Tuesday, 24 April 2018

"Zimbabwe is open for business!" cried ED in Davos, SA, ... now ZITF - still no investors, why

For the last 38 years Zimbabwe’s economy has been in decline and yet year on year without failure our political leaders have said steadfastly refused to even acknowledge the decline and talked of economic doom. When they were finally forced to acknowledge the economic decline, they have talked how they had fit on the answers to guarantee economic recovery.

If the country’s economic problems had been dealt with openly and honestly, in which failure was acknowledge and those responsible held to democratic account, the country would not be in the mess it is in today. Zimbabwe’s economy is in total meltdown. Unemployment is a nauseating 90% and has been 80% plus for the last decade already. Worse still, there is no reason to believe things are ever going to improve because, instead of dealing with country’s problems honestly, we continue to hear the same empty promises founded on conjuncture and wishful thinking.

“The ZITF remains an important platform to promote trade and investment for Zimbabwe, and is quite strategic under the new economic order of Government,” said President Mnangagwa. He was opened 59th Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF).

“The theme for ZITF 2018, "Sustainable Industrial Development: Inclusive-Competitive-Collaborative" articulates an important pillar of the new trajectory that has prioritised industrialisation to contribute to sustained economic recovery of Zimbabwe.

“The Government is making significant strides to put in place and effect viable policies and strategies to improve the business operating environment and address challenges that have affected industrial development and growth. Attracting both domestic and foreign investments, mobilising funding for industrial development, supporting the agriculture and mining sectors, and infrastructure development, are key priority areas of focus expected to help attain sustained economic growth and development.

But that is just the point, you keep talking of “the new economic order”, conducive to economic recovery, when there no such order and thus the recovery will remain a mirage!

Mr President, for the last five months, you have been selling the nation and the world at large the notion that the removal of Robert Mugabe from the presidency, booting a few of his G40 friends from power and the scrapping of a few obnoxious laws have completely transformed Zimbabwe. The country has shed-off its pariah state ruled by thugs status to become a democratic nation given to holding free elections and to upholding the rule of law. If all these things have happened, they would certainly constitute a new order; none of them have happened!

The regime says it has “zero tolerance policy towards corruption”. Yes, some G40 Zanu PF members have been arrested but no one else. It is nonsensical to even suggest that only G40 faction members in the party were corrupt. It is no secret that many of the November 2017 coup plotter also benefited of the wholesale looting of Chiadzwa and Marange diamonds. Whilst some people have since been brought before a Parliamentary Committee investigating the looting, the Army top brass is yet to do so. 

The “new dispensation”, as President Mnangagwa and his coup junta want to call themselves, had the golden opportunity to prove, beyond all doubt, that it was not the same corrupt, vote rigging and ruthless thugs by keeping its promise to hold free, fair and credible elections. The regime has time and time again scuffed its lines!

President Mnangagwa appointed retired Major Engelbert Rugeje, Zanu PF National Political Commissar. Rugeje in notorious for having led the Zanu PF military and party thugs who harassed, beat, rape and even murdered civilians in the election mayhem of 2008. The party was punishing the people for rejecting Mugabe in the earlier vote. The wanton violence of that year has been the benchmark of the nauseating heights of political barbarism Zanu PF would climb in its resolve to retain power at all cost. If President Mnangagwa was serious about transforming Zanu PF, then why would he appoint a notorious political thug to head the party’s organization, education and indoctrination! 

President Mnangagwa bought and dished out the twin cab trucks to all the country’s 282 Chiefs; Robert Mugabe had already promised to do this before he was deposed. Everyone knows that the Chiefs have always done a sterling job of carolling and frog marching rural voters to vote for Zanu PF. ED was making the down payment to the Chiefs to make sure they never tire!

The regime has refused to implement even one of the many democratic reforms Zanu PF had agreed to at the start 2008 GNU. It is impossible to see how the country can have free and fair elections without a free media, verifiable voters’ roll, independent ZEC, with the Army and Police meddling in the election process, etc.

