West in panic mode

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THERE is a sudden realisation by the West that Zimbabwe’s circumstances have reached a tipping turning point, a point of no return and it has triggered interesting impulsive responses.
At a recent breakfast meeting, the European Union (EU) Ambassador to Zimbabwe Aldo Del’Arricia came out with guns blazing in defence of ZANU PF against an onslaught from our own academics and local non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Dr Ibbo Mandaza, a respectable academic, had argued Zimbabwe’s problem was an absence of leadership.
Of course there is really nothing new about Dr Mandaza’s argument.
In his biography of veteran nationalist Edgar Tekere several years ago, he held the same mistaken view that the liberation movement leadership lacked the capacity to rule the country because most of them were primary school teachers and headmasters.
He was wrong because nationalist leaders like Eddison Zvobgo, Herbert Ushewekunze, Sydney Sekeramayi, Nathan Shamuyarira were doctors and lawyers.
But all this is beside the point.
The point is the unmistakable panic that has crept into the West regarding Zimbabwe.
Otherwise how else would one describe the World Bank’s warning that we should be wary of Chinese financial assistance?
It’s like the hyena advising villagers to secure their cattle pens at sunset.
There are several ways to look at the hyena’s advice.
It could be the hyena has suddenly found itself in a catch-22 situation, a dilemma it cannot easily extricate itself from.
Or the hyena was so confused it eventually said what it didn’t know.
Whatever is the case, the advice must be taken with a pinch of salt.
This Zimbabwe/Chinese connection has attracted a lot of attention and unruffled feathers.
Ordinarily, this is not the kind of issue human rights lawyers would wade into, but a certain Zimbabwean, Sarah Logan, writing from America, also warns about the danger of signing away our future and mineral wealth to China.
But 100 years of their colonial rule ensured our future and that of our future generations lay firmly in their hands!
Suddenly, they now seem concerned about our welfare and that of our children. What hypocrisy and double standards!
The truth is they did not believe we could look elsewhere for solutions to our economic development.
You can tell by the anger and bitterness in the white community in this issue’s contribution of our ‘View from UK’ over news of the closure of the old Rhodesian departmental store, Greatermans.
What comes through clearly in the anger and bitterness is the sentimental attachment and the realisation that Rhodesia and all its vestiges is dying.
Some of us have a different interpretation of the closure; that it was a result of the emergence of black empowerment and market competition, not President Mugabe’s perceived economic mismanagement that failed to ensure its survival.
But who would blame the Rhodesians to hang so tenaciously to the past when we have foolish young blacks inviting Rhodesians like David Coltart to tell the story of an acclaimed nationalist like Nathan Shamuyarira?
What kind of story do we want?
Most importantly, where are we going?

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