A Crisis of Governance – Eddie Cross

via A Crisis of Governance: Eddie Cross Feb 16, 2014 By Eddie Cross (MP)

Since July 2013 the situation in Zimbabwe has deteriorated sharply on many fronts, economic, political, diplomatic and internal governance. Each represents a special challenge; together they constitute a situation that demands some form of radical and immediate response.

Just look at each of the above aspects – economic; the economy is shrinking again. We now have deflation to contend with, completely the opposite of hyperinflation, but still damaging and dangerous. There is no confidence and capital flight continues across the board with many banks teetering on the edge.

Political; the divisions in Zanu PF are now patently visible to all and reaching a stage where we might see real conflict between the warring elements. MDC is in a mess and needs to sort out its situation, settle down to a protracted struggle for fundamental reforms and the democratic contests that lie ahead.

Diplomatic; just this past week we have had the British government take a hard stand on sanctions, the United States harden its position and refuse all overtures to relax restrictions and the EU declaration that it is unlikely to change. All stated that the July elections were not credible as representing the democratic views of the majority. Botswana broke ranks with the AU and the SADC and agreed with the views of the international community.

Finally internal governance; Jonathan Moyo thought he was being clever when he launched a small campaign to expose supporters of the Vice President for corrupt activities. He and all others have been shaken by the public reaction and they have not been able to get the Genie back into the bottle. In fact, the ripple effect is hard at work and every day there are new revelations of bad governance, lousy policy or no policy and simply plain theft and corruption.

We have all known that corruption had become endemic in our society – we are surrounded by the evidence, palatial homes everywhere, luxury cars, people living high with little or no evidence of support, the police road blocks, daily experiences in civil servant offices.

What we did not expect was the massive salaries granted with impunity to officers and directors of State controlled institutions. What is further disheartening is that it is clear that the State had no policy to deal with this crucial area of the management of State enterprise and agencies, none at all. All the people involved were not breaking the law – they have valid contracts and this is going to be very difficult to deal with.

Then there is the evidence slowly emerging from Marange diamond fields. In 1870 when the first diamond discoveries were made in South Africa, tens of thousands descended on the diamond field and started mining. De Beers was formed in 1876 and within five years was the greatest mining company in the world.

Diamonds provided the seed capital that built the railways, financed the coal and gold mines and founded the great Universities of South Africa. At its peak the diamond mines sold $10 million worth of diamonds a year from about 5 million carats.

In Zimbabwe the diamonds were discovered by De Beers and then abandoned as not being worth developing, their claims were taken over by ACR in London who then went on to drill and trench on site and discovered the vast wealth that lay in the sands and rock of an area about the size of the original diamond discoveries in South Africa. When they realized what was entailed, the State in Zimbabwe simply booted out the company with scant regards for their rights or the law.

They then allowed a diamond rush that brought in 40 000 small scale miners. When it dawned on the regime that they were finding real money, the State simply drove them off using dogs and armed soldiers, in the process killing over 200. They then set up a series of companies to exploit the find and between 2008 and 2013 (five years) they extracted over 100 million carats of diamonds worth at least $12 billion dollars.

What do we have to show for all that new wealth – a Chinese monstrosity of a shopping mall in Harare, a hotel in Mutare, a couple of military instillations that we paid for with our own money but using Chinese contractors and little else.

We saw private jets flying in and out of our airports and the airfield at Marange itself (they have at least two capable of handling jets with modern equipment), we hear of shadowy deals involving millions and characters from Belgium, Dubai, Hong Cong and Angola. But we only saw tiny sums reaching the State coffers.

In 2012 I estimate that the gangsters who controlled the Marange fields had availed to themselves more resources than were available to the Minister of Finance. One hears of major corruption in countries and this must rank with the top corruption scams in history.

Next door where De Beers is in partnership with the Botswana Government, the diamond mines fund the budget, they have free education up to University level, a Sovereign Wealth Fund with $4 billion in it and the whole operation is open, transparent and accountable.

Every field we look at, every Ministry, every State enterprise is rotten to the core, packed with people appointed, not for their capacity and ability but for patronage purposes. Where some sanity has been restored – for example in the energy sector where Elton Mangoma was the Minister for three short years, the new Minister has fired the Boards and is busy replacing them with individuals on a political and patronage basis. The potential for a disaster is great and could not be more important to the wider economy.

I have never seen confidence levels so low. People have no faith in their political leaders, no faith in our institutions and no faith in the Police or any other of our service agencies. There is little or no patriotism and the famous nationalistic spirit that once dominated our country has gone. People everywhere are simply looking after number one and seeking wealth where ever it can be found and the great majority, are living in absolute poverty and despair.

On the edge of my constituency is the largest mental health hospital in the country. It has 600 permanent patients and deals with others on an outpatient basis. Its budget for this year is $1,2 million, its facilities are dilapidated and run down and they owe local service providers and the private sector $1 million in unpaid debts. They cannot afford medicine or food for their patients.

Later this month we will spend millions on a birthday party for a 90 year old man who has presided over this whole mess for 34 years. This month he will also see his daughter (who has been studying in Hong Kong and living in a flat worth $5 million) marry in Harare in a ceremony which will also cost millions and a reception at their massive home in Harare which is being expanded and refurbished without any regard to the cost.

Somehow we have lost our compass, lost our way as a Nation and no one seems to know the way back to the road or even have the inclination to try.

Eddie Cross is the MDC-T MP for Bulawayo South. He writes in his personal capacity



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    Eddie Cross, on this one you have summed it up. I just hope people read this and see the set up for what it is. The time has come for us to say no. We have silenced the Wanhasi’s and the RA’s. We need to silence the demons in this party. We have also made the Secessionists rethink their comments. Do not rest guys..they will be back…we need to exorcize these demons. Watch this space…..

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    roving ambassador. 9 years ago

    I am calling for a new leadership. We do have self-made people whose motivation is no longer money[because they have already made it].WE NEED SOMEONE WE CAN TRULLY RALLY BEHIND.

    A COMPLETE REFLECTION OF WHAT WE ARE , a different value system is needed. No more of these fancy cars and small house but aim for a better quality of life like the Nordic. If you go to Japan, you will hardly see all these 4 by 4s because you need more resources to maintain them which the country has not got.

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    roving ambassador. 9 years ago

    The Japs are clever, the sell us the big cars and they use the small cars.

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    John Thomas 9 years ago

    We were always heading for the place where we are now. Until the majority of our people are prepared to revise their understanding of the history of this country the problems cannot be solved. The culture of entitlement is at the root of all the problems. This sense of entitlement is why nearly all persons in positions of responsibility will steal as much as they are physically able. There is no understanding of cause and effect. There is no guilt. Even the most basic things do not work. Orderly queues, good road manners, consideration for others. These things are mostly absent.

    A loan officer who gives out loans to persons he knows will not repay in return for a bribe does not feel responsible when the bank goes bust and all the depositors lose their money. A ministry of health official who sells donated arv’s on the black market feels nothing for the early death of the intended recipients. In fact the government policy is changed to assist him in his degradations.

    Zimbabweans need to get over the idea that they are victims who are owed by the rest of humanity. When this realization comes, then the country can start to put itself together again. ZANU will be thrown off as an incidental part of this process.

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    Hutu must realize that unless zanupf criminals feel they will never be punished or brought to justice or held to account now or even after the inevitable revolution. Then they will continue loot plundered with immunity impunity. How many chances do you Hutu and zunde want to give zanoids? Your mantra exposes your naive gullibility about restoring our nation. Zunde is a bogus fraud of failed so called inactive war vets

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      Revenger-avenger I am a an admirer of you because you always do your convictions. These people are what you have always said they were. I think if I had the chance I would throw them in the snake pit. Your wish will come true my friend. All we do here is rap pour. They will be brought to justice.

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    Great stuff Eddie in the footsteps of jimmy girdlestone. Sadly most zimbos don’t really understand the imminent collapse coming. 2008 will be looked back upon as not too bad really in future!!!!!!!!personally I would welcome a forceful new caretaker triumvirate of Biti makoni cross. Intelligent and apparently not self enriching. I could be minister of justice or prosecutor-general

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    Every time Mr Cross writes an article I seem to pick up more weaknesses with the former GNU.Surely, these corruptions worsened during the period of GNU which bailed out ZANU PF from its economic misery.It was the introduction of this multi-currency system which made these looters steal real money because our Zim dollar was not worth looting.The idea of multi-currency originated from MDC but the party failed to implement controls even if they had the majority in parliament.What a shame or the party acted in agreement with the seasoned thieves from the ruling party,thus why no serious revelations were exposed during the GNU until after the elections.
    We were being misled that the economy was doing well during the GNU but in real terms it was not because we depended on imports than exports with the diaspora sector slightly improving liquidity as they sent money into the country for their families.
    I personally think we should have remained with our useless dollars which made us all poor millions because these greed looters could not transfer these useless dollars abroad. We gave these looters opportunity to have real money before the political situation moved in the right direction to respect human rights.
    All these expensive cars started crowding our streets during the GNU,therefore Mr Cross you should have realised that looting had already started.The first people to loot were legislators who got loans to buy high class vehicles without any opposition from the MDC majority.I am sure that those loans were not paid back which is indirect looting from the public funds. Also the constituency funds were not really used in most cases to improve the lives of the masses.What did you do about this Sir?

