Saturday, 15 August 2009

MDC puppets can NEVER be Zimbabwe's heroes.

MDC, liberation heroes it can’t

THE basis of Christianity is that man, by virtue of being born of sinful loins, carries the sins of his forebears. The Lord admits in Exodus 20 verse 4 that he is a jealous God who holds children answerable for the sins of their forebears to the third and fourth generation. As such each man has to break this chain of sin by being born again through baptism, after which the old should pass away and a new life in Christ begins.

It appears the neophytes in Government, in those shiny corridors of power in Government offices believe this biblical rebirth applies to politics, where even the politically ugly among us morphed into beautiful swans by taking the oath of office even as they quack like ugly ducklings.

I say so because disturbing things, very disturbing things have been happening in the corridors of power since February 13.

Our history of stolid, defiant opposition to neo-colonial domination, in the eyes of some, ended then and hitherto even selling out became acceptable in the spirit of ‘inclusivity.’ That is why even the likes of Eddie Cross of the ‘‘crash and burn’’ thinking, men who never lifted a finger to advance the nationalist cause, claim to be more Zimbabwean than the heroes who fought to bring the same Zimbabwe.

A spirited campaign is underway to re-cast our history and even national ethos to reflect a nation as old as February 13. This week Trudy Stevenson even boldly asked, in the Zimbabwe Independent, ‘‘whose history is it anyway?’’ And one Obert Gutu proposed a redefinition of national heroism, the setting up of a national Heroes commission to direct the exhumation of ‘‘undeserving characters’’ from the national shrine and the re-burial of ‘‘those luminaries who were denied national hero status.’’

Clear agenda-setting was at play throughout the Zimind and names of ‘‘luminaries’’ like Gift Tandare, Jestina Mukoko, Beatrice Mtetwa were bandied as deserving honour on National Heroes Day.

Reading these reports I came to understand why Giles Mutsekwa held a victory celebration in his Dangamvura/Chikanga constituency as VP Msika’s body lay in state in Harare. While, given Mutsekwa’s history in the RF it would be understandable if he belittles the role played by Msika, what of the likes of Biti who were educated free of charge because of the sacrifices of people like Msika? Biti was there in Chikanga where he was quoted telling MDC-T supporters to honour their own heroes like Learnmore Jongwe and Isaac Matongo.

Such utterances imply that the holding of the victory celebration at the time of the demise of a venerated national hero was not coincidental, and may not have been about Mutsekwa’s victory in the 2008 elections.

What kind of society are we creating with this so-called inclusive Government, and to what extent should this ‘‘inclusivity’’ be stretched? At this rate, who can blame Obama and Clinton for being a-historical in their utterances over Zimbabwe?

For during her whirlwind tour of Africa, Hillary — who appeared lost to the irony of having husband Bill pick Lewinsky-look-alikes in North Korea — was busy urging South Africa to turn against Zimbabwe. ‘‘Zuma has to get tough with Mugabe,’’ Hillary quipped to the SA media.

Hillary needs to acquaint herself with the history of southern Africa. The Zuma she was speaking about was still deemed a terrorist in the US as late as last year (assuming he was struck off the terror and sanctions list along with Mandela ahead of the latter’s 90th birthday). Zuma will never forget that his ANC compatriots traveled the world on Zimbabwean passports as the US barred them from its shores and gave the apartheid regime spirited backing to delay the onset of black majority rule. Clinton’s posturing might find purchase among Western-sponsored politicians but not those grounded in liberation ethos. Then of course, there was Obama, who only this year extended the economic sanctions on Zimbabwe, claiming — in Ghana — that the West had nothing to do with Zimbabwe’s economic downturn. This revisionist thinking is apparently aimed at recasting our proud history and pegging it from the year the MDC was formed. The illegal regime change lobby has to be deodorised as a fight for democracy, and its askaris as national heroes. And all this in the week we celebrated the real heroes who stepped to the plate when some of those passing themselves as ‘‘democrats’’ today ran or opposed. This earth, my brother!

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For the avoidance of doubt, the MDC was formed out of the West’s misplaced economics that it was cheaper to fund an opposition to topple Zanu-PF than fund a land reform programme to dispossess the children of Albion. The MDC has no proud history to speak of and the nation has precious little to emulate from the party’s leadership as currently constituted. The MDC formations, infact need to be born again, politically that is, and it is my fervent hope that February 13 signified that rebirth. Lets not forget that the economic sanctions we are reeling under were imposed at the behest of the party’s leadership, as such the MDC-T was complicit in the socio-economic regression we witnessed over the past decade, a regression that Biti says needs US$140billion to undo. And if that is the stuff heroes are made of, then Hitler is a pacifist.

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Nowhere in our history was any US administration found on the side of our fight for self-determination. Instead Washington has been consistently found on the side of those we fought against.

At the risk of having our history hijacked and made over, here are a few facts Hillary and Obama should never forget whenever they pass themselves off as champions of Zimbabwe’s democracy.

When Smith declared his UDI on November 11, 1965, the progressive world was naturally outraged and the UN Security Council responded by punishing the Smith regime with a raft of sanctions beginning that year till the brief restoration of British rule in December 1979.

Though the terms of the sanctions forbade trade or financial dealings with Rhodesia, the US supported the beleaguered settler regime regardless and covertly channeled assistance through apartheid South Africa.

