Tuesday, November 17, 2020

(LUSAKA TIMES) The Economist Magazine’s Report About Zambia is a Lie

COMMENT - Full disclosure: the Rothschild barons control The Economist Group which owns The Economist Magazine, was well as De Beers, the world's largest diamond miner and Glencore (1, 2, 3), one of the world's largest mining companies and headquartered in Switzerland. Glencore is a major miner in Zambia. De Beers wants to control the Zimbabwean diamond mines, Chiadza and Marange, which could supply 20% of the world's diamonds every year. Other than controlling the World Bank (12) and IMF, they also "took an early role" in the Eurobonds. Notice how The Economist Magazine selectively waves away the effects of the WEF inspired lockdown or their Eurobond debt, the same way they selectively wave away the effects of economic sanctions (Section 4 C 1 and 2) on the Zimbabwean economy. Their problem is that they cannot attack the neoliberal political class they have been supporting all across Africa because it was profitable for them, and now criticize the disastrous consequences of those neoliberal policies. So they talk about 'dictatorship' and 'human rights'. However only when it's convenient. - MrK

The government blames covid-19. It should look in the mirror

Middle East & Africa
Nov 14th 2020 edition

In his studio Fumba Chama gets ready to play his new song. Unlike in most Zambian workplaces there is no photograph on the wall of Edgar Lungu, the president since 2015. Looking down instead is a young Kenneth Kaunda, who led Zambia for 27 years after independence from Britain in 1964.

If that is a silent protest, then out of the speakers comes a louder one. In “Coward of the County” Mr Chama raps laconically about Mr Lungu’s failings over—why not?—a sample of the song of the same name by the late Kenny Rogers, a bearded American country star. It is his latest track about how the ruling Patriotic Front (pf) has crushed civic freedoms and crashed the economy. As if to prove his point, the authorities have repeatedly arrested and intimidated Mr Chama, whose stage name is PilAto.

More... (Paywall) 

(LUSAKA TIMES) The Economist Magazine’s Report About Zambia is a Lie
November 16, 2020

In their 14th November, 2020 edition, The Economist magazine published an opinionated article that at best describes Zambia as a collapsed economy caused by its President’s authoritarian style of leadership and called for neighbouring countries, and the rest of the world to press for regime change.

Now, this is not a new call out because the international media, in tow with the main opposition in Zambia, have been calling for the rest of the world to declare Zambia a pariah state. But it is normal these days for a frustrated opposition to wish a country bad omen as long as that helps in discarding the ruling party from power, patriotism aside.

What is new, however, is the extent to which an internationally recognized and probably authoritative magazine went in demonising President Edgar Lungu. And I assume here that this malicious article was written by the publishers, themselves, and not a correspondent or even one of their reporters because at end, the Magazine does not proffer any disclaimer about the origin of the article but states cheekily that “This article appeared in the Readers Section of the print edition under the headline “Zambia’s descent”.
The online version, however, is a little more blunter with a multi-faceted headline: “The Mugabe model…How to stop Zambia from turning into Zimbabwe…Neighbours and creditors should resist its slide into autocracy and economic collapse.”

And it is in this headline or headlines that one clearly sees the push for regime change. It is obvious that firstly by likening President Lungu to the late Zimbabwean leader, The Economist tries to brand and frame the Zambian President as a dictator, and by doing that they hope Zambia’s bilateral partners would react in a similar way they punished Zimbabwe. But it is also a ploy to force those who hated President Mugabe to shift their focus to President Lungu, that the Zimbabwean leader is no more.
President Mugabe’s nemeses are obviously missing him and now that he is no more they have been looking at which African leader they could calibrate as a dictator. They want to create imaginary authoritarians in Africa because in truth dictators are now in short supply here. The pendulum is moving to them.

In their effort to scandalise and chastise President Lungu and his Government, the magazine tries to portray Zambia as headed for economic destruction and calls for Zambia’s neighbours (who ironically include Zimbabwe, by the way) to embark on a mission to remove President Lungu and his Government from power. Reason?

President Lungu is more dangerous to Zambia’s economy than covid-19;
he scares away investors by seizing mines;
he detains mining bosses;
he fired the Central Bank Governor for resisting to print money;
he arrested opposition leaders before the 2016 elections;
he shut down the main independent newspaper; and
he has arrested Hakainde Hichilema, the main opposition leader, as well as journalists, musicians and other critics.

The Magazine then makes a clarion call:

“Many Zambians worry that their country is sliding into autocracy and economic ruin, like next door Zimbabwe. To stop that slide, the region and the wider world need to start paying attention now, rather than just sending election observers a few weeks before the poll.”

Obviously, The Magazine painstakingly tries to portray President Lungu as an authoritarian they would like him to be, but at the expense of truth. And “truth” is the heart and soul of good journalism which this respected Magazine has foregone. The Economist is being economical with the truth. For what gain? Only them and their Zambian allies would know. The truth is in all the bullets above, the magazine is either lying or spinning facts i.e slanting facts out of context. There is absolutely no need to explain bullet point by bullet point because every Zambian knows that The Economist Magazine is lying. The authors of this article were either deliberately lying, or were lied to by their sources but what is important is that, out of all these lies above, none would persuade a Zambian to frown upon President Lungu. Why? Because Zambians know these are fibs…outright lies! No amount of demagoguery will skew the thinking of Zambians about the President.

Brand him and frame him in whatever way you like, President Lungu is anything but a dictator. He has allowed the Zambian media to criticize him day in day out. More importantly, through the operationalisation of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA), a plethora of vibrant radio and television stations have been born under President Lungu’s administration. This has allowed citizens to hold Government to account on a daily basis. This has also allowed a plurality of voices on air, unlike before when Zambians relied only on the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) for information. President Lungu has also allowed his opponents to criticize him, and sometimes intrusively defame him, on a daily basis. President Lungu has allowed civil society to thrive and they are in numbers here, some of them very critical of him and his Government. He has also not tampered with the independence of the Judiciary, legislature, and critical governance agencies like the Anti-Corruption Commission, the Drug Enforcement Commission, and the Electoral Commission of Zambia, to mention but a few.

It is, therefore, a shame that ignorant international media can pick on him to be a dictator when there are dictators not far from their newsrooms. The world must not worry about President Lungu, they must instead worry about the trajectory being taken by the Western media, especially the likes of The Economist and their ilk.

