Gloves off for 2018 vote


GLOVES are off for the 2018 poll as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have openly declared war against the ruling ZANU PF.
In a conference organised by Ibbotson Joseph Mandaza’s SAPES Trust last week in the capital, the NGOs were informed by Western backers that the crisis-card will not work ahead of the 2018 poll.
“We cannot extend support on the basis of crisis for there is no crisis in Zimbabwe,” is the loud and clear message from the Western sponsors.
After an overwhelming electoral victory by ZANU PF in 2013, the international community was forced to eat humble pie and accept that there is no crisis in the country.
Since then, the West has been stampeding to engage the country and not a single one of them can back their instruments of regime change in the country on the card of a ‘country-in-crisis’.
In response, over 100 NGOs drawn from different parts of the country assembled to devise ways to create chaos and crisis to attract the attention of the international community.
The two-day conference was sponsored by America’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Britain’s Chatham House and Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition.
Chatham House and NED are organisations well-known for interfering in internal affairs of sovereign states to effect regime change.
The conference, which ran under the theme Zimbabwe in Transition: Reform and Reconstruction, was dubbed a ‘huge’ success as it ‘sealed’ what they called the ‘fate’ of Zimbabweans.
A point plan strategy was formulated to get Zimbabwe on the international agenda.
Critical, they agreed, was the creation of pre and post-elections violence similar to what they created in 2008 and had the world’s attention on the country.
Just like any project cycle, this particular strategy has been given a time frame, from now to the 2018 elections.
“As International Crisis Group, we follow bloody crises around the world and Zimbabwe is not a crisis concern,” said Piers Pigou, International Crisis Group’s senior consultant for southern Africa.
Thus they deliberated on the need to create the chaos.
“How can we get back Zimbabwe on the international agenda as a country in crisis as was the case prior to the 2013 elections,” asked Sapes Trust founder Mandaza.
Solutions were quick to come by on how best that crisis can be orchestrated.
It was agreed to use social movements, among them #ThisFlag fronted by cleric Evan Mawarire, #Tajamuka/Sesijikile, Zimbabwe Yadzoka, Mayibuye iZimbabwe, Buya, #ThisGown, #TheZimbabweWeWant.
Calls were made to create vibrant social movements across the country.
Presenting his paper at the conference, #Tajamuka/Sesijikile spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi said there was need to harness and co-ordinate protests across the country.
“Social movements have a better advantage over NGOs as they respond more rapidly to civil unrest without bureaucracy,” said Mkwananzi.
“For these protests to be successful, they need leadership and co-ordination, hence there is need to harness and co-ordinate these unrests.
“So, as we approach 2018, we must build sustainable grassroots based social movements and we must mobilise the Diaspora community.”
This strategy would fall under what is termed the ‘Managed Change Formula’ by the International Crisis Group.
Managed Change Formula is a pre-programmed series of co-ordinated events taking place in different parts of the world, but timed to happen as part of a series with one event designed to influence the decisions of the next event and so on.
Last year in August, the country was rocked by violent demonstrations, instigated by opposition parties and the social movements in a bid to effect regime change.
Prior to the violent protests, international media was deployed to cover every form of violence against these groups for distribution to the rest of the world.
Violent protesters hurled stones at law enforcement agents, set tyres ablaze, burnt a vehicle and razed to the ground the popular Copacabana flea market in the central business district (CBD).
They looted shops and attacked innocent citizens, in the mayhem.
The demonstrations, which also found their way to New York, were designed to ensure Zimbabwe was discussed at the UN Security Council and force the body to impose sanctions on the country.
But they failed to get the international response they desired.
Only Julius Malema, president of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), voiced support for the protests.
And the civil society, under the banner of social movements, feel they did not do enough to catch the eye of the international community.
Apparently the protests were not bloody enough!
And for the protests to be successful, a lot of money is needed, hence the coming in of NED and Chatham House.
Dave Peterson, senior director of the Africa Programme for NED said after listening to ‘concerns’ of the organis-
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tions he would recommend Washington to put Zimbabwe back on top of the agenda.
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“We will be taking this conversation to Washington and we look forward to put Zimbabwe back on the agenda in Washington,” said Peterson.
“We will engage policymakers that there is need to put Zimbabwe back on the agenda. (that) Zimbabwe is in intensive care unit.”
Will NED apply the same tactics it used in the 2011 Arab Springs?
The NED funds a network of local NGOs founded and funded by the US Embassy and USAID office and are handed over to the NED family for operational control and management. 
Local NGOs that have benefitted from these US funds include the American Centre for International Labour Solidarity, Centre for International Private Enterprise, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, Mass Public Opinion Institute, Youth Forum, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and Zimbabwe Peace Project, among others.
