This has exactly been the operational mode of the disgraced and exposed Zimbabwe regime, as the recent past has, sadly and most tragically, been characterized by the sudden resurgence of the ousted late president Robert Gabriel Mugabe’s trademark feverish – and at times, frighteningly rabid – abuse and bastardization of the Pan-Africanist, nationalist and patriotic fervor, for purely personal, narrow, and selfish interests of the elite opportunistic ruling clique, in a failing and failed attempt to hide their predatorily corrupt ways, which have left the general populace at the mercy of poverty, whilst the powerful live a life of prodigal abundance.
After the so-called ‘new dispensation’ – whose leaders and drivers are anything but new, as they are the same old ruinous and murderous faces from the ‘old dispensation’, who have presided over the despicable destruction of both human life and country for the past 40 years – pathetically fell short on its pre and post-military coup d’etat disingenuous and insecurely-made pledges of “removing the thieves surrounding Mugabe”, and ushering in the “opening up of Zimbabwe to business, and democratic space” – the regime has typically reverted to its infamous ‘factory settings’ of massive looting of the nation’s resources and wealth, and gross human rights abuses, whilst hiding behind the old, worn, and torn veil of ‘fighting Western imperialism’, ‘sanctions imposed by the West, that are harming the lives of ordinary people’, and ‘saboteurs haboring illegal regime change agendas’.
Nonetheless, the people of Zimbabwe – who are renowned globally, for their amazing intellectual capacities – have never been found wanting, by believing such childish, primitive, and novice doomed attempts to distract from the real issues surrounding the true situation in their country.
Indeed, Zimbabwe is ‘under the demeaning and destructive influence of a foreign power’, and yes, we do have ‘saboteurs’, and those ‘haboring illegal regime change agendas’ – but, certainly not with the same understading that is peddled by the ruling establishment.
If anything, we are fully cognisant that the Chinese – who are clearly and openly calling most of the shots in the country – have been at the forefront of duping (or, maybe, more precisely, corruptly) pushing the country in a disastrous debt-trap – in the form of mislabelled and deceptive loans – which will see the country losing unimaginable trillions of dollars in the medium to long run.
Furthermore, the same Chinese – who are falsely touted as “our all-weather friends from the days of the liberation struggle”, yet our desperately ill-equipped and poorly-trained nationalist movements were tricked into a cold-war trap, by the Chinese and Russians, who offered ‘assistance’, but knowing fully well that, after independence had been attained, they would demand their ‘pound of flesh’ – are the worst abusers of our nationals within their workforce, and have been catastrophically degrading our environment, without so much as just restitution.
As for ‘saboteurs’, who can outdo the current crop of people sitting in the highest offices in the land – who have, without any remorse or shame, plundered and milked dry our country’s amazing and abundant God-given wealth and resources, with seeming impunity?
Where did the USD15 billion in diamind sales go? Or, another USD3 billion in command agriculture – yet, more than half the country’s population is facing starvation, and we need to beg international institutions for food aid? What about more billions of our mothers’ and fathers’ social security pensions contributions? Not to mention the numerous parastatals (state-owned enterprises) that were sucked dry, and left for dead?
Yet, this is just but the proverbial ‘tip of the iceberg’, as I would need to write a whole book for me to comprehensively and adequately highlight the repulsive looting in this country, by those who are ostensibly supposed to lead, protect, and serve us.
Can there be any worse ‘saboteur’ than that?
Let me not even start on those ‘haboring illegal regime change agendas’. Well, well, well…in our country’s long history, who is it that staged a military coup d’etat against a ‘democratically elected’ sitting president? Is there anyone who has already forgotten the events of 15 November 2017?
Were these not the very same people who, prior to this November 2017 ‘regime change’, accused any powerful opposition movement (including, ZAPU in the 1980s – leading to the Gukurahundi genocide – and the MDC in the 2000s, leading to more atrocities) of ‘haboring an illegal regime change agenda’?
Were they not the ones who, then, actually ended up carrying it out, thereby, toppling their own leader? So, why should anyone believe that there are some people, outside the ruling junta itself, plotting any illegal regime change?
When it comes to the emotive issue of the so-called ‘sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by Western countries that are harming the lives of ordinary people’, I have always begged people, through my newspaper articles, and on various social media platforms – for anyone with irrefutable and incontrovertible evidence-based proof, that these United States (US), and European Union (EU) targeted restrictive measures, indeed affect the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans.
Unfortunately, no one has ever come forward.
I am someone who believes in working with evidence – not, assumptions, presumptions, or lame accusations.
However, all I have ever received, so far, have largely been generalized and unsubstantiated claims and allegations, at worst, or – as some document widely circulated on social media, quoting former US assistant secretary of state for African affairs, Chester Crocker – only serving as very good circumstantial evidence, at best – but, can never be regarded as irrefutable and incontrovertible evidence.