The author is Special Assistant to President Edgar Lungu for Press and Public Relations

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Sunday, November 15, 2020

(YAHOO, BLOOMBERG) Zambia Default Sets Tough Tone for Talks With Bondholders

COMMENT - This is how they re-write history: 
While the coronavirus pandemic added to Zambia’s woes, its debt problems started years earlier. The government borrowed heavily since 2012, ignoring warnings from the IMF of growing debt distress risks. 
Actually that's not what happened. It was the IMF that encouraged the government to borrow Eurobonds instead of collecting a Windfall Tax from the mines.
The mission congratulates the authorities on the successful launch of Zambia’s first Eurobond. The mission also welcomes the decisions the authorities have taken for the use of these funds in 2012 and 2013. Using this commercial financing to finance high priority capital spending including the repayment of a short-term debt to finance roads infrastructure development reflects prudent fiscal management. Source: IMF, 2012 
The 'warnings' only came a few years ago. The government took Eurobond debt instead of a Windfall Tax on the mines, I presume because of some corrupt agreement between the parties. Either way, where they were once owed billions of dollars in taxes, they now owe billions of dollars in Eurobond debt, plus interest. That makes it odious debt, and it should be scrapped. Back in 2012 I blogged: (STICKY) Chikwanda describes advocates of windfall tax as lunatics. - MrK

(YAHOO, BLOOMBERG) Zambia Default Sets Tough Tone for Talks With Bondholders
Matthew Hill and Taonga Clifford Mitimingi
Sat, November 14, 2020, 12:03 PM GMT+1·4 min read

(Bloomberg) --

Zambia is squaring up for a bruising encounter with foreign bondholders after saying it can’t pay interest on one of its Eurobonds, making it Africa’s first sovereign default since the coronavirus pandemic struck.

A refusal by bond investors on Friday to grant debt relief to the government sets the tone for tough restructuring negotiations with a diverse range of creditors from pension funds in Europe to state-owned Chinese banks that Zambia owes almost $12 billion.

“A default could make an orderly and timely restructuring more challenging,” said Samir Gadio, head of Africa strategy at Standard Chartered Bank Plc in London. “A prolonged default may see some investors unwind non-performing bonds,” battering down prices that are already below half of face value, he said.

Holders of Zambia’s $3 billion of Eurobonds rejected a request to suspend interest payments for six months, and the grace period for an overdue $42.5 million coupon lapsed Friday, triggering a default.

That gives holders of all three securities the right to demand immediate repayment. While it’s unlikely they’ll take that route, Zambia could find itself locked out of international capital markets for years while it struggles to reduce its debt load and address fiscal challenges. General elections scheduled for August add another layer of complication.

“I would expect debt-restructuring talks for the Eurobonds to be very difficult and I would expect them to be protracted,” said Phillip Blackwood, adviser to Sydbank, which manages and advises portfolios with Zambia Eurobonds.

The default will make Zambia’s “financial conditions even tighter for a place where financial conditions have already been tight for quite a while,” said Gustavo Medeiros, deputy head of research at Ashmore Group, which holds Zambia’s dollar bonds. Local currency notes already have yields as high as 33%, and the kwacha has lost nearly half of its value against the dollar this year.

Equal Treatment

Zambia couched its request for an interest freeze as part of the Group of 20’s so-called Debt Servicing Standstill Initiative, an agreement between rich nations to suspend interest payments owed to them by poor countries. The government said it was asking all its foreign creditors, including private lenders, for the same relief.

China Development Bank last month agreed to defer interest payments. While that covered a small portion of the debt, it created a precedent that made it difficult to pay bondholders.

“The government is strongly committed to pursue a constructive and very transparent dialog with all its creditors,” Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu said Friday, adding that the state had no choice but to build arrears.

No Example

Bondholders, however, were concerned any relief they granted would be used to service debts to Chinese lenders, which account for more than a quarter of Zambia’s external liabilities. They also want more transparency and a credible economic recovery plan, preferably with the International Monetary Fund’s endorsement.

Other governments shouldn’t see Zambia as an example for how to approach debt restructuring, said Simon Quijano-Evans, an economist at Gemcorp Capital in London.

“Zambia can’t be used as a comparison to other countries, simply because it failed to approach the IMF over several years and failed to be transparent,” he said. “Other countries like Angola and Ghana did exactly the opposite and are thus in a much better position than Zambia.”

While the coronavirus pandemic added to Zambia’s woes, its debt problems started years earlier. The government borrowed heavily since 2012, ignoring warnings from the IMF of growing debt distress risks.

Some Eurobond investors, including Blackwood, argue that Zambia’s troubles only emerged in the years after it tapped international markets, and turned to China for funds. The nation sold its first dollar bond in 2012 and the last one in 2015.

“From Eurobond holders’ side, this is not about an unwillingness or otherwise to forgive debt,” he said. “It is clear to Eurobond holders that the debt problems escalated when the bilateral loans accelerated, after the Eurobonds were issued. The nature of those deals quickly caused problems for the country.”

(Updates with investor comment in the seventh paragraph.)

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Thursday, October 29, 2020

(THE PATRIOT ZW) Sentencing Zim’s children to obscurity

(THE PATRIOT ZW) Sentencing Zim’s children to obscurity


By Dr Irene Mahamba

WHAT does it mean when a son of Zimbabwe, a teenager at a private school, laments that he does not do African History but is forced to study European History.

He asks: ‘Even if this is rectified in the new curriculum, what about those of us who are learning in private schools, where are we going to get it from?’

When a child of Zimbabwe cries for what is correct, what is right for him as an heir of Zimbabwe, and we do not have an adequate answer, what does it mean?

When we fail these youngsters, what does it mean for those of the same age who refused to live under British bondage, but join the armed struggle? 

This young teenager would not have been comfortable under Rhodesia’s rule. Like his predecessors, he most likely would have joined the liberation struggle.

So what did his compatriots die for?

And another still asks: Where can I go to study a practical subject of my choice instead of just studying accounts, (which she is not interested in) and afterwards still look for a practical subject of my choice?

What do you say to such a daughter of Zimbabwe when you know such schools were established; that the Zimbabwe Foundation for Education with Production was instituted precisely for that purpose; that eight Education with Production schools were established for this reason; that they were not meant to remain eight, but were to spread to the rest of the nation but then something happened and vicissitudes tore the project apart, capitalism was threatened and it fought back viciously.

How do you feel having to give an explanation to such a child when you know this is something the struggle especially achieved for its young but it got shot down. Yet this is what we promised children of Zimbabwe, at all the zvindunduma (Schools in the Struggle) at Matenje and throughout Mozambique, at the schools in the struggle in Zambia, those chindunduma children who championed education with production during the struggle and after independence, students and teachers who fought so valiantly to ensure that education with production took off after independence.

So how does everyone feel in this conundrum? 

We all discussed and agreed in the struggle that this is the model of education we would implement after attaining our independence.

And still another child quietly pauses at the ZIMFEP Stand during ZIBF, and quietly peruses the book ‘Schools in the Struggle’

He listens quietly as you tell him what the book is about, the lives led by those children during the liberation struggle, in both Mozambique and Zambia and, still quietly, the little boy (probably in Grade 4 or 5) asks: ‘How much is the book?’ 

And you tell him ZWL$16,00 and he empties all the coins in his pocket, ZWL$6,00 in all, clearly all the pocket money he had been given at home for the Book Fair… of course you give the child the book. 

