US attitude stinks

Leaked United States secret documents on WikiLeaks this week confirm what we have always known about the American agenda in Zimbabwe. That country has been and still is working night and day to achieve in the southern African country what has come to be known as the “regime change” agenda. The US has all these years, since Zimbabwe’s economic and political meltdown started, denied any sinister plot to push President Robert Mugabe out.  On the other hand, Mugabe and Zanu-PF have insisted that the charges of human rights abuses and dictatorship are mere western ploys to push the liberation government of Zimbabwe out of power. While the cable and remarks by former US ambassador to Zimbabwe Christopher Dell contained therein confirm the obvious, the MDC should be ashamed of itself that it is clear as daylight now that it’s been working with the country’s detractors to obtain power in a way that undermines the historical bedrock and collective ethos of Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans. While the WikiLeaks leaks have generated anxiety and an outcry among many, especially in the American establishment, they constitute a significant godsend in the sense that the truth has been laid bare for all to see.  If there were still any doubting Thomases on Zimbabwe’s claims about the US’s regime agenda, the leaks have put those doubts to rest.  It is clear from the Dell report that the US was never interested in a government of national unity currently running Zimbabwe.   Little wonder why it has faced so many challenges. We dare say the US has been working behinds the scenes to make sure the GNU does not work. Dell, who left Zimbabwe in 2007, hinted in one of the leaks that the idea of a South African-brokered transitional arrangement or government of national unity was “less attractive”. He wrote: “Mbeki has always favoured stability and in his mind this means a Zanu PF-led GNU, with perhaps a few MDC additions. This solution is more likely to prolong than resolve the crisis and we must guard against letting Pretoria dictate an outcome which perpetuates the status quo at the expense of real change and reform.” While South Africa has not “dictated” the formation of the GNU in Zimbabwe, the situation in that country is exactly what Dell, and by extension the US, was against. It is also clear that America, Britain and the rest of the anti-Zimbabwe countries in the west see the MDC as a partner in the ouster of President Mugabe.   While they have clearly failed thus far, it remains to be answered whose interests they would be serving via such a development. Dell described Zimbabwe’s opposition as being far from ideal, adding he was leaving Zimbabwe “convinced that had we had different partners, we could have achieved more already.” This statement is as telling as it is deplorable.  It shows that whether it’s the MDC or anyone else, what the Americans really care about as far as Zimbabwe is concerned is the removal of President Mugabe and Zanu-PF from power. The former US ambassador to Zimbabwe suggests that the MDC leadership has little executive experience and will require massive hand holding and assistance should they ever come to power.  What hand holding is that and what assistance?  To serve what and whose ends? One can now see the reason why the US and the European Union imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe. They had hoped the Zanu-PF government would capitulate and fall under violent circumstances as the economy and consequently cost of living spiralled out of control. Fortunately for Zimbabwe, things did not unwind as Dell had surmised. His  remarks should be borne in mind as proof of US hypocrisy: “If I am right and change is in the offing, we need to step up our preparations. The work done over the last year on transition planning has been extremely useful, both for stimulating a fresh look at our own assumptions and plans and for forging a common approach among the traditional donor community….” “We need to keep the pressure on in order to keep Mugabe off his game and on his back foot, relying on his own shortcomings to do him in. Equally important is an active US leadership role in the international community. The UK is ham-strung by its colonial past and domestic politics, thus, letting them set the pace alone merely limits our effectiveness. The EU is divided between the hard north and its soft southern underbelly. The Africans are only now beginning to find their voice. Rock solid partners like Australia don’t pack enough punch to step out front and the UN is a non-player. Thus it falls to the US, once again, to take the lead, to say and do the hard things and to set the agenda.” Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair openly admitted that his government was working with the opposition in Zimbabwe, specifically the MDC to force President Mugabe out of power. What the secret report by Dell reveals is that the US was ready to play its part in ousting Mugabe but that its local partners were not smart enough. This should send an ominous to all of Africa.  You cannot be your own masters as long as your interests clash with those of the US.  Mugabe’s sin is that he dared go ahead with a programme to redistribute land to landless blacks. What irked the West most was that the land was being taken from white commercial farmers. We wonder who else the US is using in other African countries to remove legitimately elected governments. Today its Zimbabwe. God knows who it will be tomorrow.  The question SADC and the rest of Africa should be asking is can we allow the West to impose its will on Africans.  It is high time countries in the region united and speak with one voice in condemning the US for its big bully mentality in effecting regime change where its interests clash with those of other sovereign countries. Africa can never and will never go back to colonial days.  Simply put, the US attitude stinks.  

December 2010
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