IT remains arguably one of the biggest surprises in Zimbabwean politics that for all the arrogance and open hostility that the US has shown Harare, Uncle Sam still has an Ambassador here.
Ordinarily, and as history has shown elsewhere, the US Ambassador should have been long sent packing.
But then, this is Zimbabwe, forever patient and always tolerant.
Patience, we are always told, has its limits and ours is no exception.
When the US imposed illegal economic sanctions on Zimbabwe in December 2001, in retaliation to the Land Reform and Resettlement Programme of 2000, few were surprised by that action.
This was the US, at its very worst; exhibiting the puerile traits of the slave trade era and once again trying to nudge black people to pander to its wretched whims.
Zimbabwe was being punished for fulfilling the aspirations of a people that had been denied, by a racist colonial system, access to their land and resources by an America that had nothing to do with the issue.
But then, this is Uncle Sam, forever spurred by its staggeringly huge ego and blatant disregard for other people’s rights.
That includes the rights of its own people as seen by the brutal murder of George Floyd on May 25 2020.
Black lives have never mattered to the US and this is a point that members of Uncle Sam’s party, the MDC, have never really grasped.
They will not, in the near future, come to terms with that compelling reality.
The point that must be hammered home is that, to the US, Zimbabwe is just one of those countries where wretched political strategies and experiments must be carried out.
The strategy is that the efficiency of those crude political experiments must be felt across the developing world so that it does not dare follow Zimbabwe’s path of empowering its citizens.
For that reason, Zimbabwe, with the naïve MDC in tow, must be made an example of, it should be made to suffer at all costs and in turn Zimbabweans must worship the US and see Uncle Sam as a saviour of some sort.
And along the way, US officials, including its ambassadors, have got carried away to an extent they are now commissars of the opposition party.
We have let that happen for a long time, but now is the time to respond in kind.
We have been abused and divided by that toxic politics.
That hostility has, in our view, altered any form of engagement with the US.
The time has come for Zimbabwe to fully assert its position as a sovereign nation.
We say so because the actions by US officials and members of the MDC have all but negated any form of engagement that was, and should have been, there between Harare and Washington.
Let us begin with MDC vice-president Tendai Biti who is in the eye of the storm following revelations that he has been pushing the World Bank to deny Zimbabwe funding for COVID-19 mitigation.
Biti, on May 21 2020, wrote a letter to World Bank Group president David Malpass, urging the lending group to deny the country funding.
“All Africans are grateful for your work to galvanise a global response effort to assist sub-Saharan Africa during the COVID-19 crisis. The swift response by the Bank, as well as your advocacy for the suspension of debt payments, has resonated deeply with those of us who have begun to recognise the long term health and economic consequences of the crisis. We also appreciate the efforts to provide emergency assistance to the people of Zimbabwe, who have been in a desperate situation even before the pandemic struck,” read part of Biti’s letter.
“However, even in these unprecedented times, any support from the World Bank Group must contribute towards our shared goal of better health and economic opportunity for the people of Zimbabwe. Any assistance must not be allowed to further enrich or entrench the very people who have destroyed our economy and democracy.”
He went on:
“We have painfully learned, time and again, that the Government will abuse public resources for their own goals rather than for the benefit of Zimbabweans.
The only way that we can advance our shared goals to respond to the current crisis is to include robust measures for transparency and accountability in any assistance package. Even though the donor community accepts that funds cannot be channelled through the Government itself, the integrity of any relief is still at risk because of the close relationship between senior Government officials and certain private actors.
I understand that the Government has pleaded with the World Bank for more assistance and a way out of its debt arrears. The same concerns about retrenchment and repression apply.
This extraordinary crisis will require an exceptional response, but it is equally important not to lose sight of the historical behaviour of countries like Zimbabwe where the Government has used, and continues to use, State resources and international aid to suppress its population and enrich the ruling elite.”
On Friday last week, Biti, together with MDC officials Lynette Karenyi-Kore, Vongai Tome, Lovemore Chinoputsa, Gladys Hlatshwayo and Louis Chimhini, were arrested for criminal nuisance after they illegally attempted to enter Harvest House.
US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Tibor Nagy waded into the matter, accusing Government of what he said were human rights violations.
“The United States condemns the Zimbabwean Government’s politicised use of security forces to take over an opposition party’s headquarters and arrest its members,” Nagy tweeted.
“This is the latest example of the Government of Zimbabwe’s departure from democratic norms and is inconsistent with previous commitments to implement fundamental political and economic reforms.”
Zimbabwe must never tolerate that brazen interference in its internal affairs.
In fact, it is high time that we responded to these nauseating Uncle Sam machinations in kind.