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

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