Saturday, 26 April 2008

Morgan Tsvangirai's Faux Pas

Leadership (Abuja)

25 April 2008
Posted to the web 25 April 2008

Last week, the Movement for Democratic Change flagbearer was at the Ota Farm of erstwhile President Olusegun Obasanjo, who is yet to extricate himself from charges of corruption and misgovernance.

It is a diplomatic gaffe in Africa that people with unimpeachable democratic credentials, like Joaquim Chissano, and Nelson Mandela were side-stepped for Obasanjo who lacks the moral stature to mediate in the logjam. Tsvangirai is only confirming that he truly is a lackey of the West who wants to dislodge Mugabe and rein in their gofer. Clearly, Zimbabweans need an alternative opposition leader.

Diplomacy, high integrity, sagacity, selflessness and candour stand people out as non-governmental persons. They act, speak and mediate as moral authorities in international relations. Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition leader and assumed winner of the March 29 presidential election in Zimbabwe, has embarked on diplomatic shuttles to drum up support for the release of his 'caged' mandate.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Sadc: When a ship exposes the sheep in us

Sadc: When a ship exposes the sheep in us

What is this hullabaloo about a Chinese ship with arms destined for Zimbabwe? What? Let us get basic things straight so we deal with real issues. The arms are for Zimbabwe. Okay? The arms are from the People's Republic of China. Okay? The arms will be delivered to Zimbabwe, one way or the other. Again, okay?

This ship about which there has been so much brouhaha is just but one of the many arms shipments Zimbabwe has received, indeed shipments Zimbabwe will get well into the future. Zimbabwe is well stocked for its defence needs.

Let no one --- friend or foe, wise or British pound foolish --- ever, ever think that we are a sitting duck. Aggression will be well and truly repulsed and repaid. We are not just another small African country whose will is fragile, whose future rests on the goodwill or generosity of an encroaching outsider.

Sensible people and powers must know that. We know iron; we know blood, indeed we easily tell the smell of gunpowder, the sound of projectiles looking for targets. We have seen and fought wars, including a long one which founded us as a sovereign People, a sovereign Nation.

We are not a negotiated settlement; we are a settlement impelled by arms of war. Very few countries have seen action the way Zimbabwe has. Very few countries have paid so much for precious freedom.

Deep sovereignty, deeper cause

For us, sovereignty is not just a big word, a fleeting feeling which visits us at the UN and other conferences of nations. For us sovereignty is the blood shed; the lives lost, the tears wet and still un-wiped; bitter memories that cannot fade.

Sovereignty is a son, a daughter, a brother, a sister, an uncle, an aunt, a niece who went to war but would not come back. It is a relative who fell in battle, whose image and voice reincarnates in two or so generations from that war, as a wondering, troubled spirit which haunts a little boy saying heavy words of elders, in a deep voice traceable to those long departed.

Sovereignty is that possessed boy who cannot sleep; who mutters about bones that lie scattered on foreign soil: unseen, unburied, trampled upon by beasts of the forest. But bones that talk and chastise, bones wishing for a homecoming, wishing to be brought home to reunite with the rest in dignity.

Sovereignty is that scar which time will not smoothen, let alone heal; sovereignty is that trauma that visits and shatters dreams, normal dreams; it is that horrid scene of limbs strewn in the veld, young flesh recklessly torn in a frenzy of war, still fresh, still bleeding. Sovereignty is betrayal; it is solidarity that fumbled, that faltered, that even failed because the struggle grew too heavy, too long, too painful.

It is the brother’s voice that hesitated to say Aluta, because of so much pain endured, so much destruction which solidarity could not justify, let alone repay. Sovereignty is real, never a matter for my neighbour, or his endorsement.

It is a right, an obligation arising not just from our collective being as Zimbabweans, but from the supreme price already paid. It cannot be a plaything; it cannot be smaller than the ballot; smaller than the whims of a distracted neighbour; lighter than ill-conceived communiqués.

No Sadc leper

There has been lots of irresponsible comment, both from friends and foes. I hold no brief for foes. But the past weeks have witnessed attempts --- startlingly from supposed friends --- to reduce Zimbabwe to a plastic paper ball for the edification of unwashed village kids in a rough playground.

There has been a concentrated assault on the integrity of Zimbabwe; a contemptuous attempt to turn it into the Sadc villager leper. It got worse this week, with dimwits --- clearly emboldened by imaginary British and American support --- saying extraordinary things, including harebrained suggestions of a Sadc-led invasion of Zimbabwe, and toppling of President Mugabe and his Zanu-PF Government.

