Sunday, 29 June 2008

Tsvangirai and the Brishit: Now the master doubts the capacities of his puppet.

The Anglo-american duet has done everything they could to catapult their puppet Tsvangirai into power. For close to a decade now they have systematically sanctioned Zimbabwe through measures like ZIDERA and other shadowy asphyxiation tactics in order to collapse Zimbabwe's economy and thereby create hate against ZANU.
They have also poured in millions of pounds and dollars, created a plethora of 'regime change' NGOs in support of the MDC, while employing their powerful media organisations like the BBC and CNN to provide the 'regime change' propaganda.

The master has every reason to feel angry today. No wonder he is coming with strong words about Tsvangirai's semi-literate background, and his mine compound (komboni) mentality.

It's a hard question, but is Tsvangirai really up to the job?

Perhaps the MDC should replace its vacillating leader with someone who has more of Mugabe's ruthlessness

By Raymond Whitaker
Sunday, 29 June 2008

People get the government they deserve, it is said, though Zimbabwe surely does not merit its descent into blood-soaked chaos under Robert Mugabe. But what about the leader of the opposition?

Watching Mr Mugabe celebrate his victory in a one-man election, Morgan Tsvangirai must be wondering this weekend whether his decision to pull out of Friday's presidential run-off was the right one. Three months ago he defeated Zimbabwe's ruler of 28 years by six points in the first round – and that was according to official results, delayed nearly five weeks – while his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) overturned Zanu-PF's parliamentary majority. Yet last weekend he quit the race.

It is true that Zanu-PF violence against MDC supporters had reached a crescendo as polling day approached, and that Mr Tsvangirai was not alone in believing that Mr Mugabe's thugs were capable of doing anything to ensure their man won.

The MDC had an unenviable choice between withdrawal and asking its supporters to take their lives in their hands to vote, probably to no purpose, because the result would be rigged anyway. But, only a few days earlier, the MDC leader had said that to pull out would be a "betrayal of the victims" of the government's oppression.

Mr Tsvangirai gave further demonstrations of his inconsistency as the week went on. On Wednesday, he called for the African Union and the UN to oversee immediate negotiations on Zimbabwe's future, insisting that, while he was prepared to negotiate with Zanu-PF before Friday, the MDC would "not have anything to do" with a government that emerged from the vote. Yet on polling day itself he said negotiations were still possible, despite an election that was "not legitimate".

On Wednesday, the MDC leader was asked about an article that had appeared under his name in The Guardian, which called for UN peacekeepers to be deployed in Zimbabwe to help prepare the way for fresh elections. His response was: "What do you do when you don't have guns, and the people are being brutalised out there?" Though emphasising that he was not calling for military intervention, he did not disown the piece.

But when Zanu-PF seized upon the article as proof of its claim that the MDC was the agent of foreign powers, as anyone could have anticipated it would, Mr Tsvangirai denied writing it. The newspaper accepted that he had not approved the commentary, but he did himself no favours with his belated denial.

To his exasperated supporters, it was another example of the way Mr Tsvangirai constantly allows Mr Mugabe to set the terms of debate. The 84-year-old president, with his multiple degrees gained in captivity, is known to disdain the 56-year-old trade unionist, who failed to complete school before becoming a miner.

Sometimes, however, Mr Tsvangirai can appear as imperious as his opponent. The MDC split disastrously in 2005 amid claims that he was seeking to take all the decisions, and the breakaway faction supported another candidate in March, depriving him of an undeniable margin of victory. And, when his first-round win called for him to be more "presidential", and resist falling for the government's barbs, he failed. He also spent weeks in South Africa, just as he is now sheltering in the Dutch embassy.

There is no doubting Morgan Tsvangirai's personal courage. He has fought off treason charges which carried the death penalty, survived assassination attempts and suffered a savage beating by soldiers only a little over a year ago. Almost anyone would sooner have the concerned, impulsive opposition standard-bearer as a friend than the country's chilly, half-demented president. But when it comes to ousting the tyrant, it may require someone with more of the despot's ruthlessness.

Friday, 27 June 2008

Morgan Tsvangirai: Out and in for Royal Dutch Courage

Morgan Tsvangirai: Out and in for Royal Dutch Courage

I have no difficulties with Westerners hating President Mugabe, or calling for his head even, as did British MPs in this week’s debate in their House of Commons. That is to be expected, in fact an affirmation that Mugabe is right. White westerners, both for direct and vicarious reasons, have cause to be revulsed by Robert Mugabe, and thus reason to hate him to his grave. He has dismantled what took the empire a good nine decades to build, a plentiful legacy so badly needed in these days of a maddening scramble for natural resources.

So western antipathy of Robert Mugabe is quite understandable, much to be expected.

For me, it is some kind of tribute to the man’s credentials as an African nationalist, a tribute conveyed as retributive hatred.

Lessons from Nazi Germany

But I have mounds and mounds of difficulties with understanding Africans who hate Robert Mugabe, apparently on behalf of white westerners. That is atrocious, in fact an abomination which, sadly enough, confirms with despairing vengeance that as Africans we have lost everything, lost everything including our right to own and cock up our own anger and hatred, deploy, direct and distribute it purposefully as a carrier and remedy to the hurts we have suffered and endured in the past, the wrongs for whose righting we are deeply owed by the white world.

Come to think of it, hatred, or its polar opposite, affection, are that most elementary of human impulses, yet so fundamental as to inform our whole system of behaviour whether as individuals, as families, as communities, as peoples, or as nations. Take the Germans as an example. Under Hitler the Germans grew clear in the knowledge that their collective hatred had to be directed against Jews. This German anti-Semitism — however mistaken, however outrageous, and in the end however tragic — went towards defining German-ness, indeed went towards building the German people’s collective self-consciousness. It became the open sesame to membership into the Aryan family. This anti-Jewish sentiment built a war, declared it, prosecuted it before eventually losing it, in the process, losing itself as the dominant, organising idea. Indeed this is why the defeat of Nazism in Europe has meant the construction of a counter-myth of Semitic Infallibility.

