Wednesday, 30 January 2008

The unfortunate aborigine: Victim of racism.

If the Rhodesian 'Tribal Trust Lands' concentration camps policy had been left to achieve its ultimate aim, Rhodesians would be apologising to a remnant black race in the near future.

Let me take this moment to thank all those who took up guns to fight against the whiteman's attempts to exterminate us.

On the same note i want to extend my thanks to Mugabe for continuing to dismantle the evil system in all its mutations and neo-forms.


Australia issuing Aborigine apology

Australia will issue its first formal apology for past policies that forcibly removed generations of Aboriginal children from their families, a senior minister said.

Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said the apology to Australia's so-called "stolen generations" of Aborigines would be the first item of business for the new Labour-dominated Parliament.

The apology will be made on February 13.

While the new government is swiftly responding to decade-old calls for an apology, Australia's prime minister Kevin Rudd is refusing demands from some Aboriginal leaders to pay compensation for the suffering of broken families.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Bush moans for lost white empire in Zimbabwe.

With the disasters in Somalia, Darfur, the Congo, and Kenya. Bush choses to rant and rave about Zimbabwe,
whose problems his country has played a significant role in crafting.

The death of a thousand black kenyans is less important than the dismantling of settler monopoly on the continent.

Africans can be-head each other, burn settlements down, loot, long as they keep white monopoly intact its not a story.

When will my people wake up.

Text of President Bush's final State of the Union address
By The Associated Press
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By contrast, a failed Iraq would embolden extremists, strengthen Iran and give terrorists a base from which to launch new attacks on our friends, our allies and our homeland. The enemy has made its intentions clear. At a time when the momentum seemed to favor them, al-Qaida's top commander in Iraq declared that they will not rest until they have attacked us here in Washington.

My fellow Americans: We will not rest, either. We will not rest until this enemy has been defeated. We must do the difficult work today, so that years from now people will look back and say that this generation rose to the moment, prevailed in a tough fight, and left behind a more hopeful region and a safer America.

We are also standing against the forces of extremism in the Holy Land, where we have new cause for hope. Palestinians have elected a president who recognizes that confronting terror is essential to achieving a state where his people can live in dignity and at peace with Israel. Israelis have leaders who recognize that a peaceful, democratic Palestinian state will be a source of lasting security. This month in Ramallah and Jerusalem, I assured leaders from both sides that America will do, and I will do, everything we can to help them achieve a peace agreement that defines a Palestinian state by the end of this year. The time has come for a Holy Land where a democratic Israel and a democratic Palestine live side-by-side in peace.

We are also standing against the forces of extremism embodied by the regime in Tehran. Iran's rulers oppress a good and talented people. And wherever freedom advances in the Middle East, it seems the Iranian regime is there to oppose it. Iran is funding and training militia groups in Iraq, supporting Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon, and backing Hamas' efforts to undermine peace in the Holy Land. Tehran is also developing ballistic missiles of increasing range and continues to develop its capability to enrich uranium, which could be used to create a nuclear weapon. Our message to the people of Iran is clear: We have no quarrel with you, we respect your traditions and your history, and we look forward to the day when you have your freedom. Our message to the leaders of Iran is also clear: Verifiably suspend your nuclear enrichment, so negotiations can begin. And to rejoin the community of nations, come clean about your nuclear intentions and past actions, stop your oppression at home and cease your support for terror abroad. But above all, know this: America will confront those who threaten our troops, we will stand by our allies and we will defend our vital interests in the Persian Gulf.

On the homefront, we will continue to take every lawful and effective measure to protect our country. This is our most solemn duty. We are grateful that there has not been another attack on our soil since September 11. This is not for a lack of desire or effort on the part of the enemy. In the past six years, we have stopped numerous attacks, including a plot to fly a plane into the tallest building in Los Angeles and another to blow up passenger jets bound for America over the Atlantic. Dedicated men and women in our government toil day and night to stop the terrorists from carrying out their plans. These good citizens are saving American lives, and everyone in this chamber owes them our thanks. And we owe them something more: We owe them the tools they need to keep our people safe.

One of the most important tools we can give them is the ability to monitor terrorist communications. To protect America, we need to know who the terrorists are talking to, what they are saying, and what they are planning. Last year, the Congress passed legislation to help us do that. Unfortunately, the Congress set the legislation to expire on February 1. This means that if you do not act by Friday, our ability to track terrorist threats would be weakened and our citizens will be in greater danger. The Congress must ensure the flow of vital intelligence is not disrupted. The Congress must pass liability protection for companies believed to have assisted in the efforts to defend America. We have had ample time for debate. The time to act is now.

Protecting our nation from the dangers of a new century requires more than good intelligence and a strong military. It also requires changing the conditions that breed resentment and allow extremists to prey on despair. So America is using its influence to build a freer, more hopeful and more compassionate world. This is a reflection of our national interest and the calling of our conscience.

America is opposing genocide in Sudan and supporting freedom in countries from Cuba and Zimbabwe to Belarus and Burma.

America is leading the fight against global poverty, with strong education initiatives and humanitarian assistance. We have also changed the way we deliver aid by launching the Millennium Challenge Account. This program strengthens democracy, transparency and the rule of law in developing nations, and I ask you to fully fund this important initiative.

America is leading the fight against global hunger. Today, more than half the world's food aid comes from the United States. And tonight, I ask the Congress to support an innovative proposal to provide food assistance by purchasing crops directly from farmers in the developing world, so we can build up local agriculture and help break the cycle of famine.

America is leading the fight against disease. With your help, we are working to cut by half the number of malaria-related deaths in 15 African nations. And our Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief is treating 1.4 million people. We can bring healing and hope to many more. So I ask you to maintain the principles that have changed behavior and made this program a success. And I call on you to double our initial commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS by approving an additional $30 billion over the next five years.

America is a force for hope in the world because we are a compassionate people, and some of the most compassionate Americans are those who have stepped forward to protect us. We must keep faith with all who have risked life and limb so that we might live in freedom and peace. Over the past seven years, we have increased funding for veterans by more than 95 percent. As we increase funding, we must also reform our veterans system to meet the needs of a new war and a new generation. I call on the Congress to enact the reforms recommended by Sen. Bob Dole and Secretary Donna Shalala, so we can improve the system of care for our wounded warriors and help them build lives of hope, promise and dignity.

Our military families also sacrifice for America. They endure sleepless nights and the daily struggle of providing for children while a loved one is serving far from home. We have a responsibility to provide for them. So I ask you to join me in expanding their access to childcare, creating new hiring preferences for military spouses across the federal government and allowing our troops to transfer their unused education benefits to their spouses or children. Our military families serve our nation, they inspire our nation and tonight our nation honors them.

The secret of our strength, the miracle of America, is that our greatness lies not in our government, but in the spirit and determination of our people. When the Federal Convention met in Philadelphia in 1787, our nation was bound by the Articles of Confederation, which began with the words, "We the undersigned delegates." When Gouverneur Morris was asked to draft the preamble to our new Constitution, he offered an important revision and opened with words that changed the course of our nation and the history of the world: "We the people."

By trusting the people, our founders wagered that a great and noble nation could be built on the liberty that resides in the hearts of all men and women. By trusting the people, succeeding generations transformed our fragile young democracy into the most powerful nation on earth and a beacon of hope for millions. And so long as we continue to trust the people, our nation will prosper, our liberty will be secure and the state of our union will remain strong. So tonight, with confidence in freedom's power, and trust in the people, let us set forth to do their business.

Monday, 28 January 2008

BriSHIT politician praises Ian Smith's racist rule.

Smith's regime is responsible for crafting and implementing a systematic process of marginalizing blacks in the then Rhodesia. Blacks were thus forcibly removed from their land and dumped in arid, infertile malarial areas where malnutrition, disease and high infant mortality threatened the extinction of blacks from the country, a process whose success is now seen in colony states like Newzealand, Australia, Canada, and the USA.

Any black Zimbabwean who grew up in these so called Tribal Trust lands will have a vivid recall of Kwashiokor bellies, peeling skins, malarial deaths, failing crops, droughts, livestock dying of lack of grazing, unavailability of schools, clinics, or water facilities.

What then is such a black person supposed to feel when a briSHIT politician praises the architects of those concentration camps. Not that such racism surprises any sensible black person, however that there are people who sing it in daylight is a humbling process.


A BriSHIT politician praised the leadership of white supremacist Ian Smith, the white minority leader of Rhodesia, who died last week.

Richard Willis, a councillor in Reading, Berkshire, who is on the list of Conservative candidates for the next general election, said on a website that Smith had been a “great and wise” leader whose rule had been “benign and successful”.

The comments by Willis, who is chief of staff for local MP Rob Wilson, follow the departure of another Tory candidate after he made comments about race.

Nigel Hastilow quit earlier this month as candidate for Halesowen & Rowley Regis, West Midlands, after he claimed that many in his constituency believed “Enoch [Powell] was right” in his 1968 “rivers of blood” speech warning about immigration.

A new constitution for the MDC briSHIT puppet???

‘Polls first, constitution later’

By Mabasa Sasa

ZIMBABWE will only craft a new constitution after the landmark March 29 harmonised polls through a national consultative process and referendum, the Government announced yesterday.

The Government also categorically stated that the elections would not be postponed to give way to a new constitution as demanded by the MDC factions.

In an interview yesterday, the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Cde Patrick Chinamasa, said the State was not in a hurry to craft a constitution that is not people-centred, in order to please one political grouping.

Cde Chinamasa said a constitution is a serious document that needs the participation of all and sundry and should, therefore, not be hurried because someone is demanding it as a prerequisite for national elections.

He said the State would not give in to demands from opposition quarters for a new constitution without due consultations with the people of Zimbabwe.

Cde Chinamasa brushed aside comments from the MDC that the South African-facilitated dialogue between the ruling Zanu-PF and the two opposition factions had fallen by the wayside after President Mugabe last week set polling for March 29.

"As far as we are concerned the dialogue that is being facilitated by South Africa is still ongoing. As Zanu-PF we are committed to an irreversible process that will result in the presentation of a draft constitution for national consultation.

"We would like whatever document comes out of the national consultative process to be subjected to a referendum and if the people accept it only then will the country put in place a new constitution.

"As Zanu-PF we are basically saying the people should be consulted and that is a commitment we have made as a ruling party."

Cde Chinamasa, along with his Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare counterpart Cde Nicholas Goche, are representing the ruling party in the dialogue that South Africa is facilitating.

Professor Welshman Ncube and Mr Tendai Biti, the secretaries-general of the Arthur Mutambara and Morgan Tsvangirai factions respectively, are negotiating on behalf of the MDC.

Cde Chinamasa also said there was no way the joint presidential, Senate, House of Assembly and local government elections would be postponed.

He said he had spoken to Prof Ncube last Friday and had received no indication that the opposition felt that the inter-party dialogue had irrevocably broken down.

"Last week on Friday, I talked to Prof Ncube and we were actually discussing what new initiatives could be pursued to take dialogue further. So as far as we are concerned, dialogue is still ongoing and we shall remain under South Africa’s facilitation whether before or after elections until we have a final and irreversible agreement," Cde Chinamasa said.

Prof Ncube was quoted by some sections of the private Press as saying by calling for an election on March 29 President Mugabe had "repudiated" the inter-party talks.

The spokesperson of the Tsvangirai faction, Mr Nelson Chamisa, echoed similar sentiments, with both groups saying they would be meeting later this week to decide whether or not to participate in the elections.