What is more precious than a truly Zimbabwean child, one whose soul is so closely aligned with his destiny, an heir of Zimbabwe?

What does this mean? 

Why is this book not one of his prescribed readers? 

Why is it not one of his history text books; an authentic record of the lives school children led in the struggle, written by combatants and students from the struggle, the very ones who lived this life? 

Instead, Zimbabwe’s children have to read ‘Harvest of Thorns’ (Chenjerai Hove), a fiction about the struggle which is not only fallacious, inaccurate but also insults the struggle which liberated our Zimbabwe?

What about the millions who can never come to ZIBF; is this not their heritage as well? 

Is this not their right? 

What is their recourse? What are we saying to these youngsters whose compatriots fought a heroic struggle under the harshest of conditions and triumphed against a bitter enemy? 

How can we justify locking this treasure away from them. Yet their compatriots died at Nyadzonia, Chimoio, Mkushi, Freedom Camp, Pasichigare and many other places so that they could be assured of their heritage, would take the mantle and take their turn at building us a great Zimbabwe. 

Are we saying they died in vain?

When our children thirst for their heritage and we seem unable to quench this thirst, there is a problem. Something has gone off the rails. 

Zimbabwe’s children have not gone to sleep; they are waiting for their day … still!

Another descendant of Nehanda would not accept that at ZJC, at a private school in Bulawayo, she had to learn about the ‘great explorers‘ such as David Livingstone whom they were taught discovered the Victoria Falls, something that hurt her so deeply as if Zimbabweans had to wait for David Livingstone before they could behold such a celestial endowment to their land.

She was hurt and disturbed that at ‘O’-Level, they learned about the ‘great discoverers’ such as Thomas Cook and only two paragraphs on the liberation struggle which were not examined; that at ‘A’-level, she had to do European History and American History. She was hurt that they were not allowed to watch the film Cry the Beloved Country because it would incite racial hatred, it was alleged. 

A young girl at NUST, on learning that the ZHT (Zimbabwe Heritage Trust) was giving lectures at other institutions of higher learning, especially with respect to Godobori’s revelations about the evil machinations of one George Soros, insisted that the ZHT should also come to NUST. She also wanted to savour the truth that would make her free as a child of Zimbabwe. 

Fortunately for her and many others, the ZHT team has been there. She did express gratitude for the visit.

What makes the teachings by the Zimbabwe Heritage Trust so meaningful, so unforgettable is because it is about who they are, Zimbabweans. But the Zimbabwe diet is so rare in their curriculum and we have not made it easy for these youngsters. They need to know who they are, then it becomes possible for them to chart their path in this life as Zimbabwean?

A lecturer at Kushinga-Phikelela Institute, on seeing my name tag during the ZIBF (2017) immediately asked me: “How is Comrade Zhou (the Zimbabwe Hertage Trust CEO)?” 

She then told me he had been at the Institute giving the most interesting lectures. She hoped he would be back with his team.

So who is sentencing young Zimbabweans into oblivion … they are ready and willing but there is an inimical force that would have them turn their faces away from Zimbabwe so that Uncle Sam and extended family can make mince-meat of Zimbabwe’s destiny.

Zimbabwe is not short of heirs, but there is an extremely harsh struggle to make them blind, deaf and dumb; kuti vazungaire tigoona kuti ndiani achazvitaura kuti Zimbabwe ndeye ropa uye kuti ina vene vakasvinura kwete vakavata.

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(THE PATRIOT ZW) Unmasking Chester Crocker

COMMENT : "Crocker is a Rhodesian son-in-law having been married to Saone Caroline Crocker, who was born on January 11 1943 in Bulawayo." More than a little selfinterested in seing the people of Zimbabwe not get their land back. - MrK

(THE PATRIOT ZW) Unmasking Chester Crocker

By Golden Guvamatanga -

October 8, 2020

WHILE the major highlight of Chester Crocker’s involvement with Zimbabwe has been his much publicised ‘make the Zimbabwe economy scream’ statement, the reality is that the American politician has links that stretch as far back as Rhodesia, his brazen endorsement of apartheid South Africa and support for Jonas Malheiro Savimbi’s UNITA. But it is his continued interference in this country’s affairs, which cannot be read as concern for good governance or human rights violations, as he wants the world to believe.

WHILE the major highlight of Chester Crocker’s involvement with Zimbabwe has been his much publicised ‘make the Zimbabwe economy scream’ statement, the reality is that the American politician has links that stretch as far back as Rhodesia, his brazen endorsement of apartheid South Africa and support for Jonas Malheiro Savimbi’s UNITA. But it is his continued interference in this country’s affairs, which cannot be read as concern for good governance or human rights violations, as he wants the world to believe.

It cannot, in the same vein, be taken at face value because under the veil of the man, who purports to be a champion of democracy, is in fact a person, who is being driven by a chronic desire to restore the Rhodesian old order in Zimbabwe.

Here is why.

Crocker is a Rhodesian son-in-law having been married to Saone Caroline Crocker, who was born on January 11 1943 in Bulawayo.

She was the daughter of a white Rhodesian, who owned a farm in Guruve. 

In 1979, he made it clear that he felt uncomfortable with ‘giving’ blacks power as they would claim a stake in the economy.

This was on the eve of the first elections in independent Zimbabwe in 1980.

This is according to the March/April edition of the Rhodesian Viewpoint which was published in the US by the Rhodesian Information Office, titled ‘Congressional observer bid fails’.

“Crocker’s answer to this argument is substantially contained in his answer to above,” reads the report in part. 

“He makes the additional point that the advent of a black government will change the picture in two respects. First, it will give blacks something more to fight for, apart from a decent government salary, than they have had up to now.”

In order to stop blacks in Zimbabwe from fighting for a decent salary through such programmes as the Land Reform and Resettlement Programme from which he lost his plantations in the Eastern Highlands, and economic empowerment, Crocker became instrumental in the formation and subsequent support of the opposition MDC.

A May 21 2000 report in The Guardian titled ‘British cash behind bid to combat Mugabe’ brings to the fore both Crocker’s supposed ‘subtle’ role to that effect as well as his economic interests in Zimbabwe.

“The Zimbabwe Democracy Trust, whose patrons include former Tory Foreign Secretaries Malcolm Rifkind, Douglas Hurd and Geoffrey Howe has been accused of using the organisation as a cover for promoting the interests of Western multi-nationals in the troubled region,” reads part of the report.

In April 2000, ZDT held a meeting with the late MDC founder, Morgan Tsvangirai in London where they confirmed their support for him.

The Guardian report goes on: 

“According to ZDT literature, the organisation ‘has the simplest of goals: to help the democratic will of the people flourish’. But The Observer can reveal that several of the patrons of the newly formed trust are directors of companies which have substantial commercial interests at stake in Zimbabwe. ZDT keeps its membership secret for fear of reprisals from the Mugabe regime, but The Observer has discovered that they largely come from the white business community in Zimbabwe.

