Solidarity just isn’t enough for Chinese

The “Look East” policy is the panacea to the economic hardships caused by the illegal sanctions, Zanu PF chairman Simon Khaya Moyo recently declared.

By the MuckRacker

“We told them (the West) to go to hell with their sanctions. We have friends in the East,” a bombastic Khaya Moyo said.

However, as reported by this publication last week, these so-called friends from the East are following the West’s cue by insisting government settle all outstanding arrears before accessing any more funds.

The Chinese government, much like the IMF, has raised red flags on Zimbabwe’s creditworthiness and is now arm-twisting Harare to settle its debts, including those owed by Zimbabwean companies to Chinese firms.

Like all businesspeople, the Chinese know solidarity can only go so far and will not pay the bills. Cold hard cash does that! That is why China also has a “Look West” policy.

Neo-Goebellian

We were interested in remarks by Charles Taffs, president of the CFU, in response to remarks he is supposed to have made recently on the land issue.

Speaking to the Zimbabwe Independent last week, Taffs and his deputy, Peter Steyl, dismissed as falsehoods stories in the state media alleging the organisation had made a dramatic U-turn on its opposition to the chaotic land reform and now wanted to be considered for land allocation by the government.

“Contrary to claims that we never applied for land, the truth is that we applied to be considered as well,” said Taffs. “Over a thousand applications (were sent) to Agriculture minister (Joseph) Made but we did not get even a single response; not even an acknowledgement letter.”

So who told the Herald that CFU members had not applied for farms when over a thousand applications were sent to Made’s office? It is extraordinary that the Herald could tell such a blatant lie and get away with it. But this simply reflects the standard of journalism in the state media.

They tell a lie of this Goebellian magnitude and then it is repeated all over the public media platforms.

Reverse racism

Taffs dealt with another issue which has been distorted in the press.
“Fourteen years after the start of the fast-track (land reform) people have access to land,” he said. “but they cannot raise the capital to farm. Production has consequently fallen and many farms lie idle.”
This contrasts with President Robert Mugabe’s claim on Independence Day that agriculture had experienced growth. Taffs said the authorities were aware of the problems in the agricultural sector and CFU’s proposals to tackle them but meaningful progress is being hampered by political posturing ahead of this year’s general elections.
How many people recallMugabe’s claims a few years ago government only wanted to share the land with the white farmers? It didn’t work out like that did it? Then there was the agreement reached in 1998 under the auspices of the UNDP but that quickly fell apart under political pressure. Populism trumped production.
Now we have a constitution that is explicitly racist on the land issue, excluding white farmers from participation in land reform, and a land audit that doesn’t materialise because it would expose the extent of land greed and abuse by those in power.
Baying for Tobaiwa

Another abuse that needs urgent exposure is that of the voters’ roll. Tobaiwa Mudede appears indifferent to the seriousness of the issue when we learn that Ian Smith’s name has only recently been removed from the voters’ roll. So has that of Desmond Lardner-Burke who died in 1984, among others.
Their names were among the 345 000 deceased on the roll. Now we can understand why Patrick Chinamasa and his colleagues don’t want the UN involved in examining the political landscape ahead of polls!
All the while the state media is spewing fibs claiming Zanu PF “unearthed” irregularities in the voters’ roll where it claims MDC-T officials registered their supporters using other people’s addresses and unoccupied condemned hostels.
Adding to the circus, in the same report Zanu PF secretary for security Sydney Sekeramayi said they wanted the Registrar-General’s office to address the anomaly before the elections.
“We don’t want the voters’ roll ever to be prostituted,” said Sekeramayi.  “It must be a voters’ roll that has the integrity that is expected of it.”
Not anything Zanu PF or Mudede has been involved in then?
By pointing the finger for the shambolic voters roll in the MDC-T’s direction Sekeramayi ensured we can’t take his utterances seriously.
The buck stops with Mudede and everyone knows it.
Soiled climate

The visit of Andrew Young was manipulated by the state media to suggest it was all part of the re-engagement process that started with Chinamasa’s visit to London and included the distortion of Taff’s remarks.
We recall Young’s disappointing alignment with Zanu PF in his remarks on a previous visit several years ago, which is why presumably he was chosen by the State Department for this mission.
But before the Herald draws too many conclusions, it should be borne in mind that he was here to explore whether the climate was right for elections.
No sooner had he left than the government announced it would not entertain the UN Needs committee which it had kept cooling its heels at OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa.
It will be interesting to see what Young makes of that episode. There are some things that cannot be swept under the carpet.
And those who think David Owen is about to pop up in Harare on the assumption that it is still 1977 are likely to be disappointed.
In all this talk of re-engagement and reconciliation certain realities need to be kept in mind. There is a real possibility that Zanu PF and the MDC could score fairly equally in the election.
Zanu PF is loathed in big urban centres. But it has successfully manipulated the electoral process and established a formidable power nexus that could keep it in office for several more years.
The MDC on the other hand is popular but maladroit. It stumbles from one crisis to the next as its leader changes his mind with every changing day. There could well be no clear outcome in Election 2013.
That will leave the country where it is now.  Not something we can look forward to!
The prodigal son

Muckraker was amused by the Sunday Mail interview of former Zimbabwe National Students’ Union leader, Tafadzwa Mugwadi, who has since defected to Zanu PF.
Since aligning himself with the “revolutionary” party he has thus been referred to as Cde Mugwadi and was more than willing to repay the favour by now claiming the MDC-T leadership, his erstwhile allies, were “ideologically bankrupt”.
“They (MDC-T) are clueless. They don’t even have a solution to the sanctions-induced challenges the country is facing, yet they are the ones who spent a lot of time clamouring for the imposition of this diabolic embargo on Zimbabwe,” Mugwadi said, singing all the right notes to appease his handlers.
Like Gabriel Chaibva, Psychology Maziwisa and Jonathan Moyo before him, Mugwadi pulled out all the stops to compensate for his previous uncharitable remarks about Zanu PF
Asked to what he attributed the belligerent relationship which exists between Zanu PF and Zinasu, Mugwadi claimed it was a case of the students’ movement lacking “enough information on the revolutionary party’s policies”.
“That seemingly sour relationship is not about Zanu PF not being good enough to represent the interests of the majority Zimbabweans, who are mainly the youths,” yelped Mugwadi.
“Clearly there is an information gap between Zinasu and Zanu PF, but this is something that can be worked on as no one in their right senses can argue against the fact that the revolutionary party’s policies are for the good of Zimbabwe.”
So it seems Mugwadi was mad all this time considering his belligerence towards Zanu PF.
We wouldn’t bet against him changing his mind again.

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MY advice to Zambian President Michael Sata is for him to stop trying to be a clown and concentrate on being president. If he cannot do that he should relinquish power immediately.
The Zambians will soon regret their folly of electing a jester into office.
ZANU PF must quickly disassociate itself from Zambian President Michael Sata particularly after his antics in Luanda. They cannot afford to be affiliated with such a comedian.
Is this the only leader whose support we can bank on in the region? If that is the case we are surely in trouble. Zambians will have to endure five years of embarrassment.
It was their choice, after all, and they will have to live with it. As a Zanu PF supporter I urge our leaders to keep Sata at arm’s length.  He is just a noisemaker and will do us no good. It looks like President Robert Mugabe has now lost all his friends in Sadc and no one .
wants to be associated with his policies except the fawning Michael Sata.
President Michael Sata is not a blessing but a liability to the African continent. We can no longer afford to have leaders without a coherent strategy to take us out of the doldrums as a continent. We are tired of populists.