When baboons are called upon to protect the maize fields

via When baboons are called upon to protect the maize fields… by Tanonoka Joseph Whande | SW Radio Africa  May 6, 2014

Over the years, South Africa has taken ridiculous and unprincipled stands on Zimbabwe and, most recently, played a key role before, during and after Zimbabwe elections last year.

There is no doubt that the South Africans knew what transpired and everyone knew that the results of those elections did not reflect the proper and honest voting patterns reflected in the nation.

Our elections have always been full of drama. There were always accusations and counter-accusations. We have never really held free and fair elections and there was always acrimony accompanying our elections.

Vote rigging are words that have become synonymous with our elections and there are further accusations that Zimbabwe assisted Namibia, DR Congo and other countries to rig elections there.

So, forgive me for laughing, albeit with strains of anguish in my laughter, at Zimbabwe being invited to observe South Africa’s elections.

I mean, really, whose idea was this?

Misguided ZANU-PF officials are already beating their chests with pride and declaring that the invitation to observe the South African elections was a show of confidence in their government and party.

ZANU-PF’s smart Aleck, Rugare Gumbo, said, “ZANU PF and the ANC have a lengthy history of working together and both are part of the national liberation movements which helped bring freedom to the continent after decades of political and economic subjugation.”

A lengthy history of working together?

There is honour among thieves, after all!

Under current President Jacob Zuma’s watch, ‘Zimbabwe’s general elections were held in 2013, despite Mugabe’s non-compliance and implementation of reforms that Zuma’s team had originally stipulated were necessary.

South Africa went on to endorse those elections, despite widespread reports of irregularities and vote manipulation.

Today, South Africa fools the world by pretending that Zimbabwe’s government is legitimate enough to monitor other people’s elections. What an insult to Zimbabweans!

What an insult to democracy!

South Africa has always been the Public Relations outfit for ZANU-PF. It actually holds Zimbabwe’s deteriorating economy as a model of praise yet companies are closing on a daily basis.

Zimbabwe’s Finance minister has even approached soldiers, of all people, to help with the economy yet we are told that South Africa has a lengthy history of working with ZANU-PF. Is this one of the great ideas they exchanged?

South Africa applauds when Zimbabwe sentences its journalists to prison terms.

It cheers when our journalists are banned from demonstrating with other groups in recognition of World Press Freedom Day.

The absence of an economy and democracy are Zimbabwe’s most important issues today because the economy would cater for the hardships people are facing while the press would help in the promotion of democracy because there cannot be democracy in the absence of a free media.

One thing we know for certain is that receiving stolen property makes the receiver guilty as sin.

In our language, we emphasise this state of affairs as ‘wadziya moto wembavha waba’. So often we participate in activities without noting how our presence associates us with misdemeanours, murders, thefts and all other incorrigible activities that have been committed by other people.

If people always see us in the company of notorious criminals, they are forgiven to brand us as criminals too. Who should trust me if my friends are ones known to terrorise the neighbourhoods?

The heart of the matter is that no country in Africa is as dangerous to democracy as South Africa, a country which, like Zimbabwe did at its independence, lives off the fumes of economic success of former minority rulers. Its mollycoddling of dictators is a matter of public record.

South Africa could be using its status to direct other countries in the proper direction.

But what I fear is what many African countries have gone through only a few years after claiming independence.

We in Zimbabwe wasted a lot of time in self-congratulations, abusive rhetoric, playing to the gallery by spouting useless revolutionary nonsense yet failed to maintain the infrastructure that we inherited.

Slowly, our economy started to suffer and today, we are the worst example of failed economic policies.

South Africa is no different and they are already on the downward slide as Nigeria quietly took pole position as Africa’s largest economy.

South Africa prides itself of its wealth and as being the biggest economy in Africa. It feels superior to other African countries and goes around the continent making wrong decisions affecting other African countries.

I would have thought the conscience of South Africa over the disgraceful role they played in Zimbabwe’s elections last year would be bothering them but, no. The invitation of Zimbabwe to observe their elections is a quid pro quo.

It is payback time.

South Africa wants Robert Mugabe to return the favour. His party has been invited to observe the South African elections and does anyone hope ZANU-PF will announce any foul play if they come across any? (Listen who is talking…Zimbabwe accusing anyone of vote rigging?)

This is a charade, a painful, expensive joke played on the people of both Zimbabwe and South Africa, not to mention Africa.

This is tantamount to employing a baboon to guard a maize field.

How Zimbabwe continues to fool South African leaders is a mystery never meant to be solved.

I am particularly irked by this insult because of what Zimbabwe has gone through and because of the mess our country is in. It is not an exaggeration to say that were it not for South Africa’s interference on the wrong side, our nation might not have ended in this mess. All it takes is a cursory look at what South Africa has done to other African countries and their behaviour in those countries.

We find ourselves flanked by a useless SADC on one side and South Africa on the other and none of them have Zimbabwe’s interests, not to mention the region, at heart.

Zimbabwe has gone through difficult times and the people soldier on in spite of it all but it is the more painful when a neighbour intervenes to cause matters to grow worse.