The MDC has been agitating for the postponement of the elections, to pave way for a new constitution.

However, insiders close to the ruling party-opposition dialogue processes say by making these demands, the MDC is acting in bad faith as the parties agreed right at the beginning of the talks last year to proceed by way of a constitutional amendment.

Zanu-PF and the two factions subsequently co-sponsored Constitutional Amendment (Number 18) Act, which paved the way for the March 29 polls but the opposition has since reneged on this agreement.

It is believed that the MDC is agitating for the deferment to buy time as they are not prepared to contest the elections.

Furthermore, there have been strong indications that the opposition’s foreign backers have devised the poll postponement agenda and the MDC is merely doing the bidding of its Western principals.

This follows reports from the last Commonwealth meeting in Uganda that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown tried in vain to impress on President Mbeki, Ugandan leader Yoweri Museveni and Zambian Vice President Rupiya Banda to exhort Harare to delay elections.

briSHIT propaganda is for the idiotic.

We had seen headlines upon headlines about Zimbabwean asylum seekers being granted 'safety' from the 'evil' zimbabwean regime.

The truth is that a disproportionate amount of those accepted as asylum seekers in the UK are basically briSHIT colonial thieves dispossessed of their land loot.


The British government’s loud condemnation of human-rights abuses in Zimbabwe led many to assume Zimbabweans would find easy refuge in the United Kingdom, but the reality for asylum seekers has been far less straightforward.

According to Home Office figures, around 20,000 Zimbabweans sought asylum in Britain between 2000 and 2007. Of those, 4,807 applications were successful — 944 of that total making it on appeal.

In 2000 95 per cent of 1,010 asylum applications were refused. In 2002, after European governments condemned the conduct of presidential elections held in March, 62 per cent of 7,655 applications were rejected.

The number of asylum applications by Zimbabweans fell sharply from 2002, but in 2006 began to rise, reaching 1,650 requests; the trend continued in 2007, according to the Home Office.

Successful applications, in terms of initial asylum decisions made before appeals are heard, were stuck at just 8 per cent between 2004 and 2006, but rose to 19 per cent in the last quarter of 2007.

A Home Office spokesperson, speaking on condition of anonymity, denied that the Immigration Department was setting the bar unfairly high for Zimbabweans.

“We know that the human-rights situation is bad in Zimbabwe, but not everyone is at risk,” she said. “Every case is treated on its own merits and those who need protection will get it; the remainder will be encouraged to go back voluntarily, failing which they will be removed forcibly.”

The Refugee Council, the largest organisation in the UK working with asylum seekers, insists that deporting failed Zimbabwean applicants heightens their risk of persecution when they get home.

“At the moment, it’s not safe to return anybody to Zimbabwe, as their safety cannot be guaranteed,” said council spokesperson Hannah Ward. She alleged there were “anecdotal stories” of people ill-treated once back on home soil.

For the past two years, forced removals of Zimbabwean asylum seekers has been suspended due to a court case, but late last year the government won an appeal against that decision, “We are now in a legal limbo,” said Ms Ward.

“We’ve called it hypocritical that in countless statements the government has condemned the Zimbabwean regime, but in the past two years has been pursuing a really expensive court case, fighting to be able to send Zimbabwean asylum seekers back to Zimbabwe,” she argued.

Those caught up in the current legal dispute are denied the right to work or claim benefits.

According to the Refugee Council, between October 2006 and September 2007, some 210 Zimbabweans opted to join a voluntary return programme, qualifying them for a free bed and three meals a day.

“We’re worried that people agreed to go home to get that support,” said Ms Ward.

Aside from Zimbabweans seeking refugee status, there are many more believed to be living and working in the country illegally. Chipo (not her real name) spent six months in prison for using false papers to work as a child carer. After completing her sentence she has spent a further seven months in Yarl’s Wood, a detention centre for immigration offenders and failed asylum seekers.

“They lock the door behind you wherever you go,” she complained. “The food is terrible and you cannot afford to buy any alternative with the 75 pence ($1.50) they pay you per day.” Chipo is awaiting an immigration appeal hearing.

Gill Butler of the Yarl’s Wood Befrienders, a group that visits and supports the 400 people held in the facility, is blunt in her criticism of the detention centre. “This should not be happening in a country that claims to be civilised, human beings should not be treated like this,” she said.

The criteria for asylum status are already extremely strict, but with media coverage in Britain demonising refugees, “I think there is a concerted policy effort to look for reasons to deny people asylum and to find ways to remove them from the country,” said Ms Ward


Southern Africa Report
SAR, Vol 9, No 3, January 1994
Page 20



Colin Stoneman is at the University of York. Carol Thompson is at the University of Southern California and is currently living and working in Harare.

In the 1980s Zimbabwe achieved what was widely described as an "agricultural miracle" in the sphere of food security, setting an example for a continent where such security was more often receding. This success was not accidental and owed little to market forces. It was planned (although, of course, it could have been planned better). Unfortunately, this erstwhile success story has been under some threat from structural adjustment programmes that have sprung from Zimbabwe's increasing entanglement with international financial institutions (see, inter alia, Lionel Cliffe, "Were They Pushed or Did They Jump? Zimbabwe and the World Bank," SAR, 6, no. 4, March 1991), an issue this article seeks to address.

Planning food security

After independence in 1980 the new government followed a policy of promoting small-scale farmers in the communal areas while maintaining incentive prices and easy availability of credit for the large-scale commercial farmers (LSCF) sector. The former, now nearly a million in number, occupy 42% of the total land area, generally in the worst regions, where little land is arable and rainfall is at best erratic; the latter number about 4,500 and still control 11.5 million hectares (about 30% of the land, but including over 50% of the arable land).

Agricultural extension services to the communal areas expanded considerably, with assistance for improved seeds, and increased use of fertilizers and irrigation. For example over 90% of all Zimbabwean farmers now use hybrid maize seed which has been continuously developed in the country since the 1930s. The Grain Marketing Board (GMB) increased the number of depots to over 100 by 1985 to facilitate distribution of inputs and collection of harvests; previously a smaller number had serviced the commercial farms almost exclusively. Credit was also made available for the first time in the communal lands (even if not to the extent needed). Real expenditure per capita on health and education increased, providing rural health clinics and primary education throughout the communal areas.

With these improved services the communal farmers produced about 60% of the marketed maize by 1986, and over 50% of the cotton, both up from below 10 per cent before independence. The growth rate of peasant production of maize over the 1980s was 9.0%, with the yield per hectare rising 6.7%, while comparable figures for cotton were 26.5% and 1.3%. (During this period there was also a modest redistribution of land, with about 54,000 peasant families being resettled, on mostly marginal land, and with the LSCF area reduced from about 39% to the present total of about 30%.)

At the same time, the LSCFs gradually reduced their maize hectarage, diversifying into cash crops, primarily tobacco, but also horticulture, making the country one of the top cut flower producers within four years. (The LSCFs also produced about three- quarters of the country's demand for wheat, and milk and beef were produced in quantities sufficient to allow exports where markets were available.) Despite this shift, Zimbabwe, at the aggregate level and with the expansion of peasant production highlighted above, managed to confirm its food self-sufficiency, building up a stockpile of maize of between one and two years' supply from which it was able to export grain to neighbouring countries most years, usually funded by those countries' aid programmes.

During this period, the country's Grain Marketing Board (GMB) administered a guaranteed price for maize that was on average 12% above world market prices; this policy produced surpluses which could not usually be exported except at a loss, but the maintenance of a stockpile amounting to about a year's supply was deemed necessary for reasons of food security. As the GMB was required to sell to urban maize millers at a fixed price that enabled them to make a profit whilst keeping prices to the consumers low, it incurred deficits that had to be covered by government. It also had to carry the costs of the stockpile, of a widening collection and depot programme aimed at helping distant producers, and maintained a "pan-seasonal" and "pan-territorial" pricing policy, the former an implicit subsidy to grain millers, the latter to distant producers.


There have been constraints on this planning process, of course. As a signatory of the Lome Convention, Zimbabwe benefits from guaranteed markets in the EC for sugar and beef. The down side of these advantages is that Zimbabwe, like other primary producers, has had to accept the closure of the European (and the US) market to dairy products, maize, soybeans and the like. Even worse, it has found its external markets ruined by dumping. It has been estimated that in the late 1980s the world maize price was depressed by about 40% by subsidized sales of both EC and US maize. The consequence has been a continuous forcing of commercial farmers out of maize production in Zimbabwe as government was obliged to keep guaranteed prices down so as to avoid unsaleable surpluses.

It is worth tracing the interactions of this situation with Zimbabwe's food security, GMB deficits, and peasant incomes. As seen, maize is mainly produced by the small farmers. This means - because of the unreliable soils and climates in the communal areas - that, with reasonable incentives to communal farmers, Zimbabwe is likely to be faced with over-production of maize from the communal areas in good rainfall years, while food security cannot be guaranteed in drought years without paying much higher prices to keep commercial farmers in maize production. Thus, as long as the world market is distorted by EC and US dumping and similar actions, the price that Zimbabwe has to pay for food security is over-production, a large stockpile, and GMB deficits. Ironically, it is also vulnerable to the charge that, in its efforts to contain the costs imposed on it by rich country dumping on the world market, it has sometimes even contributed to lower peasant incomes and reduced food security!

Problems of liberalisation

Self-evidently, this is a difficult tightrope to walk. The problem is, however, that otherwise valid criticisms of aspects of the structure of government subsidies to maize production and marketing have been wrongly used as part of a frontal assault on intervention as such, and on the GMB's strategic role in maintaining food security and peasant incomes. (Note, too, that this assault occurs despite the admission by even its most ideologically-motivated "free-market" critics that the GMB has, on balance, been operated quite efficiently.)

Yet the fact remains that an undermining of the GMB's strategic role was a major contributory factor to the crisis of 1992 which required huge imports of grains - amounting to some 2.5 million tons in all - for the first time in several decades. Although it is too simple to state (as some commentators have done) that the World Bank ordered the GMB to sell off its maize stockpile just before the drought began, there is no doubt that it was under pressure to meet the schedule of deficit reduction in order to break even in 1995, and this meant closure of depots, downward pressure on guaranteed prices, and a halving of the stockpile through export sales.

It was in just this context that the 1992 drought strikingly confirmed the importance of the GMB. First, it worked highly efficiently, importing maize and distributing it throughout the country. The 74 surviving collection depots were used in the drought for distribution of food for supplementary feeding, and will now be expanded rather than suffering further closures as seemed likely before the drought. According to Richard Amyot, the executive director of the Commercial Grain Producers Association, their role will be widened to provide a decentralized network for agricultural inputs, banking and credit, while also providing facilities to small businesses.

Further, the board is seen as important for food availability - to make sure that hoarding by traders cannot occur, and to distribute inputs and collect grain in the remotest areas where private traders may not find it profitable to operate. Thus the drought has prompted some needed sensible reforms to the GMB's strategic role, whereas the whole role had been under threat before the drought exposed the dangers of such a course. Although the World Bank continues to be critical of the GMB's "development" goals (as contrasted with its commercial role) the drought has demonstrated the desirability of providing food security through a policy of strategic grain reserves, market stabilization and extension of depots. Government therefore wants to continue subsidizing the GMB, despite the pressures from the structural adjustment programme.

