Tuesday, December 16, 2008

We Are Our Own Worst Enemies

First of all, we will not be bamboozled into military invasion and conflict. Africa's most powerful nation - South Africa - is next door and will never allow a fellow Southern African nation to be invaded by foreign powers. Secondly, the activities of the likes of Wouter Basson, The Portuguese Secret Service and the Rhodesian Special Branch are well-known; there is no need to go over their hideous activities here.

Now, back to the cholera problem. Zimbabwe, other African countries and all entities that subscribe to African civilisation are ultimately responsible for their own destinies. Yes, the British, Americans, French, and even the Portuguese have always had vicious designs on Africa. That's to be expected, and we need to deal with that reality. In the Darwinian jungle out there, the strong will always prey on the weak.

The Zimbabwean Health Minister, David Parirenyatwa, stated that a lack of cleaning chemicals for Zimbabwe's municipal water supplies, had led to outbreaks of cholera. This fact is plain and simple. Outbreaks of cholera had absolutely nothing to do with the British, although the British have used the cholera outbreak to further their own machinations in zimbabwe. This was simply a failure of local governance. By African standards Zimbabwe is not a poor country. We have an electricity distribution network that is supposed to deliver electric power to urban areas, and yet - due to a lack of electricity generation - whole ares go without power for hours, even days. Most of our urban areas are connected to sewage systems, and yet we've now had an horrific occurrence of cholera. All these problems are not the problems of the British; we brought these problems on ourselves.

Ultimately, all countries are responsible for their own destinies. To blame the British is to implicitly acknowledge the British as the providers of the solutions to all of our problems. BUT NO! DAMMIT! THAT CANNOT BE! The British have their own problems. We Zimbabweans are an independent nation and are heirs to a proud, African civilisation. We will solve our problems in our own way. We must excuse President Mugabe for blaming the British; he's now an old man of 85, and has a weak grasp of reality.

A country's internal problems will be multiplied by external machinations, if a nation's rulers fail to tackle a nation's urgent problems. Chairman Mao, said the same thing in his treatise "On Contradiction". This is what he said, " ............external causes become operative through internal causes. The fundamental cause of the development of a thing is not external, but internal. Furthermore, social development is due chiefly not to external, but to internal causes."

I hope I answered your queries.
James Chikonamombe

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A New Paradign For Africa

The editors at the "Economist" are capable of extreme, Orwellian double-speak. Keynesian, fiscal stimulus is great if you have the monetary resources to inject into your economy. However, most African countries are too poor to dabble with Keynes. We Africans need to widen our scope of economic modeling, and experiment with ideas that were working, but then were rejected in the 80s. Here, I'm talking specifically about scientific socialism (or African Socialism). We need to reform agriculture; put millions of Africans to work, making the things that we actually need for our daily necessities; increase literacy and numeracy; introduce relative technologies; and finally, we need to get rid of the clownish leadership that has made Africa the world's laughing-stock. We need a technocratic, development- minded elite at the helm. Compare the Chinese leadership of Wen Jiabao and Hu Jintao to Blaise Compaore in Burkina Faso, and Obiang Nguema in Equatorial Guinea. The former are trained hydraulic engineers and physicists who have led China steaming into the 21st century. The latter are doddering idiots. In normal times, Blaise Compaore would be selling mangoes on the dusty streets of Ouagadougou. HE HAS NO BUSINESS BEING AT THE HELM OF BURKINA FASO. The same goes for that cannibalistic clown in Equatorial Guinea, Obiang Nguema.

Back to scientific socialism: we are now seeing that the Western world's economic system is going through rough times. If this system is having a hard time in it's own blood-stream, in it's own, natural environment, how the hell can it succeed in Africa? If you are having a hard time growing rice in a paddy field, how can you grow rice in the arid Sahel? Under the shrewd leadership of Thomas Sankara; Burkina Faso introduced adult literacy programs; checks on desertification; and the Burkinabe actually started to produce the clothes that they wore on their backs. In Zimbabwe - from 1980 to 1989 - we went from a low educational base to having Africa's highest literacy-rate and a well-functioning health sector. This ended in '89 when the IMF got wind of this successful experiment, and then proceeded to knee-cap our state-led development program with their own genocidal, "structural adjustment" program.

