Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fascism Re-Visited

Yesterday the Zimbabwe High Court ruled against the SADC Tribunal judgement that ruled in favour of white farmers who were being subjected to the violent loss of their land and homes. Justice Bharat Patel, a good friend of mine from my squash playing days, said “enforcing the tribunal’s ruling would be against Zimbabwe’s domestic laws and agrarian policies”, noting that “the greater public good must prevail".

I am reminded of Hitler and his Nazi party’s attempts to exterminate the Jews. It was Nazi government policy to exterminate the Jews based on their misguided perception of “the greater public good”. Apartheid was also a government policy of a previous South African government. Hmmmmmm! The Zimbabwean judgement is not a good sign at all. Not for Zimbabwe and not for my friend Bharat when The End does come.

The trial of Roy Bennet continues. Peter Hitschmann, his alleged co conspirator and star state witness has made a total mockery of the state case. The state is now asking the court to admit ‘emails downloaded from Hitschmann’s computer’ to be admitted as evidence of direct communication between he and Bennet. To ‘prove’ that the e-mails were legitimately printed from Hitschmann’s laptop, a typist gave evidence that she printed them. But Hitschmann says he doesn’t own the laptop or the hard drive from which the emails were printed. Clearly the email ‘evidence’ is an attempted stitch up, not unlike the stitch up “evidence” presented at Morgan Tsvangirayi’s treason trial a few years ago. ZANU PF’s deviousness knows no bounds.

But the judge has suspended his ruling on the matter until next Wednesday, a whole week away. What more does poor Roy Bennet have to put up with? The continued delays in making various rulings are surely nothing more than attempts to delay the inevitable judgement that will have to be made eventually.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Military Junta in Control of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is now being ‘governed’ by a Military Junta. Of that there is no doubt whatsoever. Whether Mugabe is in charge of the Junta is academic. A friend who lectures at the almost defunct University of Zimbabwe tells me that one of his MBA students told him last Saturday that “Most countries in the world have an army; In Zimbabwe the army has a country.” He could not have been more accurate in his description.

In recent weeks, starting just before Christmas, the ‘war’ against white farmers intensified and dozens of the 350 odd remaining farmers have been booted off the land.

In the meantime an NGO in South Africa, Africom, has initiated legal procedures to sue the Zimbabwe Government for the return of assets stripped from South African nationals (who are supposedly protected) by a Bi-lateral International Protection Agreement (BIPPA) between Zimbabwe and South Africa. Africom cite the SADC court ruling that Zimbabwe’s expropriation of farms was ‘racist and illegal’ and ordered the Zimbabwe Government to return ‘stolen’ farms and allow those farmers remaining on the land to remain. The response by the South African courts to Africom’s proceedings has been positive and it is today suggested that Zimbabwe’s assets in South Africa may be expropriated to help pay compensation.

The response to this from one Temba Mliswa – a notorious ZANU PF racist thug – is that the Zimbabwe Government intends to ‘kick all white farmers out of the country’ and to do this the military are enforcing the removal of the few remaining farmers from the land they are occupying. Court orders are ‘mere pieces of paper’ and nothing will prevent Zimbabwe from doing what it likes, says Mliswa and his ZANU PF cronies.

To add to this, we are recently told that a retired army general is seeking to quash a ruling that he be required to vacate Fangundu Farm which is occupied by an organisation whose shareholders are Malaysian and Dutch and equally ‘protected’ by a BIPPA between the respective governments. The retired general has in the meantime stripped the farm of bananas to his own account.

These acts are not supported by Prime Minister Tsvangirayi and his MDC counterparts and they have spoken out against them, but no-one is interested.

Ergo, Zimbabwe is run by a Military Junta.

Meanwhile SADC representatives, including Joseph Kabila, President of the DRC, are speaking up about ‘tremendous progress being made by the parties that makes up Zimbabwe’s government of National Unity’ towards finalising an agreement of their current disputes.

Utter rubbish! Who do they think they are fooling? Perhaps they are fooling themselves, just like ZANU PF has been doing for years.

But let’s not get excited. This is not new. It is largely how Africa governs Africa and is why Africans in general remain poor and get ever poorer while Africa’s rich elite get ever richer.

And it is unlikely to change for a long, long time.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Economic Collapse?

The saga of NestlĂ© has been amicably resolved. So says the Zimbabwe Government and Nestle but the problems are probably not yet over. A commentary in today’s Herald goes on and on about ‘illegal sanctions’, the wicked west and uses the NestlĂ© story as ‘evidence’ of the connivance of the wicked west and the MDC.

In the meantime three stories today suggest we have some serious economic problems looming large. The first is that the Redcliff Municipality has collapsed through unpaid rates and mismanagement of funds. Ziscosteel owes the Municipality millions while the Municipality in turn owes Ziscosteel millions for the supply of water while Ziscosteel owes the Kwekwe Municipality millions for the supply of the same water that it supplies to the Municipality of Redcliff. Other funds that have been paid to the Municipality are ‘missing’ and the municipal ‘workers’ – probably a misnomer – have not been paid for several months. ZESA and TelOne have disconnected supplies to the Municipality due to unpaid bills while companies operating in Redcliff have refused to pay their rates citing ‘viability problems’

The second story is that Zimbabwe’s 90,000 teachers are threatening not to return to work at the beginning of the school term unless the government agrees to pay each and every one of them $600 a month. This will translate to 50% of the Government’s entire monthly tax revenue.

And the third is that workers in the banking sector have won a 30% increases in salary backdated to the third quarter of 2009. The banking sector is already crippled. This will send them to the wall – not all of them but most of them.

How will Zimbabwe move forward, I wonder. All this while farm invasions continue on what is left of the agricultural sector, law and order remains dodgy and freedom of the press and electronic media is nowhere in sight.

Ah well, perhaps the auction today of diamonds from the Maranke fields, stolen by government a year or more ago, will pay all the bills.