There is a second issue. As seen, a major constraint on a risk-free, efficient operation of the GMB's maize strategy has been the insecurity of food production in most communal areas. This derives from the poorer average soil fertility, the lower and more variable rainfall, and the higher risk aversion of people with poor resources and prospects. A more effective food security policy would therefore have to be based on production in reliably watered areas, guaranteeing a steady income to the producers. and this, in turn, will require significant land redistribution. And this is something which is, in principle, achievable - given the underutilization of much commercial farmland (even the World Bank calculates that the LCSF cultivate only about half of their arable land) - without affecting either export earnings (tobacco occupies only 70,000 hectares or 0.6% of commercial farmland), or the LSCF role in food security (maize occupies about 100,000 hectares, under 1% of the area).

But will it be allowed?

Zimbabwe's decision in 1990 to adopt a structural adjustment programme resulted in a number of consequences for food security. As seen, the experience of the 1992 drought has already persuaded many in Zimbabwe, including some in government, that a larger stockpile is needed if the high costs of importing are to be avoided; this implies acceptance of the necessity to subsidize the GMB or whatever institution has to maintain the stockpile, although originally government, following World bank nostrums, seemed determined to rely on the market almost entirely.

Will the logic of structural adjustment nonetheless reimpose itself in this sphere - both directly and indirectly - as the apparent lessons of the drought fade from memory? And what about devaluation, which can raise the profitability of export crops but also the costs of imported inputs (such as insecticides). On balance, commercial farmers will benefit from this, but those producing food for the domestic market or for their own consumption, may face higher import costs and lower domestic prices (even dumped food imports), so further harming the food security situation. Moreover, removal of subsidies on food widens disparities, as poorer families suffer most.

Structural adjustment also requires a restriction of government expenditure, a clear disincentive to even the modest degree of redistribution of land - so potentially important, in general terms, for the reasons mentioned above - that was heralded in the government's new land act of 1992. This is true both because of the cost of land acquisition, and also - even more importantly - because of the cost of development of the acquired land (including cheap credit for resettled farmers) so that the potentiality of the land is not lost through undercapitalization. And does the relatively active role for government that this process would seem to envisage also seem unlikely to be readily implemented in a time of "economic reform" and enforced liberalization?

* * *

In sum, food security - defined as accessibility to an adequate food supply for everyone - was generally achieved by Zimbabwe in the 1980s. According to UNICEF (1993) the rate of malnutrition of children in Zimbabwe in 1990 was the lowest in sub-Sahara Africa. There is evidence, however, that this favourable trend has already been reversed. To reverse it again will require an ever more effective programme of land redistribution and a relaxation of structural adjustment policies.

Friday, 25 January 2008

MDC: Misreading Kenya’s civil unrest

MDC: Misreading Kenya’s civil unrest

It is so clear what the MDC game plan ahead of March 2008 is. The MDC seeks to choreograph confrontation with the authorities, all for outside, western judgment.

The MDC seeks a decent pretext for boycotting elections it knows it is destined to lose. The MDC wants to win victim status, hoping western pity will re-launch it in the electoral aftermath. No one particularly worries about all these goals, ignoble though they are.

Nothing much is expected from it, except by its agonising sponsors. What must been taken seriously though is MDC attempts at fomenting civil unrest along the lines of what happened in Kenya. And the concern is not over its capacity to pull such a feat of chaos.

That capacity does not exist, both within its leadership, and among its supporters. MDC’s cause is too spindle-legged to move anyone. Besides, a party which boycotts cannot build enough stock of anger.

Only one which participates, and is perceived to have been robbed. People’s sense of justice has to be injured. But not where one stays out of the ring. Surely Tsvangirai read as much from his uneventful boycott of Senatorial elections? Maybe he didn’t, wouldn’t, couldn’t, can’t.

Hard knuckles, blood even

What should be taken very seriously is what MDC’s western backers are asking it to do, under the guise of marching for "freedom". Their first attempt was quite subdued. It did not galvanise the public. Both indicated their disposition against this foreign instigation.

They are a reluctant foreign legion, commanded by foreign generals in a very difficult fight they may not believe in.

But they cannot mutiny, much as they mounted fitful demonstrations against the master in the Sadc-initiated dialogue. Such as co-sponsoring Amendment 18 and the subsequent bills. But the boss is now more insistent, handling them much tighter.

We are in the middle of a bruising fight with the British and their European and American allies, a bruising fight with our former coloniser who wishes to push the clock back, hoping to climb our backs once more. We are fighting the threat of re-colonisation.

In such a fight, tolerance level for civil unrest is never liberal, certainly never as generous as we saw in Kenya. Let no one in the MDC ever expect anything short of bare knuckles. Blood even. The reasons are not hard to fathom.

It is so clear to everyone who thinks that for Zimbabwe, the British want a war which does not commit them directly. They cannot afford direct deployment here. But they want consequences of such a development which are: the demise of Zanu-PF and a subsequent emergence of a client state, happy and able to restore and house a white British plantation class which Zanu-PF ousted here. They want a neo-colony in Zimbabwe, and have worked so hard, spent so much, towards creating it.

Settled by history

But they have one major setback, apart from the strength of Zanu-PF.

They have a very bad Trojan Horse they have called MDC.

At times this bad horse has been an outright embarrassment, shrieking when it should be stealing on the enemy.

But make no mistake, the chaos of the Kenya, which MDC now hankers after, will just be a smokescreen for an American-backed British aggression against Zimbabwe. It will be aggression against our Independence. And by now we should all know how to handle that which threatens our sovereignty, our very being.

After all, history has long settled this matter. It has also itemised things that make up the heavy ordinance for dealing with such a national threat. Zanu-PF and its Government do not have to re-invent the wheel.

MDC’s siblings

The above threat means every patriot must correctly read what has happened in Kenya, and draw useful lessons from those developments. We have allowed MDC to misread these unfortunate developments in that sister African country, and to paste and appropriate false signification on events there to selfish ends.

By any definition, Kibaki and Odinga represent the same ideology, carry features from the same mould. The people Odinga recently deployed against Kibaki — which means the people Kibaki acted against in the ensuing chaos — are fundamentally the same people both mobilised and relied upon to oust former President Moi in 2002.

They did so under the banner of democracy, rule of law, transparency and all that claptrap we have grown to associate with the West’s neo-colonial project on the continent. The carrier of equivalent politics here has always been the MDC, which is why MDC euphorically welcomed the Kibaki win in 2002. Let that not be lost to anyone.

Complete foreclosure

If the political process in Kenya is now castigated and maligned for all the claimed evil, it means a double indictment against the West’s project in Kenya, indeed against the political proxies of the West (MDC’s counterparts) in that country.

After all, following the split between Kibaki and Odinga, the West controlled both sides in the political equation. They still do to this day, which is why their pronouncements on those polls have been spectacularly ambiguous as can never be done on Zimbabwe.

In Kenya, foreigners are both in and out of Government, in and out of opposition, and control could never be more complete. Which means any failures in any direction indict the West, mark a dramatic degradation of its politics on the continent, and one so bloody to poor slum dwellers.

The politics which the MDC espouse, which are so close to those of Kenya both before and after 2002; the politics which MDC promises should it ever win power, which again are close to Kenya’s after 2000 and before December 2007, all these politics stand condemned by the Kenyan experience.

No foreclosure could be more complete. Outside thick ignorance, nothing else explain MDC’s present comfort in drawing generous parallels between its "struggles" and those in Kenya.

Winning at swings and roundabouts

Until now, Kenya has been the West’s ideological touchstone, daily polished and varnished for a shiny export elsewhere on the continent. Beyond politics, Kenya has been a model of how Western control of national politics creates and yields a safe haven and rich pickings for western capital.

The sad thing is that any outcome from the present flurry of mediation simply guarantees and perpetuates Western interests. Any compromises which Kibaki makes, will simply make the Kenyan Government weaker and thus less resolute in dealing with marauding capital.

Kenya is not about to be another Iran in 1979, where defeat of a corrupt protégé government of the West makes way for a radical, nationalist outcome.

There will not be any paradigm shift in Kenyan politics, beyond a discovery of the folly of mutual ruin on the part of the two estranged allies. Both the ruling party and the opposition have been severely damaged and weakened by the chaos, and brighter chances have gone to those outside the present conflict.

Outside that, only foreigners have won, much remotely less the dwellers of Kibera whose blood counts for little else, beyond bargaining for office.

Africa’s potential win

But the fallout has damaged a major weapon in the West’s arsenal of soft power. The West today cannot make a persuasive propaganda case out of Kenya.

Not only do we now know that democracy is no magic wand; we also now know that it comes second to peace and stability, in fact that it can undermine both, to create the mayhem that leaves a food sufficient Nation scrambling for donor handouts, grappling with vast numbers of internally displaced.

Kenya does not illustrate a democratic deficit; it amply demonstrates the bloody deficit of the ballot and of a neo-colonial set up. And when the ballot fails, Kenya tells us that for Africa, far higher than the preservation of outcome of the ballot is unconditionally fixing a government of national unity (GNU).

All along the West has been demanding competitive politics, which is why Zimbabwe’s Unity Accord has never been hailed as a model. And also that both monitors and observers have no peace to bring to a nation riven by the ballot. If anything, their judgments can actually inflame passions and will, in any event, bow out to higher values of mediation. Of course they can justify punitive sanctions in polities where players are as ugly as Zanu-PF and Robert Mugabe.

Maslow again

More anxious for peace than Kenyans have been western interests, hurt by the fallout. Handshakes and "peace" will come very quickly to Kenya because what is at stake is in London and Washington, not in Kibera.

For the past month and weeks, the West’s balance sheet has bled, and all participating nations have noted the disruptive consequences of un-harmonised and even vying politics in a shared neo-colony.

If the truth be said, the British, the Americans, Nordic countries, the Germans pushed different and even conflictual interests within the broad ambit of a neo-colonial arrangement.

It gave rise to hurtful national individualism whose costs have been spectacularly illustrated. As we move into the future, the West will be more coordinated to prevent a recurrence of Kenya. Zimbabwe will be a trial ground.

Otherwise Kofi Annan need not exaggerate his conflict resolution prowess. It has been cut out for him. He is only lucky to allowed to claim fame from that "mediation". It is clear that a need far more lower and thus more compelling lower you’re your and my right to vote, has been directing Kenya’s aftermath.

Mbeki versus Annan

Which invites a remarkable contrast.

Mbeki’s peace proposition here will be a lonely one. It will not bring any fame, as does that for Kenya. It will not be as well-resourced, as well-publicised, and ultimately, as loudly applauded when it breaks through.

His will be a thankless effort, in fact one constantly derided and ill-wished.

In Kenya, peace and reconciliation is unconditionally needed, needed well above the ballot and democracy. In Kenya the shaping dynamic comes from Adam Smith, not from Alexis de Tocqueville.

In Zimbabwe, Tocqueville covers for Adam Smith. Violence and chaos are needed to get Mugabe to just go. Hence the prologue called "freedom march", which has also become the epilogue. Viewed from such a perspective, it is not difficult to understand why the British who are so anxious to engineer a negotiated settlement in Kenya, are so keen to inflame passions here.

Jacob Zuma who is in Davos has just said it: the single biggest stumbling block to peace and understanding in the politics of Zimbabwe is the meddling West which is telling South Africa what to say to President Mugabe. Zuma was being polite. He meant the British and Americans.

What they have been doing here

And if anyone doubted, they would have seen it this week. A small, stupid and unlawful march by the MDC is vast enough to attract the notice of the BBC which pushes it to headline status, clearly more to grow it than to accurately report on it in its insignificant proportion.

