Tuesday, 23 December 2014

The Question of the Zimbabwean Diaspora Vote

By Nick Mangwana

The most prevalent carping remark provoked by any talk of a National Diasporan Policy is "We want our vote".  This has been a detraction from the main thrust of  a wider diasporan policy framework. We have therefore decided to focus on the topic of a diaspora vote this week.  Like all political debates, it will benefit more from  an open mind and maturity from all interlocutors.

The major argument being advanced by those who advocate to participate in Zimbabweans  elections from their bases  is that the diasporans contribute over $2 billion to the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) every year. This therefore entitles them to some recognition and should obligate their governments to facilitate them to vote from wherever they are based. Those that oppose this argument contend that this money is not going through the fiscus and therefore not taxation. Much of this money is for familial social support therefore whilst it covers a lot of what a government would have been expected to do for its citizens, it is still not taxation. One cannot say that simply because they look after their mother or siblings therefore they should be given a vote.  If everyone in Zimbabwe who looks after their folks was stopped from paying taxes then the government would not function.  At the heart of this argument is the fact that the Zimbabwean diaspora should not be lobbying for a vote unless they are prepared to pay taxes.  Is it taxation or citizenship which should determine who votes in an election? In Britain practically every tax payer votes regardless of their citizenship.

The United States levies taxes on its expatriates income and allows them to participate in all its elections and referenda. The old slogan "No taxation without representation" comes to mind. So Americans are taxed on everything they earn from anywhere in the world. Eritrea has started taking 2% of all UK earnings from its diasporans for use back home. One can already hear apoplectic shouts from the Zimbabwean diaspora against the mere suggestion that they pay part of their income to the Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ)!

Well, if people want to vote in the diasporan do they expect the few taxes levied against street vendors and on airtime and other micro-economic enterprise to be used to facilitate their vote in Birmingham, Gauteng or Dallas? Someone has to pay. How would you justify taking millions away from key services and allocating to the people that live in far off places to determine your  destiny?
  From the cost of campaigning to the holding of elections itself. Would you still expect an economically challenged and an overstretched budget to track down, register,  conduct voter education and campaigns and still hold an election with due integrity?  This is because managing a vote in all these places is quite expensive even if it based at the embassies. On the other side of this argument is that with modern technology electronic voting should be able to alleviate these challenges. Even this does not come cheap.  

How about the security of the vote itself?We have always suffered from the sore loser syndrome in African politics and particularly in Zimbabwe . Opposition parties never hardly ever concede an election loss no matter how flawlessly it is conducted. Will this not add another complex  dimension to the tired manipulation accusation? If one considers the figure of 3-4 million Zimbabweans in the diaspora  being thrown around, it means the value of the diasporan vote is not only of a swing value but if the turnout is good it will be more than 3 provinces worthy. This makes it very substantial and as a result very contentious.  This leads straight  to the question of whether everyone over 18  in the diaspora would be allowed to vote.

The United States allows everyone. Britain allows only those that have been out of the country for not more than 15 years only.  Most countries the average is 6 years.  Should we use the British system, most of the people in the diasporan would be excluded from voting in 2018 anyway. The United States is unlimited because of the issue of taxation.  In the same vein we have to ask ourselves who we should allow to vote in our national election.  The person that left Zimbabwe 40 years ago, his children and grand children or just him within 20 years of emigrating? To make it limitless would provoke the question of, how much attached and in touch are they still. How much engaged with the issues at home are they to be allowed to determine leaders of a country they have little to with now? In most cases they already vote where they reside and pay taxes, why would they be allowed to vote and determine leadership  in 2 countries (unless of course they pay taxes in both)?

How informed is someone resident elsewhere on issues on the ground? The proliferation of the internet and social media makes it a bit easier to be more or less au fair with the situation on the ground, but it is still different from the one that experiences it. If the people in Zimbabwe cannot boast that they are very much in touch with the situation on the ground in Britain, then the reverse also holds true.  Can a person based in Zimbabwe vote on matters in Britain saying they know all about it through social media and reading  papers and the worldwide web?

The answer would probably be that parties would come and campaign. Then the question of certain candidates having restrictions of visiting other countries is another issue to deal with. The playing field would not be fair as long as other key candidates are under sanctions. So a key step is for everyone to campaign for the removal of sanctions against President Mugabe and his family.