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    Johann 9 years ago

    It is the MDC through the short sighted GNU that has orchestrated this state of despair and hopelessness. We all knew that Zanu and their leadership were beyond redemption yet for the sake of a fancy Benz and a few perks Mr Tsvangirai mortgaged the future of the nation. Most Zimbabweans now know that their future lies in the Diaspora as that is where a large part of the GDP comes from. The MDC has a crisis and urgently needs to get rid of its failed leadership to re establish hope.

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      Kevin Watson 9 years ago

      And who do you have to thank for the GNU, South Africa’s ANC Government and specifically Thabo Mbeki for covering up election theft in Zimbabwe and forcing the GNU was forced on the MDC.

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        My sentiments exactly.With mbeki and now the scumbag SADC an AU backing this zimbabwe gov .The west needs to step in and close them down. African solutions to african problems my backside. Gangsters of africa!!!!!!!

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    Ndebvu Mukomichi 9 years ago

    Unlisted Items in the Writer’s Blind Spot:
    1. Sanctions: Why celebrate them and cheer the countries that impose them while pretending to mourn with the generality of Zimbos about their disastrous effects. You can’t have your cake and eat it!

    2. Elections 2013: These were never going to be free and fair with the sanctions in place. We got the best that we could in the circumstances. Come 2018 if sanctions are still in place then aluta continua- same electoral question same electoral result! The election of Uhuru Kenyatta in Kenya is a good example.

    3. International community- Does this term exclude African countries and/or non-European countries?

    4. Anti-corruption drive- Why not celebrate and encourage a good policy regardless of its political origin. As an MP one should understand the finer workings of democracy and governance.

    5. The 90 year old and his daughter: Leave RGM to discharge of his electoral duties as president and paternal duties to his soon-to-wed daughter. You may not like his style but he was voted for by the Zimbos. It makes more sense to explain what one would do differently rather than harp on about how the ‘international community’ is going to pour billions into the economy. This is the mirage that was sold to the electorate in 2008, but which did not yield any fruits to the GNU.

    6. The Positives for ZPF and RGM:
    a. Education – Zimbos are the most literate in Africa despite the sanctions induced sanctions.

    b. Land empowerment- Those on reclaimed land will always vote for ZPF because no other party seems to understand them on this issue.

    c. Indigenisation – A policy which reinforces local ownership national pride. It has the pains of child-birth with the certainty of joy and celebration on delivery of the child.

    d. International recognition: SADC and the AU have given their thumbs up to the Zim policies, and bestowed leadership positions to RGM so that he can lead and advise them.

    e. Tobacco production – the levels are now over half of peak levels. There is real progress.

    7. Bottom Line:
    I and others have read acres of prose on the problems and ‘failures’ of ZPF in govt. Some have used big words and others broken grammar. Now we want to read about potential solutions.

    Please try the following topics:
    a. What I would do if I were the president of Zim.

    b. My alternative programme for land reform and agricultural production.

    c An alternative to indigenisation and economic empowerment.

    d. How I would get rid of sanctions and foreign control in Zim.

    e. Electricity and water for all by the year 2020- How I would get us there.

    f. Employment or company ownership- A one-year pathway to zero unemployment and prosperity.
    ……the list is endless!

    Otherwise let all Zimbos work together with the current ZPF govt to develop the nations for the benefit of all until the next electoral bus stop in 2018. Ndizvo zvinodiwa nevanhu- not flowery descriptions of the problems!

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      John Thomas 9 years ago

      There are none so blind as those who will not see

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      Zvichapera 9 years ago

      Mr Ndebvu, thank you for expressing yourself on this platform with a divergent view. As educated as we are, we must enter robust debate in the pursuit of academic freedom.

      Some of have have written acres and acres of space on macroeconomic policy and Government policy frameworks. The prudent advice by many academics and technocrats has largely been ignored for political expediency’s sake. A very fresh example is Mai Mujuru diversionary tactics on the corruption clampdowns. It is very clear how the nation’s resources are being plundered, but here we have a Vice President saying there is a political agenda to the exposures.

      In all earnestness, nothing is criminal as long as its committed by ZANU pf sympathiers. This is the innuendo and euphemism of the Vice Presidents stance.

      Some of the solutions to our self inflicted problems are simple, for example leadership renewal. I could write acres n acres of literature to finding the solution to our country, Ndebvu, but none of my ideas and those of many others like yourself will never be implemented because of dogma and lack of leadership renewal.

