Monday, 22 November 2010

Gabriel Shumba: The neocolonial prostitute.

Zimbabwe's Chiadzwa diamonds are the latest front where neocolonial interests and the Black man's attempts to own his resources are locking horns. As in any imperialist or colonial process, you find some timid, psychologically damaged uncle Tom singing for empire.

Ladies and gentleman, Uncle Tom Gabriel Shumba for you!!





400kg a month of smuggled stones remains a big problem - but not for SA's champion.

JOHANNESBURG - The Chiadzwa diamond deposit in Zimbabwe, featured on M-Net's Carte Blanche TV programme as a source of illicit diamonds last night, is no cause for alarm at De Beers.

The TV show claimed that the diamond mine in the Chimanimani mountains of eastern Zimbabwe is world scale. Just one mine - Canadile - it said, produced 2 000 carats or 400kg a month.

Virtually all of its production is smuggled via the Mozambican town of Manica on to the black market, circumventing the Kimberley Process, the global initiative to approve legally mined stones and to isolate conflict diamonds.

The TV show quoted Gabriel Shumba of the blood diamonds campaign as saying : "A lot of people have died and crimes against humanity are being committed. Instead of being a blessing, the diamonds are a curse to Zimbabwe."

Shumba alleged that Zanu PF controls the fields through government security forces. He had heard a rumour that Mrs Mugabe claimed 51% ownership of the mine. He said children as young as seven were being forced to scratch with their hands looking for diamonds. He claimed that 400 people have been shot, 200 from "helicopter gunships".


Carte Blanche said the diamonds coming out of Chiadzwa were not strictly speaking conflict or blood diamonds because they do not support a rebel group but (probably) individual members of the Zim government.

Bill McKechnie, for years one of De Beers top geologists and today a consultant with Snowden, said: "It is a fairly-limited-geography secondary deposit. The diamonds are coarse. They are quite large but they have to be cut to get at the better quality inside. They are mainly green and brown. The average value is low - less than $50/ct."

McKechnie said the situation at the Zimbabwean mine was not unlike the chaos and bloodshed in Angola and Sierra Leone in the 1980s.

We were at De Beers coincidentally on Monday for the launch of a new book on the diamond industry: "The Extraordinary World of Diamonds" by geologist Nick Norman.

It is a comprehensive account of the industry - from its beginnings in India through the discoveries on several different continents. His enthusiasm for the subject - diamonds as beautiful evidence of the planet's history - is infectious. The location of many diamond fields on the various continents presents strong evidence for the tectonic plate theory.

His account of the discoveries in Namibia are particularly galvanising, especially if one has been to Kolmanskop, Luderitz and driven through the dunes north of Luderitz. Stauch, discoverer of the Kolmanskop deposit, and his partner found handfuls of diamonds in a few hours at Marchental (Fairy Tale Valley). That evening "little eyes blinked" at their lanterns - diamonds by the thousand.

Norman chronicles advances in technology which brought massive new finds, the rise and decline of De Beers and the CSO as world monopolist up to the present situation. He has new insights into dealings between De Beers and the Soviets in the depths of the Cold War.

Norman records that Russia's Alrosa has overtaken De Beers as the world's biggest producer. The main reason is that De Beers puts mines on care and maintenance during periods of low demand but, because of labour considerations, Alrosa cannot also do so.

The book is no PR stunt for De Beers. It goes into blood diamonds and the illicit diamond trade that has always been and will always be - because of the value and small size of stones that makes them great transportable assets.

Write to David Carte: davidcarte@moneyweb.co.za

Friday, 8 October 2010

Tsvangirai: The powerless sanctions begging puppet

Tsvangirai is annoying not because he is intrinsically a bad person, but because of his low IQ that renders him a willing tool for those who want to further their own interests on Zimbabwe at the expense of Zimbabweans.

In the article below, Tsvangirai categorically denies there are sanctions against Zimbabwe, because by and large, his speech is aimed at his masters in the west, who have historically refereed to sanctions on Zimbabwe as restrictive measures.

Tsvangirai is being stupid though because even the owners of those sanctions no longer spin them as restrictive measures: Here is what the then British Foreign secretary David Miliband had to say about what Tsvangirai stupidly wants to spin as restrictive measures:


“In respect of sanctions, we have made it clear that they can be lifted only in a calibrated way, as progress is made. I do not think that it is right to say that the choice is between lifting all sanctions and lifting none at all.

“We have to calibrate our response to the progress on the ground, and, above all, to be guided by what the MDC says to us about the conditions under which it is working and leading the country,” Miliband said.



His own ministers have also voiced concern over these sanctions before:




In a new attack on western sanctions on Zimbabwe, Biti said: “The West is being unscientific and ahistorical.”

Two banks targeted by the United States for sanctions are set to have them lifted, Biti said in an interview with a South African newspaper.

“Senator Richard Luga (Indianapolis) wrote asking about sanctions on the two banks (Zimbank and Agri Bank), and I said lift them as a matter of urgency."

The two banks serve communal and small-scale farmers in particular, Biti said.


So where is this semi-literate fat ugly puppet Morgan Tsvangirai coming from trying to say there are only restrictive measures on Zimbabwe?

_____________________________________________________________________

We have a constitutional crisis

by: Morgan Tsvangirai

Statement by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on the state of Zimbabwe's coalition government issued in Harare on October 7, 2010:

LADIES and Gentlemen, it is with some sadness that I have to make a statement today about the state of this transitional Government. It relates to the Constitution and Sovereignty of Zimbabwe, and the principles of democracy for which my Party and I stand for. The MDC utterly rejects the notion of one-party or one-man rule. The MDC utterly rejects any suggestion that power is an entitlement through historical legacy, or that power is a God-given right of an individual or individuals.

The MDC firmly believes that political leaders should only serve and act on the basis of a mandate of the people. Lest we forget, the MDC was given that mandate on March 29, 2008, when the people of Zimbabwe clearly rejected the notion of one-party and one-man rule. That mandate was to govern on behalf of the people of Zimbabwe.

Nevertheless, in September 2008, I signed an agreement, allowing for the formation of a joint transitional government with those Parties which the people had rejected. I did so for several reasons that I outlined at the time. Not least, I did so to try to help end the needless suffering of the people of Zimbabwe which had been inflicted on them by the failed and corrupt policies and abuses of the previous regime.

I signed this agreement when the whole world was sceptical about the wisdom of working with Mr Mugabe. The world questioned his sincerity. They questioned his integrity and his ability to respect an agreement with anyone. They pointed to the abuses of power over a great many years. They pointed to the fact that he had reappointed himself President, in breach of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, and in defiance of the will of the Zimbabwean people.

I shared their concerns but as a leader and for the sake of this country and the security and welfare of our citizens, I took a leap of faith and I signed the agreement.

I was prepared to work with Mr Mugabe to allow him to address the mistakes of the past, and to help him to rebuild his legacy. This is why, despite the challenges that I have faced in working with him, I have repeatedly said that whilst our relationship was not perfect, it was workable. This was meant to encourage Mr Mugabe to right the wrongs of the past.

However, the events of the past few months have left me sorely disappointed in Mr Mugabe, and in his betrayal of the confidence that I and many Zimbabweans have personally invested in him.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

When the MDC formed this government with others, we did so on the basis of clear and public assurances that Mr Mugabe and his party would now respect and abide by the principles of democracy; that they would now respect the freedoms of the individual; that they now understood that politicians should govern for the people and not for themselves; that they now accepted that the mandate to govern comes from a free expression of democratic will, not from a God-given right or from a campaign of violence and intimidation. I was prepared for the sake of our country to sit alongside my yesteryear’s enemies and tormentors to rebuild a stable and democratic country.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On Monday, I met Mr Mugabe and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara to discuss the implications of the resolutions of the SADC Windhoek summit. The Troika’s report to the summit stressed the importance of the freedom to express political views, and of free and fair elections. It stressed that there was no place for violence in any democratic process in any democratic country … and least of all state-condoned or state-orchestrated violence.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In this respect, Zanu PF has sorely disappointed us all in the conduct of the constitutional outreach meetings. The activities of rogue elements of the security agencies alongside state actors directed by Zanu PF was clearly designed to deny citizens their right to have their views heard. As we have seen so many times, Zanu PF is determined to tell citizens what they should think, and to intimidate, bully and beat up any who disagree. This goes against the fundamental principles of democracy, and is utterly abhorrent to me.

I advised Mr Mugabe of this on Monday. As you are aware, we have also had a dispute over the appointment of governors, along with a number of other unilateral and illegal appointments which the President has made following the signature of the GPA. The dispute over the former provincial governors effectively timed out when their terms of office expired in July. The country needed to appoint new governors according to the law and the constitution. The constitution clearly says that such appointments must be done in consultation with the Prime Minister.

To my utter surprise, and shall I say disgust, Mr Mugabe advised me on Monday that he had Nicodemusly reappointed the former governors in the same manner in which he appointed the previous governors on a Sunday when most of us were at church. I say “Nicodemusly” because those who are supposed to be served by these governors – the citizens of Zimbabwe – knew nothing about it.

They were hoping for governors to be appointed who would serve in the interests of the people of Zimbabwe, not in the interests of the President and his party, as has been the case until now. The Prime Minister, who has to consent to their appointments, knew nothing about it.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Mr Mugabe publicly stated to African leaders in Windhoek as recently as August this year that he “has never and will never violate the Constitution of Zimbabwe”. Sadly, he has done so not once, but time and time again.

In March 2010, he appointed the Police Service Commission when the Constitution clearly says that all Service Commissions must be appointed in consultation with the Prime Minister.

On 20 May 2010 , he unilaterally swore-in five new judges to the Supreme and High Courts without consultation.

On 24 July 2010, he unilaterally appointed six ambassadors without consultation.

On 24 September 2009, whilst in New York on CNN, Mr Mugabe stated publicly and unequivocally that he would swear in Deputy Minister Roy Bennett if Roy if he was acquitted of the absurd charges brought against him. He said categorically: “Yes, yes, yes, if he's acquitted, he will be appointed.”

