Zimbabwe waits

The general elections have now been held in Zimbabwe. I have previously predicted Mr. Mugabe’s re election, though I hoped to be wrong. Now maybe just maybe I will be (and I will be delighted). The MDC are claiming victory but the results have still not been released and there is concern regarding electoral fraud. To be honest Morgan Tsvangirai is also a relatively divisive figure. In addition leading figures in the army have previously said they would not accept him as President, which raises further disturbing possibilities. No matter who ends up being elected Zimbabwe is in a truly parlous state. We will all wait and see regarding the outcome. Maybe there is light at the end of this tunnel of despair for Zimbabwe, a tunnel it has been in essentially since Ian Smith declared UDI if not before.

  • Dewi

    Not looking good is it. The fix might be in.

  • Turgon

    I agree Dewi but they are taking so much time that it may be there is disagreement as to whether or not all ZANU PF will accept a fixed result. If they will not and if the army and police will allow Mugabe to fall (both big ifs but remember that the police and soldiers have suffered financially as well). If they will not support Mugabe then maybe he will fall. I still have worries though. I am unsure whether or not Tsvangirai can turn it around. I do not think he is necessarily an ogre but remember how Idi Amin was initially seen as progress after Milton Obote, not that I am comparing Tsvangirai with either them or Mugabe but there is always the danger of replacing one dictator with another. People laughed at Ian Smith (himself absolutely no enlightened democrat) when he said one man one vote once about Mugabe.

  • joeCanuck

    Mugabe must have absolute control of the army and the police. otherwise he would have been assassinated years ago.
    Mind you, I saw him on tv in public a few months ago and the majority of his bodyguard seemed to be white men, presumably highly paid mercenaries.
    At the end of the day in any country, a ruler can only continue to rule as long as the army allows it.

  • sean

    It will be a sad day for the people of Zimbabwe if the British bootlicker and stooge Mmrgan Tswangira is declared the winner. The people of Zimbabwe have fought a terriable war aganist the racist white British settlers and their tyrant leader Smith , to shake of the shackles of imperialism ,not to be once again under the control of a western puppet, backed to the hilt by the poodles of the British press. A media who have reported lies, and opion as fact , and never once in the run up to the electins have I seen or heard on any of the media, a spokesperson for the goverment , or supporter intervied ,it been all one sided and unashameadly biased. Robert Mugabe once the darling of the British press, fell out of favour once he started to repossess the stolen farms from the racist whites , and hand them back to their rightful owners, he also made the huge mistake of having a foreign policy that was critical of western imperialism. His biggest mistake was to back the wrong side in the on going conflict in the Congo, and sent upwards of fifteen thousand troops to back the goverment there , who were fighting western backed bandits and mercenaries for controll of large swathes of the mineral wealth there . There is no way major western powers could tolerate a uppity black man with such lofty ideals as his own foreign policy, handing back over 60% of the land stolen by racist white settlers, and he also was anti IMF. If MR Mugabe was successful in Zimbabwe other ethnic groups throughout the world would want also to reclaim their stolen land and imperialism is much to strong to allow that. Sadly the western press has now become nothing more than a tool for imperialism.

  • LURIG

    Zimbabwe eh, what a tragic story! I heard the Andersonstown News was publishing a front page apology for trying to say he was a mad, paranoid, deluded, despotic, egotistical demagogue who depended on control over the Army & Generals for power and silenced ANY critic. Do you think they will do the same for Mugabe?

  • Greenflag

    I sense the endgame . The Emperor is certifiably naked . The police and military will not want a civil war . Some of the older ones have taken whatever could be taken out of the economy over the past decade . There’s nothing left worth stealing so there’s no reason to support Mugabe anymore . Not sure about Tsangverai . 3 to 4 million have left the country and despite his stuffing of ballot boxes Mugabe will not be able to pull this one off .IMO . Some elements in the Army and Zanu may decide that the ‘old man’ has to go .

    Turgon

    ‘but they are taking so much time

    The routine here is to see how far the MDC are ahead in Harare and Bulawayo so that when ZANU stuff the ballot boxes in the rural areas they don’t overdo the job . The ‘lie ‘ has to at least look good . But I sense that even here the Zanu old guard can no longer keep a straight face when uttering the party line .

    As Zimbabweans look into the black hole that is their economy they can say without contradiction that they have certainly learned ‘independence’ the hard way .

  • sean

    Monitoring teams from several African countries including S.Africa have declared the elections peaceful and crediable ,you wont hear that mentioned on the BBC. There is a possibility that the opposition will resort to violence if they lose, but then again their paymasters in western imperialism might advise them not to, fearing the disruption that might effect upwards on 400 British companies who have huge investment there.

  • Danny O’Connor

    It is a terrible pity that there are no oil fields in Zimbabwe-there would have been intervention then.

  • Zimbabwean living in NI here. I’m currently hopeful MDC may have pulled this off, and not just because of their own soundings & ‘unofficial’ results – Al Jazeera had a video clip of Mugabe after he had voted yesterday, and a reporter asked if he was going to rig the result. Normally that would have been met with clear rage and howls of protest, but not this time – he gave a short speech about how he wouldn’t be able to sleep with his conscience if he won that way (don’t believe that part), but his unusually quiet tone of voice and the way he carried himself had the look of someone who’d had enough. He seemed old, tired, and that he knew he wasn’t going to win. I think perhaps the speculation from when Simba Makoni announced his candidacy, that his standing would undermine Mugabe enough that he couldn’t rig the vote, may be true – he’d put the wheels in motion (‘ghost’ voters, over a million more ballot papers than required etc), but when the day came no-one would do his dirty work for him.

    It’s down to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission now – they’re a small organisation, Bob could still have the influence there to engineer a result as the Commission is formed by Presidential appointments, and the delays in getting any official results out are worrying. But the requirement for each polling station to publish results ‘on the door’ means MDC has a way of tallying the results themselves – that probably where their unofficial tally is coming from – so even ZEC in Harare may not be able to save him now. Fingers crossed.

  • Chinja!

    MDC have overwhelmingly won the election – well ahead even in Mashonaland Central, over two-thirds of the vote in Harare, Mutare and Bulawayo, even ahead in Zvimba (Mugabe’s home town).

    This time they had to publish the election results on the doors of every polling station so the people know full well who has won and who has lost!

    The dictator Mugabe’s army are on the streets to try to crush the Zimbabwe people but if the election results stand Tsvangirai will be president and the MDC will form a unity govt with Mutambura and Makoni to drive the country forward.

    Because the polling station results have been publicly posted everybody knows the real result – MDC wins over 170 MPs and an outright majority in Parliament.

  • sean

    Maehara who claims to be a Zimbabwean, and endorses the western backed right wing puppet Tswangira, If you support the western puppet , then we can take it that you also back his right wing agenda. For starters if he is declared the winner, he plans to privatise most of the public sector, railways, health, etc, just about anything that can be sold to profiteers will be sold. The only thing he promised he would do, but backed down on, was hand back the farms to the white racist settlers who stole them in the first place. His western backed sponsors have put him wise on that one , as there would be a blood bath if he were to try and carry that out. Zimbabwe in its Liberation struggle paid a high price to be a Independent country, free of western interference, if Mi5 baby, Tywamgira gains power, his sponsors will soon declare pay back time, and one by one the countries assets will be stripped bare, and they will once again be nothing more than a western colony as they will again control its major assets. If that what you want then, then my doubts that you are really from Zimbabwe are spot on. Already the vultures are gathering , several western asset strippers have been reported seen in Zimbabwe over the past week, one a well known owner of a top English Football team , has been reported seen there, and we all know how he and his cronies made their money.I hope if defeated the puppet of the west does not resort to violence, as this would further damage the country and it people , they do not deserve that on top of the cruel sanctions imposed by the west to try and topple the popular African leader.

  • BfB

    ‘At the end of the day in any country, a ruler can only continue to rule as long as the army allows it.’

    Joe, quite a blanket statement from someone with a multi-cultural citizenship experience like yourself. Is ‘ruler’ the operative word? As opposed to ‘elected official’?…

  • Gerry lvs Castro

    Sean — are you for real?

    You’re saying that 80% unemployment, hyperinflation and election rigging are worth enduring to prop up a decrepit tyrant and a system which has demonstrably failed?

    You talk about taking farms from white settlers — what has been done with those farms? Are they in full production? Or are they being left to rot?

    Why is a country which used to be known as the breadbasket of Africa now dependent on food aid?
    Why did Mugabe bulldoze thousands of houses, creating a huge homeless problem?

    You complain that privitisation may occur if Mugabe does not win. Can you explain how such an event could make everyday life any worse for the average Zimbabwean?

    The MDC may or may not have the magic solution as regards the future, but the very least that can be done is to allow democracy to take it’s course.

  • Greenflag

    ‘but the very least that can be done is to allow democracy to take it’s course.’

    Stuffing the ballot boxes is taking longer this time around . So far only six constituency results. Normally 75% would have been declared by now ! Makoni’s intervention has screwed up the official rigging process .

    One is reminded of the old Soviet joke about thieves breaking into the Kremlin and stealing next year’s election results.

  • BfB

    Fiction…
    ‘It is a terrible pity that there are no oil fields in Zimbabwe-there would have been intervention then.’

