Monday, 28th January 2009
Foreign currency mid-rates updated.
In a comment on this page, Denford wrote:
"Well, you misunderstand the dynamics of Zimbabwean and especially ZANU PF politics.
I refer specifically to your continued insistence that Simba Makoni was a ZANU PF plant or "insertion" as you now put it.
You ask why he has not been punished. Perhaps if they killed him that prove to you he was not a ZANU PF plant?
Let me tell you why he has not been "punished" as you so dearly wish!
The March 2008 was the most violence-free since anyone can remember.
The reason for this is the same reason why Makoni has not been murdered as you seem to wish:
Many people who are too chicken to speak up publicly from within ZANU PF are sick and tired of Mugabe and they support Makoni, just as there are people in the MDC who support him.
Because Mugabe does not himself go out and torture or kill people, he has to rely on "his people" to do this.
Mugabe asked at the Bindura conference in December for Makoni's new party to be destroyed and it this has not happened because army generals, policemen and even war veterans (all are people used by Mugabe) simply respect Makoni too much and they are unwilling to to anything to him.
Much as you may want Tsvangirai to rule Zimbabwe, he simply does not have it within him, strategically. No amount of shouting at Mugabe will get rid of him.
Instead, it requires brains and strategy to remove this obnoxious dictator. Tsvangirai does not have it within him. That is not just my opinion.
Read the Sunday Telegraph of today and you will see that there are many people, including his own closest aides as well as objective observers from Britain who are now seeing that Morgan does not have it within him to strategise around Mugabe.
But I suppose they have all been bought by Mugabe, all of them, including British journalists and Tsvangirai's aides and supporters who now question his leadership!!!!
But of course, for most people, the fight against Mugabe is not about removing him from power, there is another agenda, and we all know what that is.
So it pays to keep promoting a failed opposition leader so that Zimbabwe continues to suffer.
While you are busy with this hatred of Makoni, even Tsvangirai himself sees Makoni for what he is: a true opponent of Mugabe.
Morgan has met Makoni so many times since that March election, mostly at his home in Strathaven, Harare, to ask for advice and touch base, but because this is not splashed across headlines, you think the two are mortal enemies!!!
You are doing nothing positive to encourage democracy by doing this.
Did you know that, even by Morgan's own admission, he still has a ZANU PF membership card. Yes! He says he got a 15 year, fully-paid up card in 1997.
Morgan's ZANU PF card expires in April 2012!
I guess he was also inserted by Mugabe into the opposition ranks?
You were Mugabe's policeman. Does that mean you are also planted amongst us in the blogosphere by him?
History is bunk and should not be used to judge people, because they change.
Morgan was a ZANU PF functionary, even standing for parliament for the party in the 80s what does that say about him today?
Let us not make the mistake of making good the enemy of perfect."
Allow me a little latitude to respond.
Firstly, I do not wish Makoni to be punished - I merely questioned the fact that he opposed Mugabe and remains unscathed - whilst Tsvangirai had his party kicked to pieces by Mugabe's minions.
Secondly - yes, I was in the ZRP. I was not "Mugabe's policeman" - I was a civil servant seeking to serve the public in the furtherance of law and order. I joined that police force within a year of independence stupidly believing that life would continue and I might be able to contribute to the better good. My skin colour had nothing to do with that decision. But the powers that be decided that me being white WAS a problem.
My tenure in the ZRP was punished by Mugabe. For 13 years after I left the police - up until the day I left Zimbabwe, I was a marked man, often finding myself followed by who I assume were CIO. My international travel papers were often delayed or refused - visas, extensions and the like.
When we made the decision to leave, my premises in Harare was inhabited almost 24/7 by a white CIO Landrover and there were numerous men wandering around asking all manner of questions.
Call me an 'insertion' if you like, but life as a former ZRP member in Zimbabwe was not easy.
Thirdly - Tsvangirai may be former/current ZANU PF. May I state that it is not the badge, but the intent behind that badge that counts.
Simba Makoni is indeed a very clever individual, and his decision to oppose Mugabe a year ago was a brave one. I do not assert that Tsvangirai and Makoni are mortal enemies. All I have stated is that Simba Makoni split the vote.
He received 8% of the total vote. Split that down the middle and give 4% each to Mugabe and Tsvangirai - and see who crosses the 50% plus one vote finish line.
But I am not here to argue - I offer a commentary as I see it. I am not necessarily right or of proven grounding, but I am a Zimbabwean who attempts to put interested people of this world in the picture.
The conclusions by interested parties are their's to draw - not for me to presuppose.
I thank Denford for his contribution.
Monday's 15 state gathering in
"We want SADC to go to the core of the disagreement so that an all inclusive government will be established and bring normalcy and end the ordeals of the Zimbabweans."
Mugabe is not about to accede to regional demands or SADC rulings - unless those demands or rulings fall in line with his needs.
