Monday, December 31, 2007

Zimbabwe Update: Western Propaganda Knows No Boundaries

West’s propaganda against Zim knows no boundaries

By Obi Egbuna

ON July 13 this year, a correspondent for the foreign service of the Washington Post, Craig Timberg, wrote an article entitled "In Zimbabwe fewer affairs and less HIV". Thanks to the anti-Mugabe slant of his work Timberg received front page coverage — a distinction very few journalists can say they have accomplished in their careers as reporters.

This article validated the assertion and sentiments that pro-Mugabe/Zanu-PF supporters worldwide maintain, which is the propaganda war being waged by the West to discredit and isolate Zimbabwe knows no boundaries or parameters.

Timberg highlights a discussion with a maths teacher by the name of Thomas Muza who discusses his struggles of supporting his wife and mistress on a maths teacher’s salary, while Timberg apparently couldn’t resist the temptation of magnifying an example of what he considers decadent behaviour, his motivation for incorporating this in the story should never be mistaken for journalistic integrity or commitment to Western family values.

If Timberg chose to, he could have discussed how Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Health and Child Welfare prioritises prevention with priority on behavioural change.

This is extremely significant because most African countries focus on treatment and care because of limited resources.

Timberg also conveniently excluded Zimbabwe’s national Aids levy which is the only one in the entire world which benefits childheaded households, support groups for people living with Aids, and patients under home-based care.

Because the Washington Post foreign service office that covers stories in the Sadc region is based in South Africa, and Washington’s political muscle has failed to convince countries in the region that it would be advantageous to them to betray Zimbabwe, articles aimed at downplaying President Mugabe and Zanu-PF’s significant achievements should never surprise Africans at home or abroad.

Timberg claimed "Zimbabwe’s experience shows the connection between Aids and economics is not nearly so straightforward".

A sweeping indictment of this nature provides him the luxury of not informing the millions of people who read his article that when Zimbabwe’s applications to the Global Fund for rounds 2, 3, 4 and 6 were denied the decision was made by the former US Secretary of Health Tommy Thompson and his British counterpart Richard Feacham, who were GFTAB’s chairman and executive director. Both gentlemen were adhering to mandates from their respective governments instead of the mandate of GFTAB to assist all people in need of resources.

Timberg went on to talk about how the 18,1 percent in Zimbabwe is higher than all but five countries in the world, instead of informing his readers that the 15 percent decline in HIV/Aids cases in Zimbabwe is the most rapid in the region of Africa, which is one of the worst affected by the deadly pandemic.

Timberg also ignores that Zimbabwe’s blood transfusion programme became a training centre in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, which resulted from the initiative taken by President Mugabe’s Government when the first HIV/Aids case was diagnosed 22 years ago.

In addition to failing to highlight the genocidal implications of using humanitarian aid as a political weapon against Zimbabwe, Timberg failed to inform his readers that the Land Reform Program implemented by President Mugabe and Zanu-PF was the motivating factor for this policy, the fact that the development agencies representing Canada, Sweden and Denmark who were on the ground in Zimbabwe doing HIV/Aids support projects, all informed the Minister and Health and Child Welfare Dr David Parirenyatwa they were instructed by their respective governments to leave Zimbabwe immediately speaks volumes about the compassion the Western world has for Mother Africa and her children.

If Mr Timberg had spoken to Minister Parirenyatwa he would have learned that the World Food Programme’s commitment to assist Zimbabwe is premised on the progress being made by his ministry and the National Aids Council, which is another example of how self-determination stemming from the Third Chimurenga goes beyond the political realm in Zimbabwe.

While George Bush’s emergency plan for Aids relief excluded Zimbabwe, the William J. Clinton Foundation sponsors 10 000 HIV/Aids orphans after initially refusing to provide assistance until he was satisfied with Zimbabwe’s commitment to the eradication of HIV/Aids.

The timing of Timberg’s article is no coincidence, during the Congressional Black Caucuses health brain trust meetings in September of 2006 and May of 2007, many of the health advocacy organisations in attendance discussed how they have ignored the increase of HIV/Aids in our communities in the US because of its obsession with Africa.

