By Andrew Field – Follow on Twitter
In Zimbabwe, it seems the latest vogue, out of active political circles, is to muster up nationalist fervour against targeted sanctions. These were levied against a few of the political chefs by Western nations opposed to the Mugabe regime. Suddenly, sanctions are now considered illegal, and perceived as being imposed upon the entire state, embodying the cause, allegedly, of much hardship and deprivation to the nation as a whole, and its people too. Really?
It seems that the sponsors of this latest campaign against sanctions are not exactly chewing stale sadza, without relish, over smelly mugs of cloudy City water. They are wining and dining with the finest imported foods and beverages at the best hotels and at their palatial mansions. They are chauffeur driven in the latest and greatest imported German cars, and wear the latest hunky-dory imported designer clothing and ‘shades’. Many are sporting the tell tale signs of grotesque wealth, so much for the hardship.
On Wednesday selected businesses were phoned by anonymous callers threatening dire consequences to those who did not close shop during the President’s inaugural rally against sanctions. Thousands of SMS messages were sent to people on the, perhaps partisan, Net One cellular network appealing for support, ominously signed ZANU PF. Strangely, recipients were urged to call a London based telephone number, clearly out of the reach of sanctions!
Frankly, one has to question a few issues here. Firstly, it is common knowledge that sanctions just do not serve their purpose. They certainly have not affected the chefs. Sure, the wives and families of certain chefs cannot shop at Harrods in London; or Aspreys or Bloomingdales of New York, but shop they will, in the fashionable salons of Singapore, Malaysia or Hong Kong. If anything, the only deprivation suffered here is the loss of political dignity.
Remember ‘good old Rhodesia’ in the face of a no lesser, United Nations, legitimate sanctions embargo? Those who do will remember a mighty little economy, which grew stronger with self sufficiency in the face of a truly worldwide sanctions onslaught. Those sanctions did not work. Nor do the current targeted sanctions. They are a marvelous demonstration of how to raise a finger to the world, a good lesson for today’s pathetic crop of manipulative politicians!
Secondly, why on earth would a coterie of apparently filthy rich politicians, who are the isolated victims of such sanctions, be so desperate to be rid of them? More pertinently, do they really want to do business or fraternize with their protractors, the people they so obviously hate and are not shy to tell us so? Why are they so keen to obviate personal embargo and perhaps lodge or squander their ill gotten gains with their Western foes, or have the ‘enemy’ educate their offspring or treat their ailments? There is always the East, you know. Surely nobody would wish to deal with those they despise so much, so it is odd that the victims are now making so much noise. The entire charade is an insult to intelligent Zimbabweans.
Clearly, the real agenda is a touch fogged by this crass red herring and a despite a few gullible businessmen and bankers to boot; most have seen though it. It is shocking though, when apparently naive leaders of organizations representative of industry and commerce are roped into the party spin, thus lending credibility to the rot. They do not seem to realize the real agenda here. It is just another inglorious extension of the mindless revolution against mythical foes! It is another ploy to impose a vicious racist ideology against an innocent, industrious minority, to garner much needed support for the party.
Hopefully Zimbabweans will, this time, see through this vulgar dishonesty. They never did the first time around, during the ill fated, racist folly, land grab from white people, which almost destroyed Zimbabwe’s economy, alongside other ruinous policies. Now it is the turn of the companies. The reality is that so few companies are now under the control of white or foreign nationals, aside a few notable multinational. Soon it will be white homes too. Sadly, we don’t see opposition politics stepping up to the plate on this score either.
Chef: colloquialism for politicians in the former ‘ruling’ party clique
Sadza: staple maize meal diet of many Zimbabweans