Putin drags Zim, Sadc region to new front

via Putin drags Zim, Sadc region to new front – DailyNews Live 29 September 2014

JOHANNESBURG – Russia’s arrival in Zimbabwe with a billion-dollar investment after President Robert Mugabe’s trip to China is helping to turn the country — and the Southern African Development Community — into a new Cold War front.

Besides trade and investment agreements, the countries signed an arms deal which, says Russian Trade minister Denis Manturov, will see Russia supply military hardware, helicopters and trucks to Zimbabwe.

Manturov preceded his Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov to Zimbabwe two weeks ago where they sealed several agreements that include a platinum mining deal worth $3 billion. It will be the biggest such project in Zimbabwe and will create thousands of jobs.

This month Mugabe visited old ally China where he signed several infrastructural development agreements. But it is the deals with Russia that are reviving memories of the Cold War — the high political and military tension between western and eastern powers that lasted for decades after the Second World War.

The tensions between the two power blocs purportedly ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, but continued to simmer under the surface, playing out in the United Nations Security Council. In Zimbabwe’s case China and Russia have stood with Mugabe steadfastly whenever the West has tried to tighten measures against his regime.

Mugabe has been under western sanctions since the turn of the millennium. The US introduced targeted economic measures through the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act, 2001 which blocked access to international credit for black-listed people. The European Union (EU) followed with freezes of assets and investments belonging to top party and state officials deemed to be propping up Mugabe’s misrule.

The president will hurtle himself into the hands of anyone who will save his regime as the rebellious populace remains restive. He controversially won last July’s elections with a landslide but a year later not a single promise in his party’s manifesto has been fulfilled. He promised to create two million jobs in a country where unemployment is a staggering 85 percent and the economy is mainly in the informal sector.

The West has also imposed sanctions on President Vladimir Putin’s Russia over his handling of the Crimean crisis and his actions in Ukraine, and these have had devastating effects on the Russian economy. The rouble this week crashed to a record low.

As during the Cold War, Russia is scrambling to get allies in Africa in order to stem western influence. It will also need Africa’s limitless resources to keep its economy going in the face of its fight with the West.

During the Cold War a number of proxy wars were fought in Africa over resources, leaving millions of Africans dead and the affected countries none the richer for them. These wars are likely to resurface in different forms.

The EU was set to lift the remaining economic measures against Mugabe and his government early in November. The US has also continued to give humanitarian aid to Zimbabwe over the years. Whether in the light of Zimbabwe’s new friendship with Russia, the western bloc will continue its carrot-and-stick approach to formalising relations with Zimbabwe is now uncertain.

But the new Cold War frontier is unlikely to be restricted to Zimbabwe. Mugabe is the chairman of 15-member regional bloc Southern African Development Community until August next year. He will also assume chairmanship of the continental bloc, the African Union in January. He is considered to be “the elder statesman” in most of Africa. — Bday

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 21
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    These are non events. The Russians and the Chinese will live to regret these moves because Mugabe will soon be immobilized by age or by his own machinery. Zimbabwe is on the verge of massive shifts to the power dynamics in the Political scene and no one knows what those changes will bring. The Americans and Europe will be more likely to engage anyone that is not Mugabe. Zimbabweans preferences (including the Zanu pf people themselves) will always tilt towards the Western way of life. That is why you don’t get that much people from this region with a desire for holidaying in China or Russia. How many Russian and Chinese cars do you see in Zimbabwe? Every aspect of life except for Mugabe’s policies is based on Western principals. They wont admit it but it is a fact.

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      I must response to such a superficial and narrow sighted view o “Doctor do little”. We in the USA were under the sinister of former British criminal colony system that we fought and kicked the red coats out of North America. We have since then learnt our own American language with our own American phonetics, style and our own original lingo so to speak. Slavery of the former master is something one must fight for the entire life time till it is not known to the newer generation. Africans in the West tend to ravel in their new found homeland leaving Africa and its great culture behind and if one returns to their homeland they seem to gravitate toward the Western ways of thing that they try so hard to find.
      If African slavery was only physical, African people would have within one generation been able to skip the plethora of social-economic issues which plague African people globally the second the chains came off Slavery, and other institutionalize forms of targeted race-based oppression has caused certain symptoms of dysfunction in the African community, which has been reinforced in each generation. The legacy of slavery has promoted and nurse the direct association between being African and being inferior, being African and being unequal, incapable and less worthy. It also promotes ways of thinking which continue to impede growth and development. Such as cultivating dependence and reactive behaviors. More content to be at best an observer complaining about the world, as opposed to being a change agent in the world Content to be histories permanent victim. Every possible solution is dismissed with yet another trite excuse.
      The traditional view of mental enslavement in African Diaspora communities was to identity Uncle Tom behavior to mental slavery. This is not 100% accurate someone can be in total mental chained up, and still have a Malcolm X picture on their profile with the quote “The most pathetic thing is a slave who does not know he is a slave.” The mere display of what is termed “conscious information” is absolutely not a sign that the person has escaped mental slavery. All the pictures of Ancient Egypt on a Facebook page are not indicators or litmus test for the absence of mental slavery. Quiet often it is just another type of mask on the face of mental slavery. Because the underlying mental state, with the picture of KMT or not, is that of a person in a dialect relationship with their African self. The picture of KMT covers up an underlying self-hatred the same way paint can cover up a damp wall. This veneer is paper thin, a patina of consciousness, because outside of the quoting Malcolm or the Kemetic painting, the behaviors of that person in society may be identical to the person who is called an Uncle Tom.

