Let’s be serious – Zimbabwe Independent

via Editorial: Let’s be serious March 7, 2014  Zimbabwe Independent Editorial

There was something rather pathetic yet revealing about reports in the public media of Chinese and Russian leaders sending birthday messages to President Robert Mugabe last week.

Even if there was nothing very newsworthy about that, Mugabe’s loyalists and supporters tried to milk it for what it is worth. There was no big deal. Just a rather polite and predictable greeting from a couple of states that are also in need of friends. But it helped to illustrate how Mugabe is isolated and badly needs friends.

What is remarkable is that in China’s case, President Xi Jinping has never bothered to visit the country he is hailing even when it stretched out below his aircraft for half an hour or more on his way to the last Brics summit in South Africa. No chance of popping in there. Xi hasn’t even met Mugabe! Neither has Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

That is why our state media felt it important to tell Zimbabweans that we have at least one friend — Beijing. China might be heading in the opposite direction ideologically, but it can be relied upon to spout the mantras that Zimbabwe also holds dear.

Something similar goes for Russia. The ex-Soviet state, which trained so many of our cadres in the 1960s and 70s, cannot get away without some acknowledgement of the cost. So that requires a message of solidarity every now and again.

Nobody would deny Mugabe’s “astute leadership”. “Wily” also comes to mind. But he has got it hopelessly wrong on the economy. Mugabe believes he can pick and choose who can invest here.

Technically, he is right. All countries that want to set up their stall here must respect our sovereignty. That is elementary. But it is Zimbabwe that needs investment. And that is not coming in any significant way. And here, as ever, we have the political dimension.

Mugabe feels slighted by the West and by Britain in particular. He saw himself in a post-Independence dispensation strutting upon the international stage and attracting international admiration of millions.

But he didn’t understand that the rules of engagement are more complicated. International investors need to know their money is safe. That requires wise leadership and sensible policies. Look at Botswana and Mozambique. From a one-party Marxist state in the 1970s, which nobody wanted to know, Mozambique is today a destination of investment and growth. It has seen off a clumsy rebel movement and attracted back former colonists.

Botswana, a desert state in the 1970s with nothing to go on — not even traffic lights — is now a diversified economy based on diamonds.

It has also built a thriving tourism industry which we could have done. Kenya got it instead. Other states in Sadc tend to regard Mugabe’s regime as a fossil locked in the mantras of the 1980s. That era has long since passed. “Get on with the programme” is the message sent to Mugabe by Sadc today. Because he can’t or won’t modernise the economy — and political system — we are all as a nation condemned to await delusional pronouncements of a 90-year-old ruler who is detached from reality. Until we get serious about ourselves, nobody will take us seriously.



  • comment-avatar

    Your editorial makes interesting reading.”Technically, he is right” There is nothing Technical with Robert Mugabe and his government. For instance which British company got involved in any law making or anything for that matter. He hates the British but wears their suits and even copies their house decorative designs if you’ve seen what Buckingham palace looks like. Lately the 9 year old has claimed to be more British than the British.
    This is what he said.

    Despite having been stripped of his knighthood by Britain, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe told the multitude of people who attended his sister’s burial that he was “very British.”

    Mugabe is considered by Western countries including Britain to be a dictator who won his war against Zimbabwe’s white farmers.

    “I am very British you know, that is why I even measure distance in miles. It is easy because the ratio is 5 miles to 8km, so for that ndinomboti pamberi nemaBritish,” (hail the British) he said.

  • comment-avatar
    Charles Chamunorwa 8 years ago

    Mugabe is not concerned about development or the welfare of Zimbabweans. He is concerned about his power and himself only.

  • comment-avatar
    Roving Ambassador 8 years ago

    Zanu will never move away from the profitable politics of looting until death. They cannot change and like the dinosaur they are,the will die by drowning in the marky waters of loot.
    Unfortunately they will bring the whole nation down with the .they are commiting economic suicide for no apparent goal ,except looting.
    Down with the whole lot.
    Pasi nevatengesi.
    Pasi nembahva.
    Pasi he mhondi.

