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8 years ago | 7959 Views
Who says that this day should be restricted only to romantic love?  No other day can conjure such powerful imagination of love.  It is a commercially driven day that provokes strongly divided reactions to the perplex display of hearts, and fanciful wishes of romance.  For those in stable, loving relationships, the day offers a wonderful opportunity to express or reaffirm their love.  For those who are recently bereaved, divorced, or single, this is a day that can trigger feelings of overwhelming loneliness and grief.

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Anonymous user 8 years

Referendum: The Harare madness is astounding

wa Malikongwa

Registered: 10/17/03
Posts: 82
Loc: Jozi

It is buffling how learned and tested politicians can waste of millions of scarce resource and precious time bicarring over nothing, knowing pretty well that they know what they want as the sacrosanct law of the land.

The wasted people time, tested their patience only to ride roughshod over them in the final say. It is said people gets the leadersthey deserve but in this case it appears the ruling alliance in Bambazonke always ensures that people deserve them.

The people where asked what kind of constitution the would like in a neatly orchestrates lie or drama that ended at the Copac Offices as the uneasy governing trio jettisoned the peoples'views in a blink of an eye.

People can not be taken for guaranteed forever. A people get tired of a lying bunch of self serving economic looters masquarading as honest politicians with a passion for serving.

The new entrants aboard the Banbazonke gravy train should warned that time is fast running out, yes the mafikizolos who sold the unholy GNU as a panecea for the nation's political and econmic ills only to pull wool over their faces with the so-called draft constitution need to know henceforth that their true colours have been nailed on the wall. They are no saviours but of the same flock with their nemesis - Zanupf.

I warned in 2008 that the need to guard gainst being outwitted by Zanupf but hey chose to be bed fellows with the enemy of the people. Umlilo wesela kawothiwa. Today they tell the nation that the document they present to the people is the best possible compromise. You compromise with your foe you compromise your principles and when you get rejected over principle you only have your self to blame.

The people should reject the draft constitution that does not bring with it the reforms crucial in ensuring that democarcy is firmly planted in the national body politik. They will get a resounding 'NO' in March, for the people know that:

As long as the ZEC is partisan there wont be aby free and fair elections. As long as the intelligence is filled with party sycophants thre wont be any freedom. As long as the Judiciary is filled with party zealots thre wont be any justice.
As long the security services serve party interests there wont be any peace.
As long as the NGOs that support democracy are muzzled there wont be a democracy.
As long as Bambazonke is the first and last in development there wont be any unity
AS long as the civil service remains party/ethnic service there wont be a peace.
As long as parastatals are party finance vehicles there wont be economic progress.

This is my warning published in 2008 when the GNU came into existence:

Zimbabwe: Writer dismisses agreement as "travesty of democracy".

BBC Monitoring International Reports
| September 25, 2008 | Copyright

Text of report by South Africa-based ZimOnline website on 25 September

[Article by Fikile Motsamai in the "Opinion" column: "Zim: Another african deal to subvert democracy"]

Is the whole talk of a deal in Harare a reality or just another hullabaloo that will surely come to prove to be worth nothing? In the meantime any deal that will calm down the whole senselessness is welcome, especially to the suffering citizenry of that country, the tired sub-region, the whole African continent and the entire global community.

Those that have been fast in passing their congratulations will better be cautioned to wait for the total and comprehensive implementation of what was agreed on.

No one wants to see the perpetuation of the economic meltdown in that country - least of all the Zimbabweans themselves; no one wants to see the continuation of political instability. All people want to see a political and economic complete turnaround for the better.

It is the propensity of the pugnacious ruling elite in that country to renege on its commitments that should keep people cautious.

In contemporary sub-Saharan Africa it should be worrying that democracy is increasingly being subverted through power-sharing deals and governments of national unity. All these are senseless machinations meant to perpetuate the reign of rulers who have been rejected by their electorate.

Such developments are a negation of the optimism that engulfed the sub region in the early 1990s when political analysts talked of winds of change.

This was the era marking the end of one-party states, the non-violent unseating of independence parties and the embracing of multi-party democracy.

Power-sharing deals and governments of national unity that are fast becoming a norm are a travesty of democracy meant to propitiate the losers. They are an indelible blot on the African Renaissance. They are retrogressive and are sending a bad message to the African citizenry that the ballot cannot change governments.

