GOVERNMENT last week started indigenising conservancies by issuing hunting licences to 25 black farmers allocated lots in the wildlife-rich Save Valley Conservancy in the Lowveld, the Herald told us.
Among the beneficiaries was Masvingo Governor Titus Maluleke, Higher and Tertiary Education minister Stan Mudenge, and former Gutu South legislator Shuvai Mahofa. They were granted 25-year leases.
National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority director-general Vitalis Chidenga told the beneficiaries that the authority expected orderly hunting to take place.
Why should he expect that? What does Shuvai Mahofa know about hunting? Chadenga expressed concern, we were told, over an upsurge in poaching activities, especially black rhino, in areas where old and new stakeholders were in conflict over hunting rights.
“The authority is convinced that orderly hunting will ensue forthwith,” Chadenga declared, “and that the rights holders will assist the authority with accountability so as to ensure sustainable hunting, security to tourists and to complement the authority’s robust conservation efforts.”
So the authority is aware of the danger but feels it is safe to ignore it!
The reference to the “lucrative wildlife sector” in the Herald article should send bells ringing for any conservationist, not to mention our disappearing rhinos. But there was one redeeming statement in all this.
“Most of you do not have the skills and expertise to run the conservancies,” Chadenga pointed out, “hence you need to work with the white operators so you benefit from their knowledge, and remember, they are still Zimbabweans who also have the right to benefit from the country’s natural heritage.”
Really? They will be relieved to know they have some rights!
Zimbabweans not enjoying rights are those operating radio stations abroad. Media minister Webster Shamu has said “pirate radio stations will never win the battle against the liberators of this country”.
He made the remarks after touring AB Communications ZiFM stereo station in Harare.
“Imperialists are using the weakness of pirate radio stations to reverse the gains of the liberation struggle,” he declared. “All pirate radio stations are operated by enemies of this country and all those employed by them are being used to go against their parents who brought about the Independence we have.
“They will never win the war against Zimbabweans. We advise all those employed by them wherever they are to come back home in a proper channel than to continue peddling foreign policies which will never succeed.”
And given this hostility from the responsible minister, what can those living abroad expect upon their return? It was interesting to hear that “all pirate radio stations are operated by enemies of this country”. All those employed by them are being used to “go against their parents”.
So our “parents” mustn’t listen to “pirate” stations in case they pick up alien ideas? What are these people scared of? The younger generation listen to so-called pirate radio stations because they provide news and views unavailable in the captive state media.
Indeed the ignorance and abuse that make up the main diet of state media output provides a ready market for listeners who have had enough of Zanu PF’s dishonesty.
The MDC-T won a majority of seats in the last election but we are forced to listen to hardliners abusing their media monopoly to claim that voters made a mistake! Now we are told the younger generation are misleading their parents by pirate station broadcasts. They are trying to reverse the gains of the liberators.
That presumably includes the diamond trade which the minister has warned should not be discussed! And the human rights abuses that ZBC claims are not real.
Mandiwanzira says they will introduce “constructive debate” which will be aired in a “more responsible way” to the young generation.
We all know what that means. And can you imagine anything more patronising? No wonder Zanu PF is losing the battle of the airwaves.
We warned when Zimpapers claimed it would bring fresh thinking to the media market that it was likely to be more of the same. Shamu and Mandiwanzira have now confirmed that.
Head of the European Union (EU) delegation to Zimbabwe, Ambassador Aldo Dell’Ariccia, will likely not be amused by comments attributed to him by the Sunday Mail.
The Sunday Mail claimed that Dell’Ariccia said President Mugabe’s regime had “done enough” to warrant the scrapping of sanctions imposed by the EU.
Yet in the same article Dell’Ariccia defends the EU’s recent extension of the sanctions on Mugabe and his acolytes, saying the bloc was lifting its sanctions “one step at a time”.
“So, I think the time will come when all people will be eventually removed if all the necessary reforms are in place. Zimbabwe’s image has continued to improve for all the time that I have been here,” he said.
What then has Harare done to warrant the removal of the sanctions? Only the Sunday Mail knows, it seems!
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s “diplomatic offensive”, which saw him visit southern African countries ahead of the Sadc summit in Mozambique, has clearly drawn the ire of Zanu PF mandarins.
“Analysts”, the Herald tells us, have scoffed at Tsvangirai’s move saying the MDC-T was desperate to court support from regional leaders because they realise that their traditional allies, the West, have lost confidence in their party.
