LETTER FROM AMERICA: Zimbabwe: A view from outside!

LETTER FROM AMERICA: Zimbabwe: A view from outside!
Professor Stephen Chan.

Professor Stephen Chan.

LONDON: I am writing from Great Britain where I am attending a pow wow on Zimbabwe after Robert Mugabe, at the invitation of the renowned scholar on conflict, Professor Stephen Chan, OBE.
While the consensus among the scholars was apprehensive in the immediate future, my suggestion is that if we direct ourselves to this starting point, the clouds on the horizon are somewhat lifted. The question is: Did Emmerson Mnangagwa do any good by removing a despicable doddering regime? Piers Pigou, the southern Africa expert on Zimbabwe at the Crisis Group was missing, but I recall that writing the British Independent in March, 2016, he saw only a bleak picture of Zimbabwe.
“There is no end to the hardships faced by the majority of Zimbabweans. Political infighting and a collapsed economy offer little light to Zimbabweans.”
The infighting was calibrated by Queen Jezebel, who introduced street language into the milieu. Surely, the removal of Queen Jezebel from the theatre was a blessing and brought hope to God’s long suffering children.
Nevertheless, the School of Oriental and African Studies is the premier think tank for policy makers at the Commonwealth Office and at the US State Department. Indeed our gracious host had just returned from the US where he was consulting with the State Department. The matrices are that Zimbabwe has a US$14 billion economy and owes just as much all over the place. Zimbabwe’s debt is unique in that under Queen Jezebel’s rule, government policy was that the world owed them a living. The influence seeking Chinese government, the friendly Libyan Jamahiriya and the World Bank itself held loans whose viability is no longer assured. Chan had left no stone unturned in his research. He had consulted the Oppenheimer Group (Anglo-American) mining experts. The alluvial diamonds, which should have lasted 40 years have been scooped and sold outside the Global Kimberley Network.
Looters do not bank their proceeds in the country where their fortunes were made for obvious reasons.
The question arose then. Who is the lender of last resort and why? The Zimbabwe banking institutions lack liquidity (a nice word for bankrupt). If a tourist brought foreign money into the system, one might be surprised to find that the Zimbabwean bank would stipulate how much he can withdraw of his own money, or not at all.
We can add the general impudence and arrogance of Zimbabwean officials and the know-it-all attitude. If a businessman cannot use his own money in a timely fashion, he is constrained in his activities.
The issue then is that no sane government or institution in the world wants to lend Zimbabwe money. Full stop. The banking system described above needs an injection of “bridging finance” to tidy them for a year or so, until tobacco and horticulture products generate new money.
Once beaten twice shy
Initially, the US and the British government were fed up with Mukuru’s doddering and arrogant posturing. They welcomed a new and vigorous new economic policy of the new government. US President estimated that a U$15 billion loan would serve the purpose of a bridge loan. The British government went along with that idea until it came to the actual logistics and timing.
Previously, both governments had been too keen to sustain the corrupt and tyrannical government of Mukuru, through Zimbabwe Conference on Development 1982 and Structural Adjustment Programme, 1991-1996.
Former president Robert Mugabe had used that window of opportunity to carry out dastardly atrocities in Matabeleland and even a war in the Congo. The two countries that have the capacity and willingness to help found themselves associated with a bloody government.
These two countries have this black spot on their consciences.
These think tanks work like jackals. Once they have a negative idea about
a country; they produce the same
research results in order to influence public policy.
It is a question of a chicken and an egg. Without foreign bridge financing, Zimbabwe’s new economic policy cannot fly.
First, Jonathan Moyo and Patrick Zhuwao are ramping out their output on Matabeleland atrocities and applying the word “genocidaires” to Zimbabwean rulers.
The Crisis Group, which is the premier think tank for southern Africa, is also ramping up similar “concerns”. There are two ways to deal with the threat.
Ignoring the threat will not suffice. Europeans have a soft conscience. The second approach, which the government has taken, is correct, but half-hearted. Unless Brother Dumiso Dabengwa and the Catholic fathers are given prominent roles, government’s seriousness in putting closure is not taken seriously.
I have a very simple solution in my book, Life and Times of Robert Mugabe: Dream Betrayed. The enforcers named as genocidaires by Professor Moyo were all in their 30s at the time. They were influenced by Mukuru, who himself was possessed by an evil spirit, into believing that they were “untouchable”.
mufukaken@gmail.com

  • wyswyg

    “Read full story in this week’s paper” Is this not this week’s paper???

    • Gandanga Matigari

      They should just pull down the web editions.

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