People should not get carried away, should never grow over-indebted to their donors to the point of dangerous recklessness. Zimbabwe takes criticisms from anyone. But it never takes abuse; it never smiles at the splatter of a sod on its lip. Never.

A minion who plucks courage to suggest war, does it on the inspiration of a reckless elder. Achebe puts it graphically: you send a kid to deliver a parcel of live coal, he will deliver it with the care which is possible. Firing minions for reckless statements you have inspired is no way to mind bilateral relations.

Sickening hypocrisy

In 1998, Sadc faced an invasion of a member state. Only Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola had the courage and conviction to go to war in defence of that country.

No one else did, not even the then chairman of the Organs who today exhibits unfamiliar cheek.

Let’s not flaunt courage from a Dutch bottle, or from disability threatening to unhinge brains. Zimbabwe has peace, more peace than many in the neighbourhood. Zimbabwe runs better elections, far better than any on the continent. Let us not have holy sermons from out and out sinners who have offended democracy a thousand times over.

We have had election-related riots in the neighbourhood. We have had national armies deploying to battle a bitter and outraged opposition in streets of capitals. Businesses have screeched to a loud stop, not far from us. Results have been tempered with, with well-documented assistance from the British whose record of fudging elections date back to Nkrumah’s Ghana.

In another friendly neighbour, the Americans and their friends tried to ennoble a bandit all the way to State House, all in the name of the ballot. Is he better than Charles Taylor who faces unjust process in white Europe, all in the name of the UN?

The silence we keep does not arise from ignorance of goings-on in the neighbourhood. We know quite a lot, and have been responsible with what we know. I repeat: no African nation runs a cleaner poll than we do here.

And ZEC does not become independent because it releases results on the instructions of imperial powers speaking through some of us, worse still at a time when we should be defending the collective sovereignty of the region.

Ordinances for Iraqis, Afghans

We are a sovereign nation. We do business with countries of the world, for as long as they have goodwill and share mutual respect. We buy arms, as does all nations on this planet. From the war of liberation, we learnt that politics do guide the gun. To this day, no Zimbabwean gun has politically shot astray.

The arms we bear have created peace in the region, on the continent and beyond. We are not a rogue nation, no outlaw Government. We have not armed ourselves to kill for oil, for diamonds, to kill and steal sovereignties of "lesser’ peoples. We did not invade Iraq; we did not invade Afghanistan. We do not occupy Iraq or Afghanistan.

We are not perpetrators of genocide in Iraq and in Afghanistan. No! We are not arming combatants in Somalia in under the pretext of fighting so-called Islamic terrorism. No!

The Americans, the British have done all these ugly things, unhindered by any in our neighbourhood. In fact some would have gladly housed forces of these great Satanists, had it not been strong reaction from the region, led by Zimbabwe.

These invaders have been shipping mountains of ordnances with which to destroy countless lives, precious sovereignties. Not a finger from the voices that speak loudest today. Why this false piety, this disgusting righteousness? Is taking back our land indictable? Is upsetting the British a war against humanity?

Who embargoed Savimbi?

Countries which would not set an arms embargo against Jonas Savimbi, in fact countries which gave Savimbi succour against the Angolan people, today speak the language of regional peace! What rank hypocrisy. Was it not Robert Mugabe who stopped one such country from being pulverized by a rightly raging Dos Santos?

Today Mugabe is repaid by brickbats and threats of invasion! And which northbound export or import by-passes Zimbabwean territory? Why provoke a trade war that is unwinnable?

Leaders should think properly, or they bring great grief to their own people. Zimbabwe does not need solidarity it does not earn. But equally, it does not need hostility borrowed from the British.

Searching the soul of Sadc

Sadc has lots of soul-searching to do. Far from validating its credentials, it now carries the dishonour of fighting a borrowed war, a British war. It now carries the shameful badge of a quiescent community, radically different from its founding principles and spirit.

Sadc was founded on the principle of liberation and reducing dependence. It was not founded on the shameful impulse of donor-induced servility. It has no tradition of handling its defence and security issues in corridors overpopulated by British spooks.

It has no tradition of being dictated to by non-state actors. Or of helping imperial powers weaken the defence of a sister state facing hostile action. Sadc has never joined America and Britain in fighting China. Or countries whose national policies give China the pride of place in trade.

Sadc has always viewed countries like China in the light of their role as partners in liberation. Why help troubled American and British economies to assault China’s rising economy?

Does Southern Africa not stand to benefit from China as a refreshing alternative to the exploitative relations which have sapped our economies? Does Southern Africa not benefit from Zimbabwe’s trail-blazing Look East policy? Is the assault on Sino-Zimbabwe trade prompted by democratic commitment to human rights on the part of these foremost oppressor nations of the West? Who benefits?