No second promised land

Similarly, the Jews, once they became a Nation — thanks to British imperial arbitrariness — knew that their collective hatred had to be directed against Palestinian Arabs. The Palestinians remain the immemorial real owners of the land on which stands this British implant of endless woes and wars, called Israel. Themselves initial victims of Nazi pogrom, Israelis have decided to teach the world about the iniquity of racial hatred and genocidal attacks simply by practising and perfecting the same against Palestinians. It is the most cynical way of imparting knowledge to mankind.

And of course Jew-ness is a unique biological attribute; it is not a socio-political condition created by pogrom. So unlike the Jews, the Palestinians cannot pass for victims that have to be rescued and resettled; cannot count on the Anglo-Saxony world for any modicum of pity, let alone for a gift of "a second promised land".

It is turning out the notion of the promised land was never meant to be universally applicable, let alone eternally evocable by any other race facing a comparable set of circumstances, outside this only ONE for which it was founded.

If it were not so, colonialism would not have been such an obdurate foe on this continent. The only time I thank the often in-attentive God of lesser Africa is when I am reminded the state of Israel could have been the present day Uganda. I could go on and on, mentioning even our Dutch friends whose kind got deposited on the Southern tip of our continent in 1652.

Through apartheid, they developed intense hatred for Africans into a veritable mould for constructing a vicious Afrikaner state soon to subdue and overlord present day South Africa. So anger and hatred have always been purposeful, in fact right from biblical days, in founding and developing identities and nations, yes, in asserting and/or defending shared interests, however ill-gotten or claimed.

Deficiencies of acquired anger

without immunity

Which brings out my bafflement. Why would any African from any part of the continent or beyond have reasons enough to hate Robert Gabriel Mugabe? He is not your Emperor Bokassa or your Idi Amin, both of whom pass in western mythology as flesh-eating African gorgons. He is not; he cannot be. He is not your Mobutu, again in Western mythology a personification of State-battening venality.

He is not even the longest serving leader on the continent, or one vowing to die in office, as BBC is trying to suggest through the twisted and self-serving quote misattributed to the President. For all we know, the President was ready to call quits after his 2002 term. Until the British decided to re-enter the fray, hoping to seize upon his departure to reverse land reforms. Once that became apparent, the choice for Mugabe ceased to be a matter of term of office, but one of either shirking a responsibility of defending the country’s sovereignty so gravely threatened, or taking on the challenge of shaking off the British once more, in defence of that same sovereignty. Needless to say he chose the latter.

No rhyme, no reason

One can understand African anger against Bokassa, Amin, Mobutu, etc, etc. But what is unfathomable is why an African emerging from a colonial experience, an African still handicapped by that same experience in terms of present life chances and possibilities, would hate Mugabe for his kind of war against imperial West. Why would an African hate Mugabe who says Britain — and by extension any power which colonised Africa in the past and would want to neo-colonise her in the present — should keep her dirty, intrusive hands off Zimbabwe, off Africa?

Why would an African hate Mugabe who says Zimbabwe will not be dictated to by any foreign power, least of all one with an imperial past? Why would an African hate Mugabe who says Zimbabwe’s resources must be owned and controlled by Zimbabweans; hate Mugabe who says a black Zimbabwean has no right or reason to feel inferior, to kowtow to a white person merely because he is black? Why would all these threaten this dark biped called an Africa, firing him into a frenzy of incandescent hatred against a man whose fight resonates so directly with his larger quest in this white, uni-polar life? Or is this how profoundly subdued we are?

Democracy that pleases Britain, America

How do I understand an African who strains — vein and limb — to convince me that "democracy" is so high a value as to dwindle and trash sovereignty — itself the very essence and life force of nations? If this were so, why would Western nations suspend civil liberties to better fight wars that threaten their very essence and founding values? Thatcher savaged the institution of the media in her fight to retain British imperial control over Northern Ireland. We have also seen such summary suspension of civil liberties in the so-called war against terror, which in reality is a war against aggrieved Arabs, robbed Arabs. Why would they do that if democratic values stood above all else, including the survival of the very nation-state within which the ballot box exists and plays out its legitimising role?

Would it make sense to tell a woman facing a murderous rapist to straighten her pants lest the world glimpses her undergarment? We are being told, told by Africans — some as high and as enlightened as to lead their nations — that Zimbabwe must submit as a sovereign nation in order to secure its rebirth as a British — and American-pleasing democracy!

What has entered Africa’s head? Is the fight here unknown to Africa? Who in Africa does not know that the present stand-off between Zimbabwe and the western world is over the control and ownership of the country’s resources? Who in Africa does not know what such a fight presages for the continent, indeed what its likely victory bodes for this underdog race disdainfully called African? Who in Africa does not know that far more important than the ballot was the gain of sovereign statehood, itself the prime instrument for developing all else?

Which African can ever convince me that my independence materialises only once every five years in a voting booth, on a voting slip and in the resultant ecstasy or despair deriving from the results of that ritual? What am I eating between those voting five years? Why is what I eat, what I own, what I control, not a legitimate subject-matter of the political question facing the continent, a subject-matter far above and more important than the ballot, far more important and far above western approval? I thought Africa is in turmoil, is in poverty precisely because it has dodged this existential question, seeking release in inane rituals and practices that ornament false independence. I despair when a serious politician like Mugabe earns African revilement for posing and seeking an answer to a question so fundamental to the continent. This is why Egypt is going to be so critical.

Boycott as participation

Have we not seen a comedy of errors this whole week? You have Morgan Tsvangirai pulling out of the Presidential race a mere five days before polling day, with the whole western world surprisingly supported by some dubious African leaders, chiming in. To suggest what? That the whole run-off was meant for Tsvangirai, not for Zimbabwe? You get a distinct sense of a process which would have been rigged for one outcome — the crowning of the stooge, and which immediately fell into disfavour once the process proved too brittle to bend to that political whim.

Does the so-called democracy not include the right to pull out of the race? In any case, is this new to our body-politic? The MDC in the past pulled out of polls, with no suggestions of a reduced significance to the selection process. What kind of monster are we creating out of this timid and whimsical paper-man of the British, to suggest legitimacy of a whole national process rests on you and you alone? But all that is to assume that the man indeed pulled out of the race. He did not. He could not.

When a politician counts his prospects, emerging with a candid negative, and then deciding to participate from the other extreme end, namely that of urging voters to boycott the poll, has he pulled out or is he in? Of course he is in, with the results of his efforts counting by the success of the boycott. It gets even more vexatious when you realise the man is participating in the three by-elections --- under the same conditions, in the same environment giving him reason enough to drop out of the higher race. What is one to make of that?

