Editorials


I’ve talked about Roy Bennett and his imprisonment for weeks, talked about his courage, about Roy really being the heart and soul of the MDC opposition to Mugabe in Zimbabwe, and rejoiced when I learned he was released from the horrors of the Mutare prison – a prison that is known throughout Zimbabwe as Robert Mugabe’s torture prison. A place where if you are lucky enough to escape torture, you still have to fight off starvation because you are lucky to be fed once a week.

I met Roy Bennett in 2008. I was in Africa trying to help rid Zimbabwe of Robert Mugabe. I saw first hand the risk that Roy and others were taking to promote, through democratic means, new leadership and real change in Zimbabwe – waging a campaign against Robert Mugabe and the ruling Zanu-PF party. I saw the risk Morgan Tsvangirai was taking in having the guts to stand election and challenge Robert Mugabe with Roy’s help and the help of other brave Zimbabweans who were willing to make a stand for their country.

At least 110 of them are dead.

If you want to understand more about Roy Bennett, the kind of person he is, how in all the horror that has become Zimbabwe he represents real hope for the nation’s future, and how his ability to forgive is perhaps the key to reaching that future — you should take the time to read this story from The Times.

I have excerpted a few key paragraghs here:

On the Mutare prison. “Emerging from the gates of Mutare remand prison and struggling to hold back tears yesterday, he said that his incarceration had been “a harrowing experience”.

He said: “I would not wish it on my worst enemy. There are people there who look worse than the photographs of prisoners in Dachau and Auschwitz. They get a handful of sadza [thick maizemeal porridge] and water with salt. Five people died while I was there, and their bodies were collected after four or five days. There are people there who have been awaiting trial for three years.”

I was receiving updates on Roy throughout his imprisonment that began on February 13th. I knew that a prisoner died in Roy’s cell and that the body remained in the cell for days before it was removed. A week or so later I learned that another prisoner had died in the cell next to Roy’s and that the body was left in the cell for days again.

And I knew that food was scarce.

I learned stuff that I have to say didn’t make much sense to me. I learned that Roy had gotten so fed up with the conditions that he had started to organize the prison – and convinced the guards to let him lead his fellow prisoners in cleaning up the place. And I learned that a few days later the attitude of the guards changed and that they started to jump in with the prisoners in the cleaning effort. Could this possible be true? The first part sounded true – and my source was a friend I trusted but did he really win over the guards? I wasn’t sure until i read what The Times reporter found when he got to the Mutare Prison:

“The demeanour of the guards at the prison, which is close to Zimbabwe’s eastern border with Mozambique, was a testament to how fast the mood in the country is evolving. One of them told me excitedly when I arrived at the gates: “Mr Bennett is getting out today. Yes, we are happy.”

Last week another guard asked officials of Mr Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change, who had taken Mr Bennett disinfectant to clean the cell, and some food, for 18 “Free Roy” T-shirts. “Ten for the day guards, and eight for the night guards,” he said.

Supporters of the Prime Minister’s party, many of them wearing similar T-shirts, kept up a steady chorus of singing outside the rickety gates.”

Then I read the words that tell you about why Roy Bennett is so important to the future of his nation. One word. Forgiveness.

“Mr Bennett shared a small excrement-covered cell with 12 other men.

“It breaks my heart when I think of them,” he said, adding that those responsible for the repression and ruin of the country over the past decade should “go on their knees and beg forgiveness” from God.

However, he also urged Zimbabwe’s new coalition Government to forget the past and work together to rebuild the shattered nation. “Conditions in that jail are brought about by hate. I bear no malice. In my heart, all I can do is move forward to build the country. If we don’t forgive, and there isn’t a spirit of forgiveness, we are going nowhere.

“There are people who don’t want right to prevail, and want to keep believing that they have the power to do anything. But they are few and their time is near the end.”

I once again want to thank those who helped put a spotlight on Roy’s arrest and helped keep the story alive when so many in the press couldn’t be bothered with something happening in Africa.

Roy is right, Robert Mugabe and his regime’s time is nearing an end. It will take people like you, who are reading this, to do something simple. Tell a friend to read this post. Blog about it – retweet my twitters about Zimbabwe. When the press doesn’t think there is a story – we have to be the story’s tellers. People in Zimbabwe who have Internet access are literally printing out our blog posts and handing copies out in mass in their towns and villages. People are gaining confidence that they can create change in their own country. And as The Times story points out the mood in the country is changing very quickly. But we are providing more than morale.

When I twittered about this, David Shuster the host of MSNBC’s 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and @shuster1600 on Twitter, started to look into the story and reported about it – on the air. And day after day updated the story – reminding viewers that Roy Bennett was still in prisin and vowing to continue to update the story until Roy was released.

I know that Twitter had a lot to do with bringing too much attention to Roy Bennett’s imprisonment. The kind of attention that helped bring pressure on the Mugabe regime to release Roy Bennett. The simple act of telling others that this is going on is important – it matters and the more who know it is going on the more likely it will end. Roy Bennett’s imprisonment has ended. Now it is time tell our friends about Zimbabwe, and to urge them to tell their friends. The press and governments will get the message and the pressure will increase on Mugabe and his regime.

I am not much of an idealist any more – at least not in the way I considered myself an idealist before I found my way to Africa last year – but I still believe in the power of people conducting simple acts together for the purpose of achieving what is right.

I find it strange that I live in a world in which BILLIONS of people live on less than $2 a day yet many of us will pay 99 cents for an IPhone app that makes our phone fart. But I don’t write this out of guilt or to guilt you. Its just a fact that I find really strange.

Roy Bennett, Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC and the people of Zimbabwe need a little noise. That’s all it will take. Tell their story. Tell people to read this post. Retweet a twitter about Zimbabwe when you find it interesting, say something on your blog. Tell a reporter that they should follow and report this story.

Tell the story.

And Roy when this one gets to you – Thanks.

Joe Trippi served as the campaign chair of Howard Dean’s legendary campaign for President in 2004, and has worked on the campaigns of numerous other major Democratic politicians over the years. Joe is an ardent advocate of human rights and reform, having been involved  in the efforts for freedom in Zimbabwe for decades, and is working with the Change Congress campaign for domestic reform of US politics. This post was originally posted at his website JoeTrippi.com. Follow Joe on twitter at @JoeTrippi!

(Source)

I expect, like me, you are aware that there has never been a prosperous black-led country, but perhaps it’s just because of “bad luck”, or whatever, for that incontrovertible fact.

Take  Haiti  as an example. Before the black slaves revolted and killed all the whites and half castes  Haiti  had a GNP greater than most of what is now the  USA  . It supplied 60% of all the sugar used in  Europe . Today it is a wasteland. Apparently if you Google Earth the place you see is a sere, brown coloured landscape compared to the neighbouring  Dominican Republic  which is green and verdant.  Twice the  USA  has occupied  Haiti  , building roads, ports, hospitals and schools while putting in a functional society. The moment the Americans left they reverted to dictatorship, voodoo, witchcraft, corruption and barbarism.  They did not stagnate, they regressed to the primitive savagery of their forefathers

Since the 1960s, when the  Congo  expelled the Belgians this has been a mirror of African regression, moving steadily southwards until the example of  Zimbabwe  . Once a prosperous, well educated exporter of food the population now eat rats to survive.

Will SA go the same way?

There are those optimists who say “No, we have such a strong economy, such sophisticated infrastructure, such a talent pool, that we can never sink”.

My belief is that they have not considered the root cause of  Africa ’s failure. A cause that is not spoken about as it is fearfully politically incorrect, and probably illegal to speak about.  That cause is the deficiencies of the black ”mentality”, for want of a better word.

Are there differences between races, or is race just a meaningless social construct? Until recently, I believed all races were the same under the skin variations, and that perceived differences were only the result of cultural differences. I believed in a common and equal humanity.

But things did not always ring true, observable anomalies were inexplicable if all men are the same.