Roy was acquitted on 10 May, 2010, but again, Mr Mugabe has gone back on his word. He confirmed to me and DPM Mutambara on Monday that he has no intention of ever swearing in Roy. The matter of Roy Bennett has now become a personal vendetta and part of a racist agenda.

And these are simply the most obvious and most high-profile breaches of the constitution and laws of Zimbabwe. They demonstrate that Mr Mugabe believes that the offices of the government of Zimbabwe are there to serve him, not the people, which is what the constitution seeks to ensure. We are all well-aware of the other breaches which occur all too regularly. Every extra-judicial arrest of citizens is a clear breach of the constitution.

Every act of intimidation or violence by state or Zanu PF actors is a clear breach of the constitution. In this respect, we urge South Africa to release the Report of the Retired Army Generals who investigated state sponsored violence and its implications on the electoral process and results in 2008. Every act of censoring or curtailing individuals’ or journalists’ freedom of speech is a clear breach of the constitution.

Zimbabweans will know that I have desperately tried to avoid a constitutional crisis in Zimbabwe. I have worked tirelessly to try to make this transitional government work, in the interest of all Zimbabweans. I have worked and spoken in support of this government. But neither I, nor the MDC, can stand back any longer and just allow Mr Mugabe and Zanu PF to defy the law, to flaunt the constitution and to act as if they own this country.

Mr Mugabe was one of the leaders of the liberation struggle which led to our country’s independence 30 years ago. For those efforts, and for all the sacrifices of those who fell in that struggle, Zimbabweans will forever be grateful. But no actions of the past translate into a right to wield power in the present. That right derives solely from a mandate from the people. And citizens rightly judge their leaders on their record in office.

We are all - citizens, politicians, soldiers, policemen, workers, mothers, fathers and children – subject to the constitution and laws of this country. None of us own that Constitution and none of us own this country. None of us, whatever our history, are above the law. We are all but caretakers for future generations.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The MDC’s National Executive has today resolved that we must make a stand to protect the constitution of Zimbabwe and to return it to the custodianship of the citizens of Zimbabwe. As a first step, we will refuse to recognise any of the appointments which the President has made illegally and unconstitutionally over the past 18 months.

That includes:
* the Governor of the Central Bank, appointed unilaterally by Mr Mugabe on 26 November 2008

* the Attorney-General, appointed unilaterally by Mr Mugabe on 17 December 2008

* the five judges, appointed unilaterally by Mr Mugabe on 20 May 2010

* the six Ambassadors, appointed unilaterally by Mr Mugabe on 24 July 2010

* The Police Service Commission

* the 10 Governors, appointed unilaterally and furtively by Mr Mugabe last week

As Executive Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe, I will today be advising the countries to whom these Ambassadors have been posted that these appointments are illegal and therefore null and void. I will be advising the Chief Justice of the improper appointment of the judges concerned, and that they are therefore null and void. I will be advising the President of the Senate of the improper appointment of Governors, and that they should therefore not be considered members of the Senate, which is therefore now unconstitutional. I will be advising the joint Ministers of Home Affairs and the National Security Council of the illegal appointment of the Police Service Commission..

We now similarly call on the people of Zimbabwe, at whose pleasure we serve, not to recognise these individuals as the legitimate holders of the posts to which they have been unconstitutionally and illegally appointed. In doing so you must all remain peaceful. I now call upon Mr Mugabe to return the country to constitutional rule by correcting the unlawful appointments.

I invite SADC to join me in calling on Mr Mugabe to respect the SADC resolutions, the SADC Charter and Protocols, the AU Charter, and the principles of democracy. I invite SADC to deploy observers before the constitutional referendum to help protect the rights of Zimbabweans to express their views freely and without violence or intimidation. And I invite SADC to urgently intervene to restore constitutionality in Zimbabwe.

Mr Mugabe has tried to link many of these issues, including the appointment of the governors of this sovereign country, to the lifting of restrictive measures on him and his political cohorts by other sovereign, independent countries. This is rank madness, and utterly nonsensical. It is tantamount to surrendering the sovereignty of this country. It is an insult to all those who fought, and all those who lost their lives, in the struggle for the independence of Zimbabwe.

All Zimbabweans know that Mr Mugabe and his colleagues brought the restrictive measures on themselves through the flagrant abuses of human rights and the economic disaster which they inflicted on this country. All Zimbabweans know that these restrictive measures are the result, not the cause, of that economic disaster. They know that these restrictive measures affect the individuals concerned, not the country as a whole, as the economic turnaround since my party joined the government has shown.

Nevertheless, I undertook to work with Zanu PF towards the lifting of restrictive measures, and I have abided by that promise. At every turn, I have reminded Mr Mugabe and his colleagues that my commitment to do so is part of my commitment to abide by and to implement the Global Political Agreement (GPA) of September 15, 2008.

Sadly, they have demonstrated so far that they have no similar commitment either to abide by the GPA and to a host of other undertakings which they have made. In these circumstances, it makes my job of arguing for the lifting or even the suspension of the measures extremely difficult. But because I believe in the GPA, and I believe in sticking to my word, I will continue to work for the implementation of the GPA in its totality, including the lifting of restrictive measures.

Mr Mugabe and his colleagues know that the keys to them achieving this are already in their hands. All they need to do is to abide by their promises, to abide by the laws and Constitution of this country, to respect the rights and freedoms of Zimbabweans, and to accept that Zimbabwe belongs not to them but to the people of Zimbabwe and the restrictive measures will go.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I do not want to understate the nature or extent of the current crisis. It is nothing short of a constitutional crisis, which is why I have urged SADC to intervene as a matter of urgency. But we cannot allow this crisis to derail our efforts to change Zimbabwe but as I said when I signed the agreement to join this Government two years ago, my Party and I remain committed:
* To serve you, so long as that is your will

* To ensure that your children can go to school and learn

* To ensure that you have access to medical care

* To protect and promote your rights to free speech, movement and political assembly

* To empower each and every citizen, economically, socially and politically

* To end privilege, patronage, abuse and corruption

* To turn Zimbabwe into a country ruled by the law, not by decree.

When it comes to pursuing these principles and these goals, no amount of dishonesty, insincerity, intimidation, or abuse will move me.
* You can count on me to ensure that you will be able to participate in a free and fair election to choose who should lead your country.

* You can count on me to ensure that you will write your own, new, pluralistic constitution.

* You can count on me to stand up for your rights at each and every turn.

* You can count on me to work for the empowerment of each and every citizen and not an elite few.

I will not win every fight in the short-term, but I assure you that I am as committed as you are to winning the war and win we shall.

This is a war which we must continue to fight bravely together: a war which pits all Zimbabweans who believe in the principles of freedom and democracy against those who seek to maintain and abuse privilege. I appeal to all Zimbabweans, our loyal civil servants, our loyal police, and our loyal armed forces, to work with us in this new struggle for freedom.

To ensure that Zimbabwe becomes a Zimbabwe for everyone, not just the self-annointed and chosen few who seek to exploit this country – as did their colonial predecessors – for their wealth and their own ends.

I therefore urge my team at every level of government and every level of society to rededicate yourself to serving the people of Zimbabwe. The road ahead is not going to be easy, but our collective future will be better than our present challenge. I will not rest until I fulfil my mandate from the people of Zimbabwe to build a new Zimbabwe to which I, alongside so many of you, have committed our lives.
This is my promise to you for real change.

I thank you!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Constitutional outreach process exposes the MDC-T

They couldnt say they support homosexuality, without angering Zimbabweans.
They couldnt say they oppose homosexuality, without angering their gay masters.

They couldnt say they oppose the land reform, without angering Zimbabweans.
They couldnt say they support the land reform, without angering their masters.

They couldnt say they oppose indigenization, without angering Zimbabweans.
They couldnt say they support the approx 50% indegenization law, without angering their masters.

What exactly are MDC policies, other than removing Mugabe?

A party for idiots, fools, and lunatics, under the control of racists.

They agitated for a people-driven constitution without thinking about what they will offer, against what the Zimbabwean people want, against what their racist masters want. Now they are in a vice. People's wants resonate well with ZANU idealogy.

And as usual they now threaten a boycott. A boycott because out of thousands of meeting, only 2 meetings in Hre resulted in violence? What about the thousands that went on well, that have MDC signatures on them.

ZANU PF: The people's voice.
The people have spoken, the MDC-T should do the honourable thing and accept that Zimbabwes:

1. dont like homosexuals
2. want to own their resources.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Diamonds: The glow-fly that challenged a full moon

Diamonds: The glow-fly that challenged a full moon



DEAR reader, this piece is going to be a heavy read and I propose a light-hearted entry to allow for some release.

