Uncle Tom revives regime change agenda


THE US surprised many when it joined the deafening chorus of countries that hailed Zimbabwe’s transition of power in November last year.
But beneath the surface there was always simmering doubt over Uncle Sam’s sincerity, which has now been confirmed through its brazen and bizarre revival of the regime change agenda.
Shortly after President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa’s inauguration, the US was among the many countries that rushed to congratulate Zimbabwe for its smooth transition, but it has not taken long for Uncle Sam to show that its stance on Harare has yet to change.
What was supposed to be an era of thawing of relations between Harare and Washington is turning out to be a big yawn following revelations that the Democracy Institute, one of the US’ key arms of the much maligned regime change project, has been working hard behind the scenes to revive the widely discredited anti-Zimbabwe sanctions.
There is so much secrecy surrounding the Democracy Institute’s activities and funding.
But information gleaned by this paper shows that the organisation, founded in 2006, is based in Washington DC and purports to be a think tank with serious links to the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), one of the organisations that formulated strategies for the MDC’s regime change agenda strategies in 1999.
The organisation’s website provides no information about its main funders.
However, a 2006 Democracy Institute study of graphic health warnings on tobacco packaging, written by John Luik, states that it was “made possible by funding provided by Imperial Tobacco Group PLC.”
In his book, A Picture of Health? Why Graphic Warnings Don’t Work, Luik says the Democracy Institute is supported by shadowy characters involved in global tobacco trade.
Curiously, the US have been at the forefront of lobbying for the ban on tobacco growing which is Zimbabwe’s biggest foreign currency earner.
Luik is a senior fellow of the Democracy Institute, and a tobacco industry consultant who, according to reports, was sacked from two academic posts in Canada for misrepresenting his credentials.
The Democracy Institute says it is “a politically independent public policy research organisation based in Washington and London. Founded in 2006, this think tank serves to further public education through the production and dissemination of accessible commentary and scholarship. The Democracy Institute aims to provide a balanced and thoughtful perspective on topical issues, promoting open and rational debate based on evidence rather than ideology. 
We commonly address public policy in comparative terms. Many of our research projects, therefore, have a transatlantic or international flavour. We are currently conducting and commissioning work in the following areas: democratisation; education policy; electoral studies; the European Union; fiscal studies; health care; international relations; obesity; and the regulation of risk. The Democracy Institute welcomes enquiries, exchanges of ideas, and contributions from individuals or groups with an interest in these issues.
An Advisory Council, comprised of internationally renowned scholars and writers in a variety of disciplines, guides the work of the Democracy Institute’s research staff. Collectively, they seek to challenge conventional wisdom, stimulate policy debate, and enlighten the public conversation.”
A June 3 2013 article by Melinda Haring titled ‘Reforming the Democracy Bureaucracy’ reveals how the US uses its organisations to undermine foreign governments.
Zimbabwe has been on the receiving end of those shenanigans for close to two decades now.
“From its modest beginnings in the Reagan administration, the idea that outside actors can encourage democratic change overseas has grown into a US$3 billion industry encompassing a vast array of programmes,” reads Haring’s article in part.
“Scholars and practitioners have argued convincingly that the ‘democracy bureaucracy’ remains unco-ordinated, is often counter-productive, contains redundancies, ‘and (is) characterised by scant strategic thinking and a cumbersome management system.
Yet supporting democrats is an important plank of US influence and national security that can be improved with three reforms. 
First, the US government should leave democracy assistance in authoritarian countries like Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe to the independent grant-making model exemplified by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
Second, field-based organisations like the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and International Republican Institute (IRI) should focus on partly free places already on the road to change like Kyrgyzstan and Tunisia. Finally, non-competitive mechanisms for awarding funds to democracy-promotion organisations should end.”
It has emerged that the Democracy Institute has been accosting the fragmented opposition to coalesce around what they call the Zimbabwe Alliance, a feat they failed to achieve during the recently held meeting of several political parties, including the G40 cabal’s New Patriotic Front (NPF) in Cape Town last week.
It has been frustration after frustration for the US whose efforts to effect regime change in Zimbabwe have failed since they were initiated in 1999.
They have summoned and made use of an array of strategies some of which include imposition of illegal economic sanctions against the country with media reports
suggesting this week that President Mnangagwa has been slapped with fresh sanctions.
The US Congress passed the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZDERA) on December 21 2001 after the Government of Zimbabwe had embarked on the Land Reform and Resettlement Programme in 2000.
