Thank heavens, McGee is going!
President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe with First Lady Grace Amai at a ZANU-PF rally. The nation of Zimbabwe celebrated 29 years of national independence on April 18, 2009.
Originally uploaded by Pan-African News Wire File Photos
President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe with First Lady Grace Amai at a ZANU-PF rally. The nation of Zimbabwe celebrated 29 years of national independence on April 18, 2009.
Originally uploaded by Pan-African News Wire File Photos
By Political & Features Editor Mabasa Sasa
ANYONE would pity whatever country next has the misfortune of hosting James D McGee as the United States Ambassador.
Harare’s rumour mill, however, has it that McGee is being retired.
Unfortunately, the capital’s political grapevine has never been the most reliable source of information and some poor country might still have to contend with the impudent brand of diplomacy that McGee specialises in.
If it is true that he is being put to pasture a few months from now, then all credit must go to the Obama administration for realising that McGee certainly does not embody the "change you can trust".
To be true, from the time McGee stood before the US Senate in September 2007 and vowed to successfully steer through Washington’s illegal regime change agenda, every Zimbabwean knew that we were to be in for a tumultuous ride.
But even then, no one really expected him to try and outdo his predecessor, Christopher Dell — another man with a level of arrogance surpassed only by his ignorance when it came to matters about Zimbabwe.
Dell, as we know, still holds the distinction of being the only diplomat in this country to be placed under 24-hour surveillance after he took it upon himself to be an opposition activist.
McGee, though, did his level best to surpass Dell, and just like him, his tenure in Harare has not yielded the results that he prematurely promised to the US Senate; namely, finalising the illegal regime change.
In fact, McGee, a veteran of America’s most ignominous war (Vietnam), leaves another tiny country called Zimbabwe both bruised and battered after seeing the main political parties side-step his machinations and go ahead with the implementation of a political agreement Washington swore it would never support.
But that is one common strain in American foreign relations — they have never been gracious in defeat and the recent decision to lift the travel warnings on Zimbabwe are the first time the world has ever really seen Washington trying to eat humble pie.
And eating humble pie is something McGee is well-advised to do.
It is non-fattening, it does not clog the arteries with cholesterol, it does not interfere with the 18-rounds of golf and it certainly refines the character.
McGee, like the functionally illiterate cowboy called Bush who sent him here, had no faith in the inclusive Government and that is something we all know for a fact despite whatever semantic manouevering the American might engage in.
He never wanted it to happen for the simple reason that his brief was to ensure that the "monster" called Robert Mugabe was booted out of office at all costs.
For him, the only acceptable government for the people of Zimbabwe — or so he and the other towering intellects and diviners in Washington had decided for us — was one that did not have Robert Mugabe involved in any capacity, even as a mere district administrator.
That is why prior to the 2008 harmonised elections McGee was gallivanting all over the country in a misguided attempt to discredit the Government and Zanu-PF as if he was a public relations consultant working with the opposition’s information department.
He breached diplomatic protocol, appeared to deliberately try and antagonise the State that was hosting him and on the whole treated Zimbabweans as a bunch of kindergarten kids who do not know what is best for them and have to rely on him for guidance on all matters to do with governance.
This forced the Government to summon and warn him in May 2008 about his abuse of diplomatic privileges.
The charge sheet was as damning as it was maddening for any Zimbabwean who understands the culture of political condescension that permeates America’s foreign policy machine.
In a space of less than one week in May last year, McGee breached more protocols than all the Ambassadors in Zimbabwe have ever broken in their combined stay in this country.
McGee spoke as if addressing a political rally when he visited Avenues Clinic on May 9, 2008.
On May 12, he wrote a letter to the Press that read as if it had been authored at Harvest House in what was a clear case of interference in our domestic political affairs in violation of protocols governing diplomatic relations between countries.
The following day, he travelled beyond a 40km radius of Harare without making prior arrangements with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as is the norm.
The aggravations were so severe that later that month President Mugabe had to order McGee to behave or pack his bags and go back home.
But this writer must admit that as Zimbabweans we should have never lost our cool with McGee because there was no way he was ever going to change Bush’s US policy on Zimbabwe.
Yes, we all harboured the slim hope that perhaps, with his slave ancestry, he would understand Zimbabwe’s lot and do his best to ensure that Washington’s appetite for resources and influence would not destroy this little Southern African nation.
We vainly hoped that perhaps that the African blood coursing through his veins might awaken the stirrings of a consciousness that has been repressed by a politico-social system that up until the 1960s did not allow blacks to vote and even lynched them for daring to ask for that right.