This explains why Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California, who chairs CBC’s brain-trust on HIV/Aids or the CBC health liaison Donna Christensen of the Virgin Islands have refused to address this issue, even though they both received a resolution spearheaded by 15 grassroots organisations concerning this matter which was submitted to the UN, Sadc, the African Union, and WHO on April 19 2007.

We know that sometimes journalists — depending on how they were trained — believe that current events take precedence over historical developments, poor Timberg appears to be a victim of this unfortunate orientation.

We remember the Elian Gonzalez situation in Cuba seven years ago when Commandante Fidel Castro boldly proclaimed that US citizens learned more about Cuba in four months than they had in 41 years because of the child’s abduction.

As long as President Mugabe continues to lead the fight against HIV/Aids in Africa’s most challenged region, it will neutralise the ability of US and British imperialism’s political fantasy of a regime change in Zimbabwe.

--The writer is a member of the Pan African Liberation Organisation, and Zimbabwe Cuban Friendship Association

Utilise agric inputs, women told

Herald Reporter

GOVERNMENT has urged women to participate in peri-urban farming and also fully use inputs they receive.

Speaking at the hand over ceremony of 500 bags of compound D fertilizer in Harare yesterday, Deputy Secretary of Lands Cde Noah Mangondo said: "We have distributed 500 bags of fertilizer to women in Mbare and Waterfalls in the hope that they can have good yields next year. We want them to maximise this opportunity."

Women Farming Association has received Government backing to achieve their goals of empowering women through agriculture.

"We managed to give women from all provinces maize seed, fertilizer and even chicks. We are looking forward to seeing positive results from these projects," said Women Farmers Association Harare Province Deputy Co-ordinator Mrs Rose Chirenje.

She said that women have been given an opportunity to showcase themselves through peri-urban farming. "We want urban women to fully participate in agriculture and they should utilise one acre of land, should manage to send two bags of maize to GMB. The rest of their harvest should be to their advantage," said Mrs Chirenje.

Why gender equality remains a mirage

EDITOR — Since time immemorial in every established institution, there is some form of leadership that is expected to operate within the parameters of democratic ethos which entails consultation and participation of all concerned stakeholders.

They are also to be cherished and observed cultural essentials and inherent behavioural values that constitute the framework of the moral fundamentals in every society in its diversity.

These instruments in their intricacy guide and direct the behaviour of every member that forms part of the institution as much as they sought to jealously preserve and consolidate the sanctity of its cultural structures.

Against this background it is neither intransigence nor arrogance on the part of men and husbands to refuse the much-debated about notion of equality relative to control of domestic affairs but is rather a matter of creation and culture, which all parties concede outside law.

In this context statutory laws which affect domestic affairs are apparently regulatory tools to deter selfish and bullish behaviour particularly among men whose sense of superiority seems insatiable.

And this is much welcome.

However, as learnt from experienced precedence and current domestic environment it is proving negative for equality to prevail between a husband and wife.

Regardless of all the concerted efforts, the world in its entirety is trying to modernise the landscape of the system of control, male dominance seems immutable.

In our African society, the dominance or control of domestic affairs is made stronger by the payment and acceptance of lobola.

Whereas it is deservedly regarded as a means to strengthen the relationship between families and again as a symbol of utmost commitment of the husband to marry, it is regarded as guarantee of dominance by men and it is acceptable by the wife’s family.

What makes it more symbolic especially these contemporary days, is its prohibitive nature, which many men so sacrifice to pay.

As such it remains a bitter pill to swallow to be regarded on the same weight with your wife.

Rather the demand at law of equality seems to be tainted with more disharmony than merits as it is proving a sure-fire recipe of infidelity, divorce and the insurgence of small houses.

Otherwise for the merits of equality, to be observed with the utmost reverence it so deserves, lobola should be abolished.

Another question which begs more answers than the present one is why women submissively change their surnames to that of their husbands as soon as they get married. Is it not submission to masculine authority?

It is not a mockery for wives to gently accept their preserved dominion of child tending and the bulk of in-house activities as it has been historically and contemporarily proved as their areas of superiority amongst others.

No wonder why they get preference for the custody of children whenever there happens to be a divorce. Humble acceptance and discharge of each partner’s core functions will minimise domestic disharmony and enhances the life of marriage.

Makanyisa Paul.


Mental Paraplegic Observer said...

