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Rule of law cannot be matter of opinion

24 Feb 2019 at 22:31hrs | Views
We live in this modern world that the United States purports to lead with God-ordained civility; yet in it the rule of law has been reduced to a matter of opinion, as has become the concept of democracy. What the world has seen so far for countries like Afghanistan, Lebanon, Palestine, Guatemala, Syria, Grenada, Libya, Vietnam and many others can only be described as a tragedy — all visited upon these people in the name human rights law and democratisation.

The weaker and lesser peoples of this world have nowhere to appeal when our self-proclaimed world leaders flout international law with impunity, and when they openly finance and promote vandalism, criminality and thuggery in weaker countries; all in the name of the exercise of human rights freedoms and respect for international law.

There is no way the unilateral toppling of a leader of another sovereign country can be legal, let alone the murdering of the same leader.

Regime change politics are criminal by definition, and those sponsoring such are aware of it. That is why they deny responsibility and try to create pretexts.

We had a meaningless protest over election results turning violent and deadly on 1 August 2018; and between 14 and 16 January this year, another deadly violent protest by MDC Alliance thugs and vandals occurred manly in Harare and Bulawayo. In both cases the marauding thugs destroyed property, endangered lives of others, looted shops, and burnt down cars and buses.

We lost six people in the first protest and at least 3 other people in the second one, including a female police officer. These deaths now assume a political dimension benefiting the opposition propaganda agenda, while attempting to taint the ruling Zanu-PF.

Those motivated by the desire to push the regime change agenda of the opposition have raised alarming concerns over the disproportionate use of force by the State, while they have not raised any concerns at all over the violent behaviour of opposition protestors, whose behaviour primarily caused the clashes that resulted in the regrettable deaths.

Others have raised concerns about the sponsoring of violence by foreign powers, while others have condemned both the violence of the protesters and the amount of force used by the state to thwart the protesters.

Let us take analysis of the romance between the US and the MDC Alliance. It dates back to the year 2000 when the then newly formed MDC won 57 out of the contested 120 seats, riding impressively on the urban protest vote.

Its now 19 years later, and Zanu-PF is still facing urban protest politics, and this has been the basis and cause of the two deadly protests in August last year and January this year. Support for the MDC Alliance in urban areas like Harare and Bulawayo is not exactly based on rationality or merit, but on protest against anything and everything Zanu-PF, including its majority vote at the national level.

There is just no recognition, respect or acceptance of any number of votes in favour of Zanu-PF, and the opposition activists simply want to make Zimbabwe under Zanu-PF ungovernable. It is a declared unarmed civil war of economic sabotage and urban-based obnoxiousness and rebellion. The opposition leader has christened this protest crusade by excitable youths, "pouring sand in the national food plate."

From its formation, the MDC has largely misread the impact of protest politics, hoping this in and of itself will one day bring regime change. There was hope that urban mass action would propel Morgan Tsvangirai to State House in 2002, and nothing close to that ever happened.

Our opposition has always invited and welcomed Western diplomatic aggression on our country, celebrating it with the loyalty of tail wagging lapdogs. Our opposition celebrated when the EU, the US and other Western outposts like Australia imposed illegal sanctions on our country at the beginning of the millennium. They were jubilant when our country was suspended from the Commonwealth, and they helped draft the US sanctions law (ZDERA) in 2001.

To our opposition all this aggression on our country is the dawn of "salvation" from the West. As it has been since 2001, the MDC led by Nelson Chamisa today still hopes to bring down Zanu-PF by the power of sanctions and economic strangulation.

Tsvangirai had red cards, and his Tongai Tione slogan then, and Chamisa has his hooligans and the Jecha slogan today. But it all remains futile. We hear the overthrowing or ousting of Zanu-PF will unlock billions of dollars into our economy, and Nelson Chamisa believes he holds the keys to these Western moneybags.