Some will say that the talk of unity by dint of tint is an outmoded political philosophy.
But these are the same people who rally to defend the manner in which Jews, themselves victims of a brutal past, rally around each other and promote a brand of political semitism called Zionism and which is indeed racism.
There is nothing wrong with expecting some kind of sympathy from people with whom we share a common brutalised past.
But not so with McGee.
McGee is a mere functionary, a tool to be used and discarded by the American foreign policy monster in the relentless pursuit of global political, economic and cultural dominance.
And he unabashedly admitted as much himself just before he came to Zimbabwe.
McGee made it clear that Zimbabweans should never confuse his skin colour with the shade of his vainglorious assignment here.
What we have had in Zimbabwe is a black man who — unlike the truly heroic Muhammad Ali — thought it best to fight white America’s war against Asians in Vietnam and all this without any sense of irony.
This is a black man who after bombing innocent villagers — probably with napalm or some other such demonic chemical — can turn around today and talk self-righteously about political violence in Zimbabwe without any sense of shame.
A man who after defending a malevolent sanctions regime that has helped to collapse the country’s infrastructure can look a camera in the eye and utter high-sounding nothings about his concern for victims of cholera is what we have been dealing with here.
McGee’s record here makes for a very bad advertisement for US foreign policy and perhaps only Bush and his inner circle of enormously ignorant neo-conservative hawks have done more to harm America’s battered image on the African continent.
His stay here showed the world the true colours and the extent of the wrath of a system that only believes in permanent interests.
It has given us more than a glimpse of the extents to which a country as big as the United States can stoop in its dealings with a nation as small and plucky as Zimbabwe.
It is a cliché, but like all such hackneyed phrases it is very true: Zimbabwe will not miss James D McGee.
But even if he is to retire in June, as we are made to understand, there is still that worrying business of him stating back in January 2008 that upon leaving the foreign service, he would like to settle down permanently in Zimbabwe.
Being the hospitable — and sometimes very naïve — country that we are, we will certainly not mind hosting him as a private resident.
Keeping him here in an unofficial capacity will also save any other unfortunate country from having to contend with the obscene kind of diplomacy that he has transformed into an art form during his short, brutish and nasty posting here.
US overtures welcome, but let’s have more
EDITOR — It was pleasing to see the United States starting to make some overtures at normalising relations with Zimbabwe.
First, there was the issue of lifting the travel warnings on Zimbabwe and then there was the statement by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Zimbabwe’s 29th Independence Day celebrations.
I have noticed that the Barack Obama government might be starting to try and shake off the legacy of George W. Bush’s ruinous presidency.
I saw him shaking hands with Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez and he is trying to ease the tensions with the brave people of Cuba.
I think these are all positive developments.
Naturally, we should not expect too much too soon and we should give Obama time.
The illegal sanctions will take a long time to remove, but we must soldier on.
What we should hope for is that the European Union and their allies realise that they too should see the light and start normalising ties with Zimbabwe.
Any engagement should be based on mutual respect of independence and sovereignty and in no time we will find each other sitting around the same table discussing issues of common interest.
It is in everyone’s interests to improve relations.
What we would like to see now is a more robust attack on the sanctions from the Prime Minister’s Office.
Deputy Prime Minister Professor Arthur Mutambara has made it clear that he does not support the illegal sanctions and it is time we all spoke with one voice for the good of all Zimbabweans.
Cde Alphonce Maponga.
Link between illegal sanctions, demand for media freedom
AFRICAN FOCUS By Tafataona P. Mahoso
Courtesy of the Zimbabwe Sunday Mail
IN the last instalment we pointed out how peculiar it was that the very same media outlets and journalists who had succeeded in demonising Zimbabwe to the extent of justifying its criminal subjection to sanctions and economic warfare; the same media outlets and journalists who had also successfully denied the reality of the illegal sanctions and their effects on the economy and the people— were now trying to convince the same people that the same media still do not have freedom to write, publish or broadcast what they want.
What we did not point out is that in the scheme of regime change politics, it is suicidal for a country to liberalise its media policy in the immediate aftermath of sanctions or while still enduring and fighting illegal sanctions. This is because the immediate liberalisation of media policy is consistent with the objective of illegal sanctions and of illegal regime change.
