Friday, 11 January 2008

Third Way: A Force in the political parallel market

Third Way: A Force in the political parallel market

Call it a potpourri, a yoking together of violent contrarieties. Much like my late old man’s span of draught animals. You notice I did not call it a span of oxen, and here is why. Some years back in colonial Rhodesia, the Manheru family hit upon very hard times, harder than rain-soaked, heavy-wheel, compacted asphalt. The few thin cows my father had inherited from his own late father — many of them, thanks to inbreeding, no bigger than a widow’s goat, bonier than a village cur — had been impounded by his angry in-laws. We were left with no draught power, making the thought of yoking my mother’s cockerels quite a do-able practical prospect. The man I called "father" had not settled long outstanding lobola, apparently happy and contend to have paid the "your-daughter-is-here charges or "tsvakiraikuno" in Shona. It was a remarkably paltry sum, a mere five-and-six (equivalent of the current 25cents). Since that initial — and as it turned out — his only payment, his name and fame prospe

When the fateful boast got too loud

We were all happy to pay regular visits to our mother’s people. Little did we know this riled her brothers who got angrier with each son their sister littered and delivered to the thankless Manheru family. We were too young to notice, too happy to care. We visited more and oftener; they got more and more angry, these my mother’s brutal brothers. Until one day they decided enough was enough. They picked the most physical, the most unreasonable of their lot, made straight to our home, mouths zipped, foreheads creased with exhibited anger. Something was terribly wrong, and no interpreter was needed. They had heard my father’s reckless boast, and sought to teach him an unforgettable lesson. They went straight to the kraal and drove out anything that purported to have four legs and two horns, before vanishing in the direction which until now, I was so wont to associate with happy tidings, tender care of my mother’s people. Suddenly, the direction assumed a new significance: it became the abyss that had swallowed my father’s wealth. Or my inevitable heirloom the day those who reside in the nether would have sent for him. An frail and ailing man for many years, I always knew his time would soon come and my primogeniture rights would confer on me a sprint of a head-start in real life. In an angry instant, all that was now gone, and a blank prospect stared me in the face, in our face as a family. My mother put up a show of a wail, most probably calculated to pre-empt a retribution sure to come from we-all-knew-who. After all, his brothers had grabbed baba’s cattle, most probably with her tacit support, if blatant instigation. Had she not murmured about men-who-do-not-marry, that day she came back from Manzoto’s beer party, after one-a-too many of the witch-brew? Sooner than later, baba would remind her first, before swiftly moving in to exact quite some telling punishment on her fine body, possibly with lasting consequences on her dental set-up.

Two cows and five donkeys

Except that would not decide how the big field of the giant Mushumha tree would be tilled. All that remained in the kraal were big worms, big beetles, all the time writhing and writing their valedictions to the soon-to-dry-up cattle pen. Fortunately, on the day of the great tragedy, baba had loaned one cow and its calve to a neighbour. Three donkeys had been borrowed by another family to ferry their grain to a nearby grinding mill. This is how these animals, later to become a rag-tag span for the season, were spared and survived the wanton grab of angry uncles. With a very strange sense of proportion, one only inspired by this baffling and stupefying predicament, my father yoked together donkeys and cows, donkeys and calves that had hardly dropped their umbilical, donkeys and cockerels that had hardly started crowing. Quite a medley, a potpourri of breathing things only justified by his hard-to-manage misery. The outcome could not pull a plough, not even a wooden one. The outcome was neither a cattle nor a donkey span; neither a cow nor calf span. Only Nathaniel’s strange father’s nondescript span, one that emitted and smelt poverty. It was reckoned not by the medley animals that constituted it; rather, it was called by whose it was. Going to the nearby primary school was a forbidding prospect. What with girls from infinitely less poor families, giggling and murmuring behind torn jerseys about a soon-to-be-yoked-with-a-donkey boy from a nearby village. Having been all along a bright and haughty boy who dominated the class, the girls and bigger boys I had repeatedly humiliated in end-of-term results, had now found a sure way of killing my soul, a good angle for mortifying retribution. Then on, I walked with the limb and doubt of injured esteem. Oh, those years of drought!