This came as the US sponsored and openly supported the MDC’s regime change agenda.
The US Embassy in Harare would neither deny nor confirm extension of the sanctions regime, a local daily said on Tuesday.
“The President (Donald Trump) may sign a notice of continuation of the national emergency with respect to Zimbabwe. The continuation of this national emergency had been done yearly since 2003 and maintains sanctions implemented under Executive Orders 13288, 13391 and 13469 pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act,” the embassy said in response.
The US Embassy’s response raises serious questions on the role of the Democratic Institute in Zimbabwean politics in particular and the Cape Town meeting in general.
The G40 cabal was conspicuous by its absence in Cape Town after President Mnangagwa revealed that the meeting would take place in South Africa and was about imposition of certain characters to the leadership of the stuttering coalition while at the same trying to effect regime change in Zimbabwe.
The Democracy Institute funded the Cape Town meeting whose organisers included Ibbo Mandaza and Brian Kagoro.
The duo have been, for the past two years, lobbying for what they call the National Transitional Authority (NTA), a project meant to stop the holding of elections.
But President Mnangagwa, whom they accuse of not being ‘prepared’ to go for elections, has repeatedly said that elections will be held this year.
While Kagoro and his partners issued a lengthy statement denying that the G40 cabal had been invited to Cape Town, a key figure of G40, Patrick Zhuwao unwittingly let the cat out of the bag when he launched an attack on President Mnangagwa for telling the world about the Democracy Institute’s intentions.
In the latest instalment of his little regarded column The Zhuwao Brief Reloaded, Zhuwao said the MDC Alliance had squandered an opportunity to ‘convince’ Zimbabweans that President Mnangagwa would be defeated in the forthcoming elections.
“EDiot wetted the world’s appetite when he lied that NPF would be attending the Cape Town meeting. His position strengthened an unfortunate lie the state media was propagating that President Mugabe and Dr Grace Mugabe were behind the formation of NPF in cahoots with Dr Joice Mujuru,” wrote Zhuwao.
Naturally, the whole world was keen to know what President Mugabe was being alleged to be doing.
So, all eyes were on the Cape Town meeting as it hosted two out of the three coalitions and alliances of Zimbabwe’s opposition formations.
If the MDC Alliance had attended the Cape Town meeting, all Zimbabweans would have been convinced that ZANU PF was headed for a massive electoral defeat. The few remaining supporters of EDiot’s ZANU PF would have been quaking in their boots. 
Opposition supporters would have been more emboldened and the nation more confident. Well-wishers and donors for the opposition would now be sitting up, ready to deal the final blow to the EDiot’s junta.
It is now apparent that the beneficiary of this unfortunate turn of events is the EDiot junta.
The Zimbabwe Alliance Cape Town gathering, it also emerged this week, was meant to drop the MDC name that has been used to bring together minority parties as partners in a coalition that was being led by the now late MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
With Tsvangirai’s MDC-T engulfed in an embarrassing mudslinging over the party’s presidency following the passing on of leader Morgan Tsvangirai, the G40 cabal, led by its kingpin Jonathan Moyo, has seized the opportunity by trying to impose Joice Mujuru as the Zimbabwe Alliance leader.
Jonathan Moyo is alleged to enjoy strong links with the Americans and the involvement of the Democracy Institute in the funding and organisation of the Cape Town jaunt further buttresses that the US still hopes for regime change in Zimbabwe.
But the Zimbabwe Alliance has made a false start.
The current fights in the MDC-T have stalled progress on the consummation of the so-called Zimbabwe Alliance.
The Nelson Chamisa cabal is accusing his bitter rival’s camp, led by Engineer Elias Mudzuri, of supping with the devil in apparent reference to Mujuru and the G40 cabal.
The Cape Town meeting was chaired by a member of the G40 cabal, media reports said last week.
The local daily also said: “Reports said exiled G40 members who allegedly now front the New Patriotic Front (NPF) wanted to rope in Mujuru, disgruntled MDC-T members and PDP officials, among other parties, in their bid to challenge Zanu PF in the elections due in a few months,’ reads a report in a local daily.
“Mujuru, MDC-T deputy presidents Thokozani Khupe and Elias Mudzuri, PDP officials and Coalition of Democrats (CODE), among other small parties, attended the Cape Town event.
MDC Alliance spokesperson Welshman Ncube dismissed the event as a meeting ‘of every Tom, Dick and Harry’.”
What is crystal clear is that the US firmly remains on the path to destabilise the country.


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