Thursday, September 05, 2013

(SUNDAY MAIL ZW) The tail whites attached to Tsvangirai
Saturday, 27 July 2013 00:00

When President Robert Mugabe launched the anti-sanctions campaign in 2010, even some Zanu-PF leaders were sceptical about its possible effectiveness as an issue around which to mobilise the people.

I predicted in this column that the sanctions story was one of the most enduring stories in the history of Zimbabwe. I said even after the defeat of those sanctions the story would grow in importance.

I said future generations of Madzimbahwe would see the illegal sanctions as having defined their relations with Europe, the UK and the US for decades if not centuries to come because of the following reasons:

* The sanctions were imposed and maintained only by white Anglo-Saxon countries, thereby exposing the lie that Western countries were no longer driven by racism, exposing the hollowness of Barack Obama’s claim that the Western world is now a post-racial society just because he is the current US President.

* The reason for imposing those illegal sanctions was to stop Zimbabwe’s African land reclamation movement and its redistribution of white-stolen land to 300 000 African households. Now, this land revolution would succeed and would come to be seen, even in the West as the wisest and fairest action which an African liberation movement ever took. So the whole world at some stage was going to ask the UK, US and Europe why they fought so diabolically to prevent dispossessed Africans from reclaiming their stolen land?

* The lies which both the Anglo-Saxon powers and the MDC formations needed to tell in order to hide, deny or justify the sanctions would become so many and so contradictory that they could not be sustained. The lies would be so ridiculous and insulting that future generations of Zimbabweans would be astounded and would not forget the history of Zimbabwe’s relations with the West from 1997 to the post-inclusive Government elections of 2013.

Looking back to the launch of the anti-sanctions mobilisation in 2010 and looking at efforts by the MDCs to deny the reality of the sanctions, I can confirm that sanctions have become a long, ugly and growing tail which white people attached on Morgan Tsvangirai in 2000; and that ever since then, Tsvangirai has been running away from his donated tail without success.

The ongoing pre-election debate over the cancellation of local authorities’ rates on account of sanctions demonstrates how Tsvangirai’s donated tail is getting longer and longer the more he runs away from it.

Let me bring the seriousness of the illegal sanctions into context by citing one of the most enthusiastic participants in their enforcement, former US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Christopher Dell.

Without going all the way to admit that the mass shock experienced by Zimbabweans from 2000 to 2005 was a result of illegal sanctions, former US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Christopher Dell had this to say to Africa University students and faculty on November 2 2005:

“The Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 is the cornerstone of US policy toward Zimbabwe. Under the Act, the United States conditions aid and financing for Zimbabwe . . . Ladies and gentlemen, no issue today is more important to the future of Zimbabwe nor has the potential to harm the (Sadc) region than the growing collapse of the Zimbabwe economy . . . It was more than dismaying to read a paper published in July by the Centre for Global Development in Washington on the Costs and Causes of Zimbabwe’s Crisis. It is estimated that Zimbabwe’s economic crisis has set the country back more than half a century. The paper calculated that the purchasing power of the average Zimbabwean in 2005 had fallen back to the same level as in 1953 . . . That’s an astonishing reversal of 52 years (at 2005) of progress in only half a dozen years.”

The theory behind the diabolic use of economic terrorism is well established in the neo-liberal capitalist doctrine which Naomi Klein called “the shock doctrine.” The sanctions-induced economic and social crisis in Zimbabwe had the effect of taking the country and the people back to 1953 in a short period of six years, according to former US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Christopher Dell’s speech on November 2 2005. Such a disastrous situation has the effect of recycling the country back to a “frontier” state, a colonial state.

It is unfortunate that journalists did not ask Dell what the significance of 1953 was for the forces of illegal regime change. But the education statistics coming out now show what the US Ambassador was celebrating in his 2005 speech.

In 1953, colonial Rhodesia was an open frontier of fresh opportunities for white racists from all over Europe and North America; it was an open “frontier” economically speaking, territorially speaking, ideologically speaking, culturally and morally speaking. African nationalism was still in its infancy.

In 1953 colonial Rhodesia was an open frontier society where Britain resettled its white veterans of the Hitler wars with the assistance of the US Marshall Plan, the World Bank and the Rhodesian piece of racist legislation called the Native Land Husbandry Act which helped to clear African prime farm land of natives. Indeed a new “frontier” colony is always characterised by a creeping, universalised corruption, whatever name the coloniser may give it. Sanctions brought back mass corruption and the school system was not spared. We heard of teachers who needed to be “juiced” in order to teach!

