Zimbabwe: When West Gets Troubled By Non-Existent Trouble in Zim

Last year the West pushed the baseless narrative that Zimbabwe was facing a serious crisis to divert the world’s attention from the internecine fighting that was raging within the various MDC factions and formations as well to market the MDC Alliance as the only alternative to Zanu PF.

The attempt was vigorously and spiritedly rebutted by progressive Zimbabweans who demonstrated that if there was any crisis in Zimbabwe, it existed only in the MDC Alliance and its handlers at the United States Embassy in Zimbabwe.

The US is it again. This time around, it has dispatched its Ralph Bunche senior fellow for African policy studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, Michelle Gavin to dust off the failed crisis false narrative to portray Zanu PF as having failed to run the country.

The initiative was meant to sway global opinion and the electorate in favour of the US’ opposition project, the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), ahead of next year’s crucial elections.

Gavin, who is a former managing director of The Africa Centre, a multi-disciplinary institution that claims to be dedicated to increasing understanding of contemporary Africa, penned an article titled, “Trouble ahead in Zimbabwe,” which was published last weekend by the Trevor Ncube-owned weekly paper, The Standard.

The American, who was the US Ambassador to Botswana from 2011 to 2014 and served concurrently as the US representative to the Southern African Development Community (SADC), made several claims to buttress her narrative of a crisis in Zimbabwe. Her point of entry was the country’s annual inflation rate, which stood at 131.7 percent in May.

The doom saying Gavin claimed that Zimbabweans’ lives would deteriorate from bad to worse because the inflation was not slowing. She wrote as if her own president, Joe Biden is not currently battling against relentlessly rising prices especially of fuel, basic commodities and other goods and services.

Many will remember that, until the Russo-Ukrainian war, which has wreaked socio-economic havoc on national economies across the globe, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube was on course in terms of fighting inflation.

He achieved this through a raft of corrective measures such as reducing public expenditure and narrowing the trade deficit in line with the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) and the National Development Strategy (NDS1).

He has managed to reduce the inflation rate down to 9.2 percent and 9.0 percent in November and December 2018 respectively.

In November 2008, Zimbabwe had one of the highest inflation rates in the world at 89.7 sextillion percent, but managed to bring it down. Similarly, contrary to Gavin’s negative prophesy, Zimbabwe will prevail over the inflation rate.

Gavin shamelessly attempted to cast aspersions on Zanu PF ahead of the 2023 polls by claiming that “the merger of the ruling party and senior military leadership has long been complete.”

The whole world knows that no serving member of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) holds a position in Zanu PF.

Former members of the military are Zimbabweans who have a constitutionally- guaranteed right to join a political party of their choice.

Gavin desperately sought to spin the old and false opposition story that Zanu PF is being controlled by the army without presenting any proof.

The idea was to blame the army in addition to Zanu PF for the temporary socio-economic challenges which the country is currently facing.

It was also to play victim by claiming that Zanu PF has a better footing ahead of the 2023 polls because it is allegedly controlled by the military.

It was part of the opposition and the West’s preparations for an excuse to use to appease their funders and followers when the party loses the elections as it is set to do given its lack of ideology, pro-people policies, constitution and positive track record.

Gavin claimed that “because Zimbabweans, in the form of independent journalists, opposition politicians, and local activists, refuse to give up on their efforts to hold Government accountable for its actions, state-sponsored campaigns of repression and political violence continue.”

It is interesting that CCC senior members continue to lie to their American Embassy handlers that there is repression in Zimbabwe.

If CCC leader, Nelson Chamisa was an honest politician, he would testify to the world on how he chalked more campaign rallies across Zimbabwe in 2018 than did his predecessor, the late Morgan Tsvangirai during the latter’s tenure from September 1999 to February 2018 because the New Dispensation opened up the democratic space.

He would confess of how his party is currently combing all the rural areas, Zanu PF’s strongholds included, unhindered, campaigning for support, unlike during the Old Dispensation when such areas where no-go places for the opposition.

The opposition continues to politicise even domestic cases of lovers eloping and claiming that the parties involved were allegedly abducted by State agents for political reasons.

