Saturday, 31 December 2016
Revolutionary Greetings Comrades.
The year 2016 has come and gone. It is a year that gave us a dozens reasons to smile as a Zanu PF Chapter. We also got got a bunch of knock backs. But the good moments far outweigh the bad ones. But in all comrades, we rise or fall together.
So the end of 2016 is the beginning of 2017. This is the beginning of a New Year but also the the continuation of an old national dream. Top of that dream is our contribution to to the rebuilding of our country. And our party and province are only vehicles to awaken that noble desire.
We are a Chapter that is used to fighting for every inch of ground we gain. Getting the paper membership cards took six trips to Zimbabwe. Getting to issue electronic cards took four trips. Some may take the issuing of cards for granted but to those in the know, it was a massive milestone achieved.
With these cards issued we immediately set democracy in motion by asking our leadership to come from the people. We embarked on a very transparent, free and fair election. A new, young and dynamic executive was ushered into office. In the last 2 months a lot of boundless energy and patriotism has already been shown. If half of the enthusiasm and work ethic shown in that period is shown in 2017 then the future is not only bright for our party but brighter for our country.
Now to push for an 11th Province has so far taken one trip. We are not yet there but we are on course. This matter is going back to the Central Committee through the Politburo. But all apparatus express and have shown an appetite for it.
Comrades, some are already asking what this year is going to bring the country and the party. We also ask you, what you are bringing into the New Year for the benefit of your country and your party? For it is our collective ideas and efforts that will make a difference.
Meetings are arranged at a high financial and opportunity cost. Let us all attend and express ourselves thereat. WhatsApp Groups are for interactions and socialisations as well as some communication. But they are not marathon meetings. So this year we hope to be able to put a face to every name on our platform.
One important thing we expect this year is for alternative leadership for our Chapter to begin to emerge in an orderly way. For we intend to finish 2019 with a New Chairperson for Zanu PF-UK and Europe. We believe succession planning starts on the day a leader takes office. And I have full confidence in my colleagues with whom I save in the Executive but I also have a higher confidence in the membership of this chapter.
So this year we will make mistakes together comrades. But more importantly we will make breakthroughs together. Those want to claim credit, should also be prepared to claim the blame. We will succeed as a Team and Family and fail as such for we are in this together comrades.
Happy New Year to you all and your families.
Friday, 19 August 2016
By Nick Mangwana
There have been a few headlining statement by top government officials who have lamented what they perceive to be subversive actions by members of the Zimbabwean Diaspora community. Some of those that are very vocal have declared their love for their country and their aversion for their government. There is nothing amiss there.
It is just as some of us have declared our support for party, government and country. That is the freedom that was fought for. If it is ok for us to risk all in support of our party and government, but is equally good for others to choose a different trajectory as well. What is wrong is when one’s dislikes their government they want harm to happen to their country so as to bring down that government.
When they don’t care who gets hurt as long as they achieve their goal to see the back of a Zanu PF government. Now there is something unpatriotic about that. There is possibly something treasonous about undermining all the efforts to make a country a success by sabotaging everything that the government put in place to improve the fortunes of the country. When people make sure they contrive and manufacture lies, exaggerate some things and distort others just hoping this will bring Zimbabwe down and with it Zanu PF that cannot be said to be patriotic. That is an abuse of freedoms. But having said that, it should be noted that there is nothing inconsistent about loving one’s country and not liking one’s government.
Some Zimbabweans appear conflicted. They are proudly Zimbabwean but disconcerted by what they believe to be retrogressive actions of their government. There is nothing wrong with wanting what’s best for one’s country. The perceived over-involvement of the diaspora in the affairs of their country is not because of lack of patriotism. It is because of patriotism. They are not trying to control their country using a remote device called a smartphones. They have seen the goodness in other countries. They just want it for theirs too.