This is certainly true in the case of Zimbabwe where the leader of the then ruling party stated it unambiguously that "a pen cannot be mightier than a gun".

It is time the African Union (AU) learns that there are governments that will do anything to subvert the will of the people. The AU must devise ways of making this habit impossible and intolerable on the continent.

The will of the people should be seen to be respected; the people should be real masters of their fates - we said the people shall govern, let them govern.

It will truly be seen as a done deal once the transitional authority works tirelessly with total commitment, unfettered efforts to open the political space for all citizens to have a say in what type of government they want.

It will be recalled by all those who took trouble to understand the origins of the present crisis that it was the flawed Lancaster House settlement that heralded today's mess. This is not to say the British government or Tony Blair should shoulder the blame as President Robert Mugabe would like us to believe. The blame game is unwarranted, misplaced and irresponsible.

The settlement was flawed in that it only involved the warring major parties, hammered and sealed without any room for approval by the majority. Many accepted it because they were war-weary and needed peace.

The South African experience teaches us that the constitutional-making processes should not be a prerogative of the mightiest political players but of all parties. It would be preposterous for the deal signatories to think that the right to constitution-making process is solely theirs. They should be forewarned - the people want a people-driven constitution. This is different from the Lancaster House settlement and the rejected ZANU PF [Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front] commission-driven process.

A people-driven process requires that all parties, irrespective of their following, sit down and negotiate an accepta ble constitution. This process should not be delegated to Parliament and the Senate but rather these institutions should oversee that all citizens are given equal opportunity to participate.

It would be better if the transitional authority calls a conference for a democratic alternative for Zimbabwe, which shall negotiate a constitution that shall be put to the citizens in a referendum.

The National Working People's Convention held in Harare on February 26-28 1999 called (?for) the writing of a people's constitution to be initiated through a constitutional commission not based on presidential or partisan appointment, but defined by and accountable to a conference of representatives of elected, civil and other social groups.

It further stated that such a constitution should provide clearly for basic social, economic and civil rights; for the clear separation of powers between the executive, judiciary and legislature; for the limitation of the powers of the executive; for such powers of parliament and the judiciary that they are not subordinated to the executive and for such powers of the electorate as to make parliament fully accountable to the people.

This outcome of the convention held before the appearance of the MDC [Movement for Democratic Change] on the political stage indicates clearly that the ordinary people know that the plethora of difficulties they face are a direct result of a flawed constitution crafted by elites and latter doctored by the ruling party to entrench itself in power.

The MDC should demonstrate both shrewdness and prudence in tackling this processes but move fast as this will in whole determine the timeframe the country will take to recover. Any other route will be marginalising the people and as such will be stillborn, as it would be viewed as another Lancaster House exercise or a Jonathan Moyo joke of 2000.

However the country's crisis cannot be seen as emanating solely from the flawed Lancaster House settlement. It can also be traced to the flawed electoral system that ensures the winner takes all.

The country needs to seriously consider the merits of a combination of the constituent and proportional representation electoral system. Such a system ensures that all votes cast matter, that there is no monolithic political party straddling the land like a dinosaur.

The contemporary Electoral College is so diverse in political thought that no two or three parties can truly represent their will. It can be safely argued that most votes cast for the MDC in the parliamentary elections were anti ZANU PF votes, votes for change and the only force that could be truly trusted to master enough votes to do that was the MDC.

These votes neither mean that the majority of them believe in the election manifesto of the party nor that given a chance in a free and fair election within a peaceful environment they will still vote for the same party. The MDC has won the majority of votes in the previous two elections because ordinary people need change from the ZANU PF misgovernance.

With ZANU PF it is obvious that stripped of its power of manipulation, rigging and cohesion it will be reduced to insignificance in the next elections provided that a political environment conducive to a peaceful, free and fair ballot is ensured.

Although the public knows the finer details of the deal, it can be guessed that there will be a mountain to climb for the signatories to bring reprieve to the suffering masses of Zimbabwe.

People are still sceptical of any form of a deal with a rogue regime that has brought them untold misery and suffering. They remain perplexed by a deal that gives the ruling party of three decades 15 cabinet positions, retains the presidium intact, giving the chairing of the Cabinet to the man they so much detest.

The MDC should be confident that the deal will deliver a better life for the majority or risk losing the people's trust and loyalty. Failure to win the people's trust and loyalty will have dire consequences for the country and banish the MDC to the statistics of political has-beens.

