Saturday, January 10, 2009

International Crisis Group Dead Wrong on Zimbabwe

International Crisis Group dead wrong on Zimbabwe

By John Dziva Kuvita
Courtesy of the Zimbabwe Herald

THE analysis of the Zimbabwe situation by the International Crisis Group, contained in Africa Briefing Number 56 issued in Pretoria and Brussels on December 16, 2008 is mind-boggling.

ICG blames President Mugabe and Zanu-PF for all the problems facing Zimbabwe.

It claims that President Mugabe and Zanu-PF "stole elections, unleashed violence upon Zimbabweans, have run down the economy, have caused HIV and Aids, and caused cholera etc" — the list is endless.

How on earth can the intellectuals and eminent persons in the ICG overlook the role and motives of Britain and the United States in Zimbabwe?

How can they fail to notice that these countries have systematically and relentlessly destabilised Zimbabwe since the advent of the land reforms in 1999?

How can they fail to also condemn violence perpetrated by MDC-T led by Morgan Tsvangirai?

The so-called Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act authorises President George W. Bush and future US presidents "to provide support for independent and free Press and electronic media" and "to provide for democracy and governance programmes in Zimbabwe", among others.

This Act effectively disabled all lines of credit to Zimbabwe and prevents the "World" Bank and International Monetary Fund from providing any development assistance or support to Zimbabwe.

The motive of these sanctions should be known to the ICG.

In a 2005 testimony to a US Senate hearing on Zimbabwe, former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Chester Crocker had this to say: "To separate the Zimbabwean people from Zanu-PF, we are going to have to make their economy scream, and I hope you, senators, have the stomach for what you have to do."

This statement in itself confirms US complicity in economic destabilisation of Zimbabwe.

The European Union as a bloc and the British in particular have imposed a set of their own sanctions — targeted they call them.

How can the sanctions be called targeted to individuals when their effect discourages British companies and individuals from investing in Zimbabwe’s economy?

How can they be called targeted when the British government bans the delivery of aircraft and vehicle parts fully paid for by the Government of Zimbabwe?

Will Britain in future pay interest on the monies remitted by the Government of Zimbabwe for the spares?

Over the last eight years, hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent by the US, Britain and the EU bloc of nations to destabilise Zimbabwe.

On the ground, measures taken by the US, Britain and the EU translated into funding of anti-Government of Zimbabwe and Zanu-PF radio stations and newspapers, bankrolling the opposition MDC and inciting and urging Zimbabweans to vote against President Mugabe.

Quantified, all these punitive economic measures, destabilisation and huge funding for the opposition make violence inevitable.

Any economy subjected to such punitive measures would spiral into hyper-inflation, chaos and human suffering.

It is, therefore, not mismanagement, but external sabotage which is the main ingredient of the problems in Zimbabwe.

The notion that Zimbabweans are hapless victims of a power-hungry African dictator is a fairy tale sponsored by Washington and London to mask the crimes these countries are committing against the people of Zimbabwe.

The claims about non-existence of democracy and human rights violations in Zimbabwe being regurgitated by Western governments and institutions, the ICG, "humanitarian NGOs and independent journalists" (all paid by Washington and London) are a ploy designed to hoodwink their African and overseas audiences into missing the point about what this is all about, which is the ownership by Zimbabweans of their resources, including land.

If the West really cares about the suffering Zimbabweans, they would simply lift the sanctions.

The British, United States and the white Commonwealth governments MUST be charged with genocide over the death of over 1 000 Zimbabweans because of the cholera epidemic.

This call is predicated on the undeniable fact that these countries have in the past eight years imposed illegal economic sanctions that are affecting all facets of Zimbabwean society, thereby severely incapacitating Government’s ability to deal with outbreaks of epidemics.

These countries must stop forthwith covering their guilt.

Most Zimbabweans are clearly seeing the vicious assault on Zimbabwe aimed at effecting a coup against the elected Government of President Mugabe by whipping up people’s emotions on the cholera outbreak and instilling a sense in them that there is no government in Zimbabwe to address the impact of the epidemic.

If anything, the West is creating permanent enemies with the people of Zimbabwe because people of my generation will not forget the flagrant violation of our rights by the Western nations to economic prosperity and the denial of basic necessities because of the sanctions imposed by the West on our own God-given country.

The ICG also lacks in depth in its assessment of the political situation in Zimbabwe by misinterpreting the vote tally of the contesting political parties following last year’s harmonised elections.

The two MDCs are two different political parties with different leaders and party ideologies.

To try and create a single MDC is obviously an attempt to mislead the ICG audience that Zanu-PF lost the elections.

Tsvangirai led in the first round of the elections but failed to achieve the constitutional threshold to become President.

He chickened out of the run-off sensing defeat.

MDC-T has only one Member of the House of Assembly more than Zanu-PF.

MDC, which is a different political party, has 10.

So to try and create one political party out of the two factions is a betrayal of the truth.

Why does the ICG ignore the results of the Senate elections which Zanu-PF won, which also translate into a majority popular vote for Zanu-PF?

Be fair with your readers, please.

Perhaps there is need for the ICG to change its name to International Constructive Group if people of rational minds have to take the input of the organisation seriously, otherwise the International Crisis Group as presently constituted, and for its name sake, foments and provokes crises around the world.

Anyone who has had sight of Cde Thabo Mbeki’s letter of admonishment to Tsvangirai will see clearly that the latter does not care about ordinary Zimbabweans and is only interested in the blind pursuit of power, hence he is to blame for the problems bedevilling the country.

-John Dziva Kuvita is Harare-based researcher on African politics.

1 comment:

emartonline said...

You obviously have not been to Zimbabwe or you have been away from Zimbabwe for a very long time. You have no idea of what the government is doing apart from what you hear or read in newspapers. If you are in Zimbabwe then you are one of the few people benefiting from Robert Mugabe's skewed economics. Robert Mugabe did not cause AIDS neither did he cause cholera. All he has done is to create a situation that allows a dangerous rate of spread of these diseases. First he nationalised water treatment and took the responsibilities from Municipal authorities when he knew his govt was broke and could not afford treating the water. At one point untreated water was pumped to the people directly initialising the first caes of cholera. Doctors and nurses are being paid money which is not enough for transport to work so how can anyone be expected to go to work for that. The problem was created by Mugabe who ordered farm invasions. The people who occupied these farms have no farming skills and could not produce enough to feed the country. Tobbacco production fell and along with that our main source of economic income was gone. When US and America voiced their concern on how Mugabe was violating terms of the 1998 land conference, he cut all ties with them and even chased away donor agencies from these countries. Britain helped Zimbabwe since we got independence and we were almost being bankrolled by Britain until Mugabe alienated himself from Tony Blair. I dont see where America and Britain are wrong in calling for the protection of my rights and the rights of other Zimbabweans who are powerless. ICG is absolutely correct and as long as there are people like you who spread lies about Zimbabwe and its suffering the international community will remain confused and the people of Zim will not have their rights protected