Friday, 29 June 2007

A Tragic Murder In Zimbabwe



Here is a hilarious pack of lies from this fat guy pretending to be a victim of political violence in Zimbabwe. Look closely at the picture of the man who is claiming to have swam through a very big, crocodile infested Limpopo river on a broken leg and arm. Do you believe this fat guy? Is it true Zimbabwean soldiers have gone for 2 years without pay? Are there random shooting of civilians on the streets of Zimbabwe.The verdict is yours.


Jonathan Bellamy talks with Zimbabwean Robert MacDonald

Robert MacDonald
Robert MacDonald

On Thursday 21st June, City Drive presenter Jonathan Bellamy interviewed Zimbabwean Robert MacDonald in response to the tragic news that on Sunday 10th June two members of his family had been murdered by soldiers when the minibus they were travelling in was stopped at a roadblock.

From our news reports we get a little feedback of what life is like in Zimbabwe but there's nothing more revealing and clear than hearing it directly from people who live or have lived in Zimbabwe and have gone through some of the trials that have taken place there over recent years.

Jonathan: Good afternoon Robert

Robert: Good afternoon

Jonathan: Robert, I just want to ask you a little bit about your background, cause at the moment apparently more people die in Zimbabwe than in Iraq which sounds like a staggering statistic cause we get so much focus of what is happening in Iraq. Can you try to give us an overview of what life is like in Zimbabwe at the moment?

Robert: Well more people die in Zimbabwe than Iraq and the Dhafur regions put together. Life is a living hell in that country.

Jonathan: And this is all with Robert Mugabe's administration. How do you view the administration then Mr MacDonald, living under it?

Robert: People are crying, we are free at last, we are free at last; but they didn't know the hidden agenda of Robert Mugabe, and as the years went on he's tightened his grip on the political situation in Zimbabwe by eliminating vast amounts of his opposition. In one area of Matabeleland, he sent in the foot brigade that killed 20,000 people by slaughtering them.

He has apologised for this, but what does apology do; and we find that people are disappearing never to be seen again. Families are ripped apart; people are burnt in their homes. Political people are assaulted and killed, even people like Morgan Tsvangirai are assaulted and near to death and there are no medicines; the hospitals there have no medicine; no food for the starving millions, and he's refusing international aid.

Jonathan: Mr MacDonald, I know that you yourself have gone through torture and beating. Would you be able to describe that and just explain the background to it as well?

Robert: Well I had a very profitable mixed farming ranch business in Zimbabwe and 40% of my profits were shared between the workers on the farm. It was highly profitable. One evening I was raided by the so-called war veterans and the CIO, which is the Central Intelligence Organisation. I was dragged outside and tied to a tree, and they left me there and went to the village where my workers were and they herded the villagers into a house and set the house alight, and my co-workers perished in that fire. They came back and they started beating me and they started to have a wild party, slaughtering some of the cattle, feasting, beating me every now and then. After three days with a broken arm and a broken leg and a broken nose, I was taken down to the river and thrown in and left there for the crocodiles to eat. I came too and managed to crawl to a village three miles away to ask for help.

Jonathan: Why did they do it Robert, what's the motivation?

Robert: Well, Mugabe is colour blind. He's not just after the white farmers and the white businesses. He kills more of his own people, and there's a hatred of the past colonial system and he's never forgiven that and he's trying to eradicate that. But meanwhile he's making his own people suffer.

Jonathan: For yourself Robert, you're a Christian I believe aren't you?

Robert: I am.

Jonathan: How, as a Christian, do you look back on what you've suffered at the hands of the hit squad, how do you focus and reconcile the experiences you've been through?

Robert: Well, it's difficult you know. But when I think of what my Lord went through for me on Calvary, that He went all the way and died for me while I was a rotten sinner, I got nothing to hate. I don't hate that man, I hate what he's doing. I pray for him that somehow he might find the saving grace of God. Because in the eyes of God there is no big sin - no small sin. Sin is sin and God loves the sinner and wants the sinner to repent. So I've got no business to hate. But I'm fighting for change. I'm telling people to become aware of the problems in Zimbabwe; the suffering, and for them to pray and try and pressurise their peers and the political systems in the West to do something concrete and active.

Jonathan: You mention how you're facing it in terms of your own history and experience, but I understand in the last couple of weeks since we put the article up on the site, you've had some more sad and terrifying developments in your own family?

Robert: Yes

Jonathan: Can you just explain what they are?

Robert: They were travelling in a mini-bus and they were stopped at a roadblock and everybody in the mini-bus was shot dead.

Jonathan: This is your sister-in-law and nephew?

Robert: That's right. You see, the soldiers haven't been paid for two years, and they pillage, they rape; they murder, they raid the farms wherever they can get a bit of food. They kill and take for themselves. You know there's no law and order left in the country anymore.

Jonathan: How did you manage to escape from Zimbabwe?

Robert: It took me a month to cross the border. I swam across the Limpopo into South Africa where I was hospitalised for six months.

Jonathan: And what about the rest of your family?

Robert: My wife and my daughter were placed under house arrest in a town called Bulawayo, and she had been beaten several times and arrested. And then just before Christmas I managed to raise a bit of funds and she escaped through the bushfelt, through the jungle, and people helped her to swim across the crocodile infested Limpopo river.

Jonathan: Wow. Robert now that you are here in the UK and you can honestly speak out much more freely. What is your focus? Obviously you are doing this interview with us, you're raising awareness. What would you want to encourage listeners in a response to what you're sharing?

Robert: To pray, to pray and to pray, and then to get hold of their local political figures, their MPs, and speak to them. Write them letters. Pressurise them to go up into the parliament of this country to tell them - please act, save some lives and act; cause it's only through us waging international condemnation and the governments pressurising the border countries like South Africa to stop treating Mugabe with gloved hands, that something can happen.

Things are dreadful you know, words cannot explain what's going on there. You know you can paint a picture, but people can't realise the true horror story called Zimbabwe. They cannot realise really what is going on. When the graveyards are overflowing, villages are empty; just young children are there - no grown ups. Why - because of Mugabe. And yet the West is soft-pedalling. You know it's a difficult thing to ask another country to act; but I'm praying that if the people in England get together and pray, and persuade their political figures to do something concrete, things may change and thousands of lives may be saved.

It might sound dramatic, but I assure you it's not dramatic. It's far worse than what you've heard about this afternoon or what you've read in the newspapers. It is far far worse.

Jonathan: Mr MacDonald, we really appreciate you coming on Cross Rhythms and sharing some of your story. Like we said, there is an article on the Cross Rhythms website which expands what we've been talking about in more detail. It mentions in there that EU sanctions might perhaps be beginning to work on the Zanu PF party and also that like you are saying, there are ways that we can respond in the West. There's a draft letter that we can send to MPs and an on-line petition. But I just want to thank you very much for coming on line. I just wonder whether you would like to pray for the people of Zimbabwe? And we just stand with you in prayer as you pray for that nation and the people, for that to end.

Robert: O God, you hear the cry of the tens of thousands, of the hundreds of thousands of people lifting up their hands and crying out for help. Lord we pray, move on us of the people in the free world to stand together in prayer that there might be some action and some precious lives may be saved not only from a Christless eternity, but that they might have the opportunity to live a normal life to hear the good news, that Jesus is full of life today. That there is hope, feel not hopeless. Lord we need people to stand together. Lord, make it happen. Amen.

Jonathan: Amen. Mr MacDonald thank you very much for sharing your story and it's a privilege to have you on Cross Rhythms.

Robert: Thank you. Bye.

Jonathan: If you want to get involved and you want to help support from a Western perspective, there are things you can do. You might think you can't, but there are things you can do.

The article on the Cross Rhythms website was written by Difference Magazine and they have a website where you can log on and join an on line petition. You can also download draft letters, which you can send to your MP, so that the issue gets raised within parliament.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

The MDC and its far-right white elements - a poisonous cocktail.

One of the worst ironies about Zimbabwe's political opposition is how it has managed to accommodate white supremacists who despise the original Black inhabitants, together with a frustrated urbanite whose hunger for an easy life makes it oblivious to the devils who are lurking behind the bushes to come out in full force once their vote has been abused.

The MDC has thus become a front for extremist white power elements who have no belief or inclination to right the colonial wrongs that saw the forced removal of the Black native from his land to make way for the white invader.

On 22 June 2007, speaking on a website discussing Zimbabwe's Land reform, one such extremist, a 64 year old Mr Charles Frizell, who also happened to be an MDC councilor for the Mazoe area and a former Rhodesian Front soldier who fought against Black nationalists in the 70s, had this to promise the resettled Black families who have been resettled back onto their once stolen land in the event that the MDC wins the 2008 elections.


"I have some very disturbing news for ZANU supporters and other assorted Zimbabweans.
---now, the only way to do that (and we all know it) is to remove the vermin from the land and replace them with real farmers. Talk of "more support" or "more inputs" to the present vermin is nonsense - remember that it was these people who destroyed irrigation systems, pumps and infrastructure using sledgehammers. These vermin are the same people who sell their fuel for a quick profit - and so on.

So, there will be a desperate hunt for real farmers, and the most logical place to look will be to the rightful owners - who were indeed real farmers. This will be vitally important in the National Interest. There is no other way if the economy is to stand any chance whatsoever of recovery! Actually, in our heart of hearts we all know this anyway

So, I think that many people will need to start thinking seriously about this so that they can adapt to the shock to their systems".


What is disgusting about such prejudice is that every Zimbabwean, including Mr Charles Frizell is well aware of the historical process that has necessitated the land reform exercise. Whatever its shortfalls a genuine problem existed in the congested, dry and infertile Tribal Trust Lands that whites had created for Blacks through a systematic process of racist marginalization on one hand, and greed and monopoly on the other.Its an insult to argue that people who cant sponsor their farming activities because of historical racist marginalization are vermin that deserves no empowerment. To make it worse these land-dependent Zimbabweans make up around 80% of the population. They live directly from proceeds from their land, and have always subsisted. Not assisting them brings us back to the painful Rhodesian days when they where virtually a forgotten people meant to gradually suffer extinction due to overcrowding, hunger and disease. No white farmer has ever fed a villager, and thats a known fact. A villager depends on his ploughed field. Should we therefore not all work to help these people feed themselves? After all they make up the majority of our population. Should we sacrifice the needs of this majority to satisfy a few whites? What society can function properly on such a primitive system?

My utter disappointment also lies in how a present day Zimbabwean party like the MDC can manage to attract and accept representation from such undisciplined and morally bankrupt individuals. This goes a long way in showing the lack of principles behind the party, the total disregard for morality in the face of financial sponsorship and a regression into an era all progressive Zimbabweans Black and White want to put behind us. What commonalities bind these people to the Blacks in the MDC is a mystery.

As long as the MDC acts in cohorts with some of these unrepentant racists,who cannot revise their mentalities from the bigotry of the colonial days, it becomes a real threat to the gains of our liberation struggle, and Zimbabwe's future generations, black or white.

We can not allow the rejuvenation of racism in the name of democracy, so as long as these elements make the back-bone of the MDC, it remains a legitimate target for any self respecting Zimbabwean, who dreams of a safer, prosperous, cosmopolitan society, free from the vagaries of a century old racist onslaught.

Plot to Destroy Zimbabwe's Economy Exposed

Isn't it disgusting that world powers like the USA and the United Kingdom can gang up against one of the poorest third world countries? Simply because these powers want to protect white monopoly of Zimbabwe's resources at the expense of the Zimbabwean native. Its unbelievable that these superpowers would work tirelessly to make sure that 4000 whites hold 85% of Zimbabwe's arable land at the disadvantage of 13 000 000 Blacks. And to fool the world they claim they are working to re-eastablish democrasy. A democracy that was won through the barrel of a gun by Zimbabwe's blacks against the very same white oppressors waffling about democrasy today. I wonder what type of humans can afford this blatant hypocrisy and bigotry.


NEWS
21 June 2007
Posted to the web 21 June 2007
Harare

SHOCKING details of a major plot by the British and American governments to bring Zimbabwe's economy down to its knees and incite an uprising against the Government emerged yesterday.

The revelations explain why US Ambassador Mr Christopher Dell gloated on Monday that inflation would hit 1,5 million percent by the end of the year and that President Mugabe would soon be toppled.

Chronicle can reveal that the British and United States governments, after failing to incite a public revolt against the Government of Zimbabwe, are now working overtime to destroy the economy, mutilate the Zimbabwe dollar, foment civil unrest and then dangle a US$3 billion "rescue package" to win the support of gullible politicians.

The plan is to topple the Government before the March 2008 general elections, which the West knows the opposition could never win.

A top-secret document outlining the grand plan says the Western governments have -- through the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank -- set up a vast network of regime-change agents, dubbed the Fishmongers Group, that will spearhead acts of economic sabotage against Zimbabwe.

Mr Dell, who is leaving for a diplomatic posting in Afghanistan next month, openly boasted to journalists in Bulawayo on Monday that the inflation rate would reach 1,5 million percent by year-end. It has now emerged that his arrogant utterances, which even shocked opposition-aligned journalists, were made in the context of the Fishmongers Group plot.

At last week's World Economic Forum meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, the World Bank's chief economist, Mr John Page, made veiled references to this new phase of the anti-Zimbabwe campaign.

Political analysts say the statements made at the WEF meeting by some Zimbabweans and non-Zimbabweans show that the Fishmongers Group has already bought the services of some leading Zimbabwean politicians, civil society activists, non-governmental organisations and donor agencies.

Sources close to the goings-on said the recent substantial weakening of the Zimbabwe dollar on the black market -- with the subsequent hike in prices of fuel, food and other essential commodities -- pointed to the activities of foreign-sponsored agents.

A key point made by the IMF as part of the Fishmongers plot is that the Zimbabwe dollar must be sent "into a free-fall for some time". This, the institution says, is "a big bang approach".

It has also emerged that the British Department for International Development recently briefed a meeting of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and officials from governments active in "donor co-ordination" in Harare, including Sweden, the European Commission, Australia, the US, the Netherlands, Canada, Norway, New Zealand and Germany.

The DFID has its own special document, entitled Zimbabwe -- Economic Recovery, which smoothly dovetails with the Fishmongers plan.

Interestingly, the top-secret Fishmongers report says the Western governments want to bring back the white commercial farmers who lost farms during the land reform programme. In a bid to buy the support of gullible politicians and reverse the land reform programme, the British and US governments are proposing to provide US$150 million in food aid in the first two years, including US$125 million in the first year, as well as US$500 million for "land reform" over five years.

Foreign assistance of US$650 million is offered for the first year to support an economic reform programme that is part of a five-year US$3 billion package -- which will be released "the day after" the Government is topple.

The report talks of "donor-funded compensation for evicted farmers while the distribution of agricultural inputs and produce must be market-driven and involve the private sector" and also makes reference to a new land tenure to ensure the "multiracial farming community obtains access (to land) by means of long leases".

The statement is a virtual call for the reverse of the land reform programme, which is at the centre of the bilateral dispute between Zimbabwe and erstwhile coloniser Britain.

However, the catch is in the phrase contained in the Fishmongers report that the rescue package is "tied up with broader political questions around when Zimbabwe will transition to a rational, technocratic government".

The architects of the plot hope that the economic suffering that Zimbabweans will face as a result of their actions will precipitate an uprising against Government.

When he visited Bulawayo on Monday, Mr Dell was bubbling with confidence that the economy would collapse before the end of this year.

Although he grudgingly admitted that the Anglo-Saxon regime change agenda had failed, he said inflation will hit 1,5 million percent this year, sweeping away the Government.

"The spin will be too fast. No economic tool can stop it," Mr Dell told reporters.

However, he refused to explain further.

"What I can only say is watch this space," he added, almost letting the cat out of the bag.

The Government yesterday dismissed the new plot as an exercise in futility.

"It is the reason why Dell spoke so eloquently about devaluation of our currency because they are throwing spanners into the works to spiral the inflation. They have also targeted manufacturing companies in their strategy because politically they have failed and Dell has admitted this himself," said the Minister of Information and Publicity, Dr Sikhanyiso Ndlovu.

"Their strategy is doomed to fail like all the others. Dell and his compatriots are failed prophets of doom and we say good luck to Dell as he goes to Afghanistan Hell for his new posting."

In June 2004, Mr Dell, whose tour of duty in Zimbabwe ends next month, promised to "ratchet up pressure" to ensure regime change.

"Dell leaves Zimbabwe a disappointed man. For him Zimbabwe has turned out to be mission impossible," said Dr Ndlovu.

Dr Ndlovu said Britain, the US and other anti-Zimbabwe forces were shocked that the Zimbabwean economy had not capitulated despite the illegal economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe and said the promised rescue package was a useless gimmick.

He said only an "insane" person would be induced by the promised package to revolt against their own Government.

"It's really a choice between re-colonisation and freedom. You understand that these people (Britain and other imperialists) do not want governments born out of a revolution in Southern Africa and Africa as a whole," said Dr Ndlovu.

"As for the promised package, they gave money to the MDC but what has the MDC achieved?"

There have also been suggestions that some members of the ruling Zanu-PF, who have always embraced the neo-liberal agenda, are in support of the strategy to bring the economy to its knees.

One ruling party official reportedly told participants at the World Economic Forum last week that "change" was imminent in Zimbabwe.

"In any revolution there are sell-outs. So that won't be surprising. However, you would expect that a member of a party would know what channels to use to air out their grievances if they do not see eye-to-eye with the leader of their party. But then you see that is the sort of democracy that we have in this country, that you can say what you want against Government outside the country and come back and still eat your lunch and supper nicely," said Dr Ndlovu.

"As I said, even in the struggle there were sell-outs and some of the Selous Scouts were blacks."

The Western plan is a slap in the face for the Sadc-initiated talks between the MDC factions and Zanu-PF which South African President Thabo Mbeki is mediating.

On Monday, Mr Dell sounded pessimistic about the Sadc-brokered dialogue, choosing to use the euphemism "cautiously optimistic" to describe his attitude towards the dialogue.

Political analysts said this could be an indication that Britain, the US and other anti-Zimbabwean players are now convinced that their stooges cannot overthrow the Government of Zimbabwe.

Said Dr Ndlovu: "Dell and his colleagues are surprised at Zimbabwe's resilience in the face of the sanctions his country imposed on Zimbabwe through the so-called Zimbabwe Economic and Democracy Recovery Act and the sanctions imposed by bodies such as the IMF, in which the US, by Dell's admission, has used its vote against balance of payment support being extended to Zimbabwe."

The US, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and the European Union have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe over the land reform programme which corrected a racially skewed land ownership pattern that was a legacy of the colonial era.

Meanwhile, wire reports indicated yesterday that the Reserve Bank of Australia had amended the list of those subject to financial sanctions due to their association with the Zimbabwean Government.

"The Australian government has reviewed the list of individuals subject to financial sanctions and has directed the Reserve Bank to remove three individuals and add 27 new individuals to the annex of names," the RBA said in a statement.

The updated annex now contains 183 names.

The RBA said amendments have also been made to 64 entries on the previous list.

The list includes ministers and senior officials of the Zimbabwean Government as well as senior management of state-owned enterprises.

"Any transactions involving the transfer of funds or payments to, by the order of, or on behalf of any person listed in the annex are prohibited without prior approval from the Reserve Bank," the RBA said.

Although these Western powers have tried to hide behind a finger by often claiming that such measures were "targeted sanctions" or sugar-coating the restrictions as "smart sanctions", analysts have pointed out that these measures were hurting ordinary Zimbabweans. The Herald (Harare)

Monday, 25 June 2007

Indigenisation Bill gazetted. Long Overdue!

Black empowerment is THE ONLY WAY to extricate Africans from poverty and exploitation.

Indigenisation Bill gazetted

Herald Reporter

GOVERNMENT has gazetted the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Bill which seeks to create an enabling environment for greater participation in the economy by indigenous people.

The proposed law provides for the establishment of an Indigenisation and Empowerment Fund to finance the acquisition of shares, working capital and other forms of finance.

The National Investment Trust of Zimbabwe will be constituted as a special account of the envisaged empowerment fund.

This will not affect the interests of the unit holders and deed of trust.

The overall goal is to achieve at least a 51 percent shareholding by indigenous people in the majority of businesses in all sectors of the economy.

The Minister of Indigenisation and Empowerment will be mandated to review and approve the indigenisation arrangements.

The minister will be empowered to order a licensing authority of any business that fails to notify his office of a transaction affecting its ownership to cancel the licence or registration.

Sufficient time will be given to businesses concerned to rectify anomalies in the ownership structure, failing which the licence or registration will be cancelled.

Any person aggrieved by the minister’s decision will have the right to appeal to the Administrative Court.

However, the person is obliged to comply with the minister’s order or directive pending finalisation of the appeal.

A 15-member National Indigenisation and Empowerment Board will be appointed by the minister in consultation with the President.

The board will, among other duties, advise the minister on appropriate measures to adopt in the implementation of the objectives and policies on indigenisation.

It will be vested with powers to administer the proposed empowerment fund.

Friday, 22 June 2007

IMF: When fetid stench groups fishmongers

WE have heard it before. We have seen it before. We have suffered it before. Zimbabwe is going through another round of Dell-commissioned and managed rumours from his Anglo-Saxony world. And the local instruments for his propaganda are full at work, led by select websites through which the enemy mind is glimpsed. As always, destabilising scenarios are built, with unwanted persons "eliminated" through such scenarios.

President Mugabe, Anglo-America’s Number One enemy has been disposed of times without count. After him, we are told, Zimbabweans will inhabit a sugar-candy realm, well and ceaselessly supplied by the West’s horn of plenty! Prior to our collective transportation to this sweet milieu, we undergo a crucible-test on the mill of rumours, all shades of rumours ranging from predictions of our complete meltdown from our ductile stem, wars, coups, right through to great personal afflictions suffered by all the "evil men" on whose fontanel the Western god has spit a terrible curse.

Death to those accursed persons is predicted as a precondition for the great resurrections and rebirth of our country Zimbabwe, presented all along as palsied by poor governance and venal autocracy. And in this about-to-happen great resurrection, Dell and Pocock play the biblical Maria naMarita who cry for dead Lazaro!

Imperialism’s soothsayers

I am sure all this must be quite bewildering to those who cannot take, let alone digest, huge doses of propaganda such as we are collectively subjected to presently. If you are the-one-propaganda-capsule-per-day type, it may be well nigh impossible to understand the broader drift, the wider project slowly unfolding. It helps to remember that disinformation, especially rumour-running, is integral to imperialism's design on smaller states. This is why imperialism always sires soothsayers, otherwise known as right-wing journalists in common parlance.

Last week I reported the demise of one such, a Kenyan called Jeff Koinange. Cubans, themselves inveterate targets of sustained US propaganda assault, will readily tell you that a society marked for imperial aggression is kept on its edge. The clearest and most effective way of doing that is to sponsor rumours that build and stoke anxiety and incertitude within its citizenry, so it subsists in an environment which is brooding and foreboding, one replete with terrible auguries, one repeatedly shaken by occasional panic and hysteria.

It is a post-propaganda traumatic stress, much akin to its cousin after a major conflict. The idea is to create a milieu where anything bad seems possible and inevitable, not least the elimination of a people’s leadership. The Cubans faced it again recently when Fidel Castro was reported as twitching his last. Ironically, he lives to this day, and seems set to live long enough to see the last twitches of bald American propaganda against him and his people.

Losing reins

Once inserted into such a psychological milieu, the citizenry develops a short view of life where a single day is more than an impossible chunk to bite, let alone chew. Better still if the economy is convulsed. Behaviours become short-term, seemingly validating such a milieu of a severely shortened view of life. Notions of sovereignty become reckless luxuries, a diversion from the drudgery of survival. It can be quite consuming, really smothering with every one connected to each and all through illicit deals and cash nexus.

Remember the idea is to get a people to let go of the reins than enable them to take charge and shape their environment. The dominant text is to project everything as Hobbesian, as in permanent tumult and rebellion ever to come under tow. Everything is projected as running away, well beyond native leash. All local initiatives are dismissed with deep cynicism, dismissed as effete and unhelpful, in fact part of the problem.

Those who lead in the search for solutions, or simply lead such societies, are demonized and dismissed as venal and incompetent villains. They are made archetypally unfit to govern. In them, a people are condemned, a race discounted as having the capacity to self-govern. The idea is to make the proposition for colonial re-occupation and re-governance not just possible but actually urgent and needlessly delayed or obstructed.

Treachery at WEF

The role of imperialism, no matter how overt, is well hidden. We have gone through such a cycle here, indeed a probably going through another presently. We have seen a mutation of the local national political question away from what Zimbabweans can do and achieve with their freedom, to a beggarly one where Zimbabweans have driven themselves into deep self-doubt, self-deprecation.

The national question has falsely redrawn, in fact reduced to how best Zimbabwe can win Western donors and donations, reduced to who best leads us towards the attainment of such a goal. This is why invitation to and addressing forums sponsored by the West, such as the World Economic Forum, come at a premium. And once thrust at such forums, those who aspire to govern us outdo one another to distance themselves from politics of liberation.

We saw that last week in Cape Town. To espouse the cause of national liberation is the snub modernity, indeed to pander to old man’s archaic rhetoric of liberation which Dell so eloquently lashed out against in Bulawayo recently. I call it a degradation of national politics, much of it owing to neo-colonial liberalism which seems to be taking hold.

What makes such politics quite dangerous as was shown last week, is the fact that they have enlisted soothsayers from within the ruling Zanu (PF), in the process suggesting they are a natural development of, and offshoot from the block of the national liberation project. They are not. In fact these new politics espoused by the so-called "reformists" or "technocratic politicians", are sinister and should be resisted with resoluteness, and carted right to the edge of the maize field as we do with a noxious weed. At heart, they are no different from those of Muzorewa and his Zimbabwe-Rhodesia crew.

The day gold rust

Helpfully, Christopher Dell has made it clear that his country and that of his cousins on the other side of the Atlantic, are fighting politics of liberation movements which must now make way to new politics, new politicians. This holds true for all post-liberation struggle societies of Southern Africa.

The ANC government which for a while thought it could be spared, saw itself under a severe labour-led attack in the few weeks which have gone by. As with Zimbabwe, these new, evolving politics are much more complex than the Manichean Zanu (PF)-MDC divide, the ANC-IFP/DA dichotomy. In the case of Zimbabwe, we are seeing a new trend where the so-called young politicians from both camps not just share platforms, but actually share prognoses on Zimbabwe’s future.