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      Mutorwa 9 years ago

      NDEBVU, HERE MY REPLY :My alternative programme for land reform and agricultural production.

      In 1980, I had about 50,000 military disciplined battle hardened guerillas fresh from the bush. I would have enrolled one third of them at Chibhero College of Agriculture and offered them hands on attachment at ADA and Agritex in preparation for land reform within 10years to 1990 per Lancaster Constitution.

      By 1989, I would have a law passed that limits farm sizes to levels that suited the agenda: Productivity and Manageability. Anyone owning a farm larger than the prescribed size would be a multiple farm owner. No tax on the first farm – but the second, third and more would attract increasing taxation levels from 30% minimum to 150% in rising scales.

      Those surrendering their farms would be given certificates for lodging with the British Govt for compensation. The money would be required to be deposited in Zimbabwe. Govt would borrow that money at 0.5% interest and use it to capacitate new farmers, build road and other infrastructure to make the agro revolution competitive. Non productive farmers would be heavily taxed and if they failed to settle their tax arrears three years in a row, would have the farms repossessed and allocated to others.

      I would create a vibrant farming community composed of the old white farmers and the new farmers, all working together. The white farmers would be rewarded with tax breaks for acting as “Agritex Advisors” to the new farmers. I bet, I would have Zimbabwe increasing its food productivity by TEN TIMES by now, exporting throughout Africa and internationally. Then by 1985, I would build production centers within targeted school grounds in every province. Here, all F2 pupils would graduate into those centres to manufacture targeted low tech devices like Solar Panels. I would use these to electrify the rural schools, clinics and rural areas in general. Want more….could go on and on I am loaded !!!

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        Andrew Cockburn 9 years ago

        Good comment, it could and should have been done. It wasn’t . With the right concept and willingness things could still move in that way having a successful commercial and vibrant small holder agric supply base.

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    Dangamvura 9 years ago

    Revenger-avenger, you obviously have an axe to grind with ZUNDE. From nowhere, you dragged them in and attacked their leadership. How much are you paid a day for that? If you visit http://www.zunde.org you will realise how WRONG you are. What are you smoking??????????????????

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    Rwendo 9 years ago

    Our problems may have arisen from poor leadership and disasterous decisions; e.g. the RF in 1965, ZANU in 2000-2, the ANC and MDC in 2008, the MDC in 2013 etc. But bad leadership has over the years also brought out the worst in us Zimbabweans as a nation – principally cowardice and selfishness. The words by John Thomas earlier above hit the nail on the head. What for solutions? All I can imagine is the ascendancy of a wise leadership that with carrot and stick steers the nation back to the straight and narrow. Right now that seems unlikely, right across the entire political spectrum.

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    Nice article stating the obvious. One point though, diamonds fetch between $5 and $10 a carat so at most there have been $1bn earned and most of that has been stolen.

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    Nyoni 9 years ago

    The economy under our comrades minus MDC has been in free fall since 1980. The questions and answers have been vented out since so I wont go that way. Mr Cross and others have spoken out on numerous occassions about our situation. Zanu in all its arragonce thinks nought about advice . The only conclusion boils down to that chip on the shoulder. The party has not forgotten the war and before. Zanu you have been told to re-invent yourselves but alas advice is out of the question. The mdala is kaput and they know it. Thus the grab for everything . It goes on and on but there is light at the end of the tunnel and Zanu you all will be the losers that we promise.

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    Ndebvu Mukomichi I don’t know what planet you are from. What is the point of the highest literacy rate in Africa when most of these literate people are unemployed? What is the use of an engineer who has to sell tomatoes for a living? What is the use of a university graduate that has to drive an emergency taxi to survive? You educate your children and then when their schooling is done you send them out to sell super cools and airtime. That’s what you call positive. How many fake school certificates are floating around? How many times have exam papers been leaked by Zanu pf members? There is nothing positive about Zanu pf at all.

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      By the way I will answer your first questin which will solve all the rest..a. What I would do if I were the president of Zim. I would fire all the

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    By the way I will answer your first questin which will solve all the rest..a. What I would do if I were the president of Zim. I would fire all the Ministers and call for free and fair elections.

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    Absolutely right. And what do we expect. We are a sinful nation. ZPF rigged the elections for the umpteenth time and expect God to bless the economy?? What a farce and when judgment begins to fall we are too spiritually blind to see it and too spiritually dense top discern it. “You have destroyed your nation and slain your people.” Isaiah. Only one thing will work now and it is called repentance. For a nation that calls itself Christian we should have twigged on to this a long time ago.

