The European Union continued leaning over backwards in its bid to coax concessions from Zanu PF despite the party not budging an inch in effecting the reforms that brought about the sanctions in the first place.
By The MuckRacker
This week travel bans imposed on six cabinet ministers and 21 individuals were suspended as a result of a “step forward” in finalising the draft constitution.
The draft constitution “adds further momentum to the reform process and paves way for the holding of peaceful, transparent and credible elections later this year,” said the EU statement.
Among the ministers to get a reprieve was Information minister Webster Shamu who has refused to comply with cabinet directives to reform the public media vowing to take “full control” of state-run media for Zanu PF campaigns.
Only last year Shamu was threatening to return the nation to an era of vicious media repression if the media persisted with an “anti-African and anti-Zimbabwe frenzy”, whose meaning he did not clarify.
Give em an inch …
Ironically, political repression ranked high among the reasons the sanctions had been imposed in 2002 yet the EU believes the reasons why the sanctions were placed on the individuals no longer exist.
EU ambassador Aldo Dell’Arrichia, upon arrival in Zimbabwe had declared the nation had a free press before even consulting the “free press” to get their views.
The EU’s carrot-and-stick approach with a party bent on retaining power at all costs is bound to be ill-fated judging by the adjectives Zanu PF mandarins were spewing.
It was “totally meaningless, outrageous, preposterous and divisive”, the party snarled. Instead of acknowledging the EU’s concession, Zanu PF demanded that they be removed “in totality and unconditionally”.
Give Zanu PF an inch and they’ll take a mile.
Same old same old
The “revolutionary” party, it seems, is reverting to default mode. In a Herald story on Monday headed “Sekeramayi rallies cadres for massive victory”, the Security minister was quoted at a burial on Saturday as urging Zanu PF cadres to mass mobilise for an emphatic vote against “elements trying to reverse the gains of Zimbabwe’s Independence”.
So the former ruling party has kicked off its campaign with the same old redundant jargon that lost it the 2008 election!
Sekeramayi said the forthcoming elections, likely to be held in July, would give Zimbabwe the direction to pursue for the future.
“These elections would determine that Zimbabwe would not go back into the hands of the imperialists with the influence of outsiders,” he said, “or would be led by people who understand its principles and sovereignty.”
So here we have at the outset the ridiculous claim that “outsiders” want to “reverse” our Independence when all they want to do is help get us out of the hole Zanu PF has dug for us.
It is “outsiders” of course who are paying for the new constitution and possibly elections because Zanu PF has run the economy into the ground. Is that the sort of sovereignty they want?
Sekeramayi said Zanu PF was the only party with the people’s interests at heart.
It is also the only party in the world that depends upon somebody else’s currency because it has so liquidated its own. Let’s hope the sleepy MDCs recover from their long slumber and remind the country what nonsense Zanu PF peddles and how they have the temerity to claim to be defending the country when they are busy consuming it.
Some more ‘equal’
The draft constitution upholds the fundamental principle that all persons are equal before the law and have the right to equal protection and benefit of the law. “Every person has the right not to be treated in an unfairly discriminatory manner on such grounds as their nationality, race, colour, tribe, place of birth, ethnic or social origin…”
Aware of how land seizures are in breach of a person’s rights, we are told that “no such person may apply to a court for the determination of any question except for compensation for improvements effected on the land before its acquisition and no court may entertain any such application; and the acquisition may not be challenged on the grounds that it was discriminatory in contravention of Section 56 (above).
In other words, in the case of white citizens, they can be deprived of their right to property on grounds of race, despite the new constitution establishing equal rights for all, and are forbidden to appeal against any such seizures in the courts.
That is manifestly discriminatory and investors are unlikely to advance funds when political parties collaborate in what amounts to the theft of property.
Meanwhile Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere has bemoaned the “sabotage” of the indigenisation programme by “unscrupulous individuals” within government and the country “working in cahoots with foreign-owned companies”.
Kasukuwere’s diatribe comes amid allegations of irregularities in the so-called indigenisation deals with reports a firm is pocketing millions from advising on the arrangements, having been handed the contract without going to tender. Wading into the banking sector, where he has threatened foreign-owned banks of seizure, Kasukuwere whined about an “attitude problem” at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
Understandably, his banking credentials will do nothing to calm restive markets after his mortal rendezvous with Genesis Bank.
‘The statements they are saying (criticising the indigenisation drive) are ego trips. They are saying things that are against the law and are a danger even to the interests of the country,” Kasukuwere said.
“There are others who are very good at criticising, but proffer no solutions. We would want to move forward, we are sick and tired of those who sit and look for mistakes and never provide solutions.”
This is despite RBZ governor Gideon Gono having announced that Zimbabweans interested in joining the banking sector could approach the RBZ for licences or takeover under-capitalised banks, giving the example of Mines Minister Obert Mpofu who took over ZABG bank.
Clearly such solutions are inconvenient for a clique bent on grabbing rather than investing.
Do as I say, not as I do
Once again first lady Grace Mugabe found it necessary to implore Zimbabweans to “play their part” in conserving and preserving the environment. Not long ago she was expounding on the virtues of “hard work”.
“The judiciary should impose stiffer penalties on people who commit environmental crimes,” she said recently without a hint of irony. “It is important to maintain natural landscapes for the benefit of future generations.”
We wonder what she thinks should be done to those who grab private property with impunity.
She said President Mugabe was a “strong proponent” of a good environment and in his quest to keep the environment clean had launched the Tree Planting Day.
Ironically, under her husband’s watch the indiscriminate cutting down of trees has become the norm epitomised by the jambanja land grab-spree which commenced in 2000. The recent invasion of the Save Conservancy by Zanu PF officials and army commanders who engaged in an orgy of wildlife hunting and tree cutting is but one example of Zanu PF-inspired environmental destruction.
Grace Mugabe herself recently grabbed 1 600 hectares of Interfresh’s Mazowe Citrus with the promise from Mashonaland Central governor Martin Dinha to “give” the Mugabes more land.
Over the years the effect of Zanu PF on the environment has been palpable, leading to desertification in some areas. That does not deter them from lecturing us about conserving the environment anyway.
Finally as if the blasphemous ranting of the “war vet” Jabulani Sibanda last week wasn’t effusive enough, another Zanu PF apparatchik equated President Mugabe to Jesus Christ.
“President Mugabe is like Jesus,” Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial chairperson Killian Sibanda chirruped. “Why I say that is because Jesus was sent by God to come and deliver us from our sins. Similarly our president was sent by God to come and save the people of Zimbabwe from all the challenges we face today.”
“So as from today know that our president Robert Mugabe is just like Jesus.”
Curiously Jabulani Sibanda had described Zanu PF’s Bulawayo leadership as a “big joke”.
No argument there!