It often gets worse, is indeed happened last week and this week. We witnessed with horror a young and well-placed ruling party politician not just wishing the back of his party president, but actually articulating a prognosis of Zanu (PF) demise which Dell was to echo in a matter of a few days later. Was this coincidence or causality? Was this a case shared beliefs, actions and outcomes? Who is the consumer of such soothsaying? How is all that supposed to help and move forward the consolidation of the liberation tradition? What sort of loyalty is it when men who should bring the plaster to embattled Zanu (PF), end up doing remarkably well to bring and administer salt to bleeding wounds of battle? Indeed, if gold rusts, what does iron do?

Allowing Dell some purgation

Dear reader, you correctly notice I do no more than make incidental references to Christopher Dell, US’ outgoing man here. He is set to leave our beautiful country in a matter of days. He goes away a bitter and failed man, one whose credentials simply crumbled to undignified rantings in the uncaring deep. He goes away in a highly destructive mode. He is, after all, an outsider from whom little should be expected, to whom no song is due. His duty here has been simply to march for the colours of America and in all fairness, he did it rather with immaculate abrasiveness.

He lashes at the Zimbabwean government and its leadership daily, conveniently drawing consoling from a belief that gratuitous anger against Zanu (PF) must be right. I personally think we must indulge him. After all his repeated, bitter attacks are enough proof we kept him very busy here, too busy for any material mischief.

His repeated hellfire prognosis confirms his won deep doubt about such a likelihood. Let us allow the man an outlet, a purgation. After all given where he is going, that is, war-torn Afghanistan, these may be his last remarks on this earth before the Talibans catch up with him, cut his ears before retiring him from this earth.

Dark lips for white mind

Far from focusing on him, focus should fall on his successor whom I hear wears my colour and complexion. Uncle Sam has decided to deploy one of our own here, to make sure the condemnation comes from the lips of an African-African American, the same way Blair sought the same by deploying dark Boateng to South Africa. No big deal here. We do not read lips from the skin; we read lips from the colour of the mind, and of course the colour of the hand that controls it. Going by Dell's successor's record elsewhere on the continent, itake-take chaiyo!

The bait of Fishmongers

The West is dropping abundant sweetners and incentives for our enslavement. Which is where the IMF and Fishmongers Group (group of western donors led by Britain and the US) come in. On the advice of the IMF, the group promises US$3billion over a five-year period to finance "a post-Mugabe" Zimbabwe in all the areas, including of course "agrarian reforms", a shorthand for a reversal of land reforms. To the simple-minded, this is a tantalizing offer, one which promises post-Mugabe Zimbabwe "a kind big bang" which will waft everyone to a sugary era!

But as Zimbabweans, we must feel jealousy, very jealousy. Post-Taliban Afghanistan was promised more billions by the same fishmongers than they have granted us! Iraq was promised even more, in fact everything under the sun, except of course their freedom and life! How dare the fishmongers promise us a mere US$3 billion? Don’t they know we are revolutionary Zimbabweans! Hark, who asks? What have the Afghans since got? What has Iraq got? A lot by way of dolour, hardly anything by way of dollar!

In fact both societies have since discovereda pledge from fishmongers is an indication of how much they wish to get from you! As the fishmongers’ soldiers were busy buffeting and hacking Afghans and Iraqis with extraordinary firepower, the fishmongers themselves are busy catching fish, wringing resources both nations dry.

Such is the simple moral of the Fishmongers' offer, one hardly new in the history of imperial pillage. In our case, the same offer was unveiled by the British intelligence soon after MDC’s abortive March 11 coup.

Well before that, the Americans had used their academic soothsayers at John F. Kennedy Graduate School to flaunt a similar package, with Tony Hawkins as its designated salesman. Which takes me to a major point: whose Zimbabwe is the post-Mugabe era going to be? It can't be a matter of fate especially in this era where fate equals American imperialism. It has to be a matter of struggle and victory against imperialism. Iwe neni tichine basa!

Real insult to injury

In case anyone still has doubts about the ownership of the so-called governance NGOs, let them read the latest joint propaganda offer from the so-called Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, and the all-white Justice for Agriculture (JAG).

Titled "Insult to Injury", this latest piece of bald propaganda is an exquisite exercise in ventriloquism. The whole report quotes from itself, and yet pretends to break new ground on the vexed question on land. Of course the idea behind its compilation, is to compose a charge sheet for Robert Mugabe whom both organizations would want to see arraigned at the ICC. But the hasty report makes fundamental concessions. It admits that the vote which won the MDC the "No" vote on the constitutional referendum, largely came from quarters least conversant or preoccupied with constitutional issues, namely farm labourers on white-owned farms. How revealing!

The hope was to do the same in subsequent plebiscites, in the process securing an MDC win. It also admits to violence visited on white farmers by farm labourers during the Third Chimurenga. The import is clear: the historically abused farm labourers felt emancipated by the Third Chimurenga and abused their newfound freedom to mete out vengeance on their white tormentors. Is that not the story Mr. Editor of the Financial Gazette?

The report admits that while white farmers lost a vast array of assets, farm labourers only lost wages or livelihoods! Why so if it is true that JAG members were true guardians of farm labourers? Of course JAG and the Forum cannot go so far as to acknowledge that the erstwhile labourers have since gained a primary asset called land, all along a preserve of their white masters. It also admits to the fact that white farmers used the courts "extravagantly" to vex and confound all efforts at peaceful land reforms. And yet it still concludes that land reforms could have proceeded smoothly without any conflict!

Pity the pets!

But the report is not without humour. In attempting to define the most heinous human rights abuses visited on hapless white farmers, it identifies attack on their spoilt and overfed pets as one most singular act of savagery. The abused pets come well before the farm labourers, which is why a strong case for pets is made before a sequel study on farm labourers! Rhodesians never die! The point to emphasise is that we are seeing the divesting of all pretences as the cognateness of white farmers, the MDC and the whole industry of governance NGOs which number more than 2000, becomes apparent. That is what happens when you push the opponent to the limit!

We will lose elections, MDC

I notice the MDCs’ negotiating team has had to revise its churlish position paper on the Mbeki-mediated talks. But the new effort is no better and clearly shows that there is nothing to negotiate with, only much to lament in such a deficient opposition. It should be relatively easy for Goche and Chinamasa, more so when both members of the MDC openly admit to the irreversibility of land reforms, and to the fact that illegal sanctions against Zimbabwe are now being pushed by interests they cannot govern.

But hark, what is this suggestion about changing Zimbabwe’s provinces from 10 to 5, namely Matabeleland, Midlands, Masvingo, Mashonaland and Manicaland, each under an elective governor with a full cabinet? I see even Muleya was too embarrassed to share such a puerile idea with his diminishing readers! Was that meant to placate and prepossess the South Africans by appearing to be admiring that great country’s provincial premier system of local government? Or was that meant to placate and won over the feeling of irredentism held by a measly minority in Bulawayo?

Do these guys know what issues to negotiate with Zanu (PF), and what issues to put before the electorate in polls? And did anyone read through the two MDC's parody of the Unity Accord? It is eminently readable drivel. But there is something that sticks out sore. The two factions are brave enough to tell their constituency they are not sure that they will win! They even spell out a post-defeat scenario and how the two factions will coexist. That assumes they will subsist after the march 2008 defeat! Incidentally, I went to Bak Storage and boy, did I not see numberless MDC MPs agitating for very basic farming implements such as ox-drawn harrows. Vorime zhara, Dumbu ragare parombe! Icho! — nathaniel.manheru@zimpaperes.

Tsvangirai reiterates trust on the effectiveness of sanctions

In May 2007 Morgan Tsvangirai gave an interview to Steven Sackur' BBC Hard Talk
In this programme Tsvangirai boasted of having created the economic problems currently facing the country. Below is an excerpt from Tsvangirai's insightful claims made approximately 7 minutes 30 seconds into the interview.


Steven Sackur: Do you think right now you have a coherent strategy?

Morgan Tsvangirai: We do have a strategy.

Steven Sackur:
I would like to know what it is.

Morgan Tsvangirai: We have a coherent strategy. The dictatorship is in a quandary because we have created that dilemma. It has no response to the plight of Zimbabweans economically, people have no food, no jobs, no anything. He knows that we have put him in that dilemma because we have a coherent strategy of putting him in that dilemma.


Today, Tsvangirai follows in the footsteps of Christopher Dell in praising the use of the artificial Anglo-America engineered economic meltdown harassing our population as a political campaign tool.
WITHER ZIMBABWE!
We are all suffering because some uneducated, unsophisticated ugly-faced idiot thinks our suffering will gain him votes? Nothing is more treasonous.



Inflation will put pressure on Mugabe: Says Tsvangirai
June 22, 2007, 07:00


Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the opposition in Zimbabwe, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), says runaway inflation and the Zimbabwe dollar's worst crash in memory will increase pressure on Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean president, to allow free and fair elections.

Zimbabweans are scheduled to go to the polls next year and Mugabe has indicated he wants to stand for another term. Tsvangirai was speaking in London. It is his first public appearance outside Zimbabwe with Arthur Mutambara, a former MDC rival.

"It is a life threatening condition for the majority of people in Zimbabwe. People have no food, people have no jobs and people have no health. Education deliveries have almost collapsed. We are determined to deal with the resistance and regime until our goal of democratic change is achieved," he said.

Christopher Dell, the United States ambassador in Zimbabwe, earlier said he believed runaway inflation would remove Mugabe from office. Dell said yesterday he expected Zimbabwe's annual inflation rate to reach 1.5 million% by the end of the year.

Dell was commenting after the Zimbabwean dollar suffered its worst crash in memory. Black market exchange rates rose to 300 000 Zim dollars to one US dollar in large offshore deals. The official exchange rate is 15 000 Zim dollars to one US dollar.<

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Christopher Dell goes back empty handed

Dell's Departure Boon for Zim

The Herald (Harare)
OPINION
20 June 2007
Posted to the web 20 June 2007
Harare

AMONG Roman emperor and conqueror Julius Caesar's famous phrases is the dictum, "Veni, vidi, vici," Latin for "I came, I saw, I conquered" that he used whenever his armies delivered on his military objectives.

The phrase does not apply to outgoing United States ambassador Christopher Dell, who came here brimming with confidence that he would deliver Zimbabwe on a platter, as he had promised his bosses in Washington, but who now leaves with his tail between his legs.

Dell leaves Zimbabwe with his rabble-rousing legacy in tatters, his ego deflated and with the startling realisation that Zimbabwe is a different ball game altogether as indeed he admitted in his roundtable with journalists in Bulawayo.

The illegal regime change agenda has fallen flat on its face.

Progressive Zimbabweans can't wait to see Dell's back, because throughout his stay here, he never worked to fulfil his brief of enhancing relations between Harare and Washington, choosing instead to try and stir diplomatic rows at every opportunity.

We all remember his "absent-minded" wandering into restricted security zones at the Harare Botanical Gardens, his clandestine meetings with the MDC factions, and his undiplomatic opposition mouthing.

In fact, Dell's itinerary that covered Bulawayo and Harare per se confirms what we have been saying all along: that the US envoy behaved like Washington's ambassador to the MDC, and not to Zimbabwe.

Harare and Bulawayo are the two provinces that are exclusively in the hands of the MDC, with Zanu-PF, of course, holding sway in only one constituency, Harare South.

These are the provinces that Dell hoped would provide the turf for his envisaged Ukrainian-style "Orange revolution". But that was not to be.

If Dell had spent his tenure like other ambassadors, his farewell tour would cover development projects in various provinces, but alas, it was restricted to the MDC constituencies in Harare and Bulawayo, and probably the headquarters of the two-factions.

While we understand that as a representative, Dell had to be the public face of his boss George W Bush, he failed where it matters most, that is in informing Washington how badly misplaced its approach to Zimbabwe is.

As ambassador, he had the duty to inform his bosses to rethink their misguided policies on Zimbabwe.

His departure, however, is a boon for the ongoing spirit of engagement between Zanu-PF and the MDC, whose delegations were recently in South Africa trying to find common ground on how they can work together to clean the mess Dell and his bosses created with their supremacist policies.

As such, his departure, together with that of British Premier Tony Blair, could not have come at a better time.

We just hope Dell will have the decency to bid his nemesis, President Mugabe, farewell and not sneak out like Brian Donnelly, the British diplomat who also spent his tenure trying to do in Zimbabwe what he had done to Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic.

We also hope he will convey to his bosses the Presidents constant refrain: Zimbabwe will never be a colony again.

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Zimbabwe's land reform is a crime against humanity (MDC)

This is what a branch of the MDC calling itself a Human rights NGO Forum thinks of the repossession of land stolen by settlers from Zimbabwe's natives. These people have no shame whatsoever. For money, they can be fronted by the former white farmers to say the most unbelievably stupid things on this earth.


Disruptions to livelihoods caused by President Robert Mugabe's controversial land-reform programme hastened the deaths of thousands of Zimbabweans and led to the loss of billions of dollars' worth of property, a new report says.

The report, released on Saturday by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, says charges of crimes against humanity could be brought against the perpetrators.