    Fact..
    The economy is suffering from a rapidly growing rate of inflation that was around 2,000% in November 2006, making goods twice as expensive as they were in May 2006. In January 2008, inflation was reported to have reached 100,000%. This economic decline is fueling food shortages at a time when poverty is already rife, leading to a desperate situation where HIV and AIDS are in danger of being overlooked in the face of more immediate survival concerns.

    With no one to blame this on, the worldwide, socialist, lib community stands by, wringing their hands, and denying the fact that, left to their own devices, this country is killing itself.
    Read this and weep.

  • joeCanuck

    Yeah, you got me BfB.
    I was thinking of a “leader” like Mugabe when I wrote that.
    Should have said government.

  • BfB

    So then, by extension, does ‘Little Stevie’ Harper have a food taster?

  • SEAN

    Vote rigging , stuffing ballot boxes, generals waiting to save MR Mugabe, Marshal law, the list is endless of what the this man is accused of or attempting to do , all these unfounded and unsubstantiated allegations are fed to us hour on hour by the British media, their bias is unashamedly blatant. The BBC keeps refering to alleged so called independent sources to back up their fairy tales, but we are never told who these so called independent people are , or one crediable piece of proof is ever produced. Just like the lie upon lie day after day, in the build up to the illegal war in Iraq and the slaughter of hundred of thousands of Innocent’s , in a quest to steal the huge oil reserves of that country. The British media again in the run up to the recent elections in Russia, spent a huge amount of effort trying to demonise Putin, allegations were also made that he also was at the old vote rigging etc, again not a single crediable source to back up the claims were ever produced ,plain and simply they were utter lies. Whilst most S.African countries have declared the election fair and credible, the BBC ignores this and parrots on about Mr Mugabes preparing to steal the elections. Months before the elections took place Mr Mugabe predicted that the MDC and their cheer leaders in the British media would shout fraud , if they lost , and they are making one good job of it so far. It plain and simple if the British backed puppet wins , all the British media scaremongering will be exposed as lies. If Mr Mugabe wins the BBC will go into overdrive, again , with more allegations from so called independent sources , that we are never allowed to know ,who they are , or where they come from , so as we can judge for ourselves if they could be truly independent or not. The bottom line is sadly that British interest in Zimbabwe is never going to accept the elections were free and fair unless their man wins .

  • Turgon

    Sean,
    I am interested in your analyses. Do you deny the collapse in the Zimbabwe economy or do you blame it on assorted international imperialists? Are they also responsible for the collapse in life expectancy?

    You clearly have very different information sources and evidence base to that used by others. Could you enlighten us (preferably with links) as to your sources? If Zimbabwe is as perfect as you say one wonders why you have not moved there; maybe you have already?

  • sean

    The collapse of the Zimbabwean economy cannot be linked to one source, but their is no doubt that it was accelerated by the cruel sanctions put in place and called for by the British stooge Tswangiram, after the farms were taken from the mainly British white racist and returned to their rightful owners. Even Mr Mugabe himself recently admitted the sanctions were having a huge effect on the country economy, after all that what the western governments biggest weapon is used for, to destabilise or put in place conditions for so called regime change. As for life expectancy . surely you don’t agree with sanctions that have probably made that worse as well. As for my sources it is sufficient to say that having lived there in the past for many years and still a frequent visitor to the country , I find the claims and downright lies spread by the British media, particularly the BBC as sinister. Turgon could you enlighten us to your views as a supporter of Tswangira, (if he is elected) should he do a u turn again, and hand back to the white racist settlers the farms they stole, as regards the the huge asset stripping of the Zimbabwe’s public sector he has promised, and which his backer will demand, sooner rather than later, do you agree?. As for your sources I don’t need to ask you for as it is quite obvious.

  • Greenflag

    ‘I find the claims and downright lies spread by the British media, particularly the BBC as sinister

    How do you view the ‘slow release’ of the election results ? the 4 to 5 million refugees ? Mr Mugabe’s 11 billion dollars in his Swiss Bank account ? the neglected farms owned now by Mugabe’s political cronies who ponce about in the nightclubs of Harare while the land lies fallow and barren ?

    Whereas it is true that the present collapse of the economy can’t be attributed to one source the fact is that most of it can be attributed to Mugabe’s maniacal financial and economic policies as well as the poorly thought about plan for redistributing land to black Zimbabwean’s

    Tommorow is April 1 , Sean . It’s your day 🙁 ye gobshite !

  • Danny O’Connor

    BfB
    I am simply pointingout that there would have been international intervention to effect a regime change before now if the west was going to get oil ,Zimbabwe was once referred to as the bread basket of Africa,Mugabe’s regime is singulary responsible for the economic crisis.

  • Gerry lvs Castro

    Hmmm Sean — 13 hours and no response to the questions in my 11.10am post.

    Like your hero ”Mr” Mugabe, you need more time before announcing the results maybe?

  • BfB

    Doc..

    Conjecture versus fact. Fact wins every time. Mugabe and his fellow Zimbabweans(sp) are solely responsible for every last one of their ills.

  • sammaguire

    I’m as anti Mugabe as anybody. But reading a few of SEAN’s posts has made me think. If Mugabe is defeated democratically this time were we all wrong in thinking in the past that he rigged previous elections? If he does rig this one I suspect there’ll be civil war. Sad, but I remember seeing him at one time (a fellow christian brothers boy) in the same way as I see Nelson Mandela.

  • sammaguire

    Got that one wrong… the Marists and Jesuits are to blame for his education! The Christian Brothers wouldn’t touch him (no pun intended!!).

  • Charles in Texas

    Sean,

    It seems that you would rather comdemn Zimbabwe to be ruled by a left wing tyrant than a right wing anything. What a wicked way to think!!

    Mugabe is and always has been a disaster for his country. He couldn’t turn a profit if he owned a whore house during a gold rush.

  • Greenflag

    ‘He couldn’t turn a profit if he owned a whore house during a gold rush.’

    He does’nt have to . With extensive business interests in Malaysia and 11 billion dollars in Swiss Bank accounts there’s no need for the little maggot to worry about money .

    His problem now is to find a country that will take him in . He’ll not want to stay in Zimbabwe and be accountable to the new regime for returning his ‘loot’ to Zimbabwe for ‘taxation’ !

    As for Zimbabwe ? I recall one of Mugabe’s cronies a few years back of being asked why 6 million or half the country was starving and his reply was that Zimbabwe had too many people and if a few million died it would be a ‘good’ thing as it would take the pressure off the government i.e they could steal more .

    There’s no doubt that in his early days Mugabe was seen as a patriot . Others might say he went to jail far too quickly and ‘avoided’ being caught with a gun .

    If he has to leave the country he’ll leave a different ‘legacy’. That might bother him and I say might .

  • Greenflag

    Mugabe is no Mandela and from the state in which he has left his country he’s no Seretse Khama either :(.

    The good news from Africa – Zimbabwe’s next door neighbour Botswana and a little slant to Northern Ireland’s ‘economy’ to add variety .

    When Zimbabwe gained it’s independence in 1980 GDP per head in Zimbabwe was three times that of Botswana . In 2008 GDP per capita in Zimbabwe in so far as it can be measured anymore would appear to be about 2% of Botswana’s

    Botswana, which received its independence from Britain in 1966, is regarded as a beacon of stability and good governance in Africa and enjoyed average growth of around 8 % over the last two decades

    GDP per capita is forecast at $8,453 in 2008, the highest in sub-Saharan Africa, according to global investment banking group UBS. Botswana also has the highest sovereign ratings in Africa, and is ranked the continent’s least corrupt country by Transparency International

    If Botswana maintains it’s present economic growth rate and Northern Ireland maintains it’s present growth rate then GDP per capita figure for Botwsana should be equal to Northern Ireland’s in about a decade and by 2022 will exceed the NI figure .

    Wonder what the Chuckie Brothers political descendants assuming they have any, will have to show for their power /loot sharing efforts by 2022?

  • Do we know if Mugabe’s Agriculture minister was elected? Let’s hope it wasn’t by keeping a polling station open beyond the close of poll.

