MEGATRENDS: Mugabe's Chinese Puzzle    
 Mugabe's Chinese Puzzle2 comments
In a document released by the archbishop's office - entitled "State in Fear - Zimbabwe's tragedy is Africa's shame" co-authored by the archbishop and Roger Bate, who is the resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute at Washington DC and Richard Tren, who is director, Africa Fighting Malaria, in Johannesburg - they argue that the so-called Operation Murambatsvina "has pointed to the removal of local competition threatening newly-arrived Chinese businessmen whose stores sell cheap and often poor quality goods".

The three estimate that, as a result of the government's aggressive "Look East" policy, up to 10,000 Chinese citizens have moved into the country - including some who have moved on to farms taken from "highly-skilled" commercial farmers "notably to grow tobacco for China's 300 million smokers".

The document reports that Chinese investors in Zimbabwe were reported to have interests in Hwange colliery, electricity generation and platinum mining.

They note too that the Zimbabwean Government had also purchased goods from China "such as three commercial airplanes, buses, K-8 jet trainers and military vehicles, small armaments and riot control equipment."

China was also a major backer of the ruling Zanu-PF military campaign during the war against the former regime of Prime Minister Ian Smith.

Assessing the consequences of the operation - which has devastated both Harare and Bulawayo's informal settlements as well as informal businesses in recent weeks - the three noted that the licensing of stallholders had been taken out of the control of city councils - which were dominated by opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) members - and applications were now being dealt with by inter-ministerial committees.

"It is these committees that will decide who is successful, aided by a vetting process carried out by the police, and where they will be allowed to operate."

Land vacated by razed settlements - which has displaced up to 1.5 million people with 300,000 homes destroyed according to the archbishop - have already been pegged out for houses to be built "which are reportedly being reallocated to police, army and party officials, which is consistent with Mugabe's past method of rewarding those who do his grizzly bidding", said the report.

Noting that many people were surviving by remittances from abroad, the report notes that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe estimated that the parallel trade supported by "diaspora forex" represented 60% of GDP and that only 10% - or about $4 million US dollars - a month is channeled through the formal banking system.

The archbishop and his team note that the bank's governor Gideon Gono had approved of the "clean-up" of the informal business "presumably in the hope that informal currency mechanisms will be disrupted".

The report notes that responses from the African Union and African governments to the operation - which has been dubbed "Operation Drive out the Filth" - had been "disgraceful".

"The test of the Southern African Development Community and the African Union should not just be about selling the region to investors and other good news, but addressing the hard issues, such as promoting Zimbabwean democracy," argue the three authors of the document.

Noting that opposition MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai had held meetings with various African leaders - including South African President Thabo Mbeki - and had motivated the idea of a transitional authority to lead the country out of "the present crisis", they argue that "African leaders must accept that they are playing into the hands of those who perceive the continent as a failure and a breeding ground for despots".

However, the African leadership response to Tsvangirai had been muted at best.

"In order to gain essential support of the international community, African leaders must prove their commitment to the rule of law, the protection of innocent civilians and the protection of property rights as well as taking responsibility for their actions, both fiscal and moral."

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15 Jul 2005 @ 10:43 by ashanti : Conspiracy of silence and lies
Yep. See comment made on another log, also applicable {link:|here}.  

29 Jul 2005 @ 01:42 by vaxen : Ubuntu... the opposite of madness yet madness seems to rule this dark little blue planet on the outer rim. Sector 9's liberation? M-Ship cruises at altitudes invisible to NASA's imagined beamingness. Of course NASA is not the SPAWAR consortium and NASA is largely 'hollywood' for the purposes of extracting 'fun-ding' from all the enamoured implanted who like true believers of all times lack the requistes with which to judge their nascent projects it is.


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