Thursday, September 22, 2016

No CNN Amanpour, Zimbabwe Not At Tipping Point
September 22, 2016
Features, Opinion & Analysis
Hildegade Manzvanzvike
Zimbabwe Herald

CNN’s Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour was sold a dummy, for Zimbabwe’s tipping point under the leadership of President Mugabe and his ruling Zanu-PF party is still way off, despite what they envision. Nevertheless, it is not game over yet. They are still working on the real game changer.After interviewing President Mugabe in New York, in September 2009, like most of them in the West, she probably believed that this was going to be the final session of the United Nations General Assembly he was attending.

She grilled him then, so it seemed, but when all was said and done, she still could not pin him down. A quick search of that September 24, 2009 interview will reveal how Amanpour fared against Africa’s last standing statesman.

An opinion piece by Rashweat Mukundu (programmes manager with the Media Institute of Southern Africa – Misa), and published by the on September 25, 2009 says all in the headline: “How Amanpour lost to Mugabe.” One of the accompanying pictures from the Amanpour set reads, “Victory . . . Robert Mugabe”.

She badgered President Mugabe about the emotive sanctions issue: “What are you going to ask? Are you going to ask President Obama to lift sanctions that are imposed?”

At least she acknowledged that the US and its allies imposed illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe, but President Mugabe responded: “Not really. I haven’t come here for President Obama, to address the United States. I’ve come here to address the General Assembly, which is part of the United Nations’ structures. And, we are entitled to address matters that affect us in the global environment, and the matters that affect us in a particular way as Zimbabwe. And, this is what I’m going to do.” (

Seven years on, Amanpour seems unrelenting as she and CNN want the Zimbabwean leader in particular to be a global conversation, especially at the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly, which is underway.

The major issues of contention: alleged “police brutality” during unsanctioned demonstrations, the state of the Zimbabwean economy and, the levelling of the electoral playing field for opposition parties.

And what better way to hit back again at the Zimbabwean leader than using the recent violent protests sponsored by some Western governments and their media.

For several days leading up to the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly, CNN devoted so much airtime on Zimbabwe, with the hope of creating an impression that Zimbabwe was burning and ungovernable, and that it was time the United Nations Security Council intervened.

This writer watched many of those reports in the build-up to UNGA71, including the one aired on September 16, where Amanpour was doing an analysis of the protests, in the same vein making insinuations that this was a final push by the new-look activists using social media, that would force Government out of power.

It was also surprising to hear David McKenzie, another CNN reporter who usually reports from South Africa making a preposterous claim that they had struggled to enter Zimbabwe to do their report.

They can fool some Zimbabweans, but not all. We are not so blinkered as to not have noted the presence of a CNN reporter at President Mugabe’s 92nd birthday celebrations at the Great Zimbabwe monument in Masvingo, and that she was also giving live feeds to their Atlanta, Georgia studios.

Had she also struggled to enter Zimbabwe just to report on birthday celebrations hosted by the 21st February Movement annually?

We were therefore not surprised when our sister paper the Sunday Mail, reported this week that “two British operatives known for engineering violent ‘protests’ in North and West Africa were dispatched to Harare in early September, with Western media, led by CNN following with sustained coverage of purported ‘police brutality’ and ‘human rights violations’.”

When you read and listen to their reportage between the lines, you see that they are people that get overly excited about gadgets they designed, and are now being used to deliver desired results.

The Internet, social media and all other ICT gizmos will not go away any time soon, but it is the original intent behind these inventions that matters. So to them, social media being used to try to overthrow democratically elected governments is a means to an end.

It was also hypocritical that of all networks, CNN tried to build such a case against Zimbabwe when it was public knowledge that the United Nations General Assembly was going to host a high-level summit meant to address “large movements of refugees and migrants, with the aim to of bringing countries together behind a more humane and coordinated approach” – the first such summit at Heads of State and Government level.

And, President Mugabe gave the Zimbabwe Government’s perspective just like he told Amanpour in 2009 that it was a platform where he would “address matters that affect us in the global environment, and the matters that affect us in a particular way as Zimbabwe. And, this is what I’m going to do.”

Maybe the United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Harry K. Thomas Jnr’s Facebook post on Monday (video clip on, should cool down this over-zealous reportage, based on untruths and unverified intelligence information, despite the fact that he is an active player in the saga.

The US Ambassador says in the clip: “To date, Zimbabwe has welcomed more than 9 000 refugees, and we thank the Government of Zimbabwe for honouring its international commitments by providing a safe place for refugees.” This can only be achieved in a peaceful environment, but these are the positive elements about Zimbabwe that cannot have “free airtime” on major networks like CNN.

Ambassador Thomas Jnr’s colleague, outgoing French envoy, Mr Laurent Delahousse, who has also been accused of sponsoring the shadowy groups behind the violent protests echoed similar sentiments of peace and safety in Zimbabwe when he was bidding farewell to Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mr Delahousse pointed out that violent protests were not confined to Zimbabwe, but are common feature in France: “Zimbabwe is a peaceful country, and in France, we have seen much more violence in demonstrations than we have seen in Zimbabwe,” he said.

Thus we wonder what the fomenting of these protests was meant to achieve. An increase in an already bloated refugee population, this time coming from a destabilised Zimbabwe in particular, and the Sadc region in general?

We also question the diplomatic offensive from some of these envoys — US, Britain and France suddenly, after the continued onslaught through their Press statements and media reports, in the past weeks.

Are we missing something? Is it another game changing tactic, considering that the much reported demonstrations against President Mugabe by Evan Mawarire and company, at the UN headquarters have been a monumental flop, and embarrassment to them as his backers?

You don’t have to be an Albert Einstein to see that whatever they are planning for this region using Zimbabwe as an entry point is no laughing matter, and it is time that the region sees through these sinister plots and their ugly consequences.

They are people on a mission. If they succeeded in North and West Africa with the so-called Arab Spring, the Middle East and Afghanistan, their conviction is that southern Africa will be no different. And if seasons are anything to go by, spring is upon us right now.

Why they undertake these “missions impossible” also lays bare the bigger picture. For more than two years now, violent protests have rocked a number of US cities, under the banner “Black Lives Matter”, protests that are a result of police brutality against black people. At the time of going to Press, there were violent protests in Charlotte, North Carolina after US police shot and killed yet again another African-American man. Black women are now scared for their children, because US police officers would rather shoot dead an unarmed black man, while they shoot and wound a suspected terrorist!

The run-up to both the Democratic and Republican primaries to choose presidential nominees was fraught with protests, some of them very violent.

They have so much muck in their backyards, but like the hypocrite Jesus talks about in the Bible, they are self-appointed judges who “look at the speck of sawdust in (their) brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in (their) own eye?”

Jesus cautions such moral right standing saying: “How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:3-5)

Trust takes years to build, seconds to break and forever to repair. So, once bitten, twice shy!

No comments: