Brussels, we have a problem! by Tanonoka Joseph Whande

via Brussels, we have a problem! by Tanonoka Joseph Whande | SW Radio Africa  Monday, March 31, 2014

The past few weeks saw a brewing media frenzy over Robert Mugabe’s sanction busting visit to Belgium for the fourth edition of the over-rated EU-Africa meeting which starts in Brussels the day after tomorrow.

The Europeans want to talk to our murdering presidents about “Investing in People, Prosperity and Peace”, three topics that African leaders do not want to hear about.

I wish the Europeans plenty of luck!

Such meetings have always been welcome to African statesmen who always take embarrassing numbers of people with them to the chagrin of the sponsors who have to pay for the air tickets and accommodation.

Foreign trips are always welcome by African presidents, let alone government employees who get lucky enough to be included on such trips yet play no role in the goings-on.

Soon after independence, Mugabe travelled so frequently that Zimbabweans referred to him as Vasco da Gama, after the famed 15th century Portuguese navigator who led an expedition that opened the sea route to India.

Mugabe seemed to be leaving more than he was arriving back home.

African leaders have always mistaken these protocol gatherings and became addicted to them more for personal enjoyment than for meaningful forays to aggressively fight for a piece of the pie on behalf of their countries.

Unfortunately, in cases when they got something, either in cash or kind, very little of that got to the people. Some of that money did not even leave Europe but was put into personal bank accounts for the exclusive use by a president and his harem.

The trend continues today.

Mugabe was once a darling of the Europeans; we know that much too well. And he enjoyed the status they gave him. They did so because they had a lot to lose in Zimbabwe.

Mugabe then went on a rampage and annoyed those same people who were giving him the money and accolades. It was not a divorce based on ideology, not at all.

Mugabe started doing things that annoyed not only his white benefactors but his citizens back home, conveniently giving the Europeans and westerners an excuse to isolate him.

They accused him of human rights abuses, economic mismanagement and rigging elections then imposed targeted sanctions on him and his inner circle, including Mugabe’s wife, Grace.

Last year, the United States and the European Union announced two summits, slated for Washington and Brussels, at which they invited African leaders.

The Americans made it clear on the outset that Mugabe was not invited while the EU waited until the last moment. When they did come out in the open, that sissy organisation called the African Union elected Mugabe First Vice Chair of what they call Executive Council. This cheap move made Mugabe more of a representative of Africa than of Zimbabwe, a stupid contradiction that makes no sense since individual African leaders are invited on behalf of their countries.

In the past, Mugabe has disrupted international gatherings, including the previous EU-Africa Summit and caused African countries to boycott the meeting if Mugabe was not invited.

This year, Mugabe tried again to squeeze through to places where he is not welcome and got an invitation by virtue of his AU portfolio. His wife, however, was not issued a visa and Mugabe tried to incite other African countries not to attend if his wife was not allowed to come along.

Mugabe pushed his fellow leaders to stupid extremes. Grace Mugabe is nothing to Zimbabwe and less so to Africa. It would be folly for any African country to refuse a chance to get aid for their people because of Grace Mugabe. She is just a president’s wife who, unfortunately, gets herself in the media for wrong and selfish reasons.

Making matters worse is the simple fact that Mugabe has nothing to offer Zimbabwe, let alone Africa.

Even if he were to stay awake for a few minutes, what is it about Africa that he would represent? People do not eat rhetoric.

I applaud the EU for standing their ground and not to join this silly circus like they were compelled to do last time.

Mugabe must stay home and attend to pressing issues where civil servants need to get paid, where stranded flood victims need his attention, where the economy is crumbling faster than cookies in water, where companies are closing on a daily basis and where human rights are being sacrificed in support of tyranny.

Grace, on her part, should stay home and be the good wife expected of First Ladies. She has the opportunity to show compassion for our homeless children, abused girl children, street kids and orphans instead of going on senseless shopping sprees.

Grace Mugabe needs to grow up just a little bit more.

She had an opportunity to make something of herself and impact not only Zimbabwe but Africa. Yes, she could have done that because she had the chance and means to make a difference.

But like a starving animal in a vegetable garden, she uprooted all in her path. Tingagodini benzi rapiwa pembe?

Mugabe’s history is a tragedy. The man had worked hard to get to the leadership of the party because there were many people who were far much better than him in both ability and education but he soiled it all to become an embarrassment not only to Zimbabwe but to Africa.

The era of slogans is gone. We have to compete and produce like everybody else. Economic policies that guide other nations bind us as well. We are part of a global market and no chimurenga of any kind will see us going far if we do not play by the rules.

Yet it is not difficult to play by the rules and still maintain our so much desired sovereignty. We must get to our feet first.