Let us get right in. Following the President’s walk past the River Jordan (in arid Marange!), NewsDay expectedly ran a cartoon of the President overflowing in the white robes of the Johane Marange Apostolic Church. The cartoonist made sure the President wielded the legendary staff, itself part of the sect’s religious paraphernalia. By the President’s holy side was Mutumwa Noah, the High Priest of this sprawling church whose reaches encompasses the four corners of our Sadc region.
Feuding Angels?
But far from companionship, the cartoonist presents the relationship between the two as strained.
Mutumwa Noah is apparently unhappy about the bright stones of Marange, and the way the President’s Government is handling the matter. He is thus made to ask the President: “Madzibaba Gabriel, when can we expect a share of diamond proceeds from Marange?” The President “looks” aghast, presumably shocked that this celestial man dares dabble in matters falling under the province of earthly Caesar, indeed neglects the celestial star beckoning him to the promised land to rake the bright muck of Mammon! Of course, this is not the cartoonist’s intended message. It is mine, as I try to turn the sting against its owner, relying of course on the poetic licence which both he as cartoonist, and I as the reader borrow: he from society, I from his text!
When among high priests of capital . . .
But beneath my levity lurks a serious point. I recall the President paying a visit to the Ngezi Platinum Mine, sometime last year just a few months into the inclusive Government. I also recall The Herald giving us an image of a President clad in a miner’s dustcoat and also well helmeted for the hard hat area. He was all-white, head to toe, miner-white and at the site of a great resource for this country, platinum. The resource is in foreign hands, firmly so. If I also recall well, there was a whole retinue of traditional leaders of the areas, including Chief Murambwa and Chief Ngezi between whose territories lies this great mine, restless. For how can it rest anymore with all these foreign vermin crawling all over it, injecting incendiaries for massive blasts that only gladden human greed?
Good for the goose . . . ?
But I do not recall a cartoon on this visit in any of our Press, whether soon, or long, after. Why? Here was a whole President clad like a miner, well away from the sartorial standards of his mighty Office. In place of his usual dark, well-trimmed suit, he wore a rude white dustcoat. In place of his usually shining and well kempt head, he donned an incongruous helmet, a headgear for sweatshops. Surely, here was matter and material for cartoonists, definitionally inspired by the incongruous? What is more, the cartoonist had, in the person of the chiefs, a figure through which to raise with the President the fundamental question of community rights in respect of platinum, much the same way Mutumwa Noah does in Marange. Yet not. Why? Chiefs Ngezi and Murambwa could have been made, through poetic licence, to confront the President on when their communities can expect platinum proceeds from Ngezi.
Judgment for the holy, plaudits for the sinful
Which is what takes me to my main question: How do newspapers read humour in various situations? How do they define, distribute and deploy humour in our society of little laughter? Which class figures and interests are routine butts of media humour? How are incongruities read and transformed into humour? Randomly? Evenly? Across interests? Clearly there are categories of humans whose actions, no matter how serious, will always be turned to purposeful sarcastic humour, all in order to defeat any seriousness in their activities. Secondly, there will always be persons, whose association with presidency is regarded as unseemly, as incongruous and thus perfect material for mordant, disparaging humour. With these lowly creatures, leaders of nations should never be associated. I mean I find it strange that a President who is before a 150 000-strong congregation seems out of place relative to a President who is before a handful of foreign miners whose company has been found guilty by a reputable international auditing company of evading taxes and externalising Zimbabwe’s resources, indeed a group of miners who are still to give back to the community beyond wages and a road incidental to the host community but core to the operations of the mining house. So much about Press freedom and claims to speaking for the voiceless! The Press will always be on the side of capital.
When diamonds begin to shine
This far, our diamonds have given us lots of food for thoughts. Thankfully, we now have been certified to dispose of them within the framework of the Kimberley Process. We now expect them to begin to give us food for the stomach. After all, when one looks at the so-called conditionalities given us by the KPCS, one finds them as onerous and ponderous as a mighty piece of toilet paper swirling towards the vortex of an angry harmattan. The human face of those conditionalities is none other than Abbey Chikane, the same monitor who authored the report which has got us here. He cannot crucify us so late in the selling equation. Equally, the response from the diamond industry soon after the KPCS meetings clearly shows that beyond politics of public perception management, countries finally act on the basis of enlightened self-interests, not on the basis of some miasmic, good-Lord-above moral precept. After all, governments are not religious animals, which is why they ceased a long time ago to visit the synagogue every Sunday. Again ask the British whose history illustrates the travails of running a theocracy. As I write, America is worried about getting a piece of the diamond auction action — ahead of the Chinese and Russians — than about Maguwu, whoever he is. Israel is worried that diamonds from Zimbabwe do not end up in Lebanon, which to them amounts to allowing these diamonds to flow towards Hamas. Beyond the pretended fury we saw in Israel and Russia, self-interest and national fears have restored sanity, tempered furious idealisms. We can now move on, not as civilised master nations pitted against noble savages, but as needy diamond sellers and buyers.
Beyond jingoism
But the real challenge is here, at home. When the West tried non-tariff barriers against our diamonds, using the pretext of the KPCS and its elastic, ensnaring notion of blood diamonds (as if the diamond industry right from the days of Cecil Rhodes at Kimberley have ever been clean!), a royal battle had been declared and every self-respecting Zimbabwean — Job Sikhala excluded — had to jump into the fray. And we did, hind and fore, ready to chew to smithereens anyone who stood in the way. It was a time of jingoism and indeed, diamonds united us, yoked the dissimilar into a tight mating season for a greater national goal and good. That jingoism secured the intended outcome and common sense bids that you don’t keep yelling against a dead lion. You allow the village to rest in sleep.
The instant coffee?
We can now sell our diamonds. What does that mean? A time for a new war? A time to unchain venality and sheer avarice as only a few capture the brightness of this stone against the rest of us? A time for eating chiefs? Or is this the dawn of a Zimbabwe century? We have built euphoria around the wonders diamonds will bring to our Nation, only a short day after the first sale. Diamonds have become an “instant coffee”, bright and lifting, an instant alchemy to begriming poverty that has haunted us. And like the good air we breathe, the benefits are sure to flow to all of us, reaching each according to the circumference of their trachea (windpipe)!
The new lotus eaters
With diamonds, sanctions will vanish. With them, IMF will get a good boot in its dirty hind. With them growth will once again touch the body and soul of this chosen Nation, carrying it limb and spirit to sugar-candy mountain, atop which everything looks rich, green and serene, lotus green! With them industry will boom, creating jobs that cure instantly the social malaise that has gnawed us since the white man decided we are no good. With them pantries will grow fat and we shall all eat. Eat, eat, eat and eat until sleep is only a bother for the thinking head, all other orifices staying awake: eating or yielding smelly burps of the well-fed, the new affluent. All those infrastructural headaches we have had shall vanish in an instant, thanks to arid Marange’s five loaves and two fish that are set to feed the hungry five thousand. Oh Diamonds, thou art glorious!
Beneath the swelling balloon
That way the balloon of flatulent expectations from a Nation for so long underfed, for so long thirsty, has been swelling, swelling, and swelling, rising, rising and rising. Our brains have gone to sleep, in this mass drunkenness. We are all on an enchanted island. No one thinks, all are punch-drunk by visions of bright abundance. Overnight, Zimbabwe has become a horn of plenty. But what is the reality below this balloon rising on the helium of fitful farts of a poor Lazarus transported into a castle by a sweet dream? What is in Bob Nyabinde’s hozi and its marauding gonzo, both of which are sure to rudely break into the present ecstasy of this never-never land of dreams and illusory abundance?
The outsider who knows our bedroom
In this giant seizure of senseless national delight, we have forgotten that it is the outsider — not us — who knows what is in our bedroom. The revelation that we command 25 percent of world diamond supply, and upward of 35 percent when all about us is known, came from an outsider, not from we Zimbabweans, the so-called owners of this and other such resources. We are owners who do not know, owners whose hopes and sanguineness resides not in what we know to have but in what we are told we have. We do not know our neighbourhood, we proud, believing owners. Our euphoria arises from the sores of poverty we have endured over centuries, never from the sight of riches we have, riches we have discovered and judiciously inventoried. Whence then comes our euphoria? Are we any cleverer than the foolish man who bought the Eiffel Flats, apparently from Paris’ waif?
Illusion of greatness
Secondly, the intensity of our euphoria beats that of a man or woman wielding a 100 percent share certificate. Do we own our diamond deposits, we the happy and salivating, we the expectant? What is our claim in Mimosa? What is our claim in River Ranch? What is our claim in the known diamond shard of Marange? What shall be our claim on other deposits still to be either known or exploited? Or are we emulating our proud South African black brothers from Soweto who beat their chest yelling, “Oh, see how developed we are”, confident forefinger pointing at Sanlam? Can someone tell us how we who could not produce our own geologists sighted enough to see for us our diamonds, have suddenly found lawyers well-sighted enough to secure our stake in interests that are mining our diamonds? How does our little stake in Mbada or Canadile translate into a full, munching mouth for all of us, great and small?
False pregnancies of the past
I hear we have a 50-50 percent stake in the Marange interests. I hear at Murowa there are Zimbabweans who claim to have about 20 percent of the shareholding on our behalf. I do not know about River Ranch. Yet I am sensible enough to know that this country has mounds and mounds of mining rabble, mounds and mounds of different sizes and shapes akin to ill-gotten pregnancy, but all leaving us with hard-to-notice wombs deflated by sharp hunger, we people of fat, swelling hopes. The fat ones live elsewhere, in faraway lands where our black kind need visas and permits to merit to find work there, work in quarters where they confine their infirm and raving lunatics.
Riches from the tattered philanthropist
The morphology of the shareholding which shall determine the flow of the diamond lustre does not seem to support the euphoria we have been stoking. Our 50 percent stake is owned through ZMDC, the encumbered ZMDC. As a company which has been sued and can never sue, it reserves the right to decide on what dividend to give to Government, itself the surrogate of this nebulous thing called “the people”. Given the history, obligations and state of ZMDC, how much can we expect? Recognising this planning shortfall, Biti tried to make proposals in the budget. At the end of the day, what comes to the fiscus? But what is the nature of the agreement between ZMDC and its partners? Is it foolproof? Have its partners met their own side of the bargain? Are
we not likely to be paid by our own diamond coin? Let the media explore this for us. The President has complained about the integrity-deficit of some individuals associated with ZMDC partners, right from the extraction start. What insurance do we now have?
The elephant in the house
I said we did not know that we had diamonds, which is how De Beers carted out our diamonds to South Africa for so long, with impunity. I am sure our borders were just as manned, our officers worrying more about petty smugglers of mbanje than about those who shipped out our rich diamond ore. Are we any better today, any wiser? The Kimberley Process dealt with known diamond sites. It never dealt with our leaking borders. Where is our Zim-berley Process, to secure our borders which have been so porous that even elephants have been smuggled out screaming, yet unseen, unheard?
Do we know the diamond?
But this is only knowledge as sight. More challenging is knowledge as skills. Do we know the diamond? Or we only know that one rumoured by the storekeeper when he wants to extract small pennies from your marriage vows, by way of that stupid ring we think will keep our love, will protect our affection, keeping it hard and bright like the diamond we think is somewhere in the base metal? What is to know diamonds in an industry where money is made through apt classification of your diamonds? Beyond the rough and rudimentary divide of gem-quality and industrial diamonds, of rough and cut and polished diamonds, what else do we know about this highly mobile and mutable industry? What skills stock do we have, so near to the day of the much awaited sale? How does a man who has no fishing line, who does not know the way to the fish market, dream about a bowl-full of hack fillet?
Not Hammer and Tongues!
I hear gem-quality diamonds come in various classes, hundreds if not thousands of them, on the basis of which classification and parcels are created for auctions. I hear auctions are done per customer per day so customers are afforded time to scrutinise each parcel. We think we will understand this complex industry by going to watch what goes on at Hammer and Tongues? Or at Boka Tobacco Sales Floor? How are we going to protect and enforce value, our value when we do not know how diamonds are assigned values in the market place? Surely, we know there is no goodwill for us, no guardian angels in this industry of venality? If they sought to mug us in broad daylight, why will they not swindle us even more in the thick darkness of our righteous ignorance? The hammer is sure to fall, only against us.
And the complicating politics
Zimbabwe got its diamonds in the dispensation of the inclusive Government. We have different interests yoked together through this makeshift political arrangement. A cursory reading of Biti’s budget, and the debate preceding it, clearly betrays the deep fears and suspicions held by these so-called partners in Government. In this climate of inclusive partnership, a resource, which comes our way, triggers deep suspicions. We saw it with the SDRs. We saw it in successive budgets and the way allocations were interpreted. The ethos in the inclusive Government is more party self-positioning than sound development planning and finance. This is why Biti raised the issue of US$30 million rumoured to have come from earlier diamond sales. This is why the same Biti invites experts to work with Zimra in monitoring diamond sales, indeed why his budget proposes a raft of legislation, all aimed at ensuring the flow is towards the fiscus, which he is in charge of. One may also be tempted to read the same in the fight between him and the RBZ. At the centre of it all is a core question of ensuring transparency and accountability in the utilisation of this bright gold which can easily turn into a curse for our nation.
Remaining at the flea market
All these broad environmentals, not helped by the fact that the diamond industry itself is wistful about what this find from Zimbabwe means in terms of prices on the world market. There are also sobering facts about the whole industry. Uncut diamonds amount to an estimated US$8 billion market. Significantly, this primary market sires a US$30 billion secondary jewellery market, clearly showing where the money of this market is. Those that eat are not those that mine, or those who wash and dust rough diamonds for the flea market of uncut diamonds. It is those that beneficiate. Our hopes and euphoria rest on Zimbabwe’s doubtful status as a diamond trading nation, never as a source of diamond manufacturers, a status that requires more tertiary skills. We have a challenge, a huge challenge which the present euphoria masks.
Enduring enclaves
It is a challenge of national economic development planning and policy, a very delicate science ordinarily, certainly much more complicated in our circumstances of inclusivity and sanctions. Both inclusivity and sanctions have distorted the national planning template, in the process creating false objectives and goals, false gods and prophets. You have Marange or Shurugwi, both historically enclaves of unremitting poverty, suddenly finding themselves leading mining enclaves closer to centres of the world diamond trade than to Dotito or Gutu. The poverty that divided Marange from the rest of us has given way to a value which still does exactly the same. We are an economy so badly truncated, so badly disarticulated and without internal mechanisms for transmitting growth spurts from whatever source. That is why mounds of past mining still left us dormant.
A rich nation with mind of a slave
In our excitement, we have treated diamonds as a trade issue only. It is not even a mining issue, which is why the development of our mining policy is well enclaved from Marange and our fight with KPCS. Through litigation with ACR, we have just woken up to the fact that diamonds beg an investment policy. The KPCS bother has implied a technology and infrastructure policy we do not have. More fundamentally, our flatulent hopes for all to eat from Marange, has raised a development policy issue, the same way that proceeds from Marange and how they shall impact on the whole economy, has raised issues of national savings, national linkages and national investment decisions, all of which imply a coherent set of policies. This is not to talk about national debt policy and an adverse sanctions fighting strategy. One day Biti will come back telling us we must use proceeds from Marange for debt settlement. Or to build our reserves so we improve our appeal to the IMF, we the rich children of Marange! How to lift our thinking bar beyond qualifying as borrowers and groveling recipients of aid, that is the challenge.
The rude glow-fly that cursed the moon
How to address all these concerns I have raised coherently in a policy framework to feed the children, send them to school; to employ adults, allow them disposal incomes big enough to meet basic needs, while allowing them to postpone consumption (to save); to create national savings through public sector, which turn into sensible investments propositions for national wealth creation: all these and much more is what punctures this floating balloon, is what moors extravagant expectations we all seem to be sliding into. In the meantime one hopes we will not all drop the hoe, roast all seed and hey, perform the ultimate act of self-flagellation: that of allowing our cracking feet to take us to the harsh asphalt of cities, all in the hope of plenty. They did so not so far away from us, and are still settling this debt of national folly. We have found diamonds. We still need to find national prosperity. A glow-fly, however bright, should never curse a bright moon.
Icho!
nathaniel.manheru@zimpapers.co.zw