  • comment-avatar
    CHINDUNDUMA 8 years ago

    Robert Mugabe and all the Junta are serving beyond retirement. In the Police and Army you must retire on reaching the age of 50. All these factors show that Mugabe does not respect the rule of law. The companies in Zimbabwe are mostly indigenous and one wonders what Mugabe is upto if he claims to the contrary. His idea is to promote chaos and remain in power forever or until he dies. Gone are the days when we blamed Colonialism for everything. AT 90 ONE CANNOT even be trusted to run family matters let alone National issues. As a country we should seriously examine ourselves (surely self introspection) and see whether or not we deserve this nonsense. Even ordinary die hard Mugabe supporters do you really deserve this because i know for a fact that most of you are walloping in abject poverty. Ngatimukei varume

  • comment-avatar
    Ndebvu Mukomichi 8 years ago

    What is Wrong with Being Independent Mr Independent?

    So you are unhappy that 2 of the 5 superpowers wished our president well on his birthday? Why do you find that galling?

    We have lived without your ‘so-called’ investment for the last 14 years and we can continue to do so for the next 14. All RGM ask for is to be left alone by the oppressors of yesteryear.

    Some questions and answers:
    Q: Who led the fight for our freedom and liberation?
    A: RGM.

    Q: Who provided support and training for the liberation war?
    A: China, Russia and others.

    Q: Who was he fighting against?
    A: Citizens of the 3 other superpowers.

    Q: Who has imposed sanctions on Zim, which they would not impose on Rhodesia?
    A: The same 3 superpowers- they have come back to continue their fight from pre-independence days.

    Q: Who tabled a chapter 7 resolution to invade zim at the UN?
    A: The same 3 superpowers.

    Q: Who vetoed this resolution and saved the fledgling nation and its people?
    A: China and its leaders.

    Why is this simple political arithmetic difficult for you to understand mr independent? China and Russia are true friends of Zim whether they meet RGM or not. their birthday messages are for real.


  • comment-avatar
    Parangeta 8 years ago

    Talk, talk, talk, no ACTION ZIMBABWE!

  • comment-avatar

    Lest we for get (recently)

    China has ruled out budgetary support to Zimbabwe.

    Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, who recently returned empty-handed from Washington after being denied funding by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has bging for external budgetary support to finance the ambitious Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset).

    The economic blue-print, launched last year by the Zanu PF-led government, requires $27 billion to be fully implemented.

    Running on a meagre budget of $4,2 billion since 2009, Zimbabwe is grappling with funding challenges that are affecting economic recovery following a decade of decline.

    Lack of investor confidence and fresh capital injection into the economy have spawned a serious liquidity crunch, forcing many companies to either scale down or close operations.

    In an exclusive interview with the Daily News, Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe Lin Lin said it was not his country’s policy to provide budgetary support to other nations.

    “We don’t normally provide budgetary support to other countries but we try to help Zimbabwe in our own way,” he said.

    The latest development comes as a slap in the face of President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF government which established a “Look East” policy in 2003 aimed at harnessing economic and political support from the emerging Asian giant.

    Zimbabwe cannot access external credit lines from international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF after the country was stripped of its voting rights in 2003 and was nearly ejected from the grouping in a rare move for the Washington-based institution in 2006.

    The restrictions were imposed after Zimbabwe fell behind in repayments to the Fund.

    But in June last year, ahead of fresh elections, IMF said it would work with the country for the first time in more than a decade although ruling out new cash advances.

    Lin, however, noted that China will always assist the southern African nation through donations and loans for infrastructure projects.

    “In recent years, China has provided our Zimbabwean friends with donations such as food, fertilizer, and machinery worth millions of United States Dollars,” Lin said.

    “Moreover, we encourage Chinese financial institutions to provide concessionary and commercial loans to Zimbabwe. As a matter of fact, since 2009, China Exim Bank has approved loans to 6 projects in Zimbabwe, including the construction of the National Defence College, the Harare Water Treatment Project, medical equipment for hospitals in Harare, the Victoria Falls Airport Upgrading project, the NetOne Upgrading Project and the expansion of the Kariba South Hydro Power Station, with a total worth of over $820 million.”

    On Tuesday, China donated $500 000 towards the Tokwe-Mukorsi disaster.

    In a desperate attempt to lure Chinese investment in the country, Zimbabwe in January this year added the Chinese Yuan to its multiple currency system basket, which include the United States Dollar, South African Rand, Botswana Pula, Indian Rupee, Australian Dollar and the Euro.

  • comment-avatar

    The funny part is with China’s riche’s $500,000 is about 500,000 divided by 14000000 equals to 0.035 cents per person.

    • comment-avatar

      Ndebvu Mukomichi I think what they are telling you is that if you are the big tree,We are the small axe .Ready to cut you down.