Muckraker: Zanu PF’s Convenient Myth

THE European Union should not bar Zimbabwean government officials from travelling within its territory regardless of political affiliation in the spirit of the inclusive government, Minister of State Gorden Moyo was reported in the Sunday Mail as saying last weekend.


This was in reference to the intention of Mines minister Obert Mpofu to accompany Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to a mining conference in the UK. Moyo called for “less restrictive measures” from EU member states. Meaning lift sanctions.

Later in the same story the Sunday Mail said “the EU targeted measures were imposed since 2002 on President Mugabe and senior members of his government in response to Harare’s implementation of the land reform programme”.
Among those targeted are six journalists from the state media, we were told.
These are no doubt the same journalists who are misleading readers into believing sanctions were a response to land reform. This is a convenient myth designed to portray an heroic Zanu PF as victims of Western penalties for restoring land to the people.
In fact EU sanctions were imposed in 2002 in response to the expulsion from Zimbabwe of Pierre Schori who headed the EU’s election monitoring mission. The measures had nothing to do with land and everything to do with political violence and electoral manipulation.
This is all known to state journalists but they continue to repeat the lie that EU sanctions stemmed from land reform. And then they wonder why people like Moyo are having difficulty getting the sanctions lifted.

On Tuesday the Herald ran a front-page story claiming British pensioners in Zimbabwe were destitute because of “hyperinflation spawned by illegal sanctions”.
Exactly how the British were responsible for printing money –– the root cause of inflation –– and then spending it hand over fist was not explained in this latest bout of delusional journalism.
Nor did the Herald tell the paper’s readers that Zimpapers pensioners have not been paid a cent since dollarisation. But the paper did manage to reproduce Peta Thornycroft’s article in the Telegraph on the plight of pensioners word for word. None of them ascribed their woes to sanctions. That was entirely Herald fiction.
And we wonder how many readers know that Arthur-Jim Patsanza died a pauper after all those years of loyalty to Zimpapers.

Meanwhile, while Moyo is pleading with Britain to let Mpofu in, Tafataona Mahoso is occupying acres of space in the same edition of the Sunday Mail to denounce the inclusive government. He speaks for the reactionary clique in government that has been prominent of late attempting to block reform measures by the new government including media reform.
They have been emerging from the woodwork in the armed forces, the AG’s office and the civil service to slap down MDC spokesmen and pose as the authentic voice of the Zimbabwe government.
These same people refused to allow Tsvangirai’s remarks, made at a press conference on resolving outstanding issues in the GPA, to reach the public until three days later when a sanitised version appeared.
The EU would in the circumstances be ill-advised to let these reprobates in.
They are in denial about the outcome of last year’s election and believe the MDC must be thwarted so Zanu PF with its moth-eaten nationalist agenda can retrieve power at the next election. Zimbabwe’s friends abroad should not help them. Let’s hope the visiting Swedish delegation speaks out against vindictive prosecutions of civic activists, lawyers and journalists and explains to those responsible that Sweden will not indulge misrule. Mpofu for instance not so long ago made his opposition to the inclusive government clear.
And let us not forget that he presides over Mining and Indigenisation legislation calculated to deter would-be investors. It is difficult in the circumstances to see why Moyo is campaigning for him to go to the UK. Mpofu and the gang around Mugabe should only be admitted to Europe and the US when they have stopped blocking change and locking up lawyers and journalists. And the six state journalists bleating at Kariba about how unfair sanctions have been to them should stop lying about why those sanctions were imposed in the first place and play a useful role in liberating the public media from the arthritic grip of Mugabe’s henchmen.  

Evidence of Zanu PF’s failure to embrace change was available last Thursday when deputy information secretary Ephraim Masawi announced the formation of five politburo committees to deal with matters such as ideology, research and succession.
Firstly, it is difficult to believe that this Stalinist body still exists anywhere outside of North Korea. And secondly that dead wood such as Didymus Mutasa will be busying himself with the party’s “ideology”, whatever that is apart from greed and corruption.
“The party wants to claim a huge stake in the inclusive government when it comes to economic issues,” Masawi said. “We want to make sure that the party has a bigger say as far as government is concerned.”
In other words they want to dream up new ways to plunder the economy, reverse reform and inflict further damage on the country.
The whole point of the GPA was to remove Mugabe from the path of destruction and let new hands get to work. But obstinacy and meddling still prevail. Those making a public nuisance of themselves should not be rewarded by the EU.
By the way, where did the visiting French business delegation get the idea that there had been reforms in the media? Tsvangirai perhaps? Their embassy?
Please would all visitors consult the media as to what “improvements” have taken place rather than indulge in wishful thinking.
There have been absolutely no improvements whatsoever and any perusal of the state media will show how far we have to go. Tuesday’s lead letter in the Herald (“Good riddance to McGee, Pocock”) illustrates the dangers of a suborned media, allowing official comment to masquerade as public opinion.
There was Webster Shamu claiming a few weeks ago the government press was fair and balanced. What planet is he living on?

Masawi says it was “alright” for President Mugabe to appoint Gideon Gono and Johannes Tomana because it was in accordance with the constitution.
But is it OK if Mugabe appointed them in contravention of an agreement he had reached with the other two principals?
The GPA is abundantly clear on the need for joint approval of all senior appointments. The constitution doesn’t come into it. The fact is Mugabe has appointed two senior officials without consulting the other two principals as he was pledged to do. This is about his sincerity.
But Gono must draw comfort from the fact that he has the support of Joseph Chinotimba. Gono was doing “a fantastic job”, Chinotimba said.
Our question is: Can a Reserve Bank governor survive when all he’s got for support are delinquent war vets and party hacks?
Does this really speak well of his standing, either at home or abroad?
We would call it the kiss of death. Thanks Joe. That should finish him off.

There is a more serious issue at stake here. Who in Zanu PF is blocking an audit of RBZ, a public asset, on the pretext of shielding Gono? Since when has the central bank fallen under the ambit of Zanu PF structures?
Meanwhile, Tendai Biti, who has done a good job in exposing Gono’s flawed tenure at the RBZ, has lost the plot on the sanctions issue.
Can he not see how the state media have seized on the issue to mislead the public on Mugabe’ record? We are now being led to believe, with Biti’s help, that the country’s current predicament has nothing to do with land seizures, arbitrary arrests, repression, corruption and mismanagement.
Why is he allowing his partners in office to get away with this campaign of dishonesty without saying a word? Has he been bought or does it just look like it?
A word of principle from him would not go amiss.  Dozens of people still face trumped up charges and had to undergo months of incarceration and abuse. Has he forgotten all this so soon?
And what about people facing the most appalling violence and intimidation on farms?
Please Tendai, less foolishness. Not a single person in the current power structure has confessed to their crimes and you are running round claiming the West is being unfair. Ask Jestina Mukoko and Shadreck Manyere about unfairness!   

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