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Alpha Media: The Sounding Bells of Un-Freedom

Alpha Media: The Sounding Bells of Un-Freedom



"Certainly my conscience will serve me to run from this Jew my master. The fiend is at mine elbow and tempts me saying to me ‘Gobbo, Launcelot Gobbo, good Launcelot’, or ‘good Gobbo’, or ‘good Launcelot Gobbo, use your legs, take the start, run away’. My conscience says ‘No; take heed, honest Launcelot; take heed, honest Gobbo', or, as aforesaid, ‘honest Launcelot Gobbo; do not run; scorn running with thy heels’."

Much more constraining to human freedom than actual shackles is a righteous acceptance of continued enslavement. This paradox explains why a horse, long freed from a tether, continues to go round and round a tree, obeying the enchanted perimeter of long-time bondage.

It will not bolt to freedom, no. It has to be whipped hard to escape this enchanted enslavement.

Even then, from its perspective the real danger is the whiplash; it is never the confinement to which it had grown so habituated.

It fears the whip in hand; it hankers after the rider’s gentle but enslaving stroke on its obeisant brow, a stroke celebrated by its mane but so lethal to its inner sense of freedom.

Lessons from Shylock

William Shakespeare knew about and explored this overbearing ambiguity and paradox in the human condition. Those in most need of freedom are the least wanting it.

They hardly recognise it.

This week I open my piece with a quote from the bard’s well-known play, The Merchant of Venice, written between 1596 and 1598.

The character behind the above words is one Launcelot Gobbo, himself a menial servant in the employ of a rich, usurious Jew, Shylock.

Predictably, he is an unhappy servant, under- or not paid at all, overworked and habitually threatened by his master who keeps a tight leash on him.

It is to Launcelot’s great credit that in spite of years of engulfing and begriming oppression, he still has a good glimpse of freedom, manifesting itself as an urge to run away from "this Jew my master".

This Jew my master

The phrase "this Jew my master" does summarise his principal dilemma: a sharp moral tag between revulsion and resentment of oppression personified in "this Jew" on the one hand, and a continuing and consuming sense of subdued obedience to "my master", again symbolised by the invisible indenturing contract tying him to Shylock, on the other.

In this fascinating scene, obedience clashes with rebelliousness as the play retreats from physical, inter-character action, to the interiority of a divided mind.

This split personality is dramatised as the fiend or devil representing Launcelot’s urge to run away, to run to freedom, and Launcelot’s conscience imaged as Divinity which urge him to remain loyal to Shylock, to continue in his harsh employ.

Between divinity and freedom

Therein lies the political import and meaning of the play: the urge for human freedom or the urge against bondage is presented as devilish, while the acceptance and kow-towing to oppression is presented as divine.

Not quite surprising given the Elizabethan world picture where figures of authority, starting with feudal kings, were regarded as God’s deputies.

And for a drawn-out moment, Launcelot Gobbo stands transfixed, unclear whether to obey the devil’s freedom beckon or to accept Divinity through a meek acceptance of structures and motions of oppression.

Generational bondage

Significantly both impulses content with equal and balanced power and compulsion, leaving Launcelot utterly divided, unable to resolve the dilemma, or even move forward.

It is a perplexity anomatopoetically captured by his surname Gobbo, itself a phonetic conundrum!

In the midst of that dilemma, his father – Old Gobbo – happens by, and the tone of the whole play turns from an agonising drama within, to a comical exchange between a jesting son and an old, blind father.

Significantly, Old Gobbo is also looking for "the way to master Jew’s", a clear dramatisation of generational oppression against which any search for any way out ends in a blind alley.

The expectation of the audience is that the arrival of the father should see the son helped out of the vexations of oppression. Yet the father is also looking for the way to that oppression and, what is more, seeks assistance from his son in mapping the way towards it.

Clearly there is no escape, except by way of a cathartic wringing of comical delight in that condition.

Coping through humour

Humour becomes a coping mechanism, through which characters, and through them the playwright, ducks resolution to a core issue.

So, instead of giving his father clear and straightforward direction to "the master Jew’s", Launcelot tells his half-blind father: "Turn up to your right at the next turning, but at the next turning of all, on your left; marry, at the very next turning, turn of no hand, but turn down indirectly to the Jew’s house."

Old Gobbo is very confused and admits that with such a direction and guide, "it will be a hard way to hit", itself an apt summary of the cul-de-sac towards which father and son are headed.

There is no escape from bondage, Shakespeare seems to say.

Cabinet Committees do exist after all

It is quite difficult to grasp where Alpha Media Holdings or ZimInd (what are they?) are headed for.

When they attack those on whom falls the burden of ensuring the public gets truthful information on the state of play of things in Government, you would think as a standard (no pun intended), they have no desire to search for truth.

But see what sets them alight!