Zanu PF apparatchik Christopher Mutsvangwa, who also doubles as a political “analyst”, chided the MDC-T for trying to court support from Sadc “after the West had begun to snub it”.
“The relations with its traditional backers have deteriorated,” we are told.
“They clearly feel that their exclusive hold on the West and the United State is loosening. They no longer have the favoured-son status,” said Mutsvangwa.
Mutsvangwa’s statements seem to apply more to Zanu PF than to the MDC-T since Sadc leaders have become less tolerant of Zanu PF’s Jurassic era modus operandi.
Another political analyst “who declined to be identified” echoed Mutsvangwa’s sentiments.
“What they are doing will not influence deliberations in Maputo. It is just a waste of time,” the nameless analyst said.
“They now feel marooned,” bleated Mutsvangwa.
Maybe he should ask his boss President Mugabe about the outcomes of the Livingstone and Luanda Sadc summits if he wants to know who has been left marooned.
Ironically the very same “analysts” were lambasting the premier for “cosying-up” to the West after Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard had likened Tsvangirai to liberation struggle icon Nelson Mandela.
Which is which then Cde Mutsvangwa?
We were interested to note the expressions of indignation by Lieutenant-General Phillip Sibanda over Finance minister Tendai Biti’s remarks about recruitment.
“It is very unfortunate,” Gen Sibanda said, “that somebody decided to call our recruitments illegal or to term them illegal because as far as we are concerned we made our plans known before we bidded (sic) for the recruitment and for somebody to say our recruitment is illegal is most unfortunate.”
Indeed. Calling something illegal all the time when it is manifestly not illegal can be most inconvenient!
‘Sellouts” such as the late Ndabaningi Sithole and Wilfred Mhanda have been in existence since the liberation struggle and there is nothing surprising to see ‘puppets’ trying to reverse the gains of Independence,” the Sunday Mail cites veterans of the Second Chimurenga as saying.
The veterans said the late Sithole sold-out the liberation struggle when he entered into a secret agreement with the Ian Smith regime around 1974 and 1975 that he would order his fighters to stop the liberation war.
Speaking of secret agreements, what do these veterans have to say about the mortgaging of Zimbabwe’s minerals by President Mugabe’s government in resources-for-arms deals as well as to fund political campaigns?
Last week we ran a story which revealed that the Zanu PF government sold-off platinum concessions for US$100 million to fund the violence-ridden 2008 presidential run-off campaign despite the Political Parties (Finance) Act expressly prohibiting foreign funding to political parties.
Ironically the ultimate buyer of the platinum concessions was a mining company founded by former English cricketer Phil Edmonds.
Zimbabwe will never be a colony again indeed!
In all the advertised tributes to our fallen heroes, the one that most exposes the gulf between rhetoric and reality must be the tribute from Zesa.
As its board, management and staff joined the nation in remembering the gallant sons and daughters who fought for the liberation of Zimbabwe, it might be the right time to ask if all those delinquent chefs still with us have paid their electricity bills yet?
Then we had police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri saying “we will not allow forces bent on stealing our Independence and sovereignty to thrive”.
Could he specify which forces he had in mind?
Finally sungura music maestro, Alick Macheso turned from hero to jester at the Defence Forces Day commemorations on Tuesday.
After putting up a stellar performance at the National Sports stadium, punctuated by scintillating dances and guitar tricks, Macheso was summoned by the visibly amused President Mugabe to the podium.
Much to the befuddlement of thousands of spectators, Macheso then knelt down at Mugabe’s feet as if kneeling to a deity.
If the shocked crowd thought Macheso’s “act” would end only in kowtowing, they were soon disabused of that notion when the “Zora Butter” crooner burst into tears upon leaving the podium.
The whimpering Macheso was then led-off and “consoled” by an official from the Information ministry.
Macheso has clearly given Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Walter Mzembi, who cried after being given a life-size portrait of President Mugabe, a good run for his money.
A tearful Mzembi had said at the time: “To me it was like being presented a portrait of my own biological father.
“President Mugabe is an inspiration and hero to me. I have been blessed to work under him and talking to him often receiving direct wisdom and philosophy of the revolution and experience, a blessing that many will not experience,” fawned Mzembi.
We are likely to witness more such displays of sycophancy with elections looming on the horizon.