Saturday, November 18, 2017

ZIMBABWE – Calling a Spade a Spade

Cartoon by Mark Wiggett

So - Zimbabwe’s old heroic freedom-fighter has finally been removed from his throne. There’s no point in celebrating though because at this point in time it seems highly probable that the old tyrant will be succeeded by his Marxist comrade-in-arms, Emmerson Mnangagwa, another heartless tyrant.

What more can I say? The chronology of Zimbabwe’s catastrophic failure has already been well documented over the years. Neighbouring South Africa’s disastrous ruin, my home country, is also being well documented. The political ideologies of both countries are similar and both countries will, in all likelihood, be governed by like-minded corrupt buffoons for many more years to come.

It grieves me though to see how the MSM has cunningly reflected falsehoods as truth, and how they continue to describe these immoral and corrupt African ‘leaders’ as liberators and freedom-fighters.

They are terrorists dammit and nothing has changed!

In my view they were terrorists back then, they ARE still terrorists and they will remain terrorists forever, even when they’re dead - no matter how many statues are erected in their honour to remind the sheeple that they are liberators and not terrorists.

Mangosuthu Buthelezi, one of South Africa’s true great leaders, once published an honest report in his weekly newsletter titled, ZIMBABWE – IT IS TIME TO CALL A SPADE A SPADE. That was way back in the year 2008. It’s worth reading again!

Here is a quote from one paragraph in his newsletter:
For too long, we have blindly chanted the mantra "African solutions to Africa’s problems" as we have stood by and witnessed widespread genocide, ethnic cleansing, pillaging and looting, corruption and nepotism and voter gerrymandering on a grand scale across our continent over the last two decades. ~ Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP.
With that said, it is comforting to see one British journalist, Stephen Glover, speaking the absolute truth about Zimbabwe - calling a spade a spade. Wouldn't it be great if more journalists, writing for the MSM, follow suit with South Africa’s similar predicament?


The forced removal from power of 93-year-old Robert Mugabe should be cause for celebration, since he has been one of the wickedest despots on earth, who in his 37-year rule brought the once prosperous country of Zimbabwe close to ruin.

But unfortunately he seems likely to be succeeded by his former collaborator and Marxist comrade-in-arms, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who until last week was Vice-President. This man is probably as brutal, nasty and tyrannical as Mugabe.

So it grieves me to say that the future for Zimbabwe — the former British colony of Rhodesia — looks as grim today as it did before the army coup against Mugabe. The head of the army, General Chiwenga, is another very unpleasant piece of work.

How did it happen that a country which was once a net exporter of food has been reduced to its pitiable state by self-serving and corrupt politicians who live like kings while some of their people starve, and 90 per cent are unemployed?

The answer to that question is that we, the British, nurtured and succoured Mugabe. He is our creation. Yet there is a widespread view, which must be debunked, that the man was not always a monster, and only became so when left to his own devices.

In the space of a few minutes on Radio 4 yesterday morning, Mugabe was three times described as a 'former freedom-fighter'. Then the Tory MP Nicholas Soames asserted that for a number of years after becoming leader of Zimbabwe in 1980 he had behaved quite well but changed later for the worse. Both notions are utterly wrong.

In truth, Mugabe was always a brute, and he was a terrorist not a 'freedom-fighter'. And almost from the moment he achieved power, he continued in his old ways of murdering his opponents.

But why should anyone be surprised? During the war against Ian Smith's white-minority Rhodesian government in the Seventies, Mugabe's troops were guilty of numerous terrorist atrocities.

In particular, they targeted — which means they killed — white missionaries in the belief that such acts of terror would subjugate rural blacks to their cause. At least 33 missionaries and members of their families were murdered.

In one gruesome incident in June 1978, Mugabe's terrorists — not 'freedom-fighters' — axed, bayonetted and clubbed eight British missionaries and four of their children in eastern Rhodesia. Of five women, most were sexually assaulted before they were killed, and one was mutilated.

After Mugabe became prime minister following the Lancaster House Agreement brokered by the British government, he set about eliminating his enemies. In 1983, a campaign of terror was launched against the Matabele people in western Zimbabwe.

The 'crime' of the Matabele, in Mugabe's mind, was that many of them supported his Matabele rival, Joshua Nkomo. An estimated 20,000 people were slaughtered by Mugabe's Fifth Brigade, which had been trained by North Korea.

