Kubatana.net ~ an online community of Zimbabwean activists

Author Archive

It’s not about Nikuv, it’s about leadership in the presence of Nikuv, dummy!

del.icio.us TRACK TOP
Wednesday, August 7th, 2013 by Leonard Matsa

I have noticed that there are people out there who do not think the MDC leadership should be fingered in the party’s 2013 election loss. They have been swift to label anyone who has dared to suggest culpability of the MDC leadership in the 2013 electoral loss as unprincipled sell outs or ingrates who were all the while in hiding while only the MDC leadership, alone, fought bloody selfless battles for the same people’s independence from Zanu PF.

In some cases, MDC sympathisers have even had the cheek to blame the people for the loss accusing them of apathy, and as such architects of Zanu PF victory! Such is the arrogance and disdain pervading the democratic movement that it has lost the decency to locate fault within – even for clearly inherent mistakes. What they accuse Zanu PF, they are now perfecting.

My point is, stop gagging people in expressing their frustrations over the election loss. People cannot have a similar mono way of grieving. People deal with grief variously, and when you feel you are within your right to want to regulate expression of grief then you are equally within your right in deserving the term intolerant.

MDC die-hards need to wake up to the fact that the bulk of their supporters are a product of a protest awakening to Zanu PF insensitivities of the 2008 period. MDC supporters moved to MDC in search of a caring and delivering leadership, which would distinguish itself in the unfair conditions prevailing. Not a leadership that masters the art of crying citing unfair electoral conditions in Zimbabwe! The MDC knew on day one that the jungle had Zanu PF and what that meant. Yet it would appear they carried lipstick and tears in their hunt pack.

The people are irate at MDC not Zanu PF and its rigging because they feel MDC leaders slept on the job and trivialised the task at hand.

Read the full article here

South Africans will sleep with anyone

del.icio.us TRACK TOP
Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 by Leonard Matsa

Cdes, friends and fellow countrymen. Greetings. A note to open us up a little:

Progressive minds have received with skepticism the move and motive behind SA visa scrapping for Zimbabweans. We recall that the issue of visas into SA has been something Zim and the rest of SADC have been fighting to get rid of for a very long time ago. SA has been evasive on this issue yet pushing for an open SADC in the background. Just how open a SADC Pretoria wants we seem to start seeing. It is an open SADC that is in service to SA interests first and last. When it comes to servicing SA interests, S. Africans will sleep with anyone including neo-imperialists like China while lynching the DALAI LAMA. Did they not openly tell the world that the spiritual leader’s coming threatens the interests of S.Africa.

In everything they do, it is all business with S.Africa. A trip along memory lane. RENAMO. We, Zimbabweans went into Mozambique to assist a fellow pan-African brother against a banditry explosion supported by a SA’s apartheid govt, again, driven by nothing but S.A’s commercial interests. But as soon as the war was over, SA crosses floor to partner the Mozambiquean revolutionary govt in the Cabora Bassa Hydro electricity project. Years later, they are selling us electricity generated in the same Mozambique.

The same happened in CONGO. SA folded hands while we fought a war to safeguard the sovereignty of another pan-African brother. Just like the Cabora Bassa project, Pretoria would move in after the war and the attendant threat is gone, and we all know about the deals that they clinched. I keep mentioning the word pan-African to demonstrate its commercial meaning when it comes to S.Africans. Moreso that it has been their mantra when confronted with regional challenges or scrapping visas to Zimbabweans. But as we have been noticing over the years, it is all about business with the Mzansi crew.

The visa scrapping for Zimbos is a business move by S.A and nothing more. Zimbabwe and her people according to Pretoria are now ripe a business opportunity for S.A to pluck and safegurad. For, if we agree it is in the spirit of brotherhood this has been done, then are we aslo agreeing that other Southern African countries excluded here are lesser brothers of Pretoria than Zimbabweans? Now here starts the humour and the exposure.

Why now? Is this not the same country that unleashed xenophobic terror on Zimbabweans when we needed their help most? Is it not common sense for all who are for Zimbabwe’s revival that we need our children back than have them baited away by stronger economies. There is a business catch here coated with a saleable humanitarian veneer.