Fight to survive

I will end by a fundamental question which faced Mao’s China as it battled Japanese imperialism in 1939. Mao saw the need for forging a united national front against Japanese occupation.

He saw the need to resist Japanese aggression, using unity as an instrument of that resistance. But he faced opposition from those who sought shameful peace; those who felt peace had to come at any price, including occupation.

These war-weary opportunists blandished peace and argued: To fight is to perish; not to fight is to survive. Mao on the other hand argued for armed struggle against Japanese imperialism. He took a contrary viewpoint which he summed thus: To fight is to survive; not to fight is to perish. He won, both the argument and the struggle, laying a firm foundation for the great nation that China is today.

It is an argument which is replaying here. I know who will win. Icho!


Thursday, 24 April 2008

Jendayi Frazer's pregnancy yields Zimbabwe votes.

Just when i thought Jendayi Frazer's anatomy was just a bad case of greedy eating and clinical obesity; hold and lo, it was a pregnancy. Her voluminous torso was not full of some good old fat, but Zimbabwe votes.

At a time when we are all waiting for ZEC to give us the election results, Jendayi has fished the votes straight from her fat butt and declared Tsvangirai the winner.
There is some truth in the claim that the amount of fat in your body has a positive correlation to your stupidity. Whoever sent Jendayi to come and waffle such rubbish has a bad sense of dark humour

Jendayi would do with some jogging and tummy tuck surgery...

Top U.S. envoy in Africa says opposition won Zimbabwe presidential vote

PRETORIA, South Africa — The United States is coming down firmly on the side of the Zimbabwe opposition in its dispute with President Robert Mugabe.

Jendayi Frazer, the top American diplomat in Africa, says as far as Washington is concerned opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai won last month's disputed presidential election.

Frazer was speaking South Africa today at the start of a visit to bolster international pressure on Mugabe to release results from March 29 ballot.

Frazer calls Tsvangirai a "clear" victor in the vote.

Independent observers have said previously that they believe the opposition leader got the most votes, but not the 50 per cent plus one needed to avoid a run-off election.

The opposition accuses Mugabe, who has held power since independence in 1980, of withholding the results while he plots how keep power.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Zim: Conquering Judas’ coin in Sadc

Zim: Conquering Judas’ coin in Sadc

I KNOW the late Dambudzo Marechera to be quite impenetrable to the average reader. Of course so many do glibly drop Marechera’s name in conversations, hoping to sound erudite.

But very few understand him. Simba Makoni took this a little further in the just-ended harmonised elections.

Seeking to evoke an aura of greatness, his resume boldly stated he was Marechera’s contemporary at the local University, then the only one in the country.

I do not know what that was supposed to do, and to whom.

I am sure with sobriety now reigning so implacably, Simba can now tell us dispassionately what tax he hoped to levy through such a bald and gratuitous claim to neighbourhood.

I am certain he is still to read the House of Hunger, let alone his less yielding verse. But all this is an unkind digression

Cemetery of Neglect

I said Dambudzo Marechera can be opaque.

I should add that he does this in quite an original and brilliant way, the way Wole Soyinka can never be.

Soyinka is simply pedantic, a poor African writer who chooses to flaunt rather fulsomely his creative familiarity with western mythology.

When you plough through him, he emerge the less wiser, except in knowing the man long died as an African, to be reborn in alien sensibility.

Not so with Marechera, once he admits you into the "cemetery of [his] mind". It takes a bit of mental ardour though!

I am particularly fascinated by a poem he wrote, a poem only published posthumously by that German woman — Flora Veit-Wild — so adept at digging diamonds on hard and neglected savannah genius. But before the poem, a gust of my anger.

As Zimbabwe, we had no reason to orphan Marechera, the same way we have no reason to neglect artists like Shimmer Chinodya, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Charles Mungoshi and the likes.

And of course when such filial neglect sets in, the West’s adopting vultures are quick to hover, to descend for the carrion.

And for an artist like Marechera whose life scattered before he died, there was a lot of carrion strewn on the veld: nuggets of vintage poems left in illiterate bars and sheltering street corners that gave him temporary home; unfinished prose abandoned in homes of wearied, spasmodic Samaritans, Flora included.

This German woman had a hell of a time rounding up Dambudzo’s scattered genius, until piece by piece, fragment by fragment, she managed to put together "Cemetery of Mind", an anthology which she published when Dambudzo had left this world, apparently without a decent goodbye.

The title, while deriving from a piece from Marechera, reflected the German woman’s values, the same way a name tag fastened on the forehead of an adopted child, has nothing to do with the loins that sired it. It is about the adopter’s worldview.