Such a non-event is important enough to feature on the routine briefings of the Bush administration, with Bush’s all-white, black ambassador here losing early morning sweet time with his wife (if he has one) to find out how well Tsvangirai is after a gentle invitation to Harare Central.

As if that was not enough, both the British and Americans camped at Harvest House (vehicles 80 CD 111 (for the British) and 81 CD 353 and 479 (for the Americans), waiting for chaos. I suppose for them, that is the seat of Government that has accredited them! Thank God Manheru does not control the Police. If I did, I would ensure a more generous definition of the zone for collateral damages.

A diplomat who decides to become an MDC, then a demonstrator, then a thug and much worse, does not deserve any modicum of courtesy.

The stakes are high, getting higher everyday to March.

For all the histrionics in the Zimbabwe Independent, Britain’s other plank is as good as deflated, its attempts at option B shadowed.

That initiative is doomed, including attempts to use it to wreck the Sadc initiative. Provincial chairmen who had been corrupted by dirty money are known, have or are being neutralised. Nothing happened on

l To Page 5

MDC: Misreading Kenya’s civil unrest

l To Page 5

Thursday; much happened before then, with many in that thoughtless plot hopelessly fighting to vindicate themselves.

Others have taken a gape, including Nkosana Moyo who concluded the "thing" had collapsed and went back "home" (Britain).

I do not know whether Jonathan was lucky enough to intercept the "coordinator" in Jo’burg, already in high, frenetic flight, together with his limping vision of "a new generation" of young Zimbabwe leaders.

And "new" means "now", even when the politics sought relate decadent colonialism, itself a Victorian ideal, seeking re-enactment in 21st Century Africa. New indeed! Poor Mbudzi, now being sacrificed, now being made enormous enough to command big, well-decorated men of war and star politicians. A mere major? He now threatens to spill the beans. He won’t for they will make sure his mouth is full enough.

Banking on veranda boys

And there was much that was hopeless in MDC’s latest bid for fame in the West. The MDC sought to marshal hordes of Harare’s veranda boys — idle lumpens — for whom any carnival is kingdom come. The Tsvangirai faction is a very blunt instrument.

Much worse, it is an embarrassment. Picture this. Biti is Tsvangirai’s man in the Sadc talks. Like an impetuous student in an afternoon law seminar, he has been the most forward, the most prolific on drafts, which have given us the 18th Amendment, and the concomitant four bills. But he has also been the most un-contemplative, the most unreflective.

Just how does such a man breach a law he has just made? How does he lose the first case ever to come from implementation of his law? Who is failing the test? Did he understand his contributions? Or is he just beginning to read it against very painful experiences?

Could this give credence to claims that have dogged him in his party, which if true would suggest Zanu-PF has in fact been negotiating with itself? If MDC supporters had some brains — just a little — they would be quizzing Biti on why he brought home a faggot so full of ants and still hoped for a good, warm sleep for all.

POSA as amended by Biti and company now disallows demonstrations on all centres of power: State House, Parliament, Courts, Town Houses, etc. Of course it allows the MDC and its zealous horde to go to Glamis Stadium, quite the opposite direction to power.

There, they can yell and yodel until jackals out-howl them. Was that the intended gain? By the way Glamis — Glamis — is very British, and no one in MDC saw the irony of that venue, namely that, thanks to Biti, the negotiations have conveyed them to the British Thane of Glamis, which is where the battle will be lost! Surely your country needs a better puppet, raving Dr Pocock. Hey, but you write good English, Dr Peacock, only sorely needing a decent cause than one you peddle in "britain and Zimbabwe!"

Grovelling for endorsement

I could not understand why the Sunday News ever chose to bent over backwards on McGee who wants to retire here. Is that a story at all? A front-page one at that, Comrade Editor? Come on, get real! McGee is a white African-African American who has chosen conservative white America to his toiling black compatriots in the US. He is here on a white Republican Mission. He told us as much. He is not one of us, never will be. He was prepared to shed blood for this same white world. In Vietnam, cutting down lives whose circumstances are infinitely much closer to us than he can ever be, even if nature were to generously double his blackness. He abused Swazis, themselves SADC brothers and sisters. He was most disrespectful of citizens of Madagascar, another African people. He knows America is no home for blacks, but digs and buries his head in the hot sands of Nevada, to serve it. He knows white Americans are no friends, but still coquettishly accosts them. We have many African-African Americans who have shared trenches with us whose wishes we are still to carry on front page. Why this one? The whole think smacks of a psychology of dying to buy American endorsement. Do we need it, Comrade Editor? Is that the national view? Government view? He just must go back to his principals soon after his tour of duty here. Or much earlier.

An NGO called Natfoods?

Another baffling one relates to National Foods which invited high politicians to a nondescript event I am still grappling to grasp. National Foods used to be an Anglo-America local behemoth. It is now controlled by a few blacks, led by people like Ray Kaukonde, Mashonaland East governor. It relies heavily on GMB for its raw materials, Government-controlled GMB. That includes maize it needs for mealie-meal. Equally, it was a recent beneficiary of BACOSSI funds disbursed from the Central Bank, again a Government institution. Its invitees where all from Government, many with varying stakes in the company. A self-invitation, in other words, much like a similar one at Colcom’s Triple C. The talk there seemed aimed at shefs in Government, seemingly by other angry shefs, also in Government. Is that how Government works and communicates? Who was the intended audience, given the thing needed television coverage? Where I come from we call this kukwira chibwe, or kurova bembera. The trouble is you can get a devastating response. But even more baffling was the concept of "Feed Zimbabwe" mealie-meal satchets, proposed and announced on that occasion, apparently as donations to communities across the country facing cereal deficits. "Feed Zimbabwe" sounds like America’s derives directly from America’s "humanitarian" campaign punch-line, targeting a starving banana republic, does it not? Except America brings in its own surplus grain. It does not power such a gesture on subsidised grain from the GMB, transformed through BACOSSI cheap funds. What is going on? What politics are at play here? When we get a bit of money, do we picture ourselves as Americans coming back to Africa to rescue starvelings? Or is it not our project? Above all, is National Foods now an NGO? If so, let it go and register with Minister Goche, under Voluntary Organisations Act. But before it does, let it explain its motives. Let it also explain why with that supreme level of generosity and parentage, it removed all its products from the shelves at the height of the price blitz, most of them to do with food security at household level. Or why it held stocks of grain when everyone was looking for mealie-meal, until it had to be threatened. Surely this same given-ness it now seeks to parade on television would have motivated it to process and to supply to the market unconditionally, and at any price? And of course it has to convince the Political Commissar that it is a mere coincidence that this sudden burst of selflessness happens to cover an election calendar. Even spooks will cast long shadows on the wall, once they dare walk towards sunset. Icho! ---

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Tererai Karimakwenda weeping for Baas Mike Campbell's Farm

I like how zimbabwean uncle toms like Tererai Karimakwenda report on the repossession of their White Baas' land.
They NEVER mention how the Baas got the land in the first place.

Court Dismisses Farmers Constitutional Appeal

SW Radio Africa (London)

23 January 2008
Posted to the web 23 January 2008

By Tererai Karimakwenda

The Supreme Court of Zimbabwe on Tuesday dismissed a constitutional appeal by white farmer Mike Campbell, who was seeking to block the government from evicting him from his Mount Carmell Farm in the Chegutu District.

The decision was handed down by the full bench of the Supreme Court almost a year after they first heard the case. It means Campbell now faces eviction. But the government last month promised to abide by an interim order granted by the SADC Tribunal in Namibia, which said they should not take any steps to evict Campbell, or interfere with his operations, until the Tribunal hears the full case later this year.

Campbell was challenging Constitutional Amendment Number 17, which nationalized all farmland in the country. The amendment also forbids Zimbabwean courts from hearing land related cases, effectively taking away the right of any farmer to challenge the acquisition of their property.

The decision basically means the Supreme Court upheld Amendment 17 as Constitutional. It read in part: "By a fundamental law, the legislature has unquestionably said that such an acquisition shall not be challenged in any court of law. There cannot be any clearer language by which the jurisdiction of the courts is excluded."

The case was heard in the court in March 2007 and there had been no decision until now. The Zimbabwean authorities use this delay tactic to frustrate farmers, hoping they will give up. But Campbell had appealed to the SADC Tribunal in Namibia for justice. It remains to be seen whether the Zimbabwe government will comply with the interim order not to evict him.

John Worsley Worswick of Justice for Agriculture (JAG), which represents evicted farmers, was at the Supreme Court on Tuesday. He said the ruling now puts the case firmly in the hands of SADC tribunal. He said the regional court's ruling should be enforceable in Zimbabwe and it should override the Supreme Court ruling.

Asked whether he believes the Zimbabwe government will comply with the interim order barring eviction, Worswick said: "Having signed the SADC protocol they should respect that in terms of it being subjudice in the SADC Tribunal. And protection with regard to the relief ruling out of the Tribunal, should be respected until that court has heard and ruled." Given the Zimbabwe government's history regarding respect for laws, it is unlikely they will comply with the SADC court's order and wait for the full hearing.

Worswick said meanwhile pressure on white farmers to vacate their properties continues to intensify. He believes part of the government's strategy is to remove all white farmers before the elections scheduled for March. Although he gave no details, Worswick said farmer Mike Campbell had come under pressure from a "political chef."

Monday, 21 January 2008

Zimbabwe: White farmers mull joint legal challenge against Mugabe

Zimbabwe: White farmers mull joint legal challenge against Mugabe

by Simplicious Chirinda

HARARE – Dispossessed white farmers say they are mulling a joint legal challenge to President Robert Mugabe’s controversial land reforms, emboldened by a regional tribunal’s encouraging handling of a Zimbabwean farmer’s appeal against seizure of his land.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal last December barred Mugabe’s government from evicting William Michael Campbell from his farm pending a ruling on an application by the white farmer challenging the legality of Harare’s programme to seize white land for redistribution to landless blacks.

Campbell first appealed against seizure of his property at Zimbabwe’s Supreme Court last March but resorted to the Tribunal after what his lawyers said was “unreasonable delay” by the country’s highest court in dealing with his case.

The Namibia-based Tribunal is expected to deliver its final ruling on the matter this month.

Justice for Agriculture (JAG), a pressure group for white farmers, said a joint application by dispossessed farmers would help bring to finality all land disputes between farmers and Mugabe’s government.

“We are looking at different ways in which we can have these cases brought to finality and one of them is to mount a joint application,” said JAG leader, John Worswick.

“We want to see how the recent ruling by the SADC Tribunal in favour of Michael Campbell can be spread to other farmers,” he added.

The Commercial Farmers Union (CFU), the main representative body for white Zimbabwean farmers, said its members met in Harare last week to look at the possibility of mounting a joint application to the Supreme Court which could also be taken up to the regional Tribunal.

"We met as a think-tank and we are putting before our members these suggestions so that they can consider if they want to take that route,” CFU president Trevor Gifford.

Mugabe’s controversial farm seizures have resulted in the majority of the about 4 000 white farmers being forcibly ejected from their properties without being paid compensation for the land, which the government has refused to pay for saying it was stolen from blacks in the first place.

The government has compensated some farmers for developments on the land such as dams and farm buildings and say it is committed to compensating all farmers for such improvements.

Land redistribution, that Mugabe says was necessary to correct a colonial land ownership system that reserved the best land for whites and banished blacks to poor soils, is blamed for plunging Zimbabwe into food shortages after Harare failed to support black villagers resettled on former white farms with inputs to maintain production.