Calling it by its owner

There is a simple lesson from this sad story of my clan. What you cannot name, whatever is nondescript, simply call it by its owner. Fullstop! Such is the political nonesuch we now have, exactly only a month after Zanu-PF’s Extraordinary Congress. Apart from yoking together the dissimilar, apparently without the usual conceit known to British metaphysical poets, the new political creature which the media has excitedly written about, inhabits the arcane realm of the political parallel market, poignantly neither bird nor animal, but flying with a loud farting flutter. Tomboti chiremwaremwa nhai? A-ah bodozve, lets reckon it by its owners. For they are many. The proposed National Front (NF) or National Patriotic Front (NPF) — whichever name carries the day finally — is a whore of a political formation. So many fathers mated its mother: the British, the Americans, the Germans and, above all, the Swedes. And each of its runners incarnate each of these semen. I leave you, gentle reader, to match each of these power and nationality to each of the prime runners of this piece of political grotesquely, starting with the easy Ibbo, right down to the Moyos and Maweres. That is point number one: this is not a rebellion from within Zanu-PF; it is an alien construct which worse than all the MDCs put together.

The Namibian connexion

Let me throw a little more light. Recall Hidipo Hamutenya, the Namibian ex-SWAPO leader who hoped to step into the shoes of Nujoma, but failed? He ended up creating a new party opposed to SWAPO late last year. That party was supposed to draw heavily from disgruntled SWAPO people, thereby transferring to itself all the signification of the Namibian struggle. The whole party was a Swedish thought, funded by Swedish money and indeed, when Hamutenya was smuggled to Zimbabwe, to Africa University in Mutare last year, ostensibly to give a public lecture, Raylander domiciled him. In the context of that visit, a local academic who is part of this whore party, was in place to connect, to share and to be inspired into generating Zimbabwe’s own equivalent, under exactly the same political and funding circumstances. As with its Namibian counterpart, the new proposed party draws heavily from the disgruntled, indeed a coalition of the bitter and disgruntled. Gentle reader, you may recall that a few months back in 2007, I referred to Raylander’s expectation of a momentous development before end of that year. This was part of it. It is now official: Sweden has become a willing destabiliser of liberation movements in Southern Africa, principally the ANC, Zanu-PF and SWAPO. In part, this explains South Africa’s Lekota remarks about infiltration of the region by foreign forces of regime change, and the need to share intelligence among sitting governments. The difference between Zimbabwe and Namibia is that in her calculation against Zimbabwe, Sweden is only a minor, with bigger, greater anger of the British and Americans playing a leading role.

Such an impressive, powerless throng

All decoys imaginable, all Trojan Horses available, have been employed in this equation: bitter independent MPs, Liberators’ Platform and its Mhanda, ex-Ministers including one who ran away from his job for America, who has been moving in and out of the country, carrying Anglo-American booty for the new party without knowing the authorities have been tracking, tracking; business guys: one related to this ex-minister maritally, another in the banking sector, yet another heading a well-known former parastatal, a leading former legal officer of Government, a contingent of ex-servicemen to give the experiment a patina of liberation respectability, high officers of the ruling party including some controlling provinces and with business interests. I could go on and on to enumerate this powerless throng. The point is that it is not their thing, and unlike Kenya’s Rainbow Coalition, it will not survive a day into the fight, let alone the aftermath. In fact, the bicker has started, with a handful of defections already registered: some from embitterment, from unmet expectations; others from sheer fear inspired by the daunting prospect of Zanu-PF’s reaction. Remember some do hold positions both in the Party and Government, and sooner or later their present thin ambiguity will be harder to sustain. And where no firm position promises have been made, they have been trying to weigh their chances with an even hand. To secure their future in Zanu-PF’ inevitable victory, they have started to inform on their colleagues. Which is why intelligence has been so effortlessly easy.