This is meant to provide evidence to the claims they make to their funders and handlers that their members are being abducted all in an effort to squeeze more dirty dollars to fund their cash-strapped political outfit.

The former Ambassador also claimed that Government was “now working to dismantle civil society, pursuing draconian legislation aimed at private, voluntary organisations (PVOs) that would . . . provide Government with unrestricted power to deregister, target, and harass PVOs deemed critical of the Government.”

Nothing is further from the truth.

For decades, some Zimbabwean PVOs have wandered off their declared mandates and made forays into opposition politics by facilitating their Western funders’ intelligence work especially in the rural areas.

Some of them were also playing the illicit role of being conduits for foreign funding meant for opposition parties in flagrant contravention of the Political Parties (Financing) Act, which precludes political parties from receiving funding from foreign sources. Government could not do anything in the absence of an enabling legal framework to curb the excesses, but it could not watch helplessly forever.

If the PVOs are law abiding and operate on the straight and the narrow, they would have no reason to protest against the proposed changes to the PVO Act.

If anything, their protestations only serve to confirm their illegal and underhand dealings on behalf of the opposition and their Western funders in furtherance of the latter’s regime change objectives.

This point was betrayed by Gavin’s strange claim that “the PVO legislation is another important indicator that there will be nothing remotely resembling a level playing field as the 2023 elections draw near.” Any Zimbabwean would ask: if PVOs are not dabbling in opposition politics, what have they to do with the elections playing field?

Gavin’s claims betrayed the US’ interest in both the opposition and the PVOs. Gavin further self-righteously stated that “all developments, compounded by the economic and social consequences of Covid-19 lockdowns and global disruptions arising from Russia’s conflict with Ukraine, have left Zimbabwe’s young people suffering.” She conveniently avoided like a plague, the millstone of the illegal sanctions which Zimbabweans have had to contend with for the past two decades.

In her desperate bid to paint a picture of a failing and uncaring Zimbabwean Government, she consciously withheld self-incriminating information such as how the US sanctions on Zimbabwe have cost the country at least US$42 billion since 2003.

When she sought to portray the Zimbabwean Government as allegedly using legislation as a weapon of oppression against PVOs, she also avoided talking about how her country crafted the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA) in 2001 to punish, not only a political party in power in Zimbabwe, but the whole sovereign country and its innocent people.

She also skirted over the fact that her country is currently in the process of putting in place a law to punish sovereign African countries for supporting and dealing with Russia through the Countering Malign Russian Activities in Africa Act.

The ultimate aim is to fight Russia through countering its influence and activities in Africa.

Gavin claimed that the terrorism problem in Mozambique, the economic challenges in South Africa and the socio-economic challenges in Zimbabwe were militating against the attainment of the “vision of a vibrant, well- integrated, and prosperous sub-region.” Surprisingly no Southern African country has complained against the three countries. If anything, contrary to Gavin’s evil wishes of finger-pointing, SADC members are tackling the challenges besetting their bloc like a family. Some SADC forces are in Mozambique to assist that country to deal with terrorism.

In August 2019, SADC agreed to set 25 October annually as the SADC Anti-Sanction Day to assist Zimbabwe to highlight the illegal sanctions imposed on the Southern African country by the US and her allies.

If her claims were meant to sow division among SADC members, it only served to show that she learnt nothing during the four years that she was the US representative to the regional bloc. She showed her desperation by telling SADC members that “there is nothing neighbourly” about supporting Zimbabwe.

Gavin asked them to support anti-Government elements in Zimbabwe for the obvious reason of advancing her country’s imperialistic designs.

As the country slowly inches towards the 2023 Harmonised general elections, people like Gavin and other like-minded individuals should know that if there is going to be any trouble in Zimbabwe, it is going to be in CCC when its members will be baying for Chamisa’s head after he loses the 2023 polls.

Party members and other interested stakeholders will ask serious and very uncomfortable questions over Chamisa’s leadership pedigree.

Things will come full circle for Chamisa when funders like the US will ask him to account for the wasted millions of dollars poured into his campaign ahead of the polls the same way they read the riot act to Tsvangirai after he lost the 2013 elections.

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