There are calls in some quarters that Mugabe should reshuffle his cabinet for the country to see some sort of revival.

I do not agree with that because it is not necessary.

The heart of the matter is that the presidency itself has to be reshuffled. We cannot have a weak and short-sighted man pick leaders anymore. To make it worse, it appears as though all ZANU-PF people are struck by the same disease and I see no one in that party who could possibly selflessly turn around the fortunes of our country without using the same old tactics that have destroyed our country over the decades.

Unfortunately for us, the opposition seems to be in a worse situation. Where are they? What are they doing? Are they aware that being in opposition is as much of a responsibility as being in government?

This presents us with another quagmire. We do not seem to have a plausible alternative to ZANU-PF. The MDC has to work thrice as hard as before to get me to listen to them again.

I cannot understand why all our politicians have no respect for the people and seem to think that Zimbabweans do not know what they want for themselves and their country.

I am holding my breath that South Africa is not going to kick out all those Zimbabweans back home by force because that is a dangerous constituency for ZANU-PF.

All people everywhere in the world must live with hope and expectation. Their willingness to work and care for themselves and their families is fundamental.

The absence of hope is a dangerous ingredient because then, people have nothing to lose and none is more dangerous than one who has nothing to lose.

I am Tanonoka Joseph Whande and that, my fellow Zimbabweans, is the way it is today, Monday, March 31st, 2014.



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    apolitical 9 years ago

    Whande has a problem he cant understand legalities and principles they are beyond his comprehension.
    Sanctions are illegal and have to authorize by the UN.
    When Jack Straw was asked in the commons opening the debate on Zimbabwe. He said we are not going to bring it to the security council because we will be laughed out. – such is the legality.
    If in the circumstances they applied illegal sanctions on any member of my family I would not bother going there and accept their illegal sanctions. its really a matter of legal principal which is way beyond Whande’s reason or principal.
    The AU is a sovereign body much like the EU and UN, they invite who they wish to attend and really don’t need EU officials dictating who and which person attends AU meetings.
    This I appreciate is way beyond Whande’s reasoning and ability to understand.
    Its not about what the opposition think or those local NGO’s worried about their propaganda funding from the EU either.
    On this issue I would personally be disappointed if he attended he would become in my eyes as weak as Tsvangerai and the now defunct MDC.
    This in the end is not about politics its about the integrity of an independent country.

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      Tawanda 9 years ago

      A political You spend too much time on this page. You are here to defend ZANU, chete. Ebvapa iwe.

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        apolitical 9 years ago

        @Tawanda i’m actually defending Zimbabwe against the mal-contents, who don’t understand principle. Sorry you didn’t get it.

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          Fallenz 9 years ago

          I get it, and you are just being your usual jester-self… the comedy meister.
          It’s gotten to where your input, and diversion from serious inquiry and comment, keeps me from getting depressed with the reality of the Zim situation. You’re a real standout, since not many in ZANUPF are good at humor.

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          @apo off to the herald with you.creepy zanupf you!!!!!!

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        Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof) 9 years ago

        @Tawanda ::::::? Yes we have the right to defend ZANUPF and our dear leader. Whande is a neo colonial propagandist who fails to state the fact that the WEST only viewed Cde Mugabe as a dictator after the land issue came in! We had Gukurahundi issue and all the human rights issues raised by the Catholic Church but no sanctions were imposed! Look at Egypt and ask yourself why the West is backing a military regime there that overthrew an elected govt? Libya is far from stability and yet the WEST economic criminals are looting oil !Whande doesnot see the issues of Egypt and Morocco! He only tries to give the Visa issue for our First LADY as the casus belli between AU and EU. It is naive for him to think our principled leader was going to attend the summit if the visa for his wife was granted! Far from it ! Whande can go on licking wounds given that his MDCT lost dismally and has proved to be a failed neo colonial political project! He should also think deeply about how the land is will one day explode in SA if the BOERS think the neo apartheid SA constitution will protect them forever! Africa now understands the fact the SA land issue needs resolution to avoid a repeat of the Zim scenario! Africa will not allow illegal sanctions on Zim to continue !

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      Tanonoka Joseph Whande 9 years ago

      Legalities by whose laws? Integrity? Independent? Are you talking about my country of Zimbabwe?

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      Nkosi Mambo 9 years ago

      Spot on Mr Whande. Your articles are refreshing. I wish Mugabe’s goons would read them. We have a leadership crisis not only in Zimbabwe but in Africa. We have little village heads masquerading as national leaders. They are so myopic such that they don’t understand what government is. Unfortunately they also have lots of shortsighted goons and sycophants who can’t think beyond their stomachs. Cry beloved Africa!