  • sean

    The West opposition to Zimbabwe began in the mid 1990, when the Zimbabwean goverment failed to undertake Pro-foreign investor (often called-neoliberal) economic reforms as quickly as the IMF proscribed. The IMF prescription included, devaluing the currency more quickly, to allow an export orientated economy, but this would in no doubt increase hardship Zimbabweans already faced. The IMF also insisted , that Zimbabwe pay full market value to the mainly white British settlers for, farms that were to be returned to their rightful owners, the indigenous people . This was a bridge too far for the government, as written in Lancaster House Agreement , Britain was to fund the return of the farms to their rightful owners. In fact the Zimbabwean goverment was being asked to accept a deal that amounted to more debt , to buy back what was stolen in the first place. The offer was refused and farms were returned to their rightful owners without the settlers receiving any payment either from their former homeland Britain or the Zimbabwean goverment. The land reform program was quickly portrayed by the British media as land grabbing by the Zimbabwe goverment, and the white settlers were portrayed as victims of a corrupt regime. In 1998, the EU had enough, firstly Zimbabwe land reform programme and now, the Zimbabwean goverment, was providing military aid to Laurent Kabila in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The stage was set to engineer the overthrow of Government of Zimbabwe led by Mr Mugabe. The independent minded Mugabe had to go. Kabila who the US and Britain were trying to overthrow was also following nationalist economic polices similar to that of Patrick Lumumba, who the west had deposed in a CIA coup decades earlier. Washington and London used Uganda and Rwanda as proxies to invade the Congo, their plans were frustrated by Zimbabwe intervention on the side of Kabilia goverment. To counter this the EU set out to build civil society – the Unions and NGO – As opposite poles of attraction, to MR Mugabe goverment of liberation. Tsvangirai was soon identified as a possible stooge and was leader of the Zimbabawean Trade Union Congress. Tsvangirai quickly emerged as the leader of the MDC, white settlers quickly abandoned their old racist party , the Rhodesian Front and lined up behind their new vehicle the MDC. Their war chest was filled with gracious funding from Western governments , particularly Britain America,also many large white owned S. African companies , particularly in the mining industry , channeled founds to help oust the Zimbabwean goverment. The British press started to play their part also and the right wing Sunday Times in 2001 urged London to spearhead a world wide economic boycott of Zimbabwe. Also in 2001 the US enacted the US Zimbabwe Democratic and Economic Recovery Act. Jessie Helms a arch conservative was a main player , along with Hilary Clinton. This act had only one aim the overthrow of the Zimbabwean goverment and the installation of a puppet , who would follow economic polices dictated by the IMF and western power’s.The act allowed the president to fund groups or individuals working on their behalf to overthrow the Zimbabwean goverment. In fact it is nothing short of enabling western goverment colonization by proxy. The western powers have invested heavily in the overthrow of the goverment of Zimbabwe , and sanctions is one of their main weapons, and this weapon has no doubt been used to great effect, as it has helped to make the lives of the ordinary Zimbabwean miserable , so as they will oust the goverment led by Mr Mugabe. The MDC leader and western stooge Tswangira who have supported the sanctions, and indefatigable in calling for additional punishment, then uses the economic hardship which sanctions have aggravated to call for the ousting of the goverment. Regardless of the outcome of the elections , and the deliberate and calculated decision by the Western press to play their part in demonising Mr Mugabe, in the eyes of the majority of Africans ,he is held in high esteem ,and a hero who led the fight aganist the racist white settlers and their Tyrant leader Ian Smith , to free his country and return the land stolen to it rightful owners. Sadly if the huge amount of effort the western imperialist has invested in his overthrow pays dividends and he is unelected it will be a sad day for Zimbabwe and Africa in general , as it will signal to other leader who might want to be free and independent , that it is not possible if they don’t follow the imperialist economic polices dictated by their imperial masters.

  • BfB

    ‘racist white settlers’

    Go snatch a purse, you race baiting, socialist, creep.
    Imho, that is.

  • good grief

    11 billion in the Swiss Bank account, electoral corruption ?

    Are the farms producing food for Zimbabweans ?

    Why did Mugabe demolish homes and creating mass homelessness ?

    Who cracked the opposition leader’s skull and violently oppresses any effective democratic opposition ?

    Laurent Kabila – disowned by Che Guevera as a womaniser & drunk, just like Mugabe he somehow obtained great personal riches off the back of the people, had a weird mix of capitalist & collectivist policies and made spurious claims to Marxism.

    careful how you choose those heroes Sean….

  • Greenflag

    ‘The West opposition to Zimbabwe began in the mid 1990, when the Zimbabwean goverment failed to undertake Pro-foreign investor (often called-neoliberal) economic reforms as quickly as the IMF proscribed. The IMF prescription included, devaluing the currency more quickly, to allow an export orientated economy, but this would in no doubt increase hardship Zimbabweans already faced.”

    Complete and utter shite . Zimbabwe was on the economic slide since 1984 . I was crossing the Botswana /Zimbabwe border frequently on business in the late 80’s and early 90’s and already at that time the Zimbabwean currency was toilet tissue . Zimbabwean women crossed the border to Botswana and some hundreds of yards within Botswana would exchange the Zim dollar for 3 times the official IMF rate of exchange . By the time I left the unofficial rate was about 6 times the bank rate .

    ‘the Zimbabwean goverment, was providing military aid to Laurent Kabila in the Democratic Republic of Congo.’

    That’s right -thousands of ordinary Zimbabwean soldiers died so that Mugabe and his generals could steal as many diamonds and emeralds as they could from the Congo. Zimbabwe had by then been so impoverished that Mugabe and his imperialist kleptocrats had to find somewhere else to steal from .

    ‘The independent minded Mugabe had to go. ‘

    So independent minded has he been that he’s been begging the Chinese for a 25 billion dollar loan to help refinance the country that he’s beggared. The Chinese ‘comrades’ however have given up on the ability of Mugabe’s Marxist Leninist Scientific Socialism to ever be able to repay them -and thus will not be providing any relief .

    Mugabe’s regime now has to count the votes by gas and candle light because even the South Africans won’t supply electricity unless they’re paid in advance in real money i.e not Zim Dollars .

    ‘ Sadly if the huge amount of effort the western imperialist has invested in his overthrow pays dividends and he is unelected it will be a sad day for Zimbabwe and Africa in general’

    Yes we can all look forward to seeing the 3 or 4 million Zimbabwean refugees returning en masse to cheer the victory of their ‘liberator’

    Good man Sean your post is truly the best April fool contribution for the day that’s in it !

    BTW where did you dig up that shite ? . If it’s on paper of the requisite absorbent quality I suggest you use to useful effect it where there is a nearby flushing mechanism . But first put it in the groove and rub vigorously back and forth till it’s of an earth colour tone !

  • SEAN

    Greenflag- When Zimbabwe gained it Independence front the racist white Smith regime , the country was in a economic mess, due to sanctions and the cost the racist regime incurred to try to cling on to power. . Months before Independence was declared , thousands of white racist emptied their bank accounts , transferred their money to that other bastion of democracy next door run by the despotic apartheid regime, S. Africa, were they could for a further decade or so enjoy the pleasures of living in another white run racist state. Many factories were stripped of their machinery which was also transferred South. Hundreds of members of the security forces who committed crimes aganist the indigenous population, particularly members of the notorious Selous Scouts, a highly trained killer gang of the racist regime, fled with whatever they could steel or loot. Many white farmers knowing sooner rather than later the owner of their stolen land would come calling to recover it, also left,. The majority stayed on knowing that land reform would not take place until the racist regime in S.Africa fell. as it was carried out too soon the white racist regime in S.Africa would maybe try and hold on to power for longer and prolong the agony of the people there. In fact the new state of Zimbabwe was in poor economic state long before 1990, but organised Western opposition only began in earnest in the 1990 as the war veterans stared to demand the the Lancaster House Agreement be fully implemented, as regards the stolen farmland. Because of the cruel and harsh economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe thousand upon thousand have moved to Africa , probably they could would return, but if sanctions has cost them their jobs there not much point in returning. Thousand of Zimbabwean soldiers did not die in vain in the Congo as they fought along side troops from the Congo to stop Western backed bandits efforts to loot the diamond fields on behalf of their Western pay masters, the casualty rate was pretty low. After the fall of the racist Smith regime, their no doubt the Zimbabwe economy was in a poor state, and the goverment had very little cash in it coffers. and thousands of the whites fleeing south with their money did not help thing’s.

  • Greenflag

    Sean ,

    You know very little of what actually happened in Zimbabwe post 1980 . Yes the economy was in a mess in 1980 but nobody starved and there were’nt 4 million refugees .

    Mugabe would not have even hagotten into power after the election if the ex Rhodesian Airforce had not put down Joshua Nkomo’s revolt in the attack on Entumbane following a ‘request’ from Mugabe . Nkomo representd the Matebele tribe in the south and south west who were later attacked and 20,000 to 30,000 killed by Mugabe’s North Korean trained 5th Brigade in the mid to late 1980’s . I was there at the time and I saw enough to spare you the details .

    I’m not making ‘apologies’ for Smith’s regime . Smith would have saved the country much turmoil and many lives had he ceded democratic rule earlier . As for whites emptying their bank accounts after 1980 they had been doing so since Smith declared UDI . One only had to look north to see the shambles that Kaunda had made of Zambia . To be fair to the whites in Zimbabwe most gave ‘Mugabe ‘ a chance and in fact it was mainly the farmers and second and third generation whites who opposed Smith . The newer white ‘colonists ‘ the tradesmen , skilled workers and civil servants and lower middle class as well as non British europeans tended to support Smith . They were ‘terrified ‘ of Mugabe’s communists . In retrospect they had less to be afraid of than the majority of black Zimbabweans .

    ‘After the fall of the racist Smith regime, their no doubt the Zimbabwe economy was in a poor state, and the goverment had very little cash in it coffers. and thousands of the whites fleeing south with their money did not help thing’s. ‘

    Between 1980 and 1984 the Zimbabwean economy recovered somewhat from the war years . By 1987 the slide had begun . As for the ‘land ‘ question anyone with half a brain knew that the commercial farms which produced the bulk of the country’s staple food could not be handed over to black zimbabwean farmers without risking economic collapse and/or mass starvation. Zimbabwe can feed a 12 million population if the farming land is commercially managed . Traditional subsistence farming can probably produce enough for maybe 2 million at most . When whites colonised Zimbabwe 1900 the population was only 700,000 .

    ‘Many white farmers knowing sooner rather than later the owner of their stolen land would come calling to recover it, also left’

    I lived there . I dealt with Zimbabwe banks . I saw Mugabe’s hoodlums push people off planes so that they could grab a seat . I saw a poor Dutch priest who was caring for 1,000 orphans forced to pay import duty in ‘foreign currency’ on a small bus which was donated gratis from people in Germany. Most of the ‘foreign currency’ collected ended up in Swiss Bank accounts .