So many angles, so many dimensions

I have so many angles I could give, including the fact that this proposed whore party has sought to play on imagined bitterness of marginalisation of Zimbabwe’s eminent persons and main tribes: rebels of the liberation struggle, ex-ministers, ex-governors, ex-officers, ex-this, ex-that, Karangas, Manyikas, Ndebeles, all against perceived Zezuru dominance. I could write about that, write about who approached who in Government and Zanu-PF, including yours truly, and on which day, and with what swaying argument. I could carry the various responses from those approached. I could connect all this to certain enervating developments in the economy, including in the parallel market, dwell on TOYOTA VIGAs which have not rested a minute since then, all the time delivering billions to provincial structures which will soon be dissolved, rendering effete all that which has been invested and put in place. Poor guys. Their rich reapings in the parallel market are soon going to be in vain. The little boys who are running media errands for these disparate forces. Yes, I could dwell on why there was so much relief when Butau made good his escape; why he felt so confident to say he could destroy this Party and Government from England, indeed why he was so important that the British Lords only this week found him so worthy a subject for debate. I could refer to Politburo members who convene unilateral meetings in provinces, who seek to stymie any political activity to give themselves unimpeded latitude to hold consultative meetings at which ambiguous messages are given on the ruling Party’s presidential candidate, at which moneys shower from above with no blessings. I could make reference to meetings between the new American ambassador and some senior Party and Government officials, all held outside the aegis of Foreign Affairs, all facilitated by a senior UN official. Talk about overtures to Tsvangirai, including a pact to ensure MDC does not field candidates in this one province to my East. Many things I could talk about, including the seemingly puzzling phenomenon where persons who were sworn enemies and haunted each other out of Government during their Zanu-PF days, are now sworn friends and allies, for now that is. I could write about attempts to create will-of-wisps through the media, hoping to put people off scent. Many things, I say.

Whys and wherefores

But I choose to focus on the owner of the span, identifying him, laying bare his intentions, hopes and calculations. Eunuchs looked after the queen and the royal courtyard; however seemingly powerful, however refulgent, they were not the monarch. Zvitambapanashe! Let us get down. I have already identified the owners of the rag-tag span. What is the goal? Angry westerners reason that what happened between 1998 and 2005 owe to one man, and is sustained by this one man: Robert Mugabe. Maybe true in part. I know many moments when many within the ruling party would have succumbed, indeed were inclined to deploy the police and army against the war veterans who had occupied our land then under white control. They were many battles behind the scenes. I know many who once they had got their own pieces of land and had been well ensconced, would have called "halt!" to land reforms. They preferred an augmenting and multiracialising of land ownership in Zimbabwe. Not the empowerment of the vast majority. It is the I-am-in-so-close-the door syndrome so typical of most failed revolutions. Yet others would want to dispossess peasants and war veterans who staked claims on rich-well-watered and well-infrastructured pieces, using the flimsy arguments of land utilisation and specialisation. Indeed some of the guys who are holding this foreign thing they now call a party, were a vocal part of this counterrevolutionary argument, an had to leave government. Still others staked land claims across provinces: from Mashonaland right through to the conservancies of Matabeleland. They have since grown fat, grown round and portly, grown too confident. Or bitter where such claims have been challenged and reversed. Focus and determination owed to Robert Mugabe, which is probably why one understands the West’s overbearing emphasis on him as the sole carrier of Zimbabwe’s land reforms.

Insurgents-in waiting

But after the first sweet harvest, the situation changed. Presently the land revolution’s defences do not rest on any one man, much as it may still need this one man for continued principled leadership. Everyone who is on the land is a land insurgent-in-waiting, which is why the President has resisted writing into the constitution a clause guaranteeing the irreversibility of land reforms. Any fool could un-write such a clause the same way the present visionaries would have. To that extent, R.G.’s legacy is indeed well secured, and with it, our heritage. This whore political formation is intended to oust this one man for the edification of the bitter British. Indeed, the poor manifestos printed as news in both the Financial Gazette and The Independent, pretty bring this out quite clearly. The whore creature’s policies belong to RG’s Zanu-PF. So does its attempted name, which is why one part of this made-up miscellany foolishly wants to fight the forthcoming elections under the name Zanu-PF. It is as if they are unaware of the electoral law’s copyright clauses which put a limit to naming and symbols conventions. Or arrogate to the genuine Zanu-PF a tolerance level for copy-cats which is so hard to fathom. But it’s their folly and let us grant it to them. Their only point of departure is their rejection of the person of the President, who must not be Robert Gabriel Mugabe. Major Mbudzi calls such a rejection a revolution, showing he was not given that surname for nothing. Maybe it is a genuine limitation of vocabulary.

Hating on behalf of Anglo-Americans

This is an attempted putsch, bereft of any recognisable principles, founded on a recognisable persona hate, done on behalf of some foreign powers. When Mhanda and his team accost former Governor Hungwe to deliver the Karanga Vote in both Masvingo and Midlands, or when elements from Manicaland urge their counterparts in Masvingo to support Dr. Makoni for Presidency, pulling the argument that it is now their turn after Masvingo ate in an immediate lower capacity in the Presidium for the past 23 years, the idea is to use false entitlement claims founded on tribe to alienate Mugabe’s rural vote. Or to divide it so a circumstantial rainbow emerges. The British, the Americans, the Swedes, are playing the tribal card in this game and we need to be very, very careful. The Kenyan mayhem beckons.They have invested heavily in this type of politics in Matabeleland; they think they have now found a formulae in Mashonaland, one dignified by so many faces of some retired war veterans. From the standpoint of these politics, the Zezuru are cast as Zimbabwe’s Gikuyus who have eaten, eaten and eaten, since 1980. And yet this whore formation has visible Zezurus within its hidden leadership.

Party primaries strategy

Where courage to openly challenge President Mugabe fails, the strategy is to use the avenue of Party primaries to get in as many of their candidates as will ensure dominant western influence in post-March Parliament. This big vote would then be used to block, to frustrate, to reverse, and eventually to impeach, to pass a vote of no-confidence in the President in order to oust him. This is then sold as democracy at work. Hence the huge monies which are being dished in provinces. A new formation with visible members of the ruling Party on the eve of the March poll, is a very good psychological game against the ruling Party. It will confuse and dispirit its membership, so they reason, these westerners. Beyond that, it will motivate the MDC which begins to believe Zanu-PF has an equivalent and parallel weakness to its own. What a strange way of "levelling the playing field"! But the foreign powers will want more time to ensure the economy gets bad, worse and worst, to strengthen rejection of Zanu-PF which is thought to be the same as greater love for the whore formation. And you notice pleas for postponement of polls to June are shared between the British, the MDC and elements of this so-called reformist arm .

British June

It was the substance of Brown’s accosting of Mbeki, Museveni and Rupiya Banda in Kampala, during the Commonwealth. It has yielded humorous summersaults: MDC which agitated for immediate polls soon after the Goromonzi indication of a poll delay to 2010 (any day longer with Mugabe in power, Tsvangirai told us, was "more" death to poor Zimbabwe), now find March too soon. The British who did not want Lancaster House Constitution changed for a whole seven to ten years, now want it thrown into and washed away by dirty Mukuvisi. They are so unhappy with their constitutional donation to the newly independent colony of Zimbabwe! What generous revisionism! The whore formation’s runners think they have skilfully deployed a plausible argument: what do we say to the people when things are so bad? Why not postpone elections to June, they opine. The British June! So what will have happened to the economy in the next four months, dear turncoats? It is a very silly argument, and one always prefers a resourceful puppet.

Closing shop, spurning Bacossi

In the meantime, things are being done to the economy: around prices, around supply of essentials. I was intrigued by a Financial Gazette report which claimed a number of companies would not re-open next week after the holidays, largely in the first show of the damage done to the economy by the Zanu-PF Government! The attribution of agent is unmistakable, although the political plan is not disclosed. This is an old plan, long agreed to by corporates sympathetic to these politics, everything underwritten by the owners of the span.

Bacossi was the response, which is what has removed the fig leaf. If you are given free working capital by a non-shareholder at no cost to you to produce, except for political reasons why would you not produce? And the dizzying prices from cheap working capital? And the gratuitous attacks on RBZ and the person of the Governor? It is all coming together, is it not? Meanwhile the sponsored coalition of the bitter is hard at work, always operating in a bleak political parallel market, the power brokering correlative to the real parallel market. They are quite angry with me, little son of Manheru. I made a loud fart that startled the quarry. The hunter is hungry. And angry with me. I don’t care a hoot. Icho!


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