Saturday, November 27, 2010

Imperialist Terror in Zimbabwe: Sanctions and HIV/AIDS

Imperialist terror, sanctions, HIV/Aids.

By Tafataona Mahoso
Reprinted from the Zimbabwe Sunday Mail

From a national strategic thinking and planning point of view, there are striking parallels between the HIV and Aids scourge and the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the Anglo-Saxon powers. The first parallel is that HIV and Aids and illegal sanctions target and devastate mostly young people. Illegal sanctions at their worst impact brought formal industrial production down to 10 percent of capacity.

And according to research used by former US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Christopher Dell, at Africa University in 2005, the livelihoods of the majority of Zimbabweans were brought down and back to 1953 levels.

The graphic realities behind these figures can be seen and felt by taking a walk through the former industrial districts of cities in Zimbabwe or visiting any of the provincial towns and growth points in the country.

In any economic crisis such as what Zimbabwe went through between 2000 and 2010, it is the youth population which is least capable of adjusting its means of making a living, adjusting incomes.

So HIV and Aids and illegal sanctions affecting Zimbabwe at the same time meant that youths were over-represented among the jobless, among the economic refugees going to South Africa and Britain, and among those dying of Aids-induced diseases.

The result is that where most societies experience a baby boom immediately after a prolonged war, in the period after the Second Chimurenga Zimbabwe has experienced a baby bust which has been worsened by panic emigration caused by sanctions.

The second parallel between HIV and Aids and sanctions is obvious from the first: mass impoverishment. The older generation loses salaries, pensions, medical aid schemes and investments which hyperinflation reduces to zero, while the younger generation loses jobs, spouses and time, that is if they are not dead.

The more than 13 000 economic refugees in the UK who are being deported back to Zimbabwe will find that they have lost a lot of the prime time of their lives compared to those who stayed put in Zimbabwe.

The third parallel is that both HIV and Aids and illegal sanctions have been exploited by the Anglo-Saxon powers, their donor agencies and donor-funded NGOs as presenting a great opportunity to overthrow the African liberation culture of the Second Chimurenga in order to replace it with a Western-inspired, Western-driven, donor-funded neo-liberal fake.

As a result, both the illegal Anglo-Saxon sanctions and the HIV and Aids scourge have been accompanied by massive campaigns to blame the effects on the victims.

The result is that it is documented that 12 years of sanctions against Iraq, from 1991 to 2003, killed more than 600 000 children; but no Western donor, Western-funded NGO or Western-sponsored journalist will ever admit that even a single child has died in Zimbabwe due to illegal sanctions.

What we get are elaborate exercises in denial, such as the following:
“13 000 (Zimbabweans) face deportation (from the UK)”, NewsDay, October 28 2010; “Addressing industry’s recovery needs”, Zimbabwe Independent, October 29 2010; “Sanctions not to blame — EU”, Zimbabwe Independent October 29 2010; “Dire consequences of rural poverty”, Zimbabwe Independent, October 18 2010; “Zim’s economic upsurge falters”, Zimbabwe Independent, August 6 2010; “Zim (trade) shipments fall 90 percent”, The Sunday Mail Business, January 3 2010; “How did business survive?” Zimbabwe Independent, April 30 2009; “Jaggers closes 11 branches”, Herald Business, April 19 2010; and “Economy sick — Biti”, Zimbabwe Independent, July 9 2010.

The same sort of avoidance and denial accompanies the HIV and Aids story.

As I started to show in the November 14 2010 instalment for this column, the 2004 UNFPA-UZ booklet called The Zimbabwe Male Psyche With Respect to Reproductive Health, HIV, Aids and Gender Issues, was a clear attempt to send the whole nation on a wild goose chase in the quest to deal with the HIV and Aids pandemic.

In that 2004 UNFPA booklet, the authors, P. Chiroro, A. Mashu and W. Muhwava, wrote as follows:
“It was hypothesised that the Zimbabwean male psyche is characterised by an internalised, insatiable and self-centred desire for sex with multiple partners, coupled with an intolerant attitude towards women who are perceived to be, primarily, objects of sexual gratification and child bearing.”

Without any reference to control studies based on other societies elsewhere in the world, the authors concluded thus:
“The results of the study provide strong support for the research hypothesis in that the Zimbabwean male psyche appears to be characterised by an internalised, insatiable, self-centred desire for sex with multiple partners, coupled with an intolerant attitude towards women who are perceived to be, primarily, objects for sexual gratification and child bearing.”

In addition, the results of this study showed the following:
l Most Zimbabwean men and male youths hold very poor sexuality standards which are characterised by a strong reluctance to engage in safe sex practices during high-risk sexual encounters.
l The study reveals that the majority of Zimbabwean men and male youths view women as inferior to men. Adversarial sexual beliefs and gender role stereotypes are used to justify violence against women and to deny their sexual and reproductive health rights.
l The culture and legal system in Zimbabwe provide a fertile ground for the propagation and perpetuation of adversarial sexual behaviour among men and male youths. This exposes them and their partners to the risk of contracting the HIV virus as well as compromising women’s human and reproductive health rights.”

In simple language, what was this UN agency and the three university researchers trying to say? The English dictionary meaning of psyche is the human soul, mind or spirit.