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      Talking about Jack Straw. I think Apol clutches at straws. And what integrity, Apol,is left in Zimbabwe? None! And I say this with a great deal of pain in my heart for my dying nation and its longsuffering people. Have anyone of us that blog on this site, I wonder, have any idea of the depth of suffering, desperation and utter feeling of hopelessness that millions are feeling right now as I right. May the Lord open our dim eyes to see Zimbabwe as He sees it. And may we, in God’s good grace, come to stand together and come to a place where we see the truth for all it is and begin to rebuild this shattered nation. And without repentance first and without sight to see and understand the truth we cannot do this. Instead next year we will still be blogging and pulling each other to pieces just to get rid of our utter frustration. It is time for a new way and may God raise up a leader after His own heart to lead this nation for I do not see him yet!

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      The Truth. 9 years ago

      There is no such a thing as illegal sanctions. If I dont want to deal with you, there is no force on earth, UN included that can make me deal with you. Its a personal choice!!!

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      Parangeta 9 years ago

      Independent Country?
      Which country are you talking about, ZPF boot-licking idiot,
      not Zimbabwe obviously!
      Zimbabwe is less independent than Southern Sudan, the Zanoids
      and Zing Zongs have made sure oft that.
      The AU is NOT anything like the EU or UN, they are democratic,
      legally elected, non-partisan and the filthy Mugabage AU is none of these3.

      Get your facts, your English and your loyalties in order fool!

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    It is not an ‘independent country’ when its leader gets funded secretly by the same EU; which, by the way, hides its agenda to impoverish all Africans. It is no surprise to us when the EU invites their dictator friends to a gathering that generates no investments to the Africans. When will this hypocrisy end?

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      Parangeta 9 years ago

      “Peace, People and Prosperity” is the Brussels Agenda,
      not “Investments” for all those Mugarbage begging bowl,
      boot-lickers in ZPF!

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    johann 9 years ago

    Well written Joseph. As for Apolitical- If sanctions are the basis of your argument can you explain why Air Zimbabwe has basically stopped flying when Air Rhodesia continued to fly right through the sanctions of the 1970’s and became Air Zimbabwe. Please stop beating the sanctions drum, it’s hollow.

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    timba 9 years ago

    Iye akazoti madununu anyorewo ma articles akatiparira…..

    • comment-avatar
      Tanonoka Joseph Whande 9 years ago

      I am sorry people call you dununu. You suddenly have access to the internet and think you are very clever. I declare that you are not dununu.
      People should leave you alone until you know where you are.

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        mucha 9 years ago

        @Tanonoka Joseph Whande, Timba is referring to you as DUNUNU that has been allowed to write ARTICLES.

        You cant see that? Who else has written an ARTICLE here other than you? Ours are just COMMENTS and not ARTICLES.

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    Wilbert Mukori 9 years ago

    You are right Mugabe loved travelling, he was spending more time out of the country then in Zimbabwe; it was therefore more appropriate to ask when he would be visiting Zimbabwe. Well his Vasco da Gama days are over; even if all the travel bans against him and his wife were lifted he will not be going anywhere – the country is broke!

    34 years of gross mismanagement and rampant corruption have taken their heavy toll.

    Mugabe was sure his Chinese buds would contribute billions of dollars to his $27 billion ZimAsset begging bowl; they did not even pay 1.00 Yuan (=US $ 0.16). Without massive out-side financial assistance the Zimbabwe economy has only one trajectory accelerated nose dive.

    The fact that President Zuma has decided to join Mugabe I boycotting the EU – Africa summit is something Harare will be celebrating about for a day or two. The feel-good factor Bona’s $5 million wedding did not last three days! The reminders of the dangerous economic melt-down are everywhere for it to be forgotten for long.

    The ease with which Mugabe bamboozled Tsvangirai and MDC was pretty impressive; most people have never thought of Tsvangirai as a mediocre leader but few thought he could be that stupid and so the attributed everything to Mugabe’s cunningness. It is only now with Mugabe “floored” by the economy – how anyone with any common sense could have made such a dog’s breakfast of the economy defies logic – that people realise that Mugabe is but a moron. He was just lucky to have a particularly stupid opponent in Morgan Tsvangirai!

    The catch-phrase “It is the economy stupid!” has acquired a completely new meaning and twist. Stop counting; Mugabe is not getting up from this!

    Zvirikupi! Chidya matovo azodzipwa nedovo remhuru!

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    Littledorrit 9 years ago

    Sovereign cataract operations. Sovereign Hong kong flats. Sovereign personal bank accounts. Sovereign foreign universities. All a crock of bull. Bleat sovereignty while
    holding out a begging bowl. Signal right turn left.
    An irrelevant govt.