I will give you the background to my argument before elaborating further so that we are in the same enlightened frame. Lest I may be labeled a spoiler by those excited by the prospects of striking gold in Egoli. Sadly, it is the same blur of this excitement that is the business hook for S.Africa. And the patronizing suggestions will be that nobody is being forced to go to SA. Why are you not saying the same with Botswana and others who for long do not require visas for Zimbabweans? We are all aware that these other countries do not have the same lure as SA and that the exodus to SA will increase due to this. And for that we leave this kind and part of the debate to high schoolers.

See, its clear SA has always wanted Zimbabwe to move from being a competitor as was during the 80s/90s and be an extension of SA; which is what the new Zimbabwe many have been fighting for will NOT allow. Aware of this they have decided to team up with local forces against a fully independent Zimbabwe in the guise of revolutionary rhetoric and comradeship.

As I write today, the sources of fear about Zim being a consumer market in service of SA industry can now be seen in the many products now populating our shops’ shelves. Those that were on Mbeki’s case claiming his impartiality as a mediator was motivated by the fact that SA has and will be the biggest beneficiary of Zim’s crisis are now being vindicated by these developments. The timing is great. After years of empty shelves in Zimbabwe, S.A moves in with their products and get the Good Samaritan tag while making sweet money in the process! Now how good can this get!?

Remember the out-going president of S.A suggested Zimbabwe consider the use of the RAND in place of its own currency? Now how entangled can a country be in the economics and politics of another if they adopt its currency? What it means is that any knock to the rand (even those remotely connected to Zim’s interest or doing) will cascade down to Zimbabwe. Say for example, Zuma gets inspired and has another go of the shower scene, and the rand takes a plunge… Zimbabwe will definitely feel the vibrations of the muchina-wami!

Zimbabwe is set to be a S-African province, only that we will not be voting or having representatives in their parliament! Yet we know that S.A will with time go through the same phase Zimbabwe just went through as the nation’s leadership starts doing the inevitable of moving from the revolutionary elites to a leadership of the future. This is a must go route for every African country as the hands of time starts revealing the obsoleteness of liberation war credentials as the only leadership credentials. When that happens to S.A (and I don’t wish them that in a bad way) my heart bleeds for Zim should it be tied to SA for it will have a sequel of the past ten years.

After having stood with their revolutionary mates against the open wishes of the Zimbabwean majority, SA effectively killed the opportunity for a wholesale revival of Zimbabwe in particular our industries. Today our industries cannot compete with SA companies whose operating environment is better than their. The cost of producing in S.Africa is worlds cheaper than producing here in Zimbabwe. At the end the whole process turns out a battle of two unequals. And there goes the last remnants of our industries! Our last few jobs and the potential jobs our industries where set to make in the future.

As the world crisis currently sweeping throughout the world demands that countries find new markets for their industries to survive. For SA, Zim is a good market and a source of cheap labour. The SA/ZIM tale is now the classic baas George farm story. In this tragedy, our children are whipped (free visa) en mass to SA for plantation wages, developing baas George Farm’s produce; then the same wages goes to baas George tuck-shop buying the same produce! Finally we can now say, Goodbye Zimbabwe (1980-2009).

Rest in Peace.

Locating and defending the People’s role in Zimbabwe’s future

del.icio.us TRACK TOP
Friday, February 20th, 2009 by Leonard Matsa

Today Zimbabwe has an inclusive government.

A compromise arrangement between the three political principals of Zimbabwean politics. Not even the most imaginative mind would have placed Zimbabwe in this scenario twenty years ago. An embarrassing and sad scenario for a country that fought a bitter war for majority-rule to find itself being steered by an unelected executive. And it so happens to be the best, considering!

I was a fierce critic of this idea when it was first proposed. Viewing it as AU’s lazy short-cut out of a leadership crisis of Kenyan roots set to be a litmus test to AU’s mandate, relevancy, policies, stamina and legacy.  But as the Zimbabwean political and economic tale continued on an unpredictable and painful path, most progressive individuals within and without Zimbabwe (my little self included) started buying into the inclusive government idea as the better short term solution out of the Zimbabwean crisis. The merits of this are no longer here or there. The dhiri government is now upon us. A reality whose best we have to find, and make do with.

