CABINET FILES AND CZ’s NOTEBOOK
Dear Cabinet and
COMRADES, at the weekend I had to hurry to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to attend this extra-ordinary summit of the African Union on the continent’s continued relationship with the criminal-minded International Criminal Court (ICC) which to all intents and purposes has proven to be a platform to harangue dignity out of African leaders.We decided as African leaders that enough was enough, time has come for us to stand up and defend ourselves from the machinations of some former colonial powers that are still seeking ways and means of continuing to control us.
Were it not for personal phone calls we received individually from the secretary-general of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon himself, as we speak over 30 African member states would have pulled out of the ICC.
Ban tried his best to sweet-talk us away from the hard-line stance we had taken collectively as African leaders, and out of the abundance of courtesy, we gave the United Nations Security Council a month to look into our serious concerns that the ICC is being used selectively to carry a witch-hunt against African leaders who are not popular in some western capitals.
Ban assured us that he would use his position to amend the Rome Statutes to bring on board the concerns that were being raised by the continent and we made it clear to him that if nothing materialise in the next few weeks, we will not hesitate to convene another special summit to come up with far-reaching resolutions.
As in our case, we have made it clear that we will only ratify the Rome Statutes, which gave birth to this monster, once they have been amended to take care of our concerns.
It is very true that I warned that young man in Kenya, Uhuru, against dignifying this kangaroo court by taking time away from issues that matter to the Kenyan people to attend a hearing in the Hague. That would be absolutely ridiculous! Once that happens, it would set a very wrong precedent, not only for the continent, but for the Third World… if western leaders do not like this or that leader, they would simply cook up spurious charges and drag them over to a show trial at the Hague. We will not allow that to ever happen.
If the ICC was serious about prosecuting crimes against humanity, I am sure by now George Bush and Tony Blair would be several years into serving life prison terms for heinous crimes they wantonly committed in Iraq, Afghanistan and some such places. Those criminal countries have not bothered signing, let alone ratifying, statutes that formed this ICC thing because they do not want anyone to hold them accountable for any of their violations.
What we are opposed to is for a sitting head of state to be hauled before the ICC. I made it clear that the model of the ICC is flawed and I advised Uhuru not to go to the Hague and I assured him that we would back him all the way. Didn’t former British foreign secretary Robin Cook make it clear that no British leader would ever appear before the ICC. By the same token, no African leader — former or present — should appear before the same court.
It is not true at all that African leaders were divided at last week’s summit over the proposed mass-withdrawal from the ICC… we only thought it would be unfair to poor Ban if we pulled out without giving him a chance to introduce sweeping reforms to the court, which he claim he would be able to push through.
Otherwise were it not for that, as we speak the ICC could have become history.
Let us wait and see what happens.
… AND NOW TO THE NOTEBOOK
Head in sand
This week MDC-T legislator, Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, raised a motion in Parliament in which he wanted concrete steps put in place to address issues to do with food security. ZANU-PF lawmakers Cdes Joram Gumbo and Makhosini Hlongwane leaped forward to attack the motion, instead blaming everything on sabotage (by former finance minister Tendai Biti) and sanctions.
If this is how this country is going to be run in the next five years, then we really are doomed. CZ would want to believe that Cdes Gumbo and Hlongwane do not actually believe what they are saying, but had to say it for the funny sake of saying it otherwise if they believe half that twaddle this country would never find any solutions to the problems it faces.
Now that Biti is gone, we can’t wait to see how hefty a budget Cde Patrick Chinamasa will be setting aside in the next budget to dole out to the “new” farmers… and what they will give the country in return. Hopefully for the first time in many years, we will stop importing food from neighbouring countries.
We are told plans are already afoot to stop banks from bothering our “farmers” by asking them to pay back the loans they have wheedled away.
These are the same farmers whose electricity debts running into millions ZESA was forced to write off… the same farmers, who for years, have been selling subsidised farming inputs, hunting all game on the farms and cutting off trees to sell as firewood in cities before leasing the farms back to desperate former white commercial farmers.
CZ can’t help but wonder what would eventually become of the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ). Of late members and some executive members have been at each others’ throat, and the recently held National Journalistic and Merit Awards (NJAMA) did not help matters either…. as there were worrisome allegations of unprofessionalism and favouritism. We hope it is not true that some of the winners in the previous editions of the NJAMA’s are yet to receive their prize money!
This week, there were suggestions by some disgruntled members — who are now convinced the union as it is currently constituted, is not there to serve them —to form an alternative outfit. Well, who is CZ to disagree with them, moreso when the current ZUJ executive has decided to stay put in the office way beyond its legal term of office.
Still on ZUJ and its usefulness (or lack thereof), rumours have started doing the rounds that this and that media house will not be paying their staff any annual bonuses. Infact, the talk of retrenchments at this media house has given ammunition to those who have never paid any bonus ever!
This one came running all the way from Mutare. After realising that man shall not live on journalism alone, this brother decided to supplement his income through poultry… he has been keeping layers for quite sometime. The business was almost booming… until one morning when suddenly there were no eggs to pick in the fowl run… it had been like that for quite some time now… not even one small egg in the morning… superstitions, superstitions… those who claim to be in the know are swearing that some African mischief is at play! Ha ha ha-ah! I am sure no one will quote CZ on this one.
Maybe those who are in the business of fighting HIV and Aids might need to take time off their busy schedules and commend the mother of the late urban groove artiste, Jamal Nyika Mataure, Ruth, for always letting anyone who cared to listen know that her son was HIV positive. Very few parents would ever do such a thing, they would, instead, give complicated explanations and theories about the sickness that would be afflicting their loved one. If only our leaders… political, religious, business, traditional and them all would do just half the same.
This is CZ’s Notebook!