In his application before the Tribunal, Campbell wants the regional body to find Harare in breach of its obligations as a member of SADC after it signed into law Constitution of Amendment No. 17 two years ago.

The constitutional amendment allows the Harare government to seize farmland without compensation and bars courts from hearing appeals from dispossessed white farmers.

The white farmer also said in papers filed with the regional body that Mugabe’s land reforms were racist and illegal under the SADC treaty adding that Article 6 of the SADC treaty bars member states from discriminating against any person on the grounds of gender, religion, race, ethnic origin and culture.

Zimbabwe is a signatory to the SADC treaty.

Zimbabwe Under Siege...

Zimbabwe Under Siege
by Dr. Simbi Mubako

With Zimbabwe's March 9 scheduled Presidential elections three weeks away, Dr. Mubako, the Ambassador of Zimbabwe to the United States, gave this report of the country's fight for sovereignty against an ongoing, global British campaign. The speech was given to the Presidents' Day (Feb. 16-18) national conference of the Schiller Institute, on the Feb. 16 panel keynoted by U.S. Presidential pre-candidate Lyndon LaRouche.

These days Zimbabwe is always in the news, but rarely to you ever get news about anything positive. A wise person has said bad news is better than no news at all. However, as Ambassador for Zimbabwe these days, I would gladly swap anybody's "no news at all," if he will accept my "bad news."

There has been a veritable media blitz on Zimbabwe by the Western powers in the last three years. Yet for the previous 19 years, the West showered endless praises on Zimbabwe and its President, as a beacon of stability and democracy in Africa. Zimbabwe won many international awards for its advanced agriculture and economic management. American universities awarded President Mugabe several doctorates, adding to his own six very good degrees in education, economics, law and international relations. Now, suddenly, the West condemns the country, and portrays Mugabe as a leader who has developed the horns of a demon, and a tail. He is called a tyrant, a thief, and a corrupt monster, with all the epithets that the West heaps upon Third World leaders.
Why This Sudden Assault on Mugabe

What are the reasons for this sudden turn of events? The reasons are not far to seek. They are mainly two.

a)The first one was the intervention of Zimbabwe troops in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In 1998, the DRC was invaded by Uganda and Rwanda, with the tacit support of the United States of America and Britain. The declared aim was to overthrow the young government of President Laurent Kabila. The DRC appealed to SADC for help; SADC agreed to send troops from Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola. The invading forces were checkmated, and the plan to overthrow the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was foiled. The invading forces are still occupying, and exploiting the diamond and other mineral resources of the DRC, on behalf of the West. Two and one half million people have died in the process, in the occupied territories, as a result of war, starvation, and diseases. There has been no outcry in the West about the occupation, exploitation, and atrocities committed by the occupying forces, and the deaths of so many millions of people. The West singles out Zimbabwe for vilification, because of their own failure to plant a puppet regime in [DRC capital of] Kinshasa.

Zimbabwe's presence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was a SADC decision, aimed at saving the people of the DRC from imminent danger and genocide; and this was part of the wider SADC goal, to assist the African people everywhere. Zimbabwe is proud of its role in the DRC, and we know that the Congolese people are happy and grateful for the assistance they receive from the government and people of Zimbabwe. Zimnbabwe will continue to stand ready to assist, and to defend and consolidate the independence and territorial integrity of the DRC, as long as it is necessary to do so.

b)Land Reclamation. The second and even more important reason for the West's assault on Zimbabwe, is that the Zimbabwe government decided to take control of its land; of the land which remained the monopoly of a small racial monopoly from the days of British colonialism. Land was one of the principal objectives of the war of liberation, through which Zimbabwe gained independence from Britain in 1980. Yet, 19 years after independence, that land was still in the hands of British settlers. The colonial racial division of the land left the white farmers owning 65% of the best farmland of the country, while over 9 million blacks were crowded on small, infertile, sandy plots, or were made landless and jobless.

Moreover, Tony Blair's Labour government decided to abrogate the pledge, which the previous government had made before independence [at the 1980 Lancaster House Conference], that they would fund a resettlement program, a land reform in Zimbabwe. Tony Blair's government unilaterally announced, that they had stopped funding the land reform and resettlement program in Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwe government, therefore, was left with no choice, but to announce its own plan of land reclamation, at an accelerated pace. They embarked on that; and, as of now, 7000 farms—or about 90% of the land which was formerly occupied by the white farmers—has now been acquired for African settlers. Most of the people who are being resettled, had been landless, or jobless. And by the end of December 2001, over 360,000 families had been resettled on new land.

The government of President Mugabe acted with determination. This is the reason, why the West is punishing Zimbabwe. This is why the West is demonizing President Mugabe. The campaign against my country has nothing to do with democracy, the rul of law, or elections, as they tend to allege. Zimbabwe has always practiced these things, and is committed to democracy and good government.

In reality, the West itself does not care about these matters in Third World countries. If you look, their closest allies are the greatest offenders against democracy and human rights. I shall not name names, but you know the military regimes, and the one-party states, and theocracies, and so on, with whom they are in bed.
Escalation of the Vilification Campaign

President Mugabe has repeatedly said that there is no going back on the land reforms. Zimbabweans know that Mugabe is a man of his words. The British know this as well. So, they have decided to escalate their campaign of vilification against the people and the economy of Zimbabwe. The object is to make the people disaffected against their government, and to make the country ungovernable. This was all in preparation for the elections, which they knew were coming. They imposed informal sanctions on the country, including attempts to prevent oil deliveries reaching Zimbabwe. We had gasoline queues, and closures of some factories, leaving thousands of people unemployed. They withheld spare parts for our machinery and aircraft bought in Britain, including parts for incubators and respirators for newborn babies.

They called on their cousins in Canada, the United States, Australia, and some European countries, to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe. As you know, the right wing in the United States jumped at the opportunity to punish an African country, whom they saw as being a "cheeky" one. They introduced the so-called Zimbabwe Democracy Bill, which was passed by Congress last year. In so doing, they ignored the protests and advice from Zimbabwe itself, from all states of the whole of the SADC region, and from all the African states. All the African states were united against any form of sanctions.

In particular, they keep trying to divide Africans, to get some Africans to break off from opposition to the line they are taking. They keep on blaming President Mbeki, for example, of South Africa, for refusing to be used against a friendly African government, which has impeccable pan-Africanist credentials.

Last week, President Mbeki voiced his exasperation with the West, for treating African states like little children, who were either ignorant, or did not know what was good for them. He said that in Zimbabwe, the West's interest is clearly not about democracy, but about their wish to control the country.

Africa has decided that there is no case whatsoever, for sanctions of any kind against Zimbabwe; rather, there is a case for economic assistance, if anyone is inclined to assist.

Within Zimbabwe itself, Britain and its allies are trying to destabilize the elected Government of President Mugabe, in any way they can think of, in order to install a puppet government that will dance to their tune. They have now admitted, that through organizations like the Westminister Foundation, the Amani Trust, and others, they—together with the white farmers, and white interests in South Africa—bankrolled the main opposition party in Zimbabwe, for a long time now.

You have, today, an opposition party, led by people who were formerly poor trades union leaders, which has now, arguably, more resources than the party in government. The leaders have become instant millionaires. They have managed to establish short-wave radio stations in Britain and the Netherlands, that nightly beam propaganda to Zimbabwe, in favor of the opposition and against the government.

However, all this does not seem to be working, at least in the estimation of the British government. The British fear that their three-year-old Zimbabwean baby might fail to win the election; hence, they have decided to interfere directly in the elections themselves. They demanded that the European Union monitor Zimbabwe's elections. This arrogant demand was made under threat of economic sanctions, and in complete disregard of Zimbabwe's laws and its sovereignty. They saw in this, an opportunity for them to be able to rig the elections, in favor of their favority party.

The Zimbabwe government had no choice, but to reject this diktat out of hand. Next—I have said they funded pirate radio stations in Britain and the Netherlands, with a daily propaganda campaign for the opposition, that vilify the elected government—the European Union is trying to impose a Swedish election observer, who was not invited by the Zimbabwe government. He just took the plane from New York, the United Nations, and flew into Zimbabwe, and said, "Here, I've come to observe your elections, on behalf of the European Union."

All these tactics will not succeed. They will not succeed in their attempt to break the resolve of the people of Zimbabwe, to be masters in their own house.
Continued British Colonialism

What emerges here, is that the British have not abandoned their old ideas of imperial domination over their old colonies. They now want to dominate by economic manipulation, and by installing puppet regimes, all in the name of democracy, human rights, and good governance. If they cannot do it alone, they summon the Americans and fellow Europeans, to subjue the disobedient developing country.

At the Berlin Conference of 1895, European powers signed a treaty, to partition and colonize Africa. They did so. We are now witnessing a process whereby Britain, a former colonial power, is turning the European Union into an instrument of neo-colonialism. The British regard the Commonwealth—their own Commonwealth of nations—as their same old British Empire, only by another name. Hence, their attempt (which failed) to use the Commonwealth to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe, even during the current Presidential election campaign itself.

No other country would tolerate a situation, where a foreign power would come and threaten sanctions against a party or government which is taking part in an election—clearly, they are showing that they are not an impartial group.

In all this, the public in the West is told, that their governments are intervening in the name of democracy. The British cannot now come back to Africa to teach us democracy, which they, themselves, in 100 years of their own colonial rule.

What lies behind this continued arrogance and bullying, is the continued belief by the West in their inherent superiority over the developing nations. That belief is reinforced by the undemocratic and unfair economic order in which the young nations find themselves.
Unjust Economic Order

We are members of a United Nations in which nations are declared equal, but which is dominated by only a handful of powers, that won the Second World War. Hence, the United Nations serves the interest of those powers first, before the rest of humanity. That is the system, which condemsn and punished aggression in Kuwait, very swiftly, but condones aggression in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. That is the system, which intervenes to stop wars in Bosnia and Kosovo, but did nothing to stop genocide in Rwanda; and now, does little to end the ongoing atrocities and genocide in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The injustice of the international political order, rests on the injustice of the international economic order, represneted by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Zimbabwe is a long-standing member of both organizations, and had come to rely on them for its vital development projects. We thought that we had rights in these institutions, provided that we followed the rules and paid our dues. However, we have since discovered, to our costs, that we were deluding ourselves. We are only insignificant pawns, that can be cast away at the whim of the great powers.

In 1999, after our diplomatic quarrels with Britain had started, our annual application to the IMF was vetoed by Britain and the United States. The reason given, was that Zimbabwe—which had sent troops to the Democratic Republic of Congo—was too poor to involve itself in the war in the DRC; and therefore, they should be denied any further funds, so that they could not indulge in those kind of adventures.

Yet, at the same time—in fact, on the same day—Rwanda and Uganda had their applications approved by the IMF. These two countries also have troops in the DRC; they are the aggressors; and both countries are actually poorer than Zimbabwe. Yet, they received, and continue to receive, loans and grants from the Bretton Woods institutions, while Zimbabwe is quarantined. That is the effect of the big-power monopoly of these institutions.
Life After the IMF

The lessons to be learnt are two, for us:

1. First of all, that even if you are a member of the IMF and the World Bank, you should not build your economy on the IMF prescriptions. Young and poor nations should rely on their own meager resources. Then you will not be blackmailed politically. This is a surer way to steady economic development, even if it is slower economic development.

