Friday, December 3, 2010

Zimbabwe: More Sanctions On the Way!

Financial Gazette (Harare)
Ken Mufuka
2 December 2010


While the last week of November is a thanksgiving period, and I would have normally devoted my time to that subject, I fear that there are more scary things that concern me as a Zimbabwean.
There is no hiding the fact that sanctions do a lot of harm, even though they may not actually achieve regime change in the particular target.

My information is that far from relenting, the US State Department is actually reviewing more sanctions on Zimbabwe.
 But to put the matter to rest about the effectiveness of sanctions, two illustrations will suffice.
When Cuba overthrew the pro-American corrupt dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in 1960, it also confiscated American properties there and 12 000 prostitutes working for American mobster, Lucky Luciano. Studebaker automobiles', long discontinued in the US, and 50 years after their advent, still ply the streets of Havana to this day, due to lack of new vehicles. Despite friends in Latin America, Cuba cries out for modernisation. Haiti has been under sanctions since 1805, after it confiscated French slavers' properties. Though it paid US$120 million in 1830, sanctions were never lifted.

As we speak, the US State Department had earmarked US$1 billion for road building six months ago. It now looks like a conservative Congress will refuse to authorise expenditure.

Zimbabwe has earned a place on the sanctions list for similar reasons. But the new sanctions list if being formulated because US intelligence sources say that stalwart acolytes led Doctor Heartfelt, son of Goebbels, have taken over two floors in a Harare headquarters in order to hatch a plan to steal the upcoming June 2011 election.

These sources say that a highly classified document has been stolen from Zimbabwe and passed on to the imperialists.
This author has been given a version of this secret document. Their evidence is as follows. There has been increased activity in the rural areas recently in order to prevent access to these areas by the MDC before the election.
The "heavyweights" have been making bellicose statements to the effect that they will pay no mind to the wishes of the electorate, if that electorate rejects them.
These heavyweights are buoyed in their positions by the availability of diamonds and their dispersal on the international black market.
Nevertheless, sanctions have already been placed on these diamonds in India, their chosen destination of first choice, and two affiliate stalwarts have been thrown in jail there.
A system is already in place to prevent Zimbabwe diamonds reaching the lucrative western market. Detentions have been made in Holland and London.
In the long run, without Kimberley Process Certification, Zimbabwe runs the risk of selling precious diamonds to under market tricksters in India, at depreciated prices. Zimbabwe, by-passing the KP process faces another risk of flooding the market, a rule discovered by Cecil Rhodes a 100 years ago. Diamonds are only valuable if few women can afford them. So this is a pyrrhic victory for Zimbabwe.
A section of the report deals with violence and election rigging.
Negotiations are said to be in place between the US, its European allies and the Chinese for access to the mineral rich Zimbabwe if they go along with this new election.
The fear of increasing Chinese foothold in former European colonies may scare the Europeans into recognition of a flawed election. The real evidence seems to be the federalising of village heads into official village development committee chairpersons on government pay.
There is no new information in this document. The document says that the SADC leadership is on one page with the revolutionary party in Zimbabwe. That in fact has always been the case.
It took me a trip to South Africa three years ago to find out that Mukuru is highly regarded as indoda yamadoda there for taking on the imperialist establishment.
That is not my worry.
My worry is that such a frontal attack on the imperialist interests is unwise.
People who are ignorant of history repeat the mistakes of others. Kenneth Kaunda seized the copper mines, which were later given back to Anglo-American for a song. During Kaunda's tenure, copper prices depreciated from US$1 300 to US$300 per tonne.
Colonel Afrifa was paid US$100 000 by US intelligence to overthrow Kwame Nkurumah. This writer worked in Jamaica under a scheme by the brilliant London School of Economic graduate, Michael Manley. His tax reforms brought the wrath of Kaiser Aluminum and her allies. This led to the destruction of the Jamaican dollar.
A policy recommendation is to indigenise all distribution and supply companies leaving the big Lever Brothers and their allies alone. More progress is made this way by chewing the lion's tail than by a frontal attack.
The surprising piece of information is the assumption that the MDC-T has no credible counter measures in its arsenal.
Having itself legitimised the regime by joining hands with it, it has nobody but itself to blame.
But this does not leave it completely helpless. No election without its participation can be recognised by SADC countries, let alone by the US and the European Union.
This is its trump card and it should insist that international inspectors certify the pre-election conditions, or it won't play. For the stalwarts, they cannot impose terms on bigger countries than themselves.
Imperialists have played the game with Cuba for 50 years, with Haiti for 180 years.
Does Zimbabwe have the stamina to play the game for that length of time?

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