We are now into our third month of the 'neutron bomb' campaign or
Pot strategy as I call it. Manufacturing activity is still very low,
supermarket and other retails store shelves are empty and the campaign
intimidate and enforce this exercise continues.
I saw an interesting sidelight to this operation yesterday. Quite close
my home is a small milling company that gets maize from the GMB. The
is a well-known Zanu PF activist. She has been supplying the nearby
with maize meal but has now quietly stopped selling maize meal to the
area. Instead her entire output is going to the local Chief who is
on a mark up and selling the maize to his people.
This is interesting because it shows how thorough these guys are when
comes to working through their strategy for the next election. First of
you have a politically controlled allocation system for maize - it is
going to well known Zanu PF supporters. Secondly, those recipients are
instructed as to whom they in turn can sell to - in this case a local
(buying his loyalty and commitment) and thence to his people - making
that the link to Zanu PF is known and the threat of the withdrawal of
At the same as these political goals are being achieved, they are
intensifying the shortage of maize meal in the City - reinforcing
efforts to drive people out of the urban areas into the rural areas, or
better still, into the South African slums. There they will not be able
vote if present restrictions on the Diaspora vote are retained. The big
commercial mills are unable to buy maize from the GMB and the miller up
road is being allowed to do what the main milling companies are denied
right to do - sell maize meal at a profit, making sure she knows
her bread is buttered.
So how do we fight back against these strategies having rejected any
physical violence as a means of resistance or change? There are a
things we can do:
The first is do not quit! We have stayed the course so far, like a
starting out is easy, the middle painful, the last section just putting
foot in front of the other and mechanically slogging it out until the
line. Zanu PF wants us to quit, pack our bags and go. They do not care
the consequences or the economic implications - just the political
their whole strategy is geared to making you quit the race and leave
field. Someone said to me the other day 'quitters cannot win!'
The second is network! We cannot buy food and other essentials in the
stores - so make a plan to get together, go buy in Botswana or South
or even Zambia and Mozambique. Ask others who cannot do so what they
like you to get for them. Develop contacts for the essentials and then
distribute the proceeds. Your retailer cannot buy and sell maize meal,
you do it - at a parallel market rate. Do the distribution from home
Church. It is amazing what you can achieve if you work together in
groups and across society.
The third is getting ready for the elections that are coming. We are
to be able to vote next year, conditions will not be perfect or even
but if we all vote and we vote for change, supporting only those who
the chance of victory against Zanu PF and a real hope for a change of
direction, we can win this time round.
We need to speak to everyone we come across - are you registered to
Are you ready to vote? Have you made sure you will be here to vote? No
pressure on who to vote for - just make sure everyone gets to the
booth and once there and able to vote in secret, make their vote count.
make democracy work for us this time!
Help make the election free and fair. Find out where your polling
going to be and volunteer to be a polling agent or monitor. Adopt the
polling station as your own - make sure it is well sign posted and
community knows where to vote. Do some lobbying in your community on
issue saying this is our chance to change the direction in which this
country is going, maybe our last chance. Fight back!
Find out who your candidates are going to be and arrange a house
meet them and introduce them to your community. Listen to what they
say and then decide how to use your ballot. Do not leave it to the
or to gossip, meet the people yourself and decide. That is what real
democracy is all about.
On the day, make sure that all who want to vote are able to get to the
polling station and cast their vote. This time we need an overwhelming
turnout and vote - it is the only thing that will change Zimbabwe and
prevent the rogue elements in this present regime and in the armed
from making mischief.
But do not throw up your hands and say what is the use, they stole the
election in 2000, 2002 and 2005, what guarantee have we that they will
do it again? None! But if we do not vote, then we predetermine the
in their favor. Fight back.
Never underestimate the power of one. We may be insignificant, we may
little power and authority or resources to draw on, but we can act
independently and swim against the tide. Watch fish in a fast flowing
The dead ones float downstream, the live ones nose upstream and swim
making huge efforts to overcome rapids and falls.
That us - if we all decide to resist what this rogue regime is trying
we can make a difference. I saw a woman the other day take an elderly
persons shopping and charge it to her own credit card. Cost a few bucks
what, never got her name in the paper, never saw that pensioner again,
what, it was an act that will never be forgotten. It made a difference
was fighting back.
Business leaders of every kind, it is time to stand with your workers
evolve a strategy to win this game. All we have to do is stay and
defeat a tyrannical regime and to ensure we can set this great little
country back on its feet.
Bulawayo 10th September 2007