A shot of Dutch courage

What is one to make of his disappearance behind the ornate walls of the Dutch Embassy without his three other participants in the poll whom one must presume to be facing as much danger, as much hindrance, as he claims for himself, and thus in as dire a need of Dutch courage as himself? Curiously enough, his entire staff — young Chamisa included — did not know a thing about this monumental trip to this mighty Dutch Kingdom in miniature. And then the man emerges from the embassy to castigate the media for being unduly sensational about the trip and sojourn, before disappearing once more behind Holland’s mighty diplomatic walls.

Interestingly, the man’s second coming coincided with a Dutch decision that tobacco smoking would never be allowed. Only dagga smoking would! Seriously, why would a man who is depicted by Zanu-PF as a western stooge seek refuge in a western embassy? Or get his erstwhile election agents he had massed in Harvest House seek similar succour in the German embassy only to turn to the South African Mission after being snubbed by the Germans? And then to tell the world they decided to go to the South African embassy in order to force President Mbeki to act? Except Mbeki is acting, maybe in a manner not quite to their liking. Would that be the issue?

Beyond the shot, what is short?

All these events must have a context. Once the British realised Tsvangirai was in for a drabbing, they ordered him out of the poll. Their calculation is a simple one: stop the run-off so that the March result in which Tsvangirai has a lead remains the only result available as a premise for working out a settlement. Such a result would give Tsvangirai leverage in any negotiations with Zanu-PF.

More importantly, the absence of a result to the contest would lay a basis for legitimation of the notion of government of national unity which the UK and US badly need while they work out new strategies for tackling and burying Mugabe. Thirdly, an inconclusive result means Tsvangirai avoids the humiliation of a second personal defeat which is certain to close his political career. Fourthly, a Tsvangirai pullout denies Mugabe legitimacy and recognition, thus paving the way for greater sanctions this time with a veneer of international legitimacy.

Such sanctions could always lay a foundation for greater hostile actions against the Republic, not least armed intervention. Except legitimacy derives from the Zimbabwean people and Zimbabwean laws, never from the outsider. The poll is being handled and read in terms of Zimbabwe’s electoral laws, not in terms of western expectations, or the fickle disposition of one contestant called Morgan Tsvangirai. What is more, with or without Tsvangirai’s participation, and with Mugabe’s win, the Western world was not going to recognise the result anyway. So what is the big deal?

Inside the Trojan Horse

But I found something very instructive. The Tsvangirai people are distancing themselves from an article published by the British Guardian in Tsvangirai’s name, calling for armed intervention in Zimbabwe. Yesterday Tsvangirai was at pains to tell Government he had nothing to do with it, the same way he was sneaking in and out of the Royal Dutch Embassy to reach out to Zanu-PF for contacts he badly needs.

That is what lies behind the façade of his bravery — a dying wish for settlement, a grave fear for any escalation. But who penned and put up the article? The British of course, hoping to use it for commencement of hostile action against Zimbabwe. Does this not sum up the career of Tsvangirai, the purpose of the MDC in the British scheme of things, namely both as a legitimating tool for Britain’s pre-determined hostilities against Zimbabwe? Which is what makes Tsvangirai quite impotent in the talks he seeks. Apart from collapsing himself as the Trojan Horse for British aggression, nothing much stands to be gained from talking to him.

He is a pitiful minor in this high-stakes game he cannot even comprehend. Which is why he will find himself at the helm of a movement of bandits he does not lead. This is why Bennett is the man to watch, Dhlakama the model to quash, Gorongoza, Maringue and some such places, zones to keep under joint surveillance.



Friday, 20 June 2008

Zimbabwe: Place of dreams, Copy of horrors

Zimbabwe: Place of dreams, Copy of horrors

I suppose in this day and age of abrasive neo-liberalism, very few people care to read of, even know about a British leftist literary and cultural critic called Raymond Williams. Alongside other leftist scholars of his generation, Williams is credited with providing cradle to what we presently term "cultural studies", and whose most notable scholar arguably is Stuart Hall, presently with the British Open University.

I will recall one thought Williams made so forcefully in one of his early publications, "The Long Revolution", which made its first appearance in 1961. Drawing a sharp distinction between "abstractions" and "actual relationships", Williams warns against confusing "our abstract ideas about society" with the society itself within which we all live, within which our diverse experiences as living, relational organisms find summation.

Abstract ideas, or simply our reading of the society we live in, are "interpretations" or "our ways of describing the organisation and of conceiving relationships, necessary to establish the reality of social life but also under continual pressure from experience". Experience is thus primary, is what matters, in fact is what ultimately shapes and reshapes our abstractions on or interpretation of that lived experience.

For Queen and Country

He goes on to note that theories on society largely stand of fall by their starting point: "the particular experience that is seized as determining". England, from feudal days to this day, uses the figure and place of the King or Queen as its starting point for abstractions.

The king is the experience, the palace the place, and both the sole purpose for English life and society. Long after Thomas Paine and his "rights of man" discourse, the English people have obdurately viewed themselves as demure subjects of "Her Majesty’s Government", minors in the creation of the reality we call United Kingdom, which is the other name for their Kings or Queens.

The tragic side to this abstraction plays itself out in the rugged and cruel battlefields of Afghanistan where English youngsters serving in Her Majesty’s army, sweetly take fatal bullets from Talibans (who are rightly and righteously defending their land and territory), firm and holy in the belief that they are dying for Queen and Country, their conception of the latter always deriving from their reverence of the former. For Britain, time is frozen, which is why the modern common Briton is no wiser than the serf of yore who saw his interest and welfare as the same as the welfare and "maintenance of his lord".

However, archaic the monarchy is or may be, however, modern Britain ever becomes, the regal institution will always remain as the prime instrument for manufacturing the consent and obedience of ordinary Britons. Williams clinches the point by stating the life of society is "unequally regarded . . . seen practically through the needs of the established order" which must be considered sacred and God-given, immutable, permanent.

Revolutionary ruptures only occur where citizens begin to question and challenge existing social abstractions — usually formulated and perpetuated by the dominant force of a given society — to found a new view of relations between the common citizen and those in authority, between community and larger country.