Any deal with the rogue regime should be fully scrutinised to ensure that it has sufficient checks and balances to avert the recurrence of villainous acts of the past. It should have mechanisms that ensure the inevitability of the total demise of the devil.

Many are hoping that the MDC fully understood what it was entering into, are praying that deal works, that the MDC emerges victorious and that this heralds the end of an era of racial bigotry, ethnic polarisation, political crimes, political patronage and economic meltdown.

If ZANU PF manages to use the transitional period to resuscitate itself only to emerge more vicious and rotten, the blame shall for good reasons go the MDC leadership.

There are certain landmarks that the MDC in the transitional authority should aim to achieve with haste to test whether the deal could work, to assure the citizenry that a new political era has finally dawned and to assure the global community that the country is a safe haven for investment.

The landmarks include the restoration of the stability of the country's economy; the restoration of the rule of law; the revival of the judiciary system and support of civil society institutions that are safeguards of democracy.

All of these are pre-requisites of socio-economic and political normalcy that will make emigres return, investors' confidence return and citizens feel free to engage in re-developmental endeavours. None of them will be easy feats in an acrimonious arrangement with the ruling elite.

The first is monetary stability, and as far as this and the economy are concerned there is no doubt that the central bank is the biggest culprit. It is responsible for the ever-increasing hyperinflation that is now on world record highs.

Dealing with the problem of hyperinflation requires that the country ditch the use of central banking. The history of the monetary system shows that it is directly linked to central banking. The country's meltdown has also shown that the bank cannot resist or hinder the demands of Mugabe for more money from its printing machines.

The fact that the presidium has been retained intact for the entire envisaged period of transition makes the assumption that their appetite will keep the bank's printing machines busy unless it is abandoned.

Steve Hanke has given a scholarly argument for the abandoning of central banking from the Cato Institute's Centre for Global Liberty and Prosperity in his essay "Zimbabwe, from Hyperinflation to Growth" dated June 25 2008. The author argues that throughout the world hyperinflation has always been associated with central banking or the direct issue of currency by the government's treasury.

Hanke reminds the reader that Zimbabwe has a history of monetary systems that have proven to combat and avoid hyperinflation; these are free banking, a system the country used successfully from 1892 when the first bank was established and the currency board which later replaced it in 1940.

Free banking is a system of competitive issue notes and other liabilities by private banks with minimal regulation. A completely free banking system has no central bank, no banker of last resort, no reserve requirements, and no legal restrictions on bank portfolios, interest rates, or branch banking.

An orthodoxy currency system relies entirely on the market forces to determine the amount of notes and coins that the currency board supplies.

To prevent the outflow from bankrupting it, a commercial bank holds reserves and banks must maintain sufficient reserves to enable depositors to convert deposits into cash on demand and to withstand outflows of reserves through the payment system.

Although an orthodoxy currency board cannot create reserves for commercial banks at its own discretion, the money supply is quite elastic - responsive to changes in demand - because the system can acquire foreign reserves. The rules governing a currency board merely prevent it from creating reserves for commercial banks in an inflationary manner, as a central bank can.

These monetary systems worked pretty well even in Zimbabwe, and were ditched not because of problems they nurtured but because of the desire of governments to make money out of central banking.

Both these monetary systems need to be considered to rid the country of this scourge of hyperinflation in a speedy and least painful way.

Another option is total or official dollarisation. This system is when a country decides to fight inflation by using the US dollar or another foreign currency alongside, or instead of the domestic currency.

Zimbabwe is already unofficially dollarised as people use the US dollar, the South African rand, the British pound sterling and the Botswana pula as stores of value. Any of these currencies can be used in official dollarisation.

Dollarisation should be complete, not the piecemeal actions of the RBZ of introducing Foreign Exchange Licensed warehouses and shops.

Many countries, bigger than Zimbabwe and with bigger and better economies are currently using some of these options and are performing well.

As Karl Schiller, a former German Minister of Economic Affairs, put it: "Stability is not everything, but without stability, everything is nothing".

It is too late and dangerous for the country to be patient with the RBZ in the hope that it will work out some miracle and this is made worse by the continued presence of Mugabe at State House.

The other landmark on the road to full recovery will be the restoration of the rule of law. People have endured enough and for too long under the dictatorship.