The year 1953 was the frontier year of the start of the white Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. In the words of The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein:

“Corruption has been as much a fixture on these contemporary (neoliberal) frontiers as it was during the colonial gold rushes. Since the most significant privatisation deals are always signed amid the crisis, clear laws and effective regulators are never in place (and if they are they must be removed) — the atmosphere is chaotic, the prices are flexible and so are the (compromising and compromised) politicians. What we have been living . . . is a frontier capitalism with the frontier constantly shifting location from crisis to crisis, moving on as soon as the law catches up.”

For generations to come Western interests in Zimbabwe will be stalked by the long shadow of the illegal Anglo-Saxon sanctions imposed on the people of this country during the era of former US President George W. Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The haunted Western interests include the political creatures among us which were set up with aid from the Westminster Foundation, the Zimbabwe Democracy Trust, the US National Endowment for Democracy, the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute. The internal political creatures are the MDC formations.

After President Robert Mugabe mobilised the people of this country to demonstrate in 2010 that the sanctions were hurting the povo, Newsday, for instance, on April 16 2011, published a leader page feature by one Lloyd Mbiba which was entitled “What can two million signatures achieve?” For a question being asked on behalf of sell-out parties claiming to represent “democratic change,” this was a foolish question. Real democracy and democratic politics is about numbers. So, let us see if, when the next elections come, the MDCs are going to say two million ballots do not achieve anything.

Less than one month before Zimbabweans launched the national anti-sanctions campaign, one Dewa Mavhinga also published a leader page opinion in The Standard (February 6 2011) which was called “Sanctions mantra increasingly threadbare” and in which he claimed the following:

“I do not see how targeted shopping restrictions on President Mugabe and members of his inner circle can hurt the country. Despite the sanctions rhetoric, the people of Zimbabwe are receiving massive aid every year from the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States in the areas of health, sanitation, education and agriculture inputs.”

For the last 20 years, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union have sponsored some journalists and media houses in Zimbabwe for the purpose of fabricating the very same lies which these countries then deploy against Zimbabwe at international forums. In the last four years this strategy has failed to win the majority to the side of the Western powers and their sponsored media and journalists here.

The situation became so desperate that at one time the sponsored papers resorted to using as columnists some of the representatives of the Western governments in Zimbabwe. This strategy backfired because it exposed the editorial policies of the foreign sponsored papers in a very crude manner, making people suspect that the paper or papers exist to lie to Zimbabweans on behalf of their foreign sponsors. So the practice was stopped.

The irony of this abuse of Zimbabwe’s media freedom by the foreign sponsors is that patriotic Zimbabweans can turn the tables on the sponsors by using the sponsored media outlets and products to monitor on a daily basis the footprints and brainwaves of imperialism itself. Because these sponsored outlets often have to lie for their supper, they are not useful as sources of scientific data or truth about the real situation for imperialism to plan ahead. That is why in 2013 US Ambassador David Bruce Wharton was surprised to face anti-sanctions demonstrations in Mutare and Makoni.

The media funded by USAID could not have told him the truth. Their main role is to provide pretexts for foreign interference. But they become valuable to the patriotic strategic thinker because they reveal the thinking and motives of the sponsor(s) from day to day, from week to week.

If we look at Lloyd Mbiba’s article, for instance, it means that we have come a long way from a time when these papers used to deny the reality of sanctions and used to tell us that only a few lonely propagandists took the sanctions issue seriously. Mbiba’s article showed that the Anglo-Saxon axis has accepted that large masses of Zimbabweans take sanctions seriously and that more than two million of them indeed signed the 2010 petition. That can no longer be denied.

Therefore the only option left is to denigrate and diminish the value of that mobilisation after the fact. That means the national anti-sanctions movement scored a major victory there.

If we take Dewa Mavhinga’s piece, we notice two things: a sense of real desperation among the sanctions mongers, both those who invited the sanctions and those who imposed them; and a stunning revelation of the purpose of and the motive behind Anglo-Saxon aid.

The sense of desperation arose from the fact that Dewa Mavhinga was in 2010 already known as the spokesperson for Crisis Coalition Zimbabwe which was represented on ZTV’s Melting Pot programme on June 15 and 29 2010 campaigning on behalf of the Anglo-Saxon powers to have Zimbabwe’s Chiadzwa diamonds white-listed and banned as “blood diamonds.” Sidney Chisi appeared for the organisation on June 15 while Mavhinga appeared on June 29 2010. That is the worst form of illegal sanctions that could ever be imposed on Zimbabwe. And, indeed for quite a long time Zimbabwe did fail to sell its diamonds as it wished.

