Who needs Western sanctions with Mangwana in charge?

RESERVE Bank governor Gideon Gono has urged caution in the fevered minds of those seeking to get rich overnight through indigenisation. He said there were greedy

individuals who are well-connected and want to amass wealth in the banking sector in an “irresponsible manner”.

He said while indigenisation was a noble idea “our well-considered advice to legislators and government in general is that a fine balance should be struck between the objectives of indigenisation and the need to attract foreign investment”.

This was a sharp rebuke to the misguided rhetorical exuberance of people like Indigenisation minister Paul Mangwana who only last week was telling companies which were not happy with government policies to leave Zimbabwe. With ministers like this, do we really need foreign sanctions, declared or otherwise?

In the same vein, Gono also complained that legislation about local shareholding in companies involved in mining was taking too long, in the process causing a lot of anxiety and uncertainty in the sector.

“It is an unforgivable sin that as Zimbabweans we are running short of foreign exchange yet our economy has a vast potential to amass mountains of it through investment attraction and exporting,” said Gono.

Unfortunately such exhortation runs at cross purposes with the rantings of the likes of Mangwana who appear to think foreign currency can be earned by simply chasing away companies which express inconvenient truths about government’s haphazard policies.

Finally on Gono, a quotable quote from your governor. He said some turnaround policies were sabotaged by “our planners, decision-makers and implementers” of those policies. “Often our good intentions and programmes are bungled at the implementation stage, by resorting to excessive emotions and selfishness where soberness, brains, experience and expertise is best needed and for that we must shoulder part of the blame for our current state of affairs.”

Well said. But at that same time his principal was telling villagers and war veterans at Harare international Airport that government would take over firms accused of “profiteering”. It’s indeed a tough balancing act for business.

By the way there is a whole Minister for Policy Implementation, Cde Gono. What does Webster Shamu spend his time doing?

So Vice-President Joseph Msika believes he is indispensable? Last week he told a function hosted by Mimosa Mining Company that he would not quit politics until he dropped dead.

“I will soldier on until the day I am buried in my grave,” Msika told what must have been a bemused audience. “I will never renege on the duties and tasks that the people of Zimbabwe have mandated me to do and as long as they continues to support me, I will be there.”

We found this strange given that Msika hasn’t stood in any national election since the signing Unity Accord between PF-Zapu and Zanu PF in 1987. Which people gave him this life-long mandate, we wonder? What virtues is he teaching the youth by telling them that dying in office is a positive thing?

Meanwhile, war veterans are in denial about President Mugabe’s advanced age. Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association leader Jabulani Sibanda told war veterans in Chinhoyi last week that there were people being influenced to believe that President Mugabe was now too old to rule.

“In Mugabe we are not looking for a runner because we already have Samukeliso Moyo and Tendai Chimusasa. We are also not looking for a footballer because we have them already,” said Sibanda.

“What we need is the revolutionary spirit in him to lead us,” he said. Sibanda said the special congress set for the end of the year was a mere formality to endorse Mugabe to represent the party in next year’s presidential election.

Is Sibanda aware that Chimusasa has since retired from the track? It is true that we do not need the president to don shorts, a vest and sneakers neither do we want him to be an obstacle on the race track.

We can only draw two conclusions from this: that Mugabe must be a very bad teacher if his admirers have not mastered his art after all these years, or that he is dealing with very slow learners who still want an octogenarian to provide them with leadership.

President Mugabe clearly has not forgiven white rulers of Rhodesia for the years he spent in jail despite claims about the policy of national reconciliation.

In his address at the United Nations General Assembly last week, President complained bitterly about the 11 “precious years of my life in the jail of a white man whose freedom and wellbeing I have assured and protected from the first day of Zimbabwe’s Independence”.

He said Ian Smith was responsible for the death of 50 000 Zimbabweans yet he was a free man.

“I meet his victims every day, yet he walks free. He farms freely. He has a farm of over 500 hectares. He talks freely, associates freely under a black government,” he said.

