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.


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.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pragniesz szczęścia swojej rodziny?

Przyłącz się do Wspólnoty Mieszkańców Wszechświata.
Wspólnota Mieszkańców Wszechświata wprowadzi w czasie jednej kadencji
w kraju, w którym będzie posiadała dostateczną władzę:

1.- Bezwarunkową Amnestię dla wszystkich osób przebywających w miejscach pozbawienia ich wolności z wyłączeniem osób, które naruszyły
prawa uznane za zbrodnie opisane w Konstytucji Rzeczpospolitej
2.- Bezwarunkową Amnestię dla wszystkich osób posiadających długi wobec Skarbu Państwa.
3.- Dodatni budżet państwa czyli przynoszący zysk w postaci dywidend obywatelom tego kraju.
4.- Prawa zapisane w Konstytucji Mieszkańców Planety Ziemia.