Why, under apartheid, did the Indians prosper, become doctors, scientists, educators, merchants and professionals while the vast majority of the equally oppressed black Africans remained hewers of wood?

Why can black Africans run, jump and throw better than honkies, but why, out of a billion of them, have they never invented a single thing of any worth? Why have they, collectively, contributed absolutely nothing to the advancement of humanity.

Well the physical thing, the running, throwing bit is easily and uncontroversial answered. Simple, people of African descent  (especially the Jamaicans) are genetically better equipped in this regard. Their muscle fibres are different and the typically have 15% more free testosterone than other peoples.  Acknowledging this is regarded as racism. Unfortunately, racist or not, that is proven and a fact. Google it and you will find that for over 70 years, in test after test, done by dozens of university professors and Nobel laureates plus  USA government studies, most people of African descent trail other races by a wide margin.

Of course I.Q. tests have been attacked, especially by those who perform badly at them, as one might expect them to do. Detractors claim cultural bias, dysfunctional families, past oppression, poor schooling and a host of other reasons for poor black performance, but the professors defend their contention that I.Q. is largely an inherited trait;  that differences are inherent, built into a person’s inherited DNA.

For every argument attacking the validity of these tests they have a host of results confirming their accuracy and typicality. Fascinating stuff if you are interested in reading up on it.

The effect of high/low I.Q. has also been studied in depth, with fairly predictable results. Low I.Q. individuals performed badly in social class, family stability, income, educational levels, illegitimate pregnancy, single parent families,  rate of prison incarceration, rape, violent crime etc. etc. etc.

I.Q. measurement measures different facets of intelligence and mental competence. Sadly it is in the absolutely vital sphere of cognitive ability that blacks score worst. This means they score abysmally in things like forward planning and anticipating the consequences of their actions.

It is this I.Q. (and testosterone) disparity that is blamed for the fact that African Americans are 5 times more likely to be imprisoned than white (including Hispanic) Americans, 9 times more likely than Americans of Asiatic descent. All in line with I.Q. distributions.

Once imprisonment for violent crimes are computed the numbers become stratospheric. These are American government collated statistics, so pretty accurate. Our government in SA do not, for obvious reasons, publish similar stats, but a pound to a pinch of salt they are even more astounding.

So why the lecture on I.Q.?

Well for a start you must understand that our ruling party are voted into power by a largely moronic plebiscite. I choose the word moronic intentionally. If the cut off point for moronic is an I.Q. of 70, half the voting population would be classified as such.

Only one in 40 black South Africans achieves the average I.Q. of his white fellow citizens. One in a hundred have the I.Q. to achieve university entrance requirements. That is why only one in ten blacks pass our dumbed down Matric (with a pass percentage of 30% in many cases). One in 6000 black grade one learners will pass Matric with both Maths and Science.

Simply put, they are bloody stupid, and they rule us. Furthermore Zoooooma says they will rule us until the second coming. I believe him.

This explains why the ANC have such idiots in their positions of power and influence, the likes of Zuma, Malema, Khomphela and Cele. They are, unfortunately, the best they have!  Well, they are the best blacks they have. All the critical positions in government are held by Indians, coloureds or whites, something I am grateful for but which pisses Malema off big time .

Will this last? I doubt it. The black/white polarisation is growing and the rhetoric is becoming more extreme. Listen to the pub or workplace chatter, read the blogs and comments sections of the newspapers and it becomes obvious. Whites are gatvol at the waste, corruption and stupidity of the black elite. Blacks are demanding, as their right, the wealth of the whites by means of redistribution of assets. No matter that they have not worked for those assets, they claim them as the spoils of war.

Just in the past week the Mayor of Pretoria, Malema, a minister and Winnie have gone on record as blaming whites for sabotaging redistribution and exploiting blacks. Malema calls out “Kill the boers for they are rapists” to thunderous applause by university students Four influential ANC opinion makers who are echoing the groundswell of mutterings in the ghettoes. The natives are getting restless.

Things are not going to improve. They cannot, there is no reason to believe our slow slide into a failed state can be reversed with our current regime, and there is no prospect whatsoever of there being a change to governance based on meritocracy. Anyone who believes otherwise, or that the ANC can mend their ways, is living in LaLa land. They do not have the intellect.

Like the proverbial frog in the slowly heating pot we have become inured to the slow collapse of our hospitals, schools, courts, water supplies, roads, civil service and service levels. They will become totally dysfunctional shortly. Inevitably so. Those in charge do not have the mental capacity to organise things.

Our economy and rand is reliant on short term “hot” funds from overseas that can flee at the touch of a computer button, and probably will if our rand weakens. Conversely we need a weaker rand to encourage exports.

6 million taxpayers support 12 million recipients of social grants, and that figure is set to rise this year. The National Health Insurance scheme will happen, no matter how unaffordable. That will push our social grant costs up to four hundred billion rand. Four hundred billion rand which produces absolutely no product. Inflation is set to stay and worsen. The consequence of being the biggest socialist state on earth. I do not believe the ANC has the intellect to conceptualise how big a billion is, let alone 400 billion, or what effect this will have on the economy.

You do not believe Malema’s call to nationalise the mines? This guy articulates what the hoi polloi are thinking, but the ANC leadership will not say yet. The tactic is to set the bar high, then lower it and the victims will sigh with relief and say it could have been worse. So perhaps it will not be total nationalisation but rather 51%, á la Zim. Just look north for revelation, Zuma does.

Who would have believed that this country would ever be headed by an unschooled, rape accused, adulterous, corrupt, sex obsessed bigot like Zuma. Anything is possible with the ANC.

Summary

You have few years left to enjoy what is left of the glorious SA lifestyle, especially in the Cape, but understand it is not permanent. The end could be sudden as the tipping point is reached, just as it was sudden for those Zim, Zambian, Mozambican or Angolan white. It could, conceivably, be as bloody as the Hutu/Tutsi uprising when primitive tribal bloodlust overcomes a thin veneer of inculcated civilisation.

Dr Marc Faber

(Source)

There was always the danger that a10-year struggle against Zanu (PF) would leave the MDC with not only the scars of battle but also a new knowledge of the dirty tactics, violence and murder that make up their adversaries’ political arsenal. (Pictured: Morgan Tsvangirai)

The tactics learnt from Zanu (PF) have been on full display over the past few weeks, with alarming reports of violence and chaos at provincial congresses of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party.

Somewhere, Friedrich Nietzsche warns us that: “He who fights monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”

Granted, the MDC-T has not become exactly like the monster that gave us Gukurahundi, farm invasions, Operation Murambatsvina, the Marange killings or the violence and mayhem of 2008.

But the events at the MDC-T’s Bulawayo provincial congress about a week ago were so Zanu (PF) that the only question in the mind of all right-thinking Zimbabweans is when and not whether the former opposition party shall metamorphosize into yet another ugly monster ready to write its own record of destruction, violence and murder.

At the Bulawayo congress, rival MDC-T factions loyal to?minister Gorden Moyo and senator Matson Hlalo traded insults and blows during the accreditation exercise, as each faction accused the other of manipulating the voting process and imposing candidates.

Once Moyo was announced the winner, all hell broke loose as the rival factions fought each other. An activist was hit on the head with an iron bar, suffering a fracture to the skull. Police had to be called in to quell the violence.

There were similar reports of violence, vote rigging and favouritism at other congresses in Gweru and Mutare.

And to think that this is not the first time that the MDC-T or the followers of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai have exhibited these violent tendencies – violence was one of the reasons cited during the split of 2005 – then all progressive Zimbabweans have reason to get worried, very worried.

Because this is not what the MDC promised Zimbabweans. Tsvangirai and his party promised a new type of politics. That is what the second and third words in their name stand for.

Tsvangirai must act and act now against the violent elements within the MDC-T. Those that believe violence is a weapon to win and retain power or positions must be expelled from the MDC. They have a home elsewhere.

(Source)

President Robert Mugabe’s threats to disregard decisions made by the Sadc Troika and the disparaging remarks against the leaders of the regional bloc are tantamount to political and diplomatic suicide, analysts have said.

