Regime change agenda: Patriotism or terrorism?

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WHEN ZANU PF Secretary for Youth Affairs Pupurai Togarei first suggested, in August 2018, that Zimbabwe needed to adopt a Patriotic Act to prosecute those who advocate economic sanctions, speak ill of the country while taking actions that cause harm and destabilisation to it, he was pursuing a position that the country should have taken long back for very obvious reasons.
Zimbabwe has been under siege for almost two decades from Western countries and their acolytes who are aiding and abetting this destabilisation and destruction agenda.
And, adoption of the Patriot Act is a position that several other countries have taken in order to protect their citizens from the vagaries of interference into their internal affairs and systematic as well as sustained economic warfare.
What stalled the pursuit of that position was the damage that has been caused to Zimbabwe by those illegal economic sanctions — a country of circumstantial political fragments and seemingly irreparable divisions.
This is exactly what the sanctions were created for — to divide the country, weaken its security forces and the economy.
“We have challenges on the economy, some being caused by sanctions,” Togarepi said in Parliament last week.
“There are some MPs in this House who are going outside to call for these restrictions.
“There should be a law to prosecute those who seek for sanctions. They are terrorists.”
Before the ink had dried in the Hansard, opposition leader Nelson Chamisa’s spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda confirmed that his party is on a mission to tarnish the country.
The excitable Chamisa’s propaganda outlet boasted on Twitter that he had forced prominent US actor Steve Harvey’s tweet that was promoting Victoria Falls to be pulled down.
“He is just making his money, I agree with you. Just got excited, the ZANU PF consultants in the US, got Steve Harvey @IAmSteveHarvey to tweet about @edmnangagwa, we got to him and he quickly deleted the post. They are failing, that is how bad they are. They are losing fast!” wrote Sibanda on his Twitter page.
What was lost on Sibanda is that the Zimbabwean Government has been extremely generous to those who intentionally cause harm to the country.
Sibanda was simply trying to provoke the authorities and this is so especially when efforts by the West to bring the country back under the global spotlight have intensified.
Led by the excitable EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Timo Olkkonen, and working with the civic society to destabilise the country, Sibanda was playing to that overall thrust.
Right from the onset, the West never made this objective a secret.
Before the US and the EU were dragged into what was, and still is, a bilateral tiff between Zimbabwe and Britain by Harare’s erstwhile coloniser, several statements which were replete with undertones of open war were made by Western officials.
The US officially imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe on December 21 2001, with the EU following suit on February 18 2002.
Just before the US commenced its onslaught on Harare, former US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Chester Crocker made a shocking statement in September 2001, which all but confirmed that Washington was launching a full scale war on Zimbabwe.
While preparing for a Senate debate on the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZDERA), which lays the foundation for official sanctions on the country, Crocker said:
“To separate the Zimbabwean people from ZANU PF, we are going to have to make their economy scream, and I hope you, senators, have the stomach for what you have to do.”
Prior to that, Crocker had confirmed that his country, with several forces, many of them Zimbabweans, were not only going to divide the country but bring it to its knees.
This was at 106th Congress House Hearings on Zimbabwe titled ‘Zimbabwe: Democracy on the Line’ on June 13 2000.
Said Crocker: “So if we were to decide to try and work for change in power in Zimbabwe, I would hope that we would have the wisdom to be discrete, to be low-key and to avoid giving those in power there the excuse that foreigners are out to get them.”
It did not take long for Zimbabweans to unravel the pervasive fact that the West was working with the likes of the MDC and a coterie of NGOs whose brief was to tarnish the country’s image and topple the Government through means outside the ballot box.
There is a compelling similarity to this strategy; the Chilean example.
At one meeting between US former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and then CIA director Richard Helms, the latter was told to “…make the (Chilean) economy scream….”
The Americans were daring.
“Chile has a very short future and after 4 November it will only have a past,” wrote America’s point man in Chile, Eduardo Frei, according to declassified CIA documents.
Another American intelligence officer based in Chile added:
“There is a graveyard smell to Chile, the fumes of a democracy in decomposition. They stank in my nostrils in Czechoslovakia in 1948 and they are no less sickening here today.”
The strategy follows a similar pattern here in Zimbabwe.