Apartheid’s polish

So in that collection is a Marechera poem titled "Sharpeville’s Blind Nights Ahead," written well before the fall of apartheid, but well after the Afrikaner goons were beginning to flaunt fatal overtures to liberation movements and some Frontline States. Mozambique, so war-weary, so devastated, had succumbed to the lethal Nkomatic Agreement.

That agreement did not halt Renamo banditry; quite the contrary, it escalated it. That agreement did not give Samora Machel peace; quite the contrary, he got killed after it, in circumstances so glaring as to excuse an inquiry on whodunit.

The village could not account for its missing old women, and yet in a nearby thicket, apartheid’s hyena was vomiting white hair!

Like many of his contemporaries, Dambudzo Marechera was deeply disturbed and sceptical about cutting deals with apartheid’s captains.

He was hit by the ironic twists and turns which embattled Southern Africa took for unconditional, unprincipled peace, indeed some bizarre dances it obliged, with apartheid as a dancing partner.

Afrikaner jackboots were flashing lights of ceasefire.

"Sharpeville’s gleaming Eye" was being looted by searchlights from "apartheid’s polished guns".

Even its fawned condolences "bayoneted" "gaunt black faces" of its African victims.

The bard’s timeless lines

Marechera deployed evocative imagery to capture this massive duplicity from Apartheid, and Frontline fecklessness in the face of it.

He grudgingly recognised "Pretoria’s cunning glint", in the process provoking himself to ungovernable anger out of which emerged timeless lines I shall here reproduce:

"When finally the exile realises his total loneliness —

The caress among thorn-girt roses/When brotherhood is betrayal’s seed/When the betrothed is the bearer of your need & death/When promises like petals suddenly fade — This is the hour, the ear, the caress/To explode solitude into shrieking shrapnel/The hour to say No!/And like the Phoenix schooled on bitter ashes/Erupt into the burning scorching flight of Azania’s eagle/Red smarting eyes surveying the rats below/Once again dares the burning flight to freedom!"

Britain’s Lusaka

This whole week has been momentous for Zimbabwe. Against Zanu-PF’s quiet but firm and inexorable reassertion of mastery over events, the MDC of Tsvangirai has been all over, meticulously fulfilling foreign affairs fixtures lined up for it by the British government.

It has been criss-crossing Southern African capitals; it has even gone as far afield as Ghana, all in a bid to slough off its white western skin for an African one. The effort has been to use African forums, African leaders and African opinion, to nail Zimbabwe.

What took place in Lusaka clearly was an Anglo-Zambian arrangement which sought but failed to get a Sadc patent.

The British called for the meeting — announced it even — well before invitation letters went out to heads of members states of Sadc.

What is worse, a draft communiqué from Whitehall had been deposited with the Zambians, and only awaited a choreographed summit for authentication.

Painful though this is, the significance of British treachery must not be lost.

Given the history of Zambia’s MMD party, little was expected from its government.

Given the history of the MMD, precious little was surprising about Lusaka.

Only hard knuckles had stopped Mwanawasa from such treachery last year when he took over chairmanship of Sadc.

He would have betrayed Zimbabwe then. He escaped to fight another day. This he did in the just-ended meeting.

I said all this is not comment-worthy. We knew better, and the leadership had given enough indication when it threw away caution by warning the Zambian government against undue delay in delivering fully paid up grain.

That delay which did not make commercial sense, had very deep significance in bringing up the Zambian government’s politics towards Zimbabwe.

After all, when the election came, it was the stomach, not a free future, which decided matters. Zanu-PF had entrusted its voting stomach to the Zambians who fixed it by dilating.

Well before these inexplicable delays in delivering what was due to Zimbabwe, the British Press had ran pieces to say both Zambia and Malawi had no grain to deliver to Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, there was lots of grain for hostile NGOs, much of it from within the region. It takes very little addition to get the answer. Well before that, Zambia’s Finance Minister had told the Bretton Woods bosses his country stood to reap fabulously from Zimbabwe’s turmoil.

That was not quite friendly. As wasn’t Zambia’s decision to reap from the massive sabotage by fleeing white farmers of Zimbabwe’s agricultural infrastructure, implements and African skills.

This is not to mention the Fund created by World Bank to resettle white farmers, including the Nicolles who fund the MDC. There was a lot to warn us about the impending storm brewing from Zambia’s chairmanship of Sadc.

Rumblings in the neighbourhood

I got back to Marechera. That poem has a line I want to adapt: "Yesterday’s friends now judge & jury of my own liberation."

Zanu-PF’s friends left the office of Zambian government a long time ago. UNIP was defeated by MMD.