President Mnangagwa has made his trademark “Zimbabwe is open for business!” proclamation from every platform, for these last five months. Sadly, there have been very few foreign and local investors who have taken up the invitation for one simple reason, they are not convinced Zimbabwe has changed.

No investors like to do business in a country that rigs elections and the next regime change can only be yet another military coup!

“I wish to reiterate that Zimbabwe is Open for Business. Both domestic and foreign investors are welcome to invest and do business in Zimbabwe and tap the diverse opportunities offered by all sectors of industry including investing in Special Economic Zones and infrastructure development,” continue President Mnangagwa.

Well, you can reiterate you call a thousand times a day, if you wish; no investors are coming. The idea that the November coup could ever transformer Zanu PF is laughable!

After 38 years of enjoying absolute political power, murderous abuse of power and some of the worst cases of looting in human history Zanu PF thugs have become addicted to power and the luxuries it brought along; Mnangagwa and the junta stage the coup, risking their very lives, because they could not bear the prospect of giving it all up. The junta has one additional reason why it cannot hold free and fair elections and risk losing to the opposition, with a dirty past, they can imagine the nightmare of having it all come out!

The nearly four decades in power had allowed Zanu PF dictatorship to grow into a monster in both numerical head count and in political power as the party’s influence extended its reach into every section and fa├žade of the nation. The rot in the leaders was so deep set the party could only be transformed by uprooting the corrupt, vote rigging and tyrannical members. The November coup boot out of the party Robert Mugabe and a dozen or so others – nowhere near enough to justify President Mnangagwa’s claim the party was a “new dispensation”.

The party’s refusal to give up its dictatorial powers including the carte blanche power to rig elections has confirm Zanu PF has not change one bit; it is still a party of corrupt vote-rigging thugs.

So, as long as the “new dispensation”, “new era”, “new trajectory”, “new economic order”, remain fragments of President Mnangagwa and his coup junta’s imagination, no different from many imaginary changes by Robert Mugabe and his cronies; economic recovery will too remain a mirage. With unemployment already at 90%, ¾ of the people living on US$1.00 or less a day, etc. Zimbabwe cannot afford another rigged elections and another five more years celebrating imaginary economic recovery because real people need real jobs!

The booting out of Robert Mugabe from Zanu PF, influential as he clearly was, was not enough to transform Zimbabwe from a pariah state to a democratic one “open for business. Just as one swallow does not constitute a summer, Zanu PF will have to hold free, fair and credible elections to prove its Damascene democratic claims are not just a figment of President Mnangagwa’s wishful thinking.

Monday, 23 April 2018

"If Mukanya is a human rights defender, why did he run away?" ask Chinehasha P Guramatunhu

“If indeed Mukanya is a human rights  defender and combatant, why did he not stand with the masses when the old era was running roughshod over them?” asked Tondorindo Chinehasha, dismissively, in Bulawayo 24.

Thomas Mapfumo is a human rights defender and combatant and has proven his mettle a thousand times and a thousand times again. He has stood up tall and dared to criticize the regime for riding roughshod over the people’s rights and dreams when he was in the country and continued to do the same when he was outside the country.

We must dismiss the idiotic definition of the only worthy human rights defenders as those who never left the country “and stood with the masses” with the contempt it deserves. Are we to discard all the contributions made by Mapfumo and hundreds of thousands of others, Zimbabweans and none-Zimbabweans alike, are making every day in the fight for a just Zimbabwe just because they are not in Zimbabwe?

Even if Mapfumo had not lifted a finger to highlight the suffering of Zimbabweans from the minute he left the country; are we going to throw away all the good he has done in the past just because he is no long standing with the masses?

People like Chinehasha are quick at making a mountain out of a mole hill, they want the fact that, unlike Mapfumo, they have never left the country turned into a virtue. Ask them to name even one thing they have accomplished in all their years standing with the masses and they cannot.

“Indeed, cowards die early or is it not dead man walking? Brave men and women went through the 'ovens of trials and tribulations' and came out victorious, now you get the lily hearted coming out of their fox holes to claim the crown and mantel, hypocrites,” continued Chinehasha. 

