Sunday, October 18, 2009

Zimbabwe News Update: US Admits Funding PM's Office; Regime Change Still Goal of the Imperialists

US admits funding PM’s office

Zimbabwe Sunday Mail Reporter

THE US government, through its Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Mr Johnnie Carson, has openly admitted that it is funding the MDC-T’s parallel government by providing funds to the Prime Minister’s Office.

Even the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through its acting assistant administrator for Africa, Mr Earl Gast, confirmed that the US government has been funding the PM’s Office.

In his testimony to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Sub-committee on Africa on September 30 2009, Mr Carson pledged his support to advance US interests in Zimbabwe.

“Our assistance to Zimbabwe seeks to lay the groundwork for a return to democracy and prosperity by supporting democratic voices and civil society, including support to the Prime Minister’s Office for communications and other capacity building,” said Mr Carson.

In his paper entitled “Exploring US Policy Options Towards Zimbabwe’s Transition” that he presented to the same sub-committee, Mr Gast said: “In addition, funding has included support for civil society strengthening, support to help fulfill the terms of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) (eg resources for the constitution-making process); programmes to demonstrate responsible governance (eg improving the public outreach capacity of the Office of the Prime Minister); assistance to non-governmental monitoring of compliance of all parties to the GPA; and support for independent media”.

It is understood that NANGO (National Association of Non-Govermental Organisations) has already lined up seminars where it will start the process to monitor all the parties in the GPA.

Mr Gast added: “The US$73 million in funding for Zimbabwe pledged by President Obama during Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s recent visit to the US includes significant inter-agency funding for HIV and Aids programmes in: parliamentary strengthening, (US$2,4 million); elections and constitution making (3,2 million); rule of law (3,8 million); consensus-building (2,7 million); media (1,5 million); victims of torture (1,9 million); civil society/local government capacity building (5,8 million); maternal and child health, including tuberculosis ($4,1 million); and family planning (1,2 million).”

These revelations are set to shame the PM’s Office which has been refuting allegations that funding for its parallel government has been coming from the US government through USAID.

In addition to running the parallel government, the PM’s Office is publishing a newsletter that is under the charge of Andrew Chadwick and is receiving funding from the USAID.

An African diplomat privy to the presentations that were made by the International Crisis Group, the Mercy Corps group, the US Treasury Department and the USAID to the Subcommittee on African Affairs showed that US policy towards Zimbabwe is in a quandary.

The diplomat said under the George Bush administration, US policy towards Zimbabwe was shaped by ZIDERA whose main thrust was to attack President Mugabe, attack the economy through sanctions and create and fund subversive organizations.

“But now with the MDC in Government, clearly that template is falling short because a continued attack on Zimbabwe through sanctions would mean that in the event of failure, the MDC would also be blamed.

“Presentations made to the subcommittee clearly show that the US is trying to adjust, in a fundamental way, its policy towards Zimbabwe,” said the diplomat.

The diplomat said the shift in policy was necessitated by the creation of the inclusive Government, the stabilization of the economy following measures announced in Minister Patrick Chinamasa’s budget, the re-engagement of Zimbabwe, the mounting campaign against sanctions and the fact that America “now has a listening post in Government through the MDC.”

Said the diplomat: “They want to fine tune the sanctions to make them targeted but also fine tune assistance to make it targeted. They want to have a target of destruction and a target of mitigation.

“The US will use the MDC as its listening post in Government and through the Multi Donor Trust Fund they will fund seminars that they will use to source data about the goings on in Government.”

The diplomat said the US government was now trying to enter into the Zanu-PF stronghold – the farmers by providing funding for agriculture.

In recent weeks, farmers have been promised lots of funding from some NGOs raising suspicion that this was a ploy to “buy farmers and deliver them to the MDC in preparation for elections.”

In his presentation, Mr Carson spoke about “our recent notification and consultation on new targeted programmes in the agriculture and education sectors.”

‘Independent’ judiciary, commissions: Whose independence?

AFRICAN FOCUS By Tafataona P. Mahoso
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail

Those who have followed demands for “reform” by the MDC formations in Zimbabwe will notice that if these political formations were to be allowed to put their programmes into practice this country would end up with the following commissions:

Independent Land Commission, Independent Anti-Corruption Commission, Independent Media Commission, Independent Planning Commission, Independent Broadcasting Commission, Independent Judicial Appointments Commission, Independent Public Service Commission, Independent Gender Commission and so on. . . .

Given the extreme partisanship and sectarianism which the MDC formations have imported with their foreign sponsorship into Zimbabwean politics, the first question which arises is: From which planet do the MDC formations intend to import enough “independent” persons, let alone resources, to build so many independent commissions?

