A Tug of War
There can be little doubt now that those of us who continue to live in
Zimbabwe are engaged in a desperate struggle that closely resembles a
war. I do not think anyone who has interests here should either sit on
sidelines and watch the struggle or ignore the play being acted out on
particular stage at this time.
On the one side are those who control the State and its machinery. On
other are the MDC and its activist supporters. This is not an equal
struggle, the one side holds all the resources and capacity of a modern
State - the armed forces, the administration, the Reserve Bank, State
controlled media and the Legislature. The other side is under funded,
no ready access to the media, do not control the field of play and have
themselves to rely on. They have a global cheer brigade that encourages
and applauds what they are doing, but little else.
The reality is this. In the absence of any effective intervention by
Africa and its SADC allies, Mugabe is now engaged in an exercise
dismantle what is left of the private sector, reduce urban populations
least a third and take over what is left standing at the end of this
blitzkrieg either by the State or those connected with the State.
This exercise has no legal basis, it is purely political and is being
implemented with ruthless determination by people who have their backs
the wall and have nothing to lose. They are serious about nationalizing
the major foreign firms here, except perhaps for certain selected
companies that are needed for the next stage. These will be taken over
by one by the State using either the State Trading Corporation (the
retail groups) or the IDC (all major industry). With the equities
down dramatically this exercise will be supported by payouts in
dollars that will be deliberately depreciated by simply printing money
ever larger denominations.
The smaller concerns will be liquidated by the price control exercise
then taken over by Zanu PF elements as well as individuals from the
forces and the security apparatus. These assets will be dished out as a
reward for compliance and support and strictly controlled on a
basis - move away from support for the regime and you will
your assets and rights and be forced into exile - look at Mawere,
(NMB) and many others.
Note that Zanu PF supporters and collaborators are being equally
this exercise. Many are unhappy with the present operation and the
of the formal economy into which they have invested and secured
assets over recent years. This shows that those with power, no longer
them as essential to their needs or operations. This is an action by a
group that is centered on Mugabe and is using the State itself as its
They are deliberately destroying the livelihoods of millions and
thousands of jobs. They are also systematically removing the means to
those same people with the basics of life. Fuel and food are virtually
unobtainable right now.
I am informed that they have 40 million litres of fuel stored in State
controlled facilities. Enough to keep them going during the siege of
private sector for several months - far longer than any firm can hang
Those affected have only one option - flight. I am not exaggerating
trying to panic people, but a real refugee crisis is now developing on
borders as two to three million people try to flee to anywhere that
provide them with the means of survival.
This new wave of humanity is going to impact most on South Africa where
population of desperate, impoverished Zimbabweans is about to soar to
or six million. I leave to your imagination how these new migrants will
a living in South Africa. Please note that this regime gives scant
the interests of any of our neighbors - they seek only their own
a small island of a State in Central Africa.
Their goal is a remarkable one - they are down sizing the economy to
of what we had before, they are reducing the urban population and at
same time the national population by forcing out those who are the
support base of the MDC and Morgan Tsvangirai. When it is over we will
an impoverished, subsistence supported population with some industrial
commercial activity - all controlled either by the State or by
whom are themselves State controlled and directed. Under these new
conditions elections, run by the military, will hold few dangers for
So back to the tug of war. This battle is not over, we must, all of us
have an interest in the future and welfare of Zimbabwe and the region,
become engaged in this tug of war. We can all do something - I urge
take a short break from whatever you are doing and think about what you
do to help us pull this corrupt, despotic and irresponsible disgrace of
regime over the mound and consign them to the dustbin of history. We
do something - let your mind run over what you might do to
matter how small, if we act together we can make a difference.
It might be a small donation to Zimfund, it might be a decision to
your departure from Zimbabwe and to try and struggle on for a while
A friend at Church has a small business that has been wiped out - he
gone to the UK to try and find a job and will then leave with his
he does, he takes yet another person out of the struggle, leaving fewer
behind to pull on that rope. You might write a letter to your MP or
help a local family without food or clothing. If you run into a
a Soldier - urge them to change sides. Every person we can get to
from supporting the regime to opposing it, is a double victory.
Paul McCarthy wrote the song 'Tug of War' for the group 'Wings'
and says in
the lyrics that this is a tug of war to raise the flag on this hill so
afterwards we can all walk to a different drum. That is what it is all
about; raising the flag for democracy, freedom, the rule of law,
equity, human rights and development. Help us do just that.
Bulawayo, 26th July 2007