Their hard-sell weekly was all over Minister Mpofu, accusing him of misleading the nation on a Cabinet decision on the future of Chiadzwa diamonds.

Needless to say ZimInd does not sit in Cabinet, never will.

Yet it speaks so authoritatively on what transpired in Cabinet; and this on the strength of "high-level sources", a reference to breaching MDC-T ministers, themselves the ailing Alpha Media’s political guardians and benefactors.

"Cabinet did not approve the sale of Marange diamonds," declares ZimInd, quoting "a senior Government minister".

A senior Government minister from a lot that is a mere 16 halting months in Government?

Does one have to grovel so obscenely for such filthy lucre by way of funding and political advertisements, all out of fear of the Daily News which is so gnawed by its own troubles to come soon or threaten anyone?

What is good for the goose . . .

And consistent with its amateurish sources, a Government which in fact sent a whole delegation to Tel Aviv to fight for the right to sell its diamonds, is said to still not have a position, having referred the matter to a Committee of Cabinet.

The matter, we are told, is still "under consideration".

My goodness!

And all of a sudden ZimInd and its sister non-paper, NewsDay, now accept that Cabinet has committees, and that any matters under such committees are still "under consideration", and not concluded to become Government positions.

Or is this only so in respect of matters falling under portfolios of Zanu-PF ministers?

Why was a similar observation made in relation to the Prime Minister and his escapade in South Korea so sinister, an observation founded on hard facts, and not lies such as we are getting from ZimInd in respect of Chiadzwa diamonds?

What is worse, the same stable would tell us day in day out that Chiadzwa diamonds were being looted by Zanu-PF and securocrats, well away from the untainted and untaintable MDC component of Government.

So there is a Cabinet Committee on the matter? Who is in it? Ministers from both formations of the MDC and from Zanu-PF?

All operating at the behest of looting Zanu-PF and its Securocrats?

If so then we do have an Included Party, never an Inclusive Government, do we not?

We lie so openly, so inconsistently? And we dare put on some VMCZ jacket (or junket) to dignify our lies?

Diamonds will be sold

The truth, dear reader, is straightforwardly that Government accepted Minister Mpofu’s report and recommendations for the sale of diamonds.

Diamonds shall be sold.

Even the Kimberley Process expects it and knows full-well that by the time St Petersburg comes, most probably it will be addressing a different issue regarding Chiadzwa diamonds. But Government wants the sale conducted in a transparent and KPCS-compliant manner.

Not because Tel Aviv demanded so, but because the KPCS methodology of disposing of diamonds is well thought out. Zimbabwe subscribes to this methodology and will domesticate and enforce it during all sales.

It also ensures best returns on our diamonds.

This is where the reactivation of the Cabinet Committee on the matter comes in.

It is a reactivation on implementation of the diamond sale, Mr ZimInd Sir, if man you are!

It is not about deciding whether or not to sell diamonds.

We will sell them. That is the story.

Minister Mpofu gave the media indeed the correct position which the public media proceeded to publish.

Falling short on smalls

And by the way, at no point did Zimbabwe risk non-certification.

It only fell short on the smalls of the certification requirements, which is why Chikane made an undertaking to come back a mere week or so after his initial inspection.

Major shortfalls could not have been righted within a week, surely?

He says so in his report.

He repeated the same point in Israel, much to the chagrin of dominion nations.

By the way, the Canadians who now bark on the matter with mustard venom, accepted the second Chikane report and its recommendations well before Israel.

This was during a video conference soon after the report was finished.

They know it.

Canada and bloody minerals of DRC

They know it the same way they know that Canadian companies are not only looting precious minerals in Eastern DRC; they are also funding banditry in the same region to ensure they continue to ship out bloody minerals from Eastern Congo without paying a dime by way of royalties.

I challenge the Canadian envoy here to deny that.

How dare they stand on a decorated rostrum to preach righteousness with that greedy mouth, with those bloody hands?

They want Monuc to outlive its legitimate stay.

They want the DR Congo denied aid and debt relief simply because the DRC has asked them to stop this bloody theft of Africa’s resources.

Need we wonder that their NGOs, taking after their mother government, seek to mug us of proceeds from our diamonds?

Or that Maguwu, a mere suspect in a serious crime involving playing customer to HIS — Hostile Intelligence Service — is turned into a cheap bargaining chip in such a venal enterprise?

Where does he get a foreign account?

Where does he get the protection of mighty foreign states as if he is a captured emissary from Ontario or Massachusetts?

What puts him above due process?

What licenses his lawyer — appropriately surnamed Bere — to publish on Internet a fake diary on the trial?

Is it about defence, justice, truth, or it’s about propaganda and publicity?

Ask the British

And what happens to the rights of all those in the employ of Mbada and Canadile, employees who have soldiered on for months unpaid, uncertain while KPCS, on the instigation of greedy monsters, tergiversates?

What happens to Zimbabweans who must benefit from this God-given endowment?

What happens to members of the KPCS who passed a verdict of compliance in favour of Zimbabwe and her world-class diamond operations?

All that counts for nothing, all for the edification of a mere three countries which think they own and rule the world?

Diamonds will be sold and one hopes the Cabinet Committee will meet this coming Monday to clear the way for a speedy implementation of the decision of Government.

ZimInd will write about it, albeit with utter shame and discredit.

Biti badly needs the money and I see him bearing down heavily on the rest of the Committee members for a quick outcome.

Much more than mere diamonds, this matter has now become an issue of national honour and pride.

We have no history of losing on such matters.

Ask the British.

Banking crisis?

It has been outrage after outrage from Trevor Ncube’s boys.

The same paper that has been cheering Biti on in his mindless lynching of Gono and the RBZ, today bemoans the real possibility of a crisis in the banking sector.

On whose doorstep will blame now be put, tell us ZimInd?

When you threaten to place a Central Bank under receivership, what are you saying about the economy you say you seek to revive?

What are you doing to the Bank’s status and ability to supervise banks?

But that is not my main point.

Unhappy burdens of puppetry

ZimInd’s man of muck delights attacks the Mangoma-led Zimbabwe anti-sanctions team, headed for Brussels. "Mangoma and Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga, who is also a member of the reengagement committee," writes Muckraker, "are serving no useful purpose by going to Brussels empty-handed.

"And why do they think lifting sanctions is a compelling national issue?

"Do you ever hear people on the streets going around saying sanctions must be lifted because they are hurting the country?"

That is Muckraker.

But there is another voice, or more accurately, a variant to the same voice, in the same paper.

ZimInd editor (may his sores rest in internal piece!), Constantine Chimakure, bemoans the futility of the re-engagement team, counseling: "Unless there is the will to address our democratic deficits, it will be foolhardy for anyone to yearn for the EU, Australia and the United States to lift the embargoes."

He knowingly adds: "For the sanctions to be lifted the EU set various benchmarks we were supposed to meet, among them the full implementation of the GPA — a product of our own negotiations that gave birth to the inclusive Government in February 2009."

He conclusively declares: "We need to robustly address our democratic and human rights deficits if the sanctions are to go."

Nothing in between ears

Are these writers – one of them a whole editor – literate? Parties negotiated an agreement we now call the Global Political Agreement, GPA for short.

Among other things, the GPA calls for the lifting of sanctions, calling for a multiparty effort in that direction.

It acknowledges that sanctions are not just hurtful; they are wrong and an attack on the sovereignty of this country.

This is how the re-engagement committee comes about, namely to fulfill an outstanding matter under the GPA, a matter called illegal sanctions from the West.

Now how does a sane person to whom the title

l To Page 6





































of "editor" is ascribed, argue that taking measures to resolve an outstanding issue of GPA will not succeed until the GPA "is implemented to the full"?

Does such a head have something a bit more solid than mere water that takes the shape of the trough carrying it?

How is GPA implemented to the full unless sanctions are removed?

Or is it the European and American GPA which is selective?

And yes, the GPA is ours, indeed "a product of our negotiations".

That is precisely why it cannot be a precondition for lifting sanctions.

Only a requirement for their lifting.

Unless you are very sick upstairs, you cannot raise a decent argument by claiming that sanctions of 2001 were imposed to ensure full implementation of the GPA of September 2008.

It can only be the reasoning of a mindless sycophant. Surely ZimInd handlers expect a bit of clever defence?

Men from Mars

Are these writers — one of them an editor — Zimbabweans?

Do you hear people on the streets going around saying sanctions must be lifted because they are hurting the country, they ask.

Really?

So the same GPA which must be implemented in full is foolish to identify them as inimical to democracy and well-being of Zimbabwe?

So America put in place sanctions to make sure they are so innocuous as not to be a national issue?

And if they are not so hurtful as to become a national issue, why use them to threaten this Government towards fulfilling GPA?

Surely innocuous measures cannot be any leverage against a standing Government?

A whole editor does not realise that the immunisation programme, which hit 80 percent coverage under a Zanu-PF Government before 2000, has now shrunk to 50 percent under an inclusive Government operating in conditions of sanctions?

A whole editor who cannot rid his main story of banks and their liquidity crunch in relation to his own absurd denial of sanctions that exist?

Are these Zanu-PF banks?

A whole editor who cannot understand that the excellent education he got from a Zanu-PF Government can no longer be extended to his own child (if one he has) because of these sanctions?

A whole editor who cannot understand that his own salary comes from donors who sprang up amidst the ravages of sanctions and the associated regime-change agenda?

Is ZimInd not a cog in this big wheel of infamy, indeed an unconditional supporter of anything, everything the West says and does against Zimbabwe, all for conditional funding?

Including denying sanctions which create the very lines of credit that keep AMH afloat, that make AMH editors reflexively wedded to the lies of sanctions-imposing countries no matter how absurd?

Hurting own interests

Are these writers – one of them an editor – capable of remembering anything at all?

Posa went through negotiators who passed it. So did AIPPA and many other pieces of legislation.

The legislative agenda of the inclusive Government has been given these people.

They know it.

Do those at ZimInd ever hear people on the streets going around saying NewsDay must be licensed because its absence is hurting the country?