The former US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Crocker is another patron – a director of Ashanti Gold Fields, which owns Zimbabwe’s largest gold mine. When approached by The Observer, he said: ‘I have nothing personally to gain from supporting the Zimbabwe Democracy Trust. They were reaching out for like-minded people and I am like-minded.’”

In Zimbabwe, Ashanti used to own Freda Rebecca Mine.

Below is the Ashanti Goldfields Company Limited, which confirms how sophisticated the white supremacy is, in so far as its economic interests are concerned.

The legal name of the Company which is the subject of this 20-F is Ashanti Goldfields Company Limited (“Ashanti”).

Ashanti was incorporated in Ghana, West Africa on August 19, 1974.

Ashanti was incorporated and continues to subsist under the Ghana Companies Code 1963 (Act 179). 

The Company’s registered office is Gold House, Patrice Lumumba Road, P.O. Box 2665 Accra, Ghana and its telephone number is 233 21 772190.

In 1897, an English company named Ashanti Goldfields Corporation

Limited (“AGCL”) was founded and began to develop a mining concession in the area of the Company’s current operations at Obuasi. 

Several years later, underground mining began at the site and has continued to the present. 

In 1969, AGCL became a wholly owned subsidiary of Lonrho Plc, now called Lonmin, a UK listed company which had interests in mining, hotels and general trade in Africa. 

Following the Lonmin acquisition in 1969, the Government of Ghana acquired 20 percent of AGCL from Lonmin in exchange for the Government of Ghana’s agreement to extend the term of the Company’s mining lease over the concession area.

Lonmin has a wretched history of looting in Zimbabwe.

The company was founded on May 13 1909 as the London and Rhodesian Mining and Land Company Limited (LONRHO) to acquire mining rights in Northern and Southern Rhodesia, now Zambia and Zimbabwe and the company looted minerals with no restraint in the two countries. 

In 1962, Tiny Rowland became the company’s leader and it went on to buy hotels, media houses and properties across the globe.

Which is why Crocker’s resentment of ZANU PF has become palpable over the years and his destabilisation of the southern African region more pronounced.

His business interests and those of his colleagues feel threatened by the towering presence of nationalism in Africa.

This is the threat he did not see when the US opposed UN sanctions against Rhodesia.

Crocker supported the US Congress motion to continue buying chrome from the sanctioned Rhodesia.

Prior to Crocker’s open intervention in Zimbabwe, he had been involved in the South Africa and Namibia dispute which led to the rise of the Savimbi induced terror activities in Angola.

Between 1981 and 1989, Crocker sold the world a dummy through the lie that his ‘linkage’ strategy would bring to an end South Africa’s occupation of Namibia.

Crocker gave the withdrawal of Cuban troops from Angola as a condition for the US’ support of South Africa’s withdrawal from Namibia.

The signing of the withdrawal agreement paved way for the rise of Savimbi’s UNITA, which would go on to control Angola’s mineral rich areas such as the Cuanga Valley, where diamonds were abound.

Crocker famously described Savimbi as ‘one of the most talented and charismatic of leaders in modern African’ in what ranks as one of the most bizarre endorsement of terrorism by the US. 

It should be borne in mind that Crocker, using the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) where he was the chairman, openly supported apartheid South Africa under the guise of what he said was ‘constructive engagement’.

Constructive engagement entailed that the white minority in South Africa be used as a beacon of democracy in the region.

Crocker secretly averred that his government takes a softer approach in dealing with the white minority.

Below is his brief profile taken from the American Academy of Siplomacy: “Chester A. Crocker is the James R. Schlesinger professor of strategic studies at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and serves on the board of its Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. 

Dr Crocker’s teaching and research focuses on international security, conflict management, and mediation strategy.

From 1981 to 1989, Dr Crocker served as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. 

He developed the strategy and led the diplomacy that produced the treaties signed by Angola, Cuba, and South Africa in New York in December 1988. 

These agreements resulted in Namibia’s independence (March 1990) and the withdrawal of foreign forces from Namibia and Angola.

Dr Crocker serves as Chairman of the Board of the United States Institute of Peace, an independent, nonpartisan institution created and funded by Congress to strengthen research, education and training on the peaceful resolution of international conflict. 

He also serves on the boards of ASA Ltd., a NYSE-listed, closed-end fund focused on gold mining; and Modern Africa Growth and Investment Company, LLC. 

He is a member of the Board of Directors of Ashanti Goldfields Company Ltd., the Board of Visitors of the National Defense University in Washington and of the Foundation Council of the Geneva-based Henri Dunant Center for Humanitarian Dialogue. 

Dr Crocker consults as advisor on strategy and negotiation to a number of US and European firms.

Dr Crocker’s previous professional experience includes service as news editor of Africa Report magazine (1968-69) and staff officer at the National Security Council (1970-72) where he worked on Middle East, Indian Ocean, and African issues. 

He first joined Georgetown University as director of its Master of Science in Foreign Service programme, serving concurrently as associate professor of international relations. In 1976, he became director of African studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

He has lectured and written on international politics, US foreign policy, mediation and negotiation, African affairs, and post-Cold War security issues.

He has appeared on numerous television shows, as a dinner or keynote speaker at conferences in the US, Europe and Africa, and as a witness in Congressional hearings. 

His book, High Noon in Southern Africa: Making Peace in a Rough Neighborhood, was published by Norton in 1993. 

Born in New York City in 1941, Dr Crocker received his B.A. degree from Ohio State University (1963), graduating Phi Beta Kappa, with distinction in history. 

He received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.”

To many Zimbabweans, his ‘testimony’ before the House of International Relations Committee Subcommittee on Africa Washington, DC, June 13, 2000 titled ‘Situation in Zimbabwe’ presents deep rooted resentment of majority rule in the country.

Said Crocker:

“…..the other choice is to work through all appropriate channels for a change in power in Zimbabwe after a flawed election, resigning ourselves to the likelihood that Zimbabwe is slated to become Africa’s Romania and Mugabe its Ceausescu. 

That regime, it will be recalled, was ended by the actions of the people of Romania, and the same may ultimately happen in Zimbabwe if the recent patterns of official conduct continue. 

Hence, our role under this approach ought to be maximally discreet and low-key in order to avoid giving the Mugabe regime the sort of external adversary which dying, authoritarian regimes crave in order to stave off their inevitable demise. 

Under this approach, we would treat Zimbabwe like the pariah it appears almost to want to be, disengage from official relationships and government-to-government programming of any sort, and wait for the pressures to mount … helping where we can without distorting the political equation.”

Zimbabweans must continue to defend their country, especially in the wake of the renewed aggression by the US, which the likes of Crocker stand for.

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Sunday, October 25, 2020

(LUSAKA TIMES) Civil servants advised not to be salary dependent, but engage in income generation ventures

(LUSAKA TIMES) Civil servants advised not to be salary dependent, but engage in income generation ventures

By Chief Editor- October 25, 20204131 views
Luapula Province Minister Nickson Chilangwa

According to Luapula Province Minister Nickson Chilangwa 10 new companies have arrived in the Province in the last 12 months.