Certified dead by the media

I drew this elaborate social theory to make a few points this week. What Raymond Williams could not have foreseen is the present overbearing role of Western global media networks in drawing abstractions or interpretations of our experiences.

You notice I called them "Western global media networks" deliberately to foreground their ownership, identity and character, and distinguish this ownership factor from the projection and scope of their operation and influence which is global. Often — and our media lecturers are not guiltless — we confuse ownership with scope, ending up with the misleading epithet of "global news networks". Such a mischaracterisation imparts a false legitimacy to these highly partisan, exclusively Western mind networks whose role in global affairs is highly ideologised and affiliated to the West’s overall machinery of global dominance.

It suggests — wrongly — that these news networks are there to serve all peoples of the globe, placing them next to godliness. It gets worse. These Western expressions of global mind dominance in the field of the media are increasingly and mistakenly perceived as evidence and test of the presence and enjoyment of civil liberties, principally that related to expression. Designed and launched to encourage false interpretation of our societies, their starting point is to falsify their real origins, role and purpose in our societies which host them.

We see them as bearers of truth, nothing but the whole truth. When they pronounce our societies dead, we begin to feel dead, thoroughly dead. When they pronounce us undemocratic, we begin to feel hemmed within never-never structures of imagined autocracy.

They certify everything about us, or more accurately, everything they want about us, they want imputed on us. Williams may have given us a presentiment of this new and pervasive global force; but he did not prepare us for its present overbearing status.

The Zimbabwe of BBC

We Zimbabweans have garnered enough experience and pain to bear testimony to this unwholesome development which has since disfigured international relations. The Zimbabwe the world reads, is not the place of our abode, the place and the lived experience arising from a complex web of interactions and relations we all contribute to as living organisms collectively labelled "Zimbabweans".

The Zimbabwe of the media is an abstraction, an interpretation, as Williams would have told us. An interpretation which is and should remain heavily fortified against the subversion of the truth of our lived experience to assure it of undisturbed continuity.

It is a synthetic Zimbabwe designed to meet the propaganda needs of the United Kingdom and its European and American allies. For that reason this synthetic Zimbabwe does not evolve; should never evolve but must remain unremittingly unchanging, unremittingly bad, worse and worst. A place condemned, a Sodom and Gomorrah which can only be cleansed and redeemed through the brimstone of Anglo-Saxony bombs and other incendiaries! And, of course, the "place" has got one "Lucifer" — Robert Mugabe — whose ambition cost him British grace, earned him a fling into dark perdition, a toss into the bottomless pit which John Milton so elaborately drew and painted in his Paradise Lost.

It was Lucifer who was guilty, not Milton’s god who would not brook a new relationship of equals in heaven. After all, being the victor, Milton’s god lived to give the world account of the rebellion. The condemned Lucifer is long way from telling his own side.

Prologue to worse fate

Clearly the media no longer report; the media now have a deeper role, namely that of manufacturing lies that justify wars, that justify aggression of the weak by the powerful.

Those whom the West want to conquer, CNN and BBC render diabolic. This is unknown to most Zimbabweans who do not view the present circle of demonisation of their country as a prologue to a worse fate. The last few days have seen a ratcheting up of anti-Zimbabwe propaganda in the Western global networks. From this poisoned perspective, Zimbabwe is daily descending into gratuitous orgies of mindless violence.

It has become an un-livable hell, deserving redemption through Anglo-Saxony aggression. And Britain and America who must lead that aggression are painted as shy suitors who will not be goaded by so many expostulations into a "saving" bloody invasion.

Zimbabwe has to be burned to save it! As with Iraq, Britain and America are using African voices for legitimacy: Paul Kagame, Raila Odinga, former presidents, bishops of varying holiness, etc, etc to suggest deserved invasion necessitated by a consensual African call. It is an evil hour of betrayal.

Harmed by friends

An unwitting variant to this betrayal is what Zimbabwe’s allies are doing, but without realising what mortal danger they bring to our doorstep. We have had a number of friendly countries joining in the call for a Government of National Unity (GNU), ironically thinking they are doing Zanu-PF a great favour.

A great favour because they wrongly read that Zanu-PF is acutely vulnerable, judging it all from the March result. From this misreading of March, they reasoned Zanu-PF could only be made to hang in there through this creature called a GNU. So they have been pushing the concept for reasons completely different from that of the MDC and its Western supporters, thinking we would be grateful for this "saving" intervention.

Of course, they have not read March correctly, are not reading the present national mental temperament ironically triggered by the same result.

They have gone by abstractions from the Western media. But contrary to this misleading interpretation, Zanu-PF has come back with a vengeance and seems irrevocably set for a dramatic win on June 27.

What is damaging about our friends is not their misreading of the political dynamics which are shaping voter opinion. That can be corrected in the fullness of electoral time.

Senselessness from friends

What is damaging is their attempts at forcing GNU as a political formulae in our present circumstances, forcing it by building false arguments against the run-off election. One easy way has been to suggest for various reasons — real or imagined — that Zimbabwe is not ready for the run-off.

One real reason given is that the Zimbabwe economy cannot afford the run-off. This suggests democratic rituals are not a requirement, but a matter of volition. It suggests elections are not mandatory. I mean anyone can "decline" the economy to stave off a plebiscite, is it not? Since when has a sound economy become a qualification for holding elections?

If it was, how many nations would hold elections? Why this sudden permissiveness with Zimbabwe? Would the suggestion have been entertained if it had come from President Mugabe?

How does this differ from the idea from the Goromonzi Conference two years ago suggesting postponement of elections in order to harmonise the electoral calendar? Why did such a suggestion which is so similar to the present one raise such fury at home and abroad?

Figment of violence

Another way is to exaggerate political violence in the country to suggest Zimbabwe is sliding into civil war.

This is the most dangerous act from these friends. They think by exaggerating political conflict, they are able to persuade us and the international community to obviate elections through GNU.

The argument is bolstered by a reading that Zimbabwe is polarised. How on this good earth do you run an election without polarising society? Is that not what elections inherently mean, namely splitting society through choice? How can a natural and inevitable concomitant of democracy be purveyed as the reason for abolishing that same democracy? But this is the academic side of it all. There is the sinister side relating to destruction of a sovereign nation born out of a bloody struggle.

