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Zimbabwe Challenges

https://foreignpolicy.com/2015/06/03/ominous-warning-signs-resurface-in-zimbabwe/

Ominous Warning Signs Resurface

in Zimbabwe

Ominous Warning Signs Resurface in Zimbabwe

The southern African nation of Zimbabwe has fallen off the international radar screen in recent years, but alarm bells should be ringing loud and clear. Over the course of the past few months, we have witnessed an ominous series of warning signs: bitter political infighting within the country’s ruling party, the worsening of already deplorable economic conditions, the abduction and disappearance of a prominent human rights activist, and a surge of inflammatory rhetoric and political violence. According to a report by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, these are all telltale signs of growing atrocity risk — and precisely why the United States, and its allies, must wake up and take a proactive stand.

Political violence has long shaped the landscape of Zimbabwe, home to an estimated 14 million people. After a bloody liberation struggle against British colonial rule, Robert Mugabe, the only head of state Zimbabwe has ever known, spoke of reconciliation, peace, and social cohesion at independence in 1980. Mugabe’s words, however, brazenly belied the reality on the ground. Wartime emergency measures were kept in place, and we now know that plans for massacres against the Ndebele people in Midlands and Matabeleland provinces — what would later be known as Gukurahundi — were well underway. This calculated campaign of terror against an ethnic minority, executed with assistance from North Korea, was a key component of Mugabe’s plan to eliminate any opposition to his Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF). This scorched-earth campaign left at least 20,000 people dead and thousands more displaced. Thirty years later, no one has been held accountable, and the perpetrators remain in positions of power.

For a brief moment during Zimbabwe’s coalition government, from 2009-2013, the situation seemed as if it might be improving. The shattered economy stabilized and slowly began to recover, political space re-opened, and the most blatant forms of state-sponsored aggression declined. In reality, however, ZANU-PF and Mugabe were merely adjusting their tactics: Instead of physically assaulting opposition leaders in front of TV cameras, they undermined their influence through manipulation of the courts; instead of firebombing newspapers, they quietly intimidated the media and civil society activists; instead of beating up and maiming opposition supporters, they craftily rigged the polls to win the vote in July 2013. This more subtle approach worked, even leading to a softening of European sanctions earlier this year.

Over the past several months, however, the mood in Zimbabwe has markedly changed.

On March 9, prominent human rights defender Itai Dzamara was abducted in broad daylight. Diplomats claim that his disappearance bears all the hallmarks of an operation by Zimbabwe’s intelligence services, which has long operated with impunity under the direction of Mugabe and his security chiefs. More than two months later, Dzamara remains missing. Not only have the police ignored a High Court judgment, which ordered them to provide bi-weekly updates on the investigation and search for Dzamara, but a government minister went so far as to suggest that Dzamara staged his own disappearance.

Dzamara’s abduction is not an isolated incident. Zimbabwe’s history is replete with examples of human rights and opposition political activists who have been abducted, tortured, forcibly disappeared, or murdered by state agents. Most recently, on April 26, ruling party operatives publicly assaulted six traditional leaders at a campaign rally in Mashonaland, in full view of the police, for supporting an independent candidate running for local office. Two of the headmen have been reported missing by the local press.

The recent uptick of incendiary rhetoric espoused by leaders in ZANU-PF has also raised red flags. Last month, for example, Zimbabwe’s current Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, while on a campaign stop in Midlands, likened Zimbabwe’s political opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), to Satan, announcing to the crowd “we have come to cleanse you of the sins of the MDC.” Importantly, Mnangagwa — who is also minister of justice and the most likely successor to the 91-year-old Mugabe — was a chief architect of Gukurahundi as then-minister of defense.

This type of dog-whistle rhetoric — including from Mugabe himself — is eerily reminiscent of Zimbabwe’s dark past. The ethnically-charged words are strategically chosen: meant to strike fear in the hearts and minds of would-be voters, but also to send a clear warning to those in ZANU-PF who might challenge Mugabe’s authority. In December 2014, for example, during the height of a frenzied intraparty struggle for power, Zimbabwe’s longtime vice president and liberation war hero Joice Mujuru — nicknamed “Spill Blood” — was ousted after allegations that she had planned to assassinate Mugabe. To date, Mujuru has maintained that the accusation is false and many observers, both inside Zimbabwe and out, believe the smear campaign was part of a more sinister plot to neutralize a political rival who had been gaining popularity.