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      NBS we have heard some Zanu pf people blaspheme and say that the President is on the same level with Jesus. That would be the first thing to repent, but will they? The way they worship him they believe it.

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    John Boulter 9 years ago

    Eddie keep up the good work, since I first knew you , you have always stood up for what is right in your. Keep it and keep well.

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    @doctor do little. yes! There will definitely be a judgment on that one! A mere man comparing himself or being compared to God Himself! “The nub of all evil is the elevation of man.” When are we Zimbo’s going to stop doing that?

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    chikhangalapfula moses shoko 9 years ago

    goodlife, right, thats all we need.

    every+thing indeed is pure. i agree,with every comment above. europe $120billion corruption(fraud).
    banks lootting, bitcoin in scandal. unemployment is high in europe america, people loosing their homes cant/afford repay.
    inflation is too high, chuchies becomes very wealthy, but,cant even spare 1 meal a day for the hungry.
    widows,ophan, disabled and the poor are always sent away empty_handed,
    immigration cap within the eu countries, themselfs.
    the is more sufering in europe america,etc than you can imagine.
    workers stuck on minimum wage, which is under inflation rate.
    all this is nonsense, eddy youknow that, this is greedy, mismanagement, poor planning.
    we shouldnt having poor people in like this in 21 first century.
    i love your thought.
    you are wise.
    goog day.

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    Wilbert Mukori 9 years ago

    Dear Eddie

    “MDC is in a mess and needs to sort out its situation, settle down to a protracted struggle for fundamental reforms and the democratic contests that lie ahead,” you say! Man what planet have been living on!
    MDC is not just “in a mess”; it is a mess and has always been a mess ever since the party was founded. And recent events prove, if any such proof was required, that this is one mess that can never ever be “sorted out”!
    I think you are one of the few politicians left in Zimbabwe who has tried to comprehend the nation’s political and economic problems and offered so solution but you repeated failure to accept MDC, particularly its leader Tsvangirai’s breath-taking incompetence has left you with a lot of egg on your face.
    You are right that Zimbabwe is facing some really serious political, economic and diplomatic challenges ahead. You are spot on to say these challenges have all got a lot worse and not better since the rigged July 2013 elections. But to have the day of the elections as the start date of your analysis is wrong because what happened on the day itself and thereafter had already been set and fixed. It was MDC’s failure to implement the democratic reforms that made the vote rigging by Mugabe possible and the economic and political chaos that have followed were as inevitable as pain and death follows after a snake beat!
    MDC had five years to implement the democratic reforms but failed to get even one reform implemented. Not a sausage!
    Other than yourself Eddie and maybe one or two others, most MDC members including Tsvangirai himself do not have the foggiest idea what all these democratic reforms are about. And, tragically, it is this latter group in the MDC led by Tsvangirai that has emerged as the victors in the latest power struggle within the party. Sure this nonsense brigade can “settle down” but to what end and purpose? Only the very naive would expect this lot to get any meaningful democratic reforms implemented!

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    Ndebvu Mukomichi 9 years ago

    Eddie is Cross with the Electoral Cross:
    The writer is travailing with the issues bedevilling his party following the heavy electoral defeat in July 2013. Thay is where he will find the real crisis of leadership- if he decides to assess it with honesty. But then that is up to him!

    Thank you for the constructive engagement in reply to my views. I applaud the response on land reform but it should be remembered that the in early 1990s land reform would have been very challenging under the shadow of apartheid. RGM had to wait in the light of clandestine military attacks by former Rhodies and others, and the Remano insurgency in Moza – all funded/coming from apartheid SA.

    The liberation war fighters were still required to defend our independence in word thought and in deed. It was not yet time to turn swords into ploughshares given the Gukurahundi rebellion wich hd the potential to douse the flickering flame of uhuru.

    The suggestion to fire all ministers appears to be a way to achieve by stealth what one failed to get in a free and ‘fairly fair’ election. Let us encourage due process for all misdemeanors- democracy and the rule of law demand it.

    Violent power grab: It has been contemplated, written, spoken and some have even tried it, BUT the result will always be blood and tears to any would be rebel. I would say that that energy is better spent convincing the voting public that one is the right person to be given a mandate to rule- next chance will be in 2018.

    For now let all the patriotic, the willing and those of goodwill work to build our beautiful country under the leadership of RGM and ZPF.

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      Which planet exactly did you say you came from?? They have had 34 years for goodness sake wh would they change now???

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      John Thomas 9 years ago

      It is impossible to be patriotic and support ZANU. Each is the opposite of the other.

      The only violent power grab has been that of ZANU. The government is in office only because of the power of the gun.