Zimbabwe must brace itself because South Africa is soon going to pay for being an independent African country. We have gone through this and the clock is ticking for them.

Can any of our neighbours go through what we have gone through? Can anyone be as resilient as Zimbabweans are? It would be an interesting but dangerous situation to see South Africans trooping to Zimbabwe for both political and economic asylum.

Who shall we turn to when friends cheer as we die?
Who shall we count on when a neighbour violates us?

What do children do when their father turns rabid?

We are a troubled nation and ripe for exploitation. As has always been the case, Zimbabweans have always been sacrificed by its leaders who somehow have managed to rope in neighbours in our persecution.

What does a thief do when his loot from a burglary is stolen by another thief? One thing he won’t do is to call the cops!

We are on our own.

I am Tanonoka Joseph Whande and that, my fellow Zimbabweans, is the way it is today, Monday, May 5th, 2014.



  • comment-avatar

    The truth of the matter is as long as Zimbabwe sleeps it’s neighbors benefit. South Africa, or the previous and current rulers of that country have supported this situation because they were benefiting. South Africa missed a trick. Zimbabwe was South Africa’s right leg. This small little country was achieving more than massive countries like Nigeria, Egypt and guess who? South Africa. Botha the “racist” knew this. Those before him knew this. Mandela knew this(Zimbabwe was part of the south African success story) THABO MBEKI came in and took all the success out of Zimbabwe by….wait for it…wait for it…supporting Mugabe’s policies but not implementing them in South Africa. It worked.. for a time..now the South African Economy stars to suffer. Just because they turned a little Giant into a very small DWARF.

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      Fallenz 9 years ago

      Yes sir..!

      But, I don’t believe for a second that anyone in RSA is being fooled by ZANUPF… I agree that it’s simply payback time… Zuma and Mugabe just scratching each other’s backs.

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    Chaka 9 years ago

    Yes we r on our own. Lets unite. Let those that agree w this take sides.

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    Chiwaridza 9 years ago

    That is one of the best articles i have read on this site

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    Mlimo 9 years ago

    Good comment but notice the similarities – both are run by members of former terrorists / freedom fighter parties some who feel they have not only the right to own the people but also all it’s contents. One has to look back into history to see that these people all came through the same university – yes they are supposed to be educated, but there is a big difference between being educated and civilised. I suggest any reader to look at the university of fort hare alumni. Mbeki, Mandela, Mugabe Tambo, matanzima, khama, nyerere, chitepo, nkomo, lule, sobukwe, hani, hlope kaunda , to name a few. Some are still in prominence.

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    Roving Ambassador 9 years ago

    The ANC has the same illness as ZANU ,all their policies a geared for party interest not national interest. Unfortunately their party interest s are individual self enrichment interest s which will drive the nation to economic collapse.
    The policy towards Zimbabwe is an Anc one which is terrible for both countries,.

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    Tano, the baboons are most definitely “protecting” the maize fields and the inmates are running the asylum ….with tacit consent of the people? After all, you get the government you deserve and if you don’t deserve it, surely people would organise, mobilise and stand up and fight?

    OOPS sorry, I clean forgot about the Tsvangirai factor which let the baboons into the maize field in the first place by facilitating NIKUVED elections without reforms and road maps or GPA compliance. No doubt about it, Tsvangirai is also “protecting” the maize field for the rest of the Zanu troops and in return, the baboons allow him to remain in his palatial residence.

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    Joze I agree with almost all your articles except on Tsvangirayi and Biti squabble. You seem to be biased on MT

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    JOHNSON 9 years ago

    mbeki and Zuma are hooligans. they know more than you think. they are guilty as charged!!!

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    ZPF are hoping their observers can “NIKUV’ the results in favour of Julius.

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    Once the ANC has a clear threat to their power they will show their true colours. Even now the DA is physically attacked and ANC top dogs act with impunity. The ANC like Mugabe because they are of the same ilk and they will take SA down the same road as Mugabe.

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    Saddened 9 years ago

    Excellent article however like “Roving Ambassador & Jrr56” I feel the blame should not be placed on South Africa as a whole but on the ANC who like ZPF are in power. The growth of the opposition in SA particularly the DA over the past few years is very heartening especially given that they were originally perceived as a ‘white’ party but now attract support from all racial groups. I believe this is what the opposition in Zimbabwe needs to emulate. Anyone visiting Cape Town will witness the difference with other major cities in SA.

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    wenafeela 9 years ago

    Whande the great grand shonalisation plan has gone wrong. The anc may have its own shortcomings but the problem we face as zimbabwean has more to do with the failure of the shona plan. You can see even from the way mdc t has been and is still trying to restructure. Nothing will ever come right for zimbabwe as long those of you who believe in that plan want to maintain the status quo. Look the way shonas want be champions of ndebeles on their own territory in virtually everything. Why should south Africa be responsible for the mess the shonas made deliberately

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    mwana wevhu 9 years ago

    SA Elections NIKUVED?? The ZANU observation factor makes it a plausible opinion. Throw in ZUMA broadly smiling & telling the world he will be SA President for another term ….& early sings i picked on the news this morning had some tints of problems. Lets wait & see.SA has a bigger chance of surviving the all too familiar AFRICAN state failures post independence.For one activism is in their DNA, Ethnic complexity & they have a trump card “A FREE PRESS”.

