Those countries that imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe are “dirty filth” President Robert Mugabe declared in Bindura last week when launching the Mashonaland Central Community Share Ownership Scheme.
Report by MuckRaker
Zimbabwe should be wary, he said, of British companies that showed an interest in investing in the country saying when supping with the devil, use a long spoon.
This is a fascinating glimpse of how Zanu PF goes about making policy. Here is Walter Mzembi doing all he can to create a welcoming climate for tourists and investors ahead of the Victoria Falls UN tourism conference next year while Mugabe is throwing a spanner in the works.
Winning friends and influencing people, Dale Carnegie wrote in his book. But not in Zimbabwe it seems. Mugabe appears to think sanctions were entirely undeserved. But the human rights abuses that led to them are well-documented. As the president and his party have not mended their ways and continue to behave like dictators they can expect an unwelcoming reception from the rest of the world.
What will the Swiss visitors who were prosecuted for making unflattering remarks about Mugabe which allegedly undermined the authority of the president when they were held up at Kariba a couple of months ago say?
It certainly will not be glowing. In any other country except perhaps North Korea Iran or Equatorial Guinea, these remarks would be dismissed as inconsequential. But not here where they touched upon royal authority!
Cruelty begets cruelty
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights reported a flood of people prosecuted in recent months for calling Mugabe names in frustration at economic conditions. What does this tell us about the character of the regime?
Then we heard of motorists assaulted for not getting out of the way of the presidential motorcade fast enough. One poor woman got her window smashed and a fist in her face.
In his Bindura speech Mugabe bemoaned the death of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi saying if he was guilty of anything he should have been tried rather than killed in cold blood.
Indeed, he should. But Gaddafi was killed by an angry population not a court of law. He lived by the sword and died by the sword. His people had had enough of his cruelty.
Can’t be choosers
As noted above, Mugabe advised that Zimbabwe should be wary of British companies that showed interest in investing in the country.
“Sometimes I wonder if these are the people who brought the Bible to us,” he remarked. “If God listens to their prayers then he is different from the one who we think we pray to.”
Is this the sort of language we should expect from a head of state? He made it crystal clear that Zimbabwe is not an attractive destination.
“Some of us are saying even the 49% for foreigners is very generous, we should reduce it even further. But for now they shall remain with that.”
He evidently hasn’t heard the expression “beggars can’t be choosers”. And you can imagine what Sadc leaders think of these remarks that chase off investors not just in Zimbabwe but throughout the region.
We carried a story in last week’s edition in which Zanu PF provincial chairpersons who recently went to China, were told by the Communist Party of China (CPC) to embrace change or die. The Zanu PF officials were frankly told without leadership renewal and reform, their party was going nowhere.
You know things are bad when the party of Chairman Mao tells you to change your ways.
In typical fashion, Zanu PF did not heed this invaluable piece of advice.
Instead, party spokesman Rugare Gumbo revealed Zanu PF had embraced an emerging crop of professionals who have “expressed interest” in running for parliamentary seats in next year’s elections.
This was Zanu PF’s response to the call for renewal.
Referring to them as “Young Turks”, Gumbo said there was need to inject new blood so as to invigorate the party.
“All the young guns have to do is to show commitment, loyalty and support the policies of the party,” Gumbo said.
Meanwhile sixty-something year-old Zanu PF youth secretary Absolom Sikhosana and 88-year old President Robert Mugabe retain their positions.
Once again Zanu PF chooses to make cosmetic changes instead of tackling the glaring issues. And we can trust no one is buying this latest stunt!
Degrees in violence
Zanu PF youth chairman Jim Kunaka last week said his party will not tolerate any form of violence perpetrated in the name of the party.
Kunaka urged youths at Domboramwari in Epworth to respect individual political views, ZBC reports.
“President Mugabe has spoken against violence … violence is retrogressive,” Kunaka said. “As the youth, let us respect our President’s call.”
Kunaka’s calls rang hollow, however, as chaos rocked the youth wing’s Bulawayo chapter after an outbreak of violence at the party’s Davies Hall headquarters.
NewsDay reports Zanu PF was forced to negotiate with parents of victims of those injured during the skirmishes so they would withdraw their cases from the police.
Contacted for comment, Sikhosana could only say the skirmishes were “nothing to write home about”.
So much for not tolerating violence!
Obama’s ‘top priority’
We were amused by the warm welcome with which the re-election of US President Barack Obama was received by Zanu PF mandarins.
Zanu PF hailed “democratic” America, reports the Daily News, with party officials claiming Obama’s win over his Republican challenger Mitt Romney as a “victory against racists”.
Said Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa: “Well, I think it is a very positive thing that has happened in the US and the fact that the racist Republicans have been defeated is a very important indication of what democracy should be about.”
Herald analysts went as far as urging Obama “to do more in normalising relations with Zimbabwe”.
The curiously named Goodwine Mureriwa described Obama as a “lesser devil” compared to Romney.
“From a Zimbabwean perspective,” Cde Goodwine opined, “I feel he should do more to normalise relations between the two countries and that should start with the repealing of the sanctions imposed on the country.”
Charity Manyeruke, always charitable in her comments about Mugabe and Zanu PF, boldly declared the repeal of sanctions “should be Obama’s top priority where Zimbabwe is concerned”.
“We expect him to re-visit the sanctions on Zimbabwe and work towards their removal,” asserted Manyeruke.
No mention was made of what brought about the sanctions in the first place.
The Herald capped with its oft repeated whopper that “Zimbabwe has always made it clear that it had no quarrels with the West, but just a bilateral dispute with London”.
If anyone believes that they will believe anything.
Local not so lekker
First Lady Grace Mugabe said Zimbabweans should not waste their money visiting foreign prophets but should instead seek cheaper salvation locally.
“I really don’t understand why scores of people are putting their faith in foreign preachers,” Grace said. “They are having to raise a lot of money to visit them when in Zimbabwe we are blessed with anointed people of God who are able to do even greater things,” she said.
“Believe in our prophets and stop wasting money visiting faraway countries,” she said.
The same could be said of the Mugabes’ incessant trips to the Far East supposedly for “routine” medical check-ups.
Last month Mugabe used the World Energy Forum in Dubai as a ruse for another stopover in Singapore.
In her interview with the Sunday Mail in June, Grace revealed she had to rush to Singapore after injuring her back in the gym. If the Mugabes are for all things local, why do they outsource all their healthcare needs?
Grace would do well to heed her own advice.