Even prior to this latest incident, Mujuru knew full well the ramifications of crossing Mugabe and ZANU-PF, whether intentional or perceived. Her late husband, Solomon Mujuru, a highly revered figure in Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle and former defense minister, was killed in an eerily suspicious house fire in 2011. Following Joice Mujuru’s political demise this past year, the first lady of Zimbabwe and current chairwoman of the ZANU-PF Women’s League, Grace Mugabe, declared that if Mujuru were killed, “dogs and fleas would not disturb her carcass.”

In Zimbabwe, this type of odious rhetoric has often coincided with political violence: It was a common tactic deployed during land invasions in the early 2000s, during a forced “urban clearance campaign” in 2005, and exemplified by targeted political attacks during and after the 2008 election period, when Robert Mugabe lost a first round but then unleashed a cascade of violence to force the opposition to withdraw.

The latest developments in Zimbabwe come at a time when the country’s economy is again collapsing and the political elite are tearing themselves apart in a battle for succession. Monitors of mass atrocity risk typically watch for ethnic exclusion, hate speech, and indicators of political and economic stress. The greatest indicator of a country’s atrocity risk is whether it has suffered from similar events in the past. All of these factors are currently, and ominously, present in Zimbabwe.

This is a dangerous moment for the citizens of Zimbabwe, and for the southern African region writ large.

This is a dangerous moment for the citizens of Zimbabwe, and for the southern African region writ large. The United States government recently dispatched a delegation, including one of the State Department’s top human rights officials, to Harare. But the Obama administration will need to keep a keen and close eye on the ongoing events in Zimbabwe, including tasking the intelligence services for an assessment of the potential for mass violence. This should include elevating the issue of Zimbabwe to the president’s Atrocities Prevention Board, which can readily address the early warning indicators of mass atrocities that currently prevail. Just as important, authorities in the capital, Harare, must know that the world is watching. Preventative steps must be taken now by engaging with the African Union (which Mugabe currently chairs), other African heads of state, as well as the United Nations Security Council to dissuade the Mugabe government from going down this tragic road once again.

Mugabe and his inner circle of ZANU-PF loyalists must also understand that those who continue to commit violence against their own people will ultimately be held accountable. The United States and its allies should make it profoundly clear, both publicly and in private, that visa bans, asset seizures, and even war crimes prosecutions are all viable policy options that remain on the table.

Jekesai Njikizana/AFP/Getty Images

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Dystopia – THE GREAT GLOBAL BACKLASH



1984 
Today

Delusion Fields

When Eric Arthur Blair wrote the novel 1984 he cemented himself into the Twentieth Century as one of the great writers.

It is now 2014, some thirty years from the date that was the title for this work and one has to ask the question:

Is life imitating art ?

There are some other examples of this frightening world that we live in today, such as Brave New World, Blade Runner and Soylent Green, to name a few. To reflect upon these works specifically Nineteen Eighty Four, one is left with very strong mixed emotions regarding our current situation and where we may be positioned as a species in another thirty years. Our Western culture is one of hedonistic narcissistic overindulgences and self gratification, whereby, through an insatiable appetite for consuming the latest product and or service in pathetic attempts to achieve a satisfactory level of being satiated, in a lifestyle that is shallow, false and unsustainable, we are left highly dependent upon technology and over medicated in a regime of anti-oxidant, multi-vitamin & anti-depressant pills.

The golden utopia of tomorrow is what we are spoon fed via the intravenous drip that is attached to us twenty four seven and is our pager, cell phone, tablet, laptop or flatscreen television. We gossip and discuss the most insignificant details about some individual who has randomly floated to the surface and been portrayed as a unique human, and we do this for five seconds before we dump them for the next person and or gadget. Terms such as retail therapy in our spiritual quest for happiness and the meaning of life we have accepted and made to be our best friend.