Smith might be free but we doubt that at his advanced age he still does any farming which Mugabe is talking about. In any case, there is information that Smith has been living in South Africa for at least five years for health reasons because health delivery has all but collapsed in this country.

And why does Mugabe think it is only Ian Smith who should speak and walk freely but not the rest of Zimbabweans whom he claims to have liberated? That is hypocrisy of the worst type. Or is it true, as reported in this paper last week, that the president is often misinformed by those around him?

Talking about free movement, Munyaradzi Huni, who was part of press corps accompanying Mugabe, reported about a demonstration in support of President Mugabe by the December 12 Movement in New York. As expected, the delusional Sister Viola Plummer led the crowd which called for regime change in Washington, not in Harare.

Huni said the demonstrators were strutting outside the United Nations headquarters “to the amazement of UN police officers who were watching from a distance”.

We have no doubt that it was Huni himself who was amazed that police could watch demonstrators from a distance instead of bashing their skulls as happens so often back home.

Let the gorgon called Sister Viola come and try to demonstrate against Mugabe in Zimbabwe and she will have a good tale to narrate back in America about her hero.

While Sister Viola can freely demonstrate against President Bush and carry the Zimbabwean flag on the streets of New York, such a crime is unimaginable in Zimbabwe.

Still in New York, there was a bizarre story in the Herald in which Information minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu complained that CNN and the BBC had committed an offence by not broadcasting in full President Mugabe’s address at the UN.

“The so-called champions of press freedom, CNN and BBC, cut the live broadcast when the president was hitting hard, full throttle, with a volley of intellectual punches left, right and centre,” gushed Ndlovu in a statement.

He said “billions of viewers” had been deprived of the president’s speech which had sent President Bush scampering for cover.

“Bush was given full coverage to demonise our president and our nation but our president was not given equal time to defend himself and his country,” fumed Ndlovu.

Wasn’t it the duty of ZBC to give Mugabe full coverage? Why should CNN and BBC waste their resources on Mugabe when they are barred from operating in Zimbabwe?

Oh! The bumbling fellows at Pockets Hill. The other day throughout the evening bulletin they kept on talking about an ACP-AU meeting to take place in Portugal in December, blissfully unaware of the difference. So mundane, yet so taxing for Judith Makwanya.

An unexpected and sudden decision by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change to join Zanu PF in passing Constitutional Amendment (18) Bill seems to have thrown civic society organisations into disarray.

They have been clamouring for a say in the ongoing talks between Zanu PF and the MDC, and have approached the facilitator, South African president Thabo Mbeki, for a space at the negotiating table. Each time they have found the doors bolted from within.

The side agreement between the two main political parties on the amendment must have hit them like a bolt from the blue. Some of their leaders have been inconsolable ever since, accusing their erstwhile allies in the trenches against President Mugabe of “betrayal” and “selling out” on the “sacrosanct” demand for a new constitution.

While Muckraker appreciates the NGO sector’s concerns about compromising on a matter of principle, we must confess to sensing more self-interest than an attempt to resolve the debilitating national crisis which has made most of their members fabulously rich while the poor they claim to speak for are getting poorer by the day.

They have also compromised their otherwise noble advocacy role by aligning themselves with the MDC. What role do they play once Zanu PF loses power and the MDC is voted in if they cannot separate themselves from its policies?

In any case it was always naïve of them to imagine a political crisis such as Zimbabwe faces could be resolved without compromise and accommodation, unless they have the means to militarily get Zanu PF out of power.

Why does Tafataona Mahoso think that we were supposed to have presidential elections in 2010?

In his column in The Voice this week, Mahoso claimed the solidarity which Zimbabwe received from recent Sadc summits in Dar es Salaam and Lusaka “helped to convince the opposition Movement for Democratic Change to accept Constitutional Amendment 18 and to bring presidential elections forward from 2010 to 2008”.

Is adding six to 2002 such a difficult mathematical task for the Zanu PF dinosaur or does he assume we are all dead dumb?

The truth is that it was President Mugabe who wanted to extend his term of office by two years to 2010 without having to face an angry electorate. The proposition was rejected by his own party in Goromonzi. It’s all in the public domain.

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