The analysts said President Mugabe and ZANU PF risked isolation by their remaining closest friends in Africa after the international community ostracised Zimbabwe for a deficit in the rule of law and slapped targeted sanctions on the Head of State and his lieutenants.

President Mugabe also pulled Zimbabwe out of the Commonwealth in 2003 leaving it with very few friends abroad and now he has turned his guns on SADC, a move the analysts said was “the depth of despair”.

Last week, regional leaders chided their Zimbabwean counterpart for not fully implementing provisions of the GPA and the new wave of violence that has taken root in the country ahead of possible elections President Mugabe wants held this year.

President Mugabe retaliated saying the bloc had no business meddling in Zimbabwe’s politics.

Facilitator to the Zimbabwe crisis South African President Jacob Zuma was attacked by the state-controlled media calling him all of sorts of names and denigrating his office.

Zuma said he would not be perturbed by the remarks from both the state media and ZANU PF officials and instead encouraged President Mugabe to use the correct and available channels if he had any beef with him or any other SADC leader.

Eldred Masunungure, a political analyst at the University of Zimbabwe, said the threats and outbursts by President Mugabe and ZANU PF officials were not helpful to Zimbabwe.

“It is clearly unhelpful. To me it’s political and diplomatic suicide. ZANU PF will lose its genuine friends and it will be isolated,” Masunungure said.

“If you do not take advice from your closest friends, who then will you take advice from? You will become a pariah state in the region. It’s shooting oneself in the foot. It’s unfortunate for ZANU PF and the people of Zimbabwe.”

He continued: “It’s really unfortunate, but not entirely unexpected given the history of ZANU PF and its leaders. It does not accept any type of censure from outside itself.”

He said ZANU PF thought it was going to be business as usual particularly because three of the four leaders are liberation war fighters with impeccable credentials, but President Mugabe got the shock of his life. “It came as a real tsunami, a real shocker,” Masunungure said.

South African leader Zuma, Mozambique’s Armando Guebuza and Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba are former liberation war combatants.

Another political analyst, Charles Mangongera, said despite the threats, President Mugabe was not prepared to withdraw from Sadc because the bloc saved his political life after he lost to MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the March 2008 presidential election.

“The threats from (President) Mugabe are scare tactics,” Mangongera said. “He is hoping that Zuma and his negotiating team are going to reconsider their stance. He thrives on fear in Zimbabwe and also in the region, but his big-man of Africa status has been challenged and there will be no relenting on the part of Zuma and SADC.”

He added: “The stance by Sadc may also have been caused by the realisation that (President) Mugabe is no longer in control of affairs in the country. The facilitators have been able to read between the lines and see where the power lies. It seems he is being held hostage by some elements.

“The concerns raised by SADC, are a shameful indictment on (President) Mugabe and the ZANU PF element in the GNU because there are the ones who have been stifling progress.”

Constitutional lawyer and political analyst Lovemore Madhuku said while President Mugabe was right in that Zimbabweans should decide their own destiny, he was “very dishonest” because he only agrees with SADC when it makes decisions in his favour.

President Mugabe says he will not respect the decisions made by the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security calling for a roadmap to bring an immediate end to violence and persecution of political rivals in Zimbabwe.

(Source)

21 February 2011 marked Robert Mugabe’s 87th birthday. He has lived long and many have remarked on how healthy and spritely he is. One hopes that as he looks back on nearly nine decades of health and life he will take time to reflect on what he has done to Zimbabwe.

Life expectancy in Zimbabwe has been reduced to 37 for most Zimbabweans, mainly due to ZANU PF policies. Most government hospitals, clinics and health centres have been reduced to ghosts of their former selves. Thousands of nurses and doctors have been forced into economic exile because Mugabe’s government chose to pay his Green Bomber militias better than teachers and nurses. Some had to run away from their rural health centres because ZANU PF ‘youths’ wanted to kill them. This left Zimbabwe with an understaffed and underfunded health care system.

While Mugabe has had a fruitful and ‘successful’ 87 years on earth, hundreds of thousands of children have died in the decade between 1999 and 2009 because they could not access health care. Thousands of mothers died in childbirth because they could not afford to go to hospital.

While his health is properly looked after by doctors and nurses in Malaysia and Singapore thousands of Zimbabweans are dying because they cannot access or afford proper health care. Many young people in Zimbabwe will not live to the ripe old age of 87 because of a variety of factors; chief among them the ZANU PF government policies of the last decade. This is the legacy that Mugabe has bequeathed to the children of Zimbabwe.

In his 87 years on earth Mugabe has achieved a lot in terms of education. We are constantly reminded of his many university degrees. Those of us who graduated from state universities in Zimbabwe will know that his degrees (earned and honorary) covered half the front of the graduation booklet. I have nothing against his achievements except that he took away from Zimbabwe’s children a chance to achieve the same.

Mugabe prides himself as the boy from Kutama (the village) whose mother worked hard to help him get a good education. It is, therefore, ironic that through his scorched earth policies many teachers ran away from village schools because ZANU PF ‘youths’ threatened to kill them for choosing to support the MDC. In some cases teachers were beaten to pulp just for being suspected MDC supporters.

Now Zimbabwe’s children can no longer write a Mugabe rags-to-riches type story for themselves because there are not many qualified teachers in rural schools. Some talented teachers are working in bars and restaurants, construction, warehouses while some are caring for the elderly in foreign lands because they were driven away by politics and poor pay. Thanks to Robert Mugabe. The quality of teachers has been drastically reduced ever since colleges started recruiting teacher trainees based on their political affiliation rather than academic qualification.

While he enjoys life with his wife and children, thousands of Zimbabwean families are without a father as a direct result of Mugabe’s policies – Patrick Nabanyama, Trymore Midzi, Talent Mabika, Tichaona Chiminya, Milton Chambati, Titus Nleya and many others who have remained faceless and nameless. Political violence has robbed children of the chance to see their fathers live to a ripe old age. Mugabe’s merchants of death have torched homes, murdered opponents as well as destroyed families.

I hope when Mugabe sits down to eat cake with his family, friends, cronies and supporters he will realise what an empty 87th birthday it is. Empty because the people are not celebrating with him; they are not praying for many more. It is an empty birthday because Zimbabweans can never aspire to a life half as long as his. A sad birthday to you Mr President!

(Source)

THERE is a growing trend that whenever Zapu holds a successful meeting or makes a move, the media suddenly publishes attacks on our party under the guise of critiques.

Zapu held a very successful meeting at Nkulumane Hall on Sunday last week. Hell broke loose, literally, the moment we did a news release about our meeting.

NewsDay suddenly carried a very curious letter to the editor by someone who questioned both the timing of the revival of Zapu, and Dr Dumiso Dabengwa’s suitability to lead Zapu. Last week’s issue of the Zimbabwe Independent carried an analysis by my colleague Dumisani Nkomo, the CEO of Habakkuk Trust who raised what he thought were factors militating against Zapu in the contemporary political scheme.

Nkomo’s article was to some extent balanced, though it lacked slant. As for the NewsDay letter, it sounded as if it was written by a frustrated MDC-T fan who fears that Zapu’s revival means trouble for his/her party and Zanu-PF, who want to limit political competition between themselves. May be the two analysts’ views, anxieties, fears and advice is justified and needs answers. Why Zapu? Why now? Why Dabengwa? These questions seem to still linger in the minds of some among us and need to be answered. The pleasing fact though is that very few still ask these questions anymore.

For starters, Zapu is the founder and authentic liberation movement of Zimbabwe, and therefore has a legitimate right to be a political player in this country, just like Zanu, the MDCs, Mavambo, and many other parties that exist. The reason why we have revived Zapu now is simply because the environment is ripe and full of all possibilities. In the first place why did Zapu join Zanu-PF? We all know that Zapu was force-marched by Zanu-PF through Gukurahundi to surrender itself to a splinter movement, literally at gunpoint. Such a scenario was bound to collapse the moment it is not possible to repeat Gukurahundi. And we believe it is not possible to repeat Gukurahundi now. Secondly, Zanu-PF is at its weakest since 1980. In fact the pullout of Zapu has further weakened Zanu-PF. Instead of begrudging Zapu, one thinks the analysts would recognize this and congratulate us for having done major structural damage to Zanu-PF.