That defeat was itself a not-so-well appreciated ominous augury for Zanu-PF and sister liberation movements in the region.

The defeat of UNIP opened a flank on the defences of Zanu-PF and Zimbabwe, the same way any defeat of Zanu-PF exposes the flanks of Frelimo and Swapo.

You notice I left out ANC. Yes, I did and for very good reasons too.

In terms of the arithematic of imperialism, the ANC was supposed to fall last, after Frelimo, Zanu-PF and Swapo.

In a surprising twist, it fell first before all these. Zanu-PF is guilty of allowing wars on its doorstep, long after rumours and rumblings of such impending wars are heard in a rattling neighbourhood.

Polokwane was one such rumble. The forces behind Polokwane were openly hostile to Zanu-PF and its revolution here, whatever assurances we got from Zuma through our national chairman.

We probably extracted a meaning we were comfortable with, in that mosaic of portentous events and humiliations. But not necessarily the correct meaning.

Zuma’s ascendancy, or the obverse — Mbeki’s humiliating defeat — was not the signifier. The real signifier was the man below Zuma who had come here before as mediator in our inter-party dailogue.

And the force behind Zuma which was the force against Mbeki — a force called Cosatu. It is the same Cosatu which had tried to export itself here as the West’s amorphous Batista army.

ANC’s vice president stands in very good stead to become South Africa’s next president, should Zuma be successfully lynched through apartheid’s left-over justice.

With that simple legalism, ANC shall have fallen into the hands of a labour movement, the same way Zambia did and Zimbabwe is supposed to (God forbid!) through MDC. Without a single shot being fired!

Two centres of power.

Zuma is impotent, which is why the ANC is a pressure point not just against Zanu-PF, but more directly against President Mbeki and his government.

When the West realised Mbeki could not be won, the West went fishing in the ANC, to ensure Mbeki is torpedoed and lost.

He has come under withering attack largely launched through the flank which the ANC leadership exposed.

He has defended Zimbabwe at great personal risk.

For that, I salute him deeply. When the world talked about the birth of two centres of power out of Polokwane, we did not quite digest what that meant for Zimbabwe and her interests.

We also did not quite appreciate what a weak Zuma would mean and, above all do.

His trip to the US, just before Polokwane, was terribly significant to us. I doubt we read it correctly.

His desperate effort at escaping the noose in order to keep good prospect for the ultimate office, is supremely important to the way the ANC relates to the West and therefore to us who stand in opposition to western imperialism.

What will Zuma’s ANC do to win western legitimacy, indeed to show that it is fit for office?

What will Zuma personally do to secure acquittal well before trial?

More important, what will Zuma’s ANC do to be rid of Mbeki?

When Mwanawasa directly pecks on Mbeki’s presidency, where is he getting the temerity?

Beyond South Africa, is Ian Khama ready for risks for Zimbabwe, a mere few days into office and on loaned tenure?

Who is his running mate and what is his disposition towards Zimbabwe, judging by his role during the C-MAG days of the Commonwealth?

The various institutional bases which the British set up for MDC in Botswana in the last two or so years, did these signify dangerous mutations in our neighbour’s policy towards us, or simply the whims of the man who sat in State House then?

Is Khama’s presidency a continuity or a break with Mogae? And what will all these answers add up to in relation to the bourne wither Sadc tends?

Back to the détente

I said I will adapt Marechera. The just-ended Lusaka meeting clearly showed the impact of British-led Western diplomacy in the region.

We are back to the days of the détente, only with no remorseful KK. In his place we have brazen arrogance, clearly inspired and made doughty by the promise of a pound purse. It is diplomacy by Judas’ coin.

I once made the point in this column: in the final analysis Sadc politics shall be shaped by the magnitude of donor funding in national budgets, never by the wars we fought together in the past.

That era, quite sadly, is gone probably never to come back in our time. It took Ghana nearly half a century to begin to understand Nkrumah, by which time insuperable damage had registered.

Lusaka clearly indicated Sadc can no longer rely on the bonhomie spirit of its fraternal founders.

It will proceed on gritty, hard-knuckled politics of revolutions aggressively defending their modest gains, always against western aggression often legitimised by narrow interests of sister states.

It gets worse when those sister states are governed by parties whose provenance is anti-liberation sentiment. Such parties have no regard for the ethos of liberation which created Frontline States, itself precursor to Sadc.

In such parties and leaders, them imperialism will acquire "fetid lilies", as Marechera would say, with which to throw at liberation movements they seek to devour. Which is what happened in Lusaka.

Poetry to rats in attic

Lusaka’s most ominous outcome was not Tsvangirai’s imagined status, much as that is getting into his swollen head. Marechera puts it so beautifully in one of his long poems.

