Readers of the Sunday Mail had a good chuckle last weekend over their claim that “US spies flock to Zim”.
This emanates from the visit by two American government officials, which was seen as part of “a flurry” of such deputations to the country as the Obama administration “ups its spy missions” ahead of a review of Washington’s sanctions.
It has also emerged, we were told, the delegation made arrangements to meet political opposition and civic organisations but not government or Zanu PF representatives.
They were only included at the last minute.
Before that, US deputy assistant secretary of state for Africa Dr Shannon Smith led a fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe.
This included Ben Freeth, an ex-commercial farmer who was the victim of extreme violence when war veterans occupied his farm in Chegutu breaking his father-in-law’s bones with an iron bar. He later died from his injuries. The culprits have never been prosecuted.
Just like those who have been killing people since 1980.
At the same time Lesotho was prominent in the dealings of the Sadc leaders. They encouraged Lesotho to promptly institute constitutional and security sector reforms and facilitate the return of exiled opposition leaders.
It is ironic that these are precisely the issues that the Zimbabwe coalition government wanted to tackle in 2008.
“Over my dead body,” Mugabe declared at the time. Zimbabwe exiles have not been able to return in either the media or civic sectors.
Zimbabwean officials described as derisory the offer of talks at the last moment.
Meanwhile, AMH has pointed out that journalist-cum-civic activist Itai Dzamara has been missing since March 8.
“Where is he, does anyone care?” NewsDay ask.
This is a timely intervention.
What sort of society is it where what appear to be agents of the state can abduct journalists because they don’t like what they write? If anybody doubts that this sort of thing goes on in Zimbabwe they should consult Zimbabwe Peace Project director Jestina Mukoko on her experience. She is lucky to be alive.
Tichaona Chiminya and Talent Mabika weren’t so fortunate. Their killer — again an employee of the state — continues to walk free despite a court order requiring his appearance in court. More recently in 2008 Tonderayi Ndira was the victim of an abduction in Mabvuku. His body was found several weeks later.
These are all cases in which a vigilant security system could have arrested and prosecuted the culprits. Instead, nothing was done.
If Dzamara disappears forever Zimbabweans must draw a line and demand answers from the ancien regime.
President Robert Mugabe appears indifferent to the most blatant of human rights violations. The state media chooses to believe human rights violations are a fiction of civil society.
Instead of investigating blatant examples of security sector abuses such as the assault on Morgan Tsvangirai at the Machipisa police station in 2007, they never investigated this shocking episode.
Zimbabwe communicates to the rest of the world that it is a rogue state and is happy not to be taken seriously. Just look at the list of ministers and you will see why.
Yes, we care where Dzamara is. We want him freed and if he continues to be held then other states should be kept informed of Zimbabwe’s descent into delinquency.
Where in the civilised world do citizens just disappear and the government and its leaders remain unmoved and uninterested?
Fall, rise, fall …
The sweeping tide was coming in. In President Robert Mugabe’s cabinet reshuffle announced on Monday, former Information minister Jonathan Moyo was regularised to become Higher and Tertiary Education minister.
In what could be envisaged as a step towards Moyo’s political demise in Zanu PF, Muckraker expected state-controlled media to lead with screaming headlines: “The fall of our chief diplomatic correspondent”.
Having been the awesomely powerful minister, controlling state media to suffice his dreams and that of Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa prior to the ouster of his nemesis, former vice-president Joice Mujuru, Moyo could have thought he would achieve all he wanted to orchestrate his ascendency to even above ministerial levels.
Being the rat every dog secretly admires and the cat every dog secretly fears, as Dambudzo Marechera put it, his redeployment signifies a downgrade while it spells Mugabe’s fear of losing his beloved animal farm Boxer, renowned for working hard, only to be slaughtered for glue after delivering success.
The state-controlled press should surely miss one of their own; the professor who does everything to sanitise even what is bad for the country, a cunning politician who defends Mugabe at all costs, to the extent of saying the President broke his fall (after Mugabe fell in broad daylight at Harare International Airport in February), a spin doctor not ashamed to even defend the indefensible.
Instead of being dumped from government outrightly, Mugabe appointed him to a ministry in which he becomes less powerful to influence the status quo.
The press, being the mouthpiece which increased Moyo’s visibility, automatically gave him the wit to influence the demise of his foes. Now that he has to focus on academics, he becomes just another professor. With virtually no students’ demonstrations at university campuses, Moyo can only enjoy tossing around vice-chancellors and their pro-vices, nothing else beyond that. Well, of course besides rescuing the collapsing education system.
If Mugabe reshuffles his cabinet again, he may end up being appointed Senior Minister Without portfolio, responsible for coordinating special projects.
We await a publication by Moyo, now he has all the time, probably entitled; Rise, Fall, Rise … My political undulations in Zanu PF.
We can’t wait for his book. But it should be before Mugabe’s death please!
Information ministry was left vacant for the meantime; hopefully it’s not going to be another surprise coming.
Will the architect of bedroom coups, “almighty” Grace, take it upon herself to lead the fight against weevils within weevils?
Who knows, she may declare herself Information minister in the First Lady’s Office! Anything is possible with Zanu PF.
Saviour Kasukuwere, now Local Government minister, must be the happiest man in Zimbabwe.
He seems to be getting all blessings from the First Family. What will happen to corruption in local government now that there is a change? Is Kasukuwere any different from his predecessor Ignatius Chombo? Muckraker is rather sceptical and worried too. Will the remaining wetlands be spared?
Mnangagwa left for China on Sunday where he was expected to sign various Memoranda of Understandings with the Chinese government.
It’s barely a year after Mugabe visited China and came back empty-handed, only riding high on promises that flooded state-media as mega deals. Where are the fruits of last year’s mega deals?
Why should government officials continue to embark on endless trips to the East that yield no tangible results? Does it make sense to glorify China for ideological support while the economy shrinks?
Considering that Zimbabwe’s FDI inflows for 2014 were only US$545 million compared to Mozambique’s US$4,5 billion, Zambia’s US$2,4 billion and South Africa’s US$5,7 billion, China’s role to nourish the country’s impoverished fiscus is shockingly insignificant.
With no infrastructural development and decline in social services, a sober government should look elsewhere for real support besides China.
Weren’t we told that China demanded leadership change to safeguard its investment? What is Mnangagwa, Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko and Mugabe’s position in all this?