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Zimbabwe opposition set for Armageddon in 2023

23 Oct 2022 at 09:08hrs | Views
What a hugely important and symbolic week this will be for Zimbabwe.

On Tuesday, African voices, particularly those from Southern Africa, will rise to a crescendo, as they continue to speak out against the obscene and brazen injustice of unilateral coercive measures, especially the US-enacted ZDERA (Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act), which have hobbled us for the past 20 years.

While some think that highlighting the incalculable damage of these measures on the economy in monetary terms - some put it between US$40 billion and US$100 billion - will dramatise in graphic detail the extent to which we have suffered, Bishop Lazi actually thinks this does not quite capture the agony and anguish apparent in the lived realities and experiences of the majority of our people.

It could be the old whose pensions, and with them their social security, have dissipated over the years through the relentless attack on the Zimbabwe dollar, which led to its eventual collapse in 2015.

It could be anxious youths desperate to get a job in an economy where industries buckled under the unbearable weight of the punitive embargo.

It could be the sick who cannot be afforded the full suite of medical services that our medical sector could ordinarily be able to provide had it not been held back for more than 20 years.

And all this happened when the debilitating impact of the International Monetary Fund-prescribed Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP) was beginning to take a toll on the economy, thereby creating a perfect storm of rising unemployment, an under-performing economy and dwindling investment in both social services and social protection.

But the dynamics have since changed.

The fire that was lit by the late Tanzanian President, Dr John Magufuli, in August 2019, when he rallied the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to bring its diplomatic might to bear by closing ranks and fighting in Zimbabwe's corner until the sanctions are lifted, has since grown into a raging inferno.

As Bishop Lazi told you recently, the resolute voice of the African Union (AU) and SADC has been heard loud and clear from within the walls of the White House and corridors of the US State Department.

If ever you doubted it, you should hear what the US Department of State sanctions coordinator, James O'Brien, and the director of sanctions policy and implementation, Jim Mullinax, had to say at a press briefing on Wednesday last week, which, by the way, was carefully choreographed as part of a series of disinformation campaigns already in motion to pre-empt the SADC Anti-Sanctions Day.

"Now, this programme (sanctions) is old, and it's in part because of the difficulties in Zimbabwe have gone on for a long time. So we keep looking at our programme, as we do with all our sanctions programmes, but we have been actively reviewing this and we are also consulting closely with our partners in the region," said O'Brien at the briefing.

"So the concerns - SADC has spoken out, the AU, a number of African governments have spoken about what the right approach is to Zimbabwe. And my colleagues who work on policy towards Zimbabwe are in regular conversation with them. But we also use those as an opportunity to look at the sanctions programme itself."

This was tantamount to both a tacit acknowledgment of concerns raised by SADC and AU and an embarrassing concession that Washington is actively looking at reviewing their "old programme".

But allow the Bishop to digress a bit.

It takes a special kind of human being to sadistically create an official government designation, as is the case with the two chaps - James O'Brien and Jim Mullinax - specifically to co-ordinate or implement policies and measures that are deliberately meant to hurt other human beings.

As the Bishop said before, sanctions are a convenient substitute for a full-scale military invasion and are designed to create perfect conditions for civil strife that can be exploited to topple targeted regimes.

Sabotaging the economy and concerted disinformation campaigns insidiously lead to disaffection with the government and rile up populations sufficiently enough to force them to effect regime change either through the ballot or the streets.

It is meant to be a smart way of collapsing governments.

All they need is a spark.

Unashamed interference

Look, listen, watch and learn from what is happening in Iran, where America's CIA has seized the initiative occasioned by protests over the death of a young woman, Mahsa Amini, in police custody on September 16. For all we know, they might have instigated the unrest.

Well, seven days after protests began, the US State Department hurriedly lifted sanctions prohibiting the export of American-designed technology into Iran, which essentially allowed Elon Musk to activate his Starlink satellite systems in Tehran.

Since then, American intelligence services have been shipping these technologies to anti-government protesters to help them with satellite internet services to communicate, plan and coordinate the protests.

This is the same technology the South African-born billionaire has provided to Ukraine to assist its military to communicate, reconnoitre and strike Russian troops positions in the ongoing conflict.

Unfortunately, some impressionable Africans think that these technologies, including Twitter and Facebook, are cool innovations that are handily purposed for their benefit and use, yet their underlying utilitarian value for the West lies in their convenience as open-source intelligence platforms.