2. Secondly, we have learned that we should encourage everybody to join the movement for the establishment of a New International Economic Order. That movement is already afoot. And it is in our interests as developing countries, to join these progressive forces, which already exist. We should join hands with the progressive forces of thinkers and policy-makers here in the United States—such as Mr. LaRouche; I have read some of his works. And we should join those in other countries, as in Russia, Italy, Malaysia, who have all shown that they are willing to embrace the establishment of a new international order. There is no long-term solution in the present system of international order.

Zimbabwe values its independence and sovereignty above all else. There is no going back on our land reform program, which is now almost complete.

Our economy has been under seige for about three years now. But now, there are signs of recovery and stability. We have learned a bitter lesson. We have learned that, after all, there is life after the IMF. We are beginning to realize, that the threatened sanctions against Zimbabwe, may actually turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

As for our Presidential elections, to take place on the 9th and 10th of next month: I am confident that they will proceed well, despite the threatened interference by our former colonial "masters." The elections will be held freely and fairly, just as they have been held before.

I thank you all for listening to me.

Friday, 18 January 2008

New Constitution: MDC clown’s costume

New Constitution: MDC clown’s costume

Gentle reader, I know I confound your expectations. You expected more on the "wonder" draught hewn out of the dissimilar for us by the British: precisely how far this wonder formulae of locomotion took the plough, and whether any seed explodes to budding in the fallow so ungainly burrowed. I have a feeling that you think giving you anything short of that, amounts to some reckless diversion in respect of a matter so heavy to be ignored.

After all, here was a breaking story which, surely, cannot close before we see mutumbi wayo. John Simpson could not have been despatched here for nothing? Or had you not made the connection between his surreptitious entry and the need for some public relations to this stillbirth? John is not the kind of reporter who just comes, who just sees and then just goes back. His travels mark the foreign office’s footprints. He comes to herald the fall of mighty personages, which is the rise of others. His coming here then was supposed to be a marker of time in hard pregnancy, a marker of delivery time. Or so his principals thought.

A storm in a newspaper

Well trust me, dear gentle, gentlest reader. The hurly burly is gone; the battle is won or lost, depending from which vantage point you view the action. It was a false pregnancy, chimimbamutekwe! Call it a storm in a newspaper, a non-antagonistic contradiction, which is why you notice I could afford to go lisping! All the Dutch cockiness you saw last week and the week before, you read last week and the week before, has fizzled and vanished, making way to plaintive requests for audience with you-know-who. And boy, it is getting a bit comical.

Can I have shefu’s portrait? Can I have shefu’s biography? How about buying a slot for shefu on CNN? Sickening grovelling by co-conspirators who think everyone but themselves so gullible. They are deserting the cause, these lilly-livered creatures of chance and orders. The State is being informed on conspiracies, as if it did not know. So many tales, so many tellers, tales delivered with jesuitic unctuousness. Tales of mansions acquired in Nyanga and Kariba, using dirty money from the funders of this strange idea.

The State has heard of a diplomatic truck belonging to a foreign government, driven by a foreigner in service, which is now thoroughly bored of making repeated errands connecting Vainona, Belgravia and Harare’s Fear Fortress. It is a car, which if granted a mouth, would give hair-raising tales, including one of a brown envelop carrying professorial political musings. The trouble with this game is that once you enter it, you begin to sink, sink and sink so irretrievably, that your only other movement is to Chikurubi.

Or to the US or UK for easily granted asylum. But there are some delicate issues which require a bit of silence while time gives them a cooling whiff. My little warning to those comrades, or what remains of their comradely spirit, is that like the vengeful spirit of a slain newly wed, the white man’s money rises from the grave. Ingozi yemukaranga; hairipike!

Un-fermenting Biti

Now to MDC, our political pastime. Tendai Biti is at it yet again, determined at all cost to be foolish again, after extended exposure to politically redeeming company. What is so wrong with this fellow, a learned one at that? In my generation, spectacles were always symbols of depth and polish. You would just not wear them. Nor were they evidence of a sight handi-cap.

With them on your face, no one could ever visualise you doing menial jobs. Succumbing to menial chores even, including exercising the bottom part of your stomach behind a thorny shrub, before reaching out for a ward of green leaves to wipe off bad odour. Now this bespectacled man decides to mount a steaming monument, right in front of in-laws!

Haa-a, now where do we look with embarrassment? Such an abomination from one so learned? No one told him about the beauty of keeping one’s mouth shut. Society is always kind with such individuals. In the case of Biti, society would have been even more generous. From his degraded depths, he was lifted to dizzy consequence by the sheer weight of his political clients.

What the sun cannot cook

He is in the inter-party dialogue, occasioned by the SADC region’s overriding need to rid a member state of the burdensome treachery brought on it by the sheer treachery of a part of its citizenry, a part called Movement for Democratic Change. Biti should have known that this is a very strange way of securing the audience of those who govern you, a rather obscene way of making it into history.

Thanks to the need to end illegal sanctions from the West, Biti and Ncube today patronise high places, indeed access President Mugabe’s ministers at an instant. They even reach these ministers’ bended shoulders, as if these ministers are their age-mates, are their playmates. Ncube is my age, a mere year ahead of me in college. As for Biti, I look back (with a squint) in the mist of time that followed my years in college.

I cannot recognise him in the blurred throng which pops forth. He comes much, much later after my youthful days in University, well after our Independence had long lost its milk teeth, this our Biti. But today he shouts "Nicholas", shouts "Patrick" to the two ministers in the dialogue, much like he would yell at his mate running away with a badly bound paper ball in primary school grounds.

But wait a minute, Swahili provides the clue: no matter how hot the sun may be, it can never cook beans. For all his proximity to executive age and ruling ideas, there is something still unready about him, still unripe about him, something which time and experience is still to bring to him in fullness.

Good governance from failed state?

And once freed from the restraining straitjacket of high society, he becomes a dashing student so unkempt in manners, so sonorous terminology, so stout and boisterous in his language to help make a nation, let alone lead it. Soon after hitting a cul-de-sac in Pretoria, he came back to a rally at which he relapsed into student-ism.

"Our march is a statement against a failed state," he told his thoughtless interlocutors.

"It is a demand for good governance," he added, clipping his point to easy applause, thanks to his unthinking audience. But the postulate flew beyond the unthinking, and is now in the public domain, getting meticulously preened for its worth. We do not get nuggets.

We are left with questions. How on this good earth do you demand "good governance" from a "failed state"? Or does the MDC and its lawyers proffer a more merciful definition of "failed state", one which quickly resurrects to become a "passed state" once a demand is "marched" by the opposition? And in this failed state, Zanu (PF) is amazingly homogenous and sincere enough to allow a "dipping stick" into the tank of its sincerity! But beneath the humorous, there is serious stuff we need to exhume.

Old draft constitution, new need

Make no mistake, MDC is not about to break negotiations over the question of the so-called new draft constitution. No. There is nothing "new" about the draft constitution under examination. It is a very old, long forgotten, mouldy document from 1999-2000. We are talking about the same Draft Constitution which thoughtless Biti and his MDC so happily threw out in February 2000.

It has taken them eight long years to discover there was a baby in the bathwater they threw away in that fateful year. And they need a bit of assistance from the motherly Zanu (PF) to recover the crying baby.

Otherwise would it not be foolish to expect a few odd meetings, held by a mere four men, with occasional visits from facilitators, to yield the constitutional tome we have in that draft? To yield a document which the mighty British do not and cannot have to this day, indeed to yield a document which the Americans agonisingly drafted over a vast stretch of unmarked time? Agreement was so easy to reach because all that was needed was MDC’s recovery from its February 2000 folly, and Zanu (PF)’s indulgent acceptance of such a recovery. With Madhuku breathing so hard on the two MDCs, this would not be long in coming, which is why this became the first and easiest part of the negotiations.

When a child comes before father

Secondly, the MDC simply accepted that the draft constitution could not be served in the little time that remained before the March elections, which is why it pleaded for the excising of those provisions with a bearing on elections from it, to give us Amendment 18, and the subsidiary instruments subsequently made under that amendment. Welshman could not have put it any better when he told the facilitators this last Sunday in South Africa that Amendment 18 is a child of the draft constitution around which there is the present, seeming deadlock.

And of course the question that the MDC would have to answer now is a simple one. If the constitution was the real issue, why was it stayed and superseded by an Amendment which derived from it? If the Amendment is a child of the draft constitution (and I borrow the filial imagery from the MDC), why was the child born before the father? Surely such a biological baffle would only have been granted through a mutual willingness to suspend disbelief and morality? After all, when a child comes before the father, so who does the child call "father"? Put inversely, when the father comes after the child, whose son does he become? Even our faith is worn out remarkably thin when the Great Book speaks of Virgin Mary conceiving before the usual bodily encounter of opposites.

What more with this one wonder so wished by lesser beings of well-known fallibility? The whole thing is so illogical that I cannot visualise both Biti and Ncube standing up to make any point related to it.

We the people? Nonsense!

Thirdly, except for political comic relief, the modalities for introducing the old proposed constitution makes the people superfluous. And yet it starts with "We the People blah,blah blah?" How does a party which has called itself "democratic" and which so readily falls back on "mass action", suddenly dispense with the "masses" over this one question it says has always been "the epicentre of the Zimbabwean crisis?" Would the MDC win the argument at home? Would it carry its own constituency sorely needing a "broad-based, people-driven constitution"? Would they win South Africa, the mediator? Would they tap into international opinion and sympathy? Even that of their unconditional supporters, the British, the Americans, the Nordic?

Again it is quite difficult to see any MDC persons, even while granting their legendary unreasonableness, standing up to make such a proposition with a straight face. Fourthly, MDCs acceded to the March poll, which is why there was so much flurry in passing Amendment 18. In fact everything about them, including their hurried wish to re-unite, affirms knowledge of this date. But beyond their organisations, their sitting MPs who are so anxious to retain their seats are working within this deadline, even visiting their counterparts in Zanu (PF) for any information there may be on the delimitation exercise.

Do they expect a referendum between now and March, before the poll? Clearly all the four points make the present feigned deadlock a joke which needs to be correctly read. And I will attempt a reading.

March, the real story

The so-called impasse is not over the draft constitution, more accurately the timing of its promulgation. Zanu (PF) made it clear this was a burden of the winner of the March 2008 elections. MDC not only agreed to this; both factions started lobbying Zanu (PF) to please undertake to process the document after March. This was the first ever indication from both factions that the real battle in March would be for the second best position. It remains the case to this day. AS far back as the beginning of the negotiations, both MDCs ceded victory to Zanu (PF). I could reveal more about what else they conceded and was pleaded for, but I will not until these guys stretch their luck.

The present impasse is over election dates, with the issue of the draft constitution, itself long settled, being brought back as a limping spoiler. The MDC, whether as factions or as a prospect of the reunion, is not ready for March 2008. They want elections shifted to some later date, preferably to a remote 2010 which Zanu (PF) proposed some year ago. Few remember that in fact both MDCs had agreed to 2010. MDC knows it stares defeat in the face. What is more, when it gets beaten so miserably in March, the MDC will not survive the defeat. That will be the end of the MDC, as we have known it.

But young MPs are ready to defy Tsvangirai on the issue of boycott. Remember its youthful MPs who know no other job, cannot afford to lose this one and only job so easily performed by God-given tolls: jaws. In the case of Welshman’s side, these guys are clear that Zanu (PF) should not be allowed an inch into Bulawayo, their threatened base. After all, once in, Zanu (PF) cannot be ousted. This was the logic behind participation in 2005 and the subsequent senatorial elections. Ask Japhet Ncube, the mayor of Bulawayo.