Yesterday, BTW we downloaded the latest widget that is available to us for 99 cents so that we can have a more functional easier life 24/7 but let us not get carried away here for we need to keep this post in a KISS format. CCTV for security and peace of mind so that in the event that we are raped, robbed or murdered, the authorities can peruse the footage before it goes viral on Youtube or Instagram or becomes a Tweet and maybe, just maybe goes to trial. What a sad day it is when Blade Runner is a world wide televised court room scene in the Republic of South Africa involving the manslaughter or murder of a young woman.

If we are to look at our world today and describe it in one word what one word would that be ?

LeMagasinDesSuicides

The writers preference here is Hamartia as a description for the whole tragic situation and current state of affairs. The disturbing truth about describing our world today in this one word, is that it is so, through a calculated deliberate set of circumstances and not through some comedy of human errors. The tragedy is that we have become what we have become and we are left to surf this wild steep trajectory of the Twenty First Century with no social backbone of reform and we place our hopes and dreams into the hands of tyrants and technology.

When Nineteen Eighty Four was first published 1949 circa, the Great Depression and World War Two had occurred and we humans set about building a better tomorrow. Somehow we have lost the plot in where we have allowed ourselves to wander and now we are most certainly lost. Aristotle wrote about this Hamartia as a tragic flaw and indeed we humans are flawed and our history proves how vicious, complex and self absorbed we truly are as a species. Brother against brother and state against state as we live in a morally bankrupt modern world and the welfare of man is in a state of eternal conflict.

How then does the world become balanced again and move away from the dystopia that currently exists. If human beings are truly to become evolved, if we are truly to move towards a global self actualisation, then what cathartic exercises do we need to undergo or to religiously follow. The dumbing down of society has been an ongoing well orchestrated highly successful execution of oppression and population control by multi-generational power brokers from both church and state. The proletariat, us mere mortal folk who are the modern serfs, require a long term plan of strategic moves in a R evolution to take back our future and our children’s tomorrow.

 The Great Global Backlash

Nouriel Roubini |

Anaemic economic recovery has given populist parties

an opening to blame foreign trade and foreign workers

“In the immediate aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, policymakers’ success in preventing the Great Recession from turning into Great Depression II held in check demands for protectionist and inward-looking measures. But now the backlash against globalization—and the freer movement of goods, services, capital, labour, and technology that came with it—has arrived. This new nationalism takes different economic forms: trade barriers, asset protection, reaction against foreign direct investment, policies favouring domestic workers and firms, anti-immigration measures, state capitalism, and resource nationalism. In the political realm, populist, anti-globalization, anti-immigration, and in some cases outright racist and anti-Semitic parties are on the rise. These forces loath the alphabet soup of supra-national governance institutions—EU (European Union), UN (United Nations), WTO (World Trade Organization), and IMF (International Monetary Fund), among others—that globalization requires. Even the Internet, the epitome of globalization for the past two decades, is at risk of being balkanized as more authoritarian countries—including China, Iran, Turkey, and Russia—seek to restrict access to social media and crack down on free expression”.

One does not need to be violent or to wage a war against government and state. If we are truly to move forward towards a better world with equality and sustainability, then we simple ordinary citizens need to unite together as one mob, with one voice to achieve our one objective, in the utopia that we deserve and can truly create. Presently we are a fractured fragile 7,300,000,000 mob of sheep that are just surviving and when we can become a well rehearsed finely tuned and well honed collective, we shall then, not just survive, but, we shall truly live.

Freedom Liberty Egalitarian

Live it love it life… 

South African Colour Not Just Black & White

South African Leadership

“ Transformative Government ”

 

There are still some serious issues that the citizens of South Africa are facing, two of which are unemployment and violence. Unemployment can be broken up into the four racial groups African, Indian, White and Coloured by researchers and from the fifty three million population within the country the white population is the least effected, then the Indian, coloured and the most effected are the Africans. Cheap labour from the pool of unemployed is just part of the capitalist machine from an industrial age that is pre-twenty first century.

 

Unemployment allows employers the opportunity to control the exchange rate of reward for labour, and a high level of unemployment, especially within the unskilled and semi skilled workforce is a modern form of slavery.