Does anyone eat NewsDay?

And if people want NewsDay as its owners tell us, why will they not need the removal of that which kills their children, kills welfare, kills jobs and denies them access to credit lines they deserve by dint of membership to international bodies?

And you have a whole editorial comment delighting in how Australia’s nationalist government of Rudd has caved in to exploiting multinationals who will not want to share profits deriving from the exploitation of that country’s natural resources with the Australian citizenry?

This from a newspaper which claims an underdog ownership?

Puppetry is an unhappy condition.

Sanctions everywhere

Which takes me to Launcelot Gobbo and his bondage conundrum.

Here we are: a black African people groaning under illegal white sanctions founded not on a selfless democratic quest for the other, but on very narrow, selfish and racist self-interest.

Our children cannot eat, go to school, get medication, play and grow normal lives of children elsewhere in the world.

We are hurt, visibly hurt, with the devastating effects of those sanctions abundantly there for all to see.

Even those imposing them do actually tell us that indeed they have imposed real, hurtful sanctions against us.

What is more, those from our own side who asked and got those debilitating sanctions do actually acknowledge their hurtful nature and are trying, to varying degrees, to have them lifted: immediately, some demand, in a graduated fashion, others demand.

They were even told those sanctions cannot be removed until the foreign policy goals of countries responsible for imposing them have been met.

Donor applecart

Studies are commissioned, opinion polls taken.

Results do show that over 60 percent of Zimbabweans think sanctions are responsible for undermining public weal.

All these overbearing facts, although registering as scars of bondage on our African Launcelot Gobbo, remain unacknowledged, unspoken, unwritten, for fear of upsetting the donor applecart.

The fiend tells Gobbo to run away from this European master, this Western slaver.

But Gobbo’s divine conscience obstinately counsels otherwise: "Budge not, Launcelot, do not run Gobbo! There are no sanctions! Sing Launcelot. Sing Gobbo."

And so it goes on and on, back and forth, all at the speed and motion of a gyroscope.

Unfreedom, thy name is the Zimbabwe Independent.

Icho!

Friday, 18 June 2010

Hillary Clinton: When the enemy deserves no truth

Hillary Clinton: When the enemy deserves no truth



ZIMBABWE is a very difficult challenge to us and to our policy. It is a country that has been woefully governed and misruled for a number of years now. Congressman Donald Payne … is probably, in the Congress, the most knowledgeable, strongest advocate for African interests. And when he tried to go to Zimbabwe a few months ago — right, Donald? The Government of Zimbabwe would not let him in because they don’t want somebody who has his expertise and experience actually seeing for himself all of the difficulties that are now apparent in Zimbabwe. And it’s very sad. It’s a tragedy. And we are working hard with South Africa, with the African Union, with other countries to try to assist the people of Zimbabwe. We’re doing primarily humanitarian assistance. There is a great need for food like corn or corn meal or cooking oil, just the basics that have been destroyed in a country that used to be able to not only feed itself but export food…."

God’s sculpting hand

Just the other day I drove past Gweru, on my way back to Harare. A few minutes after Connemara, you hit a point along the highway, which has been made artificially high by a rail fly-over. There, you have a commanding view. To your left, westwards, all is a gentle, expansive stretch of green musasa treetops, only finally broken by a range of hills running parallel to the highway. I am told the hills mark the backbone of this land, better known as the Great Dyke, or Sungamusana yenyika yeDzimbabwe. Correctly, this great backbone traverses the country, mathematically snaking its way towards the edges of Gweru, the country’s centre-point. Look to the right, eastwards, and you see even and gentle nature in its full, verdurous green, stretching lazily and endlessly out and beyond, as if to touch the hemp of the skies, apparently in a never-to-be-fulfilled mating embrace. You see settled-ness, an earthen rooted-ness and stubborn refusal to be pushed around.

Even the usually raging and furious Munyati River makes a last detour, mopping its brow, massaging its feet from miles of a wet meander. As it catches a breath, it drops bright and precious stones that stoke and spur human avarice. That particular highpoint, I am told, separates a huge, sprawling deposit of nickel, which Bindura Nickel is yet to mine, after several politically motivated false starts. But that is a subject for another day. What detained me there for a while was the sheer overawing beauty of this stretch of nature which must have taken a careful, sculpting hand of Divinity, the careful hand of an Aesthete God. Took a kind and generous God who gave all to our forbears. Took the sheer cheek and boldness of Mugabe and his Zanu (PF) to liberate, restore and in true God’s Will, to return. Ah, but your land is beautiful, blessed Zimbabwean!

From the harsh notes of vuvuzelas

Clearly a drowning man has no time for the beautiful lily; elders are quick to tell you. Nathaniel Manheru is still standing, as Mungoshi would say, completely unmoved after last week’s instalment that triggered bee-like political vuvuzelas. Gentle reader, rest assured it is all din for absolutely no sin committed. The requiem is very far, its sad notes hardly composed. That means we continue — you and me — cloned by facts, truth and the love of country.

Hillary’s pain for Payne

The above quote comes from some powerful lady called Hillary Clinton. Yes, the United States of America Foreign Affairs minister, better known as Secretary of State in America’s strange political parlance. She is describing you beautiful Zimbabwe which from the information fed her, had the cheek to deny one Donald Payne, a US Congressman Hillary opted to describe as "strongest advocate of African interests", from visiting. I hope he is that, to all Africans, whether on the continent or in America.

Let us lay the facts. Donald Payne is an African-African American Congressman who was part and parcel of the congressional team, which worked with the MDC to draft and push for sanctions against this country. Hillary Clinton, then a Senator, was part of that thrust, her feelings having been hurt once by President Mugabe. The President had, in Hillary’s reckoning, the un-civility to pair her up with his wife, First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe, when she paid a visit to this country as wife of William Clinton, then the sitting President of the United States of America. She had rather the President had received and attended to her personally, whatever that meant. The President had to treat her with the decorum and ceremony of a Head of State, not as a Head of State’s wife. She will not forgive that impudence. She carried that "grievance" to the State Department, it now seems.

Never barred, never…

Sorry, the subject is Donald Payne. Donald Payne has been here repeatedly from last year to this year. I can count at least four times, with the first round of his visit being fairly secretive. On all but one occasion — the last occasion being early this year — he met with the country’s leadership, including President Robert Mugabe. In fact, he played harbinger to a Congressional delegation, which visited the country on at least two occasions thereafter. His last visit was not graced with Presidential attention precisely because he himself was in a hurry and could not wait for an encounter with the President at the latter’s convenience. But he met with the Prime Minister and was too haughty to meet with Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara towards whom he showed obvious contempt. The man was never barred from entering the country. Never, never, ever for all the insuperable damage he and his team inflicted on this country. This whole so-called revised ZDERA, itself a mere variant monstrosity from the so-called "advocate of African interests", emerges from this unlimited access and his clever strategy of using such access to legitimise more damage to this country, seemingly with the consent of the damaged. So, the man has been here, unhindered, and hey, see what good turn we have deserved from him!

The enemy deserves no truth

Now, America has an ambassador here. A full ambassador, who writes and communicates plain, good English. America has a mission here. A fully-staffed, vast mission which is spacious enough to accommodate all its mischief against gracious hosts. Its spooks are here, apparently in industrial quantity. We protect this mission 24 hours, protected it so well a few years back when Al Qaeda had planned to hit Dar, Nairobi and Harare simultaneously. In all the visits of Pain — sorry, Payne, the Mission, the Ambassador, was involved. And I am talking about visits by corporeal bodies, not visitations by apparitions. Ambassador Ray and his staff were there in body, hopefully in American spirit. Now, why would a whole American Secretary of State whose Office is fully represented here get it all so wrong, working herself into a self-righteous frenzy on so wrong a premise? Why? And why would Payne painfully remain silent to so bold a lie? Why? And this lie uttered on 14th June, 2010, remains uncorrected to this day, a good five days before your reading of this column? Does truth really matter to America and her Government? Do African interests matter at all? Does Zimbabwe matter at all? Does this American Ambassador value honest dealings between the two countries? What else about Zimbabwe is America righteously wrong, buoyed by unchallenged falsehoods?

Wonderful food, wonderful sanctions.

In that same pre-staged globally televised calumny against Zimbabwe, Hillary Clinton pharisaically presents in the same breath the "wonderful" food America is giving "starving" Zimbabweans, and the equally "wonderful" sanctions America has granted the sanctions-loving Mugabe regime and its commercial entities! She proceeded: "So on the one hand, we’re trying to help the people of Zimbabwe get through a very difficult time. On the other hand, we’re trying to keep pressure on the leadership. We rely heavily on the civil society to deliver programs that can get the aid in fairly and apolitically so that our aid is not, basically, hijacked by the government and people connected to the government. I’ve had two meetings with Prime Minister Tsvangirai in the last year to try to send a message that we support reform in Zimbabwe, that we support elections that will actually be followed because there’s no doubt in most of our minds that Mugabe’s party did not win that first round of elections a year-plus ago."

Incomprehensible America

How is one to comprehend America? The sanctions are for "the Mugabe regime" which has, apparently, a Prime Minister who is not part of that condemnation and stricture. Aid which divides the country into Zanu (PF) and MDC-T, divides Government into the President and the Prime Minister, divides the leadership into Mugabe and Tsvangirai, all to be delivered by political NGOs, still remains "fair and apolitical"! Above all, sanctions against a government, sanctions against all commercial entities associated with that Government, somehow translate to targeted sanctions that "help the people of Zimbabwe get through a very difficult time"! Amazing paradoxes from a superpower. I hope the gentle reader notices that the script and language of Collin Powell way back in 2001 is exactly the script and language of Hillary Clinton. This is how far Obama has morphed into a Bush, how black has become white, indeed how an African has become an American. It is a great colour puzzle.

"Britain has to act first".

