The untold story of ‘protests’

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1023

THE well thought-out, engineered and orchestrated chaos in the country achieved its intended results.
The billowing smoke, the flames, the stones on the roads, the unruly ‘angry’ people in running battles with law enforcement agents, the broken windows and the looting – all made for good television.
It was an effort to come up with the most screaming headlines on Zimbabwe, a country in flames.
The Nation has for some time been working to revamp an economy that was put in a comatose by the illegal Western-imposed sanctions.
For all our faults, the authorities and various stakeholders have been trying to get things working again.
Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa is probably one man who has not known a peaceful night’s sleep since assuming office.
He is walking a tight rope, playing a delicate balancing act.
Amidst all these challenges, Zimbabwe continues to roll, slowly or sluggishly or at snail’s pace, it continues to move on.
And this motion, one can argue, is why the violence and lawlessness was orchestrated.
So the violence was plotted and came to be.
Intended results were achieved.
The desired negative publicity was generated.
But if they cared so much, where are they now, the West?
Many business owners have been reduced to paupers as a result of the protests.
The wave of violence that was unleashed left property worth millions destroyed.
While some may dispute the amount of property destroyed, the fact of the matter is properties were destroyed and need to be replaced.
Property destruction and looting will never bring about any positive development as currently evidenced by the aftermath of the destruction.
The victims of looting are finding the going difficult.
One cannot help but think of the Libyans who today regret what they felt and were told by the West was a grand move.
“Libya today – in spite of the expectations we had at the time of the revolution – it’s much, much worse,” said Karim Mezran, resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Centre for the Middle East.
“Criminality is skyrocketing.
“Insecurity is pervasive.
“There are no jobs.
“It’s hard to get food and electricity.
“There’s fighting, there’s fear.
“I see very few bright spots.
“The level of destruction, apart from Benghazi, is maybe not one that captures the world’s imagination, but the fear that it creates is massive.”
The same can be said of the property destroyed in Zimbabwe.
It might not capture the imagination of the world, but the lives of the owners of the properties have been altered, severely.
Most, if not all of the property destroyed, belonged to the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) players.
These are operators who international banks have not been eager to extend loans to.
They have built their businesses from sheer hard work and innovation that defies logic.
They have had to scrap and skimp to build their enterprises.
The enterprises have enjoyed steady growth albeit at a snail pace but they have kept at it.
And if one is to closely look at the so-called protests, they look like deliberate acts targeting rising businesses.
These were acts designed to set back players who created and designed businesses against all odds.
The protestors duly conducted wanton acts of destruction calculated to turn the tide of sentiment and support against Government.
Against this backdrop of senseless and wanton destruction of property, the small business’ achievements of the last decade have been brutally reversed.
The players have made significant strides since 2000, rates of business closure in the sector have dropped with some getting into the big league in terms of operations.
The Look East Policy has paid dividends as most of the operators have developed links with Asian nations that have been supporting their businesses.
Even the number of participants at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) and Harare Agricultural Show has been increasing largely due to participation of SMEs.
Many of these businesses have been forced to start afresh, achievements of the past decade erased.
Owners and families are being driven into abysmal poverty and clearly the objective of the protests at the outset was to destroy this crucial backbone of the country, the SMEs.
These so-called protests must be seen for what they are and called by their real name; these are nothing but plots to effect regime change.
This is nothing but ‘Missile Diplomacy’ which invariably takes the shape of ‘democratic rights’.

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