Thirdly, Zapu and Zanu’s ideologies have always been different. Even withinpresent day  Zanu-PF itself, it is clear for instance that the mentality of John Nkomo, Simon Khaya, and Kembo Mohadi for example, is different from those of the original Zanu characters such as Robert Mugabe, Webster Shamu and crew. As a result, the majority of Zapu supporters or people who would normally be expected to be Zapu supporters never supported the unity accord. It was part of the Zapu leadership that joined Zanu-PF. So why continue with something that our supporters do not like?

Fourthly, Zapu believes this is the right time to come out and stand alone because the country is at crossroads and at the verge of a major political development to take us to a post-Mugabe era. Mugabe turns 87 this month. He has clearly lost energy. Even by his won admission, his absence from office is now ritually associated with his death or ill health. Those with eyes and ears see and hear what is happening and are mobilizing themselves for any eventuality. Anyone intelligent enough can see and hear that one way or the other Mugabe is going to go sooner or later  through any of the following – electoral defeat, incapacity or death – whichever occurs first. We at Zapu don’t want to be found wanting when the inevitable happens. We have learnt from our 21 years of the accord with Zanu-PF that trusting somebody else with your destiny may be dangerous. We do not want to repeat the same mistake again with anyone, Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC-T included.

Fifthly and most importantly, when everything else (ZUM, Forum, Zapu 2000, Zapu-FP, MDC, MDC-T and Mavambo) has failed, it is perhaps wise to go back to the original thing – Zapu. After all Zapu has got all the necessary institutional memory, capacity, experience and real connection with the masses to be able to confront the monster called Zanu-PF. We have ex-freedom fighters, ex-army officers, ex-cabinet ministers, and -Zanu-PF politburo and central committee members who know exactly what Zanu-PF is and how it operates and are able to counter act. Zapu’s Zipra shared trenches with the ANC’s Umkhonto wesizwe, and  Dabengwa knows and is known by all the veterans in the ANC government, from Msholozi himself, and indeed has friends all over Africa. Dabengwa is Zapu’s key to SADC, AU and indeed the rest of the world. Parence Shiri, Phillip Valerio Sibanda, Constantine Chiwenga, Happyton Boyongwe, Paradzai Zimondi, just to mention a few, have saluted Dabengwa before and cannot turn around and say they will never salute him. Put simply, Dabengwa is the right man for the job at hand. The man was one of the first Zimbabweans to undergo military training and hold a gun for fight for independence. He is the only “Black Russian” in the world. He was one of the pillars around which Zipra – that mighty outfit – was built. He is a man who has always spoken – at times quietly – against injustice against his party and himself. This is the man who refused to be made a Major General in the army at integration because Solomon Mujuru and Lookout Masuku, who were made Lieutenant Generals to General Peter Walls were his juniors whom he trained.

Zapu supporters believe God has spared Dabengwa’s life up to this point for a purpose. For 17 years he was the most wanted person by the Rhodesian regime, was imprisoned by Mugabe on false charges for almost five years, and survived all this. The man has been literally through the needle’s eye several times. He is a gift to Zapu and a phenomenon to those who follow struggles around the world.

The argument that Dabengwa was in Zanu-PF and was Home Affairs Minister up to year 2000 when MDC activistPatric Nabanyama was kidnapped and disappeared, and therefore cannot lead Zapu is pretentious and inconsistent.

How come people who set up and managed the Fifth Brigade which killed more than 20 000 people were called heroes until recently? How about those who were active and known Zanu-PF youth wing members during Gukurahundi like Tsvangirai? Someone once told me that Tsvangirai was part of Zanu youths who stoned Zapu president Joshua Nkomo’s motorcade during the 1985 election campaign in Bindura. My informer swore that he was very serious because they were together with Tsvangirai in Zanu-PF at that time.

I am bringing this up to remind us that when you are pointing a finger at someone (in this case Dabengwa), the other four fingers are pointing at you. If it was good for Tsvangirai to be a member of Zanu during Guklurahundi, it was also good for Dabengwa to be a member of Zanu in 2000. We need to be consistent. There is a sickening tendency in Zimbabwe to blame individuals, usually from Matabeleland, for collective actions of government. Gukurahundi was blamed on Enos Nkala when we know that he was just an individual who did not do as much as Mugabe, Shiri, Emmerson Mnangagwa and other Zanu leaders from the other side did. Prof Jonathan Moyo is the only one to blame for AIPPA. Dabengwa is the one to blame for Nabanyama’s disappearance. Obert Mpofu is to blame for all the corruption in Zimbabwe. Malinga is to blame for all the tribalism in Zimbabwe. Who is to blame now for the violence that is rocking Harare and Chitungwiza? Suddenly it is not the co-ministers of Home Affairs because there is Theresa Makone. There have been several ministers of information after Prof Moyo but at times one gets the impression that people deliberately ignore all these facts when they talk about AIPPA. If Makone is not to blame for the murders, kidnappings and torture being perpetrated currently, Dabengwa would not be the one to blame for things that happened in the run-up to the 2000 elections. We salute Dabengwa’s decision to leave Government in 2000. Otherwise he would still be blamed for everything else that happened afterwards.

Then there is the silly theory that Dabengwa and Makoni “disturbed” Tsvangirai and his MDC-T from winning the 2008 harmonized elections. The sad reality is that Tsvangirai’s Mugabe-like winner-take-all mentality, and not Dabengwa, cost him. Tsvangirai, like Mugabe, wanted to use his big brother mentality to dull doze the other MDC and indeed Mavambo to unite with him at his own terms and this was refused. It is not Dabengwa’s problem that Tsvangirai was not intelligent enough to realize that he needed the so-called smaller parties more than they needed him. Even then, Tsvangirai had the opportunity to contest Mugabe alone in the run-off and he developed jelly knees and fled to Botswana. We need an indoda sibili to deal with Mugabe. There was no Dabengwa or Makoni in the run-off and Tsvangirai was cowed by Zanu-PF’s violence. The situation is even more complex for Tsvangirai now. He needs all of us if he and his party are to live after the next polls. I always fear Tsvangirai would have continued from where Mugabe left if he had managed to be president and Zapu supporters would have continued to see fire under the new Mugabe. Zimbabwe does not need another one-party government. When Mugabe goes, we all must go in as equals.

Then there is the nonsense that Zapu will “disturb” MDC-T. To me, it is like someone saying he wants to kill a buffalo alone because he has a dozen knobkerries, and does not want someone with a machine gun to shoot the buffalo, simply because he has been chasing after the buffalo the whole day and it is now tired. Everyone, whether armed with a knobkerrie or gun, must be allowed to kill the buffalo. There will be plenty meat for all of us when the buffalo has been killed. We need every hand to deal with Zanu-PF, from all fronts. If for instance MDC retains its 100 or so seats, and Zapu eats into Zanu-PF’s share of seats and takes away 30, would that not be the end of Zanu-PF? MDC in my view must view Zapu as an ally and not a foe.

For those saying Zapu must “wait”, our answer is that we are tired of waiting. Zapu prosecuted the struggle only to wait for 30 years to get into power, and is now expected to wait for another 30 years for another party to rule for another 30 years, to make it six decades of waiting. No ways. This time around tirikupinda tese/singena kanye kanye (we are entering into power together). In any case, you don’t need to be as intelligent as a rocket scientist to see that the time for an all-powerful “national” party  has ended. It is now each one for himself.