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    Excellent article

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    Patriotic 9 years ago

    Cant you see, South Africa stand to benefit when Zimbabwe’s economy is in shambles. Go into a supermarket take a look at the products, most of them are from South Africa. I am only mentioning food products what of other products. They stand to benefit of course and they know if there is change of government then things will change for the better and Zim will start producing their own products and what? So Aluta Continua!

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    Cde Chooks 9 years ago

    First Zambia, then Zimbabwe…next, South Africa. The pattern has been established and the end game is clearly in sight. Not “if”, but “when”…

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    nyoni 9 years ago

    Good article by someone who has seen the light with both eyes open. THE ANC AND ZANU ARE ONE AND THE SAME. So those South Africans better wake up now before it is to late or maybe it is already. Hokoyo imbwa.

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    Antony Maponga 9 years ago

    It has now become a trend in African Elections that a pen can not win elections, it was said. Elections according to me is the act of practicing democracy but the word democracy itself has been re-defined in African Politics, None of the current leaders in Africa wants to be ousted by elections, he fears to be laughed at by other fellow leaders, hahahahahahahahaha.
    I have since stopped politics, It is getting votes from the poor, money from the rich under the pretext of protecting one from the other.

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    Antony Maponga 9 years ago

    Who had ever imagined that our own Football Boss in Zimbabwe Cuthbert Dube would be the winner, Even those who voted for him dont like him, thats what we call politics, getting votes at whatever cost.

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    Rwendo 9 years ago

    Harare’s take on all this: apologies to non speakers but the bite would be lost in translation.

    Wotoona vanhu vachivhota muSouth Africa, vamwe voVhotera ANC, DA, EFF,WASP,UDM.. Wozongonzwa zvakunzi ZANU PF ndoyahwina maElection acho. Wotoshaya kuzivakuti zvirikufambasei?!!!!

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    Mseyamwa 9 years ago

    Most national leaders are prepared to give their all for ‘their vountry’ not gor nrighbors’ countries, hence mbeki and zuma have created an export market for ‘their country’s’ products by encouraging a kleptomaniac bob and company to pursue disastrous policies. Sad thing is the ZANU individuals see the chaos it as an opportunity to steal and are blind to the suffering of the people and deterioration of infrastructure. They are soo pleased with foreign appreciation yet they fail to see what exactly they are being appreciated for.

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    Chirutanga 9 years ago

    These nationalists parties were formed with the objective of fighting and use any means necessary to remove the minority governments.Now that the liberation struggle is over they have remained as bullies to those political parties founded with the objective of bringing democracy and economic development.Nationalist parties are still fighting and use any means necessary to destroy their countries politically,economically and socially.They do not realise that their enemies left those countries long back and gave them independence.They long achieved their goals and should have handed over leadership to new parties with new objectives.Now poverty is all over,because they are still fighting who ever tries to stop them from plundering their own economies.Leadership renewal is really necessary to ensure that new objectives are laid down torwads economic development or else we witness a true Zimbabwe ruins and very soon Azania Ruins.

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    not easily fooled 9 years ago

    South Africa is aware of Zimbabwe’s potential the same way as Rhodes knew the dynamite that we are that is simply y they keep supporting Zanu its like urging ur opponent in a race to keep shooting their feet toe by toe the benefits fall on SA.It continues to prosper while encouraging Zimbabwe to continue taking small doses of poison and continue to slay itself election after election.It flourishes while Zimbabwe suffers.In politics there really is no ‘friend’ just friendlier exploiters e.g china meddling into situations not for world peace and prosperity but really just to see hw to advantage themselves nd disadvantage u.

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    Kufakwejeyi 9 years ago

    Tano erred in hipping all the blame on South Africa for our on shortcomings. Lets face it, South Africa only became involved on the Zimbabwean issue when we, Zimbabweans, created the situation for them to. It has always been very clear in South Africa’s involvement on the Zimbabwe issue that there was a very clear conflict of interest. What do you think the South African Industry Bodies were telling Mbeki in 2008 when he was mediating on the Zim crisis? What with the whole road from Musina to Pitersburg and beyond lined up with newly opened firms packing mealie-meal and other groceries for export to Zimbabwe. The South Africans are only interested in the benefits that accrue from the Zimbabwean crisis and they are massive, economically and this is what the idiots we unfortunately have for leaders do not realize as they dance wildly whilst they are being cheered on into self destruction.

    Fellow Zimbabweans, we are to blame for this and its our cross to carry. The only thing that South Africa did not bargain for is the influx of Zimbabweans into heir country. As long as we wait for South Africa and SADC o liberate us donkeys will grow horns before that happens.

    Inviting ZANUpf to witness South African elections on its on was not a bad idea. Probably the intention was to show them how free and fair elections are contacted.