The naïveté in such hopes would be funny if only the country did not have gullible people many enough to make Chamisa the second most voted politician in the country. The MDC's external support from the Western alliance has not been attractive to the African eye, not least to the Caribbean and the rest of the world outside Western Europe and the US. The democratic credentials of the United States are not impressive at all when measured against Washington's foreign policy.

The same Western alliance emotionally crying for democracy in Zimbabwe stands solidly behind Israel in the dispossession and massacring of Palestinians while their media went into overdrive over the dispossession of a few white farmers in Zimbabwe's land reclamation programme. It appears like it is only Israel's historical land rights that matter, not those of former colonies of the West.

The repossession of land by indigenous Zimbabweans, whose land was stolen from them for 110 years was condemned as brainless barbarism, while Israel is always given the nod for taking away Palestinian land on the basis of interpretations of pronouncements made by Biblical prophets some 5 000 years ago. Ariel Sharon never got punished for the Sabra and Shatila massacres; and Belgium got the threat of withdrawal of Nato headquarters from Donald Rumsfeld for offering extra-territorial judicial powers for the trial of Sharon.

Israel attacked South Lebanon with brutal precision in mid-2006 and the Western alliance shamelessly cited the self-defence rhetoric. The world watched in dismay; and our own MDC goes right into the armpits of the Western alliance and poses as crusaders for democracy in Zimbabwe.

Africa cannot accept this, and this has always been the challenge. While the MDC will organise thugs and hooligans to do their mischief and provoke the State into the use of force, so they can turn around and throw dramatic tantrums as victims of police or state brutality, the problem remains in that not many people in the world are convinced the West genuinely hates dictators.

Everyone knows how much of a dictator Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan was, and its common knowledge that he came to power through a military coup, much as he stood as the West's best and strongest ally in the Far East during his rule. And the MDC's Western friends have no qualms over the state of democracy in Saudi Arabia, while they had the commitment and temerity to deploy over 175 000 troops in Iraq in order to topple Saddam Hussein and democratise his country.

Hugo Chavez of Venezuela was elected democratically winning 80 percent of the vote and the 'most democratic' USA expressed shameless support for a short lived 11 April, 2002 coup against Chavez by one Pedro Carmona, in the process becoming the only government in the world to recognise the three-day government of Carmona, probably the shortest to have existed in history.

Today the United States and its Western allies have unilaterally recognised the self-declared unelected "president" — Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the legitimate leader of the country. Our opposition here is super-excited about it all, hoping Nelson Chamisa can simply wake up and declare himself the new president of our country with tacit support from Western backers.

Just that here we handle nonsense the Zimbabwean way, and things cannot be the same. This is not how democracy works, it is not how it was ever meant to work, and it is a shame that the world has to put up with this kind of bullying.

When the people of Venezuela took to the streets in millions to bring back Chavez, they succeeded and Condoleezza Rice publicly showed her chagrin and warned Chavez to "take note and change his ways." Today the US war on the Maduro-led socialist government of Venezuela continues unabated.

Equally Hamas was democratically elected in Palestine in 2007, and the Western alliance congratulated them by listing them on the international terrorist list, and declaring non-recognition of the Hamas government. They slapped them with sanctions as a direct response for winning an election against the expectations of Israel and the US.

Today our own opposition backs the United States and urges them to slap our government and our country with more sanctions as a direct response for Zanu-PF winning the 2018 elections. If only Donald Trump could send a mass destruction bomb to Harare and bring down Zanu-PF; so are the wishes of some of our children within the opposition ranks, including leader Nelson Chamisa. Africa and the rest of the world simply cannot comprehend what the MDC is made of and they rightly begin to express their concerns; with Sadc and the AU speaking the loudest.

When Tsvangirai declared on television that he was prepared to violently take power from Zanu-PF, his Western backers nodded in appreciation of his bravery, and they vigorously opposed the charges that were laid against him for his undemocratic utterances. There is no way any sane African government could be expected to support a party such as the MDC, lest one such party would pop out in their own backyard.