    ‘the casualty rate was pretty low.’

    That’s what Mugabe’s state controlled press said . Zimbabweans know different .

    Your attempt to ‘absolve’ Mugabe of his responsibility for destroying his country’s economy is to put it mildly laughable and embarassing . Anybody who actually lived in Zimbabwe 1987 through 2007 and in particular in the last several years would know that .

    You don’t mention Mugabe finding ‘political asylum’ for Mengistu Haile Mariam ‘ the Ethiopian ‘marxist’ dictator who was responsible for the deaths of several million in the 1980’s ?

    It sounds like you are producing your information from ZANU PF’s Ministry of Propaganda.

  • sean

    Greenflag-If giving sanctuary to a dictator he was in good company ,America for instance does not only prop them up , but gave the Iranian tyrant the Shah sanctuary when he fled there , with a plane load of the country assets. You accuse me of getting my information from ZANU PF sources , most of my information is from experience , having lived there in the past and still a frequent visitor. I wont accuse you of getting your from impartial new sources such as the Sun Newspaper, CNN, SKY, or the British goverment mouth piece the BBC , but it sounds pretty much like the stuff they churn out. I suppose you also in your time there, found it distressing that huge farms, being farmed by white racist who lived in huge homesteads , whilst the workers lived in what were nothing more than brick shacks with corrugated tin roofs, most workers were uneducated and nothing more than slave labourers. Their children were given nominal or no schooling in what were known as farm schools, the privileged whites, children were either ferried off to English private schools or public schools in the large towns or cities, and which were mainly white. It was not uncommon for the black farm workers to be used to help farm the very land that was stolen from them. This is one reason such a big effort by the Zimbabwean goverment to reclaim the stolen land and which the West would punish him for. White racist did start emptying their bank accounts and fleeing to the S.African racist paradise, some even before UDI declared, but most after UDI. You accuse me of trying to absolve MR Mugabe of destroying the country, surly sanctions played a huge part in that as well as many other factors that I already pointed out. Sanctions eventually paved the way for the removal of the Tyrant Smith, along with the heroic sacrifices of the liberation movement. When used by the West in earnest they normally can bring a country to it knees over a period of time. There is no denying in Zimbabawe it played a huge part in the near total collapse of the economy as well as the huge hardship it as inflicted on it people , with the loss of jobs, lack of basic food stuff and medical supplies. Whilst the BBC churns out a daily tirade aganist Mr Mugabe, putting the blame on his Government for all the country woes , it never mention the sanctions that has made a already economic crisis much worse.

  • NP

    Im assuming “Sean” is one of those highly paid white mercenaries refered to early in the thread.
    can’t think of any other logical reason for his support of Bob Ms. obviously cankerous regime.

    I had to cynically laugh when Bob made his “moral objection” to vote rigging speech…..takes the biscuit !

  • Greenflag

    ‘I suppose you also in your time there, found it distressing ‘

    Yes I did . And although a brick shack is distressing enough it’s even more distressing to have seen Mugabe’s government’s shock troops razing these brick shacks to the ground so as not to despoil the scenic view of colonial Harare as Mugabe was driven to his palatial home .

    I was actually impressed with the educational standard of most of the black Zimbabwean trainees I met . These would have mostly been educated in city schools . I recall the Christian Brothers and Dominican Sisters teaching mixed race schools and doing a good job of it . Please understand that I’m not trying to defend the Smith regime or the South African apartheid regime -and I won’t deny that sanctions made the situation worse . But from what I observed , lived and experienced Mugabe has to bear the main responsibility for the destruction of the Zimbabwean economy.

    As for the land issue there were very few whites who were totally opposed to black ownership of the land . Realistically most knew it would take a generation or two before black Zimbabweans would have the education and/or practical experience to manage large scale commercial farming . And yes some were ‘racists’ . But Mugabe made absolutely no effort to provide training for black zimbabwean would be farmers. Consequently when land was handed over to ‘war veterans ‘ and ‘political cronies’ it soon reverted to bush or subsistence farming.

    ‘When used by the West in earnest they normally can bring a country to it knees over a period of time. ‘

    Unless they have oil like present day Iran . What you say about the USA and the Shah is perfectly correct . But it was the UK who was mainly instrumental in the Shah attaining power for it was the UK who tried to cajole Truman to ‘attack’ the Iranian Nationalist leader who wanted to ‘nationalise’ BP . Truman told the Brits to feck off . Ike however was persuaded by same Brits that the ‘iranian nationalists ‘ were really communists and thus Iran got the Shah and the rest as you know is history .

    I’m aware of the rank hypocrisy that sometimes marks the West’s motives in dealing with ’emerging ‘ countries but I’m not blind to tyranny either . Zimbabwe should be richer than it’s neighbour Botswana as it once was . The reason it isn’t is predominantly the failed policies of the Mugabe regime over the past generation . Let’s hope the next regime can do better .

    As for ownership of the land . If Zimbabwe is to feed it’s 14 million population it needs commercial farming . If it is to earn enough foreign currency to buy essential spare parts for it’s industrial equipment it needs to generate that surplus in tobacco or mineral exports . It will be a long road back to hope for most Zimbabweans .

  • dewi

    don’t matter – is anyone there that can tell us what is happening?

  • Harry Flashman

    Sean, I realise you’re a true believer Marxist who isn’t duped by the Halliburton funded punctuation conspiracy, I do appreciate that the “return/enter” key on the mid right hand side of your keyboard is actually a tool of racist, neocon oppression but it would assist greatly the rest of us colonialist running dogs of international capitalism to understand how Mugabe is indeed a true friend of the Zimabwean people if you subdivided your posts into things known in neo-fascist terms as ‘paragraphs’.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    For those interested in a local take on Zimbabwe…

    http://www.sokwanele.com/thisiszimbabwe/

  • Donnacha

    I can only hope that the $11 billion Mugabe has in a Swiss bank is in Zim dollars. SHould be able to afford a pint for himself at his leaving party, because I don’t think anyone else will be buying him one. ANd Sean, perhaps you could tell me why so many black Zimbabweans of the “wrong” tribe fled the country. The guy who works with me won’t be going back there until Uncle Bob has exited stage left.

  • Greenflag

    ‘I can only hope that the $11 billion Mugabe has in a Swiss bank is in Zim dollars.’

    Swiss banks do not take deposits in Zimbabwean Dollars . Hard currencies only , gold , jewels , title deeds to property etc . Your hope is a forlorn one Donncha . How do you think Mr Mugabe paid for all those Christmas shopping expeditions to London ( in earlier times) or to Malaysia or for his ‘operations’ ?

    It’s looking like a run off for the Presidency so Tsangverai should win . I would assume that Mugabe may step down as he will now be seen as defeatable /weak and in Africa just as anywhere else that will mean the end .

  • susie

    It’s strange when the Zimbabweans exercise racism upon white people it is not classified as racism – it certainly would be if it was the other way about!

  • sean

    The main gist of the BBC Propaganda aganist Mr Mugabe has always been , according their well trusted sources (as always). Mr Mugabe was without doubt , going to rig the vote and declare himself the winner. The also touted the Propaganda line that if Tswangira was declared the winner , he would not accept the result and his Generals would support him quelling any unrest. Again this information was coming from impeccable sources and was plain and simple truth. Most of the other British press carried the same or similar propaganda. So tied up with spewing out totally utter propaganda , they forgot to work out that if the first was true and he was going to rig the election, they were does part two come in. If he was simply going to sit it out and not respect the result, then why would he rig the election. Their reporting has now been exposed as at tissue of lies. In the BBC six o clock news , they carried a report from , the S,African border post at Beitbridge, were George Aligia was , the newscaster asked him , what was the latest, George replied ,well I just received a report (you guessed it} from a very reliable source, that a meeting was taking place were Mr Mugabe and his top brass , were in discussion with the MDC,and others, were they were discussing Mr Mugabe exit strategy etc. Next morning, Radio four early morning news,,reported that the latest on the situation , not a word about the supposed Mugabe exit meeting from colleges Alagia impeccable sources, the story was slightly changed , the MDC had denied any such meeting had taken place and was pure speculation and that they would never sit down with Mr Mugabe unless he conceded the election and released the results. The speculation goes on dressed up as news and all again from reliable sources. Before the elections Mr Mugabe has said on numerous occasions that the he would respect the results and if he lost, and denied the lie spewed out by the BBC and other British outlets of rigging the vote. As it stand at the moment it looks like he not going to play ball with them, and play the part of the vote rigging , ballot stealing, money in the Swiss bank account dictator devil etc etc, they have been telling their viewers day after day , night after night. Then the liars wonder why they are banned from entering Zimbabwe.

  • sean

    Susie . What other way would you describe someone who, invades another people country and steals their land, and uses them to work the same land. Then denies then any schooling of any worth, and they are not allowed to be involved in politics etc and society is strictly based and controlled on tribal group and skin colour. We can take it that you would not describe the vast majority of white who lived in S Africa and the then Rhodesia, places that were virtual racist paradises during the Apartheid years S.Africa as racist.

  • sean

    Harry Flashmann- thank for the excllent advice, but been educated , in a tin shack in a farm school without any windows , proper books , pencils ,etc and still in the evenings had to go out and do farm work , to please my white racist master. Never had my hand on a computer to comeing to Ireland. but I willing to learn.

