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Published: December 5, 2012
Based on looming reports, it seems no single country now wants to be left behind in the Zimbabwe diamond rush. The fever has gripped many. Diamonds are in Chiyadzwa. Jealous of the Chinese who have been trusted to harvest the gems quietly and around the clock, the West is now slowly abandoning its tough stance on Zimbabwe so that it can quickly join the diamond-hungry bandwagon to Zimbabwe. Yesterday, even the European Union lauded the Kimberley Process Scheme (the diamond monitoring task force) for relaxing the diamond trading rules and monitoring features on diamonds in Zimbabwe. Despite allegations of continued human rights abuses, gross corruption and abuse of diamond proceeds (a reported $2 billion disappeared recently according to Canadian PAC organization) that make Zimbabwe beg for funds from IMF to hold elections amid plenty of diamond wealth, the West now sees Zimbabwe as a Paradise chapter and a symbol of World Peace. The European Union is not alone in seeing things that ordinary Zimbabweans on the ground are failing to see or grasp in that economic and political chaos. Now the hypocrisy of world politics is garnering proof as the Zimbabwean diamond story unravels. No one wants to miss the chance to taste these gems. A hard stance will only work to prejudice a particular country and if you cannot beat them, why not join them? Thanks European Union, now we know your true colors and interests. You were hard on Zimbabwe in the heat of the white commercial farmer reports of 2000 and now that your bloodline buddies have been granted asylum and all re-settled and provided in Europe there is nothing else to worry about in black Zimbabwe which has now suddenly become the best World destination. The problems, abuse of human rights and persecutions of anti-ZANU PF supporters in there are suddenly a storm in a tea cup. What a shocking act of hypocrisy!
Some weeks ago even the U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe, Bruce Wharton, stated that the sanctions imposed against Zimbabwe actually benefitted the political leaders and hurt the ordinary man and woman. For that reason, they should be removed to enable the country to move forward. I am sure the erstwhile ambassadors, Chris Dell and Charles Ray developed heartburn on such shocking revelations given the experiences they went through as they occupied the same seat while serving in Zimbabwe a few years ago. The last two U.S. ambassadors actually felt for the people and identified with them because they had first-hand experience of heavy-handedness and the gross abuse of the rule of law and believed in a Zimbabwe that would make the ordinary man and woman live freely and prosper. Bruce Wharton could have similar sentiments for national development but his laid back or rather diplomatic approach of openly supporting the removal of sanctions by the West in the face of such shocking news of corruption, diamond wealth abuse, police partisanship, ZANU PF torture camps getting set up in preparation for the 2013 decisive elections and the Zhombe military incident where MDC supporters were beaten up by the soldiers for attending an MDC rally, all sound to be telling a different if not a hypocritical story about Zimbabwe. While ZANU PF dictators use the sanctions mantra as their excuse to plunder national assets and make people suffer “because sanctions will not make us access spares parts and inputs for projects”, the truth is that the sanctions have no connection at all to the welfare of Zimbabweans. Zimbabwe has bi-lateral relations with Korea, Malaysia, South Africa, Iran, China, India and these are great countries that can provide the needed inputs for the economy to move forward. By sanctions being removed ZANU PF is simply pleading to have travel restrictions eased so that they can freely travel to Europe and the USA for leisure and explore other investment opportunities if not luxurious shopping for their spouses and children. Period. Those at the grassroots level who are living in fear of ZANU PF will fail to have a serious connection with some of these apologetic diplomats who can generally be perceived as hungry of exploring and bettering the interest of their countries. The same could apply to oil rich countries like Angola. The world turns a blind eye to any complaints of human rights issues because there is oil. The mantra there is they must know which side of their bread is buttered.
Nothing has changed in Zimbabwe since 2002. All elections continue to be mired with blood and violence. People like Mudyazvivi have lost their properties for simply refusing to take up a ZANU PF job. A police officer in Gwanda has lost his job as his mobile phone chip was found to be carrying the photos of the Zimbabwe PM. In Mashonaland East (Goromonzi) and Mudzi, some people have already started sleeping in the bush for fear of being burnt by ZANU PF thugs in the middle of their sleep. The U.K has escalated the deportations of failed asylum seekers on their soil so that they can clean their place as they force the poor Africans to return home early and be punished by ZANU PF. The ZANU PF militia has promised acts of arson and torture as some have been promised that if they are found supporting the MDC, they will live to regret living the rest of their lives on wheelchairs or feeding on liquid foods after some excruciating limb-removing torture by wild ZANU PF militia.
