Monday, 26 April 2010
I read Senator Gutu's note on empowerment and land redistribution published elsewhere.In his opening paragraph he states that "A people who do not own and control their natural resources and thus control their means of production is an oppressed people"....I could not agree with him more. Zimbabweans have to own and control their resources, the exploitation of the same and the marketing thereof....
He however proceeds to state that "the government of Zimbabwe should be thoroughly ashamed of the fact that three decades after independence the country still has not crafted a holistic, progressive and definitive policy to empower previously disadvantaged people, the majority of whom happen to be blacks and other non-Caucasian people such as Indians, Greeks and people of mixed blood. One wonders what the government was doing all these years by failing to formulate a policy that should have been amongst the top agenda items upon achieving our independence in 1980".
Considering that the honourable Senator has now been part of that government that he so vehemently castigates for a little over a year now, there is little or no evidence of any changes he and his colleagues have introduced as policy makers to better the lives of the same poor Zimbabwean people that he seeks to speak on behalf of. To the contrary we have witnessed his colleagues from his political party been caught up in all soughts of scandals ranging from corruption at government and local government level over the allocation of stands, luxury vehicles to outright theft ....Can the honourable Senator then have the tenacity to point at the speck in the eye of others whislt conveniently ignoring the log in his own.
The land acquisition exercise however imperfect was a necessary step in redressing the imbalances that existed and mind you still exist in the distribution of wealth in Zimbabwe.If i may remind the honourable Senator that when the colonisers came to Zimbabwe and drove indigenous Zimbabweans into TTL'S (Tribal Trust Lands) in their millions, no law was adhered to.They did not gently coax the indigenous zimbabweans to move. There was resistance, blood was shed, there were violations of human rights culminating in the hanging of the leaders of that particular resistance in the name of sekuru Kaguvi, Mbuya Nehanda and others.So, i pause a question to the honourable Senator: Can we expect the reversal of this cruel exercise to be peaceful......lets get real.
The Zimbabwe government has been according to my opinion been more humane than the colonisers in the land acquisition exercise. The courts have been made available to those who felt their case needed adjudication....and as usually the former land owners decided to use our own institutions against us.There are indigenous Zimbabwean farmers who have been given offer letters for farms but have failed to occupy them because the former white farmers have either refused to vacate those farms or have filed one appeal after another in our judicial institutions and the SADC Tribunal in Namibia....This has resulted in farms lying derelict for many years....which according to you ...are called unproductive.
This scenario has duplicated itself at Chiadzwa mine and other mines.Andrew Cranswick, CEO of ACR the purported owner of the said mine is on record of having said of Chiadzwa mine "We were lobbying government and offering a joint venture because it is an extraordinary deposit, a bit like the Botswana deposit and we felt it fair to share it with the local community and the country at large"....What community?.As a member of the senate iam sure you are privy to some of the information on the issues that are really taking place at this mine.The government does not have total control of this mine.The Chiadzwa case is still in the courts as i write, hence the government has not been able to fully exploit this resource. The only way the government has tried to make this national resource revert back to the people of Zimbabwe has been through the cancellation of the licence granted to ACR. Iam sure you are aware litigation is currently taking place as to the legality of the cancellation of this licence by government.
In other words, the so called "whites" you so much sympathises with are fighting you the government of Zimbabwe with all they have including the media.If you the honourable Senator, one who is bound by the principle of collective responsibility to tow the government line, you publicy violate this principle, we hold very little hope for winning this battle against subjugation and poverty.
Since the signing of the GNU agreement, it is agreed in the provisions of the government of national unity agreement (Article iv, section 4, under sanctions and measures that you as a party have agreed to recognise the sanctions on the country of Zimbabwe, call for the removal thereof...In fact your colleagues in the MDC have been in the forefront calling for these sanctions to be removed as they are affecting the poor people of Zimbabwe. The very same people you pity as living on 2 dollars a day.What i can not understand is how you can violate principles you have signed up to respect and then turn around and accuse others of breaking the law.