Citizens can get some idea of the “independence” meant by the MDC formations if they examine the lists of candidates these parties have been presenting to the Standing Rules and Orders Committee (SROC) of Parliament for nomination to the various “independent” bodies. There is a high representation of former white Rhodesians being imported back into Zimbabwe via South Africa, to take up positions on these “independent” commissions.

It is also important to remember that in her encounter with President Robert Mugabe on CNN on September 24 2009, “independent” journalist Christiane Amanpour indicated clearly and openly that Roy Bennett was the only definitely “independent” source of evidence which CNN should consult in order to determine whether President Robert Mugabe’s account of the quarrel between Zimbabwe and Britain was true! She, like MDC-T, also demanded to know why the same Roy Bennett had not been sworn in as Deputy Minister of Agriculture.

Perhaps our readers may wonder why we keep insisting that we are dealing with ideology and propaganda rather than independence or law. Just think of the concept of independent commission as language. Try to put it into any one of our national languages. Does it make sense? Even in English, does it make sense?

A commission has to be commissioned in order to have validity and authority. To commission means: an act of committing or giving authority to carry out a particular task or duty; the act of giving certain powers to a person or body; the act of entrusting someone with particular responsibilities; the state of being authorised to perform certain functions.

As a noun, a commission is a group of people lawfully authorised to perform certain duties or functions as a government agency. An “independent” commission in the normal world is a contradiction. Its independence exists as ideology or propaganda, not as reality. Before we explain the meaning of the demand by the MDC formations to set up unwieldy and expensive commissions in almost every sector, it might help to look at recent history. When the myth of willing-buyer-willing-seller in the 1979 Lancaster House Constitution failed to provide enough land to satisfy the dispossessed African majority by 1990, two views became prominent on how the land issue was to be resolved.

One view said that “the independent judiciary” would resolve the issue through the courts.

The other view said the judiciary, the courts and the law at that time (1990-1992) were part of the problem and had been part of the problem since the days of Cecil John Rhodes and the British South African Company. Africans had to wage the First Chimurenga and Second Chimurenga precisely because the judiciary, the law and the courts were the colonial instruments for the permanent racist dispossession of the African majority.

When the white Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay prepared to hear one of the land cases in early November 2000, the State asked him to remove himself from hearing the case because in many previous utterances he had already judged the African land reclamation movement and method to be illegal and criminal. The white Chief Justice went ahead to hear the case and on January 10 2001 he condemned widespread criticism of his conduct as an “onslaught” on the judiciary, an erosion of judicial independence.

Denmark, Britain, the Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU), the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), leaders of the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) and the International Bar Association (IBA) came out on the side of white settler farmers against the African land reclamation movement.

This line-up of views proved correct President Robert Mugabe’s statement on December 13 2000 that the courts and the law at that stage could not resolve the Zimbabwean land question.

But that was only the beginning of the struggle which we see being re-staged again in the form of “independent commissions”.

So, on February 6 2001 Chief Justice Gubbay came out politically and openly in support of the white settler farmers and attacked the leaders of the country, through the Press, for failure to arrest and lock up the land-hungry masses.

The white Chief Justice also openly attacked the African Judge President of the High Court at that time for admitting that the effect of the position taken by the Supreme Court against the African land reclamation movement had been to compromise the dignity and authority of the entire judiciary in the eyes of the overwhelming majority of the people, especially because the African land movement was a popular mass movement with organic community resonance.

The white Chief Justice later resigned and the African Judge President Godfrey Chidyausiku became Chief Justice.

Automatically, the replacement of a white Chief Justice by an African Chief Justice in the middle of the African land revolution was condemned as blatant patronage which destroyed the independence of the courts! The International Bar Association sent a delegation biased in favour of the white settler farmers and the former white Chief Justice.

The delegation also helped the settlers to incite the NCA, LCZ, CFU, MDC, Legal Resources Foundation and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights to come out openly on the side of the white settlers and against the dispossessed povo. The Financial Gazette openly declared on December 6 2001: “Zanu-PF takes over Zimbabwe’s courts: law experts say land judgment political.”

This was in response to a new judgment on new land cases in which compulsory land acquisition, land redistribution and land resettlement were declared to be constitutional. Immediately, on April 17 2002, the illegal regime change lobby demanded constitutional reforms for the purpose of reversing land reform on behalf of the white settlers.

So, from this history and from the lists of persons submitted by the MDC formations for nomination to independent commissions, we get the message that white Rhodesians are “independent” and most capable of making “independent” judgments about the future of Zimbabwe! Any replacement of whites by Africans destroys the rule of law and undermines independence.

Moving further, the MDC formations’ logic becomes even more revealing. The very same illegal regime change lobby which says white Rhodesians are independent judges of their own dispute with Zimbabwe is demanding that Zimbabwe’s war veterans and retired soldiers should never be allowed anywhere near these “independent” commissions.