Diasporans do just not love Zimbabwe, hate inequalities and injustice because they are poor. There are many members of the Zimbabwean Diaspora who are members of Zanu PF and have never asked for a single thing in return for defending the establishment. On the contrary, they have used a lot of their moneys for their causes. That is not because they are poor. It is because they have made it wherever they are based. Zimbabweans have the right to comment on matters at home. Any statements calculated to disenfranchise them are not only wrong but unhelpful. Viewing the Zimbabwean Diaspora as a homogenous formless lump of losers and social misfits, labouring in menial jobs in foreign countries misses the full character of the composition of the Diaspora. It evidences a lot ignorance in the establishment. It also exposes a lot of dysfunction within the corridors of power.
We have on one hand the government saying Zimbabwe’s prospects will be enhanced by its citizens who have accumulated houses, assets and skills in other countries and they need to be engaged and their potential harnessed for the success of the country. A ministry is then assigned to draft a Diaspora Policy for that reason. Expensive trips are made to the Diaspora and serious per diem claims are lodged at an even higher cost to the fiscus. A whole cabinet sits and goes through this policy because it realises that there is a lot of patriotism, human and financial capital in the diaspora. The Diaspora interprets these signs as good moves by a government that has seen the good that can come from involving each and every Zimbabwean regardless of their geographical location to rebuild their country.
The Diaspora then contributes to the political discourse. Some in support, some very vocally in opposition and others in a way not very favourable to the establishment. What's the next thing that happens? Some officials deploy the tried and tested default. Pejorative statements and insults are issued and suddenly they are experts on the Diaspora. Just as much as Zimbabweans in the Diaspora should not take at face value everything they read or see on social media about our home country, those at home should not believe all the stereotypes they read or hear about the lives of the Diasporans abroad. Maybe it can help if all the efforts to engage the Diaspora is spearheaded by a Diasporan or former Diasporan.
You surely can’t treat the Diaspora as worthy Zimbabweans when it comes to their money and then an irritating inconvenience when their politics takes a different course to what we would have wanted. Our policies and our utterances have to be consistently in sync. This is actually a novelty in our country for it hardly every happens. Our technocrats and bureaucrats are pursuing certain agreed policies. The public pronouncements by other officials especially the political breed is completely at variance with that policy. How does that work?
In the midst of trying to build bridges with the West, we are insulting them like there is no tomorrow. In the midst of reaching out to the Diaspora to help invest and rebuild our country we insult and threaten them like tomorrow never comes! How does that work? The one big problem, of which the Government of Zimbabwe has been rightly accused of, is its inconsistency. How can we build trust if we are inconsistent? We have to make it our culture to say something that we mean and to mean what we say. But no, we are consistently, inconsistent.
The Diaspora should vigorously support their country but do have a right to vigorously oppose their government if they don’t agree with the direction it is taking their country. That applies not only to those Zimbabweans outside the country. It applies to those within the country and those within the party as well. It is this kind of thing that enriches our country’s intellectual body.
First published in the Zanu PF Mouthpiece, The People's Voice 19-26 August 2016
Thursday, 21 July 2016
By Joshua Maponga
What is a country without countryman?
Poverty and hunger can not be the purpose of politics and change but rather freedom and posterity.
The borrowed economies build and founded on the western model are totally insufficient to drive permanent solutions for they depend on the west to drive and manipulate.
The story of Zimbabwe is no exception to European/western manipulation.
The regime and instruments of government are for welfare not civil war.
We can't use out guns and cruelty on each other as a nation... the enemy is not black comrades... put your weapons down.
The morality of torture and civilians abuse is not a demonstration of power. These are your relatives and parents. I call upon the nation of Zimbabwe's leadership to prioritise life above gain.
1. People need food: trade is the blood line of commerce. Make it possible for people to feed and trade 2. Security every Zimbabwean matters and their life is an asset to the nation. We can't be killing each other and reduce the quality of life of our own citizens. Many security officers are acting out of their own evil volition and should not hide behind political an party rhetoric. He who performs evil is evil. 3. Education and health are key rights to the nation the instruments of the state must drive this agenda. 4. Infrastructure and other services will activate our economy. The present status of my country breaks my heart. So much resource in the hands of the selfish few.