While Mugabe’s new technique is to preach peace before world TV cameras, he instructs his militia to go out there and do a good job of instilling enough torture to secure support. The ZANU PF propaganda machinery, ZBC or The Herald, will never report any acts of violence. In case they choose to, the victim is spotted as the culprit. This can be confirmed by the way Mugabe fails to visit victims of torture or to speak at the scene of violence, let alone task the police to hunt down the perpetrators. Actually the perpetrators are doing so using Mugabe’s name as they claim that they are his emissaries on a mission to straighten wayward folks. The hypocrisy comes out in the way Mugabe laughs off the violence and torture reports and the way he brings out his inertia to let the criminals go untouched because they are his boys and girls. In case they are arrested, they are released in a matter of hours to continue with their mission. This is open terror, intimidation and gross abuse of human rights.
The media writes and reports about the violence in Zimbabwe daily. The most affected are the villagers who are at times even afraid to seek medical treatment. The other victims are those in high density or ghetto suburbs where neighbors turn against each other or sell others to ZANU PF militia that in turn descends on them like lightning. The international community listens and records all these reports yet they choose to select what works best for their economic and political interests. In other words, the message portrayed by the West is that, “Let Africans maim and kill each other for all we care.” This has happened in Rwanda, Mogadishu and various other African spots before. The United Nations is often challenged on diplomacy and resources to tackle these issues so they would rather serve as an after-the problem Samaritans who emerge with blue canvass tents to shelter the homeless and the displaced as they give them food, medicines and hope. In other words, the United Nations has now become an organization to bring humanitarian relief to the displaced and hurt African person after a number have been slaughtered or maimed. They are not good at stopping wars or violence. They are just good at addressing journalists after the scenes as they “strongly condemn acts of barbarism”.
The issues in the year 2000 in Zimbabwe are still the same. The levels of violence, abuse of law and courts and the heavy-handedness remain the same. Nothing has changed. Only diamonds have been discovered and caused the villagers around Chiyadzwa to be displaced and killed for the economic interests of these political giants. Without compensation, many live to regret living in their former geographical location. Despite promises for infrastructural development on paper, nothing has materialized. People are now in a ditch and look back with surprise and anger. Amidst the villager and politician bickering, the Chinese are busy ripping the alluvial diamond deposits and extracting them as they fly in and out using the small aerodrome stationed close to the diamond fields. More foreign companies tasked by ZANU PF continue to rip the national wealth as the ordinary Zimbabwean is made to dream and believe about indigenization which has practically been reduced to mean the taking of national assets from the majority and placing it into the hands of the 100 most powerful men and women of Zimbabwe. Today, ZANU PF politicians could be some of the richest men and women in Africa. Whoever tries to challenge the indigenization policies is seen as a puppet of the West. Those who support the policy have been rewarded by a few bags of maize seed and a few hundreds each to start chicken rearing projects. While the grassroots folks rear the chickens, the 100 most powerful men and women are busy taking over economy-moving powerhouses, corporate giants, banks and heavy industries.
Despite calls for reform, the ZANU PF government of 2000 remains the same and is actually getting ready to use the same violence tactics of 2008 to secure power. The world has already heard about this and now supports the ZANU PF way of doing things because if they so do, they can be let in and enjoy a piece of the diamond pie. According to their assessed mentalities, the West is not the Knight of World Peace. Some things are better left unattended and if it’s to do with Africans, that’s their style of life, let them butcher each other and we shall condemn after the acts. To the European Union, this is the time to get in, get a share of the fast moving diamonds and feast. In so doing, the world should now see Zimbabwe as the most progressive and peaceful destination in the world where other countries can actually tap some pages to learn about democracy. What a travesty on global politics!
For the last decade Zimbabwe has been on sanctions by the west. These sanctions were actuated by an international outcry after reported political violence, abuse of the rule of law, oversight on human rights, judicial activism, partisanship by the police, gross abuse of public assets and general despotic measures in Zimbabwe. The purpose of the sanctions was meant to pressure the Zimbabwe government to comply with internationally-accepted human rights standards as well as upholding the rule of law.
The sanctions targeted mainly the top ZANU PF leadership team that was placed on travel restrictions as some wealthy members had their assets in the West frozen to pressure them to honor the wishes of the people and live like civilized men and women.
When Bob Marley sang, “The destruction of the poor is in their poverty.” He was right. Without anything having changed to convince the villager on the ground, and with reports of escalated violence re-surfacing amid the news of the world diamond rush to Zimbabwe, the West has finally opened its eyes and now sees Zimbabwe as a true example of democracy. And suddenly Zimbabwe diamonds can be freely traded to “benefit the local people”. And this is the same country that is begging for $300 million from the IMF to hold national elections in 2013. Ministers buy 2013 Mercedes Benz models and other luxurious vehicles in such a crisis. And the towns and cities have no clean water or electricity as hospitals have no medicines or equipment and children have no books or computers. So where is the diamond wealth? And what of the continued reports of ZANU PF-initiated violence that is looming in every corner by the day? And all these people should be sacrificed for just a handful to get rich quickly. Where is the sincerity in this whole agenda? Please give us a break!