One of the greatest deceptions of World War II was the concentration camp established at Terezin (renamed Thereisenstadt by the Germans) near Prague in then Czechoslovakia. Though the Nazis gave it a pleasant looking facade, in order to fool the Red Cross, diplomats and world media, it was nothing more or less than a collection point for Jews on their way to the death camps.
The whole purpose of Thereisenstadt was to provide the Nazi propaganda machine with a model that they could display to the outside world in order to convince them that Jews and other undesirables were not only being well treated but enjoying life under German rule.
Last week Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC, despite victory in the Zimbabwean elections, finally capitulated and became the junior partner in a government of national unity. In essence Mugabe still controls Zimbabwe from top to bottom and the MDC get to rubber-stamp the latest insane policy moves by the Zanu-PF.
Welcome to ThereisZimstadt. Outwardly a government of national unity inwardly still rotten to the core.
Overall it was a triumph for corruption, elitism and mass murder while confirming a continuing outrageous disregard in Africa for the value of black lives. Where Barack Obama has broken through the glass ceiling to show there is no limit to what black people can achieve, Mugabe, SADC, South Africa and former president Thabo Mbeki have shattered the glass floor and demonstrated clearly that when it comes to cronyism and furthering the interests of the elite there is no limit to how low they can go. Indeed if Mbeki is headed for Sudan as a mediator then I await with interest to see whether the point blank refusal to address genocide, mass starvation and corruption also becomes a feature there.
Indeed if one has regard for the “success” of Mbeki’s policies in Zimbabwe one can only stand in awe at the genius of those who decided to employ his skills in Sudan. The equivalent would be Obama appointing the former CEO of Enron as his new secretary of the treasury.
Notwithstanding, subsequent to the MDC confirming that they will be party to the government, a number of individuals, parties and governments have come out in favour of an immediate lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe. Perhaps they could clarify their reasoning by answering the following questions for us and in particular where they believe the changes have come.
1. Has Zimbabwe suddenly had a free and fair election?
2. Will the next election be conducted before international observers and if so could we have that recorded now?
3. Will Mugabe and Zanu-PF accept the next election result if it’s free and fair?
4. On what are you basing this?
5. Will the army and police now swear allegiance to the people not Mugabe?
6. On what are you basing this?
7. Will Mugabe and Zanu-PF stop using violence to intimidate opponents?
8. On what are you basing this?
9. Will Mugabe stop selling mineral rights for personal gain?
10. Will Mugabe and his wife stop using Zimbabwe as their personal bank account?
11. Will all press restrictions be lifted?
12. Have all the political activists in Zimbabwe been freed?
13. Will law and order be restored?
14. Will Mugabe, Zanu-PF and the security organisations observe the rule of law?
15. On what are you basing all this?
16. Are the people Mugabe murdered now alive or showing signs of a spiritual return?
17. Is reducing life expectancy through neglect to the lowest in the world and committing mass murder a crime? (Just out of interest)
This could go on and on and on.
Easier I imagine would be for those who suggest sanctions should be lifted to simply set out for us how they perceive the situation has changed between Friday and today. As your starting point please tell us what happened to that R300 million we gave to assist Zimbabwean agriculture. Bear in mind that that is South Africa’s money not the ANC’s and accordingly we’d like to know where it went. We’d hate our government to start taking on the same bad habits as Zimbabwe ie using the treasury for personal matters. If the money was received as aid, then a full account should be made available together with exact details of the beneficiaries for verification.
In addition I’m sure most people would like to know how the man who committed mass murder in Matabeleland, murdered and tortured political opponents, destroyed an economy while living like a king, pawned his country’s wealth for own benefit and point blank refused to allow free and fair elections nor recognise the result when he lost the rigged version, has changed between Friday and now? What has he done that leads you to conclude that he can now be trusted when 7 million of his people are on the brink of starvation because of his intransigence? We know he refused to budge an inch on the power-sharing deadlock and withheld food aid to punish his starving masses for voting against him just a few short months ago. Yet somehow all of this has changed since Friday because why?
The only safeguard that those starving masses have against Mugabe in another guise is increasing and delivering the aid directly to them. If the money is given to the Zimbabwean government then God help those people because chances are they will see only a fraction of it and then only in order to show them that big daddy Zanu-PF is looking after them. In terms of sanctions these are directed at the criminal conduct of the Zanu-PF. Why anyone would expect them to be lifted today is anyone’s guess but I’m happy to listen to what’s changed since Friday.
Include in your answers the reason why mass murder, torture and the intentional starving of the Zimbabwean people should be forgotten or forgiven.
Of course SADC, South Africa and AU have stood fair and square behind Mugabe and promised to bail out Zimbabwe. Isn’t the answer then that those parties (not countries prior to holding referendums) that wish to assist Mugabe must now deliver on their promises? The USA and EU can wait to see if Mugabe and Zanu-PF are serious –- perhaps a year to 18 months –- while those that promised to aid them carry the can. I say this for two reasons: Firstly the next time Africans offer to bail out a genocidal elitist faction they make damn sure that they have the means to do so themselves and secondly to spare Zimbabweans being infected by Western imperialism.
As the new head of the AU, Moammar Gadaffi said yesterday the United States of Africa is necessary to keep the West at bay. Put the AU down for $20 billion and make sure that Libya contributes at least half of that.
The sickness of Africa — the perception that the lower classes aren’t clever enough to deal with their own affairs, that they have to be “looked after” by elitist groups who know better. Africa is just littered with “success” stories arising out of the superior intelligence of these selfish elitists. Indeed if the elite become any more successful we might as well close the continent down and send a messenger with a begging bowl to the UN once a year.
The lower classes are far more intelligent than they will ever be given credit for on this continent. In Zimbabwe they elected the MDC and Tsvangirai to plot them a new course away from the insanity of Mugabe and the Zanu-PF. The elite thereupon refused to accept their decision. Who has the inferior intelligence?
Henceforth classify me as lowest class of all. I would rather sit with my criminal clients and hear about all their problems and how they’ve been living in squatter camps than swallow the selfish and expedient bullshit the so-called intelligentsia is peddling. At least those criminals are honest enough to call themselves criminals and repent.
In the meanwhile let me know what’s changed in ThereisZimstadt since Friday?