Currently Zimbabwe has a very simple attitude to the vote from their diaspora. If you register to vote in Zimbabwe, by all means be available on election day to vote.  This seems simple enough. But the diasporans do not want that. They want to vote from their countries of residence.  Over 120 countries allow some sort of voting in the diaspora and 21 of those countries are African. The next question is over the threshold. How many Zimbabweans should be in a  certain country to consider having a vote there? Mozambique says 1000. Maybe that's actually not a bad thing. If we ask those who would vote in a Zimbabwean election to go and register at their embassies as South Africa did in 2014, wouldn't that be a good starting point in computing that illusive figure of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora.  That figure is way too important for any meaningful policy formulation to be left  unknown.

How about  allocating some parliamentary seats to the diaspora. This is not a new phenomenon.  Some countries have already pioneered this. France has 12 out of 331 reserved for the diaspora. Croatia allocates 6 out 152 seats to its diaspora.  Algeria has a parliament of 389 and 8 of the seats are reserved for the diaspora. Angola allocates 3 out 220 seats to the diaspora.  Our own neighbour, Mozambique allocates 2 out of 250 seats to its diaspora. This thrust is predicated upon the premise that these representatives will be dealing with matters  that not only affect the diaspora, but will bring an international perspective to the debate in the house which will also enrich it. At the heart of all these structural arrangements is an effort not to disenfranchise any citizen. In seeking a formula that works, every practical solution should be explored.

There is a global trend towards having a diaspora vote as a universal standard. The fact that over 120 countries allow overseas voting  does not necessarily mean that Zimbabwe is out of step with others. The government position is mainly based on economics rather than politics. Economic contributions to the fiscus would come with the political outlet. This is not putting a price tag on democracy. It is just being pragmatic to the reality of our circumstances. Goodness of an act must be measured by consequences on society.

We do not even know how many Zimbabweans are out there and  where they are. How can even talk of giving them the vote?  We are even fighting over the voter's roll in Zimbabwe. How much more will fight over the diasporan voter's roll? In any case who will be eligible to vote in these elections?  The fact that there are more questions than answers in this piece is probably a hint that there will be more peevish and querulous bickering emanating from adding a diaspora element to the conundrum of Zimbabwean elections. In all the arguments for and against diaspora voting out there, the major ones are not against the principle itself but are impinged on the practical feasibility. 


Cde Nick Mangwana is the Chairman of ZANU PF UK.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

ZANU PF UK Chairman end of Year Message

Season's Greetings

ZANU PF UK Chairman: Cde Nick Mangwana
As we approach our Christmas and the culmination of a New Year we take stock of our achievements and plan for the next year.

Our country is facing a lot of challenges in which everyone of us who is emotionally or otherwise invested in Zimbabwe has to play their part.  We can all sit back and blame our leaders but whilst that is a good pastime, it won't change our destiny or that of our children and their  inheritance. Zimbabwe needs all of us. Under the banner of  None But Ourselves we have already shown how much we can do if we remain united and focused.

We are privileged to have the leadership we have in Zimbabwe. Our President and First Secretary Cde R.G Mugabe is a former diasporan. He went to University in South Africa and taught in both Zambia and Ghana. In fact his revolutionary inspiration was nurtured by his presence in the diaspora when he witnessed Ghana become the first Black African Country to be independent. It does not even end there,  as we raise our families in different parts of the world we should do so in the proud knowledge that those children are not alone. For our First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe is also a child of the diaspora having been born in South Africa and only coming to Zimbabwe aged 5. In her our children have a patron.  It does not even end there, our Vice President Cde E.D. Mnangagwa experienced his adolescence in the Diaspora in Zambia where he finished his primary and did his secondary schooling. He joined the war there from.

My fellow Cdes, We point to these icons to illustrate that there is no regression relationship between your location in the diasporan and patriotism.  You have made so many personal sacrifices for party and country, that is appreciated.  The country continues to seek cadres that will work for it not as an investment for future entitlement and patronage.  But for the mere reason that it is the right thing to do.

In the new year we will improve on our organisation to try to make us a super efficient outfit.  As we focussed a lot on politics in this our maiden year.  Politics will remain on our agenda as we fight the negative perception and demonisation of our country. We however should engage a couple more gears and get into the economic mode in the coming year.  In our engagement  with the government and our mother party we will bring the issue of our Chamber of Commerce to fruition. We will continue to engage our principals so as to have a one-stop-hub for all diasporan matters. Be it a ministry or a department or at the very least a desk in an amenable ministry.  This has t happen as the Diaspora is a key constituent in the Zimbabwean discourse.  Even though our detractors are the primary beneficiaries of our efforts, we will continue with our thrust built upon a bedrock of positivity.  Negativity has never built a country or organisation.