It is in this imperfect arrangement that the whole nation’s hopes today lie. But unlike the euphoria of 1980, even the most optimistic persons are embracing this dhiri government with extreme caution. The bitter experiences of post-1980 haunt many. And the life lesson from it that politicians can never be trusted is well-learned. The question that I am asked everyday by even those I think should be answering it is, will this inclusive government work? Thus meet the people’s expectations and needs. I hope and pray it does, for everyone’s sake.

So what are the imperatives, basic key elements necessary for this inclusive government to succeed? For me we first need to agree on what we want IT to achieve, but more so, how far we want IT to work. This dhiri needs to act the role of a foundation for a Zimbabwe all Zimbabweans want, not to be reduced to a stage for politicians to outmaneuver or outshine each other settling old scores as in the case of BITI/GONO saga. We need to go back to the basics and craft a truly inclusive national reconstruction agenda. This might sound like the vocabulary of yesterday as the ship is already in motion. Well apparently the ship is sailing without the basics of a destination, compass and its passengers. Should we let it sail away? The number one basic is people ownership and tangible participation in the revival process. We have seen how the people’s exclusion and resultant withdrawal/non-participation from the previous regime’s programs escalated the crisis more than the public looting of state resources by state officials and the sanctions. Without the people rallying behind the previous regime, the centre gave in. It would be tragic for this country if the people continue on the sidelines. Like now.

The mistake politicians are making is because they know what the people did not like prior to this, anything which is not it is therefore what the people want. Armed with this they are unilaterally deciding on behalf of the people. This explains why the dhiri was pushed for by a handful of politicians and crafted by an equally smaller number with the assistance and guarantee of foreigners. Politicians having eaten on behalf of the people for a long time see no reason why they should not think and act on our behalf too. But in this haste to put things in order and fast, the current government risks personalizing the Zimbabwean crisis, its solutions and its pending failure. As we speak right now the only communication to the man in the street has been to be patient and ready to sacrifice more. A far too familiar demand from politicians while they eat. And herein lies our first pothole. The remote participation of the major shareholder – the people. Yet broken and divided as we are, we need the contribution of everyone as a unifying element and as a resource. I bet you people will take the proposed us$100 per month if they know why and exactly how long they are going to sacrifice especially when MPs are set to receive us$27 000+ per year. Most Zimbabweans aware of this brazen disdain by politicians are leaving en mass to democracies where governments respect its citizens. Among these are the few skilled workers required to oil the revival agenda.

But of course politicians do not care. Government, through The Herald, will order them back!

I agree our situation is complex and urgent. But that doesn’t automatically mean we have to urgently employ complex secretive and excluding solutions. We have seen how technocrats failed to solve our crisis at a time the crisis was less complex as it is today. The complex learned-excuses that previous learned-ministers have forwarded failed to deliver. We are done complex, haste and people exclusion. The chef/povo we-are-government syndrome if not destroyed now, will destroy us.

So are the people the main protagonists in this venture or the audience to the politicians’ mystical national revival show? By people, reference extends beyond the joint MDC and ZANU PF supporters. For it is an unsaid truth that these supporters collectively are by far fewer than Zimbabweans outside politics erroneously termed voter-apathy, unregistered voter or ineligible voters who also have a legitimate stake in this country.  Again I probe, is the nation on the same page on where we are, where we want to be, how we want to do this. Who or what might get in the way? Who needs to do what? Who and what is on our side? What is the tangible pay-off? How and what can we put in place in defense of this ideal Zimbabwe so that it can outlast political doctrines? Timelines? These are not your very educated questions, but crucial mass questions ignored at owners risk. For if these are not shared and addressed by us all, we risk achieving nothing.

I will submit that our nation has experienced the crisis in different degrees as such cannot all be on the same page on where we are today as a people. Within the same breath, as divided as we are, our desired tomorrow is not necessarily the same. Yet we have to be one from the word go lest we continue to hear zvinhu zvavo varume ava zvinobuda here izvozvi? Haameno, ngavaite tione.

Finding each other should go beyond politicians. In fact, it should be the recurring theme for the dhiri government. Genuine national unity, not a united front for politicians aboard the dhiri’s gravy train. Otherwise the unfortunate beatings of ZANU PF supporters by MDC supporters recently witnessed in Mutoko and Bindura will spread as the people begin to misinterpret the dhiri mainly due to lack of information. The people’s anger continues to boil around the country and without clear guidance and information – its set to be like that for a very long time.