The nation, having been denied the most up-to-date technology because of sanctions will now find its own media left behind in every respect by those mass media services which will rush into the country on the back of the liberalisation, the illegal regime change axis having planned and equipped those new mass media services to effect a "final push" while the state is still reeling from continuing sanctions or from the lingering effects of the sanctions. This is the link between the wish to prolong illegal sanctions and the call to "open up media space".
The second observation we must make is that the technologies which supposedly make "the free flow of information" and "the opening up of media space" imperative are direct spin-offs from military and security experiments carried out by the very same powers who imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe and who sought illegal regime change. The recent experiences of Venezuela, Kenya, Madagascar, Thailand and even Somalia demonstrate that such information and communication technologies in an unregulated environment can switch from a civilian function to information warfare, espionage and destabilisation without notice. This is precisely because these technologies were originally intended for war and espionage anyway. The high-tech industries producing equipment with dual military-civilian functions exploded after September 11 2001. Today the South and the East are regarded as the biggest growth areas for new media and communication platforms.
A close reading of the US Patriot Act and Internews Europe’s report called The Promise of Ubiquity: Mobile as Media Platform in the Global South will reveal that at any moment and in the absence of tight regulation the sponsors of regime change can switch apparently benign media platforms from news gathering and "free flow of information" to espionage, destabilisation and information warfare.
The third reason is that Zimbabwe is a good candidate for this sort of warfare because it has been targeted already for more than 10 years; it has been under sanctions which have denied it investment in the latest information communication and broadcasting technology for nine years; and it is expected to hold a constitutional referendum to be followed by a general election in the next year and half to two years. The same powers who imposed sanctions on the country and waged an illegal regime change campaign will also be intensely interested in both the constitutional referendum and the general election. These are the usual occasions in which the same powers have unleashed their technologies to influence the outcome.
The illegal sanctions have made the country and the people vulnerable to manipulation and destabilisation through the latest media technologies because the current established media have been starved of the latest technologies through sanctions, just as the regulators and security agencies may also have been denied access to appropriate communications monitoring equipment. This means then that the call for a sudden and unregulated opening up of the country to all foreign media, while sanctions remain in place, will destroy or weaken the established local media while boosting those being started under a deregulated environment. It is these newcomers which the regime change forces seek to promote and sponsor in the hope that they may still be able to pull off the illegal regime change which has failed up to now.
In an unregulated media environment, the sudden switch by regime change sponsors from benign free-flow of information to espionage, destabilisation and information warfare exploits the stark fact that the problem for information policy today is not the scarcity of information but, rather, the explosion and spread of too much (mis)information without knowledge or the explosion of too much information without strategic communication structures to frame it in the interest of national integrity and coherence.
Let us use two illustrations. The first is Somalia, the classic case of successful illegal regime change (1991) which has gone for 18 years without a central government and therefore without a strategic communication policy or national strategic communication structures.
There is no doubt when we read newspapers or watch global TV news channels that Somalia is currently a real scourge to international shipping. What we are not told by the "free Press" is that Somalia is also in the forefront of new media and free flow of information, using the mobile handset as an instrument. In fact, the reason why the Somali pirates are so efficient and deadly is because they have digitalised networks and they enjoy instant satellite communication and information on the movements of ships and hostage rescue teams in an environment with no regulations.
Here is what Internews Europe reports on the potential of the mobile; it contains serious implications for media policy making:
"As Emmanuel de Dinechin from Altai Consulting says, if media companies do not step onto the platform created by the explosion of mobile phones, other companies will. Not least the network operators themselves, who now expect to compete with each other in the field of value added services, which include media. All over the world, they are buying rights to top entertainment and sporting events.
"To some extent southern-based and run media organisations may not realise the threat of competition in the mobile space from brands they do not regard as media because they have not experienced the same phenomenon on the internet to the same extent as their northern counterparts. The drain of advertising revenues from print editions and even TV across industrial countries has led media houses to take online seriously, forcing them to integrate the internet into their core business models.
"By extension they will probably watch the development of mobile closely. Internet advertising has eaten away less at traditional media in southern countries because of its low penetration. The explosion of mobile phone adoption, and what it represents in developing countries, will be more far-reaching in its implications for traditional media than the Internet has been."
In short, the mobile platform offers new challenges to radio, television and print media because of the merging of those platforms in one piece of equipment. Mobile also offers challenges to unregulated media environments where there are no national strategic communication structures. In such an unregulated market, the mobile platform with other instruments of information warfare can be used to foster, co-ordinate and launch a parallel government which can quickly overwhelm an elected government with external assistance. This has happened in Madagascar and Thailand. It almost happened in Venezuela in 2002 and Kenya in 2007-2008.