The US cannot deny statistics that it kills more of its black population through the death row than it does the white population. They cannot deny that their prisons have a disturbing over representation of blacks as well as that the so-called black on black violence is a result of their racist legacy. The world is aware of all this. We hear there is something the matter with the appointment of Justice Luke Malaba as our Chief Justice here.
We are told Zanu-PF has captured our judiciary through Malaba's appointment. So how does the United States run its judiciary? Didn't John F. Kennedy appoint Robert Kennedy, his own brother as the Attorney General because, in his own words he, "was the best man around." Now the West is convinced that they are the best qualified to observe and judge elections across the world and the MDC chants Amen!

The AU, Sadc, African Caribbean and Pacific countries are all deemed unqualified when it comes to Zimbabwe's elections, and the United States expects all these people to accept this view with the humility of natives.

If the West believed in international monitoring of elections the world could have easily been spared the George W. Bush election madness in 2000 because no international observer would ever bless the Florida follies that brought Bush to power at the expense of Al Gore.

The US is the only country ever to detonate an atomic bomb on other people but they have the audacity to tell the world how best not to have that happen, in the process persecuting and torturing weaker countries for covert causes and interests totally unrelated to the development of nuclear bombs; of course in the name of stopping them from developing nuclear weapons.

Ironically it is the same nuclear weapons that give the US the arrogance to think they can lord it over anyone in the world. The US has openly disregarded UN resolutions on Palestine, Iraq and on many other occasions, and yet it tells the world to observe international law. Israel is 70 years old now since its creation, and the country is largely self-exempting when it comes to international law. Who defends it the most?

International law must be the law when it comes to Vietnam, Iraq, Iran, Soweto massacres, Congo and the mercenaries in the sixties as well as Palestine, Syria, or Libya. Put simply, international law must legally protect the weak from the strong and not blatantly empower the strong to plunder the weak with impunity.

Now the West stands shamelessly expressing uncharacteristic concern for Africa through this opposition inspired passion for the so-called plight of ordinary Zimbabweans. It must be put on record that not a square centimetre of Africa was won back with an iota of help from the West.

When Africa was fighting for political independence the West was known for its active support for anti-liberation movements like Mozambique's Renamo, Angola's Unita, Zimbabwe's UANC, South Africa's Inkhata Freedom Party, Congo's Moise Tshombe and his mercenaries, Joseph Mobutu of the same Congo, Idi Amin of Uganda; just to mention but a few.

The West holds the answers to the assassinations of Patrice Lumumba, Samora Machel, Thomas Sankara, Dedan Kimathi, Muammar Gaddafi and many other Africans killed for fighting for the emancipation of their people. One would easily understand if Russia or China expressed concern for Africa today, because they showed a lot of concern during Africa's hour of need, albeit for their own motivations, if indeed that was the argument. Now this is the context of the global political order when our own opposition hankers for the isolation of our own country, for our own economic strangulation.

If the Western elites expect Africa to take them seriously then they are best advised to abandon the strategy of pliant stooge regimes, and start acting on principles of honest leadership and consistency in behaviour. As it is, international law and democracy have become a matter of opinion and the blame for that lies squarely on the hypocrisy and double standards of the US-led Western alliance.

We are in the process of re-engaging with the West right now, and that engagement must be based on mutual respect between our governments and our peoples. All Africa needs is an honest and fair relationship with the West, and this is a time when all manipulation games must be rested for fair play, especially when it comes to Africa's natural resources. The time for African resources to build glamorous cities in other parts of the world is over. The time for our children to die of malnutrition while our resources are causing obesity on the children of our exploiters is gone.

We want African posterity to be proud of its ancestry, not to forever mourn over the plundering of our wealth and resources by people proclaiming superiority over us. We are reviving the Zimbabwean economy right now, and let it be known that our openness for business and investment is not a capitulation cry to open up doors for notorious global economic pirates. We are in the process of rebuilding the jewel of Africa, and those who wish to partner us must do so on a win-win basis as we make Zimbabwe great again. Zimbabwe we are one and together we will overcome. It is homeland or death!

Reason Wafawarova is a political writer based in Sydney, Australia.

Source - the herald
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