Former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden warned us about this.

Australian journalist and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange also spilled the beans on this and now waits to be extradited to the US to face espionage charges for these unpardonable sins.

The Five Eyes (FVEY) - an intelligence alliance made up of the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada - essentially uses these technologies, which have extraordinary reach that is made all the more pervasive by ubiquitous smartphones, both as a giant microscope to gather information and snoop and as a megaphone to control narratives, even in foreign jurisdictions, including promoting their interests.

As we count down to Tuesday's Anti-Sanctions Day, you just have to observe how the American Embassy (ies) and a motley of Western-sponsored NGOs and news sites that purport to be Zimbabwean will be concertedly working on countervailing narratives to deflect the diplomatic lobby to have sanctions lifted.

They will even tweet in Shona, Ndebele, Chewa, Venda, Nambya, et cetera, if they have to. Kikikiki.


Just as in Iran, where protests have presented a window of opportunity that can be exploited for political ends, the US also feels next year's harmonised elections are exploitable for one last chance to effect regime change.

That is why sanctions do not have to be lifted - at least not now; not yet.

Continued political, diplomatic and economic pressure on Harare will ostensibly keep voters, particularly the young and restless, sufficiently agitated enough to tilt the scales in favour of the opposition MDC-CCC.

But after surviving the most vicious, brutal and merciless assaults for the better part of 20 years, we can easily weather these last few months.

Deuteronomy 20 1-4: tells us: "When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you.

"When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army. He shall say: ‘Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be faint-hearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory'."

We are well aware of the mischief by some foreign missions that are trying to organise some NGOs and civil society organisations/activists to influence next year's election outcome.

What Wednesday's briefings from O'Brien and his sidekick Mullinax confirmed, which we already knew, was the fact that America was really incensed by the recent outing of CIA operatives disguised as Senate aides, who were subsequently kicked out of Zimbabwe.

It is understood that the issue was raised by Joe Biden during his September 16 meeting with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, wherein the latter also raised the issue of US sanctions on Zimbabwe.

Before the meeting, an apoplectic US senator Robert Menendez, who is chairperson the of the notorious US Senate Foreign Relations Committee and is usually in the loop on some of the US intelligence services' foreign covert missions, had apparently briefed Biden on the issue.

All these incidents betray how Washington has of late found it increasingly difficult to carry out their covert missions in Zimbabwe.

This is hardly surprising.

In July, President ED warned them.

"A number of Missions have sought to relate to our nationals, whether singly or as groups, without going through our Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, or other arms of our Government, as enjoined by Article 41(2) of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. This gross violation has gone as far as hosting our nationals - all of them private individuals - on premises of Mission, thus flagrantly violating provisions of the Vienna Convention. Often, dirty business is transacted, which we of course end up knowing," he said.

I guess they did not take him seriously, which the Bishop urges them to do.

Maybe they do not really know the history and calibre of the man who sits as Head of State in Harare.

This is an individual who, as a young man, pioneered the first military camp in Bagamoyo, Tanzania, in 1963, where he was head of security for a group that also consisted of cadres from Mozambique and South Africa.

This is a man who trained in China and was later the head of civil and military intelligence in the late 1970s when ZANU was now based in Mozambique.

He has seen it all in various capacities in State security and defence portfolios.

He is a man of consequence, who is not made by history but belongs to the pantheon of intrepid individuals who make and shape history.

In Portuguese, they call such people segurança.

However colonialism and imperialism shape-shifts, you bet that he will be well-positioned to sniff it out.

This is why mischief will not succeed under his watch.

In addition to finding it difficult to carry out their nefarious schemes locally, those who want to interfere in our domestic affairs will find it difficult to use NGOs and civil society to do their bidding as they used to do, as this will be effectively dealt through the PVO Bill, which is imminent.

So, with a broke and clueless opposition, and the helping hand from foreign agents reasonably kept at bay, we are likely to see the opposition's smoke-and-mirrors political campaign playing out on social media platforms, which really would not mean anything much for Zimbabwe's intricate and peculiar political dynamics.

As the economy continues to grow and Zanu-PF spreads its power and influence, 2023 will be Armageddon for the opposition, as the quislings of foreign forces will be decisively vanquished, never again to muster and mount an effective challenge against the party of revolution for the foreseeable future.

With victories presently being scored on the economic front, opposition politics would be inconvenient, if not meaningless.

Bishop out!

Source - The Sunday Mail
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