The strategy which has been used to send Third World people to sleep is that of classifying media and the Press as automatic "human rights defenders", thereby baptising them as sacred cows to be left alone.
In policy terms, this means that the Sadc Protocol on Culture, Information and Sport (especially article 17) has to be amended.
Sadc heads of state signed that protocol on August 14 2001, less than one month before September 11 2001. A new global reality unfolded in the aftermath of September 11 and it is reflected in UN Security Council Resolution 1373 of September 28 2001 which calls on UN member states to collect and share security information to combat terrorism, which in essence means the emphasis is now on permanent surveillance and control and not on free flow.
Ironically, the people who coined the slogan of "free flow of information" were thinking of the unfettered flow of money and capital as investment opportunities became global. Most anti-terror laws, including the US Patriot Act, also target the free flow of funds as the essential fuel for terrorism.
If Sadc needs a review of its August 2001 Protocol on Culture, Information and Sport, the African Union (AU) needs to disband its African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR).
African heads of state in the AU have many times rejected so-called "human rights" reports tabled by the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR). That commission’s role so far has been mainly to infantilise Africa ideologically, that is to cultivate in Africans the kind of naive admiration of Western racist doctrines which is fit for children.
Let us take, for example, the ACHPR’s latest questionnaire on "human rights defenders" which was circulated in member states recently. The questionnaire begins by assuming that most of Africa, if not the whole world, agrees that there are organisations, even businesses and individuals, who can and should be automatically classified and treated as "human rights defenders" but who, for some unexplained reasons, remain external to the society itself, if not entirely opposed to the society. Yet it is within that very same society that they make their claim to be "human rights defenders".
Moreover, the questionnaire further assumes that foremost among these "human rights defenders" are "independent media, non-governmental organisations and trade unions".
If we take the so-called independent media, for example, we realise that the ACHPR’s questionnaire seeks to deny our experience of media.
For instance, Gerald Horne in is book, From the Barrel of a Gun: The United States and the War Against Zimbabwe, 1965-1980, has documented the collusion between white Western corporate media and local white media.
These two forces colluded in degrading and demonising the African liberation movements, in promoting white supremacy, and in exploiting the myth of superior and protected white womanhood, again in order to degrade African women and humiliate African men. According to Horne:
"Sex rested close to the heart of Rhodesian military operations. Not only was the protection of Rhodesian (white) women from allegedly ravaging Africans seen as a rationale for the war but, like many (white) male enterprises, the military used female images to foment (white) male bonding."
Western independent media and white settler media colluded in this racist and sexist strategy. "Romance, sexuality and gender anxiety were an essential component of the elements that drove US citizens to Rhodesia — and kept them there . . . One of the prime linkages in this chain of whiteness were the mass media . . . " The linkages remain now, causing so much Western interest in how we manage our media.
Yet the automatic effect of the language and framing of the ACHPR’s questionnaire is the unspoken but deadly assumption that the mass media have always defended the people, that the liberation movements which created our contemporary societies against imperial and colonial odds had nothing to do with defending human rights!
The ACHPR’s questionnaire is important because the organisations presumed to be automatic human rights defenders there are the very same ones which have historically advocated white Western racism and intervention against the people.
This is so because the questionnaire in its very first question assumes that the most important "human rights defenders" are non-governmental organisations, trade unions, independent media organisations and any of those entities otherwise lumped together in human rights propaganda as constituting "civil society". Automatically therefore our liberation movements and liberation war heroes cannot be viewed as human rights defenders.
Chaminuka, Nehanda, Kaguvi and Chingaira can therefore not be viewed as human rights creators or defenders. It is those with a long history of opposing the African liberation movement and attacking African land reclamation whom the ACHPR’s questionnaire calls human rights defenders whom the liberation movement in government must now protect and preserve so that they continue to attack African emancipation on behalf of imperialism.
Because the so-called independent media and the NGO industry in this country have been heavily dependent on external sponsorship and patronage, they have also enjoyed access to ICT ahead of ordinary citizens. And that access is used to attack the liberation movement in government and the society it has created.
Economic sanctions threat to unity Gvt
By Vhurai Meso
While the new inclusive Government is trying its best to turn around the economy through STERP and the 100-day strategic plan, all its efforts will come to naught if the economic sanctions imposed by the US and EU and their allies are not immediately lifted.