I could not help laughing reading Nkomo’s article when he implied Mugabe and Tsvangirai were “charismatic”, and Zapu did not have a charismatic leader, in apparent reference to Dr Dabengwa. Tsvangirai and Mugabe are nowhere near being charismatic. Mugabe is forceful, manipulative and Machiavellian. As for Tsvangirai, I will not say much except to say that short, chubby and ugly people can never be charismatic, worse if they do no sound intelligent. That is precisely the reason why the chap is not and will not be president of this country. His personal shortcomings are the reason why a once popular outfit like the MDC has for a decade failed to dislodge a dejected, tired, compromised and discredited party from power.

Admittedly, Dabengwa is not charismatic. Soldiers are not supposed to be charismatic. Our Black Russian is polite, humble, brave, patient, tactful, thoughtful, experienced, talks when necessary, respectable, respects, and dignified. It is these qualities that make us believe he is the right man to lead Zapu in the current circumstances. With his guidance, the next generation of Zapu leadership will certainly be able to takeover at our next congress.

As for Tsvangirai, he owes his progress up to this far to our hatred for Mugabe and Zanu-PF, and the massive international support he received from powerful nations. Give 10 percent of the resources that have been availed to MDC to Zapu and Mugabe will be history. The MDC-T’s main barrier to power has not only been Zanu-PF’s tactics, but also the MDC’s own lack of tactics and solid leadership. Even if Zapu and other forces were to close shop and let MDC-T face Zanu-PF alone that would not help because Zanu will simply refuse to go like they did in March 2008. And there is nothing in the MDC to scare Zanu-PF. However if Zanu-PF found itself without a majority in the legislature and Zapu was part of the parties which constitute the majority, that would pause problems for the former ruling party. We are tired of giving the MDC victories that do not translate to power.

Some of the issues raised by Nkomo, such as his allegation that there is perception that Zapu is a Zanu-PF project have been proven by the short time since the revival of Zapu that our party is a thorn in the wrong place for Zanu-PF, and both MDCs of-course. No one in Zanu-PF, including the trigger-happy Mugabe himself, has the guts to treat Zapu with the same contempt they do the MDCs. And that is not our problem. We have earned the respect of our opponents because of our history, conduct and profile. That is why it is unimaginable that a police men or women would take his baton stick and whip Dabengwa until his face gets deformed the way they did to Tsvangirai in 2007. Let someone try that and we see what happens next. There are some people who think that the fact Zanu-PF has for now not acted in any major violent way towards Zapu means that Zapu and Zanu are friends. We are not. It is a case of both sides being cautious and reserving their energies for harder times. You don’t start a war unnecessarily with a formidable enemy when you can avoid it. Zanu-PF has been clever in that regard. That is why they have ordered the government-owned media they control never to write about Zapu. We have not complained because that gives us the chance to do our things away from unnecessary media interference. That is why people get surprised when they hear that Nkulumane Hall was full to the brim with Zapu members attending an inter-branch meeting.

Then there is the funny theory that Zapu is a regional or tribal party. If Zapu is a Ndebele party because it is led by a Ndebele person, then MDC-T  is a Karanga party and Zanu-PF is a Zezuru party. So we are all tribal parties. So where is the problem? If half-a-loaf is better than nothing, then an inch of a country is better than everything. Zapu has nothing in terms of territory for now. Capture of any part of Zimbabwe, whether a district, province or region would be a huge bonus. We will no lose any sleep over remarks that ours is a regional or tribal party. Dumisani Nkomo also said his perception was that Zapu criticized MDCs more than we did with Zanu-PF. Yes. While we believe Zanu-PF is beyond redemption and we do not expect them to ever change, we are worried that the MDCs, especially the one with Tsvangirai’s surname, has since 2005 become a new Zanu-PF in outlook and character. Also, the MDCs occupy what was traditionally Zapu’s territory. We have to get that territory from the party that is occupying it, the MDCs, and not Zanu-PF. Again, the MDCs are trying hard to counter Zapu in those areas, while Zanu-PF has given up. It is also important to remember that the MDC is now in government and therefore a ruling party that must be criticized just like Zanu-PF. The problem with the MDCs is that they put themselves in situation where they are not able to define if they are ruling or opposition parties under the high-sounding but very loose GPA.

In conclusion, it clear to all and sundry that Zapu, even at this point, is an effective political party which Zimbabwe badly needs to counter Zanu’s bully-boy tendencies. Members of the white community in some areas have come forward to work with the party because they realize that Zapu may be a small but vicious dog. We have been able in many instances, especially in the Matabeleland region, to stop people from elsewhere being bussed by Zanu-PF to invade the few remaining commercial farms. Despite all the support the white people gave to MDC, the party could do nothing when Zanu-PF disposed them of the land, and now wants to dispossess them of their firms in the cities. Zapu is clearly a strong and effective opposition party, even at its infancy.

Finally, we need Zapu to recover all the properties that our party and our Zipra veterans bought but were forcibly taken by Zanu-PF and given to government or Zanu-PF activists. We have realized that none but ourselves can push our agenda. No one from the two MDCs has ever opened their mouth to say Zipra and Zapu must be given back their properties. Contrast that to the matter of Mutumwa Mawere, an individual who lost his assets to Zanu-PF, and the MDC-T has gone out of its way to support his fight to repossess the companies. We have revived Zapu because we need Magnet House in Bulawayo, and Snake Park in Harare, with all our snakes, back to Zapu. We are as aggrieved as Mawere.

Zapu invested in its future and has assets and a culture that perpetuates itself, and will therefore never die. Nkomo is therefore obviously wrong to ask if Zapu is not a party for the past. We are a party for the past, present and future. Zapu will outlive most of the parties, because most of them were never founded on any tangible ideological background. Let me take this opportunity to remind all Zimbabweans that Zapu was formed on December 17, 1961 and this year is our Golden Jubilee. Fifty years is no joke. Expect to hear more about this as we move towards the 17th of December 2011. How we wish the elections could be held during the year of our Golden Jubilee.

(Source)

Recent sickening reports from Zimbabwe has exposed a disillusioned so called 2 million signatures against sanctions campaign by the failed Mugabe led ZANU PF kleptocrats.

Hundreds of thousands of peace loving Zimbabweans especially in rural areas are being frog marched and forced by ZANU PF militia, CIO elements and so called war veterans at gun point to sign the useless and unnecessary so called petition. ZANU PF‘s legendary uncanny propensity to harass and ride roughshod over Zimbabweans who are fed up with that stinking  dying  and divided sunset party,  is now a serious  political and policy cancer than cries for urgent national containment. It is in this context that the several mantras that has been advanced by ZANU PF ad infinitum needs to be interrogated and exposed.

Mantra number 1: Western sanctions are denying Zimbabwe credit lines

This mantra has been pitched by ZANU PF as justification for the lack of imagination in terms of policy statecraft that has led to more than 90% of the populace leaving in abject poverty. To justify the failure of the party’s failed economic policies, sanctions has been conveniently used as a scapegoat

FACT

No self respecting financial institution either in the west, east, north, south or even in heaven for that matter will lent money to any person or entity that is not creditworthy. Zimbabwe already owes several financial institutions including the World Bank and IMF among others more than 9 billion which the politically and economically bankrupt country is failing to pay. Therefore any financial institution, including those in so called friendly nations like China and Iran cannot throw money in bottomless pits. That is why even China is demanding exclusive rights over platinum in the latest deal where Zimbabwe is looking for a 3 billion loan as a guarantee.

The conditions financial institutions put on their money are not only unique to Zimbabwe but apply globally. That is why countries like Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Italy and Spain who are facing a serious sovereign debt crisis were facing punitive interest rates on their loans and had to implement IMF and EU supervised tough austerity programmes to get financial bailouts.

Because Zimbabwe is not yet ready under the out of touch geriatrics pretending to be in leadership to embark on orderly economic renaissance programme underpinned by the sacrosanct respect of property rights, no sane investor will extend any credit lines and this has nothing to do with sanctions but gross incompetence by the regime

Mantra number 2: Western sanctions are impeding economic growth in Zimbabwe

The ZANU PF led regime is shouting hoarse to anyone who cares to listen that the stagnation facing the Zimbabwe economy is due to western sanctions and that there won’t be any economic growth as long as sanctions are in place. Assuming that indeed there are blanket sanctions against Zimbabwe from the west, it still shows that the regime is still caught in the economics of the past when the world has moved and is in a constant flux.