The dramatic claims are contained in the 41-page report on human rights violations inflicted during the land-reform programme, which was launched by Mugabe in 2000.

The rights forum, a coalition of rights groups, carried out its survey on 187 white-owned farms during a six-month period from 2006 to 2007. Of the number of farms surveyed, 94% had been taken over.

The losses of both lives and property on the surveyed farms were probably representative of those incurred by white farmers and their workers since the launch of the land-reform programme, the group says.

Of the 1,3-million farm workers and their families living on about 4 000 white-owned farms before 2000, about 70% are estimated to have lost their livelihoods. Due to the farm seizures, the farm workers have lost their homes, access to medical clinics and other benefits.

The survey found that about 1% of displaced farm workers and their family members had died since losing their jobs. Extrapolated to the entire population of one million farmer workers and their families, 10 000 people could have died after displacement from the farms.

Zimbabwe has one of the world's highest rates of HIV/Aids, with an estimated one in five people infected. The report claims that 66% of surveyed farmworkers used to have access to HIV/Aids programmes before the farms on which they worked were taken over.

Economic losses
White farmers' losses on the surveyed farms, including their earnings, property and livestock, amounted to $368-million, says the forum. If this is crudely extrapolated to the commercial farm sector as a whole, the figures become astronomical -- a total estimated loss to the white-run commercial farming sector of more than $8-billion.

The group says many of the land grabs were carried out by senior government officials. Farmers and their workers were not afforded the protection of the law.

There can be no impunity for gross human rights violations, hence there must be some process of accountability for the violations that occurred during the land-reform exercise, it says.

Zimbabwe used to produce bumper grain crops and prime export commodities such as tobacco, beef and flowers. However, production has plummeted in the past seven years, contributing to a humanitarian crisis.

This year, the cash-strapped government will import hundreds of thousands of tonnes of maize from neighbouring countries. About one-third of the population will require food aid by early 2008, according to United Nations estimates.

While Mugabe's government blames the food crisis on drought, experts point to the devastating effect of the land-reform programme. But the 83-year-old president this week reiterated that his government was morally right in taking over the farms. -- Sapa-dpa


If the repossession of the stolen land is a crime against humanity, what then becomes the of the forced displacement of entire black communities from their land into reserves, the robbing of livestock by the settlers? How many Blacks were killed in the process? Who stands out for them? What cheek these people show!

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Top Myths about Zimbabwe's displaced White farmers






1. That they gainfully employed thousands of blacks.
One of the lies from Zimbabwe's former white settler community is that the repossession of land that had been stolen from Black natives led to massive loss of employment. Farm work in Zimbabwe was nothing more than slavery. A farm worker's entire family was the white farmer's labour, including kids below the age of consent. The white farmer would provide food that the worker would pay for at the end of the months, resulting in a perpetual bondage. Whoever bemoans the death of such a system belongs to the stone age.

2. That they produced food for zimbabwe.

As far back as the mid-80s, Zimbabwe's grain came exclusively from small scale and peasant agriculture, after the white farmers had switched from grain farming to cash crops like tobacco, flowers and paprika. This explains why in 1992-93 zimbabwe had to import grain, resulting in the consumption of yellow maize that zimbabweans didnt like and gave it many names. This food shortage occured although the white farmers had vast stretches of irrigated land, way before the land reform exercise. Any drop in small scale output due to adverse weather has therefore always produced food shortages, although these white farmers would want everyone to believe otherwise.

The Zimbabwean Fire Place (God's Kitchen)

Sadza

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Mukangigwa (Roasted groundnuts)
1 cup peanuts, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ cup warm water

Toast the peanuts in a frying pan, without oil, stirring frequently so they do not burn. (a cast-iron pan works well)
When the peanuts are very hot, dissolve the salt in warm water. Pour this over the peanuts and keep stirring while the heat is high. Suddenly all the water will disappear and the nuts will be coated with salt.
Continue to cook for three minutes to remove any moisture.
____
Nhopi
1 cup maize meal
2 cups water 3 tablespoons peanut butter
Water melon/pumpkin, peeled, and chopped into tiny pieces
salt to taste
Boil water melon/pumpkin, and when the pieces are cooked and mashy put in the corn meal and stir. Cook, stirring frequently, until it forms a porridge.
Next, add peanut butter and salt and stir all ingredients well.
Continue to cook for a few minutes over low heat, adding about ½ cup of the retained pumpkin cooking water if necessary to make the consistency you prefer.
____
Chimukuyu nedovi
2 medium onions, finely chopped 2 green peppers, chopped
2 tablespoons butter, Smoke dried or sun dried meat (game is the best) cut into pieces
3 to 4 fresh tomatoes
half a teaspoon salt & 6 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1 chilli pepper
In a large stew pot over medium heat, sauté onions in butter until golden brown. Add garlic, salt and hot peppers.
Stir for 2 or 3 minutes
When all the chicken pieces are brown on every side, mash tomatoes with a fork and mix them into the stew, along with about 2 cups water. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
Thin the peanut butter with a few spoons of hot broth and add half the resulting paste to the pot. Simmer until the meat is well-cooked.
In a separate pot, boil spinach or pumpkin leaves for several minutes until tender. Drain and toss with the remainder of the peanut paste. Serve stew and greens side by side.
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Greens in Peanut butter sauce
cored chopped Salt to taste The greens used in his homeland aren't available here but Reneth Mano finds collard greens an excellent substitute. Finely shred the greens discarding tough stems. Place in a saucepan with the water. Bring to boil and cook stirring occasionally just until greens are crunchy-tender (don't overcook). Drain greens reserving liquid. Return greens to medium heat; add tomato and onions. Heat through stirring frequently. Thin peanut butter with 3/4 cup of the reserved cooking liquid then add to vegetables. Heat stirring constantly until greens have a creamy consistency adding more reserved liquid if mixture seems too thick. Taste and add salt if needed
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Friday, 15 June 2007

Mechanisation: No tractors please, we are MDC!

Mechanisation: No tractors please, we are MDC!



ORDINARILY, the bane of any democracy is a ruinous opposition. Thank God the ramparts of Zimbabwe’s democracy are its governors and judges, not its treacherous opposition whose programme borrows from London, Washington and Amsterdam. African history will celebrate how President Mugabe remained amazingly magnanimous and self-restraining in the face of real threats from his enemies in powerful quarters.

Any average leader facing exactly the same set of odds, the same set of powerful opponents, would long have turned into unmitigated autocracy, would long have wielded all the instruments of coercion for his defence. After all, an abiding instinct of power is paranoia, and that we have lived so normally in circumstances of such severe treachery, really speaks highly of the democratic temperament and maturity of Mugabe personally, and of the liberation movement he leads.

It speaks of a leader and revolution with confidence in the people as the veritable defence. Give Tsvangirai an ounce of pressure and challenge to his authority, he turns into an autocratic bull! Now see what he has done to his party.

Enter Tsvangirai’s vice and mouth

Khupe, Tsvangirai’s vice, and Chamisa, his mouth, have loudly renounced Government offers of agricultural tractors and implements. They argue that as urban MPs, they and their supporters do not eat, and thus do not need tractors and implements! This is breathtaking stupidity. Interestingly, on the day of the symbolic allocation, the ebullient master of ceremony for the occasion put it so well: dumbu rinenzara rinoti ndakagara parombe, which roughly translated means "an underfed stomach blames its gods for resting it on an unimaginative wretch". I suppose the same passes for a mouth which burns on the impulsion and orders of an empty head! Of course both minions of the villager were pledging loyalty to, and expanding on their leader’s Zimbabweans-do-not-need-land-but-jobs thesis. It is a dull thesis, in fact a fatal argument which has made Tsvangirai not only unelectable here at home, but an object of scorn in black Africa. Chamisa added, apparently with obvious relish, that the MDC was here to govern, not to till the land, helpfully adding its members never applied for the tractors Government was now offering them.

Well, the MDC does not govern, will not govern and the legislator fully knows he was merely entertaining his jaws. As for the second part of his self-amusement, let him be told no one applied for the tractors and implements: from the President right down to Ibbo Mandaza’s Biography Movement. It is a Government programme of transforming land reforms into full agrarian reforms. The current phase focuses on productivity which the Tsvangirai faction of the MDC appear to decry.

Pennywise, pound foolish

After all, application is a trite protocol; to the serious, it cannot nullify the offer. But since the MDC chooses to be that fastidious, let us take them on their terms, these traitors. Today they all drive whistling 4x4s, courtesy of the Zanu (PF) Government. They did not initiate the vehicle scheme. It is a facility which came their way, unsolicited, unapplied for. They welcomed it, happily too.

The formalities of obtaining benefits thus cannot be the real issue standing between them and tractors. What is it then, which dog is it which Khupe and Chamisa seek to whack with a hidden big stick?

A page from history

Gentle reader, you recall the famous footage sporting Tsvangirai and white farmers in Banket? On that occasion, he received hefty funding from white farmers, with one – apparently one of the then sprawling Nicolle dynasty – making it clear this was a good investment to write a cheque for the MDC. Today the Nicolles are farming in Zambia, using centre pivots and other agricultural machinery which they smuggled out of this country, at the height of the struggle for land.

This smuggled equipment is what Government, through the RBZ, today seeks to replace. It has reached my ears that part of the grain which Government ordered from Zambia to fill the drought-induced harvest gap, bore little missives from Nicolle, reminding Zimbabweans the grain they were now importing is his. What cheek! But that to wonder off the point.

Power from the tiller

The MDC knows the value of land to the political equation of this country. The hand that tills the land in this country, tolls the bell of political power. This is why Zanu (PF)’s impregnability rests on the peasantry. This is why too the MDC located its support base in the constituency, albeit an evanescent one, of white farmers, the same power base which underpinned the Rhodesia Front. Both political players know quite well that Zimbabwe is governed from the countryside, not from the streets. The recent attempt by the MDC and its British, American and Dutch backers to overturn Zanu (PF) power from the grounds and streets of Highfield, was only an act of desperation, not a case of mis-diagnosis on where exactly lies the quick of Zimbabwe’s politics. With white power dismantled in the countryside, the MDC fell back on an amorphous, synthetic and fickle urban constituency which Chamisa now seeks to romance and extol.

Even then, it is a constituency which is slowly coming under the spell of the soil, thanks to MDC and Blair sanctions. The phenomenon of peri-urban farming is and will be critical to mopping up support in so-called urban constituencies. What is more, the one tangible outcome of land reforms and the resultant punitive sanctions, is a clear reversal of the direction of the flow of subsidy: from the traditional cities and towns to rural people. Now the flow is from rural farmer families to unemployed and marginal urban folks and their families. Clearly, the clod shapes and governs the city. This is well before we take into account the routine odyssey which urban professionals make every Friday into the countryside to work the land which now yields in one season incomes one needs two lifetimes to achieve via the white man’s paltry wages.

Deep inside the MDC, the same laws of rural primacy do operate inexorably, informing behaviours and conduct. Chamisa knows this. Khupe knows this too. It does not matter that one is in Gutu or Insiza.

Against instinct

So both legislators know they are speaking against their instincts, indeed their interests. What is more, they know they do not carry their own peers, let alone supporters on this one matter. Chamisa cannot stand before his own mother to tell her: "Mhai, I turned down a tractor from Mugabe because I run an urban constituency". The good old lady will simply pull a half burnt faggot from the fire, resolutely menace his reckless mouth with it, before stridently warning him on dire consequences: "kubva nhasi, chinja maitiro"! The old lady badly needs a tractor for those heavy soils she won, thanks to Mugabe’s land reforms. So do his in-laws. So does his village. Indeed so does his country, his people he should hope to govern, not to starve of feed on donor GMOs!

Who is policy?

Evidence is abundant. As Barwe was busy recording these outrages, the two MPs’ peers were busy accosting the Governor of the Reserve Bank for inclusion on the mechanization scheme. I have a long list of all those who called, and to the man, to the woman, they represent urban constituencies, with one of them covering the area I live! And of course those belonging to the Mutambara faction have openly registered their gratitude to Government for the move. This time they seem to have stumbled on common sense. What is more, on the day of the symbolic distribution, both factions of the MDC were represented!

Some tell me these representatives even joined the joyous Zanu (PF) Leaguers in singing "Baba munogona kutungamira". Where does one read MDC policy: on the gaunt lips of Khupe and Chamisa, or in all these calls made to the Governor, all these seats warmed by its legislators on the occasion of the launch?

No wiser after reforms

Politics is the art of the possible. A party whose stance runs contrary to common sense, runs contrary to deep and compelling instinct of its members, courts rebellion, indeed courts mass defections. One would have thought that a post-land reform MDC would be a lot wiser. Many of its cadres then, to this day remain very bitter and disenchanted for being left out of the resettlement programme because of their party’s thought-free stance. Thank God they are a lot wiser now, and are trooping for benefits from Government which are meant to enhance indigenous people’s role in the economy.

In place of vision, these embittered supporters see ruin in their erstwhile party’s headstrong stance and borrowed policies. As they are busy recovering from that monumental miss, they now see themselves slapped by yet another impetuous and costly stance. Nderimwe dumbu ragara parombeka iri!