The opportunities created by liberation are national not personal to party cronies.
The conscience of the party leaders must be awakened
They have enough food and drink but continue to fight for power to get drunk.
I call upon the nation to stand together and face the enemy and look into the eyes of the evil of white western instruments of democracy that leave us vulnerable.
Permanent solution is indigenous establishment of our own governance structure which respects the past we come from whilst fully aware of the present global influence and the future we desire. The Great Zimbabwe is the empire of southern Africa let the nation look into the mirror and wash of parasitic economies that hide behind relief and hand puts from the west
The West has no interest in the welfare of the African person except to replace regimes who will donate resources and abuse nationals.
I fully understand the politics of money and we need to move with caution at this hour of trial. We are an Independent State
Black man must understand that the white regimes have no interest in Africans but her wealth, full stop.
The god of the west is monopoly, greed, economic dominance all dressed in a plastic jacket of democracy!
We desperately need a new conversation before replacing donkeys with wolves!
Farmers of Thought :Maponga Joshua iii
(The contents of this article are the private thoughts of Cde Joshua Maponga. He also blogs on www.joshuamaponga.com. We are not disclaiming his thoughts, neither are endorsing them. We are simply saying, "let this voice be heard")
Tuesday, 19 July 2016
Cde Rutendo Benson Matinyarare
The musings of so- called "Government Agent and ZANU Apologist".
I want change! In fact, I'm desperate for change, because I miss holding my mother and having my family together. I want reform and rights for us as a people because I want to speak this same sh@&% standing in my own country! I'm tired of corrupt, greedy, gluttonous politicians with no care for the development of the people and this, our Pan African revolution. Suffice to say, I am even more angry at us, a self-centered, self-righteous citizenry with no acknowledgment of our own culpability and ineptitude in lifting ourselves and our nation.
Sadly though, even though the momentum of the past few weeks is encouraging, filling every Zimbabwean with a cohesive, optimistic euphoria, I'm skeptical. I sense the winds behind the people right now are not winds driven by the interests for Zimbabwe and its people. I feel nothing good will come out of #ThisFlag movement, as it is, because it still reeks of the same non-transparency, trickery, self interest and opportunism that has become our national character. Compounding it is the fact that most fellow Zimbabweans today, don't really have a clear view of what's empirically wrong with our nation, we are fragmented in our desired outcome and we have no clue or consensus on how to deliver this change.
Peaceful protests, stay aways and such other civil disobedience will never change the status quo and evil of selfish rot in Zimbabwe, neither will it dislodge this hardened bureaucrat who already feels affronted. Violence, although seductive to some, will not suffice because it will be met with extreme retribution and Zimbabweans are simply not prepared for the trauma of the aftermath of this romance.
So, even if this movement hopes to succeed on the last resort of dislodging the government, through a military mutiny or pushing the military to crush them for the west to intervene (very unlikely). This would still leave us with the ashes of a smouldering nation, dead economy at best, political infighting, a political interregnum [vacuum], military dictatorship and or prolonged political unrest at worst. And of course the lingering but worsened bad old Zimbabwean habits of selfishness, short sightedness, denialism, deceit that are rife in us today. All of which plays us well into selling out to white capital like Mandela.
I would support this movement if it was truly organic and it technically understood everything that is wrong with our country, how to fix it but admitting what can't be fixed immediately and they looked for a negotiated compromise because it's more likely to succeed.
I wish they at least understood that corruption is the cancer in the Zimbabwean system but it's not the immune destroying virus that allowed the cancer to take hold in the first place.
The core of our struggles is:
- Raw global capitalism, the imperial fight for the control of our resources, combine with our corrupt leaders and citizens selfishly sabotaging the same struggle for self determination, by our abdication of our national and civic duties due to self servitude and lack of foresight.