Luapula Province Minister Nickson Chilangwa has urged civil servants in the Province to participate in the various agricultural outgrower schemes as a way of creating another income stream for themselves.

Mr. Chilangwa explained that civil servants should not just depend on their monthly salary but embrace the agriculture revolution that is happening in Luapula Province to earn more money.

Mr. Chilangwa who was accompanied by Mwansabombwe Member of Parliament Kabaso Kampampi was speaking when he addressed government workers at Mabel Shaw Girls Secondary School.

“Colleagues, there is nothing wrong for you as government workers to consider setting up small holder farms and sign contracts with companies owning anchor farms,” Mr. Chilangwa said.

Mr. Chilangwa cited the Sunbird Bioenergy Africa cassava project, Kawambwa Yea, Consolidated Farming Limited, Mansa Sugar Company, Kawambwa Sugar Company, Mansa Chilli among others as some of the companies running the outgrower schemes in the Province.

Mr. Chilangwa further stated that growing pine and eucalyptus is another money – spinner that public service workers should consider venturing into.

The Minister also announced that the Sunbird Bioenergy Africa has extended its cassava outgrower scheme to cater for selected areas in Mwansabombwe Constituency.

And Mr. Kampampi who was recently elected as MP for the area has pledged to be as consultative as possible in order for him to deliver development in Mwansabombwe.

Mr. Kampampi thanked the civil servants for voting for him in the recent Mwansabombwe by – election.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

(LUSAKA TIMES) Zambia heads to showdown with Bondholders as vote on payment holiday request is on today October 20, 2020

COMMENT - Taking on Eurobond debt, to be paid back, at interest, instead of collecting a windfall tax on the mines was a crime. It was an act of corruption, to the detriment of the Zambian taxpayer and citizen. The response was gaslighting and vague promises about alternative incomes. I remember President Sata resetting the Kwacha to par with the US Dollar. Then all of a sudden, all SADC currencies were set to $0.06 - the Kwacha, the Namibia Dollar, the South African Rand all had the same exchange rate with the US Dollar. Now with the Eurobond debt, the Zambian Kwacha has fallen to 4 cents on the dollar. That is massive inflation - caused by the outflow of resources and hard currencies from the Zambian economy. That is neoliberal 'free trade' in action. There has to be an Umwertung Aller Werte to quote Nietsche, a turning away from big business 'capitalism' and towards Socialism. A switch from Supply Side Economics to Demand Side Economics. A copper/gold/diamonds based currency that holds it's value. - MrK

(LUSAKA TIMES) Zambia heads to showdown with Bondholders as vote on payment holiday request is on today
October 20, 2020

Headlines  Zambia heads to showdown with Bondholders as vote on payment holiday request...
The clock is ticking for Zambia to convince reluctant bondholders to accept an interest-payment holiday while it works out a debt-restructuring strategy.

If investors refuse Zambia’s request for a six-month standstill in a key vote today, it may become the first African nation to default since the onset of the coronavirus.

That could set a precedent for how cash-strapped governments treat private and Chinese creditors.

Zambia is not making it any easier for bondholders to give it breathing space.

Days after the government said it didn’t have the cash, it skipped a $42.5 million coupon payment — only for Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu to tell lawmakers the Treasury could have paid if it wanted to.

That may leave investors doubting the government’s will to tackle its debt problems in the run-up to elections in August.

“Zambia may very well be the most prominent battleground that this tension between creditors plays out,” said Irmgard Erasmus, an economist at Paarl, South Africa-based NKC Africa Economics

“Eurobond holders, in particular, are certain to use all the weapons in their arsenal to limit moral hazard to the rest of sub-Saharan Africa.”

Zambia skipped the coupon on the recommendation of its advisers, according to Dr Ng’andu.

“They were of the strong view and opinion that if we pay we were going to create a very hostile environment within which to negotiate with other creditors,” he told lawmakers Oct. 15. “Because, we would have departed from the principal of pari passu.”

A group that holds about 40% of Zambia’s $3 billion in outstanding Eurobonds has already said it won’t support the proposal.

The government has a 30-day grace period to make the interest payment it missed last week before a default event occurs, which would allow bondholders to demand immediate repayment of the principal.

Dr. Ng’andu, who started the job last year, needs to balance the competing interests of Eurobond holders and mainly state-owned creditors from China, to whom Zambia owes even more money.

Eurobond holders are demanding greater transparency and an endorsement from the International Monetary Fund.

Zambia says it is treating all creditors equally.

The government hired Lazard Freres as financial advisers in May to assist with what it called a liability management exercise of its then $11.2 billion in external debt.

The copper producing nation’s debt has since shot up to almost $12 billion, and a messy default is becoming increasingly probable.

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Thursday, July 30, 2020

(HERALD ZW) President seals historic land deal

COMMENT - So the new government compromised on landreform. The fact is that improvements to land were to be paid by the Zimbabwean government, while the British government was to finance the purchase of the land itself. So ironically, it is the ZANU-PF government that held up it's end of the bargain, while the British government of course reneged on it's obligations - see the Claire Short letter from November 1997, in which she stated:

I should make it clear that we do not accept that Britain has a special responsibility to meet the costs of land purchase in Zimbabwe. We are a new Government from diverse backgrounds without links to former colonial interests. My own origins are Irish and as you know we were colonised not colonisers.

It is still immoral and unethical for the Zimbabwean people to foot the bill to in effect buy their own independence. Therefore, I still say that the British government must compensate the Zimbabwean people, not only for this $3.5 billion, but for the $42 billion plus and counting that their economic sanctions stole from the Zimbabwean people. When will the Zimbabwean people be compensated for economic sanctions?

Comments: Rutendo Matinyarare Speaks out, ZIMBABWE is PAYING COLONIAL TAX, impact of Zimbabwe's compensation.
02:40 Rutendo Matinyarare: "This is actually an illegal and voidable agreement."

UPDATE August 8th 2020

Interview of Takura Zhangazha about the Glocal Compensation Deed.

- MrK

(HERALD ZW) President seals historic land deal

President Mnangagwa witnesses the signing ceremony between Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube (right) and Commercial Farmers’ Union president Andrew Pascoe at State House yesterday

Fungi Kwaramba Political Editor

The 4 000 white commercial farmers who lost their farms during land reform will now be getting US$3.5 billion compensation for improvements after Government and the farmers’ representatives yesterday signed a series of agreements in a ceremony presided over by President Mnangagwa at State House.

The President described the agreements, bundled as the Global Compensation Deed (GCD), as a “milestone” that demonstrates the Second Republic’s commitment to re-engagement and constitutionalism.

Presiding over the signing ceremony of the GCD at State House, President Mnangagwa described the event as “historic” inasmuch as it closed the land reform chapter and sealed its irreversibility, sentiments echoed by the representative of the farmers who said the agreement sent a clear message to investors that Zimbabweans could work together and that the country was truly open for business.