Serving the British agenda.

The British and the Americans have been dying for an excuse to intervene militarily in order to reverse the revolution. But what revolution? Well, principally one related to how Zimbabwe has decided to restructure its relationship with the colonial West, largely Britain. From the calculated obeisance of the 1980s and part of the 1990s, Zimbabwe under Mugabe’s Zanu-PF from 2000 embarked on an aggressive course of self-assertion through control of its resources, starting with the land. In a very short time, the Queen and her government, whose rebellious protégé government here called UDI had been militarily and politically ousted here, soon found herself de-centred in the affairs of this young self-assertive nation.

Her sons in the Diaspora here — the white settler farmers — found themselves asked to share the land with blacks — the rightful owners. These whites were never evicted outright. Nor were they told to go back to their original home Britain, in one giant seizure of African xenophobia.

No, merely told to let go of excess land. It was only when they resisted that the hand got firmer, geography and boundaries got visibly marked and drawn. And, of course, Britain aggravated matters by showing its hand in the affairs of this country, in the process confirming what we have always known, namely that whites we have here could only function as our colonial rulers, or as Britons with an unchallenged pride of place overseas.

Never as Zimbabweans, never as Africans who happened to be white. After all, to make them ordinary Zimbabwean citizens under a black Government, or worse under Mugabe, is to symbolically and vicariously subordinate Her White Majesty to Conrad’s pitchy black authority, to unenlightened African leadership itself a taboo in the present global order where power is racially hierarchised.

A Zimbabwe without a British King, a Zimbabwe without the British Queen — both symbolically and materially — this is what the present stand-off between Zimbabwe and Britain, between Mugabe and Brown, is all about.

A Zimbabwe with the British Queen, a Morgan Tsvangirai with a Brown in his flaps, is what the MDC wants, is what endears the MDC to the British and American establishments. Hence the genii that popped out the MDC bottle soon after the harmonised March elections, invading the land we thought we had secured.

To get the Queen back and revered, to get the settler white farmers back and farming: that is the struggle which shall be settled on June 27. Friends are made and recognised by where they stand on this one matter. A war will be provoked on this one matter; fought and settled around this one question. This is what is not quite known or appreciated by those who facilely see Mugabe’s assertion that the white man will never be allowed back, whether directly or indirectly, as proof of his autocratic hunger for power.

War or peace.

One does not wish war for one’s country but I reluctantly say that given present levels of propaganda abstractions of Zimbabwe, reality could very well only obtrude and reassert through this very bloody business.

The MDC and its masters are aware they will lose the run-off. They have started to prepare the world for a rejection of results of the run-off.

They are also toying with the idea of war — proxy war using the MDC and a few African countries harbouring different grievances against Zimbabwe.

This, not claims of local violence, is what will bring about a real post-election crisis. And only then will the world realise Mugabe is not alone. In the meantime, Zimbabwe’s friends need to reach and encompass Zimbabwe the real country, not Zimbabwe the horror copy of Anglo-Saxony propaganda calculations. Icho!


Monday, 16 June 2008

Brown and Miliband's crocodile tears on Zimbabwe

Of the 20 000+ Zimbabweans who applied for asylum in the UK after fleeing UK/EU/USA sanctions effects, ONLY less than 4 000 (most probably predominantly white), have been offered asylum.

The rest (16 000+) erk a semi-slave lifestyle working long hours in under-paying 'agencies', and hoping back and forth when these agencies demand 'papers'.

Undoubtedly this has given rise to many stress-related illnesses, especially alcoholism, obesity and depression.

If the bull-dog jawed one-eyed Gordon Brown is sincere about helping Zimbabweans, why cant he start with those Zimbabweans on his door-step..

Thursday, 12 June 2008

USA ambassador James McGee talks like an MDC campaign manager.

Zimbabwe opposition official faces treason charge

* AP foreign
* , Thursday June 12 2008

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - Police said Zimbabwe's No. 2 opposition official would be charged with treason, a potential death penalty charge that marked a dramatic escalation of a government crackdown ahead of a presidential runoff.

Tendai Biti, the Movement for Democratic Change's secretary-general, was arrested Thursday at the Harare airport upon returning from South Africa, party spokesman Nqobizitha Mlilo said. The party said he had been taken to an unknown location.

The treason charge relates to a ``transition document'' discussing changing Zimbabwe's government, police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said.

Bvudzijena said that Biti would also be charged with making false statements ``prejudicial to the state,'' a charge that refers to accusations Biti announced election results before the official count was released. Under Zimbabwean law, only the electoral commission can announce results.

Bvudzijena said Biti was in police custody, but would not say where. He said Biti would be formally charged ``as soon as we are through with our investigation,'' but would not be more specific.

Party officials said separately that MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, - who faces longtime leader Robert Mugabe in the June 27 presidential runoff - was detained at a roadblock and taken to a police station. He was released soon after and resumed campaigning, only to be detained again by another group of local police, the party said.

Tsvangirai has been detained four times now while trying to campaign against the increasingly autocratic Mugabe. The detentions have generally been brief.

U.S. Ambassador James McGee said Washington was ``very, very concerned'' about Biti's arrest and word he would be charged with treason. McGee said he had seen the Movement for Democratic Change's transition document, and described it as a routine plan any political party would draw up to identify priorities if it were to come to power. But he said a forged version had circulated that raised issues not in the genuine document, including calls for punishing Mugabe hardliners.

``It was just a bunch of foolishness,'' McGee said.

The MDC said in its statement that plainclothes police arrested Biti just after he got off the plane and before immigration. The party said 10 men then took him away in a truck.

Returning under threat of arrest was ``a stupid decision,'' Biti said in Johannesburg, but added that he believed he must return to continue the battle for change. He spoke firmly, but trembled and sounded uncharacteristically discouraged.

He said he had been informed that he would be arrested but that it was not clear on what charges.

``The only crime I have committed is fighting for democracy,'' he said in Johannesburg, then hugged an aide and disappeared through the boarding gate.

Biti's detention robs the party of one of its most impassioned spokesmen. Biti has led on-and-off talks with Mugabe's party, and his arrest may signal Mugabe's final rejection of negotiating Zimbabwe out of its political and economic crisis.