FACT

The west is no longer the dominant economic power in the world today. If anything, the west is actually in decline. Any economist worth his salt will tell you that the current configuration of global geo-economics shows that the balance of power has shifted to the emerging economies like the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries as well as oil rich Arab countries. That is why even little Qatar and Russia won the rights to host the World Cup ahead of most western countries.

Although many people predict that China will become the biggest economy in the world in a decade, in real terms, China is already ahead. Unlike the USA and Europe, for example, reeling under trillions in sovereign debts, China is one of the few countries with forex reserves worth trillions and trillions more in sovereign wealth funds. That is why China has even come to the rescue of the EU and the euro by buying Greek, Spanish, Portuguese and Irish bonds.

Therefore, even without any trade with the west, which is actually in decline, Zimbabwe can still enjoy massive economic growth by positioning itself as a lucrative investment destination for emerging economies that have no sanctions whatsoever against Zimbabwe. The reason why the emerging markets that are hungry for resources that Zimbabwe possesses are not coming big time to the party in Zimbabwe is just because of the bankrupt ZANU PF economic policies. Capital, whether from the west or east is timid where policy is at the whims of self serving geriatrics who now have no business anywhere outside an old people’s home

Mantra number 3: Western sanctions has destroyed production in Zimbabwe

ZANU PF is barking again and again that production in the major engines of the economy like mining, manufacturing, tourism, agriculture and other critical services are in the doldrums spawning an unemployment rate of above 90% with most goods and services in Zimbabwe being dumped from countries like South Africa and China. ZANU PF charlatans would like the country to believe that if sanctions are lifted, then bang, production increases overnight.

FACT

The major issues affecting production in Zimbabwe is obvious. Many have been written and explained several times. However, one simple issue is the lack of strategic planning. For example as early as 1990, economists and engineers warned the Mugabe government that Zimbabwe was going to face an electricity deficit in a decade. Instead of building a new power station like the Batoka project or harnessing the natural gas in Lupane, the government paid lip service hoping that the problem will go away. There were no sanctions from 1990 to 2000 yet the government failed despite repeated warnings. Now how can production be increased when Zimbabwe cannot produce enough power for its industries with load shedding being the norm of the day?

THE REAL SANCTINS THAT MUST BE REMOVED

It is clear from the above that the real sanctions that are affecting Zimbabwe more are the self inflicted internal sanctions

These include the blatant disregard of the rule of law that is scaring away investors from the west and beyond. The failure to uphold property rights that chases away capital in this hyper competitive globe

Corruption is also the biggest sanction in Zimbabwe. When national resources like the Chiadzwa diamonds which are enough on their own to turn Zimbabwe into a tiger economy overnight are privatized by Mugabe and his cohorts and billions of dollars in proceeds stashed in Asian countries, then there can never be economic growth. If a country like Botswana can build a whole economy based on diamonds, what can Zimbabwe do if diamonds were being used transparently?

For a country that has alluvial diamonds that are very cheap to mine because they are not underground with an estimated value of more than 800 billion dollars to fail to pay its civil servants even a minimum of 500 dollars a month and then go on to blame western sanctions is the height of idiocy. Yes, there might have been problems with the Kimberley process but anyone who believes that the regime was serious about the Kimberley process outside international geopolitical window dressing, will need his head examined

Diamonds are being flown daily from Chiadzwa to China and other Asian countries in opaque deals smelling of corruption with the proceeds lining the pockets of Mugabe and his acolytes who are not even ashamed to forcibly evict poor Chiadzwa villagers for 1000 dollar compensation yet billions from their ancestral land are being stashed in individual accounts.

It is thus in this context that Zimbabweans must reject the anti-sanctions mantra that is being peddled by the Mugabe regime that is nothing short of a campaign and propaganda gimmick. If anything, the true and real sanctions that has impoverished Zimbabweans are those that have been put in place by Mugabe and his sychophants.The starting point in removing these obnoxious sanctions is to boot out the sunset party out of office come election 2011.

(Source)

Some months back I took a trip to my home country, Zimbabwe. I had last been there a few years prior to this visit. As we neared landing, I couldn’t help but remember watching a documentary about some country where there was war, people dying, some eating tree bark and all the other scary stuff that comes with a country in such a state. I felt sorry for the people of this unfortunate country. I was ready to change the channel when the presenter referred to this country as Zimbabwe. My country? My Zimbabwe? I thought of this and despite knowing how the media sometimes sensationalises, I became a little apprehensive.

As my mother and I drove from the airport I realised something about my beloved country. It has the most cautious drivers in the world. No, I’m not bragging, it’s the truth. No one exceeds 60km an hour; drivers are very alert and observant. You would be too if you had to dodge potholes at every turn! As we drove I lost count of how many we had passed. It was interesting to see my mother slowing down, or should I say slowing down further, every time we approached one. She knew where all of them would be. She explained to me that people now drive mainly on roads they are familiar with. What about at night I asked her, she turned to me and said “anyone who drives at night or when it’s raining might as well get a gun and shoot themselves”.

The first and second day that I was home, there was no running water. Finally I understood why Garnier has a 48-hour deodorant. I’ve seen the adverts numerous times and wondered why anyone would need a 48-hour deodorant. Well if anyone from Garnier is reading this, 48 hours is no longer enough, because two days turned into three, three into four and so on until I left two weeks later. Let me state at this point that my mother – as many in Zimbabwe have been doing – was resourceful enough to get a water tank. I wondered what would happen when the tank ran dry. When that day came, I informed my mother, who promptly ordered $25 worth of water to be delivered. And for sure, in a few hours it arrived. Is it just me, or is the idea of buying bathing and washing water just preposterous?

I remember those unbearable few weeks when Eskom dumped load shedding on the unsuspecting South African populace. At the time people could talk of nothing else, how could such a situation have been allowed to occur? What were we to do with ourselves when we couldn’t play video games or watch television, how would we know whether Ridge chose Taylor or Brooke? Such a trying time!

I thought of this as I sat through another dark evening at home, only this experience was somewhat different. Soon after the lights went out, the candles that were already on the table were lit, this was no rare occurrence. My grandmother took it upon herself to entertain us and wowed us with stories from her past. She told us how the people in the village believed my late grandfather had met Jesus Christ. He would tell them that he used to be friends with Him and how they used to drink together all the time. Oh ignorance is bliss! He’d say that he still could not believe what those Romans had done to Him! She also told us that when she was younger and attended a Catholic school, one of her teachers had been fired and none of the students understood why. Why would they take away the beloved Mrs Dube when she was such a joy and always made them sing interesting songs such as “Allah is King, there is no other God but Allah”. As we sat laughing our lungs out, my grandmother, without warning got up and started singing and dancing, for a moment we just looked at her, then we joined her. As we twirled around the candle-lit coffee table, singing and dancing, I thought to myself, who needs to know whether Dineo gets back together with Kenneth!

Grocery shopping at home is also a little different. The US dollar is now the main currency. After spending some time trying to convert everything into rands for every item I bought, I finally went to pay. It came up to $28. I gave the teller $30. She asked me whether I’d like a box of matches or some sweets. I was a little confused and informed her that I’d bought everything I needed. As though she hadn’t heard me she repeated herself, only this time in a rather irritated tone. I thought okay maybe there was some promotion taking place, maybe I was shopper number one hundred and got to choose between free sweets and a box of matches so I said I’d take the sweets. She handed them to me and said “next”. I realised she had yet to give me my change and pointed this out to her, where upon she threw her hands in the air in exasperation and said: “Lady you took the sweets didn’t you?” My family laughed at me, they told me I should be glad to have been given a choice!