The funding for the GCD will be mobilised by a team headed by Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube, which includes representatives of the former farmers.

The compensation is for infrastructural improvements that the farmers did on farms, which were repossessed at the turn of the millennium to redress colonial imbalances. These improvements include land clearance, drainage, irrigation trenching, fencing, dams and boreholes, as well as buildings.

The agreements were signed by acting Agriculture, Lands and Resettlement Acting Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri for the Government and by the Commercial Farmers Union, which represents the farmers affected, plus the Southern African Commercial Farmers Alliance, Valuation Consortium (Pvt) Ltd and the Compensation Steering Committee.

The President said land was at the heart of the country’s liberation struggle of the 1960s and 1970s, but the Lancaster House constitution “entailed that land could not be compulsorily acquired during the first 10 years of independence”.

With hands tied by constitutional requirements contained in the Lancaster House constitution, the Government adopted a willing buyer willing seller principle after independence in 1980, but because few wished to sell, success was limited.

The legality of the major land reform thrust of the early 2000s was confirmed in 2013 when an overwhelming majority of Zimbabweans approved in a referendum the present Constitution which incorporates the irreversibility of the land reform but makes it clear that the holders of the appropriated land were entitled to full compensation for their improvements.

Land was not included, and has not been included, in the constitutional provisions or yesterday’s agreements. The land had been seized by the British South Africa Company with backing from the British Colonial Office in the early 1890s through fraudulent land concessions in the east of the country and open war in the west.

Through the Land Apportionment and Land Tenure Acts the settler governments physically removed the original inhabitants. This was the injustice that land reform addressed, along with practical requirements of breaking up large estates.

While land was expropriated in the First Republic, the promised compensation for improvements was never paid. But upon achieving the presidency in 2017, President Mnangagwa pledged that the Second Republic would entrench constitutionalism, the rule of law and respect for property rights, and has since made it clear that this included compensating the white farmers for improvements on the land expropriated, a commitment which culminated yesterday in the signing of the historic GCD.

“The signing of these agreements is merely a building block to what lies ahead. More work must be done. As Zimbabweans, we must all work together for increased productivity, to achieve food self-sufficiency and nutrition; raw materials for our industries and exports for the international market. All of us have a role to play to ensure that our Agriculture Recovery Plan is a success.

“We cannot change the past; we can only learn from it. I therefore, exhort you to build on the goodwill and trust we have developed from experience of negotiating for these agreements, to move forward with the national interest as the overriding principle,” he said.

The President made it clear that the signing of the agreement does not mean that the Government will compensate for the land and that the contract does not create any liability to the country.

On his part Prof Ncube said the compensation will involve mobilising resources within the country and globally using different platforms.

“The agreement is that we create a resource mobilisation committee that I chair and we will travel around seeking funding to finance the compensation needs but of course the compensation is also a way of financing agriculture. We have a strategy and we will unveil it as we go on. We will start (working) this week and the work starts now to make sure that Zimbabwe moves forward,” said the minister.

An emotional president of the Commercial Farmers Union, Mr Andrew Pascoe, said the unity of purpose that Zimbabweans exhibited in coming up with the agreement will make it easier for the country to mobilise resources and catch the attention of international investors.

“Today marks a huge milestone in that today we are coming together and that as Zimbabweans we have decided to put aside our differences and have resolved to work together to resolve this outstanding issue. I am convinced that we as Zimbabweans, if we continue working together in the spirit of unity as we have demonstrated so far, we will succeed and the recovery of our economy will become a reality, and it will bring to an end conflicts that have impacted all our lives. This agreement will send a clear and unambiguous message to both local and international investors that Zimbabwe is really and truly Open for Business,” he said.

After Zimbabwe resolved outstanding issues of the land reform through the signing of the GCD, what remains now is for the farm right-sizing exercise to begin so as to ensure that Zimbabweans benefit from the land.

Vice Presidents Dr Constantino Chiwenga and Cde Kembo Mohadi, Cde Muchinguri-Kashiri, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo and Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo witnessed the signing ceremony.

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Friday, June 26, 2020

(LUSAKA TIMES) ActionAid Zambia welcomes Government’s move to cancel the Double Tax Agreement with Mauritius

COMMENT - A good move towards actually taxing the foreign corporations that are dragging Zambia's copper out of the ground without paying for it.

(LUSAKA TIMES) ActionAid Zambia welcomes Government’s move to cancel the Double Tax Agreement with Mauritius.
June 26, 2020

Economy ActionAid Zambia welcomes Government’s move to cancel the Double Tax Agreement with...
ActionAid Zambia has welcomed the government’s move to cancel the Double Tax Agreement with Mauritius.

Action Aid Zambia Country Director Nalucha Ziba said her Organisation has for a long time been campaigning for cancellation and re-negotiation of problematic DTAs Zambia has with different countries.

She said a Double Tax Agreement or tax treaty is a legally binding agreement between states, which governs the taxation of cross- border activities; namely investments by a resident of one state in the other state, and vice versa.

Mrs Ziba said Zambia has signed DTAs with different countries such as Germany, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Mauritius (now cancelled) to mention but a few which spell out how companies investing in a country that Zambia has signed a DTA with their country of origin should be taxed.

She has explained that if for instance, if Zambia has a tax treaty with Mauritius, therefore a Multinational Company originating from Mauritius and operating in Zambia will utilize the tax provisions in the DTA between Zambia and Mauritius.

Mrs Ziba however said that in the recent times, Tax Treaties have not only been found to be unbalanced but also a source of tax evasion by most multinational companies, denying the host countries the much-needed revenue.

“For example, some DTAs provides for as low as 0-7 percent tax rate while others have no or weaker anti-abuse provisions”, she added adding that for some time now ActionAid has been calling for revision and/or cancellation of regressive DTAs like the now cancelled Zambia and Mauritius DTA.

She said the DTA between Zambia and Mauritius provided for 0 Percent Withholding Tax on technical fees paid for technical services.

Mrs Ziba said with this provision a Mauritius based Multinational Company, would take advantage of such provisions and not pay any WHT on technical services which is currently capped at 15 percent.

“For example, if this company engaged a sister company from Mauritius to provide technical services at a cost of USD100 million. This company when making this payment (USD100 million) to a sister company will not deduct any WHT. This implies that the entire USD100 million is untaxed. On the Contrarily, if the DTA provided for 15 Percent WHT on technical fees then USD 15 million would be deducted as Withholding Tax and remitted to Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA)”, Mrs Ziba said.

She said Action Aid conducted a study titled “Sweet Nothings” which showed how Associated British Foods operating in Zambia as Zambia Sugar Company took advantage of the international tax agreement between Zambia and Ireland to avoid large tax payments.