US allies among them Portugal - then under Marcello Caetano, Israel, and Iran then under the US puppet — Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi — also assisted and traded with Rhodesia. In an attempt to bypass the UN sanctions, the US passed the Byrd Amendment in 1971 and continued to buy chrome from Rhodesia in violation of the UN sanctions. Washington’s argument, chrome was ‘‘a strategic raw material’’, yet the chrome was for the US auto industry.

As if that was not enough, the US also contributed to the establishment of an armaments industry in Rhodesia that enabled the RF to kill over 50 000 innocent Zimbabweans whose only "crime" was daring to demand majority rule.

Uncle Sam also provided the technical knowledge and support, again through apartheid South Africa, toward establishing the 700-kilometre Border Minefield Obstacle along our borders with Zambia and Mozambique. An obstacle that was aimed at stopping aspiring cadres from crossing to training camps and to blow-up trained combatants crossing back into Zimbabwe. What is more US mercenaries and servicemen joined the RF ranks, with many of them bringing back to Rhodesia military ideas and concepts from Vietnam.

For a detailed expose of the extent of Washington’s destabilisation of the Second Chimurenga, Hillary should read the 2001 book ‘‘From the Barrel of a Gun — The United States and the War Against Zimbabwe, 1965-1980’’ by the African-American writer Gerald Horne. She can get a copy from the publishers, University of North Carolina Press at Chapel Hill failing which she can contact the Centre for Defence Studies at the University of Zimbabwe.

The bottom line is Washington not only significantly contributed to Rhodesia’s national income, which enabled the Smith regime to buy weapons to pulverise freedom fighters; it actually assisted Rhodesia’s fight against Zipra and Zanla combatants.

As such Hillary must read history before exercising her jaws on Zimbabwe. By acquainting herself with our history, she will find that her government — which today opposes the land reform programme — supported the Patriotic Front on land at the Lancaster House Constitutional Conference, with the then US president Jimmy Carter promising that Washington would significantly fund land reforms and also urged the British to do the same.

Carter’s promise — which was delivered by the then US ambassador to London, Kingman Brewster — was made after the Patriotic Front threatened to walk out of the Conference when the British sought to scuttle demands for land reforms. Clinton can access these revelations from the BBC website

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Do not get me wrong, and this is not hate speech. Heroes emerge from all walks of life, and there are many heroes and heroines who have distinguished themselves in diverse fields. It is such people who can be adjudged by commissions or committees of eminent persons or even elders, and can have their own venerated ground on the plentiful land we acquired at considerable wrath from the West.

The National Heroes Acre was set up for heroes of the struggle for independence, which is why it is shaped like two juxtaposed AK47s and why it has a liberation museum at the entrance. It is simply not feasible to have Chamisa, who was born only two years shy of Independence, or Bennett and Mutsekwa who fought on the side of the RF decide on the heroes of the struggle for independence. There are simply some things that ‘‘can’t,’’ in the same way 1 — 2 can’t at grade one level?

* * * *

Now what is all this fuss about service chiefs and salute for the Prime Minister? I thought the question of who gets the salute is now in the public domain, the Commander-in-Chief of the ZDF and serving or retired commanders.

This week Internet ghost sites were awash with debate over whether the airforce commander saluted Tsvangirai during the Defence Forces Day, and the Zimind went one up by publishing an obscure picture on the front page that claimed to show Air Marshal Perrance Shiri saluting PM Tsvangirai.

I am sure that there were better pictures to show that Air Marshall Shiri was standing beside VP Mujuru and between VP Mujuru and the PM sat Retired General Solomon Mujuru, the former ZDF commander, who was obscured by the PM from the angle at which the Zimind picture was taken. So how could a salute jump the VP and the Retired General and be meant for the PM who was seated at the far end?

And assuming Air Marshal Shiri was saluting, the salute was evidently for his former boss, Rtd Gen Mujuru. More so military salutes are given and received when the giver and receiver are both standing upright and looking directly into each other’s faces. Looking at Air Marshal Shiri’s posture it was most likely he was greeting VP Mujuru.

Anyway only he can answer as to who he was ‘saluting’ or greeting but for the sages at Zimind it had to be a picture that matched their lead story.

Such is the nature of recasting history, at times it bids those doing it to carve headlines about sunrise on a dry savanna day.


Pilland said...

Your report is very interesting indeed. I invite You to see a great collection of views of borders (riigipiirid) in my Italian-Estonian site
Best wishes from Italy!

Anonymous said...

This report is so flaud, you have no proof of anything you have stated so arrogantly. Your views are very different from most of the 12 million Zimbabweans that are starving and suffering today at the hands of your own leadership. In reality people dont care about heroes and the past. Only those that would financially benefit such as ZANU PF, war verterans and loyalists would over exagerate the past for future political gain. The average Zimbabwean who was actually doing just fine pre 2000 now has to suffer because of a selfish autocratic minority. The 2008 elections proved that without any intimidation Zimbabwe is ready to move on without the obsessed corrupt ideology of ZANU PF. White Rhodesia may of been racist, but at least they developed Zimbabwe. ZANU PF is rasist, even to their own people, and instead of progressing has regressed Zimbabwe. Yes Rhodesia commited crimes to a very view select blacks, but at least Rhodesia gave the very same blacks children a country they could be proud of. ZANU PF has killed just as many blacks and has now included whites in the death toll and the tragety is that they have stolen a country away from their children. If I had to choose, I would choose Rhodesia, and no, im not white!