      When you shows a mental slave freedom they are more likely to turn an attack you for disturbing their paradise: Liberation is their chains, and liberators their enemies…. Alik Shahaah

      The essential problem that Kwame Nkrumah faced was how to transform a neo-colonial outpost of Western imperialism, into a real country and a modern one also. Initially once African countries gained political independence they looked up and discovered that they did not have economic independence, they did not have psychological independence. Ghana got a flag and an anthem in 1957 it didn’t get real independence. [Nkrumah] realized that he needed economic independence and when he moved for economic independence to re-organize the country he realized that he couldn’t move in the direction of economic independence with the old colonial state apparatus. And even though you may succeed in transforming the state apparatus to something which is more forward-looking, you also had to tackle the minds of the people, certainly the so-called educated people…. Kimani Nehusi

      So Zimbabwe or any other former British colony must live with the facts of life. Zimbabwe achieved its freedom in the 80’s and to expect to rid of former Rhodesian history will instantly disappear because Rhodesia is now called Zimbabwe! It is the “Docot do littles” and many like them who must strive to pronounce their African heritage as superior and authentic to the by gone era of the colonists. Zimbabwe is a fascinating country with incredible promise of the future but the present must be made secure and liveable. Despite the hardship of illegal Western sanctions to punish Zimbabwe for not being enough subservient to the West, every Zimbabwean must pay the price? So let it be! There are countries like Cuba, Iran, Syria, Palestine, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Russia, Libya, Iraq and others who are facing the cruel and illegal blows of the West but not wiling to bow down. So Zimbabwe is standing strong and proud to the illegal criminalities of the West! My hats off to Zimbabweans! God be with you and may He bring His blessings upon you as you stand tall and proud to the disgusting criminalities of the West!

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        Tsuro 8 years ago

        Are you also on the Mugabe pay roll in America…we have a group of corrupt thieves oppressing their own in the name we liberated you. What gives you time to read a local paper out in poverty stricken Zimbabwe where every wants to run away….Why not come and stay in Zimbabwe or go to Cuba which to you appears to be a normal way of living. By the way, more than 80 percent of youths in Zimbabwe given the opportunity would like to leave Zimbabwe. And guess what the preferred destination is America and not Russia or Iran.

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          farai 8 years ago

          Tsuro, 80% want to leave? In your most decadent wet dreams! prove your stats Mr Rabbit.

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            Tsuro 8 years ago

            Start a small survey with your children who have finished school (18-32 years)unless you also on the Zanu list of beneficiaries. A survey in 2004 when things where still relatively stable indicated 63% wanted to leave. I suppose its now worse now.

            It suffices to say of all the young man whom I know and who have finished school they all trying to get a passport and leave. This includes my jobless old friends loitering at Machipisa.

            For trial, if you have a friend or relative staying in say Ireland, ask him to phone through and ask a group of randomly selected youth Zimbos if they would want to come over. I guarantee you will get a 100 per cent response, not even 80%

            I wait for your results.

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          dubbozimbo 8 years ago

          Lol the Yanks should send you back from whence you came with all or whinging or perhaps you should head for Zim, sounds like Bob could use your claptrap in his election campaigns.

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        mike paterson 8 years ago

        What a load of bull!!!!

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        “I must response to such a superficial and narrow sighted view o “Doctor do little.” Good education you have there I will believe everything you say.Ever been to zimbabwe bud????

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        Ed Melik, Esq. you are the one with a narrow sighted view. You I what I would call a very educated fool. Why do I say fool? Because you fail to see the evidence that is staring you in the face. You can talk until the cows come home but you can not run away from the fact that China and Russia have only contributed arms which have turned the continent of Africa into a war Zone. Look at all the groups in the troubled areas like Somalia. The all carry AK 47 rifles which are definitely not from the West. None of us in Zimbabwe have been able to eat an AK47. Your hatred for the West is fake because you obviously live there and enjoy all the pleasures of their way of life. 34 years Mugabe has had to maintain an thriving economy he inherited from those who you despise so much. Most of us in Zimbabwe have been exposed to TRIBALISM, RACISM, REGIONALISM. There is no difference between either of them. Some of us have exorcised our demons of the past. The present Demon Zanu pf still dogs us. It will be exorcized. They will be brought to book. Not by a Malik but by Zimbabweans.
        About taking your hat off for Zimbabweans, please keep it on. We don’t need to see the brainless part of your skull. Better still take it off for your king Mugabe. About slavery the only person that enslaves us now is Robert Mugabe and his crew. Please do not try to teach me history. As you’ve noticed I am literate. History will show that Robert Mugabe’s Government ordered the Massacre of over 20 000 people of my tribe. How many of his tribe his killed is anybody’s guess. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said:
        I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
        I HAVE THE SAME DREAM AND MUGABE DOES NOT FEATURE IN IT.