For those who still don't believe that Britain, the United States and their Western allies have imposed economic sanctions on Zimbabwe, you just have to look at the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA) — passed by the US Congress in December 2001. Never mind the deceptive name, its intentions are to cripple the Zimbabwean economy.
Part of this sanctions Act states: ". . . the Secretary of the Treasury shall instruct the United States executive director to each international financial institution to oppose and vote against (1) any extension by the respective institution of any loan, credit or guarantee to the Government of Zimbabwe (note this does not say to President Mugabe or his cronies); or (2) any cancellation or reduction of indebtedness owed by the Government of Zimbabwe (not by President Mugabe or his cronies) to the United States or any international financial institution."
In this Act: (1) The term "international financial institutions" means the multilateral development banks and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). (2) The term "multilateral development banks" means the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Development Association, the International Finance Corporation, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Investment Corporation, the African Development Bank, the African Development Fund, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the Multilateral Investment Guaranty Agency.
Such is the extensive reach of ZIDERA. It was a masterstroke. At the stroke of a pen, Zimbabwe’s access to international credit markets was blocked. Relying purely on barter trade, mining, agricultural concessions, and on exports-generated foreign currency, Zimbabwe’s economy is being asphyxiated slowly but surely.
The US and EU’s phrase of choice is "smart sanctions" targeted against Mugabe and his cronies. These sanctions are not "smart" but they are very targeted. They are targeted against all Zimbabweans. Contrary to their intended character of "smartness" their effect goes beyond these purportedly targeted persons and they are devastatingly effective in bringing Zimbabwe’s economy to its knees.
They are deceitful in that their promoters, EU Ambassador Xavier Marchal and US Ambassador James McGee and their cortège of sanctions cheerleaders, create an impression that what has been imposed are just mere targeted sanctions when, in fact, it is collective strangulation of all Zimbabweans.
Zimbabwe’s inability to reschedule its loan payments and to apply for debt cancellations in times of severe financial crisis will continue to cause distress for the Pime Minister in general and the Finance Minister in particular. The IMF and World Bank’s continued embargo and refusal to do business with Zimbabwe has an immediate and adverse impact on Zimbabwe’s credit and investment rating. And with a drop in investment rating goes the prospects of attracting low-cost capital on the international markets, which is what is urgently required. I fail to see how this is targeted against Mugabe and his cronies.
In fact, what is happening now is that the Prime Minister, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, and Finance Minister Mr Biti are being set up for monumental failure by their former friends. Along with the rest of the Cabinet team, their noble and gallant efforts will be undermined severely by ZIDERA and the EU sanctions and the sooner they realise this the better. This is a big albatross around their necks.
Unfortunately our Prime Minister as head of government will be the fall guy here where his leadership skills will be questioned if his team fails to deliver. Because of the sanctions, he will not be able to deploy his Cabinet team efficiently and effectively.
For example, ZIDERA on its own provides a huge brick wall for the Minister of Finance. The Minister of Foreign Affairs cannot be deployed to explain to foreign governments of the West (EU and USA) what the policies of the new inclusive Government are because he is on their travel ban list. The Minister of Tourism, Mr Walter Mzembi, cannot market this country effectively to prospective tourists, again due to the travel ban.
The list is endless. This is a quarantined team, which will not function effectively unless sanctions are removed. The people of Zimbabwe expect results from this Government and if these do not come, the honeymoon will soon be over and people will be demanding that heads start rolling.
Some companies that have been added to the targeted list include the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe, the sole marketing and export agent for all minerals, except gold and silver, mined in Zimbabwe; the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, involved in investment in the mining industry in Zimbabwe, and in planning, co-ordinating and implementing mining projects on behalf of the Government of Zimbabwe; the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company, Zimbabwe’s largest steel works; the Agricultural Development Bank of Zimbabwe, a commercial bank owned by the Government of Zimbabwe; the Industrial
Development Corporation of Zimbabwe Limited, a State-owned enterprise that owns a large number of companies operating in the industrial sector, including the chemical, clothing and textiles, mineral processing, and motor and transport sectors; the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe, a financing entity; Zimre Holdings Limited, an investment and reinsurance entity; ZB Financial Holdings Limited, a holding company for a group of companies involved in commercial and merchant banking, just to name a few.
Now when Mr McGee chooses to strangulate Zisco with sanctions, a company on which a whole town depends and still calls this targeted against Mugabe and a few cronies, I have serious problems with that. This is a big insult to the intelligence of all Zimbabweans.