Ruled by the Nicolles

The party has chosen to please the Nicolles by showing that it will not betray its white sponsors through and through. It would rather offend its supporters than the Nicolles. That way it hopes to secure continued white funding while losing the vote here. It is a fundraising game, is it not? They will not even get close to a tractor, lest that is interpreted to mean a reversal of their anti-land reform stance. A few years back, during the 2005 poll, they wanted to bring in imported grain to shore up their support.

You can see the mentality: a vision to import both politics and food. Not to grow both! GMO politics for the voter, GMO food for his stomach, all in the name of urban constituencies. Anofunga seiko mazinhu aya? But whichever way it goes, Zanu (PF) is in the saddle. They reject the tractors, they remain marombe; they accept them, they vindicate the ruling party’s policies. It must be a miserable moment.

Educating Muleya

Faced with the prospect of a Salvador Allende victory in Chile in 1970, Henry Kissinger, US National Security Council chief then remarked: "I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist because of the irresponsibility of its own people". The Chilean people had decided to vote for Allende’s radical programme which included nationalization of US interests, principally in copper. In that sense, they were about to act irresponsibly and democratic America would not stand by. Such an outcome presented a new challenge to US stereotype of left-wing politics, namely that these politics were always predicated on autocracy. Now a left-wing politician was about to ascend to power on the wave of a clean and democratic ballot. From the perspective of the concerned Kissinger, such a precedent would destabilize Latin America. At was then that he coined the notorious phrase of squeezing Chile until its economy "screams".

I recall this for the benefit of Dumisani Muleya who appears to have come back drunk and hypnotized by political America, following his recent establishment-guided tour. Such tours are meant to mesmerize, are they not? For him, it was a small payment for ventilating Dell’s views, a point acknowledged by the Bush administration in its Human Rights Report. But this loud regurgitator seems to believe that the March 2008 election should pull Zimbabwe from the brink, which is why Zanu (PF) needs to woo MDC for recognition.

He sounds genuinely fatigued by the assignment he has been doing for western interests. He is suing for peace. What is more, he appears to have believed the propaganda of his handlers, namely that the British and the Americans are at war with us because of "flawed elections". Run a clean poll, he naively thinks, and all will be forgiven and forgotten. It helps to be a bit educated. I hope he reads Kissinger correctly, as indeed I also hope he reads correctly recent electoral developments in Nigeria.

Viewspaper versus Newspaper

I did not realize Tony Blair reads the Zimbabwe Independent! He is bitter and complaining, and dismisses the Independent as "a viewspaper, not a newspaper"! Well put Mr Blair, never mind that you hit epiphany at sunset. Of course Iden thinks Blair was referring to the British Independent. Correct, which is why I think calling Ncube’s viewspaper here the "Zimbabwe Independent" is indeed a not-so-clever oxymoron. On a related matter, I asked one reporter what he thought about the so-called media council formed by a conglomeration of NGOs in the name of journalists. The response was more than I had bargained for: "They formed it because they need it badly. See how they have flouted all rules and tenets of journalism". And Takaona? Well, very interesting imponderables. For him the newsroom is a matter of recall, yet he claims to represent working journalists. Clear clue why reinstating subscriptions from Zimpapers was an urgent matter. Second imponderable: he has been given a provincial newspaper, through the wife of course. Which makes him a publisher, albeit a threadbare one. Halala, we are in for good times. Meantime, happy flying to the congenital cripple!

Out! Out Jeff Koinage

Jeff Koinage is gone, gone forever, never to be seen again sprawling and howling on white CNN. He leaves the CNN in utter disgrace, with the only "concession" given him being that the CNN will not announce his dismissal to the world. And the fool thinks it’s a concession. Do they have to "not announce it"? They simply leave the idiot to announce it himself, namely by his loud absence! Let his tribe here look and, hopefully, learn. You do not betray your people for the white man. These whites use you, use you, use you and yes, throw you away like a used condom. It did not matter that Koinange was arranging shooting scenes for demonising Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe was fair game. That only became a sin when he did the same against Nigeria, the West’s darling. The response was swift. Made swifter by allegations of sexual harassment. Do I need to tell you that the supposed victim was a white girl? A friend whispered: who were the Koinages during Kenya’s land revolution? It sounds like a genetic predisposition.

This one question

To those who have written so copiously about the Mbeki initiative on Zimbabwe, I pose this one question: Is mediation talks? Food for laughter. Icho!

l nathaniel.manheru@zimpapers.co.zw

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Australia looks at prosecuting Mugabe


Its reconciliation when its a whiteman, and prosecution when its a blackman.
By Peter Fabricius
Foreign Editor

Canberra - The Australian Government has explored the possibility of seeking an International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecution against Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe for war crimes.

But Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said in an interview here on Wednesday he thought the chances of this happening were slim.

Downer pointed to the recent decision by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development to elect Zimbabwe to its chair as evidence of the impossibility of forging a global consensus to drag Zimbabwe before the ICC.

"That was not a smart thing to do. That was not good," he said of the commission's decision to put Zimbabwe in charge.

Downer indicated that Australia, like other countries such as Britain were now pinning their hopes on President Mbeki's mediation in Zimbabwe on behalf of the Southern African Development Community.




And who funded the insurgency that resulted in the Midlands and Matabeleland atrocities? The very same whiteman waffling about war crimes today. Wasnt the 1980s dissident activities in Zimbabwe funded by former white Rhodesians and South African Boers?

And the very some white governments praise us Africans for forgiving the white racists who tormented, murdered, raped, killed, imprisoned, marginalized, displaced,discriminated and segregated against us. On their part, these whites that we forgave remained racist and unrepentant,

But when it comes to our Black leaders, those who stand for their people to correct historical and colonial injustices, they want them thrown in jail,

FOR WHAT?

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Dawn of a New Era

All neocolonial entities and imperialist structures are paper tigers. In appearance, they look all terrifying-invincible!, but in reality they are not so powerful. From a long-term point of view, it is not the neocolonialists and their lap dogs but the people who are really powerful.

I have said that all the reputedly powerful western-backed forces are merely paper tigers. The reason is that they are divorced from the people. Look! Was not Ian Douglas Smith and his racist hoodlums a paper tiger? Was Ian Douglas Smith and his Rhodesian thugs not overthrown? I also say that of the Boers of South Africa. The racist misbehavior of Pieter Willem Botha and his uncivilized primitives have all been pulverized into a dust. Everywhere you look the representations of British imperialism has been overthrown across the whole earth. The empire, like Botha's apartheid, was a paper tiger too.

Hasn't the people taken back their land in Zimbabwe? White domination and monopoly of Africa's resources is a paper tiger, which will go up in flames at the slightest breath of fire. I have seen that with my own eyes in Zimbabwe. I have seen the people rising up to free their land.

REAL POWER IS IN THE HANDS OF THE PEOPLE.



Necessity is blind until it becomes conscious. Freedom is the consciousness of necessity.

The US Government Sponsors Terrorism in Zimbabwe

The US Government Sponsors Terrorism in Zimbabwe

By Ayinde
April 07, 2007

The US government is sponsoring critics of the Zimbabwe government and is funding activities aimed at "discrediting" positions taken by the Zimbabwe government under President Mugabe. (US reveals its efforts to topple Mugabe regime) No one should believe that these activities are only of a nonviolent nature. The US is definitely funding Terrorism in Zimbabwe.

The US bureaucracy is so convoluted that the government doesn't even know what is there. So much of their dirty work has a paper trail and willingness to go through that mess would provide much proof to what they have been doing all along. Under the dubious banner of "Supporting Human Rights and Democracy" The U.S. Record 2003-2004, 2004 - 2005, 2005 - 2006 and the latest report for 2006, released on April 5th 2007, are just a sampling of the records showing the length of time the US government has been funding opposition activities in Zimbabwe.

Of those being financed and otherwise supported by the US and UK alliance, as far back as 2000, the MDC opposition leader, Tsvangirai, publicly said, "What we would like to tell Mugabe is please go peacefully. If you don't want to go peacefully, we will remove you violently."(Opposition warning to Mugabe) I am reminding people of this because the opposition is using violence in Zimbabwe as promised.

Now that the US has admitted to sponsoring critics, most of the critics of Mugabe in and out of Zimbabwe are suspect. The US government ratted them out similar to how they inadvertently sold out their own undercover CIA agent. These paid critics were duped and discredited by the admissions of the US government.

ZANU PF facilities have been bombed and persons on both sides of the political divide have been assaulted or killed. However, it seems premeditated that, according to the mainstream media, whenever anyone considered sympathetic to the opposition gets injured, the media sensationalizes it and automatically implies that the Zimbabwe government is somehow directly involved. That is all part of the discrediting campaign aimed at painting the Zimbabwe government as murderous thugs to contrast with the mainstream media's portrait of a prayerful and peaceful opposition being victimized for their activities.

Ever since the land reclamation exercise in Zimbabwe, several so-called democratic and human rights groups have appeared on the scene. They all claim to be promoting freedom and independent journalism ad nauseam. They basically give the same anti-Mugabe diatribe repetitively. Many of them are paid activists on the payroll of White Settlers, the US, Britain or George Soros' Human Rights organizations.

There is a pattern to this and if one studies the US efforts to change governments in various countries one would obseve it. While the US has been in the regime change business longer, along with their main accomplice, the British, their protégé George Soros seems more than eager to fill any voids in their plans for world domination.

The US solicits other countries to join in applying sanctions to a country along with systematically attacking the targeted government in order to scare away potential and established investors. The US generously funds a multitude of newly-created fake social organizations and media, including websites, that claim to be promoting democracy and freedom. These organizations are meant to entice others to revolt against the government. Their activities are designed to construct hardships on the ordinary people in order to force them to revolt. All these 'Velvet Revolutions' were carried out in a similar fashion. They are all pro-western capitalist revolutions.
How exactly does one perpetrate a velvet revolution anyway? The seven-step strategy used against Milosevic provides an instructive blueprint:

Step 1: Form a Shadow Government
(Finance from the US and other organizations to form alternative government)

Step 2: Control the Air Waves and Internet
(US/UK bankrolled opposition media)

Step 3: Bleed the State Dry
(Economic sanctions and civil unrest)

Step 4: Sow Unrest
(Blame every new catastrophe on Mugabe)

Step 5: Provoke an Election Crisis
(Engage in ballot-stuffing and blame Mugabe for vote-rigging)

Step 6: Take the Streets
(Give lip-service to a Gandhi-esque code of non-violence but use fists, boots, guns and Molotov cocktails)

Step 7: Outlast Your Opponent
(Use aggressive tactics in an attempt to convince Mugabe that a long and bloody struggle lies ahead. Rather than risk civil war or US intervention, Mugabe should step down)

Adapted from Part 1: Velvet Revolution, USA By Richard Poe

These are the same tactics being used in Zimbabwe. The US and Europe hope to gain the support of surrounding African nations in their regime changing exercise.

The South African Development Community (SADC), which is made up of 14 member states, called for the lifting of all forms of sanctions against Zimbabwe, but the US and Britain refused to lift the sanctions. African nations called on Britain to honour their agreement to finance the land reformation exercise, but Britain said no.

White nations believe they must have their way. It does not matter how non-Whites want to address their issues, Whites intend to impose their will on the world.

The South African Development Community and the African Union certified Zimbabwe's elections in 2005 as "free and fair" but, the US and Europe insist they were not. They did not have observers on the ground. To them, African observers cannot determine "free and fair" without White, Western overseers.

"Free and fair" to these Whites is determined by whose interests are being served and can only be determined by White nations.

It is all about attempts to maintain White supremacy and the Western racist, capitalist agenda.

The US remains close allies with undemocratic governments like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. These countries are doing the US's bidding so they have no problem with them, but the US is in Africa financing and conducting terrorist activities, and trying to overthrow governments with the dishonest claim of promoting democracy.

The Zimbabwe government has every right to be firm with opposing groups that are using violence to destabilize the country. They are right to firmly resist efforts by foreign governments to illegally and undemocratically change the government. Participation by Zimbabwe nationals is treason.

What the opposition in Zimbabwe is getting away with would never be tolerated in Western countries.

The US and Britain were never about promoting democracy and they are not the originators of a democratic concept of governance. Most indigenous people had democratic systems that worked worthier to the farce of democracy that exists in the West.

It would be a good idea to promote democracy in the US; they are yet to discover its true meaning and function.

Zimbabwe: The US Government Exposed

Zimbabwe: The US Government Exposed

By K. Elford
April 06, 2007

The ongoing attempts at demonizing Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe by the U.S. and U.K. mainstream media were getting more and more ridiculous, and suddenly, most likely inadvertently, the U.S. makes the admission of what some, including President Mugabe, have been saying all along: the U.S. is funding opposition activities in Zimbabwe in their quest for regime change.

During the U.S. press briefing announcing the release of its annual report, "Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The U.S. Record - 2006" is the exchange between a reporter and the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Barry Lowenkron:
QUESTION: Yeah, can I go to -- I just want to go to Zimbabwe for a second. In this it says that the United States sponsored public events in Zimbabwe that presented economic and social analyses, discrediting the government's excuses for its failed policies. It also says that the United States continued to support the efforts of political opposition, the media, civil society, to create and defend democratic space and to support -- the last bit -- to support persons who criticize the government.

Now, granted, I've just given a cursory reading to the Zimbabwe and other -- the reports on other countries with which the United States has full diplomatic relations. The ones I looked at were Belarus, Syria, Vietnam and Eritrea. There may be more. Cuba, obviously, without full diplomatic relations, doesn't count.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY LOWENKRON: Sure.