  • moochin Photoman

    Sean
    You’d better be willing coz it’s going to come as a great surprise to you to learn the truth that Zimbabwe has been brought to it’s knees by Mugabe. He has raped and plundered the country way better than any imperialist could have done.
    Out of interest can you name one thing that Mugabe has done to benefit the country?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    moochin Photoman: “Out of interest can you name one thing that Mugabe has done to benefit the country?”

    He has driven the white Imperialists out of power, giving them the comfort of being abused, starved and exploited by their fellow Africans.

  • sean

    Moochin Photoma , Been there three weeks ago ,not the shambles you say it is. Are you blind have you not seen the the city’s on TV,,certainly shortages ,but sanctions have that effect. Maybe soon the BBC will arrange a staged or faked scenes of starvation for your appetite , there good at that , again it will be from one of their impeccable sources.

  • Dewi

    Hell, Sean, you know how to fight your corner alright. 100,000% inflation not a myth though. Systematic electoral abuse on a Florida scale not a myth either. Time to go.

  • Moochin Photoman

    Sean,
    I’m no more likely to believe you than Mugabe about how well the country is doing, what with 100,000% inflation.
    I have friends that lived there for many years and they are who i choose to believe particularly when they recount tales from their (indigenous) friends still there.
    Mugabe has to go

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Dewi: “Hell, Sean, you know how to fight your corner alright. 100,000% inflation not a myth though. Systematic electoral abuse on a Florida scale not a myth either.”

    Feh… Florida is small potatoes, Dewi, and all your hyperbole is not going to make a mole-hill into a mountain.

  • Turgon

    Dread or anyone else,

    You seem to be a man who understands financial things. This is a very small point and I know it is silly but I always wonder how you calculate a 100,000% inflation rate? I am not doubting it; : it is just such am amazing conecpt I have difficulty understanding it. How do you function in such a society if you have money? Do you have to spend today what you earn today or do you just go to a barter economy?

  • sean

    Dread Chyulhu. Name one thing Mr Mugabe done,to benefit his country. MR Mugabe biggest achievement for his people and country ,was when he led his long suffering and brutalised people out the hands of evil and corrupt white racist settler, and who where led by the Tyrant Smith. Mr Mugabe is respected for this ,throughout all of Africa and beyond for this great achievement. I dont believe for one moment you are unaware of this fact. In a interview today ,even the Bishop Tutu, was singing his praises , and that from a man who ganged up behind his Western lynch mob. One you asked for one you got , I wont be surprised you come back and deny this fact. Why dont you buy yourself a history book , one about the fight for freedom in Zimbabwe, preferably not one written by the ex Selous Scouts , that are easy to get.

  • Donnacha

    Sean, iof Smith was such a tyrant, why was he able to remain living in Zimbabwe after the war? Why wasn’t he strung up? Or shot? Why was he treated with such respect by black Zimbabweans?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Turgon: “This is a very small point and I know it is silly but I always wonder how you calculate a 100,000% inflation rate? I am not doubting it; : it is just such am amazing conecpt I have difficulty understanding it. How do you function in such a society if you have money? Do you have to spend today what you earn today or do you just go to a barter economy? ”

    Simply put, the inflation rate measures the growth of prices / shrinkage of a currency’s worth. From the Columbia Encyclopedia: “Inflation, in economics, persistent and relatively large increase in the general price level of goods and services. Its opposite is deflation, a process of generally declining prices… Inflation results from an increase in the amount of circulating currency beyond the needs of trade; an oversupply of currency is created, and, in accordance with the law of supply and demand, the value of money decreases. Deflation is brought about by the opposite condition. In the past, inflation was often due to a large influx of bullion, such as took place in Europe after the discovery of America and at the end of the 19th cent. when new supplies of gold were found and exploited in South Africa. In modern times wars are the most common cause of inflation, as government borrowing, the increase in the money supply, and a diminished supply of consumer goods increase demand relative to supply and thereby cause rising prices.”

    The short form: As inflation rises, every dollar will buy a smaller percentage of a good. For example, if the inflation rate is 2%, then a $1 pack of gum will cost $1.02 in a year. At 100%, it would cost $2.00. At 100,000%, it costs $1,000.

  • Dewi

    From the Economist:

    WHATEVER the final outcome of Zimbabwe’s curious general elections at the weekend—and it remains possible, despite indications of a big win for the opposition, that President Robert Mugabe will refuse to relinquish power—it has produced some significant changes. Even before the voting took place on Saturday March 29th Mr Mugabe must have felt less comfortable in State House than at any time before in his 28 years in office. An old ally from the ruling ZANU-PF party, Simba Makoni, had defected to run as an opposition candidate. New election arrangements, established under pressure from neighbouring South Africa, had allowed the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), to campaign more freely in rural areas that were long dominated by Mr Mugabe’s party. In addition polling stations were told to post results in public once counting in each constituency was complete.

    This last requirement explains why the MDC, led by Morgan Tsvangirai, and various independent groups have been able to produce their own overall results. These show (although with some variation according to who does the estimating) that ZANU-PF, and Mr Mugabe, have been roundly rejected by voters. In contrast, official results have been delayed for several days as Mr Mugabe and his allies scrabble around for options. The full official results of the parliamentary election were finally announced on Wednesday, showing an emphatic win for the opposition: the MDC received 96 seats to 94 for the ruling party. A breakaway faction of the opposition got another 9 seats. In a few cases suspicion over large victories for ruling-party candidates in remote and rural areas may lead, later, to legal challenges.

    More gripping, however, is the presidential election, for which no official results have been announced several days after voting took place. One measure of the uncertainty in Zimbabwe is that even the state-owned daily newspaper, the Herald, which is usually slavishly pro-Mugabe, has so far chosen not to claim victory for the president. Instead, on Wednesday its front page declared that a run-off election between Mr Mugabe and Mr Tsvangirai may be on the cards.

    If this is an indication of what Mr Mugabe intends to happen, then the official results for the presidential vote, when they come, will have to show that no candidate won over half of the total vote. But Mr Tsvangirai believes that he has slightly more than half the ballots cast. An alternative theory is that Mr Mugabe, through the Herald, is floating the idea of a run-off as a means to put pressure on the opposition as the rivals hammer out some sort of power-sharing deal behind the scenes. One possibility is that South Africa, which has pushed for several years to get a government of national unity in Zimbabwe, is trying to persuade moderate members of the ruling party to agree to work together with the opposition (and vice versa). If so, the army, the Central Intelligence Organisation and other parts of the security forces would also have to go along with it. Other leaders in southern Africa are said to be unwilling to let the wretched situation in Zimbabwe continue for another five years.

    The willingness of ordinary Zimbabweans to protest is slight—so the risk of Kenya-style post-election street violence is low, even if Mr Mugabe simply refuses to go. After previous elections that the opposition claimed to have won in Zimbabwe both the opposition and ordinary people refused to risk bloodshed in an effort to bring about change. The streets of Harare, the capital, have been quieter than usual for several days, as residents keep their heads down and ears glued to radio sets. Many stocked up on food ahead of the poll. In the outskirts of Harare an MDC supporter says he does not expect any trouble if Mr Mugabe stays. People are afraid of being beaten up, he explains.

    Yet it is not public protests that threaten the 84-year-old leader. His close allies in the ruling party and the security forces can see that Mr Mugabe, long a popular liberation hero, is a wasting asset: he is no longer able to deliver genuine electoral victories, and nor is he able to rig elections with ease. A tremendously wily politician, he may yet hope that if a run-off election is held against Mr Tsvangirai he will have a last chance to fix an election result, but this is a far cry from the dominant leader of old.

  • sean

    Dewi- Your are quite correct , about the rate of inflation, but I must point out once again that inflation , was bad before sanctions, but not long after sanctions were introduced, it rocketed. For example prior to the sanctions in Iraq, inflation was not so high, but it was not long before the Iraq people were virtually taken their wages home in wheelbarrows. As you know sanction are meant to hurt , otherwise the West would not use it as a weapon. A weapon to put the ordinary people into such hardship as they will oust whatever leader they demand. Just keep watching the situation as it develops in Iran.

  • Turgon

    Thank you all for that. What I still do not get is how does one function when inflation gets to 100,000%? How do you buy the week’s groceries they will ahve gone up before you get to the shops. Do you have to go every day? How can any high value item be paid for by an individual or the state? How do shop keepers etc. decide when to increase proces and by how much?

  • Dewi

    Turgon – the economy ceases to be money based – people in work insist on getting meals in work – trade becomes based on the barter of goods – it’s actually the poor blasted shopkeepers who get hit the worst.

    Sean – I am always on the side of the oppressed – which is why it’s time for hime to leave. Western sanctions need not have had such an effect in an African country bounded by states happy to trade. It’s the violence and election rigging that I can’t ignore either.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Turgon: “Thank you all for that. What I still do not get is how does one function when inflation gets to 100,000%?”

    In Weimar Germany, wives came around at lunch-time to collect the half-day wages of their husbands, so that they might be spent prior to losing too much value (this was, iirc, with a ~2500% inflation rate). Rather than move money in wheel-barrows, money was re-printed, with several new zeroes added to the denomination of pre-existing bills. In short, very poorly.

    Part of the problem for the government is there is a “push” of sorts between the official rate and the black market rate of currency exchange. One can purchase black market notes at a very favorable rate, then exchange them back to dollars at a profitable rate at the local bank.