We Africans must not blindly follow the economic models of the West. To have a decent standard of living for the bulk of the African masses, we must introduce scientific socialism. It has worked in the past and it can work in the future. It will allow the African masses to begin to produce, and then to consume what they produce. It will also allow the riches of Africa's natural resources to actually benefit ordinary Africans. Africa's present economic structures are not working. Now is the time to bring about viable change by introducing different, economic structures. I'll leave you with a Chinese intellectual, Minqui Li, and his thoughts on Socialism, " It is well-known that the state, socialist countries have been more successful in meeting the people's basic needs (nutrition, health-care, education, housing), and improving women's conditions than other countries with similar levels of economic developmen."

Thank you
James Chikonamombe

Saturday, October 18, 2008

From The Economist - The 'Not-So-Hopeless Continent'

Netters: you might still remember an infamous cover of The Economist Magazine about 7 or 8 years ago, with the title, "The Hopeless Continent". This was during Liberia's civil war, and the cover featured a child soldier holding a bazooka. Now The Economist is at it again; the same people who constantly lambast Africa are now singing its praises, "There Is Hope In Africa", blah, blah, blah! Of course, reading between the lines, you will know that the industrialised world is now entering into an economic depression.

They will use Africa - once again - for its cheap resources, cheap labour, and open markets, to REGENERATE THEIR OWN ECONOMIES. Africa - once again - WILL NOT BENEFIT FROM THIS ECONOMIC REGENERATION. Once the Western World kick-starts its own economies in, say, 3 or 4 years, it will then revert to lambasting Africa at every opportunity, and completely ignore Africa. This has been done time-and-time again. Read you history.

The African leadership - as usual - have no idea what's going on; nor are they aware of the vicious designs that others have on their countries' resources. Do King Mswati (of Swaziland) and Obiang Nguema (of Equatorial Guinea) know what a "credit crunch" is? I doubt it.

Let's brace ourselves for even more plunder.
James Chikonamombe

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Office Of Auditor-General

Now that we have a unity govt in Zimbabwe we urgently need to deal with the pertinent issues at hand. I am proposing that the office of Auditor-General be handed over to a foreign national – preferably African – and not be given to a Zimbabwean native. From 1980-90 things worked in Zimbabwe because we had capable administrators from other African countries at the helm of important administrative positions. We had Kenyans, Nigerians, Ghanaians, Guyanese and others handling key administrative posts. We need to do the same thing today.Zimbabwe is just too small a country for an “apolitical” Auditor-General to be chosen from within. The size of the educated elite is small, and of that elite, relationships overlap. In short, it’s a very incestuous situation.

Small countries like Gambia and Sierra Leone have always used skilled administrators from Nigeria and Ghana to man key, administrative positions. Many Zimbabweans have also been asked to man key posts in Gambia. We Zimbabweans need to do the same thing and recruit from Africa’s highly skilled population.The Auditor-General must be independent of Presidential authority and must answer to Parliament only. Parliament itself must have a bi-partisan (Zanu-pf/MDC) Parliamentary Affairs Committee that looks into the affairs of the Auditor-General’s office, and must proceed with public questioning to view the conduct of the Auditor-General.

An outsider manning the Auditor-General’s office will be free of ethnic chauvinism, and will not have to take family relations - and other such nuisances - into consideration when performing his duties. He will be free to pursue the proper running of his office. Moving from underdeveloped to developed status is basically about good governance, and we must bring this culture of good governance into Zimbabwe’s administration.

James Chikonamombe

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Italy's Colonial Debt To Libya

OK, let's peer through this story with a microscope and see what we find. Libya has Africa's 2nd highest reserves of oil & gas after Nigeria. The too-clever-by-half Italians know exactly what they're doing. They need to secure their future supplies of oil and gas. They know that the French, the Americans, the Russians and the good 'ol Brits are fishing in the same waters and will beat a path to Ghaddafi's tent in a jiffy, looking to lock up Libya's oil & Gas.

Now, let's move on. The Italians will pour $5 billion into Libya, and I can guarantee you that Italian companies will be at the front of the line in getting all those contracts that come out of this endeavour. Of that $5 billion, $25 billion will return to Italy in the form of (excess) profits, and value-added returns.