NED is considered to be the CIA’s ‘civilian arm’ and has been deeply involved in innumerable uprisings, attempted coups and acts of neo-colonial regime change since its creation in 1983, including the contrived 2004 ‘Orange Revolution’ that brought US puppet Viktor Yushchenko to power in Ukraine.
Furthermore, under the auspices of NED, Larry Diamond, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, also played an instrumental role in the Arab Spring, a series of supposedly grassroots revolts that were in fact organised and managed by some of the most powerful Western institutions on the planet.
“A lot of what we do was done 25 years ago covertly by the CIA,” said
Alan Weinstein, one of the founders of the National Endowment for Democracy.
Although it promotes itself as a ‘non-governmental organisation,’ NED receives at least 90 percent of its funding from the US Congress, earmarked for USAID; the balance is provided by right-leaning non-profits groups like the Olin and Bradley Foundations. 
To most people, the endowment probably looks like a pretty innocuous organisation.
After all, who’s against ‘democracy’?
But when one examines the records of those who control it and its affiliates, it is clear its business is to overthrow governments.
Between 2009 and 2010, NED-backed mobs took to the streets in Bangkok, Thailand, in attempts to overthrow both the sitting Government at the time, and also the Thai military and Thailand’s head of state.
In addition, NED is directly involved in lending legitimacy to US-backed subversion in Cuba as part of a decades-long attempt to overthrow the government in Havana and expand US hegemony over the Caribbean.
And in Africa, US Government’s NED has been working through the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).
The FIDH is well established in Africa, and it is reported that the NED has delegated to it its work in manipulating and controlling African governments, movements and societies.
It should be remembered that the FIDH, and the affiliated Libyan League for Human Rights, helped to orchestrate the pretexts for NATO’s brutal intervention in the mass uprising against Gaddafi’s regime. 
The NED has also provided the FIDH with grants for its African operations and, like the FIDH, was instrumental in ensuring NATO’s operation against the Gaddafi regime.
NED has also been fingered in training, funding and backing the armies of regime change that swept across North Africa beginning in 2011.
As a 2013 report by Al Jazeera showed, in the weeks and months leading up to the ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, NED and some of its affiliates were funding individuals and organisations calling for the overthrow of the elected Government in the country.
“A main conduit for channelling the State Department’s democracy funds to Egypt has been the National Endowment for Democracy,” reads the report.
“Federal documents show NED, which in 2011 was authorised an annual budget of US$118m by Congress, funnelled at least US$120 000 over several years to an exiled Egyptian police officer who has for years incited violence in his native country.”
A police officer, Colonel Omar Afifi Soliman, the recipient of a ‘human rights fellowship’ at NED, used social media to call for some heinous acts.
In one facebook post, featured in the report, Soliman called on his Egyptian followers to “Make a road bump with a broken palm tree to stop the buses going into Cairo, and drench the road around it with gas and diesel. When the bus slows down for the bump, set it all ablaze so it will burn down with all the passengers inside… God bless.”
And these tactics were the same as those used in Zimbabwe last year.
The same tactics they intend to continue using but this time on a greater scale.
The question remains: Why particularly focus on Zimbabwe so much?
Big power houses, America and Britain in the same local hotel room setting the tone for the 2018 elections: What is Chatham House’s interest on Zimbabwe?
To answer this question there is need to recall that Chatham House was mandated by the British establishment to generate ideas meant to underpin the formulation of policies and processes which would bring about regime change in Zimbabwe.
In the preface to the 2014 Chatham House Report on Zimbabwe, one of the key players at Chatham House, Richard Dowden, confesses that the failure by Britain to effect regime change in Zimbabwe represented one of the most outstanding defeats in British foreign policy in the last 60 years.
Chatham House is a think tank of the British establishment which is the modern version of the British colonial office.
Because Zimbabwe quit the British Commonwealth, which in the main continues to promote Britain’s economic interests in its former colonies, it got Chatham House designated as its overseer when it comes to generation of ideas which feed into policy formulation on Zimbabwe.
This partly explains why it had to sponsor this particular two-day conference and why Alex Vines, Chatham House head of African Programme, had to present a paper on Zimbabwe and Knox Chitiyo, Associate Fellow, African Programme at Chatham House had to give conclusions on mapping the way forward at that particular conference.
This seemingly ‘accommodating and open-minded’ approach which goes to the extent of consulting Zimbabwean locals gives some coating of legitimacy and creates some semblance of objectivity to whatever anti-Zimbabwe ideas are proposed by Chatham House.


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