PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe believes Col Muammar Gaddafi’s death was “a great loss to Africa”. He was speaking at the UN General Assembly last week in support of the late dictator. This is typical of the thinking of yesteryear.
Gaddafi presided over the death of thousands of Libyans who opposed his rule. When Africa failed to respond to his massacres of his own people and ignored the use of North African mercenaries, the UN eventually acted, authorising Nato to move against the cruel dictator in resolution 1973 but the British and French were initially reluctant interventionists hoping from week to week that Africa would take some responsibility for the conduct of its miscreant member.
In the end Gaddafi was killed by an angry and hostile populace. To the very end Zimbabwe remained on his side in his war against his own people.
What does this tell us about Zanu PF’s foreign policy? “Gaddafi, a great loss to Africa”?
Pelton pelts Mugabe
Mugabe’s equating of the slaying of Gaddafi and the killing of US ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens provoked a sharp response from the US mission to the UN which described it as “a new low”, even for him.
Said mission spokesperson Erin Pelton: “(Mugabe) cynically chose to compare the best of us with the worst of us, a ridiculous and abhorrent comparison that we reject in the strongest terms.”
Pelton went on to pelt Mugabe with more vitriol: “President Mugabe had a chance yesterday to share with the international community his plans for reversing the downward spiral his rule has inflicted on the economy and people of Zimbabwe over the last three decades.”
Back home Mugabe’s speech was lauded by “local analysts” as a “true representation and reflection of Africa’s views and aspirations on the international stage”, at least according to ZBC.
Mugabe, we are told, “was emphatic on the need to reform the United Nations, and to condemn equally the perpetrators of conflicts and violence irrespective of the size and might of the perpetrators”.
The “analysts” were also thankful for Mugabe’s criticism of the West for practising double standards, unilateralism and “bullying” to achieve their interests.
Mugabe said Africa will not be bought-off with empty promises or cosmetic tinkering disguised as reform of the Security Council.
Yet Mugabe is doing exactly that in Zimbabwe, stalling the implementation of reforms agreed to in the Global Political Agreement and instituting cosmetic reforms in the broadcasting sector to give the impression of media diversity when the status quo rules supreme.
A clear case of the pot calling the kettle black!
Not so dependabe Sata
President Mugabe has surely found out the hard way that he can hardly depend on his clownish and volatile friend Zambian President Michael Sata who, in the blink of an eye, can turn from hero to villain.
Addressing the business community in New York, Sata blasted the West for keeping sanctions in place against Mugabe who he said was cleverer than those who imposed them.
Sata went on to mock the West saying Mugabe was unaffected by the sanctions and was “overnourished” but his people “cannot afford a meal a day”.
“That country is most unfortunate,” added Sata.
That would be hardly flattering his fellow comrade in Harare.
Zanu PF’s ‘strategy’
Zanu PF chairman Simon Khaya Moyo has re-affirmed that Zimbabwe will never be a colony again and any attempts to reclaim the country for the Rhodesian era will be “strongly resisted” by the “revolutionary party”.
In an interview with the Herald recently, Moyo said the country suffered economically as a result of the Western machinations that rendered the local currency worthless.
Zanu PF had a counter strategy, declared Moyo. “The introduction of the multi-currency that we eventually implemented to stabilise the economy and also to relieve the people from the suffering they had unwittingly plunged into.”
So we should thank Zanu PF for rendering our currency useless and adopting the currencies of the imperialists? So much for sovereignty!
Moyo last month launched a monthly newsletter entitled The People to be distributed to his party’s grassroots membership.Very original title Cde Khaya Moyo!
Muckraker was amused by a front-page assertion in the Herald that wheat cultivation in Zimbabwe was not based on economic considerations.
“The country only started growing wheat after the Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965 when the illegal Ian Smith regime was hit by sanctions”, we are told.
Sounds economic to us. And when you see the word “illegal” as a prefix you have a good idea of where it’s coming from. In this case it is an excuse for incompetence.