What a load of boot-licking claptrap!
It potentially reflects the views of an alleged mental paraplegic from the stone-ages who specializes in denial of reality.
Mugabe is a terrorist who should be tried in the Hague for human rights violations and Genocide. The author should go back to his roots to enjoy his ‘liberated’ continent as managed and looted by tyrants rather than shelter behind and free-load on western values.
Most civilized and intelligent people know that Africa is a no-hope basket case continent, and they know the reasons why.
Until “evil colonialists” partially woke up the continent about 100 years ago they did not even know what a wheel or a bar of soap was, or even how to read and write.

Wadi'The Zima' said...

It seems the Lunatics have taken over the asylum.
From one, we get the most pathetic attempt to, rationalize the irrational oppression of women and to facilitate the on going attempt to impose upon Women the newly fashioned chains of 'Domestic Servitude', While we 'Men' go about the business of 'Transforming and Governing the world'. This cancerous mindset of gender bigotry and oppression must stop!!. The word must go out that we cannot begin to consider ourselves a Civilized or even Semi-Civilized Species till 'Gender Equality' is a living Reality. Nither Liberation nor our hoped for transformation is possible without 'Gender Equality'It cannot be over stressed 'The first/Primary and indeed defining feature of our 'Species' is 'Gender'and as such the tensions,contradictions and 'Gender War' which have so distorted poisoned and almost fractured our 'Species' pre-dates the 'Race&Class' contradictions.And its successful resolution must be the 'Core around wich we build and fashion our new civilization'.
A nation that has as its Founding Principle a dedication and committnent to creating 'A Human, Humane, Human Centered and Human Sensitive, nation and People.(Note 'GOD&DEVIL'have no role or place here.) In a word the very first 'Humanist Nation on this Planet'.This is the Cause and Vision which animates our people and continent. It should therefore come as no great suprise that the 'Humanist View' Is that, without the resolution of the Gender question there can be no meaningful change or 'Real Transformation of our Societies or our condition.
which brings me rather glibly to yet another inhabitant of this domain of 'Flat Earth Theoreticians' Here we are informed that "Mugabe is a terrorist who should be tried in the Hague for human rights violations and Genocide" Notice how the struggle by the indigenious people to reclaim their Lands is characterized as 'Genocide, Violation of Human Rights and Terrorism'
To us Africans 'Genocide Characterizes what happned to the 'Native People of North America to the Native People of Australia to the Jews of europe,and of course to 'All Life' when apparently a Megalomanic, psychopathically deranged Diety decides to wipe out ALL life bar Noah his brood and pairs of animals' becouse some clique of people displeasedhim/her.
We Africans find it extremely diffuclt to even imagine putting Mugabe in this category, however we have no trouble at all pressing for the arrest and Trial of Bush Blair et al for Crimes against Humanity,War Crimes. As evidence -The 500,000plus hecatomb of Iraqi Corpses ought to be sufficient evidence to secure their coviction,and enable them to join there fellow traveller 'Charles Taylor' in the Hague.
As with 'Charles Taylor'we Africans are more than prepared to stand up for 'Justice' and demand that all our 'Monsters be put on trial,' and to that end, we are pressing for the arrest and Trial of 'Bush&Blair'
Which brings me to this celeberation of ignorance Stupidity and bigtory, and I quote "Until “evil colonialists” partially woke up the continent about 100 years ago they did not even know what a wheel or a bar of soap was, or even how to read and write."This would be comic if it weren't for the fact that it relects and illustrates both the depth of ignorance the ingrained 'Racism and Racist mind set which feeds on it. It will suffice simpily to say that 'Every thing we have been, Everything We are and Everything We are ever going to be, as a species,as a Lifeform
We owe to Africa and the life that sprung from there.
Rest assured that in your little Flat Earth mind set you will be hearing more from those of us who couldn't write 100 years, according to you and yours, but gave the World/ The Universe,'Human Life', Language' Philosophy, Art, Science, Fire Mathamatics, The Pyrmids etc etc
'We' The Land/Soil & Children of AFRICA are the destiny of our 'Universe made flesh. You would do well to bear that in mind as this drama unfolds'
We are definitively committed to terminating The daily Violation of our Human Rights Across the Globe.
You will be hearing a great deal more from OUR Nation of the Willing"
As always 'The Zima' W3