Last week, using coded language, a prominent political analyst claimed that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s re-engagement was ‘dead’.
This statement was premised on efforts that are being made by known MDC Alliance senior officials to scuttle the re-engagement drive by ED.
While fighting former Chilean President Salvador Allende, Kissinger instructed: “Sign no new loans and make no more commitments. Retain Chile in Eximbank’s Group D (worst risk) category, requiring all decisions to be made in Washington and raising fees on guarantees…
“Examine each Chilean request to international financial institutions on its merits and in the context of the political situation at the time. (Do) not encourage private investment in Chile.”
There would be no support for reschedulling of Chilean debt either, and the US Government was to invoke the Foreign Assistance Act [620(3)(b)] and [107(b)] wherever possible.
These sections read: “No assistance to country dominated by international communist movement, No economic assistance to countries trading with Cuba or North Vietnam.”
While this is a familiar script to Zimbabweans, there can never be any doubt that what is good for the goose should be good for the gander.
Britain and the US, who are the prime sponsors of the sanctions, have come up with laws that protect their countries from ‘enemies’.
Below we reproduce part of the USA Patriotic Act.
“The USA PATRIOT Act: Preserving Life and Liberty 
(Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism) Congress enacted the Patriot Act by overwhelming, bipartisan margins, arming law enforcement with new tools to detect and prevent terrorism: The USA Patriot Act was passed nearly unanimously by the Senate 98-1, and 357-66 in the House, with the support of members from across the political spectrum.
The Act Improves Our Counter-Terrorism Efforts in Several Significant Ways:
1. The Patriot Act allows investigators to use the tools that were already available to investigate organized crime and drug trafficking. Many of the tools the Act provides to law enforcement to fight terrorism have been used for decades to fight organised crime and drug dealers, and have been reviewed and approved by the courts. As Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) explained during the floor debate about the Act, “the FBI could get a wiretap to investigate the mafia, but they could not get one to investigate terrorists. To put it bluntly, that was crazy! What’s good for the mob should be good for terrorists.” (Cong. Rec., 10/25/01) 
Allows law enforcement to use surveillance against more crimes of terror. Before the Patriot Act, courts could permit law enforcement to conduct electronic surveillance to investigate many ordinary, non-terrorism crimes, such as drug crimes, mail fraud, and passport fraud. Agents also could obtain wiretaps to investigate some, but not all, of the crimes that terrorists often commit. The Act enabled investigators to gather information when looking into the full range of terrorism-related crimes, including: chemical-weapons offenses, the use of weapons of mass destruction, killing Americans abroad, and terrorism financing.
Allows federal agents to follow sophisticated terrorists trained to evade detection. For years, law enforcement has been able to use “roving wiretaps” to investigate ordinary crimes, including drug offenses and racketeering. A roving wiretap can be authorized by a federal judge to apply to a particular suspect, rather than a particular phone or communications device. Because international terrorists are sophisticated and trained to thwart surveillance by rapidly changing locations and communication devices such as cell phones, the Act authorized agents to seek court permission to use the same techniques in national security investigations to track terrorists.
Allows law enforcement to conduct investigations without tipping off terrorists. In some cases if criminals are tipped off too early to an investigation, they might flee, destroy evidence, intimidate or kill witnesses, cut off contact with associates, or take other action to evade arrest. Therefore, federal courts in narrow circumstances long have allowed law enforcement to delay for a limited time when the subject is told that a judicially-approved search warrant has been executed. Notice is always provided, but the reasonable delay gives law enforcement time to identify the criminal’s associates, eliminate immediate threats to our communities, and coordinate the arrests of multiple individuals without tipping them off beforehand. These delayed notification search warrants have been used for decades, have proven crucial in drug and organized crime cases, and have been upheld by courts as fully constitutional.”
There will most definitely be a global outcry when Zimbabwe eventually passes its Cyber Bill into law but, for this country, it is a matter of life and death.
A perusal of the British and American laws shows that so-called rights are only an afterthought when it comes to matters to do with protecting their respective countries.
Those who engage in terrorism under the guise of promoting democracy must be dealt with according to the law as they are dealt with in these Western countries.
We cannot continue dithering on whether we should pass laws that protect our citizens and our country, fearing and worried about the opinions of the West.
What is good for the goose should also be good for the gander!

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