In this New Year as we build structure we will also follow up on our efforts to  lobby the government to facilitate our children getting their birth certificates and National IDs in the countries we are based in.  In this regard we will assist the government in coming up with a mechanism for the registration of all Zimbabweans in the diaspora and collation of the statistics. This database will help inform policy. Issues such as democratic participation in electoral processes at home will continue to be reviewed.  We are ZANU PF and the governing party. We want our diaspora to be recognised as a National Asset and ZANU PF- UK will endeavour  to front this.

We have a very good relationship with our Embassy, they have been very helpful to the community. We will continue this as we welcome our new Ambassador.  We will try to avoid conflicts with our compatriots and try to build productive synergies with every Zimbabwean. However where others will see the need to push us, we will try to engage. Failure of that strategy, we will certainly push back. Even at that level we will remain a non-violent entity and will obey the letter and spirit of the laws of our hosting nation.

Cdes, Let us all merry make and feast in our festivities but stay safe till we meet in the New year.

Aluta Continua


Thursday, 18 December 2014

Magnanimity is Graciousness

 By Nick Mangwana

Cde Nick Mangwana is the Chairman of ZANU PF UK
One of the greatest speeches of our time was made by President Mugabe in 1980 on the eve of our first Independence Celebrations, then as the incoming Prime Minister of a new Zimbabwe. It was statesman’s speech. A speech which he himself quoted extensively during the Zanu PF  6th  National People’s Congress.

In that speech President Mugabe said that those who hated each other yesterday should embrace each other with love. He said that it is folly to revive wounds and grievances of the past and not to forgive past wrongs as people embark in nation building.  He did not  advocate for the burying of the past but said that the past should only be used to provide a lesson rather than justification for revenge. He used the terms “national interest” and “national unity” extensively.

Now let us set the context for all this; this was some weeks after the Lancaster House agreement and a ceasefire that was violated over and over again by the Rhodesians. Those who were around during this periods would remember how many of our heroes were killed during the so-called ceasefire. These are people who had survived the war but were slaughtered by the so-called peacemakers. This was just  4 years after the massacres at Nyadzonia and Chimoio where thousands innocents were moored down by the murderous Rhodesian military machine. 

A mere  6 years after President Mugabe had been released from more than 10 years of incarceration during which he missed the funeral of his then only child. A time in which the natural thing would have been to be bitter and vindictive.  But not so with President Mugabe, his personal feelings and hurt had to play second fiddle to the common good. And the common good was nation building and magnanimity in victory. National interests a had to take precedence over personal sentiment.  This is what made him an extra-ordinary human being. This was the first time this had ever been done in post conflict colonial Africa. Even President Mandela only preached reconciliation after taking a his cue from this extra ordinary act of graciousness.

Let us fast forward 34 years later when Zanu PF went through an internal “tsunami”. It cleansed itself and in true form of a revolutionary party, made some revolutionary decisions. It got rid of some chairmen and members of its leadership who had lost their way when it mattered most. Some of the acts for which they were purged were  quite treacherous, abominable and quite abhorrent really.  The party has shown its fine mettle, cleansed itself and re-aligned itself back to its socialist and Pan-Africanist ideology.  Those of us who always wanted certain people to be at the helm celebrate the culmination of that dream, but we don’t engage in triumphalism. We also wish some of our cdes would also not engage in vindictiveness and spite as well. 

There is no glory in hitting a person when they are down. One might even lose support of the neutrals for doing same. In our triumph we will be better people if we put aside our antagonism and ingrain in ourselves a spirit of graciousness.

If we fail to learn from the father of reconciliations; President Mugabe, at least let us learn from the magnanimity shown by his prodigious student, Vice President Emerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa.  The reader is challenged to come up with a quote where the Vice President has engaged in triumphalism. He has been gracious in victory throughout and a consummate diplomat towards his perceived vanquished comrade and rival. "Perceived" because he has always denied that he harboured any ill-will towards her.  He has uttered no disparaging remark, no controversial statement, no pregnant slogan. Just the trademark Pasi nemhanduuuuuu. It is on this platform that we can continue to build our party and country. Not on permanent spite, hurt, hate and bitterness. These sentiments do not take courage for they are primate in nature. It is a sensitivity and magnanimity that require our higher senses.  Where there are issues of criminal justice in nature, we are a better people if we let the law take its course.