I would like our president gone, for he is too old, no longer in control and no longer capable of taking us forward into the next phase. However, I'm wise enough to know that he is a strong man and he won't be pushed out without being given a safe passage particularly for his family. Nonetheless, if violence has to be used to get him out, Zimbabwe and the region will be the losers.
As much as I want him out, I wonder if he has groomed anyone. I desire to see a progeny who will lead us back into unity, continuing to champion the struggle for black self determination, maintaining the gains made by his predecessor, while driving us into the future with avant-garde Afrocentric strategies fit for the era. Notwithstanding, be rest assured that such a person would be resisted by the order, so long Zimbabwe will not sell out wholesale to the white establishment, until we Zimbabweans together with Africa raise from the big slumber and show a capacity to develop ourselves.
Until we develop our selves, until we start offering solutions for our own challenges, the west will never partner us but they will forever expect to come and use us as slaves, dictating to us how we should develop in their interest.
- I want ZANU out but ZANU is not going anywhere because they hold hard power, they have a legitimate mandate and there are hundreds of hungry party members down the ladder waiting patiently for their chance at the trough. So we need to be smarter than butting heads with them using 1900 techniques to change a system, because then we could be butting heads in Zimbabwe for the next 50yrs. We are the generation of the pen, the generation of intellect and compromise, let's look for the path of feasible success, least resistance and unity. The Afrikaners achieved power from the British without bloodshed after they had lost the Anglo Boer war.....there are smarter and more uniting ways for achieving progressive change in a country.
Let's seek innovation and creativity from the minds of our youth to bring change into Zimbabwe because that is what it will take to make Zimbabwe competitive with the rest of the world after any change..
Brut force [hard power] or civilians inducing hard power [military power] to be used against them so that a one more stronger will come to the rescue, is no longer the way to gain change. We have the ruins of Libya and Iraq as testament. Besides, Zimbabwe doesn't have oil, so why would the one with monopoly on violence want to intervene? And if they did, what would be the price?....We need unique thinking as young Zimbabweans if we are to beat hard power both at home and abroad.
(The views expressed herein are Cde Rutendo Benson Matinyarare's. He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org)
Monday, 18 July 2016
Some times governments have to make rough decisions for the interests of the nation. In fact, one can argue that populism has been one of the most destructive philosophies of many post- independence African States. So well-meaning and stable governments sometimes do have to sacrifice current popularity by making tough decisions to move a country forward.
One of the most seemingly unpopular but noble decisions made by the Government of Zimbabwe was to promulgate Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 (SI 64/2016) which restricted the amount and kind of goods one could import. This was meant to protect local industries from being suffocated by cheap imported products from the region. This did not only affect ordinary folks in Zimbabwe surviving on cross-border trading, it sent shock waves in the region.
Domestically there were disturbances in Beit Bridge and murmurs on the streets. To make the argument for the government position was the panic in South Africa. They were very clear that jobs are going to be lost. Closer to the border they expect much more than 1000 jobs to be lost. Even in Malawi the government had to discuss the impact of SI/2016 on their export volumes. Malawi started reviewing its export policy to Zimbabwe in light of this. The whole region is seized with the matter right now. Zimbabweans never realised that they had such buying power to cause such trade turmoil in the region. All things being equal the government can rest its case in as far as the logic behind the ban is concerned.
But not all things are equal, are they? There is massive unemployment in Zimbabwe and a lot relied on selling imports to earn or augment their income. The people are saying that they are being stopped from earning an honesty living. What are they supposed to do now? They accuse the government of being heartless and preferring capitalists against to its own people. The government rebuts by saying it is with employment of the people in mind that it tries to protect their jobs by protecting local industry. This is a classic Catch 22 situation for the government and the people themselves.
There is no doubt that imports seriously injure industry and the reaction in the region vindicates that. To curtail imports the government had two tools. Either to give subsidies to local industries or restrict imports. The answer to that was a no brainer. Struggling with fiscal space took the subsidy option off the table. This left the import restriction as the only option. It made its choice putting itself in a no-win conundrum. What is it going to do with the people whose livelihoods is affected by SI 64/2016, when it has an impossible unemployment rate as well as a need to reduce the civil service?