So when Nicholas Soames implies all was reasonably hunky-dory until Mugabe started confiscating white-owned farms around the year 2000, he is talking nonsense. I suppose he is seeking to defend his father, Christopher, who was briefly Governor of Rhodesia while the Lancaster House Agreement was implemented.

The British government of the time was similarly deluded. It continued to pet and buttress the Mugabe regime, and Foreign Office types congratulated themselves for having installed such a reasonable fellow. Almost unbelievably, in 1994 he was given an honorary knighthood (of which he was not stripped until 2008).

We sold Mugabe Hawk fighter-trainer aircraft, which were later used by him in an illegal war in the Congo. We also sold some 1,500 Land Rover Defenders to the Zimbabwean police at half price, weakly requesting that they would not be used for riot control. They often were.

It was only when Mugabe illegally seized control of white-owned farms that the scales began to fall from the eyes of his cheerleaders in this country: most of the Labour Party, sections of the Tory Party, the Foreign Office, the BBC and swathes of the British Press.

As many of these farms were given to Mugabe's cronies, most of whom weren't interested in farming, or very proficient at it if they were, agricultural production slumped, and a country that had been the bread basket of Africa was driven into poverty.

It is a sorry tale — as sorry as they come, even in poor, benighted Africa. I don't at all excuse Ian Smith, the white prime minister of Rhodesia who declared independence from Britain in 1965. His fatal flaw was his refusal to encourage moderate African leaders until it was too late.

But in my experience, most black Zimbabweans who remember the Smith era prefer it to what has happened in more recent times under the malign, corrupt and intermittently violent Mugabe regime.

At least Smith (who fought with the RAF as a pilot in the war, and was badly scarred) was not corrupt. A few years before his death in 2007, I interviewed him at home in what was a very modest house in the suburbs of the capital, Harare.

Mugabe, by contrast, has enriched himself grotesquely. His venal wife, Grace (who may have fled the country), has dug her talons even deeper into government coffers, acquiring homes in Dubai and South Africa, as well as a £300,000 Rolls-Royce.

The fascinating question is why commentators and politicians persisted in admiring this ghastly man when it should have been plain to them how bad he was. I think it has something to do with a kind of reverse racism — the assumption that whites in Africa must always be morally at fault.

It didn't weigh with Mugabe's defenders that he was a hard-line Marxist, or that he was happy to use violence (they must surely have known as much), or that before the Lancaster House Agreement he had vowed to appropriate white-owned farms (as he eventually did).

It's true that after Lancaster House the British government hoped the moderate Bishop Abel Muzorewa might win subsequent elections. But when Mugabe triumphed, the Foreign Office quickly persuaded itself he was a decent chap who would play by the rules.

What a tragedy this has been. I remember how, during my first visit to what was still Rhodesia in 1978, a scientist showed me a new sort of high-yield wheat grain which had been developed there. It struck me that this was a sophisticated, rather civilised country.

It's no longer at all civilised or remotely sophisticated. Zimbabwe has been virtually destroyed by a revolution in which only the elite — as is invariably the case — has prospered. What has happened was entirely foreseeable.

Shouldn't those who rooted for Mugabe 30 and 40 years ago examine their consciences? Most of them would never want such a man ruling their own country. Why was he ever considered fit to rule Zimbabwe?

If only this beautiful and fertile land, blessed as it is by hard-working people and ingenious entrepreneurs, could find benevolent and democratic rulers — why, then it could thrive again despite the nightmares of recent decades.

Alas, Robert Mugabe seems likely to be replaced by men just as bad as him. This is a wicked ruling cadre, which our politicians helped to create, and it's not going to vanish simply because we have decided we no longer like it.

Video by The Economist
Published on 17 Nov 2017

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NOTE: In 2008, memoirist and journalist Peter Godwin secretly returned to his native Zimbabwe after he thought its notoriously tyrannical leader, Robert Mugabe, had lost an election. The decision was severely risky--foreign journalists had been banned to prevent the world from seeing a corrupt leader's refusal to cede power. Zimbabweans have named this period, simply, THE FEAR. The book was published in 2011.

Godwin bears witness to the torture bases, the burning villages, the opposition leaders in hiding, the last white farmers, and the churchmen and diplomats putting their own lives on the line to stop the carnage. Told with a brilliant eye for detail, THE FEAR is a stunning personal account of a people laid waste by a despot and, armed with nothing but a desire to be free, their astonishing courage and resilience.

The Fear: Robert Mugabe and the Martyrdom of Zimbabwe

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