QUESTION: My question is this: It doesn't appear that this kind of -- that these kind of things, i.e., discrediting the government's excuses for failed policies and support -- overt support for people who are critical of the government, happened, at least is being reported for these other countries. And my question is this: President Mugabe has often talked about how he thinks the West, the United States and Britain in particular, are trying to -- are trying for regime change in Zimbabwe, and this is exactly what this appears to look like, what you've acknowledged doing through your programs in Zimbabwe. And I'm just wondering, is it the United States -- does the United States believe that it's its responsibility to discredit the government's excuses -- the government and to openly support people who criticize the government? And if it is, which is what you're saying, why is Mugabe wrong when he says that you're trying for regime change?
And that is the question that begs for an honest answer along with how can the U.S. possibly deny their intentions of provoking a regime change in Zimbabwe?

With the release of this important information those who still believe the U.S. version of having any good intentions towards the Zimbabwe people would have to be very dishonest about their own intentions. The U.S. has only one goal for Zimbabwe: regime change in order to install a government that would serve the interests of Western governments.

The human rights angle just doesn't make sense. During times of turbulence in the U.S., the U.S. government has responded very similarly to how the Zimbabwe government is responding to the current opposition attempts to destabilize Zimbabwe and the African-declared fairly elected Zimbabwe government.

There have been curfews, National Guard deployments and bans of public demonstrations many times in the U.S. Police response to perceptions of threats have resulted in many people in the U.S. taking a beating, being jailed, maimed and killed by police and military forces.

Can anyone in the U.S. threaten violence against the President and not be jailed? No! An opposition leader in Zimbabwe, Morgan Tsvangirai who the U.S. supports, publicly threatened violence against President Mugabe (Opposition warning to Mugabe BBC 2000) and he is still around working with the U.S. and U.K. attempting to undemocratically change the government in Zimbabwe.

It seems when the Zimbabwe government reacts accordingly to restore law and order (rightly so because opposition groups are being supported financially and otherwise with the intention of regime change by the U.S. and U.K.) the U.S. and U.K. are calling for the Zimbabwe government's ouster.

Calling for international condemnation, especially by trying to intimidate other African countries into some kind of remote control submission is an outrage and those doing so are hypocrites.

For those who still want to hang onto their illusions of grandiose and piety from the U.S., that illusion is individual hypocrisy, as when troubles arise in the U.S. or U.K., for instance a couple bombs go off, the whole world is supposed to stop what they are doing as the country goes into overdrive with self-righteous, self-pity while the government starts taking revenge on anyone they can exploit. And all the while U.S. bombs are going off in various countries, killing and maiming innocent people daily.

That very same group supports and turns a blind-eye to the atrocities their own Western governments are committing worldwide. Look at the invasions, murders, detentions without trial and tortures that the U.S. and Britain are committing in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay and Somalia among other countries and we have the nerve to call Mugabe a monster, Hitler (a White guy by the way) or worse because he is setting the example of refusal to bow down to Western pressures to usurp him and his countries sovereignty.

Doesn't anyone out there see how truly sick this all is?

Zimbabwe: Grassroots Lieutenants of Imperialism?

Zimbabwe: Grassroots Lieutenants of Imperialism?

By Stephen Gowans
Stephen Gowans's Blog
April 03, 2007

Patrick Bond would probably never balk at being accused of contributing to the barrage of negative publicity against the Mugabe government. Bond appears to hate Mugabe with a passion.

Nor, I suspect, would he object to anyone pointing out that, where he can, he acts to alienate left support for Mugabe's government by portraying Mugabe as a reactionary who dishonestly exploits anti-imperialist rhetoric to cling to power at any cost.

Bond doesn't believe Mugabe is engaged in an anti-neo-colonial struggle. He sees Mugabe as nothing more than a corrupt demagogue who has become so addicted to the perks of power that he'll never give them up willingly.

Bond's argument resonates with some progressives because it gives them an easy way out of the dilemma of feeling obliged to support a beleaguered leader everyone says is a brutal dictator who steals elections and mismanages the economy. No one wants to be known as a thug-hugger. When Bond reinforces the crudest CNN and BBC propaganda, and tells progressives that Mugabe is a phony, he signals it's okay to join in the two minutes hate.

While there may be an emotional appeal to what Bond has to say, his argument, examined dispassionately, is weak. If Mugabe is the crypto reactionary, pro-imperialist Bond says he is, why are the openly reactionary, imperialists in London and Washington so agitated about Mugabe and his policies?

In an article posted at Counterpunch.org, and subsequently reposted at MRZine, Bond urges readers to look to the "independent" left to find out what's really going on in Zimbabwe.

Bond doesn't say what the "independent" left is independent of. What's clear, however, is that it isn't independent of the governments and foundations that want to replace Mugabe's economic and land reform policies with a neo-liberal tyranny and return to a glacial pace of land reform. Indeed, Bond's "independent" left appears to be as much a part of the US and British foreign policy apparatus as the Foreign Office, the Voice of America and the National Endowment for Democracy.

Consider, for example, Sokwanele, one of the groups Bond urges progressives to check out to find out what's really going on in Zimbabwe.

Sokwanele is an offspring of Otpor, the underground movement that was established, funded, trained and organized by the US State Department, USAID, and the US Congress-funded National Endowment for Democracy (which is said to do overtly what the CIA used to do covertly) to bring down the Milosevic government in 2000.

Here's how it worked: The West ordered the formal political opposition to unite under a single banner, and to select a name that emphasized the word "democracy," to invest the united party with moral gravitas. In Serbia, the anti-Milosevic opposition became known as the Democratic Opposition of Serbia. (In Zimbabwe, the opposition, following the same game plan, calls itself the Movement for Democratic Change.) The opposition's anointing itself as the champion of democracy serves the additional function of calling the government's commitment to democracy into question. If the opposition is "the democratic opposition" then what must the government be? The answer, of course, is undemocratic.

The plan called for the opposition to accuse the government of electoral fraud to justify a transition from electoral to insurrectionary politics. The accusations built and built as the day of the vote approached, until, by sheer repetition, they were accepted as a matter of indisputable truth. The failure of the opposition candidate, Kostunica, to win the election on the first ballot, provided the pretext for people to take to the streets to force the government to step down. Otpor was central to organizing the planned "spontaneous" demonstrations.

Wherever Washington is engaged in regime change operations, known now as color revolutions, the same plan is put into play. And where Washington is interfering in a country's internal politics to oust governments it doesn't like, you'll also find Sokwanele's sister organizations: Zubr in Belarus, Khmara in Georgia, Pora in the Ukraine. All translate into the same English phrase: enough is enough.

Zvakwana, "an underground movement that aims to .... undermine" the Mugabe government, is another Optor offspring. (Sokwanele, "specialize(s) in anonymous acts of civil disobedience.") (1) Both groups receive generous financing from Western sources. (2) While the original, Otpor, was largely a youth-oriented anarchist-leaning movement, at least one member of Sokwanele is "A conservative white businessman expressing a passion for freedom, tradition, polite manners and the British Royals." (3) That, in Bond's view, counts as the independent left.

Not surprisingly, the Bond-recommended Sokwanele Web site links to Zvakwana's Web site. Members of Zvakwana say their movement is homegrown and free of foreign control (4), but free from foreign control doesn't mean free from foreign funding. The US Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act, signed into law by US President George W. Bush in December 2001, empowers the president under the US Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to "support democratic institutions, the free press and independent media" in Zimbabwe – which is to say, groups like Sokwanele and Zvakwana.

Movements, political parties and media elsewhere have knowingly accepted funding from Western governments, their agencies and pro-imperialist foundations, while proclaiming their complete independence. (5) Members of these groups may genuinely believe they remain aloof from their backer's aims (and in the West it is often the very groups that claim not to take sides that are the favored recipients of this lucre), but self-deception is an insidious thing – and the promise of oodles of cash is hard to resist.

There's no doubt Sokwanele and Zvakwana are well-financed. Their Web sites alone betray a level of funding and organization that goes well beyond what the meager self-financing of truly independent grassroots movements – even in the far more affluent West – are able to scrape together.

If Zvakwana denies its links to the US, other elements of the Western-backed anti-Mugabe apparatus are less secretive. Studio 7, an anti-ZANU-PF radio program carries programming by the Voice of America, an agency whose existence can hardly be said to be left-oriented or independent. Studio 7 is carried on SW Radio Africa, a shortwave radio station operating from the UK, also endorsed by the Bond-recommended Sokwanele. The station is funded by "international pro-democracy groups" (6) (i.e., US ruling class foundations and Western governments.)

Groups like Sokwanele, Zvakwane and SW Radio Africa – and the arguments of individuals like Bond who promote them as the independent left – should be examined with a fair degree of skepticism. Are they really "independent"? If not, and they're bound up with the foreign policy apparatus of imperialist countries, are they really left, or do they simply talk left, to hide a fundamentally pro-imperialist orientation?

NOTES:

1. "Grass-Roots Effort Aims to Upend Mugabe in Zimbabwe," The New York Times, (March 28, 2005)
2. Los Angeles Times (July 8, 2005)
3. Ibid.
4. New York Times (March 27, 2005)
5. See Frances Stonor Saunders, "The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters," New Press, April 2000; and "The Economics and Politics or the World Social Forum," Aspects of India's Economy, No. 35, September 2003, http://www.rupe-india.org/35/contents.html
6. Globe and Mail (March 26, 2005)

Zimbabwe's Lonely Fight for Justice

Zimbabwe's Lonely Fight for Justice

By Stephen Gowans
Stephen Gowans's Blog
March 31, 2007

Ever since veterans of the guerrilla war against apartheid Rhodesia violently seized white-owned farms in Zimbabwe, the country's president, Robert Mugabe, has been demonized by politicians, human rights organizations and the media in the West. His crimes, according to right-wing sources, are numerous: human rights abuses, election rigging, repression of political opponents, corruption, and mismanagement of the economy. Leftist detractors say Mugabe talks left and walks right, and that his anti-imperialist rhetoric is pure demagogy.

I'm going to argue that the basis for Mugabe's demonization is the desire of Western powers to change the economic and land redistribution policies Mugabe's government has pursued; that his lapses from liberal democratic rectitude are, in themselves, of little moment to decision makers in Washington and London; and that the ultimate aim of regime change is to replace Mugabe with someone who can be counted on to reliably look after Western interests, and particularly British investments, in Zimbabwe.

I am also going to argue that the Zanu-PF government's abridgment of formal liberties (including freedom of assembly and freedom to travel outside the country) are warranted restraints, justified by the need to protect the political program of the elected government from hostile outside interference. In making this argument I am challenging a widely held, and often unexamined, view that civil and political liberties are senior to all other liberties, including rights related to economic sovereignty and freedom from oppression and exploitation.

Before 1980 Zimbabwe was a white-supremacist British colony named after the British financier Cecil Rhodes, whose company, the British South Africa Company, stole the land from the indigenous Matabele and Mashona people in the 1890s. British soldiers, who laid claim to the land by force of arms on behalf of Rhodes, were each rewarded with nine square miles of territory. The Matabele and Mashona — those who weren't killed in the British land grab — were rewarded with dispossession, grinding poverty, misery and subjugation. By the turn of this century, in a country of 13 million, almost 70 percent of the country's arable agricultural land was owned by some 4,500 mostly white farmers, many descendant from the original British settlers.

After a long campaign for national liberation, independence talks were held in 1979. Talks almost broke down over the land question, but Washington and London, eager for a settlement, agreed to ante up and provide financial support for a comprehensive land reform program. This, however, was to be short-lived. Britain found a way to wriggle out of its commitment, blocking the march toward the national liberation struggle's principal goal.

George Shire's grandfather Mhepo Mavakire used to farm land in Zimbabwe, before it was handed to a white man after the Second World War. Shire argues that "The unequal distribution of land in Zimbabwe was one of the major factors that inspired the rural-based liberation war against white rule and has been a source of continual popular agitation ever since." (1)

"The government," says Shire, "struggled to find a consensual way to transfer land," but with inadequate funds and insufficient assistance from London, land reform made little headway. (2) Frustrated, and under pressure from war veterans who had grown tired of waiting for the land reform they'd fought for, Mugabe embarked on a course that would lead him headlong into collision with Western governments. He passed legislation enabling the government to seize nearly 1,500 farms owned by white Zimbabweans, without compensation. As Zimbabwe's Foreign Affairs Minister from 1995 to 2005, Stan Mudenge put it, at that point "all hell broke loose." (3) Having held free and fair elections on time, and having won them, Mugabe now became an international pariah. Overnight, he was transformed into a dictator, a stealer of elections and a thug.

Displeased with Mugabe's fast track land reform program and irritated by other economic policies the Mugabe government was pursuing, the EU concluded that Mugabe would have to go, and that he would have to be forced out by civil society, the union movement or NGO's, uprisings in the street, or a military coup. On 24 January, 1999, a meeting was convened at the Royal Institute of International Affairs to discuss the EU's conclusion. The theme of the meeting, led by Richard Dowden, now the executive director of the pro-imperialist Royal African Society, was "Zimbabwe - Time for Mugabe to Go?" Mugabe's "confiscating" of white-held land compelled an unequivocal yes to the conference's rhetorical question. Dowden presented four options:

1) a military coup;

2) buying the opposition;

3) insurrection;

4) subverting Mugabe's ZANU-PF party.