Mrs Ziba said Zambia Sugar Company paid over US$47.6 million equivalent to about K209 billion, for management services and purchases to a fellow subsidiary called “Illovo Sugar Ireland” between 2007 to 2012.

She however said that the international tax agreement between Zambia and Ireland (before negotiation) exempted payment of Withholding Tax (WHT) for management
or consultancy services.

She said by channelling this money (USD 47.6million) through their Irish subsidiary, Zambia Sugar avoided paying an equivalent of US$7.4 million between 2007 to 2012.

“It is against this background that we commend the government for the position taken and we wish to encourage government to take a similar position over other unbalanced DTAs”, she added.

She has urged the government to ensure that an impact assessment/cost benefit analysis is done before they are signed and every five years thereafter.

Mrs Ziba said they should not follow the OECD model treaty but develop their own model adding that the government should negotiate for favorable and/or fair DTA’s Withholding Tax rates (10%-15%) which will not only promote foreign direct investment but also ensure that government collects adequate tax revenue.

Shd said all treaties should be negotiated transparently, and draft versions made available to the public prior to signature.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

(LUSAKA TIMES) ZCCM-IH to appeal against the Lusaka High Court judgment delivered in favour of First Quantum Minerals

(LUSAKA TIMES) ZCCM-IH to appeal against the Lusaka High Court judgment delivered in favour of First Quantum Minerals
March 31, 2020

ZCCM Investments Holdings Plc (ZCCM-IH) has said that the company intends to appeal against the Ruling of the Lusaka High Court delivered on 23 March 2020 regarding a matter the firm commenced in 2016, against First Quantum Minerals Limited (FQM Ltd), FQM Finance Limited, Philip Pascall, Arthur Mathias Pascall, Clive Newall, Martin Rowley, and Kansanshi Mining Plc.

In a statement released to the media, ZCCM-IH said that the defendants’ conduct, allegedly, among others, that the defendants on several occasions fraudulently engaged in transactions totaling in excess of $2 billion for the benefit of the FQM Group, is detrimental to ZCCM-IH’s interests and those of the nation, and remained committed to protecting the said interests, adding that it will be appealing against the Ruling.

In 2016, ZCCM-IH started the process of claiming up to $1.4 billion from First Quantum Minerals Ltd accusing the firm of engaging in fraud. The claim included $228 million in interest on $2.3 billion of loans that ZCCM-IH said First Quantum wrongly borrowed from the Kansanshi copper mine, as well as 20 percent of the principal amount, or $570 million, according to an internal company presentation, dated Nov. 4, 2016.

ZCCM-IH is also seeking $260 million as part of a tax liability the Zambia Revenue Authority said Kansanshi owed it, as well as the cost of the mine borrowing money commercially that ZCCM-IH said could have been avoided.

In papers filed in the Lusaka High Court on Oct. 28 2016, ZCCM-IH said that First Quantum used the money as cheap financing for its other operations.

ZCCM-IH is triple listed on 3 stock exchanges: the Lusaka Securities Exchange (Primary listing) and on the London Stock Exchange and the Euronext Access (Paris – Marche Libre) (Secondary Listings).

Government holds directly 17.25% shares and its 60.28% shares is held through the Industrial development Corporation (IDC) in Zambia, with the remaining 22.47% held by institutional and private individual shareholders.

ZCCM-IH currently has an investment portfolio of 22 companies, including Kansanshi Mining Plc (20%), Mopani Copper Mines Plc (10%) and Konkola Copper Mines Plc (20.6). Its shareholdings in these companies range from 10% to 100%, with commodities and services that are diversified in nature, including copper, gold, cobalt, coal and power, limestone, mining consultancy, financial services and gemstones.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

This Website Is Referenced in medical literature

This website was referenced in the footnotes of the Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation: A UK Perspective, By Hilary Burrage

I'm thrilled about the reference - not so much the subject, which is basically a huge propaganda tool. Female circumcision is very rare, limited to people living in the Sahel where almost no one lives anyway, and then only to people with little education. So why this has been made into a huge defining issue is of course propaganda.

Anayway, nice to show up in literature.

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Friday, February 28, 2020

(BLACK OPINION SA) Free electricity in countries with lesser means than SA

(BLACK OPINION SA) Free electricity in countries with lesser means than SA
By admin
Posted on February 28, 2020
By Andile Mngxitama

Don’t let them fool ya nono… free electricity is possible. Countries and cities with lesser means than South Africa (SA) are giving it for free. Here’s the evidence:

1. Turkmenistan gives ALL its citizens free electricity since 1993.
2. Andhra Pradesh in India gives its farmers free electricity since 2004.
3. New Delhi will give all its citizens free electricity from this year.
4. Muammar Gaddafi in Libya gave his citizens free electricity.

In SA these facts and suggestions are significant:

1. 90% of the electricity is from coal.
2. Coal is free.
3. It is Eskom that pays mines to mine the coal (cost plus mines).
4. Household consumption (including fridges, televisions, lights and stoves) is less than 30% of all electricity produced by Eskom.
5. Eskom should sell the remaining 70% of its energy to industry.
6. One foreign company (BHP Billiton) eats 10% of our electricity and pays less than me and you per kilowatt.
7. Brian Molefe stopped loadshedding
8. Loadshedding started again under the Ramaphosa administration to justify privatization.

9. Pravin Gordhan hired a proven incompetent white man, Andre de Ruyter, to run down Eskom just as he had done with Nampak.
10. They are fooling us. Don’t let them fool ya….


Andile Mngxitama is the President of Black First Land First (BLF), a radical black consciousness organization. You may access the article ‘Electricity is a right and we must not pay for it’ by clicking here.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

(BLACK OPINION SA) Pompeo, Hands Off South Africa!

COMMENT: "BLF calls on parliament to stop playing games and to ensure that the land is returned to black people without further delays." There is always safety in numbers. If a million or more people walked not their land at the same time, there wouldn't be enough jails to hold them. - MrK

(BLACK OPINION SA) Pompeo, Hands Off South Africa!
By admin
Posted on February 19, 2020

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Photo credit: The Zimbabwe Mail

Black First Land First (BLF) calls on the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to stay out of South Africa’s internal affairs.

South Africa (SA) is not a 53rd state of the USA. BLF views the statements made by Pompeo on Land Expropriation Without Compensation (LEWC) as acts of imperialist aggression. LEWC shall happen irrespective of the bullying tactics of the USA.

BLF calls on parliament to stop playing games and to ensure that the land is returned to black people without further delays.

Should parliament fail to return our land, BLF shall then embark on full scale land occupations to redress the colonial land theft.
Pompeo must worry about paying reparations for slavery and stop the ongoing mass killings of black people in the USA.

Issued by Black First Land First, National Coordinating Committee of (BLF NCC)

19 February 2020

Contact Details

Black First Land First Mail: blackfirstlandfirst@gmail.com

Zanele Lwana
(BLF Deputy President)
Cell: +27 79 986 7225

Reposted from the BLF website.