The Smith regime made wheat cultivation a success because the country needed it to beat sanctions.
The country needs it now but those in power have, like everything else, botched it. Now we have to import a major staple and, as Ignatius Chombo pointed out, Zimbabwe is supporting agriculture in neighbouring states.
“What will happen if we go to war with these countries we are importing from?”Chombo wondered. “We need to produce our own food…” This has obviously just occurred to him!
SA goes the Zim way
Zanu PF spokesmen like to boast that South Africa is following in Zimbabwe’s footsteps in many respects. Evidence emerged last month that some of this at least may be true as it was announced that South Africa has decided to cancel investment protection agreements with the EU.
The EU is the source of 80% of South Africa’s investment. Last month South Africa terminated an investment treaty with Belgium and Luxemburg when it expired.
In total South Africa has 13 agreements with EU member states which will all be cancelled as they come up for renewal, the South African Sunday Times reports.
Existing agreements will enjoy the same protection for a sunset period of 10 years but new investments will not be covered by the agreements which guarantee compensation should expropriation or damage be suffered by investors.
“South Africa’s timing couldn’t be worse in the light of the Marikana situation,” one EU businessman said.
“Also, one cannot help but wonder whether these agreements are being cancelled in case South Africa decides to nationalise certain key sectors in the economy.”
EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Guch said he was disappointed the treaties were being terminated without having new ones in place. South African Trade minister Rob Davies said South Africa was getting plenty of investments from countries like the US without having bilateral investment agreements. But EU officials and businessmen insisted “it does matter for Europe”.
What this does tell us, business leaders said, is that South Africa has an elevated view of itself as a key investment destination which doesn’t provide guarantees.
One can’t but wonder what they have in mind given the pressure on President Jacob Zuma to indulge his ANC zealots.
And Davies admitted on Hard Talk recently that he was an old-style communist.
The Times also reported that in a recent survey South Africa’s low skills and education levels, empowerment legislation, bureaucracy and corruption are preventing increased investment.
Fidza’s moral lecture
Meanwhile “filthy rich” Zanu PF apparatchik Philip Chiyangwa was once again in the news urging Zanu PF supporters in Mashonaland West province to vote for the party.
Curiously Chiyangwa decided to take the moral high ground in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s love life, slating the premier for his “bed-hopping antics”, adding that his “trend of manipulating women through abuse of office showed lack of leadership qualities”.
Because of Tsvangirai’s bed-hopping, opined Chiyangwa, “he is not fit to occupy the highest office in the land”.
“He lacks the qualities needed by a national leader,” he told the Zanu PF faithful without the slightest bit of irony.
Like we need a morality lecture from Chiyangwa, who despite being married once boasted to being the lover of a well-known socialite.
“In the beginning we had sex every day for six months. We used to sneak away at lunch time or after work,” crowed Chiyangwa.
“Our sessions would last up to four hours. She was very sexy and knew what she liked.”
Since this is a family newspaper we won’t go into the sordid details.
Anyway we are still waiting for the update on Chiyangwa’s pledge in April to donate US$1,6 million to the University of Zimbabwe.
Short and sweet …
Fongo demands full exposure
The curiously named Federation of Non-Governmental Organisations (Fongo) is pushing for the urgent “exposure” of the views that were recorded during the Copac outreach programme. Fongo president Goodson Nguni castigated the MDC-T for objecting to the publishing of the national report.
“If they have nothing to hide why are they afraid to publish it?” he asked. Maybe they have other concerns such as indecent exposure!
Magaisa on Mugabe’s speech
Legal and constitutional expert, Alex Magaisa sums up Mugabe’s speech at the UN.
“The irony of it all does not and cannot escape us,” said Magaisa. “As I listened to the castigation of unilateralism, of bullies and war-mongers on the international stage, I thought to myself, does President Mugabe realise when he complains about these things on the international stage that these are exactly the same things that his opponents complain of on the national stage?”