Not so with Greg Mills and Terence McNamee, themselves by-now doubting proponents of sanctions as a viable vehicle for regime change. For all that the new British foreign Secretary, William Hague, is saying, these two South African-based Eurocentric scholars are beginning to see the light: "The removal of the Labour Party from power in the United Kingdom last month has opened the best opportunity in a decade to repair Britain’s relationship with Zimbabwe. But Britain has to act first . . . The most constructive role Britain, the former colonial power, could play would be to encourage other major donors to Zimbabwe — namely the US, Canada, and leading European countries — to help lift sanctions against the country. Such a step would go a long way to repairing the icy relationship between Zimbabwe and Britain." Noting that these

sanctions "have become more of a helpful tool for Mugabe and his Zanu (PF) party than a hindrance", the two scholars admit that latest polls indicate that "some 60 percent of Zimbabweans… believe that sanctions are damaging their economy." Does Hillary read such stuff too? Or her man here? Or the fishmongers?

Friends Against Zimbabwe

Talking about the Fishmongers – a reference to the unholy alliance of US, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the European Commission — do representatives of these countries realise that their choice of a seemingly less smelly appellation of Friends of Zimbabwe (FOZ), does place them firmly and fully into the Rhodesian ethos, which we know them to belong anyway? UDI Rhodesia stood and fought for white colonial settler rights here. It got its succour from the United States of America, which continued to support the regime both overtly and covertly. The US administration continued to buy minerals from this country, including chrome, thereby keeping Rhodesia’s revenues healthy for repression and suppression here. American arms shot and blew us up here, as did her mercenaries. Her congressmen too, helped Rhodesia, including one Feingold who was later to play an instrumental role in crafting ZDERA. He supported Ian Smith and Muzorewa’s Zimbabwe-Rhodesia. Germany supplied one machine gun notoriously called the Bren Gun, which mowed countless natives in that long war of Independence. France was here, doing roaring business, fighting alongside Rhodesians. For Britain, it is plain, obvious and manifold.

Remember Friends of Rhodesia?

Once the United Nations sanctions were in place — and Europe and America observed these more in breach than in compliance — the Rhodesians kneaded a sanctions-busting strategy based on Rhodesia’s natural attractions and wildlife resource. They mounted a world-wide campaign of enlisting people-to-Rhodesia support, through which they kept tourism flowing both for revenue and also as a fa├žade for sanctions busting. This world-wide campaign for racist fellowship on a seemingly apolitical tourism platform, they called Friends of Rhodesia, FOR for short. Rhodesian tobacco barons and sanctions-busting heroes, like C.G. Tracey, were at the helm of this highly successful white thing, which kept white opinions on hard, racist Rhodesia remarkably warmer, softer and supportive like cotton wool. We Africans bled and no amount of human rights outrage was condemnable. Journalists like Clive Wilson — yes, Trevor Ncube’s Clive Wilson — pounded keyboards for "Africa Calls from Rhodesia", FOR’s prime soft propaganda vehicle. Today, FOR has transfigured to FOZ, all to stress that the gamekeeper has become the poacher. The better term for the fishmongers is FAZ, Friends Against Zimbabwe.

One lucky Tendai, Frank Tagarira

Talking about Friends of Zimbabwe, did anyone see a piece on someone called Tendai Frank Tagarira, 26, who seems luckier than his country Zimbabwe. This unknown quantity is introduced as a Zimbabwean writer who has fled "persecution in his homeland", all the way to the warm arms of kindly Danes. Frank is set to live long and large, thanks to what the Danes call an "all-expenses-paid-for-two-year-refuge-for-foreign-artists"! This Danish largesse translates to a cool US$1 660,00 tax-free monthly grant, as well as having rent covered by the City Council. All told, Frank will cost Denmark US$106 100,00 as payment for authoring "several critical books dealing with the effects of the Robert Mugabe dictatorship in Zimbabwe." At 26, it means blessed Frank was 16 in 2000 when Mugabe traumatised his otherwise free people by giving them back their stolen land! Roughly that puts him in form three then. And if he was able enough to finish form four, he would have done so at 17. Add another three years of University and you have a 22-year old. Between then and now, he has written "several critical books" on Mugabe’s dictatorship! And where are the books? "Tagarira says no publisher will release his books in his native country for fear of reprisals," runs the report on this great Zimbabwean, so famous abroad, so unknown at home. Frank, I have warm advice for you brother: eat, eat and eat their money until your cheeks begin to tremble with the slightest shift of your by-then-obese-frame. Once full, drop stout stool on foolish Denmark’s fontanel and nimbly run out of their little country! It is cold and unliveable anyway. But make sure you run very fast. They are the Barbarians of old history!

When malice outstrips sense

I was reading a lengthy and boring report from some Canadian intelligence front called Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) on our diamonds. I will have occasion to sink my teeth into it next week. For now, just a bit of nzwisa. The Canadians want to nail Zimbabwe as a source of conflict diamonds, as defined by the Kimberly Process. To their frustration, they discover the Kimberly process defines conflict diamonds as "rough diamonds used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments." It is a definition that squats obscenely atop the first accused, Zimbabwe. And the first accused must, at any rate, be convicted. With remarkable Canadian semantic deftness wearing the colour of rich malice, PAC writes: "But that interpretation fails to recognise the current political realities of Zimbabwe, or consider how, and to what ends, political elites within Zanu (PF) are using diamonds to both jockey for power in a post-Mugabe era and destabilise the Government of National Unity, created in February 2009 with the inclusion of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). These political elites are intimately tied to Zimbabwe’s military establishment, the Joint Operations Command, and as such constitute a "rebel movement" opposed to the democratic governance of Zimbabwe." Uuhh, profound thoughts indeed. How low can one sink, how bold can white malice ever become?

Will malicious Canada pay?

In the meantime, the same week of this outrage, Canada’s New Dawn acquires 89 percent interest in the London-listed Central Africa Gold (CAG), meaning that over and above Turk and Angelus Golf mines close to Bulawayo, New Dawn is set to control the Kadoma-based Dalny and Venice, Golden Quarry located south-east of Gweru, as well as Camperdown and Old Nic mines. The Canadians are set to ship out 50 to 60 000 ounces of gold in the next 18 months, peaking at 250 000 ounces within five years. Amazing, angelic Zimbabwe, so abused yet so generous. Kuchazove riiniko isu vaNyai tichitambura?

Icho!

l nathaniel.manheru@zimpapers.co.zw

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Tsvangirai: From east without wisdom.

Prime Minister: From East without wisdom



I AM happy that News Day is out, the latest new kid on the street (I never said street kid!).

We welcome the new child to the family of ideas.

Let her thrive as per her worth. And I welcome this new baby from Trevor in the true spirit of a plural press. I mean plural press which I repeatedly tell people cannot be a matter of numbers, a numerical magnitude.

Plural press is a matter of perspective or distinct points of view in competition. Picture a choir obviously with many choristers. They sing the same song, to the same conductor. They cannot be plural, surely. They are many throats striving to produce one melody, or many breaths uniformly belched, fouling the air in one direction.

The lyrics are one, the notes the same, tones and pitches admittedly different, but all modulated to blend to one melodic outcome.

Propaganda choristers

From a Third Worlder, CNN, BBC, France 24 and the rest are mere tones in one propaganda melody from the imperial West. They blend; they harmonise, all following one trajectory, to one end: subjugation of the other. Same stories, same weather, same footage, same clock and same perspective: imperious. These have given us more channels, but never more media, more ideas, more voices. It is Goebbels perfected, Goebbels on a planetary scale. And of course in the kindergarten are little broadcasters such as SABC Africa, with its ventriloqual dullness. But pit all this against Russia’s Russia Today (RT). Or against China’s CCTV9. Iran’s Press TV, then you begin to have plurality. In Iran’s Press TV, Russia’s RT and China’s CCTV9, the world’s dissidents, the world’s nonconformists, have regained a voice, a platform.

Suckling from a poisonous adder

We have in this country, publishers who have suckled from the politician’s poisonous adder.

They think to have a plural media is not to have The Herald at all. They think to have a plural media is not to have ZBC at all. Both must drown and only then is a media Canaan reached. The one must come; the other must drown, disappear. We have publishers who think to be independent is to be hostile to Zanu (PF), hostile to Government. Publishers who think to fornicate with MDC, fall madly in love with the never-never government MDC will put together someday nowhere, is the acme of independence. Yet to hate Zanu (PF), and to love MDC-T, is to obey the same impulse.

It is to be in the arms of the same forces who contest power, lose it, win it, or even share it, as has happened now. It is not to found an independent media; it is not to build a plural media. Rather, it is to be shaped by the first estate into its perfect appendage; a mere footnote of power, a lace on power’s soiled petticoat.

Judith and her crew

And the auguries are not very good for our publishers. The meeting, which took place a little over a week ago upon the Prime Minister’s return from Korea, is worrisome. Set in Pretoria, organised by Judith Todd and Rylander, attended by the Prime Minister and the likes of Basildon Peta, the gathering celebrated the registration of five new titles, not as genuflection to values of press freedom, but as an expression of relief that MDC-T had made yet another difficult step towards laying infrastructure for the next elections. Mari takaruka, came the refrain as politicians and minions alike, paid tribute to Sweden, America, Germany and Holland for availing money for MDC-T’s media projects, ahead of elections. There is lots of money to throw about and publishers, beware!

A fight on waves

We will see lots of media-related projects for the MDC-T, as that party’s programme of using governmental processes to further its campaign goals pans out. To this party, all the Commissions are a transfer of its implementing machinery from Harvest House to Government. They must come under it and hence frantic efforts to subdue them. The next polls will be fought on the waves, which is why Econet, and its card-carrying owner, Strive Masiyiwa, are so critical to the MDC-T. We wait for a new propaganda service, which MDC-T seeks to unveil on June 14, using Masiyiwa’s network, through a toll-free facility. Thank God cellular licenses are up for renewal and Government has to deal with all manner of mischief.