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(BLACK OPINION) Zimbabwe in crisis, Mnangagwa and Chamisa must talk


- "Zimbabwe has the strategic advantage of education. We are in deep trouble in South Africa (SA) in critical areas in mathematics, Physical Science and English. We need to turn the colonial education crisis around through a four-year intervention so as to put the whole education system on a new footing."

- "We don’t share the notion that Mnangagwa is anti imperialist, he’s not. This government of ZanuPF is not anti imperialist whatsoever. It’s a false notion to claim today that there’s a fundamental ideological difference between Mnangagwa and Chamisa. ZanuPF has to listen to all the voices of Zimbabwe and get back on the revolutionary path. And Chamisa must stop going to America and calling for sanctions. No one should go to America to call for sanctions. We condemn the sanctions against Zimbabwe. No country, no matter what difficult internal processes it may be undergoing, should be subjected to sanctions."

(BLACK OPINION) Zimbabwe in crisis, Mnangagwa and Chamisa must talk
Posted on August 31, 2019
By BO Staff Writer

The following are notes of the input of Andile Mngxitama, President of Black First Land First, during the live broadcast on the Zanu PF Youth League Zone on FaceBook on 27 August 2019:

The question of the border is of critical importance. The African National Congress (ANC) government, continues to unleash the brutality of the police on the people. It does so under the guise of fighting so called illegal immigration and in defence of white monopoly capital (WMC) interests.

A Pan Afrikanist response to the border question is needed. This must include economic integration; protection of the rights of all including immigrants; documentation of all without asking questions; and strategic economic investment in the African Region by SA to promote economic stability. To this end the economies of the SADC region, including Zimbabwe and South Africa, were supposed to be better integrated than they are. It’s shocking that Zimbabwe should be facing shortages when SA has the capacity to provide it with assistance.

The main causes of our current problems are not the approximately 1.5 million African immigrants (about 3%) living in SA. Our problems are caused by colonialism, which continues today.

The DA has called for the closure of South Africa’s borders as a “solution” to the issue. It further demands more SANDF presence at our borders. We reject the proposal to close the borders and to increase the number of soldiers at borders. Militarizing the borders amounts to inciting a genocide against blacks. We have demanded that the SA government keeps the borders open (as a short term solution) and tightens its regulations to address the crisis of undocumented immigrants and potential criminality. We have proposed that the government documents all who enter the country as a free service. This will effectively minimize the necessity of people coming into the country “illegally”. Especially those who want to seek refuge from political unrest but do not comply with the necessary requirements precisely because of the conditions in their country that they are fleeing from. We have further proposed that a minimum wage be applicable for all employed people in SA irrespective of immigration status; and no employer be allowed to employ more than 30% non-South Africans.

On how to deal with criminal elements gaining access to the country, BLF has called for the SA government to strengthen its relations with the criminal justice agencies of other countries as well as with Interpol. We have further demanded that the Department of Home Affairs regularly update its records of all people in the country. This will enable the government to properly monitor threats and any potential threats; and to allocate resources sufficiently. Regarding those that manage to slip into the country “illegally” and are therefore undocumented – we have proposed that the Department of Home Affairs enforces the existing punitive measures. However mechanism must be put in place to assess each case on its own merits.

Zimbabwe has the strategic advantage of education. We are in deep trouble in South Africa (SA) in critical areas in mathematics, Physical Science and English. We need to turn the colonial education crisis around through a four-year intervention so as to put the whole education system on a new footing. In furtherance of Pan-Afrikanism and recognition of the excellent Zimbabwean education system, a process of co-teaching with the O and A levels Zimbabwean graduates must be embarked upon in the public schools that have shown the worst results. We need to build capacity in all the schools including in villages and informal settlements. So these are things that we can do almost immediately so that we can ameliorate the economic crisis.

But all these things cannot happen unfortunately until we have resolved the big political questions. We are satisfied with the proposal that we are making as BLF and we are going to send a letter to the Zimbabwean Embassy making these proposals around the transitional government, general amnesty, and on sitting down with Mnangagwa and talking. On our part, we will call on our government to intervene meaningfully regarding the normalization of the Zimbabwean economy. There cannot be normalization of the economy without resolution of the big questions.

We have serious difficulties understanding the contemporary ZanuPF project. Be that as it may, we still think that we have a big responsibility to get Zimbabwe to work. If Zimbabwe doesn’t work, for those of us who are interested to resolving the colonial question in SA, we won’t succeed. Over and above that, you in Zimbabwe may not see there is a crisis there, but we in SA know that there’s a crisis in Zimbabwe because every second person we meet on the street, in the workplace in SA is a Zimbabwean who left the country because of the economic hardship which offcourse comes from the attack of the radical project under President Mugabe. But today, why must Zimbabwe suffer. Your suffering is no longer consistent, in my view, with the legacy of the black nationalist project brought by President Mugabe. We can’t be beating each other in the street. We can’t be arresting each other. We say, don’t suffer for nothing. Sit down and talk. Mnangagwa (Zimbabwean President) must talk with Chamisa (MDC leader). There’s nothing that stops you.

We don’t share the notion that Mnangagwa is anti imperialist, he’s not. This government of ZanuPF is not anti imperialist whatsoever. It’s a false notion to claim today that there’s a fundamental ideological difference between Mnangagwa and Chamisa. ZanuPF has to listen to all the voices of Zimbabwe and get back on the revolutionary path. And Chamisa must stop going to America and calling for sanctions. No one should go to America to call for sanctions. We condemn the sanctions against Zimbabwe. No country, no matter what difficult internal processes it may be undergoing, should be subjected to sanctions.

ZanuPF doesn’t accept that there’s a crisis in Zimbabwe. That’s a shocking thing. We must not be held behind by bureaucratic dictates. We have to be creative, brave and make the hard proposals. Zimbabwe must work. There’s no question about that, but it must work with these two questions – politics and economics – in an intertwined manner. Yes, the politics and the economics of Zimbabwe cannot be disaggregated and resolved outside of each other. They belong together. So normalize the politics, and normalize the economics together. In SA we argue very hard that we have a role to play and our role is to bring financial help to Zimbabwe.

Mnangagwa must make peace with Chamisa under an anti imperialist program that puts blacks first. He must cease attacking the Mugabe loyalists who fled Zimbabwe after the coup. He must allow all exiles to return and grant a blanket amnesty to those accused or convicted of politically motivated crimes. A revolutionary transitional government of national unity, which will put the people first, must be formed. All police brutality and state violence must end!

To give clarity on the Zimbabwean situation – SA must advance conditional financial support to Zimbabwe, without delay. SA must give financial support on condition that Zimbabwe does the following immediately:

1. Transitional Government of National Unity
2. Amnesty to all and let the exiles return.
3. Release all political prisoners

In the long term, we need economic stability via economic integration. South Africa must show in figures what its contribution is to the front-line states.

Let’s do the Chimurenga! We must get back on the revolutionary path.

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