And finally, at the bottom of the story, you'll read that "our Condi" Rice will pay a visit to Libya soon. Alas, she too must take care of America's economic interests. Don't expect her to weep into her Chanel bag over Libya's colonial suffering; she'll do no such thing. She's there to appease the Libyan government so that U.S oil companies (and big business) can move into Libya un-hindered. So, those of you who were wiping away tears of gratitude that a colonial debt is being re-paid, can now put away your hand-kerchiefs, and stop sobbing. This "deal" is about big business and national interests. It has got ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with Italy's past wrong-doing in Libya.

I Thank You
James Chikonamombe

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Now What?

Ah, those were the days! Below is a photo from a frontline summit of '85, with Presidents Kaunda, Mugabe, Machel & Nujoma. If only we could get back to those days. President Yar'Adua - as the President of the "Giant of Africa" - should take the initiative and call for a special Africa summit on Zimbabwe. That way, some basic principles can be laid down for "talks about talks". I'm not naive: there is no way that Zanu-pf will ever unite with Tsvangirai's MDC. However, interested parties, influential outsiders and progressives from all the political sides must be given a platform to express their wishes for a future Zimbabwe.

If such a platform is not available then Zimbabwe will just lurch from problem to problem, with no end in sight. The mindless clashes produced by such a stalemate can only be harmful, and yet meaningless at the same time. In Shona we say, "Kutungana kwe-mbudzi!" ; that is the futile clashing of goats. That's precisely what is happening when Zanu-pf's hardliners in the J.O.C and the MDC's camp are each trying to seize the high ground. Let's call a time-out to this nonsense.

The photo is below
James Chikonamombe


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Not Invited To A Banquet In Our Honour!

We cannot even get invited to a banquet in our honour. They probably discussed Africa between the 6th and 7th courses (between the white asparagus and the truffle soup), and yet the Presidents of Senegal, Tanzania and Ethiopia were not even invited to the epic, 8-course meal being served to other dignitaries. Maybe they thought that President Zenawi would slurp in his soup, and President Kikwete would not know how to handle a knife-and-fork. Why do African Presidents even bother showing up to these meetings? It's embarrassing. Two days ago, they had the Presidents of six African leaders lined up in Hokkaido -like clowns - ostensibly to talk about aid; and yet the "aid" once pledged, never actually arrives. If it does come it's in dribs-and-drabs, and with horrendous strings attached. At the most, the African nations should let either Nigeria or South Africa represent the continent at these meetings. At least they have enough clout to be respected.

James Chikonamombe

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Strategic Retreat

Now is the time for Zanu-pf to make a strategic retreat and – if they lose the upcoming Presidential run-off – concede defeat graciously to the winning party. You see, what we’re up against is just too big to defeat. We’re not fighting Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC. No, they’re just bit players. We’re really fighting global capital, corporate interests, The Trilateral Commission, the Bilderburg Group, The British Establishment and their allies in the West. Zimbabwe is too small a country to fend them off any longer.

They said that WE WILL SCREAM! And yes, scream we have! Oh yes indeed. The “silent sanctions" applied against Zimbabwe (and the gross incompetence of top govt officials) have reduced Zimbabwe to penury. Like in cricket, let’s now play for a draw – so that we can live to fight another day. It’s now imperative that another party be allowed to form a new govt - or at the minimum, a govt of national unity.The skilled millions of Zimbabweans living overseas will not return unless there is a move towards renewal in Zimbabwe. And IT’S THE PEOPLE of a country (especially the skilled) who always produce its prosperity, and not the resources that are located in that country. Africans always say that “we have diamonds, oil, copper etc” And, so what? Crude oil isjust black muck in the ground until skilled engineers lift it out of the ground and turn it into jet-fuel and diesel. A diamond is nothing but a shiny stone to someone who does not know how to cut-and-polish that diamond. Any battle-field commander will tell Zanu-pf to withdraw from the field right now; mass suicide is not an option. Just as Nkrumah was fighting for the whole of Africa, and not just Ghana, so RGM and Zanu-pf are fighting for Africa’s destiny.

Fighting to the death is silly; we’re Africans and we don't do that. Strategic withdrawal is imperative right now. Let’s pull back a little so that we can live to fight another day. We in Zimbabwe can consolidate our gains in education, Land-Reform, ethnic and racial harmony, to move things forward once the dust settles.

James Chikonamombe