Staring a second Lisboa

But there are compelling external worries which explain MDC’s present obduracy. Lisboa came to Mugabe so easily because the MDC’s behaviour on negotiations and constitutional issues in Parliament severely weakened London, both morally and politically. The reading was that Zimbabweans were not only talking but were forging ahead, thanks to South Africa and SADC. Far from being a benevolent colonial father, Britain came across as a meddlesome, amateurish imperialist bully against an innocent small people.

Today, a mere two months before the elections, it faces exactly the same embarrassing prospect, all against diminishing patience and support within the EU, its bastion in the narrow fight for its kith and kin ousted here. London badly needs an uncooperative MDC, preferably one to have opted out of the talks before then, crying a deadlock and Mugabe’s "bad faith"! And time is not on its side, what with a meeting to review illegal sanctions soon to come later this month or in early February.

The talks must collapse; the Zimbabwean authorities must be goaded into scenes that would give spectacular copy and images to Europe, ahead of the EU sanctions review meeting. Something like is happening in Kenya presently. Such a development would get Europe to extend sanctions. Or even expand existing ones to allow more time for current regime change efforts, including the recent formulae of yoking together political dissimilars.

Dipping into Biti’s tank

I am sure, gentle reader, you are beginning to put in good context Biti’s proposed "freedom" march which sought to utilise "new" POSA be

fore the presidential assent; indeed which sought to break provisions of POSA’s amendments so readily accepted by MDC’s negotiators. Both Biti and Ncube have not told their constituencies that the new law does not tolerate demonstrations on all centres and sites of power. Which means the MDC and its small horde of supporters can only demonstrate towards their own leaders’ homes and headquarters.

Nowhere else. Not even to Parliament. Under the amended POSA, the police can still outlaw demonstrations, albeit after consultations with the convenor. Which takes me to my next baffle: why is Biti out to show to his constituency how severely restricting to their principal political instrument (of demonstrations), the amendment they acceded to are? What gain would that bring to him personally, given the deep suspicion he already faces from his peers? Clearly the tank which is being dipped is his and there is much rueing to follow.

The council Putin would not take.

I found it very interesting that the new US ambassador is promising mountains of dollars from his country which is sliding into deep recession. Before then, in a non-election year, America was quite close fisted. 2008 is an election year and, yes, Uncle Sam is in a generous mood. Really? And the timing? Just after reports on the possibility of a Third Force which America’s Harare office is heavily involved with? We watch. I hope you have been following events in Russsia, dear reader.

Putin is taking no nonsense from Brown’s soft fist, the British Council. Not many associate the British Council or USIS (we have both here) with imperial goals of the British and their cousins, the Americans. They both look innocent conduits for information to grateful lesser beings. What more with the Chevening Scholarships in the case of the former, and yearly visits and tours in the case of the latter. Innocent? Unlike us, the Russians know exactly the sinews of imperial power and influence.

They have moved in swiftly to clip sinews of Brown’s soft power, in the wake of a diplomatic standoff over a Russian spy who suffered a lethal atomic bomb attack right in the heart of London. Since then, Britain has been scheming, turning to its Council for subversive counsel. The Russians would not have it, firmly telling Brown that is not the way and language with which "to talk" to the Russian people. This is what happens when Labour’s nearly man overdraw from their so-called ethical foreign policy which has just come buckling in Beijing.

Is that all, Honourable Butau?

And the Butau thing on the internet? Is that all we were waiting for? Who is in Flatwater? Who should answer questions on Flatwater? Why set the stage for Gono, his perceived enemy? I have repeatedly said these guys are empty, big but empty. It is showing so abundantly. I just hope the police will handle this one differently. This habit of suspending charges merely because the accused has run away has no precedent anywhere in this world.

When an accused runs away, charges are brought to the courts in his or her absence. The fugitive is arraigned and a default judgment secured. Such that when such persons come back home, as happened recently, they came to outstanding judgments and sentences. That is how the law is practiced and executed elsewhere in the world. Let the trail begin, and tell me who shivers. Icho!


Thursday, 17 January 2008

Zimbabwe 2005 Parliamentary Elections

Zimbabwe 2005 Parliamentary Elections: Questions working people are asking

by Munyaradzi Gwisai

In the 2000 parliamentary elections MDC won 57 seats compared to Zanu PF's 62. In the recent 2005 elections the MDC has dropped to 41 and Zanu PF increased to 78. What went wrong and what is the way forward. Socialist Worker looks at some of these questions.

A. Was there rigging of the elections?

MDC president, Morgan Tsvangirai, says they reject the result because they have been massive rigging and that their own calculations showed that the MDC won 94 seats. How true is this? Socialist Worker rejects the arguments of rigging for the following reasons:

i) If rigging was so obvious MDC polling agents reports will easily prove this before the Electoral Court, which the MDC fought for and won, and whose first decision has in fact been in favour of the MDC in the Bennet - Chimanimani case. In any case why didn't Zanu PF rig in Harare and Tsholotsho were Mugabe so desperately wanted seats.

ii)The sixteen seats lost by the MDC were around the rural areas. This was not surprising and had been predicted by various polls. Examples include the 2004 Afro-Barometer study, jointly done by pro MDC organisations, namely the Institute for Democracy in South Africa, the Centre for Democratic Development of Ghana and Michigan State University of the United States showed Mugabe's approval rate up from 20 percent to 46 percent compared Tsvangirai's 18 percent down from 40 plus in 1999. For the elections, surveys by different groups including the Mass Opinion Institute. Dr. Kurebwa of UZ, the Sunday Mirror all showed MDC losing its one third constitutional threshold. Last year's by-elections and the Zanu PF primaries all showed the growing strength of Zanu PF in the rural areas compared to the MDC. This is why MDC deputy general secretary, Gift Chimanikire went for Mbare at all costs, abandoning Guruve.

iii) The numbers turned away were less than 10% and affecting less than five constituencies materially. In any case many young MDC voters did not register because of the MDC boycott. It is also likely that ZEC officials were extra strict because of the accusations of ghost voters.

B. Why then did MDC lose in the rural areas and win the towns?

i. Of course there was some intimidation of rural voters especially around food aid after the expulsion of the traditional pro MDC western NGOs like CARE and World Vision. There was also questionable fixing of urban and rural seats to give Zanu PF an advantage as in Harare South and Gwanda but this was in a few seats. But the point remains that these were the most peaceful elections since 1980, in which the opposition enjoyed the highest ever access to rural areas and the public media plus coverage from the imperialist sponsored radios like SW Africa and VOP. If in 2000 the NCA could win the Referendum and a nine month old MDC win 57 seats under such violent conditions, the MDC should have done much better in 2005.Â

ii. The truer picture is pointed out by Richard Dowden of The Independent (UK), who wrote: ' the voters' roll and the results were almost certainly fixed. But that cannot explain all' Some may also have been afraid, even though those elections were far less violent than 2000. Many might have feared that that if they did not vote Zanu PF, they would not get food aid. But the opinion polls showed that outside Zimbabwe's towns, Mugabe's popularity had gone up in the past year. Singing the liberation struggle battle hymns against whites and the British and handing out seized land and food aid worked. As Jack Straw and others pick over the wreckage of British policy they will be forced to admit ruefully that it contributed to Mugabe's success'. British support for the opposition candidate and regime change also boosted Mugabe making Morgan Tsvangirai look like a British puppet. The Anglo-American invasion of Iraq was another gift proving that Britain still acted in an imperial way.' This sounds like the Zanu PF election jingle, 'Siyoyo Mai' which says 'MDC ine ka simero ke Iraq, ine ka simero ke utengisi.' Not surprising that the black middle classes of posh Harare East rightly severely punished Tendai Biti by giving him the lowest votes in Harare, for foolishly trying to deny what they saw and heard on TV about Blair and the MDC, or white farmers and the MDC.

iii. Poor leadership, ideological confusion and strategies by the MDC, with the half-hearted boycott leaving it with inadequate time to campaign in the rural areas.

iv. In 2001 we in the ISO loudly told the party that unless they immediately changed their strategy of opposing the land reform programme and hanging on the aprons of white farmers, local capitalists, the west and IMF and instead adopt an anti-boss, anti-neoliberal anti-imperialist stance they would be buried in future elections even without violence, because underlying the emergence of the MDC was an anti-ESAP anti-neoliberal mood amongst the masses, which Mugabe was trying to relate to, with growing success in the rural areas, where the majority of the population lives. Mugabe on the other hand revered a number of the ESAP policies in the rural areas including redistributing land, subsidised seeds, fertiliser and food aid, rural electrification programme, GMB depots and rural roads. This won Zanu PF across rural areas, including former MDC strongholds like Manicaland and Matebeleland.

v. In towns on the other hand without taking over the factories, mines, banks, or supermarkets Zanu PF could not make any meaningful reversal of the ESAP policies. If anything the so-called Economic Turn-Around Programme, spearheaded by Reserve Bank Governor Gono with an Advisory Team of some of the most powerful capitalist forces locally, including Eric Bloch involved a partial re-introduction of ESAP. Thus whilst inflation went down on the books, the living costs of the masses continued to deteriorate and they have not surprisingly again rejected Zanu PF, despite the dismal performance of MDC MPs and councillors. Â

C. So are you saying the elections were 'free, fair and democratic'?

i. At one level yes, and at another level no. Firstly measured by standards in other capitalist countries the elections were 'free and fair.' You can't compare them to the 1980, 1985, 1990 or 2000 elections or the bloody elections in Nigeria, Iraq, or dictatorships like Saudi Arabia, Eygpt or Uganda which are accepted by the west. In the USA, the so-called home of bourgeois democracy, Bush won the 2000 and 2004 elections by a combination of direct fraud and his brother disenfranchising blacks and Hispanics in Florida supported by a Supreme Court packed by his party's supporters.Â

ii. But fundamentally elections under capitalism are never truly 'free, fair and democratic.' Elections can only be won by those with enough money to bribe voters, to put up adverts, to print posters, to buy beer, i.e. the rich or those they support. Further parliament under capitalism does not express full democracy as other important state officials like the Reserve Bank Governor, Police Commissioner or judges are not elected. Neither does parliament determine the price of basic goods and services used by the ordinary people or whether workers are retrenched or paid a living wage. These are seen as the capitalists' private property and the capitalists will violently resist any government that threatens their property with economic sabotage, sanctions or even war, as has happened to Mugabe for seizing the white farms and Chavex in Venezeuala. So long as only a tiny minority, the capitalists, control the wealth of society, there will be no democratic elections. Only under socialism when the majority of people own and control these things can we talk of true democracy.Â

D. What are the implications of the defeat on the MDC on Tsvangirai & 3rd Force?

i. Because the MDC has won so resoundingly in the urban areas it is unlikely that any 3rd Force as called by Trevor Ncube, will succeed. The only threat to the MDCÂ would be a movement that arises on its left centred on the trade union movement and with an anti-imperialist, anti-boss, anti-capitalist and pro-peasant agenda. But the conditions for the emergence of this are not yet sufficient for it to emerge as a dominant force in the next three or so years, unless there is an economic meltdown which the MDC completely fails to relate to.

ii. Tsvangirai's leadership of the MDC is not under threat. This is for two reasons. Firstly he remains by far the most popular leader in the opposition movement. Secondly because for the first time the formation of the MDC, their leadership ran a united campaign uniting the class and tribal differences that could have undermined his leadership. Thus the trade union leaders around Tsvangirai - Sibanda worked hand in hand with the petite bourgeois intellectual leaders like Ncube, Biti, Coltart and Misihiraibwi - Mushonga. The MDC has emerged with unified leadership which will likely take the defeat as a collective responsibility.

iii. However, the defeat is disastrous for the MDC's long term interests, especially the 2008 presidential elections as it is likely to feed into the feeling of disillusionment, powerlessness and aparthy amongst its urban supporters whist reinvigorating Zanu PF. Already significant aparthy has been seen in this election in most urban areas. A Zanu PF victory in the 2008 presidential election is now highly likely.