Now, given these facts, Dewa Mavhinga could not be taken seriously when he claimed later on, on February 6 2011, that sanctions against Zimbabwe amounted to nothing more than “shopping restrictions on President Mugabe and members of his inner circle.”

The same Dewa Mavhinga appeared on TV here and in South Africa lying about Zimbabwe’s Chiadzwa diamonds and the effect was unwarranted delays in the licensing of those diamonds, so much so that the entire African Diamond Producers’ Association in April 2011 was threatening to leave the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme to the white countries (who have no diamonds) and to set up a new scheme based on producers and markets in the South and the East.

Because he wrote on behalf of the sponsors of Crisis Coalition Zimbabwe, Mavhinga also exposed the aid racket in Zimbabwe as a chema economy, a misery and relief economy whose main purpose was to hide the true meaning of illegal sanctions from the very same victims of those sanctions. The idea that there are no sanctions because there is charity is ridiculous. In fact the more diabolic and devastating the illegal sanctions are the more charitable activities and gestures the sanctions mongers feel obliged to engage in, in order to disguise their evil and racist intentions.

Where the people of Zimbabwe have been demanding economic indigenisation and African majority empowerment, Mavhinga and his sponsors are telling us that charity (chema yemuroyi) is adequate “development” for the African.

In fact the failure of the artificial lights focusing on the chema economy to wipe out the long shadow of illegal sanctions was demonstrated by former US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Charles Ray in his letter to The Financial Gazette on June 3 2010, where he wrote to say:

“One can hardly go a day in Zimbabwe without the topic of sanctions creeping - no, barging - into the conversation. I have often remarked that this is a topic that I find little reason to dwell on, and usually avoid doing so. It is a non-issue that has lots of billowing smoke, but little flame. It is, however, such a pervasive topic, I feel I must attempt to offer some input. . .”

So, when the current US Ambassador David Bruce Wharton arrived in Zimbabwe to replace Charles Ray, he really thought the chema economy headed by USAID in this country would have succeeded in wiping clean the illegal sanctions slate, so that Wharton could reset the clock and pretend that no harm has been done or is being done. He thought that the bright lights of Western criminal humanitarianism would have made Zimbabweans succumb to terror by forgetting.

His arrival was preceded by a vigorous advertising campaign on Star FM radio where the Ambassador sought to portray himself and his wife as ordinary folk who identified with the povo of Zimbabwe, especially since Wharton and his wife were also small land-holders in the State of Virginia. He wanted the people of Zimbabwe to know that he too valued land possession as much as vana vevhu also valued the possession of their land in Zimbabwe. But the land in the USA was obtained through genocide against the natives there.

Obviously the underlying message was that the US Ambassador however did not approve of the way in which the Government of Zimbabwe had enabled the same vana vevhu to repossess that land, therefore the illegal Anglo-Saxon sanctions, including the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA) of the United States would not be lifted.

Bruce Wharton, despite his having spent years here as an information officer, underestimated the intelligence of vana vevhu.
So, on January 17 2013, The Herald told its readers that:

“The US Ambassador’s nightmarish tour of Manicaland continued yesterday when he came face-to-face with more demonstrations from residents demanding the lifting of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by his country and its Western allies.”

One of the female demonstrators confronted the Ambassadors in her underwear, forcing him to retreat. The placards which the demonstrators waved focused on the local economic impact of the illegal sanctions, listing local companies which had shut down in Mutare as a result of illegal sanctions.

The demonstrators denounced the criminal humanitarianism of the West, saying: “We are not a nation of beggars, we want to be productive, but the sanctions are making everything impossible.”

On January 19 2013, The Daily News interviewed the US Ambassador about his two encounters with demonstrators in Makoni, near Rusape, on January 15 and in Mutare on January 16 2013. The Daily News did not bother to interview the protesters or other patriots. Such interviews might have shown that the protesters’ views are widely shared.

What makes the people of Zimbabwe angry is the racist idea that they should accept US charity made necessary because of hardships created through illegal US sanctions; and that by accepting this charity Zimbabweans must either deny that the sanctions are real or accept the racist view that the sanctions are real and justified.

So, as Madzimbahwe face Wednesday’s elections, Morgan Tsvangirai and his white sponsors face a dilemma.

If they cut off the donated sanctions tail, everyone would notice because Tsvangirai is within the glare of cameras. If they leave the tail to grow, its drag may overwhelm their candidate. Tsvangirai is almost at the point of collapse now because of the drag from his donated sanctions tail.


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