    Throw in Mugabe’s greed and economic fecklessness and you have a real problem.

  • Dewi
  • Dewi

    Discretion!!! – Digression – sorry been a long day – Nos Da

  • abucs

    I heard that the opposition are confident of a large win and that most of the results released so far are from the rural areas with the urban areas much more likely to vote for the opposition.

  • Gregory

    Lebanese and Russian Mafia are all over Africa. HE used North Koreans in his more ruthless days to wipe out the ZIPRA faction,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gukurahundi

    Mass murder kind of thing.

    G.

  • Gregory

    “the economy ceases to be money based – people in work insist on getting meals in work – trade becomes based on the barter of goods – it’s actually the poor blasted shopkeepers who get hit the worst.”

    Yup, getting cash to the Roman legions was as important as sending reserves, even when they were getting hammered, so long as their spending power was in the right location, things looked relatively normal.

    When it goes to barter, it goes to blazes.

    G.

  • sean

    Donnacha- Yes for many of the oppresed , this would have been a good idea. But things are not as simplistic as that. First you must remember that Ian Smith, was of pure English stock. Backed to the hilt by Britain and America, and to a more or lesser degree other countries, particularry European countries. Rhodesia as it was then called was rich in minerals , (and still is) it also has the worlds second biggest Platinum and Chrome reserves. The liberation movement was starting to have a huge effect on the smooth running of the country. The profits to the western back accounts from the looting of these mineral , started to dry up , Smith in effect started to become a beggar. Britain shored him up for a while with huge sums of money, and covertLy supplied him with weapons, these were shipped into the port of S.Africa who then delivered them to Smith. S.African also helped to shore up Smith for a while, with funds and highly trained units of the S A defence forces. The world was beginning to wake up to what was happening in Rhodesia, and the Western mining profits began to completely dry up. Smith day had come. They knew that they would have to do a deal with the liberation movement, no matter how bitter a pill this was to swallow. Smith did not want to play ball and toughted it out for a while, sanctions were introduced and he was doomed. The British set in place conditions to sue for peace, and eventually all sides came to agreement. This was known as the Lancaster House Agreement. The British set out several preconditions, and one related to Smith and his cronies, not only were they not to be tried for their crimes, but they were to be given seats in any new parliament. The liberation movement found this hard to stomach, but in the spirit of reconciliation decided to go with it . If they had not, it was back to the Bush war, and more suffering for their already oppresed people. Many of the white racist settlers knew their days of slave and master were comeing to a end. A the election loomed , the boarder post at Beitbridge could hardly cope with the Exodus of white racist fleeing. Many white business stripped complete factories and shipped them out of the country to the other racist paradise of S Africa. Units of the murder gangs particullary the notorious Selous Scouts, fled with whatever they could loot or steal. Large amounts of weapons that were supplied by Britain were shipped back across the boarder into S.Africa were they would be eventually be used not only on the oppressed people there but also aganist the oppresed in Namibia, Angola, and Mozambique, countries were S.Africa was involved in destabilising wars on behalf of Western interest to controll their huge mineral wealth. The Zimbabwean got their country back but it was in a economic mess.

  • Turgon

    Sean,
    You seem obsessed with the Selous Scouts. They were indeed a pretty unpleasant set up. However, my understanding is that they were predominantly black Africans; not that that makes them any less unpleasant.

    Overall can you not understand (or do you merely refuse to accept) that people can be opposed to Mugabe and feel he has ruined the country without necessarily supporting Ian Smith. That is a false dichotomy. It is not racist to oppose both black and white oppressors of the Zimbabwean people.

  • Greenflag

    Sean,

    ‘Been there three weeks ago ,not the shambles you say it is.’

    You sound like George Bernard Shaw who when he returned from his visit to the USSR in 1932 stated that he had just seen the future of the world . He never got to see the 8 to million people who were starving to death in the Ukraine under Comrade Stalin’s rule .

    ‘The Zimbabwean got their country back but it was in a economic mess.’

    If it was such an economic mess why was Zimbabwe exporting food to Ethiopia and other neighbouring African countries in the late 1980’s and early 90’s ? Zimbabwe’s tobacco and industrial exports were still bringing in sufficient foreign currency to purchase essential spare parts and equipment .

    ‘ First you must remember that Ian Smith, was of pure English stock.’

    He was’nt . His father was Scottish and Smith served in the RAF during World War 2. One side of Smith’s face was paralysed following injuries sustained in an aerial dogfight with the Luftwaffe.

    Ian Smith was out of touch with the political times but he was a decent individual . If he believed black Zimbabweans were not ready for independence in 1976 he was one of many who would have shared that view at that time .

    ‘the white racist settlers knew their days of slave and master were coming to a end.’

    Many whites knew from the mid 1970’s that black majority rule was on the way . Many whites did not support Smith . Garfield Todd former Rhodesian Prime Minister was for a peaceful transition to majority rule . Archbishop Donal Lamont was expelled for his criticism of Smith’s rule . Yes there were whites who feared ‘black’ majority rule not because they were racists but because they feared the destruction of the economy . Some would say in retrospect their fears were well founded.

    Dewi,

    ‘A tremendously wily politician, he may yet hope–‘

    You could be right . The ballot paper stuffing procedure was probably slowed down and made less effective than normal due to the shortage of paper supplies , most of which have been assigned to the Zimbabwean high denomination currency note production in recent years . Remember they’ve had several wholesale currency changes .Shortages of petrol could have disrupted the logistics of getting the ‘prepared’ ballots to the count centres .

    Another election would give Mugabe more time to ‘stuff’ the boxes . But the organisation and will among the ZANU faithful is no longer what it was .

    Donncha’

    ‘If Smith was such a tyrant, why was he able to remain living in Zimbabwe after the war? Why wasn’t he strung up? Or shot? Why was he treated with such respect by black Zimbabweans?

    Good question . Just like everybody else in the world Zimbabweans may like to remember the good old days when if they went into a shop they could actually buy food for their families . I recall one black Zimbabwean woman saying to me that although she was happy to have majority rule she was not happy about the ‘new ‘ police. When I asked her why she said that in Smith’s time the police were the police and they did their job . But after seven years of Mugabe’s rule she said the police were just ‘uniforms’.

    Turgon,

    Your queries as to how an economy can operate in conditions of 100, 000 % inflation is pertinent .

    Zimbabweans have been suffering currency devaluation on a regular basis since the mid 1980’s .It’s been a long apprenticeship but by now they have found every trick in the book to find ways around the ‘paper’ machine . The fleeing of 4 to 5 million or one third of the population to neighbouring countries has to a great extent made it easier, but unfortunately prolonged the agony of those left behind .

    In recent years the currency mess became such a farce that most transactions are barter or in a foreign currency usually US dollars . Zimbabweans are clever people . They know how to value/price in neighbouring countries currencies such as Botswana’s pulas or South African rands .

    Of course as in post Weimar Germany -those holding hard assets i.e land, property , gold , capital equipment will be better able to make the transition to a hard currency.

    Zimbabwe is a salutory reminder to all those who believe that it’s advantageous to ‘devalue’ a nations currency to gain ‘competitive’ edge . Those holding paper assets denominated in US dollars may want to reconsider their options !

  • Gregory

    “Ian Smith was out of touch with the political times but he was a decent individual . If he believed black Zimbabweans were not ready for independence in 1976 he was one of many who would have shared that view at that time .”

    He had a point, ZIPRA fell upon women and kids as if the Geneva accords didn’t apply to them,

    or Africa, which for most practical considerations, it doesn’t.

    Shooting down civilian airliners on purpose is a bit gross as well. Mugabe established he could do Pol Pot in bits and pieces.

    African nationism is generally an embarassment of horrors. What can one say?

  • sean

    TURGON – I have never accused anyone (who is of the opion that Mr Mugabe is alone responsible for the economic distress Zimbabawe finds itself in today) of being a racist or a supporter of the Tyrant Smith, where do you get that from. You also accuse me of being obsessed, with the Sealou Scouts, then you go on to tell me that they were predominantly black. The ratio was roughtly two white to eight black members, I cannot see what difference that makes to the crimes they committed.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Two bits of news from MSNBC…

    1) From this morning — Mugabe concedes defeat, although this is in conflict with the BBC reporting on the matter…

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23929752/

    2) Just a banner, so far…

    BREAKING NEWS: Troops surround hotel housing foreign journalists in Zimbabwe capital, AP reports

  • sean

    Greenflag- Ian Smith was out of touch of the political times , but was a decent individual. This was a man who sat down with his top generals and gave the orders to carry out one of the most brutal atrocities of the war, a atrocity so heinous it was condemned by the U.N, and shocked public opion worldwide. The atrocity was know as the Nyadzayarad Raid. (Nonia) . In August 1976, Smith sat down with his top generals and advisers, and gave them the order to attack the Nyadrayarad Refugee camp situated across the border in Mozambique. The camp population was made up of several thousand men women and children, and contained a hospital and school. A small group of Rhodesian troops under the command of Major Reid Daly , entered the camp and began slaughterin men women and children indiscriminately . When the body count was taken 1026, men women and children lay slaughtered, and a further 1800 were in a serious condition , several hundred died later from lack of medical care , due to the hospital being torched. When the atrocity was reported the Rhodesian tried to claim it as a legitimate target as Terrorist( as they referred to liberation fighter) took sanctuary there. Their claims were quickly rubbished and Smith who gave the orders for the massacre , claimed he never gave any order to attack civilians. I suppose you would also find the President who gave the order for Sharpsville in S.Africa, a decent man too, and out of touch with political times.