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        Kevin Watson 8 years ago

        What a load of pretentious claptrap, written by an American who revels in his own ignorance of Africa. His grammar and spelling show the US education system up for what it is, useless unless you attend an expensive private school.

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        just saying 8 years ago

        Ed Melik, Esq. I was taught to never argue with a fool so I wont say much except why don’t you come to Zimbabwe & speak with ordinary folk about living under the Mugabe regime.

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        Malek like some of the brothers up north hero worship Robert Mugabe only because they see him as a voice against the powerful west. But like our brothers up north they prefer to live in the Western countries that they criticize. There they thrive and have a high standard of living whilst the discourage their brothers from doing the same. Robert Mugabe invited his worshippers in the united states like Coltrane Chimurenga, A/k/a “randolph Simms”, A/k/a “rashidpendergrass”, A/k/a “lionel Jean-baptiste”, A/k/a”john Thomas”, A/k/a “macio Mcadams”,to come and live in the country. They won’t because they enjoy just visiting, making money and going back to spend it in the US of A where they do not have a real good time at the expense of the suffering masses in Zimbabwe. Malek is no better. For him to be so staunch he must be (as we say in Zimbabwe)eating.

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    Dzenyika 8 years ago

    So true. I went home recently, and found the English Premiership more passionately supported than it is in the UK!

    Through a cruel twist of fate, all Zimbabweans older than 34 were born as British citizens. Our education system, political system and way of life are all bare hallmarks of the British.

    Normal (and very close) relations will be restored in the very near future. Both sides can’t wait.

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    tapiwa 8 years ago

    The Russians and Chinese know Mugabe is on the last leg and they are here to collect before he dies

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    farai 8 years ago

    Both Russians and Chinese have trillions invested in Western economies. is this another cold war scheme to undermine the western capitalist systems? The usual suspects will always find something sinister if an investment in Africa does not involve the west.

    Here is a gem, sanctions, ..
    ..”blocked access to
    international credit for
    black-listed people.” in their personal capacities? Targeted indeed!

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      sabhuku 8 years ago

      If anyone of you gets to read a copy of David Icke’s book called the biggest secret you will understand that neither the west nor east is good for Africa. In fact we should start by calling ourselves by another name as we blacks are not descendants of Jan Afrikaan.
      The cold war never stopped. The fall of the Berlin Wall was just a battle in a big war. Mugabe us serving his purpose for which he was put. Destroy Zimbabwe and we will rebuild it. When they, both East and West build for you using loans from their institutions you remain indebted and to them and hence remain under the control of whoever funded your rebuilding

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    jobolinko 8 years ago

    the will of the people is more powerful than an A K 47 rifle we have seen more stronger regimes fall regardless

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    dubbozimbo 8 years ago

    What Zim really needs, more Russian weapons? Tractors, trucks, machinery…….. no just more guns to prop up the Mugabe regime.

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    I understand that Russia is a mere gas station masquerading as supper power. Russia has only managed to offer AK47’s to Africa. They have nothing to offer and help !

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    Naison Nyereyegona 8 years ago

    If the Russian and Chinese deals were British and American deals with Zimbabwe, all would have been hallellujar. Western plunder of our resources would have been assured. A new economy is being built in Zimbabwe and all skeptics better believe it. Resource nationalism has lit like a fire accross the African continent. Very soon land reform – Zimbabwe style will take shape in South Africa, either that or there will be massive land invassions throughout South Africa. Soon after that indiginisation will follow until the skewed economic pattern in South Africa is addressed. The whole of the SADC region and the whole of the African continent will follow suite.

    The reason why the West is worried about the coming on board of the Russians and the Chinese is because the two countries’ moves have defeated the whole sanctions purpose. You see, sanctions are meant to stop Zimbabwe from benefiting on its natural resources. Zimbabwe should not mine or sell its minerals. The West should, at some stage remove sanctions and come in and find the minerals intact and start to mine them for their own benefit. The coming in of Russia and China has disturbed the whole sanctions arrangement. Whilst western companies stay away in the belief that Zimbabwe’s minerals are not going anywhere, the Russians and the Chinese have come to mine them and this is the reason why the west is in panic mood.

    If the west maintains sanctions in November, more Russian and Chinese investment will come and take up everything that the west was eying. The writer of this article is coming up with a stupid scare mongering idea of SADC being hurled to the mercy of cold war politics by Mugabe. What a load of bull. We saw that before during the Smith regime error. We were told that Mugabe was bringing in Communism where people would be forced to communalise everything including wives. That was silly then and this new scare mongering is silly as well and will not achieve anything at all. Britain has watched its empire go over the years and is watching Zimbabwe go right under its nose and there is nothing Britain can do about it. The simple answer is GET USED TO IT.