Just because, Cocker and his people, were quoted in the year 2000, as pushing for sanctions on Zimbabwe to apparently cripple the economy, so as to make the population despondent, does not prove that this is indeed what is causing this economic freefall.
For example, Peter can be recorded as planning to kill John through poisoning, and, indeed, John dies from poisoning a few days later.
The recording would only be very good in court, largely as circumstantial evidence – that there is a strong possibility of Peter’s involvement – but, that, certainly, does not prove beyond any reasonable doubt, that he was the one who, indeed, ultimately poisoned him.
What if John committed suicide, or someone else got to him before Peter did? There would be need for extensive and intensive investigations, that would provide irrefutable and incontrovertible evidence, which links Peter’s recording directly to John’s actual poisoning and death.
So, as far as the Crocker document is concerned, it is a very good starting point, merely as circumstantial evidence, but definitely not sufficient. I require real unquestionable proof that these targeted sanctions are responsible for the economic mess we are in.
Let us also not forget that, when Crocker allegedly made his statement in 2000, he was simply presenting a plea before the US Congress for the imposition of sanctions, that he, ostensibly, desired to hurt Zimbabweans, in order to instigate an uprising – but, what proof is there, that this was effectively heeded by Congress, when the targeted restrictions were imposed a year later in 2001?
As we all know, arms of government in the US are very independent, and the legislature does not always rubber-stamp whatever the executive wants – unlike, in Zimbabwe, where the ZANU PF dominated parliament, usually acts as a mere extension of the executive.
In the absence of such proof, then – I am sorry – but, I will go with the stated targeted nature of these restrictive measures – that are: travel bans, and asset freezes on 141 top Zimbabwe officials and entities (which clearly have no major bearing on the broader economic performance of the country) as well as prohibition of the transfer of defence items and services, and suspension of non-humanitarian government-to-government assistance.
As things stand now, all we have as clearly linking to the economic disaster we are suffering from, is the rampant corruption, which has been in the public domain for years.
If our country was as constricted by sanctions as those in power would want everyone to believe, then where are all these billions and billions of US dollars – being looted, in both cash and mineral resources – coming from?
If the government can not even afford reasonable salaries for teachers, nurses, military and security personnel, and liberation struggle veterans; or medication in our public health institutions; or books for our school children; or meaningful infrastructural development – as a direct result of these ‘crippling sanctions’ – then, those elite opportunists in power, would, most certainly, not even have a single cent to steal.
Yet, they can still charter private jets from Dubai (United Arab Emirates) to fly all over the place, including within Zimbabwe itself; seek expensive medical treatment overseas; send their children to the costliest academic institutions on the planet; build mansions, and buy luxury cars, only comparable to those in the ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous with Robin Leach’.
Where are these ruling elite sharks getting all this money? Why are the ‘sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe’, only affecting the ordinary people, but not crippling the powerful people?
Furthermore, the people of Zimbabwe can quite easily see through the nature of the disgraceful lies being spewed by this shameless regime, as we all know that its economic policies – which, even a novice can tell are skewed, senseless, and inept – further exacerbate the already terminal situation in the country.
Nonetheless, as I have always asserted, my beliefs are not guided or influenced by any political partisan agenda – as those who personally know me, or have intently followed my writings, can easily tell – but, are motivated by a sincere desire for a better Zimbabwe for all.
So, as I have also promised, if I ever receive the requested proof on these alleged devastating effects of targeted sanctions, saboteurs, foreign agents, or illegal regime change plotters – I will immediately acknowledge this, and set out to loudly and steadfastly admit it, and call out the perpetrators – as I do not believe that any agenda or cause justifies the needless and unfair suffering of the ordinary people.
However, as the situation stands now, the peope of Zimbabwe will not just stand by, and sit back, whilst they hard-won independence is stolen from right under their noses, by this kleptomaniac regime.
Too many lives were lost during the struggle for independence, and too many lives have been ruined by this callous and cold-hearted clique of elite opportunists – who think only about themselves, and no one else – for truly patriotic Zimbabweans to allow this to continue unabated, and with impunity.
It is either we die of starvation, or we fearlessly and relentlessly peacefully stand up for our dignity – even if we have to die at the hands of a regime that knows no love – trying to change our livelihoods, and the futures of our children, and their children’s children.
© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and speaker. He is also available for those requiring editing, writing, and/or researching services for non-fiction and fiction books; advocacy and publicity material; press/media releases, and articles; policy blueprints; public speeches; manifestos; corporate or organization reports, documents; and university thesis/dissertations, etc. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Calls: +263733399640 / +263715667700, or Calls Only: +263782283975 / +263788897936, or email: [email protected]Post published in: Featured