Why? Well, because, although the war veterans brought about Zimbabwe’s independence, they cannot themselves be independent! Instead, the appointment of any one or more of these people who brought independence must be condemned as undermining the independence of these commissions. In fact, it is a militarisation of these supposedly independent bodies.

After white Rhodesians, the other breed of persons the MDC formations favour for nomination and appointment are lawyers. These are to be preferred to any other discipline.

The Regime Change Strategy behind the Proliferation of “Independent Commissions”

The idea that a judiciary headed by a white Rhodesian in Zimbabwe is independent while one headed by an African is not independent; the idea that a commission including retired Rhodesian security officers is democratic and independent while one including retired war veterans of the Second Chimurenga is “militarised” — has already been established and understood through the examples cited. Readers should see the Zimbabwe Independent of October 2 2009 and internet sites and Misa Press statements in the same week.

But our readers should not end there. There is still the problem of British, US and EU sponsorship, endorsement and funding attracted by the campaign for “independent commissions”. Why is there so much Anglo-Saxon interest and support for such a campaign? There were commissions long before the regime change onslaught against Zimbabwe. But if our readers check their old newspapers, there were no strenuous efforts to call them “independent” and there were no campaigns to have them sponsored by foreign governments through the NGO sector.

What is new? What is new is the failure of the regime change onslaught, which started in 1997, to achieve its objectives of removing and destroying the African liberation movement. What is new is the failure to reverse the African land reclamation movement to date. What is new is the determination still to overcome that failure.

This failure means that some of the methods of regime change, such as violence and military invasion, have now been abandoned. This means that a combination of instruments of “soft power” is now preferred.

One of those ever-present instruments is the Western media. In “Violence in and by the media”, George Gerbner explained this role.

“They (the media) serve as projective devices that isolate acts and people from meaningful contexts and set them up to be stigmatised . . . Stigma is a mark of disgrace that evokes disgraceful behaviour. Labelling some people barbarians makes it easier to treat them as barbarians would (treat them) . . . classifying some people as criminals permits dealing with them in ways otherwise criminal; it makes it legitimate to attack and kill them . . . Stigmatisation and demonising isolate their targets and set them up to be victimised.”

But the media alone cannot successfully destabilise Zimbabwe without credible individuals, NGOs and institutions to generate ready-framed events, stories and reports which fit the regime change agenda and language. In other words, the media war on Zimbabwe has no effect unless the catchment area for ready-framed events, stories and reports is increased. BBC, CNN, Aljazeera and other propaganda channels will have a hard time meeting the mission stated by Gerbner without sponsored individuals, NGOs and neoliberal institutions which can be primed to set off the spiral and orchestration of pseudo-events which can be used to fuel the regime change onslaught.

If we step back and look at the timing of the Nobel Prize for Peace which was given to US President Barrack Obama, we can see that the Nobel Committee played a role for imperialism and Nato which some of our commissions and proposed commissions are expected to play for the yet unsuccessful regime change forces.

Obama was given a prize, which event has been globalised through mass media, not for any achievement but for a wishful (even dishonest) statement of intentions.

The purpose is to boost Obama’s image at home at a time when there is a rising backlash against him, a backlash even within the African-American community, a backlash on the diplomatic front because of failure to dismantle George W. Bush’s global terror machine.

In the Financial Gazette for October 15 2009, Professor Ken Mafuka reports that Obama is being challenged on “all fronts”. So imperialism used the Nobel Prize for Peace as a timely means of shoring up his media image. This is done by using the prize to confirm that his good intentions are well meant. It has nothing to do with work achieved.

Likewise, the dozen or so commissions demanded by the MDC formations are also meant to boost the false democratic credentials of these foreign-funded impositions as well-meaning “democrats”.

Zim’s chance to make or break

By Jonathan Kadzura
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail

THE issue of regime change is not a thing of the past.

This phenomenon will hang on us like an albatross on our national neck for as long as Zimbos will like to retain their identity and national sovereignty.

Some Western governments have taken it upon themselves that if Zimbabweans cannot remove President Mugabe and his Zanu-PF from power, then they will do it. The easiest way of achieving this agenda is through creating social unrest, which can easily be created in a country where people are hungry and cannot understand why they are going without jobs and food.

These are the hidden tools of the West when they plan regime change. It is not about democracy, comrades and friends, it is about “OUR ECONOMIC INTERESTS”. In other words, the West is saying “for as long as ‘WE’ have control of their raw materials, they will remain our friends and in fact we can move on to honour their leaders with knighthoods, so they can become Sir Mugabes”.

It is important that we all get very clear about one thing and one thing only. The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Mugabe, and his country are under illegal and lethal sanctions because he only said rova hako, ndinofira vana vangu!