Tsvangirai had himself only returned to Zimbabwe on May 24. He, Biti and other opposition leaders left Zimbabwe soon after the first round, amid concerns about their security, to lobby support among southern African regional leaders.

Tsvangirai came in first among a field of four March 29. His campaign has been beset by violence. The opposition, foreign diplomats in Zimbabwe, and Zimbabwean and international human rights groups accuse Mugabe of unleashing attacks against Tsvangirai's supporters to ensure Mugabe wins the runoff.

Zimbabwean government and party spokesmen repeatedly have denied such allegations.

But police also have stopped several opposition attempts to hold rallies since Tsvangirai's return. And the state-controlled media has all but ignored him in a country where few have access to the Internet or satellite television.

McGee said the continuing political violence, Biti's arrest and Tsvangirai's detention left him with little confidence the runoff would be free and fair.

But ``I don't think we have any choice but to move forward with an election,'' he said, saying that to do otherwise would be to hand victory to Mugabe.

McGee called on Zimbabwe's neighbors to intervene.

He also said that last week, a Zimbabwean provincial governor confiscated a truck loaded with 20 tons of U.S. food aid for poor schoolchildren and ordered that its wheat and beans be distributed to Mugabe supporters at a rally.

``This food assistance belongs to the U.S. government, to the U.S. taxpayer,'' McGee told The Associated Press, saying he had lodged a formal complaint Tuesday. He said he had not yet received a response.

``The bottom line is, they don't care,'' McGee said. ``President Mugabe and his henchman are now looting U.S. government aid.''

The incident occurred as aid agencies in Zimbabwe received word that the government had ordered them to suspend field work. That sparked accusations Mugabe is using food as a political weapon in a country where economic collapse has left many unable to afford groceries.


Associated Press writer Donna Bryson contributed to this report from Johannesburg, South Africa.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

US pouring millions for the pro-MDC campaign.

US to spend several million dollars to monitor Zimbabwe election

2 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AFP) — The United States said it is spending several million dollars to help international observers ensure that presidential elections in Zimbabwe are free and fair.

"We are going to contribute several million dollars to the election observer effort," US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters on Monday in the build-up to a presidential runoff on June 27.

The money is "not only to ensure that there are proper, sufficient numbers from countries that are going to supply the observers, but that they have the resources to do their job on the ground," McCormack said.

And during a press briefing on Tuesday, McCormack said the money is for "the combination of the two" elections, both the first round on March 29 and the runoff at the end of the month.

A State Department official told AFP later on the condition of anonymity that the amount is being sent to groups that promote democratic elections as well as to regional and international organizations.

A draft statement being prepared for a EU-US summit in Slovenia said the European Union and the United States will call on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to send a team to Zimbabwe to monitor human rights.

The statement, obtained by AFP, also called for a "free and fair presidential run-off" in Zimbabwe when opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai will be hoping to end President Robert Mugabe's 28-year rule.

In a first round of elections on March 29, Mugabe's party lost its majority in parliament -- for the first time since independence in 1980 -- to the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the main opposition movement.

Tsvangirai also beat Mugabe in the first round, but officially fell short of an outright majority and must face Mugabe in the run-off election.

Tsvangirai was twice detained by police last week.

Authorities have also banned a series of rallies by the MDC. Many MDC supporters have been arrested or injured in the political unrest, with some taking refuge in the party headquarters in Harare.

The United States has frequently denounced Harare's crackdown on the opposition.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

MDC: Going, Going, Gone

MDC: Going, Going, Gone

IT must be quite painful for the puppet masters to watch MDC’s evanescent March victory vanish so inexorably, much like morning mist.

One reads this from the mounting panic gripping Britain and America, which panic is now disguised as daring but disingenuous media stunts performed by their little diplomats here.

They know March 29 is not repeatable. They know that Zanu-PF, once nearly bitten and almost swallowed, now shies at nothing ahead of June 27. The euphoria is all but gone and the masters stare disheartening statistics presaging total defeat for the MDC. Relative to 2002, Tsvangirai’s March 29 vote actually shrunk against utmost effort the MDC could ever put.

Any extra ounce of effort passes for a vain attempt at flying beyond one’s wings, in fact recalls Icarus’s fatal overreaching on wings of mere wax. That is not to say the MDC will not try.

It has already tried, tried to turn political fluke and windfall into a repeatable and recurring victory. The heavily invested wand for this to happen has been wanton violence the MDC has been visiting on Zanu-PF’s rural strongholds, pointedly in Mashonaland Central, East and Manicaland.

The calculation has been to keep Zanu-PF busy, unsure and uncomfortable in its own backyard, both to dent Zanu-PF’s support base and to prevent it from projecting itself into MDC’s urban strongholds.

Zanu-PF’s initial chaotic response to the challenge of MDC violence triggered a pursuit instinct in the opposition which read a smouldering pyre in Zanu-PF’s welling, smoking anger. Now the smoke has fanned into leaping, engulfing flames.

The tide has since turned, which is why BBC, CNN and the angry SKY are running riot, exhibiting MDC’s lacerated body for global pathos. Its retributive lacerations are more than bodily, in fact are metaphoric hints to its political misfortunes in the run-off. It is bandaged, it is fractured, it is limping, it is gasping.

Disguised decline

Few understand why the MDC was so prompt to go on a bloody offensive. But the truth inheres in the net decline of support in all its urban strongholds. Zanu-PF’s appalling performance, coupled by MDC’s symbolic pickings in rural Zimbabwe, did much to disguise this decline.

Today Zanu-PF’s mane stands fully erect and stiff, a loud presentiment of a frontal charge about to happen. The rural vote which MDC picked up was bred by Zanu-PF’s levity and playfulness, by a very dangerous underestimation of the formidable enemy it faced, and the complacency it did not need.

It was a once-off vote carved out more from complacency than from choice and conviction. It will not come back this time around, for Zanu-PF has realised a fight against imperialism is not farcical. It is deadly.

The threat of sinecures

MDC backers are also aware that rousing MDC’s urban vote which is so frigid, is more challenging in reactivating than rousing Zanu-PF’s very loyal but often playful rural vote. The former is cynical and phlegmatic; the latter rallies quickly, more so in the face of real danger. Much worse, more than ever before, the Matabeleland vote is looking most insecure for Tsvangirai.