Segregation gives way to Apartheid which provides the specific mechanism for maintaining cheap labour and power and through an elaborate complex system of continued dominance and control the most effected are those indigenous peoples who have been suppressed and ill treated who are still oppressed, even though there has been more than twenty years of change.

 

Supposedly, South Africa is the most developed country in Africa and yet has such a strong link between capitalism and poverty. I see two children from one family skipping down the road of life together, holding hands in a commonality between unemployment and poverty and oh how they struggle to survive. It is not clear to the writer if there is a Marxist answer to the Myriad of issues within the capitalist system in the South African context. It is clear however, that anarchy is not appropriate in violent revolution to achieve the social reforms that are required and needed in South Africa for the proletariat to rise beyond their continued oppression. What is required is access to quality education and the encouragement and support to pursue this opportunity.

 

If we assume that two percent of the world owns the capital then just over one million South African people hold the power over the other fifty two million workers. Okay, it is a very flawed argument but it gets the point across that the rich are few and the poor are many, within South African society. Multi generational unemployment is a common element within society and it would be one area that the constituents could focus on between now and the next election. It is time to radically change South Africa with an educational opportunity for all South African citizens that is a need and a right for all, and not just for the privileged.

 

 

 

Violence is a major concern within South Africa along with crime in general. It is widely acknowledged that South Africa has a very high rate of murders, assaults, rapes (adult, child and infant), and other crimes compared to most countries. Around 40 people are murdered everyday in South Africa and these numbers are regarded as being consistent with a developing nation. There are approximately the same number of murders daily in the USA with six times the population of South Africa, there is still some work to be undertaken in reducing the numbers. What are the motivational factors behind the violence in South Africa, identify these and then work on effective grass roots methods of eradication.

 

Part of the violence may be due to xenophobia, or be due to what is known as a violent hate crime, which can also be violent attacks on individuals on account of their race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, disability, or other similar attributes, or a combination thereof are serious abuses of the rights to life, liberty and security of the person, threatening the equal enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms. The most recent example of xenophobia would be during the 2008 period when Zimbabweans were targeted, either having their houses burnt to the ground or where they themselves were murdered.

 

Youth unemployment and youth gang culture also involves a level of violence related to turf and territory, profit and loss. Youth gangs exist and thrive within South Africa, some of these involving the purchase, distribution and sale of illegal drugs. It is far safer and better for the individual in their daily struggle to be either associated or directly involved with the strongest local gang, or at least a gang, rather than to be solo in the quest for survival. Prevention and intervention and social reform is not possible without the effective solutions from both government and non government collaboration and consultation.

 

Transformative Government or Transformational Government is not possible in South Africa presently. The high expectations of the democratization of South Africa have been dulled and numbed over the past twenty years. Transformation has stalled, the pace of reform too slow and the economic growth too limited. What social reform has been successfully implemented during the Zuma Government ?  Let us argue that transformative government commenced in 1990 under President de Klirk and when Mandela was released from twenty seven years of being imprisoned. Let us also argue that the next transformative move was the 1994 election where the African National Congress won 62.5% of the votes, and on May 7th 2014 President Zuma’s Government won 62% of the vote.

 

 

 

 

 

Mandela was not a prefect man and was mortal, just like any politician and person. Mandela did however possess the ability to establish unification and to fuse people together and to have them focus on the aims and objectives

and to enthusiastically strive to achieve the end goal. What was unique about the batten being handed to Mandela by de Klirk was that Mandela continued the challenge to bring South Africa together by establishing trust with all parties concerned in the process of negotiation and or government.

 

Transformative Government maybe possible but without real trust and truth and transparency, little social reform and development will happen because the political spin doctors will simply broadcast free prescriptions with painless pills that are merely placebo in the short term. When South Africans call themselves South Africans first and then secondly identify their ethnicity and or origin, then the day will come where they can be a united group and common voice and demand government to transform itself and lead with vision and direction towards a better tomorrow for all South Africans. Without trust truth and transparency in South African politics, there is no Transformative Government.

Transformative Tyranny (Tyrannosaurus rex ) Terror

Transformative

Tyranny (Tyrannosaurus rex ) Terror

schleich-trex

To change in form, appearance, or structure; metamorphose.

The government or rule of a tyrant or absolute ruler.