Tsvangirai’s perorations, including his audacious demand that "President Mbeki be relieved from his duties as mediator" [sic], are but "writing angry poems to the rats in the attic."

He will get nowhere with his British, except to help Zanu-PF build stronger patriotic sentiment as his brawny Brown overreaches to demonstrate British proprietorship of the MDC.

Lusaka’s most ominous outcome was the fact that Britain, Europe and America were able to claim a moral pedestal on Zimbabwe, thereby moving one inch in the direction of making Zimbabwe a UN issue.

Imperialism has posed as the voice of democracy, with a liberation movement playing the fall guy. It is odious; it is obscene.

Yes, Dambudzo, "yesterday’s enemies [are] now judge & jury of your liberation."

But please get solace from what I see from where I stand: while Zanu-PF may have lost a propaganda opportunity, it has enough offensive spirit to "explode solitude into shrieking shrapnel".

For sure, Zimbabwe will not be a colony again. Icho!

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Saturday, 5 April 2008

Zanu-PF to the marrow!

Manheru: Zanu-PF to the marrow!

Make no mistake about it I am Zanu-PF to the bone and marrow, ever will be until politics dzamera nyanga. And so it is this column which will not mind if the shorthand to its name is Zanu-PF. Few of us went to vote last Saturday, and that included yours truly.

For various reasons, many withheld their vote, which is why I fault fatuous claims by the international media that Zimbabweans turned out massively "to vote for change".

Simply put, they did not.

Aptly put, they stayed indoors to allow fighting minorities to decide the fate of this rich and sacred country.

Thank God those minorities from all the parties, Zanu-PF included, did not succeed in usurping the prerogative of the majority, which is why there is the current deadlock of a zero outright winner.

Lawyers tell us a run-off will decide the day. What they do not tell is that in practical terms, the run-off will bring back and reawaken the majority to play its rightful role in deciding which direction this country takes.

In their short-lived euphoria, the MDC (Tsvangirai) faction has had no time for this sobering truth, which is why they are in for a rude awakening.

Probing attack

The figures availed us by ZEC — and more are still to come — clearly suggest that the MDC’s momentary success hides a longitudinal decline, which will show abundantly in the run-off.

It did its best-est to mobilise its supporters, and got the result it could ever muster.

In urban areas, its supposed strongholds, it suffered a net decline relative to its past performances.

It managed a simple win, a slender margin, which is why its many seats could not translate to a majority by way of popular vote.

Where it made forays into rural areas, much owed to disgruntlement and apathy within Zanu-PF, than to a new found appeal likely to endure politically. But much worse, these forays masked and made up for its terminal decline in urban areas.

In any case, these forays did not make for hefty margins against Zanu-PF, a factor which will turn out decisive in the run-off. However you look at it, the margins are with Zanu-PF. So is growth, given that the vote which is dormant and available is in Zanu-PF strongholds. For Zanu-PF, the harmonised election has been something of a probing attack.

The placement and calibre of MDC guns are now fully located and known. I said Zanu-PF wields the prerogative of growth. For sure it does. This is the only party in the harmonised electoral game which allowed its vote to go to sleep, or to be recklessly playful in a very serious matter at a critical juncture.

There is much that Zanu-PF is implacably guilty of, including simply not waking up to its enormous responsibilities as the party of liberation, indeed as a vanguard party in Southern Africa’s politics of anti-imperialism.

Friends coming back from shopping trips in Mozambique tell me our neighbours are angry. They accuse us of selling the country. We nearly did, either by complacently going to sleep or by tolerating dissent within when the castle was under siege.

Judging by what I saw somewhere yesterday, the result has been a wake-up call and MDC faces a wounded tiger in the run-off. This is dynamic number one which will snuff out MDC’s illusory defeat, carting the British to their nadir.

Playing reckless with white vote

More importantly, the results of the harmonised elections have reissued the land question, and reissued it with venom and vengeance.

The MDC has been extremely reckless with its white money and vote. Buouyed by this illusory success, the MDC allowed white dogs out, fatefully loosening them into acquired farms in which the new farmers inhabit.

White former commercial farmers made stunning visits in Mashonaland West, Central, East and Masvingo. Directly, often cynically thanking the new farmers for being reckless caretakers for the period they have been away.

Their message was the same: "we are coming back and please start packing!" Not helped by a document leaked from the MDC, outlining its take-over plans which include making Ian Kay minister of lands, and inviting some Germans to take over control of the Central Bank.

The MDC has made a monumental blunder, in the process provoking a vicious dog it had better let sleeping. The war veterans are aroused and dire statements and resolutions have been made.