Of course unity and peace comes with a price. Should these lost comrades decide to form another party or join forces with those that unleashed suffering on our country though calling for sanctions then by all means we can vent all our potent venom on them. For from that moment they would have ceased to be Zanu PF and therefore deserve our fire and brimstone. We may even add a dose of burning sulphur to the cocktail. But not when they are still saying they are children of the revolution.  We should embrace them with vigilance of course. Lest we are given a Judas kiss.

If there was someone who had the right to be bitter, it is Vice President Mnangagwa who was deprived of at least 10 years of vice presidency. But he is not. Not only that, there are reported efforts and schemes out there to prematurely terminate his life. But he continues to take it in his stride. He does not dwell on the negative focussing on bringing people together and delivery of positive outcomes for the country. Both the President and the vice have chosen to be the bigger persons. They surely expect us to follow suit.  Why would the President ask us to repeat, " Peace begins with me...... Love begins with me, ..........unity begins with me, begins with you, begins with all of us," if he did not mean it?

At the 6th People’s Congress there were empty seats for Cdes Joice Mujuru and Dydmus Mutasa. This is despite of accusations of attempts to assassinate him. Not only were seats reserved for these two comrades, they were even on the programme! This is the pinnacle of rising above adversity.  Should we learn from the most powerful people in our country we would be a better nation and avoid unnecessary conflict.  

In 1980 the President said we should turn our swords into ploughshares. Those words are apt this very time.  


Friday, 21 November 2014

Stating the Obvious : Sanctions are Real

By Nick Mangwana

A few decades ago in my Kutama days we were always told that to pass an exam you had to state the obvious. This is not an exam, neither am I trying to triumph in anything. I am just a simple man stating the obvious. Nothing sophisticated. Nothing you haven't heard before. And definitely  nothing ground breaking. Just a few home truths.

President Putin says that sanctions imposed by the West against Russia are illegal because they were not imposed through the United Nations.  Sounds familiar? Since these sanctions, the Russian currency called the rouble has tumbled. Russian economy is stuttering. Consequently Russia is now reaching out to cultivate tighter economic relationships with China; déjà vu. We have absolutely have witnessed this elsewhere.

The sanctions regime against Russia is packaged as travel bans against certain members of the Russian government, Duma, State allied companies and businessmen.  In its usual grandiloquent parlance, the West uses terms like "Smart sanctions" , "targeted sanctions" or "travel embargo". Again familiar words calculated to mislead.

Russia is a powerful country, in any man's language. It has oil and gas whose revenues account  for half of its budget. It is the world's second largest oil exporter. It is a very large country with a population of about 144 million. It is technologically and industrially developed with a diversified base.  Some still consider it a super power. In August 2014 Russia had a stockpile of $472 billion in hard currency and $1.5 trillion of assets. Seemingly enough to withstand the effect of the Western sanctions against it.

However this has not been the case. Its economy is now struggling. Russian banks have been cut off from accessing international finances. In response they have tightened their own lending to local banks.  State companies like the oil giant Rosneft have already started showing signs of financial distress. Rosneft has already asked the State to bail it out with $25 billion from the reserves for it to be able to refinance its debt. The growth rate is flat-lining with most objective analysts settling on 0.2%. If these things happen to a tree that is green (Russia), how much more would have happened to a dry one (Zimbabwe). Add 15 years of the same and you stop wondering why the obvious happened; the economy burned. It's a either a miracle or dextrous statecraft why we are still standing.

I can hear my nephew Courage sighing, "Here we go again. The sanctions rhetoric starts". You see, when the EU announced with a lot of bedlam that they had lifted sanctions against Zimbabwe, he sent me a text saying that now I should never write about sanctions or Zim Asset. He said he would stop reading my pieces the moment he sees those words. He said that people were tired of those words and the sanctions excuse (as he calls) was a fagged out argument. He said that Zanu PF should just raise its hands and admit to its failures.  Well, muzukuru Courage, firstly this is not a sanctions rhetoric, secondly and more importantly Zimbabwe is still under sanctions.

I would like to first concede a few points;  Zanu PF government has made some mistakes. It therefore is responsible for some failures. Of course, it is a government run by mortals and there cannot be infallible.   But to deny that ZIDERA 2001 and the EU Special Measures (sanctions) did not play a major role in the economic decline of our country is disingenuous muzukuru. This is quite obvious, isn't it?