  • Gregory

    FARC murder and rape their lady hostages, doesn’t stop SF kissing their ass does it?

    Under Smith there was electricity, food, hospitals, he was like by many blavks that knew him, it was also Africa, stuff happens.

    Pick a side, get in a trench-line, and fight, it is the nature of our species.

    G.

  • Greenflag

    Sean ,

    ‘When the body count was taken 1,026, men women and children lay slaughtered, and a further 1800 were in a serious condition , several hundred died later from lack of medical care ‘

    At least there was a body count . In Matabeleand in the period 1983 to 1987 Mugabe’s North Korean trained 5th Brigade is estimated to have killed between 20,000 and 30,000 Matabele in south west Zimbabwe . They killed teachers , children , torched villages and dumped bodies in mine pits . I knew several who were just dragged out and shot simply because they were Matabele . Have a read of Amnesty International’s report on Mugabe’s repression in Matabeland and open your eyes.

    BTW , I’m not defending Smith’s actions or his policies -merely pointing out that Mugabe’s legacy is a whole lot worse both in humanitarian terms and in the sheer scale of human suffering , population displacment , refugee numbers and economic destruction.

  • Greenflag

    The great Mugabe comeback continues 🙁

    A commission member indicated presidential results would be announced Friday, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. But that was before the commission announced that Thursday’s expected announcement of senate results was delayed because of “logistical problems.”

    The commission said it still was receiving ballot boxes from the provinces, raising questions about where those votes had been since Saturday’s elections, amid charges there was a plot to rig the results. Western election observers have accused Mugabe of stealing previous elections.

    He ordered the often-violent seizures of white-owned commercial farms, ostensibly to return them to the landless black majority. Instead, Mugabe replaced a white elite with a black one, giving the farms to relatives, friends and cronies who allowed cultivated fields to be taken over by weeds.

    Today, a third of the population depends on imported food handouts. Another third has fled the country and 80 percent is jobless. Inflation is the highest in the world at more than 100,000 percent and people suffer crippling shortages of food, water, electricity, fuel and medicine. Life expectancy has fallen from 60 to 35 years.

    Repeat of news for Comrade Sean.

    ‘Today, a third of the population depends on imported food handouts. Another third has fled the country and 80 percent is jobless.’

    When all else fails a total pig headed blindness to see the truth will see you through eh?

  • sean

    Greenflag- The Government of Zimbabawe ordered the seizure of white owned commerical land. White owned , how the hell on earth can you describe something that was stolen as the property of the theif. You also are a firm believer in that Smith was a decent sort of a guy and suffered from political naivety, and that increadiable statement that he thought the Black people were not ready for democracy. What is your opion on the situation in Burhma, are the people there ready or suitable for democracy. What about the junta that control the country with a iron fist, would you also describe them as decent blokes.

  • barnshee

    1 Ruling elite gets displaced by new ruling elite

    2 New elite gets in on back of violence/promises of great changes etc.

    3 New elite as bad if not worse than old elite loots as much as possible-to swiss bank acs shits all over everyone including (former) supporters

    4 New elite shits itself at prospect of being replaced by “NEW” new ruling elite or worse still, being held accountable –resists– with violence if necessary

    5 Arse falls further out of society

    Repeat 1 -6 ad nauseum, especially if in Africa (but process applied equally to most governments)

  • Greenflag

    ‘how the hell on earth can you describe something that was stolen as the property of the thief.’

    Land title did not exist in pre white Zimbabwe . So property was not held by individuals . Tribal territory was held/maintained/defended and apportioned by a local chief who in turn owed fealty to a paramount chief .The local chief had poer of life and death over any member of the tribe . Land or indeed any property was not ‘individually’ owned .

    At the time circa 1890 the ‘whites’ were moving into the country the war like Matabele an offshoot of the Zulus were in the process of ‘exterminating’ the Mashonas in the north . The settler whites took advantage of the ‘mayhem’ and the Mashonas at the time were ‘relieved’ that the Whites were powerful enough to impose ‘order’ on their enemies i.e the Matabele.

    ‘You also are a firm believer in that Smith was a decent sort of a guy ‘

    He was . probably should have stayed in the military and kept out of politics . Given a choice to vote for Mugabe or Smith in 1980 I’d have given Mugabe the nod . By 1987 given the same choice I’d have preferred Smith .

    ‘and that incredable statement that he thought the Black people were not ready for democracy.’

    What’s incredible about it ? That was Smith’s assessment at the time . The ‘same’ assessment was and had been common currency all across colonial era Africa from Algeria to South Africa . One of the imperial powers also believed that Ireland was not ready and never would be ready for self government and even today it could be stated that a part of Ireland/UK i.e Northern Ireland (take your pick) is still not ready for democracy. Why else would HMG impose ‘involuntary power sharing’ on the area and devolve only limited powers i.e garbage collection , council functions etc to the local Assembly. BTW it’s not a race issue -99% of the people of NI are white.

    ‘What is your opion on the situation in Burhma,’

    My opion ? Burhma ? Did you mean opium ? Burma ?

    This thread is about Zimbabwe and matters relating to a possible transfer of power from a tyrant to hopefully a renewed democratic entity.

  • Greenflag

    Barnshee,

    Very perceptive especially re Africa but equally true in other parts of the world some very close to home – too close.

    Who was it who said that every successful ‘revolution’ is soon replaced /watered down by the ‘slime of a new bureaucracy’?

    Nevertheless peaceful transitions of political power are now the norm in all developed democracies . Eventually this will happen in Africa too . Ironically Mugabe is in a position to help this process in Zimbabwe . But from what I hear he’s already looking for immunity against possible future criminal charges by any future Government as a ‘fair’ exchange for handing over power. We should know more by Monday !

  • Dread Cthulhu

    From MSNBC…

    “HARARE, Zimbabwe – Veterans of Zimbabwe’s guerrilla war for black rule marched through the capital Friday, and while they were silent, there was little doubt they were out to intimidate President Robert Mugabe’s political opponents.

    In other signs Mugabe planned to ride out a democratic challenge to his 28 years of rule, intruders ransacked offices of the main opposition party and police detained foreign journalists overnight.”

    Sorry, Greenflag, but it would appear that the only person that Mugabe is looking to help is himself.

  • sean

    MNSBC- Veterans walking through the streets of Harare, in a completely legitimate peaceful and silent manner. Out to intimidate you say. This is a new take on peaceful demonstration. the BBC would love that quote. When MDC supporters recently marched through the same streets as shown on the BBC recently , many wearing white MDC t shirts and carrying banners, could you tell us if they were in a intimidatory mood or not. I suppose you would have loved the Liberation veterans and their families to have gone on the rampage, now that would fit perfectly with the image the BBC is trying to paint anyone who dares use their democratic choice to vote for Mr Mugabe party . The S.African racist regime used to open fire with live rounds on peaceful demonstrators , and claim in defence that they were marching in a intimidatory way or mood. As the Liberation marchers were silent and peaceful, how can you tell they were in this so called intimidatory mood, is it judged on facial expression, the way they walked, did they dance, were there varying degrees of intimidatory mood, some more than others . As they were silent and peaceful ,did they have a leader who ran around whispering into the ear of anyone not showing enough sings of intimidatory mood. Only asking these questions because S.African apartheid regime would never quite explain what this intimidatory mood was. Should silent and peaceful intimidatory mood marches be banned.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    sean: “Veterans walking through the streets of Harare, in a completely legitimate peaceful and silent manner. Out to intimidate you say.”

    No, sean, I did not say. I quoted, an unsubtle, yet obvious, difference.

    But then, given your seeming inability (or unwillingness) to acknowledge the flaws, foibles and corruption of Mugabe and his regieme, such failures on your part are becoming routine.

  • Greenflag

    Sean ,

    ‘how can you tell they were in this so called intimidatory mood, is it judged on facial expression, the way they walked, did they dance, were there varying degrees of intimidatory mood, some more than others .’

    If they are poor, black , and might even be opposition voters and can only afford to live in ramshackle tin and block houses in Harare then according to Mugabe and his stormtroopers this is good enough reason to bulldoze their houses and drive screaming women and children onto the street .

    Ah yes nothing like a caring Marxist Leninist Scientific Socialist like Mugabe to show those ‘liberals’ waht it takes to be a real ‘liberator’ 🙁

  • Gregory

    ‘the hell on earth can you describe something that was stolen as the property of the theif.”

    The owners owned it. There was no need for anything more than the solutions we had here. In our own case the landords were frequently indebted.

    It was like robbing the Jews in any of the east European pogroms, it was robbery and scapegoating. Mugabe is a miserable excuse for a human being.

    It is a very good job Mugabe doesn’t have much of an army. I’d hate to think of the gobshite on the move. Mugabe is a African despot, they being a category unto themselves.

    G.