Being at home gave me the chance to visit some friends I hadn’t seen in a while. As I sat catching up with one of my friends, admiring her baby, she told me something that shocked me. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. She related how a few days before another friend had visited her and while holding her baby, looked into the baby’s eyes and said to her: “Shame my dear, It’s not your fault you were born into poverty.” What? What was she smoking?

As I left home, a strong gush of sadness overwhelmed me. With tears pouring from my eyes I responded to the greeting from the person next to me as he sat down. I dried my eyes and introduced myself. He did the same, without drying his eyes of course! He took pride in his tears he said … okay fine, I just added that last bit. But what did get me was his name. Comedy! As Comedy introduced himself, the tears came again, only for a different reason this time. Comedy looked at me sadly and said: “Don’t worry, you’ll be back soon.” Where I got the strength to refrain from bursting into laughter baffles me, to this day. I realised being away from home had spoilt me. In the past a name like Comedy would not faze me. I grew up with the likes of Pretty, Liberty, Magistrate, to mention a few. Such names are very common in Zimbabwe, they are a part of life, it’s all the English words our parents heard during the struggle. How can anyone blame them? What gets me are the Millenniums who are only about ten years old. Seriously, what goes through these parents’ minds? You have to admit though, such flamboyant names are sure to get some reaction out of you, unlike Tom or Harry (the one I left out might get some reaction). Oh my beloved country. As we took off, I left with tears of laughter, not sorrow.

(Source)

How does any right thinking person let alone a senior government official publicly proclaim that even if Morgan Tsvangirai were to defeat Mugabe at the next poll he would never rule this country? What kind of a country are we turning Zimbabwe into? It is an astonishingly reckless thing to say. Quite infuriating too!

Of all the signs and statements of ZANU PF’s intransigence in recent years, Didymus Mutasa’s declaration in Masvingo last week is the most alarming. Doubtless, it is a slap in the face of those committed to reconstructing and democratizing this country.

Blessed are those who preach peace, tolerance, shared-prosperity and democracy. Woe betide those who propagate doom, violence, self-interest and dictatorship.

The fiasco in Masvingo was perpetrated by a high profile ZANU PF commissar who is Minister of State for Presidential Affairs yet ZANU PF has not castigated what is clearly indefensible behavior. Has he not shamed their party? Has Zanu-PF become a democratic party that does not believe in democracy? President Robert Mugabe, Mutasa’s immediate and only superior, has yet to publicly admonish him. If this is not telling then nothing is.

Mutasa’s statement came a few days after the release of an opinion poll in which Morgan Tsvangirai was tipped to win by a landslide at the next election. Ignore Nathaniel Manheru’s baseless claim that there was connivance of some sort between Alpha Media Holdings and Tsvangirai’s MDC. What else would you expect Nathaniel Manheru to say – that the poll accurately reflects the opinion of the people? The guy sings Zanu songs at the breakfast table. Perhaps he is not used to the idea that a poll in our country might be fair. Let him condemn the real frauds and fakes.

Apparently Mutasa also dismissed the opinion poll as implausible. Nice going Didi. Perhaps you intend to allow only senior soldiers and war vets to vote in the actual election. If this does not bespeak ZANU PF’s underlying unwillingness to accept the people’s desire to freely choose a government of their own then I am not sure anything under the sun does. Let Tsvangirai and other optimists beware. The fix is in.

Mutasa will escape any kind of rebuke from Mugabe or ZANU PF. Indeed he is certain to receive a pat on the back. As far as ZANU PF is concerned he deserves praise rather than censure, honor rather than dishonor. Whatever precedent there is for the matter supports only this supposition and no other. And this is the same party that claims to have the best interests of the people at heart? The party that claims to have fought for the freedom of Zimbabwe and its people? The hypocrisy is breathtaking.

Meanwhile, for all his supposed shrewdness Mutasa is not the cleverest guy around. Quick to strike deals and slow to anticipate, he was effortlessly conned into believing that rocks in the Maningwa Hills were an infinite source of diesel! Accordingly, he has earned himself the nickname ‘Diesel’.

It is all about power and money for these impostors: they will do anything and everything to maintain the status quo. With ineffectual bodies like SADC on their side, biased or compromised service chiefs on their side, ZANU PF judges on the bench and money in their pockets, running a country could not be any easier!

Make no mistake, when marching to the party’s tune Diesel is a particularly nasty bit of work. In 2002 he wanted 6 million of the country’s population dead. ‘We would be better off with only six million people, with our own [ZANU PF] people who supported the liberation struggle. We don’t want all these extra people,’ he said. In recent years his name has come up in countrywide farm invasions. He is the guy that stood by and watched corruption spiral uncontrollably even as Anti-Corruption Minister in 2004.

He is the same poseur who repeatedly kicked Roy Bennett as he lay on the floor of Parliament after the latter was involved in a fight with then Attorney General Patrick Chinamasa. In 2005, Diesel launched the infamous Operation Murambatsvina- a salvage and unforgivable assault on the impoverished and unprotected later described by UN Special Envoy Anna Tibaijuka as inhuman and inimical to international law. Most recently he ordered villagers in Chipinge to occupy a tea and coffee estate in defiance of a court ruling.

Since the Masvingo debacle he has threatened to beat up a NewsDay journalist for no reason other than that he was asked simply to amplify what he had said there.

That is the kind of man Zimbabwe has in Didymus Diesel Mutasa. Of course he does not work in isolation. There are many more like him. That is the reality. That is what Zimbabwe is up against.

Psychology Maziwisa

Union for Sustainable Democracy

leader@usd.org.zw

Source: (via email)

It is important to always keep our core objectives in perspective, constantly realigning our way to ensure we remain on the path toward that which we pursue (or that which we purposed to pursue).

Without this it is possible to chase, at times great zeal and vigour, endless distractions whilst drawing none the nearer to that which is desired .

This (the chasing of distractions) is the precarious place in which the Zimbabwean opposition and intelligentsia find themselves.

The Tomana’s and Gono’s, the governors and the outstanding outstanding issues , the constitutional outreach programmes and the swearing in ceremonies that never were and probably never will be.

I readily accept that the heading chosen is wholly presumptuous. It seems absurd that one man, amongst a gallery of so many seemingly competent observers, would have such unbridled self-regard as to suggest that he, and he alone, is graced with an exclusive understanding of the inner workings of mad bob’s (Mugabe) mind.

Far from being inspired by vainglorious images of self, the statement is born of a sincere conviction that this holds true and that the entire debate surrounding Zimbabwe is off track, way off. This by Mugabe’s design.

I fear for the Zimbabwean opposition and for our democracy because it seems an entire herd of national commentators has been so easily taken in by the Mugabe’s sleight of hand.

A brief lesson in recent history

In 2008 Robert Mugabe lost the election. He went on to hold onto the results for 30 days. He was testing the waters. Specifically, he wanted to see how far the West would go and how far Tsvangirai could be pushed.

After 30 days Mugabe had learnt two important things.

1.) The West would only go as far as talking; even if he rigged the election. They would not act

2.)Tsvangirai was not bold enough to stand up to him.

After 30 days of being kept in the dark about the elections Tsvangirai had done nothing. No demonstrations, no violence. It was clear that even if Mugabe had held onto the results for 60 days, or even a 100, that none of this would have changed.

Neither the world nor Tsvangirai was determined to act decisively. This, to Mugabe, was a striking and most important revelation.

Following this, Mugabe used great violence to intimidate the electorate. A runoff followed. Mugabe stood alone and won. Again the world talked, the MDC complained and the Zimbabwean people carried on with their daily affairs.

Quietly, SADC made clear to Mugabe that he would have to share power with Tsvangirai.

We know what happened next. Tsvangirai, a man who had won the election, walked away from the table with an agreement that was glaringly unfair.

Mugabe would retain control of all the key ministries, the military, the police, the intelligence services and the judiciary.

Tsvangirai was given finance and Ecnomic Development and other loud-sounding but ineffectual portfolio’s , charged with sourcing funding and repairing an economy that Zanu PF has savaged through years of corruption and mismanagement.