Dictatorial repression manifested itself in the brutal force of the psychopathic elements in the military since the early days of liberation as they massacred tens of thousands of civilians undercover of counter-insurgency warfare; the terrorism unleashed by the intelligence services and other quasi-intelligence units, torture, maiming, murders etc; the barbaric cohesion methods used by the paramilitary units established by the party for that sole reason and the partisan behaviour of the police.

It is therefore imperative for the transitional authority to reign in these elements of instability by retiring higher echelons of the military by whatever means possible, dismantling the infrastructure of the notorious intelligence service and replacing it with an apolitical service; a complete disbanding of paramilitary and quasi-military units and disarming the rogue war veterans and de-politicisation of the national police service.

Forget about their crimes during the period until the dust settles, although this will be tough stuff to sell to the aggrieve thousands who are yearning for nothing but justice.

Any restoration of the rule of law is intertwined with reformation of the battered judicial system. Some, if not most of the country's judges, magistrates and prosecutors have demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that they are ZANU PF card-carrying members. This warrants their sacking and banishment from the system.

The country can welcome back those members of the judicial system that fell out of favour with the ruling class and were ostracised as well as accept applicants who are non-citizens to practise.

Officers of the judicial service should always prove incorruptible and exercise the awareness of the importance of the separation of p owers and be willing to sacrifice everything to uphold such professional ethics.

This will not suffice to safeguard democracy unless civil society institutions that were undermined or silenced by the regime are revived and supported.

Other civil society institutions that were never given thought by the ruling class should be encouraged to exist. Lawyers' organizations, students' organizations, religious human rights bodies and women's movements should be encouraged to pursue their goals without state intimidation.

Lastly, congratulations to South Africa's out-going President Thabo Vuyelwa Mbeki's steadfast belief that the people of Zimbabwe were capable of sitting down and hammering an agreement with empathetic outside assistance.

Pessimists were using all available opportunity to blame him for the continuing crisis as if he was a regional demi-god. Some of these who were blaming him suffer from the same racial bigotry that Mugabe suffers from, as they were silent all along until their kith and kin suffered what ordinary citizens had long been enduring.

Mbeki stood fast in his belief that megaphone diplomacy will not work but rather make matters worse.

Congratulations should also be extended to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) heads of states that saw in Mbeki the commitment to find a solution to Zimbabwe's crisis and trusted him to deliver.

It is also critical that people should not undermine the influence of those whose patience ran out on the obduracy of the Harare regime. These are honourable men and women who include our own honourable Ian Seretse Khama the President of Botswana, the late President of Zambia Levy Mwanawasa, the Prime Minister of Kenya Raila Odinga, who was forced into a similar deal that disobeyed the will of the majority.

Other notable people who voiced their dislike of the regime include Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu who tasted the wrath of the Mugabe regime when he was called "an little embittered bishop"; civil society formations in SADC; the Elder Statesmen Group established by former president Nelson Mandela. Their show of discontent and disgust helped give strength and hope to the struggling masses of Zimbabwe.

A further worrying aspect of the new arrangement in Zimbabwe is the continued anti-colonial rhetoric directed against Britain and the US by Mugabe. Such rhetoric will not only annoy British and American citizens and keep their investors at bay but will also indicate to intelligent Zimbabweans they the deal is doomed to fail. Mugabe's rantings against so-called erstwhile colonial masters come when he wants to emphasise the country's sovereignty, linking this to his chaotic and senseless destruction of the nation's agrarian base.

The white Zimbabweans who were driven out of their land without any compensation should somehow be part of the settlement. All sane Africans who have suffered the pain of land dispossession will know that land should be regarded as a national asset and remain in state ownership. This however does not mean all forms of redress need not be as barbaric as witnessed north of Limpopo.

The new government should seriously consider giving these white citizens ownership through tradable long term leases that are backed by legal protection of individual rights - one of the outcomes of the 1999 People's Convention.

The white farmers are Zimbabweans like everyone else. They are Africans like every one else, and above all are human beings and children of God.

The deal is done, all and sundry should try and exercise caution before celebrating and congratulating the signatories. Already the hawks in the then ruling party are stubborn in releasing any of the critical ministries to the winning party and this shows their lukewarm attitude towards ceding any powers.

History has it that many agreements in politics have proved not to be worth the paper they are written on. An old adage says a leopard never changes its spots, but we know a leopard can loose its bite. Let's hold our breath and pray that all developments in Harare are for the best.

Source: ZimOnline, Johannesburg, in English 25 Sep 08

BBC Monitoring
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