  • sean

    Dread Cthuih – Your opion on the situation in Zimbabawe, is I suspect formed by the reporting of the British media, and in particular the BBC. But do you in all honesty, not ask yourself, why such hostile and blatantly biased reporting is directed at one side. There is almost a total ban on anyone, no matter how remotely connected to ZANU/PF being allowed to give their version of events. In Russia recently during the elections the same BBC, made it a major issue that Putin was rigging the elections and denied the opposition access to the TV networks. Yet they deny the British public the right to form their own opion as who or what is responsible for the economic crisis in Zimbabawe. Are your suspicions not raised when for instances, when, George Aligi, reporting from Beitbridge several days ago, told the British public that he had received reliable news from the most respected and trusted source, that MR Mugabe was in a meeting with senior members of his party, the MDC, and others working out a exit strategy and a smooth hand over of power. The BBC dropped the story like a brick within hours, after the story was rubbished. The story was a complete tissue of lies, from start to finish. Do you not also question the contradictory stories as regards Mr Mugabe stealing the elections. The BBC prior to the election on a daily basis kept telling the public that they had received from reliable sources that the election would be rigged. Firstly they told the public that there would be no doubt what so ever, that MR Mugabe was preparing to stuff the ballot boxes and claim victory. Then they told the public that Mr Mugabe was preparing to ignore the results if the opposition won, and his Generals would quell any unrest . If he was simply going to sit it out and ignore the result why rig the election. If he was going to rig the election on such a huge scale why would he plan to sit it out. Again both pieces of propaganda fed to the British public, exposed for what they always were total and absolute lying propaganda. Wednesday night they were at it again, claiming that the senior leader ship of the MDC , including Tswanangira had gone into hiding. The next day Tswanangira was furious and rubbished the reports as untrue. These stories are not mistakes or reliable sources being not so reliable. The aim of reporting this sort of propaganda is that to reinforce into he listener mind that Mr Mugabe is a corrupt dictator who must be removed, not only does he vote rig , but the opposition is terrified they might be assassinated, so they flee into hiding. During the elections countless ordinary supporters of the MDC were interviewed, in all sections of the media giving their opion. Yet no supporters of the Government is allowed to voice their support for the President. What are they so scared of. Why do they deny the British Public the right to hear both sides story.

  • Greenflag

    Sean,

    ‘In Russia recently during the elections the same BBC, made it a major issue that Putin was rigging the elections and denied the opposition access to the TV networks.’

    Mention of Russia reminds me of Stalin’s ‘excuse’ as to how the Communist Party of the Soviet Union always won ‘election’s with 98% plus of the vote .

    It seems so apt for Comrade Mugabe as a week after the election he’s still not allowing the ‘presidential election’ numbers to be made public but now wants to have a ‘run off’ .

    Now what was it that Stalin said ? Ah yes 🙁

    ‘It’s not who votes that counts but who counts the votes ‘

  • Gregory

    You can’t do Biloxi from New Orleans or vice versa (as we seen during The Big Easy floods).

    The BBC are a bit like Scotland Yard, their day is over, they’re not the real deal,

    look at their education web-site, the teachers unions write it for them. I mean how appalling is that? It really is a sell-out.

    They don’t do corrections on it either, even if it is patently and absurdly invented. No self-respect at all.

    “One secondary school teacher said one of her pupils was placed on the register at the age of nine for raping his cousin.”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4630168.stm

    The age of criminal responsibiliuty being 10 as it were. It is just made up stuff, its sad,

    G.

  • Greenflag

    Sean ,

    Any news of the result yet from your sources in Zimbabwe ? Apparently Mugabe wants the votes to be recounted in the Presidential election , but does not want the result of the Presidential election to be made public so people can see why a recount or revote is necessary ?

    Any answers yet ? Is it the BBC that’s stopping the result from being made public . It surely could’nt be Mugabe or his goons who are slowing up the democratic process ? could it ?

  • Greenflag

    A Zimbabwean High Court judge has ruled that he can hear a petition by the opposition demanding the immediate release of the recent election results.

    He dismissed the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s (ZEC) argument that his court did not have jurisdiction and set the case for Tuesday.

    No results have yet emerged from the 29 March presidential race.

    Although the judge said he did have jurisdiction in the matter, he said he would decide on Tuesday whether to treat it as an urgent case, before hearing the actual arguments.

    “I think ZEC just wants to delay this whole thing,” said opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) lawyer Alec Muchadehama.

    Earlier, Mr Mugabe called on the black population to ensure white farmers did not regain seized land, reports say.

    He said black Zimbabweans could not afford to “retreat in the battle for land”, the Herald newspaper said.

    Mugabe is off his head . Land is not the issue . It’s the result of the election which he cannot face so true to form he’s returning to ‘land’ .

    For 99% of Zimbabweans it doesn’t matter who owns the land . All that matters is what the land is producing . As of now and for the past several years not enough food to feed the population . It’s as simple as that .

    Where is Sean ? Will he reappear when the results sorry if the results are announced ?

  • BfB

    Not for nuthin’ but it’s not over yet…..

  • BfB

    Oh, and the blame Whitey crowd, much like the race baiting Obama crowd. There’s a pair that’ll beat a full house….

  • sean

    GREENFLAG- 99% of the Zimbabwean people could not care less as to owns the land , and you claim to know something about Zimbabwe , and it Liberation struggle . The issue of land was a major factor in support for the Liberation struggle , just like it has been a major factor in other anti Imperialist anti colonist Liberation wars throughout history. If Mi5 Tsvangirai is declared the winner and takes power, would you like to take a bet that land is not a issue, and they could not care less. Just let him try and reinstall the colonist white racist farmers and thieves back into the farms that have been liberated and you will see if Zimbabweans care less about their land or not. As regard the court case, I will accept the result of the court case , as well as the result of the Elections, will you?. I could write your next post for you. If the court decides in favour of Mi5 Tsvangirai, you will proclaim the independence of the courts. If the court rules in favour of Mr Mugabe, you will lam bast the court independence ,as being in the hands of the state. You will be in good company, the BBC other and alleged impartial Western media are already planning to do likewise. (any bets.)

  • Dewi

    “Just let him try and reinstall the colonist white racist farmers and thieves back into the farms that have been liberated and you will see if Zimbabweans care less about their land or not”

    Sean – he won’t – he’d get lynched and maybe deservadly so – but this is worse than a Florida fix – he’s lost – give it up or there will be a blood bath.

  • Greenflag

    Sean,

    How will the people of Zimbabwe feed themselves .i.e all 13 million of them without the ‘white’ farmers ? Is Zimbabwe to be permanently fed for the next 20 to 30 years on food aid from the west simply because of ZANU PF stupidity ? Having reduced his country to a basket case is Mugabe to be allowed to reduce the remaining population to the status of ‘beggars’ for another generation ? And all for what ? underutilised land ?

    As I said before Zimbabwe cannot feed it’s entire population by means of subsistence farming .

    Land is of course a sensitive issue in all colonial struggles . But there are ways in which the ‘land’ that was taken can be managed by experienced ‘farmers’ through long term leases like what Zambia and Mozambique have done that would solve the ‘food’ problem and help 3 to 4 million Zimbabweans return to build up their own country . Are millions of Zimbabweans destined to die because Mugabe and his thugs can’t bear to see Zimbabwe’s land put to productive use ? The Chinese communists allowed 30 million people to starve to death in southern China in the late 1960’s because their Marxist Socialist ‘ideology’ would not admit ‘western’ food aid for fear it would undermine ‘communism’ . In the end the Chinese eventually got sense and allowed farms to be privately owned and worked .

    Zimbabwe needs to industrialize and grow the non agricultural sectors if it is ever to become the prosperous country it can become .

    In 1980 Botswana’s GDP per person was less than half that of Zimbabwe . In 2008 Zimbabwes GDP per person is one fiftieth that of Botswana’s ? One third of the population have had to flee the country , one third are starving and only 20% of the rest have a job and probably half of them are working for ZANU-PF as government bureaucrats .

    And you are still trying to defend Mugabe even after 10 days without election results ? Even the South African National Congress leader has called for Mugabe’s farce to end and yet you still defend Mugabe ?

    Next you’ll be dending that North Korean Gobshite who has managed by the means of an hereditary ‘Marxist Leninist Socialist Monarchy ‘ to reduce the population of North Korea by 2 million through another brilliant Mugabe like ‘scientific ‘ innovation beloved of all communist states i.e the now well known ‘ food production reduction ‘ strategy!

    Still no results as yet . Do you think Mugabe is catching up in the vote ?

  • BfB

    ‘but this is worse than a Florida fix’

    Ha!! Amadan comes to mind……

  • BfB

    More good/bad news.
    Ed Morrissey has it right..
    ‘The big secret? Mugabe lost, and lost by a large enough margin to make a runoff unnecessary. The only reason Mugabe would want to keep the results quiet is if he didn’t qualify for the second round, and if he couldn’t cook the results enough to moderate the loss. In this, the MDC wisely took photographic evidence of the vote tallies at each polling station, which got publicly displayed at the end of the election process. That has checkmated Mugabe’s efforts to generate numbers out of whole cloth.

    No other explanation makes sense. Why have a national election, and then claim that the results are confidential? An election is the least confidential action government can take — at least in a free nation where the election isn’t just a circus act by a desperate dictator. Even his allies in South Africa have started questioning what Mugabe is trying to do.

    The danger is all for Mugabe. If he releases the actual results, he’ll have to find the next flight out of Zimbabwe. If he gives out bogus results, the MDC will publish its documentary evidence and start a putsch that will likely end with Mugabe at the end of a rope. It’s a matter of whether Mugabe will accept his removal from power or if he wants to take a lot of people with him on the way out.’