For them far more important than the vote is the land which now stands threatened by MDC’s returning white farmers who have massed around Espungabeira, Chirundu, on boat houses in Kariba and in various lodges across the country.

Some even flew in, using their small planes. The patina of nationalism which MDC had contrived using copious advertisements it was granted by a curious management at ZBC, stands all torn and sharded, with its pink-nosed policies obtruding bare, ugly and menacing.

Today, even the most phlegmatic member of Zanu-PF is actuated, agitated by the sheer awesomeness of what the current result could have done to the gains of the revolution and to the country.

This dynamic will be key in the run-off.

Awesome little pen, paper and box

I notice the Tsvangirai faction of the MDC is sobering up a bit, after a reckless glow it had developed from pampering by the West.

It is beginning to wake up to the fact of a run-off which will rivet national attention on the attributes of its leader against the incumbent.

It is beginning to wake up to the fact that Zimbabweans have been jolted into realising that the outcome of that contest between Zanu-PF and MDC does have a direct bearing of who will govern them, with whom and how.

Equally, it does have a direct bearing on the land question. All these are grave questions which until now seemed unrelated to what one does with that little pen on that slip of paper, in that small box.

A clear causality has now been established and a sense of responsibility weighs heavily on every voter, including those in Zanu-PF who have been snoring.

It will never be the same again. And

especially for Zanu-PF, the present

result has brought to the fore a very ugly prospect. Now every one in the Party knows that when the skies come down, even the little bird that flies so high still flies under the

falling sky, and is thus inescapably doomed by the crumbling dome.

To the collapse of the Party are no nooks for hiding. Everyone is flattened. What is worse, rammed home is the clear message that if Zanu-PF plays shy with the succession issue which proved so divisive and detrimental, the British are always on hand to resolve it for them through Tsvangirai’s Presidency.

Such a prospect is a red cloth to a raging bull. And the British did not mitigate this rage by going oh la la before the elephant had fallen and was truly dead.

Short dalliances, no long mating please

This uninformed international media think Welshman Ncube and his 10 seats may very well be decisive in the run-off.

Plain wrong! In the first place, they write as if the position of Ncube’s MDC faction is not known. Intense courtship by Tsvangirai’s faction has taken place and concluded.

Tsvangirai has failed the test of handsomeness. Ncube’s MDC has chosen the path of noncommittal dalliance.

It has decided to go into Parliament as a minority party, leaving itself open to courtship by any party, but not for a lasting mating.

It prefers short squeezes based on one legislative exigency per time. That means everlasting bidding for its attention. . . or everlasting importance in spite of its being a minority party.

Quite a clever posture, if you ask me. But never important enough to decide who governs Zimbabwe after those 21 days. What does is whoever rouses the sleeping vote which materially is a Zanu-PF vote. The MDC knows this, and so does the British. Which is why there was a bit of desperation to stampede both Government and ZEC into announcing faulty results that would have rigged Tsvangirai into an outright win. Or triggering civil unrest to open the way for international mediation which would have handed power over to Tsvangirai.

The maturity of Zimbabweans did not help matters, which is why MDC is daunted by the prospects of a run-off and now seeks an arrangement that would obviate such a development.

With only two years to go in leadership (in terms of MDC constitution), once beaten Tsvangirai will never be able to make another bid for Presidency. With only two years to go, Tsvangirai feels he has come closest to the Presidency, which the run-off now places so far away.

He has made proposals which one cannot write about, but which his propaganda people would want ascribed to Zanu-PF. History will reveal this offer some day and this column is not that history, this Saturday that day.

That takes the burden off me. But one thing is clear. The emerging dispensation clearly allows for no new law-making, except by consensus.

Which means the current laws will reign, and these are Zanu-PF laws. Zanu-PF now needs to defend Presidency so it forms the next Government.

Both Zanu-PF losers at party primaries and at the national level now stand as equal losers whose prospects in politics are raised by the ruling party’s ability to defend its presidency. This is clear to all.

When Makoni collapsed

So this all that Simba Makoni is worth? Goodness me!

He is a shocked and unhappy man. And we almost came close to a tragedy.

His system just could not take the bad result and the man slumped into an elevator, unconscious.

He had to be helped out and home. Today he has nothing to take to Morgan Tsvangirai, except his desperate need.

He wields zero leverage and has withdrawn into his shell. Much worse, Welshman Ncube blames him for the hefty vote swing in Bulawayo, away from his party to Tsvangirai’s MDC.

In consequence, Welshman Ncube has told Simba never to lay claim on the 10 seats won in Matabeleland, which means Simba no longer has the 190 000 plus voters ZEC theoretically records against his name.