Mugabe has made it very clear that he intends to form government after this summit - with or without the MDC - which is diametrically opposed to the will of the people - but why should such a thing as the will of the people get in his way?
"The extraordinary Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit was called in another regional effort to salvage
Mugabe's regime will make the most outrageous claims about Botswana - and what floors me, is that SADC listens to Mugabe!
"With a population of less than two million people,
"Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe will form a government after Monday's regional summit in
"This summit is the last summit that is going to discuss this issue of an inclusive government. If it does not work today, definitely when the president comes back here, he has to form a new government with or without Morgan Tsvangirai," deputy information minister Bright Matonga said.
"The way forward, soon after this summit whether there is an agreement or there is no agreement, President Mugabe is going to form a cabinet, 15 cabinet ministers, eight deputy ministers of ZANU PF," he said in an interview on public broadcaster SA FM.
"He will obviously try to leave room for (the Movement for Democratic Change leader) Tsvangirai so that whenever he changes his mind... but that is not going to be for too long. He will then come to join the all inclusive government. There has to be a government whether there is MDC or not," he said."
It is obvious that Mugabe does not want anything to do with a power-sharing government. He would prefer to go ahead unhindered and unpartnered. That way he has total control, and there is less chance of him being 'found out' in his habits of governance.
The pact has floundered since last September over which party will control top public posts, including the home affairs ministry which oversees the police.
The latest attempt by the 15-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) to forge a breakthrough comes one week after talks in
Mugabe is driven by a need to remain in control. It goes against the basics that power be shared, and for that reason alone, the summit will result in another absolute waste of time.
"A top member of the notorious Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) may rot in prison if convicted for threatening to kill a magistrate.
A gun wielding Keeper Nyambanje who heads the dreaded CIO’s Tsholotsho district office outside
Nyambanje is well-known in Matabeleland North as the brains behind the abductions and harassment of MDC supporters since last year’s March elections.
He was arrested for threatening to kill a magistrate who was presiding over his fiancée’s theft case."
Y'see, in Zimbabwe, justice is only something for the well-healed and well-connected. On the odd occasion Mugabe will allow one of his own to be convicted and sentences, only to pardon him soon thereafter.
Threatening to kill anybody is a crime - but in Zimbabwe if it is Mugabe-ites who make the threats, they are reasonably assured of their actions being overlooked.
"Nyambanje of 36 Efusini Township is facing charges of intimidation and might be sent to prison for months if convicted.
The CIO’s wife, Samukeliso Nyathi is currently languishing in jail for stealing maize at the Grain Marketing Board depot in Tsholotsho.
Nyambanje also demanded court papers for the criminal case faced by his wife as a way of concealing evidence.
The notorious CIO then went to Ndebele threatening to shoot him dead but the magistrate reported the matter to police leading to Nyambanje’s arrest.
Mugabe uses CIOs to kill political opponents especially MDC members. A lot of people have disappeared in the hands of the operatives."
I doubt whether this case will ever see the inside of a courtroom, or break the surface on the news wires again.
It took a while for me to put my finger on it. He sat quietly in front of me, sucking a biscuit and cuddling his grandmother.
But he wasn't like other two-year-olds.
He didn't smile.
For 76 days Nigel was, perhaps, the world's youngest political prisoner.
Locked up in
It is claimed that Nigel was beaten in custody. The guards hit him with their belts, either as an evil means of torturing his mother or just to shut him up when he cried.
He was released after protests from local officials but his parents are still in prison."
And Mugabe has no conscience for this toddler's treatment.
How far removed are the reactions of senior members of government when their children were removed from studying elsewhere in the world.
"Oh, my children! You have stopped my child from studying!" was the cry. Accusatory. Casting blame. Judgemental.
But it is alright for them to lock up an beat a two year old.
"But Robert Mugabe's
People in other countries suffer.
And Mugabe doesn't have a monopoly on tyranny or human rights abuse. But what sets him apart is the speed at which he's ruined a prosperous and wonderful place. Forbes, the respected business publishers, put the country's annual inflation at around 6.5 quindecillion novemdecillion percent.
Familiar with that number? Neither was I. It's 65 followed by 107 zeros.
It's difficult to imagine what that looks like, much less what it means in real terms. Put simply, anything you buy today will have lost more than half its value by tomorrow.
But the fact is most Zimbabweans don't care about inflation. When you don't have money, the figures don't matter. A friend told me about a once wealthy acquaintance who paid the bill for last month's internet connection with a tray of eggs. A country reduced to medieval bartering for modern technology. The irony would be wonderful if it wasn't so tragic."
Why should Mugabe & Co care about one two year old child? It's just another mouth to feed, and a drain on resources. And, since his parents are MDC supporters, he will probably grow yp to be trouble anyway.
Or so they rationalise...