What with Mutambara signing away what he does not control, let alone have. What with Tsvangirai’s sinecures feeling threatened by any reunion with the Welshman Ncube group, and Ncube’s bitter officials feeling humiliated the more and more, marginalised more and more.

It is a schism set to exact a cost on Tsvangirai, albeit without delivering a gain on Mugabe. But Mugabe does not need to gain that vote. Tsvangirai only needs to lose it.

Building global pathos

All the dirty tricks which the MDC and its handlers employed to cause an upset are now known. Zanu-PF has been jolted out of its slumber and its clear all the gaps are being plugged. It will not be easy this time around and the handlers of the MDC know it. Which takes me to the shifting strategy of the West and its MDC.

The Western news networks are now infatuated with Tsvangirai. He is as regular on their screens as an ill-wind in the month of July. You would think he is an angry ratepayer from Luton. Equally, BBC reporters’ treatment of the Zimbabwe story recalls their passion in dealing with Northern Ireland. Tsvangirai is their man, and they his image minders. After all, they instructed him back home, to finish the campaign.

To all intents and purposes, both the Americans and the British are nearer this vote than they are to that involving McCain, Obama and Clinton. They are using their networks to consolidate Tsvangirai’s international profile. This is not new.

What is new is the fact that they have dropped their initial bullish attitude towards his prospects in the run-off to package him as a tragic figure, a victim of political entrapment. They are already preparing the world for his sound beating. They have seen something on the ground and I can confirm to them that they have seen well and correctly.

From Chicago to Chipadze

What is worse, they are increasingly becoming extended and hysterical patients of the run-off. This week saw them pushing their involvement to incongruous limits. Only less than two weeks ago, McGee played campaign manager to Tsvangirai.

This week, British and American defence and security personnel turned themselves into campaign agents of the opposition.

How does a lowly official from so far away a country know Shorai Sandie Chikinvharo of No. 510 Kudzanai Street, in Chipadze, Bindura, who is an MDC activist? How do these ashen white officials, all with a security background, leap out of their colour mode to look for an African living in a high-density suburb of a small mining town? Or Peter Mabika, also of the MDC?

It is clear that their subject is under so much pressure and diplomatic etiquette has little room. It is important to keep pushing these monsters until they are thoroughly exposed. What is more, when they take risks on behalf of their countries, risks disguised as election monitoring, the authorities must not be in a hurry to pluck them out of sticky situations.

Whoever swallows a pestle has chosen to sleep standing, so goes a Shona saying. These people press to be allowed free movement when, in fact, our delegation is kept within the 25-mile radius in New York? What are we reciprocating by this kind of permissiveness?

What is worse, what is the diplomatic value of British and American embassies here? To equip them with cells from which to subvert our country in the name of the Vienna Convention? I always tell my friends that we have hit the bottom, we should not fear to fall. Part of our reaction to Western hostility should be to strip their interests of direct consular protection. We have no interests in the US and UK. What the heck?

Poisonous philanthropy

But another hurtful blow has been dealt on these Westerners. Their political NGOs which have been plying food with politics have been frozen for the duration of the campaign. As I write, the BBC, Sky and CNN are shouting hoarse against the measure which Minister Goche announced.

The claim is that Zimbabweans will starve. Since when has there been this compassionate feeling for Zimbabweans? Why hurt us with sanctions when your wish is to ensure we do not starve? And why are you not active in Ethiopia, an African country which has been hit by another devastating drought?

The West is indifferent because Ethiopia has no Mugabe and is not going to the polls! Well, let them howl as much as they please. They have asked for free and fair elections, indeed for a levelled playing field. This is it. No NGOs will politic this time around. Never. After all, these NGOs bade goodbye just before the March 29 polls. Why have they not left?

Only one President

I was amused to note that in Rome, the British and American media had one singular interest: To talk to President Mugabe and get his latest picture. He was the only person worthy of their coverage. At one point, an African head of state who shared the same hotel with President Mugabe got to the hotel concourse.

These news haunts were not interested. At which point a friend quipped: "There is only one President for the Western media!" Indeed, there is. What would happen to journalism if he exited? But the whole escapade was not without its light moments.

Having held a permanent vigil at the President’s hotel, one official from the Zimbabwe delegation asked a BBC reporter whose eyes looked red from foregone sleep: "How is my President?" To which the reporter responded: "You should tell us!" "Well, you have been a little more diligent in watching over him that I am ever capable of," he shot back scornful laughter echoing in Rome’s long corridors. This earth my brother!



Friday, 6 June 2008

62nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly,

Your Excellency, President of the 62nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly,
Mr. Srgjan Kerim,
Your Majesties,
Yur Excellencies, Heads of State and Government,
Your Excellency the Secretay General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen:

Mr. President,

Allow me to congratulate you on your election to preside over this August assembly. We are confident that through your stewardship, issues on this 62nd session agenda will be dealt with in a balanced manner and to the satisfaction of all.

Let me also pay tribute to your predecessor, Madame Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa, who steered the work of the 61st session in a very competent and impartial manner.

Her ability to identify the crucial issues facing the world today will be remembered as the hallmark of her presidency.

Mr. President

We extend our hearty welcome to the new Secretary General, Mr Ban ki-Moon, who has taken up this challenging job requiring dynamism in confronting the global challenges of the 21st century. Balancing global interests and steering the UN in a direction that gives hope to the multitudes of the poor, the sick, the hungry and the marginalised, is indeed a mammoth task. We would like to assure him that Zimbabwe will continue to support an open, transparent and all inclusive multilateral approach in dealing these global challenges.

Mr President,

Climate change is one of the most pressing global issues of our time. Its negative impact is greatest in developing countries, particularly those on the African continent. We believe that if the international community is going to seriously address the challenges of climate change, then we need to get our priorities right. In Zimbabwe, the effects of climate change have become more evident over the past decade as we have witnessed increased and recurrent droughts as well as occasional floods, leading to enormous humanitarian challenges.

Mr President,

We are for a UN that recognizes the equality of sovereign nations and peoples whether big or small. We are averse to a body in which the economically and militarily powerful behave like bullies, trampling on the rights of weak and smaller states as sadly happened in Iraq. In the light of these inauspicious developments, this organisation must surely examine the essence of its authority and the extent of its power when challenged in this manner.