A spate so public

This week saw a loud conflict between the Prime Minister and President Mugabe’s spokesman, George Charamba. The conflict is over the Prime Minister’s recent trip to South Korea, during which he claimed to have signed a BIPPA with the host country. The spokesperson says no, nothing of that sort happened. The Prime Minister says no, the spokesperson is undermining his Office, in the process threatening disciplinary action. Charamba will not retract, and dares the Prime Minister.

What BIPPA?

Let us lay the facts.

BIPPAS are about relations between two countries intent on an investment relationship. They bind two governments, two peoples really. They are internationally enforced, which is what makes them serious documents. They have to be ratified by Parliament. Governments take BIPPAS very seriously. In our case, they are an inter-ministerial affair, with Economic Planning taking the lead. The idea is to make sure the country is not prejudiced.

The lead Ministry is expected to draw up broad principles which are discussed by a Committee of Cabinet on Legislation called CCL. These principles subsequently guide the Attorney General as he prepares a draft BIPPA document, working closely with the lead ministry. The draft goes back to CCL for another scrutiny and possible changes. It is only when the CCL is satisfied that the matter is booked with the Chief Secretary for tabling in Cabinet.

Borrowed powers, borrowed robes

Cabinet will in turn look at the draft which is presented by chairman of CCL, Justice Minister Chinamasa. More changes, or even rejection, until Cabinet is satisfied. Only then does the President feel empowered to grant signing powers to the lead Minister, in this case Minister Mangoma. I have simplified complex process, but this helps give a feel of the general drift of things. The responsible Minister will only get signing powers from the President who wields them by dint of the Constitution. No minister wields such powers inherently. They devolve from the President who remains solely responsible for their use. In terms of our laws, the Prime Minister has no such powers.

The tortoise that shat on a flying bird

Relating all this to the matter on hand, Cabinet should have affirmed a draft document from CCL on a probable BIPPA with South Korea, on the strength of which the President would then have delegated signing powers to Minister Mangoma. And delegated authority cannot be further delegated by the immediate beneficiary to another. You cannot parcel out powers you do not own. It is that simple. Equally, you cannot delegate power upwards. A tortoise cannot drop dung on an eagle in flight. Minister Mangoma could not delegate delegated powers to another Minister – ordinary or prime. These are not his powers in the first place, and Minister Gorden Moyo — the Prime Minister’s killer-man — appears to be having difficulties in comprehending that elementary rule.

Flowing against gravity

And since the Prime Minister is the one who took the ill-fated decision to proceed with the signing ceremony, apparently against advice from Foreign Affairs through Ambassador Stuart Comberbach, it means Minister Mangoma is assumed to have delegated the President’s powers upwards, to his senior, who in turn poured down those same borrowed powers to another Minister, Professor Dzinotyiwei. I am surprised that after such giddy flight, there was still enough power left for him to finish writing his long surname! In theory the good professor would have used profoundly attenuated powers, powers badly fatigued by the long, tortuous road to him. Such powers have no spark, only trouble for the haver! Surely if the President knew about this assignment, he would have released Minister Mangoma to go and do the job, or alternatively, given powers of attorney to Minister Dzinotyiwei as a Minister of Government?

Where is the document?

But all this is to take matters to far, in fact to be too generous with a process so fraught, so drunk. Cabinet does not have before it any draft BIPPA document with South Korea. It may, some day, but presently there is no such document put before it by the Chief Secretary. That it is there at CCL level can only be a rumour to the President and Prime Minister, both of whom are not members of that Committee. Matters must come before them to exist. They haven’t. I fail to see Minister Moyo’s point when he asserts that the document came before CCL. It could have, for all we know. But so what? That does not make it a document of Government.

It makes it a document in Government. And there are many documents generated every single day in Government. In any case and quite logically, a committee of Cabinet is not Cabinet itself. Surely Honourable Moyo is profound enough to know that? If not, God help us!

What everybody knew

I repeat: the damn thing is not before Cabinet. Ask Honourable Chinamasa as has done I, Nhataniyere, the truly begotten son of dark Night! The Prime Minister knows that. Gorden Moyo knows that. Foreign Affairs dutifully reminded the Prime Minister about that. And at some point the Prime Minister appeared to have understood that.

Until a great happening took over and he chose — last minute — to go ahead with the mock signing ceremony, regardless. The Koreans knew that, as did our Honorary Consular General who did the dutiful. Their ambassador here knows that there is no documentation for a BIPPA between his country and my Zimbabwe. Still the Prime Minister went ahead, adding "zvimwe zvese tichazonozvigadzirisa kumusha." He knew perfectly well his actions we fraught with legal and procedural deficits. But like the proverbial fly, he chose to follow the corpse into the grave. See where he is now!

Renegotiating GPA by misdeeds

Yet his actions sought to bind this country and the Government he is a part of. The agreement touches on our strategic minerals, something South Korea wants. Yet the Prime Minister’s actions undermined the very Constitution he swore to uphold. He undermined the authority of the President, usurped his powers in fact. Apart from pretending to devolve powers he does not have, he called himself "head of Government", which he is not. His actions in South Korea amount to the first material step towards turning this self-adulatory appellation his obliging minions wrongly shower him with, into concrete, executive action at the expense of the President and the Constitution. It is an attempt to renegotiate the GPA and a new constitution by precedent-setting misdeeds! Actions calculated to place the man above Cabinet, to embolden him in intercepting documents still in the mill, documents well not before him.

Repairing life after burial

Let us situate this misbehaviour. Frankly, the problem is larger its portents too serious to be ignored. Firstly, this is the conduct of a man within striking distance of power, yet exhibiting such glib deference to the law and processes. He does not seem to know that this thing called government is a bundle of sensitive rules and procedures, the violation of which draws a line between democracy and dictatorship. Laws and procedures check power, while legitimising its exercise. And power is no toy. When a man proceeds to do the unlawful, the un-procedural, on the proviso that tichazvigadzira pasure, what stops him from condemning life in the hope of repairing it after burial?

Set roles, willy-nilly

Secondly, for quite some time and on a number of trips, the Prime Minister has donned the garb of Government, drawn resources of the State, only to chase matters that have nothing to do with the interests of the State. He did so twice in America; did so in Europe and has now done so again in South Korea. Don’t get me wrong.

The Prime Minister can chase any matter of interest to him, in line with the bundle of roles that make up his public personality.

He leads a party; he is a prime minister; he is a father, a lover and all. But each role comes with its own identity, resources and mandate. He is free to do anything as leader of his Party, his actions only drawing the concern of his Party members. But as a Government functionary, he is not free to do anything he pleases, his way and in his style.

He plays preordained roles, to rules that have to be obeyed, willy-nilly.

Dismissed at will, recalled at whim

As Prime Minister of this country, you do not draw Government resources, wear the authority of the State, only to undermine that same State you serve. The Prime Minister is in this shabby habit of summarily dismissing ambassadors of Zimbabwe from meetings with foreigners, meetings in which he purports to be pursuing interests of the State. He did that in Washington, in Europe and lately in South Korea. Our ambassadors are dismissed at will, recalled at whim, to serve a Prime Minister who does not seem to know when to be Prime Minister, when to be a leader of a political party and when to be a private citizen. And all these whimsical decisions are done in front of foreigners to whom these ambassadors present credentials, with whom these ambassadors transact inter-state business.

Now, tell me which State respects an ambassador who is sacked, reinstated, sacked, sacked, reinstated in one day by his Principals? A Prime Minister of this country humiliates his own ambassador until his host asks the whereabouts of that ambassador? A Prime Minister who commits his entire programme to some white American woman unknown to his Government? Can that be Government business? Why should it not be known by the envoy of Zimbabwe? Who follows up when the Prime Minister has gone back? And I am not talking of junior ambassadors at all. I am talking of men and women who are synonymous with diplomacy as we have known it since Independence. I challenge the Prime Minister to give this nation the value of his travels abroad.

The day Trudy ran the President

Not so with the President. Recently, he went to Senegal where MDC-M’s Trudy Stevenson is Zimbabwe’s ambassador. She not only shaped the President’s programme; she dictated where the President went, and with whom; determined what he ate, including eating in her home, from her pots. Why does the Prime Minister humiliate senior career diplomats, substituting them with foreigners or those small, inexperienced boys in his Office when he purports to be doing Government work? Is that not undermining Government, taking advantage of it in fact? Are principals going to meet over that? Is it any surprise that Carson can afford to abuse our Mapuranga on the day we mark Africa and her futures?

Angering MDC-T leader,

protecting office of PM

The Prime Minister is free to walk the world, sourcing funding for his cause. But he goes on such errands as the president of MDC-T, never as the Prime Minister of this country. He should never levy prime ministerial deference from us for errands that cut him out as a leader of a political party. We may not belong to his party, may not believe in his cause which has spawned so much suffering for the Zimbabwean people. It is only when he fulfils his role as Prime Minister of this country that we doff and defer to him. Not this. Not this, this his bad habit of seeking to augment his mandate, of seeking to renegotiate the GPA, of seeking to rewrite the Constitution through calculated misdeeds.

Unwise from the East

Frankly, the conduct of the Prime Minister in South Korea makes one wonder whether at all he went there on Government business.

The honorary degree he got from his Korean counterpart’s former university is his to have, his to enjoy. It does not relieve pressure from a struggling family living in Mbare. The one-student-per-year scholarship he got from the Koreans will, quite predictably, go to his party activists. It is not like the Presidential Programme that has educated thousands, including one of the Prime Minister’s own. The money he got there is going to his own party. It feeds not a single victim of the sanctions he asked for and got.

The strategy of using third nations to channel resources to his party is an American one. It is not Zimbabwean. Equally his role in checkmating China in Zimbabwe, in defeating Zimbabwe’s Look East policy using South Korea as a springboard, satisfies America and her ignoble global calculations. Zimbabwe profits nothing from it. And his search for a greater symbolism for his person helps his party, not Zimbabwe. Mister Prime Minister, those from the East usually came back wiser.

Icho!

l nathaniel.manheru@zimpapers.co.zw