A few months later, Washington weighed in. The US State Department held a seminar to discuss a strategy for dealing with the "Zimbabwe crisis." Civil society and the opposition would be strengthened to foment discontent and dissent. The opposition would be brought together under a single banner to enhance its chances of success at the polls and funding would be funnelled to the opposition through Western backed NGO's. Dissident groups could be strengthened and encouraged to take to the streets. (4)

The Milosevic Treatment

The program the US State Department prescribed to rid Zimbabwe of Mugabe and his land reform politics had been used successfully to oust Yugoslavia's president Slobodan Milosevic in 2000. The basis of the program is to pressure the civilian population through a program of bombing, sanctions or military threat, in order to galvanize the population to rise up against its government, the proximal cause of its discomfort. (In Zimbabwe, the hoped for response is: If only Mugabe hadn't antagonized the West, we wouldn't be under this pressure.) This was illustrated by US Air Force General, Michael Short, who explained the purpose of the NATO's 1999 bombing campaign against Yugoslavia was to create disaffection with Milosevic. "If you wake up in the morning," explained Short, "and you have no power to your house and no gas to your stove and the bridge you take to work is down and will be lying in the Danube for the next 20 years, I think you begin to ask, 'Hey, Slobo, what's this all about? How much more of this do we have to withstand?'" (5)

Paired with outside pressure is the enlistment of a political opposition and grassroots movement to discipline and organize the population's disaffection so that it's channelled in the direction of forcing the government to step down. Western powers create the pain, and inject a fifth column of "democracy" activists and a "democratic" opposition to offer the removal of the current government as the cure. In the end, the people administer the cure themselves. Because the Milosevic treatment is typically deployed against the leaders of revolutionary societies (though the revolution may have happened some time ago), the opposition can be thought of as a counter-revolutionary vanguard. The vanguard has two components: a formal political opposition, whose job it is to contest elections and cry foul when it doesn't win, and an underground grassroots movement, mandated to carry out extra-parliamentary agitation and to take to the streets in planned "spontaneous" uprisings, using allegations of electoral fraud as a pretext for pursuing insurrectionary politics.

In Yugoslavia, the underground movement, known as Otpor, was established, funded, trained and organized by the US State Department, USAID, the US Congress-funded National Endowment for Democracy (which is said to do overtly what the CIA used to do covertly) and through various NGO's like Freedom House, whose board of directors has included a rogues' gallery of US ruling class activists: Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Otto Reich, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Steve Forbes.

Otpor has been the inspiration for similar groups elsewhere: Zubr in Belarus, Khmara in Georgia, Pora in the Ukraine. Otpor's Zimbabwean progeny include Zvakwana, "an underground movement that aims to .... undermine" the Mugabe government and Sokwanele, whose "members specialize in anonymous acts of civil disobedience." (6) Both groups receive generous financing from Western sources. (7) While the original, Otpor, was largely a youth-oriented anarchist-leaning movement, at least one member of Sokwanele is "A conservative white businessman expressing a passion for freedom, tradition, polite manners and the British Royals." (8)

Members of Zvakwana say their movement is homegrown and free of foreign control. (9) It may be homegrown, and its operatives may sincerely believe they chart their own course, but the group is almost certainly not free of foreign funding. The US Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act, signed into law by US President George W. Bush in December 2001, empowers the president under the US Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to "support democratic institutions, the free press and independent media" in Zimbabwe. It's doubtful Zvakwana has not been showered with Washington's largesse.

Zvakwana's denial that it's under foreign control doesn't amount to a denial of foreign funding. Movements, political parties and media elsewhere have knowingly accepted funding from Western governments, their agencies and pro-imperialist foundations, while proclaiming their complete independence. (10) Members of these groups may genuinely believe they remain aloof from their backer's aims (and in the West it is often the very groups that claim not to take sides that are the favored recipients of this lucre), but self-deception is an insidious thing – and the promise of oodles of cash is hard to resist.

There's no doubt Zvakwana is well-financed. It distributes flashy stickers, condoms bearing the movement's Z logo, phone cards, audiotapes and packages of seeds bearing anti-Mugabe messages, en masse. These things don't come cheap. What's more, its operatives study "videotapes on resistance movements in Poland, Chile, India and Serbia, as well as studying civil rights tactics used in Nashville." (11) This betrays a level of funding and organization that goes well beyond what the meager self-financing of true grassroots movements — even in the far more affluent West – are able to scrape together.

If Zvakwana denies its links to the US, other elements of the Western-backed anti-Mugabe apparatus are less secretive. Studio 7, an anti-ZANU-PF radio program carries programming by the Voice of America, an agency whose existence can hardly be said to be independent of promoting the aims of US capital around the world. The radio station SW Radio Africa, the self-styled "independent voice of Zimbabwe," broadcasts from the UK by short-wave radio. It may call itself independent, but the broadcaster is as independent as the British Foreign Office is, which, one suspects, is one of the principal backers of the "international pro-democracy groups" that fill the station's coffers with the cash that allow it to operate. (12) The radio station's website evinces a fondness for British Prime Minister Tony Blair's take on Zimbabwe, which happens to be more or less equivalent to that of the formal political opposition in Zimbabwe, which also happens to be more or less equivalent to that of foreign investors, banks, and shareholders. That the station operates out of studios in London — and it seems, if it had its druthers, would not only put an end to Harare's crackdown on foreign meddling in Zimbabwe's internal affairs, but see to it that policies friendly to the rent, profits and interest of foreign owners and investors were allowed to flourish — should leave little doubt as to who's behind the "international pro-democracy groups" that have put SW Radio Africa on the air.

In late March 2007, Richard from SW Radio Africa contacted me by e-mail to find out if I had been hired by the Mugabe government to write an article that appeared on the Counterpunch website, titled What's Really Going On in Zimbabwe? (13)
Stephen,

Do you promise (cross your heart) that you received no money from Zimbabwe's Ministry of Information (or any group acting on their behalf) to write this piece?

The rhetoric does sound awfully familiar.

Richard

Richard,

From your e-mail address I take it you work for UK-based SW Radio Africa, which broadcasts Studio 7, the Zimbabwe program of the Voice of America, funded by the US government.

I don't receive money, support, assistance — not even foot massages — from anyone in Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwean government or any of its agents or representatives.

Now, do you promise (cross your heart) that you receive no money from the US or British governments or from the US Ministry of Truth, viz., the Voice of America, (or any group acting on their behalf)?

Your rhetoric sounds awfully familiar.

Steve
Richard replied with assurances that "We are, in truth, totally independent, sponsored by a variety of groups that support democracy and freedom of expression," but didn't explain how Radio SW Africa could be "totally independent" and at the same time dependent on its sponsors. When I asked who the station's sponsors were, he declined to tell me.

An equally important component of the counter-revolutionary vanguard is the formal political opposition. This to be comprised of a single party which unites all the opposition parties under a single banner, to maximize the strength of the formal political forces arrayed against the government, and therefore to increase the probability of the anti-government forces making a respectable showing at the polls. The united opposition is to have one goal: deposing the government. In order that it is invested with moral gravitas, its name must emphasize the word "democracy." In Serbia, the anti-Milosevic opposition united under the banner, the Democratic Opposition of Serbia. In Zimbabwe, the opposition calls itself the Movement for Democratic Change. This serves the additional function of calling the government's commitment to democracy into question. If the opposition is "the democratic opposition" then what must the government be? The answer, of course, is undemocratic.

Integral to the Milosevic treatment is accusing the government of electoral fraud to justify a transition from electoral to insurrectionary politics. The accusations build and build as the day of the vote approaches, until, by sheer repetition, they are accepted as a matter of indisputable truth. This has a heads I win, tails you lose character. If the opposition loses the election, the vote is confirmed to be illegitimate, as all the pre-election warnings predicted it would be, unleashing a torrent of people onto the streets to demand the government step down. If the opposition wins the election, the accusations are forgotten.

The US, the European Union and international human rights organizations denounced the last election in Zimbabwe as tilted in favour of the governing party. The evidence for this was that the state controls the state-owned media, the military, the police and the electoral mechanisms. Since the state of every country controls the military, the police and the electoral mechanisms, and the state-owned media if it has one, this implies elections in all countries are titled in favour of the governing party, a manifestly absurd point of view.

So far the Milosevic treatment has failed to achieve its desired end in Zimbabwe. One of the reasons why is that the formal political opposition has failed to execute the plan to a tee. The lapse centers around what is know as Plan B. The Los Angeles Times describes Plan B this way: "Insiders are asking what happened to the opposition's 'Plan B' that they had designed to put into operation the day after the March (2005) elections. The plan called for (the MDC leader, Morgan) Tsvangirai to claim a confident victory, with masses of his jubilant supporters flooding the streets for a spontaneous victory party — banking on the idea that with observers from neighbouring African countries and the international media present, Mugabe's security forces would hesitate to unleash violence." (14) (Note the reference to the planned "spontaneous" victory party.) That Plan B wasn't executed may be the reason Tsvangirai is no longer in control of a unified MDC, and is vying with Arthur Mutambara, an Oxford educated robotics engineer who worked as a management consultant, to lead the opposition.

Countering the Milosevic Treatment

The problem, from the perspective of the US State Department planners who formulated the Milosevic treatment, is that if you do it too often, the next victim becomes wise to what you're up to, and can manoeuvre to stop it. With successes in Yugoslavia, Georgia and Ukraine, but failure so far in Belarus, the element of surprise is lost, and the blatancy of what the US government is up to becomes counter-productive. So obvious has the Milosevic treatment become, US government officials now express surprise when the leaders they've targeted for regime change put up with it. (15)

Mugabe, however, hasn't put up with it, and has imposed a number of restrictions on civil liberties to thwart destabilization efforts. One measure is to ban NGOs that act as instruments of US or British foreign policy. NGOs that want to operate in Zimbabwe cannot receive foreign funding and must disclose their sources of financial support. This stops Washington and Britain from working within the country, through proxy, to meddle in the country's internal affairs. For the same reason, legislation was put forward in Russia in 2005 to require the 450,000 NGOs operating there to re-register with the state, to prevent foreign-funded political activity. The legislation's sponsors characterized "internationally financed NGOs as a 'fifth column' doing the bidding of foreigners." (16)

In a similar vein, foreign journalists whose reporting appears to be motivated by the goal of promoting the foreign policy objectives of hostile nations, like the US and UK, are banned. CNN reporters are prohibited from reporting from Zimbabwe because the government regards them, with justification, as a tool of US foreign policy. What reasonable person of an unprejudiced mind would dispute CNN's chauvinism? Given that one of the objects of US foreign policy is to intervene in Zimbabwe's affairs to change the government, the ban is a warranted restraint on press freedom.

Limitations on press freedom are not unique to Zimbabwe, although those imposed by Mugabe are a good deal more justifiable than those imposed by the West. In the wake of the March 2006 re-election of Belarus president Aleksandr Lukashenko, the US planned to sanction 14 Belarus journalists it labelled "key figures in the propaganda, distortion of facts and attacks on the democracies (i.e., the US and Britain) and their representatives in Belarus." (17) In 1999, NATO bombed the Serb Radio-TV building, because it said Serb Radio-TV was broadcasting propaganda.

Laws "sharply curbing freedoms of the press and public assembly, citing national security" were enacted during the 2002 elections. (18) Mugabe justified the restrictions as necessary to counter Western plans to re-impose domination of Zimbabwe. "They want our gold, our platinum, our land," he argues. "These are ours forever. I will stand and fight for our rights of sovereignty. We fought for our country to be free. These resources will remain ours forever. Let this be understood to those in London." (19)

Mugabe's warning about the danger of re-colonization "underpins the crackdown on the nation's most formidable independent forces, pro-democracy groups and the Movement for Democratic Change, both of which have broad Western support, and, often, financing," as the New York Times put it. (20) (Note the reference to the opposition being independent even though it's dependent on broad Western support and financing.)

This "fortress-Zimbabwe strategy has been strikingly effective. According to a poll of 1,200 Zimbabweans published in August (2004) by South African and American researchers, the level of public trust in Mr. Mugabe's leadership has more than doubled since 1999, to 46 percent – even as the economy has fallen into ruin...and anger over economic and living conditions is pervasive." (21)

Mugabe, his detractors allege, secures his support by focusing the public's anger on outside forces to keep the public from focusing its anger on him (the same argument the US government and anti-Castro forces have been making about Castro for years.) If this is true, the groundswell of opposition to Mugabe's government that we're led to believe threatens to topple Mugabe from power any moment, doesn't exist; it's directed at outside forces. Consistent with this is the reality that the US-based Save Zimbabwe Campaign "does not...have widespread grassroots support." (22)

Implicit in the argument that Mugabe uses anti-imperialist rhetoric to stay in power is the view that (a) outside forces aren't responsible for the country's deep economic crisis and that (b) Mugabe is. This is the view of US ambassador to Zimbabwe Christopher Dell, and many of Mugabe's leftist detractors. "Neither drought nor sanctions are at the root of Zimbabwe's decline. The Zimbabwe government's own gross mismanagement of the economy and corrupt rule has brought on the crisis." (23)

Yet, in a country whose economy is mainly based on agriculture, the idea that drought hasn't caused serious economic trouble, is absurd. Drought is a regional phenomenon, whittling away at populations in Mali, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mauritania, Eritrea, southern Sudan and Zimbabwe. Land redistribution hasn't destroyed agriculture in Zimbabwe; it has destroyed white commercial, cash-crop farming, which is centred on the production of tobacco for export.