When you target a bank like ZB with over 1000 000 account holders, not to mention employees and their families that depend on this entity, it is downright cruel and heartless. If you look at the above companies, they were carefully chosen to achieve a certain end. American citizens are suffering right now because of massive job losses because of the economic collapse caused by greed in their private sector.
Mr McGee and his crony, Mr Marchal, choose to impose the same anguish on the people of Zimbabwe in general and employees of the targeted companies above in particular and then claim to be doing it for the people of Zimbabwe. It’s shameful.
One wonders why these two gentlemen and their masters are crying more than the bereaved. Mr Tsvangirai, Professor Arthur Mutambara, our Parliament, Senate and Sadc leaders all say sanctions must be removed, so who are these gentlemen to question the wisdom of our leaders? They show such disdain for African leaders. It’s nauseating.
President Barack Obama announced that United States sanctions against Zimbabwe would continue, citing an "unusual and extraordinary threat" to US foreign policy.
Aah, there you are, so this is the real reason why we are being collectively tortured by sanctions. It’s nothing to do with democracy, human rights or some such gibberish. Ambassador James McGee may want to explain to the people of Zimbabwe how Zimbabwe can be such a threat to the world’s only superpower. When we are being called an "unusual and extraordinary threat" to US foreign policy by a US president, we should not take it lightly.
Remember this is the same country that had Nelson Mandela topping their terrorist list together with Osama bin Laden until some time in May 2008. They placed Nelson Mandela on the US terrorist list when the US strongly supported apartheid in South Africa and supported Mandela’s 27-year incarceration until apartheid was brought to its knees by the ANC and other progressive comrades. The only country at the moment to attack, invade and occupy countries thousands of miles away from its shores.
The only country that practises pre-emptive strikes against another nation and lists nuclear strike as an option.
Here is what Nelson Mandela said when the US was going to occupy and plunder Iraq: "It is a tragedy, what is happening, what Bush is doing. But Bush is now undermining the United Nations."
He called on world leaders, especially those with vetoes in the UN Security Council, to oppose him. "What I am condemning is that one power, with a president who has no foresight, who cannot think properly, is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust."
He attacked the United States for its record on human rights and for dropping atomic bombs on Japan during the Second World War.
"If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America. They don't care."
It looks like President Obama is following Bush’s politics on Zimbabwe, thanks to His Excellency Ambassador James McGee’s advice. Zimbabweans should beware. All progressive Zimbabweans should roundly condemn these sanctions.
-Vhurai Meso is a Zimbabwean-based political commentator. For any views or comments you can reach him on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stop abusing women in adverts
EDITOR — An advert in yesterday’s issue of The Herald read in part, ". . . presents The Exclusive Ladies Nite Out plus Balloon Party. Free entrance for ladies B4 10; punch on entrance; beer for the 1st 30 ladies. Remember it’s a Liverpool vs Arsenal. Time 9pm."
At face value, all I see in this advert is that the night life is all about ladies, ladies and more ladies?
If the soccer match started at 9pm I can hazard to guess that by 10pm this place was full of ladies.
Undeniably there are some women who love the beautiful game, but how many to warrant such an advert?
The other issues that came to mind were: was this entertainment joint directly luring ladies so that they could indirectly attract male patrons?
If that is the case what exactly are they promoting here? Soccer, beer, sex or all three?
What is the end result of such an advertising campaign?
Put simply and bluntly, is this all about the promotion of prostitution?
I would like to know if the owners of this entertainment joint are men or women.
If this is what it seems it is, then why is it that only women are labelled prostitutes, and not their male counterparts?
This "ladies night" factor has been used by nightclubs since time immemorial but I really wonder if it is acceptable in the times that we are living in when HIV and Aids are so prevalent.
It pains me that women continue to be treated as commodities that are sold so cheaply.
Why is the women’s movement silent about critical issues that affect disadvantaged and disempowered women?
If the women’s movement had a proactive and all-inclusive approach to women’s issues, we would also not be seeing most goods and services advertised using lurid pictures of young women, which are downloaded from the Internet.
Why should also something sell because it is accompanied by a picture of a "pretty face" and almost naked body?
Looking at it from another angle, in some parts of the world, a place that advertises its services in terms that imply that it could be a singles bar sends wrong signals since this could easily mean that its patrons are gays/homosexuals.
As the saying goes, "Hunzi mhamba ingonaka panamai", but mostly not your wife.
How many entertainment sports are luring patrons using women as inducements?
Why do they not use price lists of beverages as a leverage for competition?