Such challenges to the authority of the UN and its Charter underpin our repeated call for the revitalization of the UN General Assembly, itself the most representative organ of the UN. The General Assembly should be more active in all areas including those of peace and security. The encroachment of some UN organs upon the work of the General Assembly should necessarily avoid eroding the principle of the accountability of all principal and subsidiary organs to the General Assembly.

Mr President,

Once again we reiterate our position that the security council as presently constituted is not democratic. In its present configuration, the council has shown that it is not in a position to protect the weaker states who find themselves at loggerheads with a marauding super-power. Most importantly, justice demands that any security council reform redresses the fat that Africa is the only continent without a permanent seat and veto power in the security council. Africa’s demands are known and enunciated in the Ezulwini consensus.

Mr President,

We further call for the UN system to refrain from interfering in matters that are clearly the domain of member states and are not a threat to international peace and security. Development at country level should continue to be country-led, and to subject to the whims of powerful donor states.

Mr President,

Zimbabwe won its independence on 18th April 1980 after a protracted war against british colonial imperialism which denied us human rights and democracy. That colonial system which suppressed and oppressed us enjoyed the support of many countries of the west who were signatories to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Even after 1945, it would appear that the Berlin conference of 1884, through which Africa was parcelled to colonial European powers, remained stronger than the universal Declaration of Human rights. It is therefore clear that for the west, vested economic interests, racial and ethnocentric considerations proved stronger than their adherence to principles of the UDHR.

The west still negates our sovereignties by way of control of our resources, in the process making us mere chattels in our own lands, mere minders of its trans-national interests. In my own country and other sister states in Southern Africa, the most visible form of this control has been over land despoiled from us at the onset of Brishit colonialism. That control largely persists, although it stands firmly challenged in Zimbabwe, thereby triggering the current stand off between us and Britain, supported by her cousin states, most notably the US and Australia. Mr Bush, Mr Blair and now Mr Brown’s sense of human rights precludes our people’s right to their god given resources, which in their view must be controlled by their kith and kin. I am termed a dictator because I have rejected this supremacist view and frustrated the neo-colonialists.

Mr President,

Clearly the history of the struggle for our own national and people’s rights is unknown to the president of the USA. He thinks the UNDHR starts with his last term in office! He thinks he can introduce to us, who bore the brunt of fighting for the freedoms of our peoples the virtues of the UNDHR. What rank hypocrisy!

Mr President,

I lost eleven precious years of my life in the jail of a white man whose freedom and well being I have assured from the first day Zimbabwe’s independence. I lost a further fifteen years fighting white injustice in my country.

Ian Smith is responsible for the death of well over 50 000 of my people. I bear scars of his tyranny which Britain and US condoned. I meet his victims everyday. Yet he walks free. He farms free on 500 hectares. He talks freely, associates freely under a black Government. We taught him democracy. We gave him back his humanity. He would have faced a different fate here and in Europe if the 50 000 killed were Europeans. Africa has not called a Nuremberg trial against the white world which committed heinous crimes against its own humanity. It has not hunted perpetrators of this genocide, many of whom live to this day, nor has it got reparations from those who offended against it. Instead it is Africa which is in the dock, facing trial from the same world that persecuted it for centuries.

Let Mr Bush read history correctly. Let him realise that both personally and in his representative capacity as the current president of USA, he stands for this “civilisation” which occupied, which colonised, which incarcerated, which killed. He has much to atone for and very little to lecture us on the UN Declaration of Human Rights. His hands drip with innocent blood of many nationalities.

He still kills.

He kills in Iraqi. He kills in Afghanistan. And this is supposed to be our master on human rights?

He imprisons.

He imprisons and tortures at Guantanamo. He imprisoned and tortured at Abu Ghraib. He has secret torture chambers in Europe. Yes, he imprisons even here in the US, with his jails carrying more blacks than his universities can ever enrol. He even suspends the provisions of Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Take Guantanamo for example; at that concentration camp international law does not apply. Laws of the USA do not apply. Only Bush’s law applies. Can the international community accept being lectured by this man on the provisions of the UN DHR ? Definitely not!
Mr President,

We are alarmed that under his leadership, basic rights of his own people and those of the rest of the world have summarily been rolled back. America is primarily responsible for rewriting core tenets of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We seem all guilty for 9/11. Mr Bush thinks he stands above all structures of governance, whether national or international. At home, he apparently does not need the Congress. Abroad, he does not need the UN, international law and opinion. This forum did not sanction Blair and Bush’s misadventures in Iraqi. The two rode roughshod over the UN and international opinion. Almighty Bush is now coming back to the UN for a rescue package because his nose is bloodied! Yet he dares lecture us on tyranny. Indeed, he wants us to pray him! I say no, I have but one God, he is in heaven! We say no to him and encourage him to get out of Iraqi. Indeed he should mend his ways before he clambers up the pulpit to deliver pieties of democracy.

Mr President,

The british and the Americans have gone on a relentless campaign of destabilising and vilifying my country. They have sponsored surrogate forces to challenge lawful authority in my country. They seek regime change, placing themselves in the role of the Zimbabwean people in whose collective will democracy places the right to define and change regimes. Let these sinister governments be told here and now that Zimbabwe will not allow a regime change authored by outsiders and mischievous outsiders should therefore keep out! The colonial sun set a long time ago; in 1980 in the case of Zimbabwe, and hence Zimbabwe will never be colony again. Never!

We do not deserve sanctions. We are Zimbabweans and we know how to deal with our problems. We have done so in the past, well before Bush and Brown were known politically. We have our own regional and continental organisations and communities. In that vein, I wish to express my country’s gratitude to President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa who, on behalf of SADC, successfully facilitated the dialogue between the ruling party and the opposition parties, which yielded the agreement that has now resulted in the constitutional provisions being finally adopted. Consequently, we will be holding multiple democratic elections in March 2008. indeed we have always had timeous general and presidential elections since our independence.

Mr President,

In conclusion, let me stress once more that the strength of the UN lies in its universality and impartiality as it implements its mandate to promote peace and security, economic and social development, human rights and international law as outlined in the Charter. Zimbabwe stands ready to play its part in all efforts and programmes aimed at achieving these noble goals. Wroth unto them that defy the charter.

I thank you.