Any period of frightful violence or bloodshed

likened to the Reign of Terror in France.

Tyrannosaurus Rex  –  A large, carnivorous dinosaur that walked on two legs. 

Its name is from the Greek words meaning “tyrant” and “lizard”and the Latin word for “king.”

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The African Union has member states which comprise Saharan and Sub Saharan countries – http://www.au.int/en/member_states/countryprofiles

( no guarantee accuracy of information )

The history of African countries can be divided into three periods.

Pre Colonisation – Colonisation – Decolonisation.

32

During the Scramble for Africa in the late nineteenth century, Western European powers divided Africa and its resources into political partitions at the Berlin Conference of 1884-85. By 1905, control of almost all African soil was claimed by Western European governments, with the only exceptions being Liberia (which had been settled by African-American former slaves) and Ethiopia (which had successfully resisted colonization by Italy). Britain and France had the largest holdings, but GermanySpainItalyBelgium, andPortugal also had colonies. As a result of colonialism and imperialism, Africa lost not only its sovereignty, but also control of its natural resources like gold and rubber. Europeans often justified this using the concept of the White Man’s Burden, an obligation to “civilize” the people of Africa.[citation needed]

Critics say that the process of African decolonization from the 1950s to the 1970s turned what were relatively well-ordered and peaceful territories administered by the efficient bureaucracies and legal traditions of the Western European empires into violent, inefficient and corrupt socialist dictatorships or right-wing family dictatorships with little regard for international rule of law and human rights and riddled with civilturf wars, barbaric political purges, mass refugee crises, famines and ethnic conflict.[2] –

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decolonization_of_Africa

map

Decolonisation and a brief look at Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) post Mugabe 2014. It must be noted here that this is not a diatribe regarding either the country or the current leader of Zimbabwe.

It is a brief look at the future and there are several possible scenarios for Zimbabwe, from peaceful to armed conflict.

His Excellency Robert Gabriel Mugabe the President of Zimbabwe is the only president of Zimbabwe, since it gained independence from Britain in 1980.

Right now, two broad factions are thought to be jockeying for position. The moderates, led by vice-president Joyce Mujuru, dominate key positions within the party leadership and seem to have significant grassroots support. The hardliners, under the direction of perennial eminence grise Emmerson Mnangagwa (now the justice minister), have the advantage of ruthlessness and a tight grip on the all-important security services.

In July 2013 Zimbabwe held an election that saw the current ZANU-PF (Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front) government retain power under the leadership of Mugabe. The opposition party MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) no longer has the possibility of being an effective opposition party, relegated to spending time lost in the political wilderness. There currently is no opposition party to the current government.  http://www.zanupf.org.zw/

H.E. R.G. Mugabe is about to turn 90 years of age in one month and whilst there are those who believe that he is mightier than Jesus Christ because we are still waiting for Christ’s return, Mugabe has died and been resurrected many times. We are mortal and there will come a time when the news will report the passing of ‘Cde Bob’. It is this period that is of concern to political analysts because of the ineffectiveness in Zimbabwe of the African Union & S.A.D.C.

The Republic of South Africa under the current Zuma government is facing an election this year and it is probable that the current government will not be retained. There are external influences that will not be discussed here because they are classified and not for general broadcast. These vested external influencing factors are far greater than the African Union and involve China, Russia & Brasil along with some other countries.

Currently there are far bigger global strategic defence issues that take a priority such as these examples – South China Seas, Syria, South Sudan, Egypt, Iraq and others not mentioned.

This year is the year to build bridges. The Western media portrays Zimbabwe in a certain way and we therefore have a preconceived notion of what the country is like. What do you know about Zimbabwe and have you ever visited the country ?

One questions why the Australian & American governments do not do more to reach out to Zimbabwe and to work in a collaborative and consultative approach to assist in the transition that will take place at some stage.

The are three ‘T’ words in the heading of this post which were used to gain attention and there are also three ‘T’ words that could have been selected…Truth, Trust & Transparency.

History will be the only way of knowing the future of Zimbabwe and H.E. R.G. Mugabe will be recorded as the freedom fighter who lead the country out of the colonial repression that existed under the Ian Smith government.