It has to be understood that there is likely to be an all round increase in industrial output as commercial demand for the products from the protected industry increase but the results is not assured. There is also the risk that demand towards local products would result in fatcat bosses using the extra cash for higher salaries and allowances instead of increasing employment and improvement in quality of the products themselves. The industries benefitting from this should be monitored because the whole population cannot make sacrifices for fatcats. Another angle that would restrict demand of the local product is the Income Factor. With Made in Zimbabwe goods being so expensive and imports not coming in, consumers might just do away with the use of those goods since they just cannot afford them because of low incomes. That would not benefit industry as well. Some unscrupulous traders will also increase their prices because of the restricted competition and make the consumer suffer more whilst doing nothing for employment. So it is incumbent upon industry to also revisit its margins.
Most executives of these companies live profligate lives. Somebody has to pay for that. They then escalate the price of their products and the market resist by going to buy next door. Now that they have been protected they should take this opportunity to make their processes more mature so that the anticipated increased revenue from the protected market would not be used for executive largess.
Vice President ED Mnangagwa raised the debate of Protectionism versus free trade to a different level by saying that the Import Control measures were temporary. He went further to suggest that Free Trade helps to increase the quality and efficiency of local industries as they up their game in order to survive against steep competition from across the borders. However, during its infancy, the local industry would need to be nursed. Like a child it has to be protected until it gets enough maturity to run and compete on its own. But when it comes to Zimbabwe the question is when will that be? What is the roadmap?
This columnist swears by the Buy Zimbabwe mantra but that should not turn lazy to innovate or lazy to think industrialists into Cry Babies. A few months ago spoiled mobile companies in Zimbabwe were asking the government to ban platforms such as WhatsApp. Not for facilitating the sending of incendiary or subversive messages. It was for reducing their call time and text revenue. Instead of innovating and come up with products to increase their revenue all they wanted was protection so they could just “chill” and milk it. Their approach made them deserve the Title “Enemies of Progress”. So our industries should also not remain babies needing nursing and cuddling forever.
This is not a crusade against neoliberalism. It is part of sovereignty that a nation should always protect its citizens above foreigners in a lot of issues. But protection of own citizens includes protection of the corporate citizens. The tendering system is said to favour locals. But there have been reported cases of substandard bitumen emulsion being imported to be used in civil contracts such as road construction when local companies who do that product should be capacitated and this is locally bought. Focus should on this cash intensive imports more than on domestic groceries. Some of the groceries which are bought by individual vendors do not make a big dent on the market even if collectively aggregated. It’s just a minor ripple which is just enough to provide someone with a livelihood. But big purchase including furniture, electronic equipment, housing decorations in the in the palaces of the non-duty paying elite should also be looked at for this policy to have any purchase with the people.
The argument is, if Zimbabwe industry booms, then Zimbabweans will move from the informal sector into formal employment. They would use hard earned degrees for a living. Possibly those degrees do not include a Bachelor in Vendor Studies. This formalisation of Zimbabwe’s economy will take long. Import restrictions while part of the solution is not a silver bullet. It is a well meant policy which is struggling to gain attractive influence because the people are worried about the here and now and not some anticipated increased employment in an undefined future. When folks are desperate, it becomes about now. What is my child eating tonight? Where is my next rent coming from and what do I do about my daughter’s ripped school uniforms now? So a national increase in industrial productivity is not an immediate need to give a second thought.
Whilst this mind-set is not ideal, it is real. So the policy makers who are making all these rules in good faith should also factor that someone will not wait for tomorrow when they can’t survive today. The accusation out here is that because of the immediacy of the need to survive everyone including government is in a crisis management mode. Government is accused of making knee jerk jerk policies without a thorough impact analyses which includes grassroots consultation. With some of the perceived volte faces the nation sees, there is some credence in the accusation.