Equally absurd is the notion that sanctions are economically neutral. Sanctions imposed by the US, EU and other countries deny Zimbabwe international economic and humanitarian assistance and disrupt trade and investment flows. Surgical or targeted sanctions are like surgical or targeted bombing: not as surgical as their champions allege and the cause of a good deal of collateral damage and suffering.

Left critics of Mugabe ape the argument of the US ambassador, adding that Mugabe's anti-imperialist and leftist rhetoric is, in truth, insincere. He is actually right-wing and reactionary — a master at talking left while walking right. (24) But if Mugabe is really the crypto-reactionary, secret pro-imperialist some people say he is, why are the openly reactionary, pro-imperialists in Washington and London so agitated?

Finally, if Mugabe uses outside interference as an excuse to keep tight control, why not stop interfering and deny him the excuse?

Mugabe's government also denies passports to any person believed to be travelling abroad to campaign for sanctions against Zimbabwe, or military intervention in Zimbabwe. The justification for this is the opposition's fondness for inviting its backers in Washington and London to ratchet up punitive measures against the country.

No country has ever provided unqualified public advocacy rights, rights of association, and freedom of travel, for all people, at all times. Always there has been the idea of warranted restraint. And the conditions under which warranted restraint have been imposed are conditions in which the state is threatened. There's no question the ZANU-PF government, and the movement for national liberation it champions, is under threat.

Archbishop Pius Ncube tells a gathering that "we must be ready to stand, even in front of blazing guns, that "this dictatorship must be brought down right now, and that "if we can get 30,000 people together Mugabe will just come down. I am ready to lead it." (25) Arthur Mutambara boasts that he is "going to remove Robert Mugabe, I promise you, with every tool at my disposal" and that he's not "going to rule out or in anything – the sky's the limit." (26) If I declared an intention to remove Tony Blair with every tool at my disposal, that no tool was ruled out, and I did so with the backing of hostile foreign powers, it wouldn't be long before the police paid me a visit.

Why the West wants Mugabe gone

It's not Mugabe per se that Washington and London and white commercial farmers in Zimbabwe want to overthrow. It's his policies they want to be rid of, and they want to replace his policies with their own, very different, policies. There are at least five reasons why Washington and London want to oust Mugabe, none of which have anything to do with human rights.

The first reason to chase Mugabe from power is that in the late 90's his government abandoned IMF-mandated structural adjustment programs – programs of bleeding people dry to pay interest on international debt. These are policies of currency devaluation, severe social program cuts – anything to free up money to pay down debt, no matter what the human consequences.

The second is that Mugabe sent troops to the Democratic Republic of Congo to bolster the Kabila government. This interfered with Western designs in the region.

The third is that many of Mugabe's economic policies are not congenial to the current neo-liberal orthodoxy. For example, Mugabe recently announced the nationalization of a diamond mine, which seems to be, in the current climate, an anachronism. If you nationalize anything these days, you're called radical and out of date. The MDC – which promotes the neo-liberal tyranny — wants to privatize everything. It is for this reason that Mugabe talks about the opposition wanting to sell off Zimbabwe's resources. The state continues to operate state-owned enterprises. And the government imposes performance requirements on foreign investors. For example, you may be required to invest part of your profits in government bonds. Or you may be required to take on a local partner. Foreign investors, or governments that represent them, bristle at these conditions.

The fourth is that British companies dominate the Zimbabwean economy and the British government would like to protect the investments of British banks, investors and corporations. If you read the British press you'll find a fixation on Zimbabwe, one you won't find elsewhere. Why does Britain take such a keen interest in the internal affairs of Zimbabwe? The usual answer is that Britain has an especial interest in Zimbabwe because it is the country's former colonial master, but why should Britain's former colonial domination of Zimbabwe heighten its interest in the country? The answer is that colonization paved the way for an economic domination of the country by British corporations, investors and banks – and the domination carries on as a legacy of Britain's former colonial rule. If you're part of the British ruling class or one of its representatives, what you want in a country in which you have enormous investments is a trustworthy local ruler who will look after them. Mutambara, who was educated in Britain and lived there, and has absorbed the imperialist point of view, is, from the perspective of the British ruling class, far more attractive than Mugabe as a steward of its interests.

Finally, Western powers would like to see Mugabe replaced by a trustworthy steward who will abandon the fast track land reform program, which apart from violating sacrosanct principles of the capitalist church, if allowed to thrive, becomes a model to inspire the indigenous rural populations of neighbouring countries. Governments in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand also look askance at Mugabe's land reform policy, and wish to see it overturned, for fear it will inspire their own aboriginal populations.

Mugabe's government accelerated its land redistribution program in the late 90s, breaking with the completely unworkable, willing buyer, willing seller policy that only allowed the government to redistribute the country's arable land after the descendants of the former colonial settlers, absentee landlords and some members of the British House of Lords were done using it, and therefore willing to sell. Britain, which had pledged financial assistance to its former colony to help buy the land, reneged, leaving Harare without the means to expropriate with compensation the vast farms dominated by the tiny minority of white descendants of British colonists.
Zimbabwe finally abandoned the 'willing buyer, willing seller' formula in 1997. The formula was crippled from the start by parsimonious British funding, and it was a clear that the program's modest goals were more than Great Britain was willing to countenance. In a letter to the Zimbabwean Minister of Agriculture in November of that year, British Secretary of State for International Development Clare Short wrote, '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.' Referring to earlier British assistance funding, Short curtly stated, 'I am told that there were discussions in 1989 and 1996 to explore the possibility of further assistance. However that is all in the past.' Short complained of 'unresolved' issues, such as 'the way in which land would be acquired and compensation paid – clearly it would not help the poor of Zimbabwe if it was done in a way which undermined investor confidence.' Short was concerned about the interests of corporate investors, then. In closing, Short wrote that 'a program of rapid land acquisition as you now seem to envisage would be impossible for us to support,' as it would damage the 'prospects for attracting investment' (27)
It was only after Mugabe embarked on this accelerated land reform program that Washington and London initiated their campaign of regime change, pressuring Mugabe's government with sanctions, expulsion from the Commonwealth, assistance to the opposition, and the usual Manichean demonization of the target government and angelization of the Western backed opposition.

The MDC, by comparison, favours a return to the unworkable willing seller, willing buyer regimen. The policy is unworkable because Harare hasn't the money to buy the farms, Britain is no longer willing to finance the program, and even if the money were available, the owners have to agree to sell their farms before the land can be redistributed. Land reform under this program will necessarily proceed at a snail's pace. The national liberation movement always balked at the idea of having to buy land that had been stolen from the indigenous population. It's like someone stealing your car, and when you demand it back, being told you're going to have to buy it back, and only when the thief is willing to sell.

Conclusion

One thing opponents and supporters of Mugabe's government agree on is that the opposition is trying to oust the president (illegally and unconstitutionally if you acknowledge the plan isn't limited to victory at the polls.) So which came first? Attempts to overthrow Zimbabwe's ZANU-PF government, or the government's harsh crackdown on opposition?

According to the Western media spin, the answer is the government's harsh crackdown on opposition. Mugabe's government is accused of being inherently authoritarian, greedy for power for power's sake, and willing do anything – from stealing elections to cracking skulls — to hang on to its privileged position. This is the typical slander levelled at the heads of governments the US and UK have trouble with, from Milosevic in his day, to Kim Jong Il, to Castro.

Another view is that the government's authoritarianism is an inevitable reaction to circumstances that are unfavorable to the attainment of its political (not its leaders' personal) goals. Mugabe's government came to power at the head of a movement that not only sought political independence, but aspired to reverse the historical theft of land by white settlers. That the opposition would be fierce and merciless – has been so – was inevitable. Reaction to the opposition, if the government and its anti-colonial agenda were to survive, would need to be equally fierce and merciless.

At the core of the conflict is a clash of right against right: the right of white settlers to enjoy whatever benefits stolen land yields in profits and rent against the right of the original owners to reclaim their land. Allied to this is a broader struggle for economic independence, which sets the rights of investors and corporations abroad to profit from untrammelled access to Zimbabwe's labor, land and resources and the right of Zimbabweans to restrict access on their own terms to facilitate their own economic development.

The dichotomy of personal versus political motivation as the basis for the actions of maligned governments recurs in debates over whether this or that leader or movement ought to be supported or reviled. The personal view says that all leaders are corrupt, chase after personal glory, power and wealth, and dishonestly manipulate the people they profess to champion. The political view doesn't deny the personal view as a possibility, but holds that the behavior of leaders is constrained by political goals.

"Even George Bush who rigs elections and manipulates news in order to stay in office and who clearly enjoys being 'the War President,' wants the presidency in order to carry out a particular program with messianic fervor," points out Richard Levins. "He would never protect the environment, provide healthcare, guarantee universal free education, or separate church and state, just to stay in office." (28)

Mugabe is sometimes criticized for being pushed into accelerating land reform by a restive population impatient with the glacial pace of redistribution allowed under the Lancaster House agreement. His detractors allege, implausibly, that he has no real commitment to land reforms. This intersects with Patrick Bond's view. According to Bond, "Mugabe talks radical — especially nationalist and anti-imperialist—(to hang on to power) but acts reactionary." He only does what's necessary to preserve his rule.

If we accept this as true, then we're saying that the behavior of the government is constrained by one of the original goals of the liberation movement (land reform) and that the personal view is irrelevant. No matter what the motivations of the government's leaders, the course the government follows is conditioned by the goals of the larger movement of national liberation.

There's no question Mugabe reacted harshly to recent provocations by factions of the MDC, or that his government was deliberately provoked. But the germane question isn't whether beating Morgan Tsvangirai over the head was too much, but whether the ban on political rallies in Harare, which the opposition deliberately violated, is justified. That depends on whose side you're on, and whether you think Tsvangirai and his associates are earnest citizens trying to freely express their views or are proxies for imperialist governments bent on establishing (restoring in Britain's case) hegemony over Zimbabwe.

There's no question either that Mugabe's government is in a precarious position. The economy is in a shambles, due in part to drought, to the disruptions caused by land reform, and to sanctions. White farmers want Mugabe gone (to slow land redistribution, or to stop it altogether), London and Washington want him gone (to ensure neo-liberal "reforms" are implemented), and it's likely that some members of his own party also want him to step down.

On top of acting to sabotage Zimbabwe economically through sanctions, London and Washington have been funnelling financial, diplomatic and organizational assistance to groups and individuals who are committed to bringing about a color revolution (i.e., extra-constitutional regime change) in Zimbabwe. That includes Tsvangirai and the MDC factions, among others.

For the Mugabe government, the options are two-fold: Capitulate (and surrender any chance of maintaining what independence Zimbabwe has managed to secure at considerable cost) or fight back. Some people might deplore the methods used, but considering the actions and objectives of the opposition – and what's at stake – the crackdown has been both measured and necessary.

Notes
The Guardian (January 24, 2002)
Ibid.
Zimbabwe's Land Reform Programme (The Reversal of Colonial Land Occupation and Domination): Its Impact on the country's regional and international relations. Paper presented by Dr I.S.G. Mudenge, Zimbabwe Minister of Foreign Affairs, to the Conference 'The Struggle Continues', held in Harare, 18-22 April 2004.
http://www.zimfa.gov.zw/speeches/minister/min014.htm
Globe and Mail (May 26, 1999)
"Grass-Roots Effort Aims to Upend Mugabe in Zimbabwe," The New York Times, (March 28, 2005)
Los Angeles Times (July 8, 2005)
Ibid.
New York Times (March 27, 2005)
See Frances Stonor Saunders, "The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters," New Press, April 2000; and "The Economics and Politics or the World Social Forum," Aspects of India's Economy, No. 35, September 2003, http://www.rupe-india.org/35/contents.html
New York Times (March 27, 2005)
Globe and Mail (March 26, 2005)
"What's Really Going on in Zimbabwe? Mugabe Gets the Milosevic Treatment," Counterpunch.com. March 23, 2007, http://www.counterpunch.org/gowans03232007.html
Los Angeles Times (July 8, 2005)
New York Times, (December 4, 2005)
Washington Post (November 18, 2005)
New York Times (March 29, 2006)
New York Times (December 24, 2004)
Globe and Mail (March 23, 2007)
New York Times (December 24, 2004)
Ibid.
Globe and Mail (March 22, 2007)
The Herald (November 7, 2005)
Patrick Bond, "Mugabe: Talks Radical, Acts Like a Reactionary: Zimbabwe's Descent," Counterpunch.com, March 27, 2007, http://www.counterpunch.org/bond03272007.html
Globe and Mail (March 23, 2007)
Times Online (March 5, 2006)
Gregory Elich, "Zimbabwe's Fight for Justice," Center for Research on Globalisation, May 6, 2005, globalresearch.ca/articles/ELI505A.html
"Progressive Cuba Bashing," Socialism and Democracy, Vol. 19, No. 1, March 2005.