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    Musarurwa 9 years ago

    Apolitical must be a fool with too much time in his hands or some bored person at one of the embassies doing nothing except to defend ZANU PF online. At 90, Mugabe can no longer travel without the services of the First Carer, period. Nevertheless, we are happy that he missed this trip, it saved the nation a lot of money in useless T&S for people ranging from hair dressers to security aides.

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    I respect your articles Tanonoka. Please don’t catch the bait and go into useless back and forth with individuals of limited intellect. It will not serve you any but reduce the person that you are.

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    it would seem that every day is april fools day in zimbabwe !
    the zimbabwe comedy show rolls on day after day and it is very much a fact that in zimbabwe – the politicians simply don’t know that they don’t know !!

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    thembani 9 years ago

    Sanctions, are good especialy when they stop thieves and their harlots from spending money yhat belongs to the poor masses.$10m saved can pay the salaries of civil servants this month.Good on you EU. Only Jacob Zuma will support such extravagancy.

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    It is indeed an April fools day country. A country ruled by a moron. An opposition party full of idiots. Docile citizens. We fought the good fight in the 60s and 70s and were rewarded by the British with Bob. My foot!!

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    Nyoni 9 years ago

    Good article Joseph. Our woes are man and woman made. The man Mugabe has delibaretly destroyed us our country and that woman Grace has stripped us bare and naked of all our possessions. Pasi ne zanu.

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    The Truth. 9 years ago

    The gukurahundi should know that disGrace is not Africa’s wife, she is his wife. Why then is he including everyone in this?

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    Don Cox 9 years ago

    “Sanctions are illegal and have to authorize by the UN.”

    Rubbish. Any sovereign stste can exclude any foreigner that it wants to from entering its territory.

    If Jack Straw tried to visit Zimbabwe and was stopped at the border, would that be “illegal”? By what law ?

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    Rwendo 9 years ago

    “The Europeans want to talk to our murdering presidents about “Investing in People, Prosperity and Peace”, three topics that African leaders do not want to hear about”

    I suspect Mugabe is half pleased that he has manufactured a good exit from what might have been difficult and heated discussions – specifically targeted at leaders like him. An exit which also allowed him to polish his ‘fearless principled African leader’ credentials by muddying the waters.

    I hold firm to my initial view – a storm in a teacup.

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    Ndaneta ndaneta 9 years ago

    OK Apolitical, illegal sanctions this and that and so forth. Now, do you honestly expect these relations to mend if you do not want to move even an inch from your position. I understand the EU has moved considerably from one position towards us (Zimbabwe or Zanu PF)right? We should be expected to move a little bit and each of us to continue with the process until we are together once more.

    But here you are, one party in a conflict expects the other party to move all the way from his position right to the position of the other party. This is next to impossible. Moreover, if you check who is actually suffering due to this ongoing conflict, you will definitely agree in principle that we both need to move from our original positions.

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    A fool starts with an argument and ends up with pure madness.

    The fool Tanonoka Joseph Whande could not make a sense of himself here in an attempt to mortgage his country.

    Ndivo vanhu vatainovhiyisa mbudzi padare kana vapedza kutauara ava.

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    maita 9 years ago

    For people who lived in war torn Rhodesia and those now living in peaceful Zimbabwe to still think ZanuPF is normal are very craze indeed. Inhundira mutsime vanhu ve ZanuPF that is why even if you engage them in serious debate they scratch their buttocks instead of heads when they think. Sertriously all those who think Mugabe is right tell me what Grace is going for? Maybe firts make her the second VP of Zimbabwe isn’t the position is still vacant, and then she can now officially join the Brussels meeting. To expect Mugabe to be part of a conference which will discuss improving people’s lives when his party is good at destroying people’s lives, talking about human rights when his party trashes them, talk about economic prosperity when his party preaches looting is just expecting too much. Mugabe should have told EU I am sick and I need my wife by my side to nurse me or send Mujuru at least she is a widow so she does not need an extra visa for a spouse.

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    The Truth. 9 years ago

    The problem is that Zimbabwe is a Gukurahundi Republic. This is why unconventional things happen there!!

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    Fallenz 9 years ago

    The ZANUPF mind is truly an amazing thing… on the one hand, intelligent, but on the other, completely brain-washed and devoid of reason, cognatitive thought displaced by self-justification, savage anger, seething hatred, tribalism, and racism. Has to take a really special kind of personality to be so easily manipulated and distorted to such extremes… and such a sad waste of a mind. It’s an absolute wonderment, it is. But, it’s exactly the kind of personality terrorists search for when looking for one who will strap explosives to their body, and without a thought of their own, obediently carry out the terrorists’ instructions… exactly the same personality.