Searching for the elusive tipping point


THE idea behind the sudden shortage of fuel and cash that hit the country a fortnight ago was to re-incarnate 2008, to create another crisis, a tipping point.
In a whiff, every positive achievement was forgotten.
Everyone seemed to turn a blind eye to the fact that the Command Agriculture Programme has provided the much needed relief to the country’s food security.
Many seemed to have forgotten that the Beitbridge-Chirundu Highway will create the much needed jobs and increase revenue to treasury.
Suddenly the country’s opponents forgot to mention that ours has been an economy on the rebound and that soon, the song of poverty will be a distant memory.
That the Zimbabwean economy has been battered and tortured is now no longer a story that makes news but it is a recent attempt to trigger, from within the country, another political crisis.
There is a critical point that needs to be emphasised time and again; Zimbabwe will not be collapsing any time soon or in any other time.
The revolutionary land reform and resettlement and the on-going indigenisation and economic empowerment programmes are not a mirage.
They are an economic reality whose results and benefits are there for all to see.
They are a marker of the aspirations of the liberation struggle while the many tobacco farmers, the artisanal miners and the farmers toiling on the land all over the country are a manifestation of the success of these programmes.
The structure of our economy now makes it impossible for anyone attempting sabotage to succeed.
The indigenous players in Glen View, at Mbare’s Siyaso and all over the country are an impregnable barrier.
The Rhodesians tried to suppress us, to destroy us, but they failed.
MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai tried too and also failed.
Now the Western countries are back again, trying to sabotage the economy but the result will be the same.
This economy is not going to die.
This economy, now owned and controlled by black people of Zimbabwe, is here to stay.
This economy, our new economy, is in fact on the rebound.
And there is not going to be any tipping point.
And Zimbabweans, especially those within ZANU PF must never forget the events of March 2007.
From March 2006, right up to March 2007, Tsvangirai and his faction of the now almost moribund MDC, embarked on a whirlwind tour of Zimbabwe’s cities, all the time making it clear this was a build-up to the annihilation of ZANU PF.
An indicator of the rising Western belief in the inevitable success of Tsvangirai’s new strategy was a major prognosis published by Harvard’s African Policy Journal which projected the unseating of President Mugabe as foregone, urging the West to ‘urgently prepare for a post-Mugabe era’.
The US Government and other donors were ‘warned’ against being ‘caught flat-footed’ by this change.
At the presentation of a ZANU PF ‘destruction study’ in Johannesburg in May 2006, Tony Hawkins, then a University of Zimbabwe Economics lecturer and advisory figure for most scenario-building models on Zimbabwe, underlined both his expectations and frustrations.
“In political democracies, prolonged economic decline almost sparks political change, through the ballot box or more radical confrontation on the streets,” Hawkins said.
He lamented that political change in Zimbabwe remained elusive, stressing there is no ‘tipping point’.
The following month would see well-funded opinion surveys meant to gauge whether Zimbabwe had reached a ‘tipping point’ so the MDC could begin its mass action programme.
The most notable of these studies was done by the Western-funded IDASA’s Afrobarometer which revealed that Zimbabweans were disaffected and were increasingly blaming their leader for their woes.
By September 2006, the MDC and its Western backers were confident enough to want to test the waters.
It is important to pay heed to Kwame Nkrumah’s observation on neo-colonialism:
“Second, it is in the field of ‘aid’ that the rivalry of individual developed states first manifests itself. So long as neo-colonialism persists, so long will spheres of interest persist, and this makes multi-lateral aid — which is in fact the only effective form of aid — impossible.
Once multilateral aid begins, the neo-colonialist masters are faced by the hostility of the vested interests in their own country. Their manufacturers naturally object to any attempt to raise the price of the raw materials which they obtain from the neo-colonialist territory in question, or to the establishment there of manufacturing industries which might compete directly or indirectly with their own exports to the territory. Even education is suspect as likely to produce a student movement and it is, of course, true that in many less developed countries the students have been in the vanguard of the fight against neo-colonialism.
In the end the situation arises that the only type of aid which the neo-colonialist masters consider as safe is ‘military aid’.
Once a neo-colonialist territory is brought to such a state of economic chaos and misery that revolt actually breaks out then, and only then, is there no limit to the generosity of the neo-colonial overlord, provided, of course, that the funds supplied are utilised exclusively for military purposes.”
Zimbabwe will not fall.
Let those with ears listen.


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