As a lawyer iam sure you are familiar with the provisions in the empowerment regulations.I do not see what the holla ballo is over the 51 percent requirement on investing in Zimbabwe. It is not like Zimbabwe is the first to inact such a regulation. If you have ever tried to start a business in Botswana iam sure you will be suprised that they have the same regulation in place. Then why the noise .....read between the lines Honourable Senator Gutu. Our problem is that we are trying to take over the control of our resources. The same problems that make places like Iraq and Afghanstan permanent war zones is the same problem Zimbabwe is going through.This argument of equitable distribution of resources amongst Zimbabweans, the poor etc etc ..that you labor so much is now over cooked.Nobody said that if we take back our resources we seize to became a class society. The truth is as the bible says is that "we shall always have the poor amongst us (Mark 14 :7. So lets get real and call a spade a spade and join hands as Zimbabweans and pull in the same direction
Thursday, 15 April 2010
I listened to a program recently whereby some Zimbabweans who have failed or refused to buy into the idea of inclusivity as represented by the Government of National Unity (GNU) in Zimbabwe, were making idiotic suggestions on the subject of the lifting of sanctions on the people of Zimbabwe as represented by the economic embargo on Zimbabwean companies and government officials by the European Union and the Americans through the Zimbabwe Democracy Economic Recovery Act. (ZIDERA)
All major political parties on the Zimbabwe political landscape have signed up to have this imperialistic nonsense removed, yet some idiotic Zimbabweans who have other agendas that do not include the reconstruction of Zimbabwe are suggesting that the Americans and the European union should lift the economic sanctions on Zimbabwe and substitute them with International arrest warrants targeted at ZANU PF officials as a way of arming twisting them to concede to MDC –T demands. The same characters who are calling for this impossible scenario have also gone to the extent of sighting the arrest of Augusto Pinochet in London under the Universal Jurisdiction principle as the modus operandi to which they base their unilateral dreams.
Every sane Zimbabwean should now be calling for the repeal of all sanctions imposed on the country as the last ten years have proved that their only purpose has been to kill millions of Zimbabweans as the country struggles to import basic necessities like chemicals for water purification, HIV and AIDS medication and supplementary foodstuff for the rural folk. It was mind boggling to listen to Zimbabwean nationals proposing that the west issue international arrest warrants on elected government officials.
To demonstrate the shallowness and stupidity of some of these foolish and desperate ideas, those discussing them never bothered to try and understand, let alone even consider the practicality or possibility of their ideas. Zimbabwe is a sovereign country that stands guided by international norms and laws like any other country. It is not a banana republic as some out there may imagine. It is not possible for any country to suddenly wake on any one day and issue international arrest warrants on government officials of another country without following the jus cogens under international law.
International arrest warrants can only be issued by internationally recognised legal institutions like the International Criminal Court (ICC) for a defined international violation. And the ICC can only issue valid warrants on individuals who belong to member countries. Zimbabwe has not ratified the Rome Statute hence the ICC has no jurisdiction over Zimbabwean public officials whatsoever (ZANU, MDC or otherwise) . Another institution that has the power to issue such warrants is the United Nations Security Council. This will all know requires the consent of all the five permanent members of the Security Council. That is a process on its own.
The purported arrest of Augusto Pinochet following his arrival in London was fraught with discrepancies under international law as the basis is not a developed norm. (That of Universal jurisdiction) It relies heavily on domestic norms vis a vis international legal principals. It is an under developed international principal hence practically of no use. That explains why then Jack Straw the then Justice Secretary intervened.
As Zimbabweans we need to be speaking positively about our country. We need to be speaking out against International embargos that restrict trade and the importation of basic commodities that make our country function. The reality on the ground is that Zimbabwe as a result of the sanctions can not import medicine for our brothers and sisters. The Zimbabwe government can not import spares for motor vehicles used by the ambulances, police and fire services.
Motor vehicles accidents are happening on a daily basis because the machinery that was used to fix the roads are grounded, large numbers of people are dying needlessly as a result. There are no ambulances to ferry the injured to hospital. If by some fluke one makes it to hospital there is no medicine to talk about. The police can not respond to crime because they have no vehicles as they are grounded as they can not import spares for the large number of Land rover defenders that are of British origin.
If our leaders on all sides of the political divide have realised that Zimbabwe will not move forward if we are not united, it then boggles the mind to think why Zimbabweans living abroad find it prudent to intellectualise the issue of sanctions, whilst large numbers of their kith and kin continue to die back home. Our role in the Diaspora is to educate those that manufactured these sanctions as to what the real impact of the embargo has been.
Lloyd Msipa is a Lawyer based in the United Kingdom and he can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org