E. Will the MDC call for mass action like in Ukraine or go into Parliament?

i. The MDC is likely to take up its 41 seats and not call any serious mass action. Since calling off the November 2000 mass action, the fundamental strategy of the MDC leaders has been of peaceful-co-habitation with Zanu PF. They calculate that a combination of parliamentary and legal pressure together with a deteriorating economic situation due to the sanctions by their western friends will get them peacefully into power. In the meanwhile they enjoy the privileges and money from Parliament and donors. Now they will make a few radical noises about taking action or even call a half-hearted stayaway to quiten and keep in control their more radical members and civic society allies like Pius Ncube, NCA, ZVAKWANA and ZCTU. But Mugabe now fully understands this, mocking them on Saturday - 'They are not serious. They are saying it to placate their members to restore their confidence.'

ii. In any case objectively the Mugabe regime, with its party cadreship and the state has the capacity to easily crush any attempted mass uprising. The MDC middle class leadership demobilised its radical base, denouncing the jambanja route, as was dramatically revealed in the failed 2003 'Final Push.' The commodification of resistance through NGO civic society has also neutralised civic society. This includes the trade unions which are further suffering from a corrupt unaccountable leaders, disillusioning the membership.

iii. Tsvangirai confirmed as much in an interview with The Washington Post, were he   parroted an earlier interview by David Coltart: - 'Yet Tsvangirai rejected calls from some of his supporters for demonstrations, saying that not enough protestors were willing to take to the streets to force Mugabe from power. 'Those who did come to demonstrate, he said, would be arrested, hurting the long-term prospects for growing the party'. 'I'm not afraid to go to jail myself, said Tsvangirai looking relaxed in his well-groomed suburban home in Harare. 'But its one thing to be courageous and another thing to make wreckless decisions in a way that won't be sustainable' Zimbabwe is not Ukraine - We have to be realistic.' Journalist, Timbery, disgusted by the dishonesty of the MDC leader, then lays out their real strategy in bare terms: - 'Yet having ruled out both demonstrations and a legal challenge against the election results, Tsvangirai in the interview was unable to describe a scenario in which his party took power unless Mugabe chose to negotiate with an opposition he has repeatedly called 'traitors' and tools of colonialist western powers.'

iv. Trevor Ncube first raised this in his famous 31st January 2003 Publishers' Memo in The Independent when he argued that the MDC leadership's lack of will, strategic vision and personal courage to successfully spearhead a people's power revolution, growing economic crisis and a radicalising Zanu PF could lead to social revolution that would wipe out the capitalists. For him the only way out was a social contract uniting Zimbabwe's elites, represented in Zanu PF and MDC, but with the later as a junior partner. He repeated this a week before elections, arguing only Mugabe could save Zimbabwe and was backed by founding Daily News editor, Geoff Nyarota.Â

F. Is Mugabe serious about working with MDC -Why is the West refusing to recognise him?

i. To understand politics, the state and law, or the superstructure in general, we have to understand the dynamics in the economic base. In other words who owns and controls the businesses, how well the businesses are operating, who eats what has been produced and what is the balance of the struggles between the workers who produce this wealth, and the bosses who eat most of it. Using such analysis it is clear that Mugabe has no choice but to work with MDC and the capitalists.

ii.  Despite his resounding electoral victory, Mugabe is likely to be forced to accommodate MDC for the following reasons: (1) despite Gono's fire-fighting measures the economy is again threatening to implode as a result of the sanctions by the west. There is massive shortage of foreign currency leading to the collapse of the local currency to 1 to 15 000 to the USA$; the RBZ auction only realises $11million when demand is above $150 million; unlike before companies can't access a semi-legal black market because Gono closed off this; there is a drought and the land reform programme is yet to revive the agriculture sector. The above is likely to result in growing economic crisis including business closures, retrenchments, starvation wages, shortages of basic goods, massive price increases of basic goods and economic sabotage, in short back to 2003! Without immediate western financial support such economic crisis could lead to a complete economic melt-down and implosion. (2 ) Yet Mugabe's capacity to deal with these economic problems is very limited because his government does not own or control the most important businesses, unlike people like Chavez in Venezula or Castro in Cuba. (3) Because the workers and urban poor are still clearly opposed to the government and now after the results also likely to be completely disillusioned with the parliamentary route, an economic implosion will provide fertile grounds for the kind of imperialist - inspired 'people's power revolutions' that we have seen in Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine and recently Lebanon and Kyrgystan. If the MDC leadership is too cowardly to lead these, they could easily be replaced by a movement anchored by the more radical but pro-west petite bourgeois groupings like Madhuku' NCA, Jane William's WOZA and the shadowy ZWAKWANA - SOKWANELE, with Archbishop Pious Ncube the spiritual Godfather liker like Sistan in Iraq. No Mr. Coltart and Mr. Tsvangirai, you are wrong. Zimbabwe can easily become Ukraine... (4) On the other hand the capacity of Mugabe to resist the above is weak because - his advanced age; he has demobilised the radical section of his party including war vets, the youths militia, radical ideologues like Moyo and Chinamasa whilst siding with pro-west moderates like the Mujurus, Nkomo, Msika, Shamuyarira etc. And the personal cost of failure is too high as shown by Milosevic and Saddam Hussein.Â

iii. The west is refusing to recognise the elections even if they probably privately acknowledge that Zanu PF won, to keep the pressure on Mugabe to compromise, as argued by UZ political scientist Eldred Masunungure: 'Some of the EU countries and indeed America will consider stiffening and broadening the sanctions unless there's a fundamental policy shift by the government. There has to be a serious paradim shift and Mugabe must make a serious conscious decision to change his domestic and foreign policies if he is to expect a reprieve from the international community.'  The changes Mugabe is expected to make are those that are adequate to reverse the 'bad' precedent he set - namely that a regime faced by popular revolts against its neo-liberal programmes can survive if it reverses such policies in favour of nationalist ones and attacking the private property of the capitalists. The key changes Zanu PF has to make include: work together well with the west's trusted lap dogs in Zimbabwe, that is MDC and its supporting NGOs including possibly giving them some cabinet and Senate seats and a firm commitment of his own retirement. Economically to regularise the land question by giving title deeds, constitutional guarantees protecting private property and allowing some of the white farmers back and compensating others and giving Gono a free reign to implement a full-bloodied ESAP programme, incorporating MDC's RESTART/BRIDGE programme, under the supervision of the IMF/World Bank. .Â

iv. A number of indicators show that Mugabe is already bowing to such pressure:

a. his reconciliation speech on Saturday was modelled on his 1980 one, inviting not only the MDC but even Blair, to work together!

b. He has already given assurances that he will not use his 2/3 majority to create a new constitution but only amend it in consultation with MDC in Parliament; or to appoint his own successor. His proposed amendments are agreeable to MDC and the capitalists such as a Senate; simaltenous parliamentary and presidential elections; increasing parliament to 200 members; removing the 30 appointed members. Nowhere is he threatening to use it empower workers or peasants or even expropriate companies sabotaging the economy.

c. he did not impose his candidates on the ZEC, with MDC making two nominees and did not sign the NGO Bill into law allowing it to lapse.

d. he has given Gono unprecedented power with which he has initiated the beginnings of an ESAP programme, such as devaluation and repayment of IMF debts. Yet Gono has become buddies with the USA ambassador, is not on the sanctions list and got glowing reports from the IMF. John Nkomo is sanitising the land reform programme including turning a blind eye to blacks leasing back their new farms to former white farmers.Â

e. the state media is awash with reconciliation talk, with even Sunday Mail's Lowani Ndlovu, now saying 'the quickest way of ending the suffering of Zimbabweans is Zanu PF and MDC working together, and Zanu PF not imposing its two thirds majority'

Whilst the above entails some risk for Mugabe, it is much better than the alternative of continuing a losing battle against the capitalist forces. With a relative stabilisation of the economy, Zanu PF stands a good chance of retaining the presidency in 2008, even if by then it will be no different from MDC.

G. So what is the way forward for working people?

When elephants make love, it is the grass that suffers. Zanu PF and MDC are about to start making love, the povo beware! This means a number of things:

i. the most urgent thing to do is to build the fight back against the attacks coming from the working together of Zanu PF and MDC with their capitalist paymasters. The only way to defend our jobs, get better wages, free and/or subsidised health, education, farming inputs, stands or price controls on basics is by action or jambanja like we did in 1996 - 1998 and not the courts or parliament. This includes strikes, occupations, demonstrations, riots and boycotts. The urban struggles must be linked to the struggles of peasants for land, subsidised seeds, fertiliser, food, tillage, roads, dams and electrification.

ii. but to do this requires us to build strong, self-reliant and democratic organisations, residents associations, AIDS/HIV networks, student unions etc that support each other in our different struggles and not divided by superficial divisions like MDC or Zanu PF. Trade unions must play the leading role in such struggles as they did in 1996 - 98. But they can only do this if the current corrupt, cowardly leaderships in most unions is overthrown and replaced by younger, militant and democratic leaderships. Reject 'leaders' trying to destroy ZCTU by turning it into a puppet of the Zanu PF government. Whilst these are the most immediate danger to labour and must be fought , we must not be hoodwinked by the other leaders who have reduced our unions to spineless puppets of MDC, accept imperialist CIA sponsored awards and are feted by blood-suckers like the USA ambassador or Gono. Serious trade unionists must regroup into a separate pressure group to save the ZCTU and only support leaders who support the call for a general strike for a national minimum tax 'free living wage equivalent to the PDL; free health and education; audited accounts of the ZCTU and not being puppets of imperialists & MDC.   Â

iii. Politically fight for a new people driven constitution, guaranteeing bread and butter interests and full democracy.Â

iv. To gain legitimacy, Mugabe is likely to continue with the relaxation of the political space that started during elections. We must fully utilise this space to do labour forums, residents, AIS/HIV meetings and strengthen our organisations and struggles.

v. Lets use the above struggles as our dress-rehersals and universities for building new leaders and new cadres for a new political movement of working people the way our strikes, demonstrations and riots of 1995 - 99 did, and made us build the most powerful party to yet challenge the Zanu PF dictatorship. The mistake we made was not in forming a political party - no! Our mistakes were in: - (1) the working people surrendering leadership of the party to the neo-liberal (pro ESAP) middle classes, bosses and imperialists and allowing them into the party in the first place; (2) agreeing to abandon our jambanja and following the route of parliament, the courts or the west; (3) and our allowing our movement to be split between the urban and the rural.

vi. But to successfully fight the coming attacks and lay the foundations of a new working people's movement, the most advanced workers, students, peasants, war veterans and activists for democracy must make a decisive and clean break from the two main parties of the bosses in Zimbabwe, Zanu PF and the MDC. The fundamental task lying ahead of us is the construction of a new movement but one radically different from both parties, one with an agenda of the destruction of capitalism, locally and internationally and building another world, in which the wealth of the world is used for the needs of human society and not the profits of the few, in other words a movement for socialism!Â

An edited version of this article is published in Alternatives vol. 3, no. 14, 2005