US, Tsvangirai’s false sense of security


THE past week has been replete with events designed to pamper the United States’ increasingly futile bid to control Africa and revive embattled MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s desperately waning political fortunes.
Zimbabwe, a country that has redefined not only Africa’s, but global political economics through its indigenisation and economic empowerment programmes and policies has been at the centre of these events.
Sometime last week, we woke up to screaming headlines from various sections of the media that Uncle Sam had ‘snubbed’ President Robert Mugabe for a summit which the US intends to regain control of Africa in the wake of China’s growing investment influence in the continent.
While under ‘normal circumstances’ Zimbabwe would have had every reason to quake in its shoes, it does not as it lives in a time defined by economic potential and policies that uplift true and real owners of the resources.
Zimbabwe has since the inception of the historic and heroic Land Reform and Resettlement Programme of 2000 never been friends with the US which was accosted by the country’s former coloniser, Britain to meddle in a bilateral dispute between the two nations.
Since then, the US imposed illegal economic sanctions against Zimbabwe which have received widespread condemnation from the progressive world.
In 1999, Britain had formed and aided the MDC which is led by Tsvangirai with the sanctions to topple President Mugabe, but successive efforts to make this quest possible have dismally failed.
This is why Uncle Sam’s decision to ‘snub’ Zimbabwe is not surprising since it is now common knowledge that it was driven by malice and outright resentment of the country indigenisation policies.
President Mugabe was ‘excluded’ from the ‘high-profile’ US-Africa summit set to be convened by President Barack Obama in August because he is currently a ‘Specially Designated National’ (SDN), we were told last week.
A Specially Designated Nationals List is a publication of Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) which lists individuals and organisations with whom US citizens and permanent residents are prohibited from doing business.
Acting US ambassador in Zimbabwe, spokesperson Jillian Bonnardeaux told a local weekly that President Mugabe was also subject to US sanctions for ‘undermining democratic processes and institutions in Zimbabwe’.
The White House announced last week that Obama will invite 47 leaders to the ‘landmark’ US-Africa summit, seeking to widen US trade, development and security ties with an increasingly dynamic continent to which he traces part of his ancestry.
Africa and indeed the rest of the world have every reason to be worried when the US ‘seeks to widen trade, development and security ties’ with the continent.
Recent history suggests that America will never be at any stage an honest partner especially when it comes to trade and forging security ‘ties’ with any country in the world.
Many will remember slain Libyan leader, Muammar Gadaffi who fell for America’s charm offensive and was brutally murdered for oil.
This is why Tsvangirai’s so-called ‘state of the nation’ address in Harare last week must be dismissed with the contempt it deserves.
Of particular emphasis in the US’ resentment for President Mugabe and their shameless support for Tsvangirai’s MDC is Uncle Sam’s expectations of what they say are ‘sensible macro-economic policies’ which include among other things restoring ‘sound agricultural policies’.
This is why Tsvangirai’s nonsensical address sounded like a US template of economic management.
For very obvious reasons, the US’ expectations of a reversal of Zimbabwe’s Land Reform and Resettlement and the ongoing Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment programmes are never directly steed, but are neatly tucked behind the neo-liberal discourse of ‘sound macro-economic policies and bad governance’ by President Mugabe.
The strategy includes excluding Zimbabwe from their banquets while urging Tsvangirai to continue with his scare tactics of painting as bad a picture as possible for the country.
It is important to keep this in mind when unpacking Western propaganda against Zimbabwe.
It is also important to keep in mind the fact that the US and the MDC-T refused to endorse the July 31 harmonised elections which saw the Western founded and funded party crushing.
Through this historic poll and Zimbabwe’s assertive stance on matters of economic empowerment and sovereignty is deemed enough provocation in the eyes of America’s quest to make its mark on Africa’s economic affairs.
Tsvangirai’s presentation which was laden with threats of suffering to the people of Zimbabwe is a carbon copy of former US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Chester Crocker who in September 2001 famously told the US Congress that: “To separate the people of Zimbabwe from that man Robert Mugabe, we have to make their economy ‘scream’, and I hope you Senators have the stomach for what we are about to do.”
Tsvangirai foolishly told the gathering at his presentation that, “the current parlous state of the economy is the true result of that stolen election”.
He stated that the solution is ‘unconditional’ dialogue with ZANU PF.
While no talks will happen between Tsvangirai and ZANU PF, it is sickening to note that here is a man confronted with both bedroom and boardroom affairs claiming to have solutions to the country’s problem.
There is no doubt that Tsvangirai is desperately trying to revive his waning fortunes while using the economy as bait.
That unfortunately will find no takers.
On the other hand, America has excluded itself from being part of those who are eagerly waiting for the opportunity to exploit the country’s resources.
Zimbabwe will not be moved by summits designed to manipulate the continent.
We know our way and where we have come from is no doubt a pointer to the direction we are taking as a nation.
Let those with ears listen.


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