This, I am sure, was an easy decision to make on the part of the President but unheard of on the part of the West. Comrades and friends, our charge is that we took back our God-given capital resource — land.

Therefore the whole regime change agenda is based on the far-fetched dream that one day Zimbos will fail to feed themselves and yield to the pressure of the West to restore land to them by proxy.

Again, we are in that season when we have a chance to make or break. We are in that season when every Zimbabwean and every Zimbabwean corporate or institution must stand by the simple fact of reason that “ZIMBABWE WILL NEVER BE A COLONY AGAIN”.

The good Lord, as usual, will bless this country with enough seasonal rains to provide us with a good harvest.

The question that will hang over us is whether we are ready for the season or not. The failure of agriculture this season can only work to strengthen the agenda of those who are pushing for regime change.

Let us be clear that our bone of contention with the West arises from the land redistribution exercise. Should farmers fail to produce food and raw materials this season they will only be arming those who are pushing for regime change.

The first democratic Government of this country was very clear in that the whole essence of going to war was to recover our land.

We have succeeded in doing this to a great extent but much more still has to be done. A lot of new farmers are still holding on to their offer letters but have not been given the opportunity to settle on the allocated farms.

We urge Government to quickly move to correct this anomaly. It is also important to note that these are the farms we read about in our media as being portals of “fresh invasions” when in fact new farmers have been patient to allow for orderly transfer of ownership.

In my view, a cut-off date must be set when everyone holding on to an offer letter must have moved onto their prescribed piece of land.

It will not benefit Zimbabwe to continue arguing in the administrative courts where political decisions have been taken.

It would be a pity if we are going to lose another season because nobody is farming but arguing.

Remember the more time we spend upping and downing with pieces of paper in our hands is opportunity lost and never to be regained. Those who were told to move must move.

Those who were told to settle on the new farms must also go on and ensure they grow food and raw materials for the country.

May I hazard to say that the formation of the inclusive Government has also created a new demand for land.

Some deserving Zimbos did not get a chance because they were unsure of the complexion of the new Government, but now that all the three principals have made it very clear that land reform is irreversible and was right in the first place.

There is now a bigger demand and hunger for more land kuvana vevhu. In my view, it is only necessary for the inclusive Government to ensure fresh applications from these “Thomases” are invited and that more land must be acquired.

Tanaiwa kudhara, kusi kutota ngekupi? Let us move quickly so we can dry our clothes. Makadya imbwa, idyai hono yacho.

A number of us are already on these farms, but chepamawoko hapana. Fellow Zimbabweans, even in the most developed economies like the United States of America, Germany and France, agriculture is subsidised.

In our country, agriculture is only at the formative stage. If those of us who are on these farms fail to produce food and raw materials we will be seen as pushing the wrong agenda of regime change because we will have become a failed state.

All those who hate us are waiting for us to fail. I have a lot of confidence in our farmers but may it be understood that we are grateful for all the efforts demonstrated by the central bank in supporting agriculture but this effort must not be seen as being outside the ambit of Government.

Surely there has to be imagination enough in the Ministry of Finance to come up with a financing model for agriculture.

We understand banks are not accepting offer letters as collateral, yet those who gave us the offer letters have confidence in our ability to produce raw materials and food.

What is so difficult in giving a blanket guarantee to individual banks through the Reserve Bank so that high street banks can on-lend to farmers? Why would anybody have the confidence to give me a piece of land if they were sure that the land would be left to waste?

Should this season fail because of financing problems, the Ministry of Finance must take full responsibility.

After we fail to produce food, the same good ministry will find money to import food.

The same responsible authorities will reduce us to beggars who will receive food from non-governmental organisations. Hunger and social unrest will have been created, and whose agenda would we be pushing?

This is not and can never be fair. Our farmers must be given a fair chance and Government must play its role in ensuring that farmers have access to proper financing.

Remember, if agriculture fails, industry will also fail, and we will only be playing into the hands of those who think our meltdown is a result of the land redistribution programme.

It will be easy for them to say we told you when in fact the real problem is a lack of proper financing structures which structures they have largely destroyed.

After we have all heard about the US$510 million and the US$3 million, we will not accept that Government could not help because they did not have the money.

No. As a farmer I would hate to bring the land reform programme into disrepute by failing to produce.

Worse still be classified as pushing the agenda of the West by helping to create social unrest because of a shortage of food.

May I conclude by saying that those entrusted with the powers to manage public funds must be responsive to the wishes of the nation.

As farmers, we do not want to be helping to push the wrong agenda. Producing raw materials for our industry and food for our nation is our only goal.

As usual, sharing ideas at a national level can only be good for our nation. Today is a Sunday, take some rest.

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