These seemingly little but key basics ought to be clear to all Zimbabweans at this teething period of the dhiri government. ALL OF US regardless of education, political and economic status, for when the hut starts burning as we have experienced before – even the smallest rat faces the torch. All of us making sure our collective hope for a peaceful and prosperous Zimbabwe is not again betrayed through arrogance, avoidable negligence, short-sightedness and most dangerously, exclusion.

What we are not seeing is a government or individual party outreach programs in explaining the dhiri and its direction as a matter of urgency. Gathering the people’s input. The people are running around pathetically scrounging for information (newspapers are now expensive) about this dhiri creature that is steering their lives. Already we have started to witness a familiar gap growing between politicians and the people. The people treated it as a blessing, glimpses of their MPs on TV ever since the elections when they converged to rubber stamp the 19th Amendment and Security Bills! Elected people’s representatives must talk to the people they represent. Its that simple! They are some who will say we have consulted. Well consultation should go beyond your bedrooms, drinking clubs, executive meetings and internet blogs.

It now appears politicians from all parties took a secrecy oath against the people. And just why is this? We know. Politicians find it easy to short-change and maintain a diabolic hold on the masses when the people are in the dark. The poverty of information, respect, food . . . is ammunition for politicians to escape accountability. Empowered by the people’s desperation politicians are running around town acting as if they are the people. This disrespect of the people is now endemic. The now impoverished Zimbabweans have been stripped of their deserved respect and worth. Our crisis and needs go beyond sadza. The people want and deserve respect and joint ownership of this country and its destiny.

Am I being too forward and not giving the dhiri a chance? My reply is a question – when should we start monitoring, critiquing and contributing to the dhiri (and post-dhiri)? When it starts failing and we have a bigger crisis? Have we as a nation got so used to reacting to crisis? This reactive and scatter brain type of doing things must have no room in our new way of doing things. It is high time we stop it.

We ought to have a plan together, and work on making the plan work, now! Tisumukirane.

Again I probe, do we have a plan to heal the nation? Who has it and when do they think they can bless us with it? How are we going to unite feuding neighbors split by politicians who are now eating and wining together? How do we plan to heal the scars of June violence and before? Or it is a given the people must unite because the leaders united? Can an aggrieved ordinary person get re-dress from JOMIC or it is a preserve for politicians only? Even more critical is how we make sure this embarrassing dhiri government episode will never visit us ever again. These are key national concerns.

A shared national vision I believe will assist us in making make sure we know what is broken and to what extent, so that we do not blindly build on top of the ruins when building afresh. This shared vision will make us stop seeing the crisis from within blindly and react blindly. Again I maintain practical and not lip-service national healing and revival of the economy must together anchor that plan. A people driven Constitution is only but one of the key tools to shape this. However we must do this with a third eye on when can craft mechanisms to defend the same Constitution from political abuse by not so nice political characters as in the past.

Already our MPS have gone into mute mode – that is when they are not rubber stamping Bills in Parliament. So, the time for all pro-democratic, pro-people forces to start working hard is now. Fighting for the placement of the people at the centre of their nation’s welfare and affairs. To put sustained tangible pressure on politicians making sure we deny them room to destroy our nation ever again  through negligence or the current disrespect for citizens. To build people power so that it becomes mightier than politicians. To make state business, except for those issues to do with state security, very open so there is no room for corrupt characters. Having put these basics in place, the insincerity that everyone is so worried about on the part of politicians in this dhiri will be exposed there and then should it manifest. Kufemera muhuro tirinavo nemumvura nemumvura.Kuvagara chasi!

Having brought the people to the centre of rebuilding their nation/lives, the other process that should be running concurrently to this, is securing the state from local and external threats. Local thieves and foreign thieves who pretend to like us while busy looting our heritage. Making a rich country like ours unable to feed such a manageable population. This ends now! The time is now. Every one must start demanding a role in the rebuilding of our country which is their future. For some of us we have already allocated ourselves roles. After all, it is “the only country I know and have”.