So, in what way could the UNFPA claim to have pin-pointed and isolated a definite factor called the soul of the Zimbabwean male or the spirit of the Zimbabwean male, which could then be made responsible for the spread of HIV and Aids in this country?

Indeed the UNFPA and its consultants attempted to tell the whole world not only that there was definite, separable power called the Zimbabwean male psyche; but also that they had demonstrated that this definite force or power was responsible for promiscuous sexual behaviour, lust, discrimination against women, abuse of women and girls and the spread of HIV and Aids.

They also meant that the Zimbabwean male psyche was so different from the psyches of other societies that it could be identified as typically Zimbabwean.

What the authors also implied was that we could select indigenous African foods such as dovi, muboora, nyemba, madora and grains such as mhunga, mapfunde and rukweza for use in fighting HIV and Aids; but the culture which created the ingredients forming this healthy diet was no good, especially in its male form. That culture had to be suppressed together with the virus itself.

Since that time, the defamation of the African in HIV and Aids campaigns and adverts here has followed that highly questionable theory of African tradition and the presumed inherent nature of the African male psyche and male sexuality as responsible for the spread of HIV and Aids.

The attempts at gross misinformation and disinformation in the Aids and sanctions campaigns are linked to the imperialist need to use illegal sanctions and HIV and Aids as opportunities for thorough regime change, which means overturning the social and political order.

In the case of illegal sanctions, for instance, the MDC formations in 1999-2000 went on a sanctions-mongering campaign all over the world. Later, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai even told BBC the specific sanctions demanded: cutting off oil supplies, cutting off all lines of credit, cutting off all power imports from South Africa, Mozambique and the DRC.

However, when it became clear that the voters of Zimbabwe might blame their impoverishment and the hyperinflation on the sanctions, the MDC formations backed off a bit, trying to claim that the illegal sanctions affected only top Zanu-PF officials and would not affect ordinary Zimbabweans.

At the time of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and (later) the Interparty agreement between Zanu-PF and the MDC formations, the latter were convinced that the illegal Anglo-Saxon sanctions were real economic and financial sanctions and that all three parties would need to work together to have them lifted in order to protect the people.

Yet as late as October 7 2010, the very same Prime Minister went back to his party’s abandoned claim that there were no sanctions and that the massive economic crisis experienced by all Zimbabweans since 2000 was due only to mismanagement.

This would then suggest that the Prime Minister’s own party was also mismanaging the economy in such a way that the economy was not recovering. The Prime Minister said on October 7 2010:
“All Zimbabweans know that Mr Mugabe and his colleagues brought the restrictive measures on themselves through flagrant abuses of human rights and the economic disaster which they inflicted on this country. All Zimbabweans know that these restrictive measures are the result not the cause of that economic disaster.”

The cultivation of ignorance, lies and disinformation is an integral part of terror aimed at illegal regime change.

Peter McPherson and John Agresto were, respectively, George W. Bush’s officials responsible for the economy and for the re-making of Iraq’s higher education from scratch.

According to The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism:
“In that context, the stripping of the universities and the education ministry was . . . ‘the opportunity for a clean start . . .’ If the mission was ‘nation creating’, as so many clearly believed it to be, then everything that remained of the old country was going to get in the way.”

Paradoxically, John Agresto was actually the head of an institution of higher learning in the US which supposedly specialised in Great Books!

“He explained that although he knew nothing of Iraq, he had refrained from reading books about the country before making the trip so that he would arrive in Iraq ‘with as open a mind as I could have . . .’ If Agresto had read a book or two, he might have thought twice about the need to erase everything and start over.”

This is where Zimbabweans need to pause. We boast that we are the best-educated in Africa, with the highest literacy rate.

Agresto could have also learned that “before sanctions strangled that country, Iraq had the best education in the Middle East region, with the highest literacy rates in the Arab world . . . By contrast, in Agresto’s home state (in the US), New Mexico, 46 percent of the population is functionally illiterate, and 20 percent are unable to do basic arithmetic to determine the total on a sales receipt.

Yet Agresto was so convinced of the superiority of (US) systems that he seemed unable to entertain the possibility that Iraqis might want to protect their own culture and they might feel its destruction as a wrenching loss.”

In the October 31 instalment for this column, I mentioned that most of the representatives of so-called human rights NGOs objecting to my presentation during “The Debate” at the Book CafĂ© in Harare were upset about the sources of evidence I referred to outside my own opinion. They wanted all relevant references suppressed.

In my debate with Sydney Chisi of Crisis Coalition Zimbabwe on July 6 2010, Chisi openly said that the information I deployed against his arguments should not be heard on TV. He said I should have reserved it to some remote corner of The Sunday Mail.

Chisi had argued on ZTV that Zimbabwe’s diamonds should not be sold because of violations of human rights, which was another way of deepening illegal sanctions against the people. He also suggested excluding from ZTV any information which exposed him and his Crisis Coalition Zimbabwe!

The last HIV and Aids workshop I attended in Kariba in the mid 1990s was also told by NGOs and their donors that Zimbabweans should not ask where HIV and Aids came from or why its patterns and severity differed so much here from other countries. We were simply supposed to focus on prevention.

I need not mention that the most devastating ignorance we suffer to this day is that we do not yet know the cure for HIV and Aids! That is typical of a situation of mass terror!

Ignorance and lies are promoted as part and parcel of the mass terror of sanctions and HIV and Aids against the people.

No comments: