So, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) president Nelson Chamisa’s statement that, “If you give me one week in office, you’ll see white people coming in with money, you’ll see the Chinese coming in with money”, has somehow caused a major stir and uproar within Zimbabwe’s ruling establishment!
I find myself asking – why?
Surely, what could possibly be fundamentally flawed about a prospective head of state and government laying out his plans, and declaring his intentions, to engage with the world – both the global West and East, North and South – in order to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country?
Here is a leader, in true statesman fashion, stating his willingness to be truly “a friend to all, and an enemy to none” – yet, shockingly this clearly did not sit well with those in the corridors of power in Zimbabwe.
Is this not the same “engagement and reengagement” policy that the current ZANU PF regime has been loudly proclaiming, and whose “successes” they have spared no effort boasting about, since the so-called “new dispensation” grabbed power in the November 2017 military coup, that ousted long-time tyrant Robert Gabriel Mugabe?
Is this not the very same administration that has put out all the stops trying to differentiate itself from the confrontational approach to geopolitics by Mugabe – as the “Second Republic” of president Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa has portrayed itself willing to be friends with all sides of the international community?
Have they not doled out precious billions of scarce dollars in paying highly expensive United States of America (US) public relations consultancy firms – whilst, over-burdened hapless Zimbabweans continue to wallow in poverty – for them to spruce up the ZANU PF regime’s severely dented and sordid reputation in that part of the globe?
Was the overexcitement, and in fact uncontrollable hysterical euphoria, over the recent (and, not so recent) visits by Mnangagwa to Glasgow (Scotland) and Brussels (Belgium) – for the UN climate change conference, and EU-Africa Summit, respectively – not all about finally meeting up with European and American leaders?
Did we not see those endlessly-flighted images – posted and beamed by the ruling elite’s own publicity departments – of Mnangagwa shaking hands with British prime minister, Boris Johnson, and the UN secretary general, Antonio Gutteres, whose ten seconds were heralded as “historical”, and a major breakthrough in diplomacy?
As a matter of fact, was the excessive enthusiasm surrounding the trip to Glasgow – which compromised an overly-bloated delegation of over 100 individuals, including family and friends – not lead to insanity that made headlines in British newspapers all for the wrong reasons, most particularly with the heavy drinking of pricey Scotch whiskeys?
What made these visits outstandingly different from any undertaken by Mnangagwa in the past four years of his rule?
Well, we all know that the president, ever since taking over the reins of power, has had an insatiable desire for globetrotting – but, there was obviously something intrinsically different about these particular ones.
He had traveled to South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Botswana, Zambia, and even Uganda – yet, not as much furore characterized these visits…in fact, these were portrayed in state media as being ordinary.
Furthermore, even on Mnangagwa’s return there were no hundreds of supporters welcoming him at the airport!
However, the moment Glasgow, and Brussels came up – this was a completely different cup to tea.
These were European countries!
Wait, let me phrase this another way – these were white countries!
Did the Mnangagwa regime not perceive this as a grand opportunity to attract those countries that had the money to pour into Zimbabwe?
Therefore, is it not extremely disingenuous for these same people to now condemn Chamisa for declaring his intention to invite both “white and Chinese” to come and invest in Zimbabwe?
For this government to rant and rave about, “Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo”, or “Zimbabwe can only be built by Zimbabweans” is utterly outrageous and ridiculous.
Is this not the same administration that has been selling off the country to the Chinese – brick by brick – leaving thousands of ordinary poverty-stricken villagers in peril, as they face eviction from their ancestry lands, and their forefathers’ graves, as well as ancient heritage sites, desecrated?
Are Chinese now Zimbabweans, or the new “vene vayo”?
Nonetheless, I find it rather disgusting that we have a ruling elite that, itself, has already sold out the country to the highest bidder – playing holier than thou to a potential leader who is merely making clear his plans to open up Zimbabwe to business and investment from all corners of the globe…
…white and Chinese, alike.
Besides, was this not mere symbolism and euphemism for Western and Eastern countries?
Zimbabwe now needs leaders who are serious about engagement and reengagement – not those who act like jilted scorned brats angry over a lost lover.
© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, and social commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975 / +263788897936 / +263733399640, or email: email@example.com