Even after having taken so much Mugabe was not done.

Roy Bennett was dragged before the courts. MDC MP’s were arrested on trumped up charges ranging from petty accusations of stealing mobile phones to weighter crimes such as rape.

In brazen display of power, Mugabe went on to unilaterally appoint Tomana and Gono to their respective offices. The MDC objected.

They are still objecting and I imagine that if the truths I seek to share do not become clear to them they will continue to do so without recourse. Mugabe also took the liberty of appointing governors in contravention of the agreement he had put his hand to.

The Herald and ZBC remained, and to this day remain, in the hands of Zanu PF and were used as a mouthpiece of the same. The MDC has no influence, they have no power.

Immediately following the formation of the GNU there was escalation is farm invasions. Arthur Mutambara travelled to one such farm with a full entourage, media and all.

A distressed white farmer was assured that no harm would come to him or his property. Mutambara talked tough. He was the deputy prime minister.

17 hours after Mutambara left, the farms was overtaken by pro-Mugabe hoodlums. One thing was clear, Mutambara, despite his assertions otherwise, had no power in Zimbabwe to give the assurances that he gave.

He could not assure anyone of anything. Many other white farmers suffered the same fate.

Tsvangirai could do, and can do, nothing.

Another example of Mugabe’s open contempt for Tsvangirai. To this day Tsvangirai still lives in civilian accommodation. Mugabe refuses to give him access to the Prime Ministers residence.

I could go on and on and give you example after example that Mugabe has no intention of sharing power. He has no intention of upholding the rule of law.

It is puzzling why we allow ourselves to be carried on in this circus of power sharing when Mugabe, at every twist and turn, works hard to show us that he is not the slightest sincere. Mugabe’s conduct is best understood by taking a closer look at the creature that is Zanu PF.

By definition, Zanu PF is incongruent with democracy; its survival mutually exclusive with the rule of law and democracy.

The people who form Zanu PF have committed a multitude of crimes over the years. Many of these crimes would attract the death sentence or life imprisonment if the rule of law prevailed in Zimbabwe.

The people that are Zanu PF have also gained vast wealth through unrighteous means.

If democracy and the rule of law prevailed they would stand to lose all their ill-gotten treasures.

Given this truth, Zanu PF, in its current state, can rightly be defined as an organisation whose survival is wholly reliant on

1.) the absence of The Rule of Law which would lead to

2.) Democracy. This is not the stuff of .omdaiscience. It’s a rather plain matter of self-preservation. The equation is simple enough. Democracy and the rule of law equals the prosecution of law breakers, the righting of past wrongs.

The sole perpetrator of the wrongs in question is Zanu PF. It is they who face the wrath of justice in the event that the rule of law prevails.

Are we so gullible as to entertain the idea that Mugabe is sincerely considering sharing power or energetically working toward a democracy in which the majority (one he knows desperately opposes him) interest prevails?

Why would a sane turkey vote for Christmas? Engaging Mugabe in a dialogue aimed at seeing a democratic end is no less absurd than trying to convince a turkey to vote for christmas when it knows full well that the celebration of the event invariably translates to the end of its own life.

Mugabe is shrewd enough to know that he must be seen to be interested in negotiation but people must not mistake this for sincerity and wrongly believe that Mugabe will be so foolish as to negotiate himself out of power.

Mugabe is not interested in democracy. He is not interested in the rule of law. Self-preservation prohibits him such ambition. If the police began to do their work without fear or favour would Mugabe not immediately find himself and his comrades facing prosecution?

If the MDC was allowed to campaign freely is it not certain Zanu PF would face a resounding defeat.

If the media was freed would the grassroots not be all the more emboldened against the regime?

Why would Zanu PF move an inch toward such undesirables? The greater fools are those who entertain the idea that dialogue toward this end will bear fruit . It will not.

Zanu PF’s choice of two

By killing their own countrymen, Mugabe and his henchmen have already done the worst . For this they face the stiffest penalty – the death sentence. Their crimes are now established fact and are beyond debate.

They are faced with two choices.

1.) Allow the powers of democracy to prevail and face the sure humiliation that follows them or

2.) Fight to the death to prevent democracy.

Their choice is obvious and they have already made it.

Mugabe is not a foolish man and does not want to force the MDC into radical action, popular uprising. He’s a skilled politician.

Mugabe must be seen to be giving something. He must be seen to be losing ground to keep the MDC engaged in what he privately knows is a futile attempt at democracy by negotiation.

So Mugabe feigns distress at the “unruly” security chiefs who he leads us to believe he cannot control. Why would he want to control them when this would translate to his own end? Lawlessness serves him well.

With this in mind, Mugabe starts ineffectual debates on the swearing-in of Roy Bennett, something he gains nothing by opposing. The MDC fights hard for these crumbs. In 3 years Mugabe will swear Bennett into office.

An MDC victory, a step toward democracy. Not quite. Mugabe always intended to swear Bennett into office, it’s impractical not to. Refusing to do so is a well calculated distraction.

The MDC chases this with energy and at the end he gives it to them. Mission accomplished, Mugabe is seen to be losing ground, the MDC gaining. He is not, they are not.

The fundamental issues remain untouched, namely Democracy and The Rule of Law.

Mugabe plays his game well. We hear of a constitutional outreach programme.

The MDC and national commentators have again been distracted by Mugabe and have taken their eyes off the high prize that we seek. Our conversation is now directed toward the constitutional process and the trivia that follows it.

How is it that nobody points out that the Constitution is not the problem that Zimbabwe faces . We can change our constitution a thousand times and our situation would not change.

The real problem is a disregard for the law. The law already provides for the freedom of speech. The law already provides for the prosecution of criminals.

We do not need new laws, simply enforcement of those already enacted.

Again Mugabe plays the clever game, stalling and buying time by directing national conversation.

I pray the eyes of the simple are opened.

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

These are the haunting words of Frederick Douglass. With all humility I want to add to his now famous words and say: “Power concedes nothing without a demand, a demand from a hand greater and more formidable.”

This is why violence and only violence can dislodge Zanu PF. That is their trump card. When Zanu PF is cornered, it turns to violence . It’s the ultimate display of power. With it the dislodged Ian Smith, not through negotiation.

At this stage Zanu PF has all to lose. They are willing to fight till the death. They have already killed and are unafraid to do so if again if need be.

They will not accept and end that sees them imprisoned. They will never accept and end that sees them waiting in line to be hanged at Chikurubi. They are ready to fight to avoid such an end.

This point is of crucial importance. THEY are ready to fight. The MDC is not. The West in not.

This is why Zanu PF will remain in power for the forseable future . Unless the MDC is ready to embark on mass uprisings and perhaps even armed struggle, Zanu PF will not go.

The hand demanding power concede must, by definition, be stronger than the hand it asks of.

Zanu PF will not collapse when Mugabe dies

Some analysts have urged the MDC to patiently wait for Mugabe to die. Zanu PF will immediately be crippled by bitter infighting. This view is poorly considered.

The idea wrongly assumes that the petty leadership ambitions of the various Zanu PF factions are greater than their consiousness of the need for self preservation.

This is no less misguided than the thief who foolishly believes that a husband will let his wife be robbed in his presence on the grounds that they had a fiery argument the night before.

What brings them together is much greater than what places them apart. Unity will prevail, not out of the nobility of the concerned parties but the evident need for solid leadership to prevent the vice that is democracy.

Keeping our eyes on the ball.

Let us not be distracted by Mugabe’s clever management of the Zimbabwean news cycle. We must not forget that the swearing in of Roy Bennet, the resolution of the issue of governers, the supposed constitutional outreach programme, the licensing of News Day and all, are mere trinkets.

Trinkets is what they are. Ineffectual things Mugabe never cared for but slowly gives ‘concedes’ to a credulous opposition to give the false impression that he has given something.

A simple study of the princinples of negotiation lay bare Mugabe’s tactics. Place great value on what you care least for; after you opponent cries without end, give it to them.

(Source)

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