

They must be so reviled, so thoroughly despised, as to taint any politician receiving their support or endorsement. Their history and record around the world is dirty enough to make this possible.

Amai Jukwa is a loving mother of three. She respects Robert Mugabe, is amused by Tsvangirai and feels sorry for Mutambara.


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