Operation restore legacy was about restoring the dictatorial powers to loot, rig elections and use wanton violence to Emmerson Mnangagwa and the others in the Join Operation Command (JOC), the junta composed of the top brass in the Police, Army, CIO and Prison Services and a select few from Zanu PF including Mnangagwa and Robert Mugabe. Mugabe wanted to give the dictatorial powers to his wife and the G40 members outside the junta.

The November coup was about wrestling power from Mugabe back to Mnangagwa and the JOC junta. The removal of the dictator Mugabe does not mean the death of the dictatorship however much President Mnangagwa and his coup junta would like to (mis)present it as a transformative “new dispensation”!

What “ovens of trials and tribulations” have the November 2017 coup plotters and supporters gone through?

Indeed, it is Mnangagwa and the junta cabal who have masterminded and executed all the looting, vote rigging and political violence that has kept Mugabe and Zanu PF in power all these years. They are the ones who have ridden roughshod over our freedoms and human rights all these years and now they want us to treat them as heroes, our liberators from the Mugabe dictatorship.

What is worse, we are not free; the corruption, vote rigging, denial of our freedoms and basic human rights will continue. The Zanu PF dictatorship is alive and well; they have rebranded it a new dispensation, otherwise nothing else has changed.

If Thomas Mapfumo has returned to Zimbabwe thinking that Zimbabwe is now a democracy and not the pariah state ruled by thugs of Mugabe days, then he is wrong. The dictator Mugabe is gone but the dictatorship remained. Proof: the regime has kept all its dictatorial powers and it is gearing up to rig the elections. 

Sunday, 22 April 2018

"Lead by example," says ED - yeah, what examples you set these last 38 years.

“The President said every Zimbabwean should feel obliged to build the country by leading by example in everything they do,” reported State media. 

What example did you and your Zanu PF cronies set in all your last 38 years in government? For 37 years you have looted, rigged elections and committed all manner of violence included cold blooded murder against innocent civilians to gratify your insatiable appetite for power and wealth. You have destroyed the country’s once promising economy so that today 90% of our people are unemployed and ¾ live on US$1.00 or less a day.

You have murdered over 30 000 innocent Zimbabweans to establish this de facto one-party cum one-man dictatorship that still dominates this nation to this day. It was none other than President Mnangagwa, VP Chiwenga, Minister Perrence Shiri and many others in this Zanu PF junta who carried out the murders in the name of the tyrant and the dictatorship.

If the light of justice was shone on President Mnangagwa and his junta, they will glow like scorpions under ultra-violet light, from all the innocent blood they have shed!

You want the nation to grovel before you and your junta friends for staging the November 2017 coup that removed Robert Mugabe, in gratitude. You are clearly forgetting that it was you and your cabal who rigged elections and even committed murderers to keep Mugabe in power these last 37 years. Worse still, you and the junta are refusing to implement the democratic reforms and thus restore our freedoms and basic rights including the right to free and fair elections.

The Zanu PF thugs who took over power in 1980 are still in power today. The November 2017 coup removed Robert Mugabe and few of his G40 friends; but it is clear that dictatorship is very much alive and thriving; most of the party thugs were in the Lacoste faction which stage the coup and now rules with an iron fist.

“Now that we have taken back our future, we look at our children and grandchildren with renewed hope and energy. The sparkle of optimism for our nation has returned to our eyes and theirs,” said the President.

“This will be the legacy we leave to our children and future generations.”

Spare us the empty pieties!

You, President Mnangagwa, are gearing to rig the coming elections just as you have done these last 38 years. We, the ordinary Zimbabweans, have to continue to suffer the consequences of Zanu PF gross mismanagement and rampant corruptions and to fight for our freedom and human dignity in damn anguish and bury our death along the way.

Ordinary Zimbabweans will never know the taste of freedom, cast a free and democratic vote, as long as Zanu PF retain it’s tyrannical boot on the nation’s throat.

We call upon the international election observers to declare these flawed and illegal elections null and void and thus help the long-suffering people of Zimbabwe break this vicious cycle of rigged elections and tyrannical rule.