And if Tsvangirai is kind enough to admit him, even the remnant renegade vote he had attracted from Zanu-PF will desert him the same way voters in Bulawayo deserted Welshman at the mere mention of the name Simba Makoni.

And Ibbotson Joseph? Oh my God! Buried and soundly sleeping under a fresh mount of red earth.

Killed both as a political mulatto and as a social scientist who carved hare-brained scenarios for the consumption of the British media.

No one pays regard to him, and he sleeps ignored. But hey, grant the man good calculation. He now rests a defeated, stout man, with very good prospects of wielding estate beyond our borders, somewhere in the scenic Cape Town. Nhaka yemapenzi inodyiwa nevakangwara. Icho!

Friday, 4 April 2008

MDC sponsors Britain and America make demands on Zimbabwe vote. What misplaced delusions of superiority!

When a brishit foreign secretary (David Milliband) or some american arm of governmentt 'demands elections results' for Zimbabwe, my country, the issue of elections to me suddenly takes second precedence. The anglo-american establishment CAN NOT demand anything from our political process, regardless of how flawed or irregular it seems or is.
They simply have no right to such behaviour, in the same way zimbabweans like me see it beyond my sensible rights to say anything about, for example, the Labour Party rigged ballot in the United Kingdom's Birmingham area or George Bush's rigging .

Mr Milliband should remember that us Zimbabweans suffered brishit racism for a full century, and had to fight our way out of colonial slavery. Those days are gone and he should shove his misplaced superiority complex and colonial hangover up his arse.
We Zimbabweans are a people with our own hopes, needs, desires, faults, weaknesses, and shortfalls - just like the british. We therefore expect the britsht to let us be, and respect our individuality and leave us alone.

UK 'will stand with Zimbabweans'
Foreign Secretary David Miliband has said the UK "stands with" the people of Zimbabwe as it awaits the results of its recent elections.

He told MPs the country had the "opportunity" of a "democratic future".

Zimbabwe's governing Zanu-PF party has taken 94 of 210 parliamentary seats, while opposition parties have won 105.

Mr Miliband said the delayed publication of results in the presidential election was a "calculated tactic" by Robert Mugabe's regime.

Earlier, the opposition party MDC said its leader Morgan Tsvangirai had won the presidential election. Zanu-PF said this was "wishful thinking".

'Duty to announce'

Mr Miliband said that the "playing field" had been "tilted heavily" in favour of Zanu-PF and conditions for free and fair elections must be in place if a second round of voting is called.

He told MPs: "Last Saturday the people of Zimbabwe made their choice.

Many of us here will yearn for an end to the long night of suffering in that country
David Miliband
"Outside the 9,400 polling stations, the tallies have been posted. The Zimbabwean Electoral Commission knows what those results are, and has a duty to announce them.

"The delay in announcing the outcome can only be seen as a deliberate and calculated tactic.

"It gives substance to the suspicion that the authorities are reluctant to accept the will of the people."

Mr Miliband returned to the subject later on Wednesday, in a speech at the Lord Mayor's Easter banquet, at Mansion House in London.

"The people of Zimbabwe have spoken in their election on Saturday. Their voices must now be heard," he said.

"Many of us here will yearn for an end to the long night of suffering in that country."

'Cling on'

Shadow foreign secretary William Hague said years of "brutality and repression" in Zimbabwe had turned it into a "political pressure-cooker".

It would take more than Mr Mugabe's departure for the country to recover from years of corruption and economic decline, he said.

Mr Hague told the BBC: "I think there's a key role here for South Africa to really show a leadership role in the region.

"They are the country that have the most leverage over Zimbabwe, and I hope they will be doing everything possible behind the scenes to make sure that the presidential results are now declared."

Ed Davey, the Lib Dems foreign affairs spokesman, urged Mr Miliband to tighten and strengthen sanctions on Zimbabwe if the Mugabe regime attempted to "cling on to power in the case of a confirmed democratic verdict".

He also said help should be given to Zimbabwe's neighbours who had sheltered millions of refugees and exiles.

Former Cabinet minister Peter Hain, who rose to prominence as an anti-apartheid campaigner, said it was "clear" Mr Mugabe had lost the election.

Earlier, Commons leader Harriet Harman, standing in for Gordon Brown at prime minister's questions, said MPs felt "concern and solidarity for the people of Zimbabwe and that they should have their democratic election respected and recognised".

Ms Harman added that the UK was Zimbabwe's biggest donor and would be "ready to step up that support" together with the international community.

Mr Brown is attending a Nato summit in Romania.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2008/04/03 03:39:15 GMT