In the same spirit of stating the obvious, here is another admission of guilt;  The current goings in my Party Zanu PF's as an exordium to the Congress is damaging the economy. Oh yes. I have said it. Now let's also talk about those sanctions packaged as travel bans against the First Family. It always starts in a village.

I grew up in a village. In a neighbouring one, there was patriarch known as Mr Magodoza.  Mr Magodoza  was maliciously accused  of  some heinous crimes against his daughters. The stigma of the accusations against the old chap caused so much suffering to the rest his clan. Mothers discouraged their daughters from marrying into that clan. Fathers and uncles kept away their sons and nephews. Those daughters who persisted had a king's ransom tagged for lobola. Even some of those who had already married suffered premature matrimonial dissolutions. It was not only nuptial issues that were affected.

Community relations were that.  it was normal for people  borrow salt, sugar  or fire. For those not familiar with the latter let me explain what might seems obvious to the rest. In the village when one wanted to ignite a fire, they would use a match. In many cases there would be none. One would then have to send a child to the next homestead to borrow some burning coal from their hearth to use as a kindle to fire up their own hearth (kugoka moto). This was very important otherwise you would not have a cooked meal.  Magodoza's clan suffered such social isolation that this very simple transaction became anathema to the rest of the village.

 In the village we had a cattle  exchange system or loaning system known as kuronza mombe (of the mombe yekuronzerwa kama wakaringa nzira fame). One who needed a cow for milk would swap with one who needed an ox for tilling the furrow. This is just day to day village life. With the Magodozas these  transactions were not only rescinded, but when they did happen they were so lop-sided and unfair. 

The stigma from the accusations against Magodoza  affected all inter-clan and kinsmen transactions.  Even though it later emerged that the accusations were malevolent the clan had already suffered from structural cleavage. Decades later they are still recovering from it. A patriarch is the nexus of all clan kinship, transactions and social organisation. By the same token a head of state is the sovereign embodiment of a nation's being. 

I am sure the reader has heard enough of my village story and folklore.  I apologise for going on and on. It would be helpful if the reader would now connect Magodoza's story with the sanctions against the First Family. Alternatively, let me state the obvious again at the risk of sounding mundane and banal.

When a Head of State is placed under sanctions. It can appear innocuous to the citizenry. You hear people asking why they would care if Mugabe and wife are stopped from going shopping in Europe.
No Cdes, if I were a rich president would I waste my time moving between racks of clothes checking sizes and trying out? Most of us hate the dressing and undressing in changing rooms that comes with buying off-the-rack clothes. Those with money and power normally call in an exclusive designer to come and take their measurements and outfit them. Bespoke fashion would be the obvious choice. I wouldn't need to go shopping in Europe.  My European tastes would come to me. History is replete with examples of such( Mobutu's extravagance for starters). They import extravagant luxuries from all over the world. They don't have to be physically there to do it. Doh.

 These sanctions are not  about that. It's not about travelling, it's not about shopping, it is neither about filthy lucre stashed away somewhere.  it is about stigmatising a country and demonising it. The religious Cdes will know that if you strike the shepherd, the sheep will scatter. You put a sanctions stain on a head of state, you blight the whole country and its economic system.

The country struggles to service its debts.  A country under sanctions has a very low credit rating as it is considered very risky. It cannot access lines of credit or attract foreign direct investment. Joint ventures with foreign companies are near impossible. Most of us saw the exchange between young Takunda Chingonzo and President Obama. We also know that his company Saisai and him personally were never on the sanctions list. Despite this he articulated how substantially affected he was by the so-called targeted sanctions. Here was an example of how effective the stigma and resultant stealthy sanctions have had on Zimbabwe and its employment capacity.

Let us remember the patriarch Magodoza. Let us remember the great bear, Russia. If Russian economy is tottering on the brink in spite of its G8 status, how much more for our little Zimbabwe, which is  just a harmless flame lily? So yes, Courage wehazvanzi, before I stop writing about sanctions and Zim Asset I will always need to once in a while state the obvious. One such obvious is that, if the President is under sanctions, Zimbabwe is under sanctions. 


Nick Mangwana: Chairman; ZANU PF UK

Tsvangirai: ‘End-game’ into the ‘deep-end’

By Bernard Bwoni

Reminiscing, reflecting and remembering of the opulence and abundance previously presented and longing for another stint on the pampered boulevard of the government of national unity days. Musing over the mansions, the mini-skirts, the motorcade processions, the women, the High Seas, more women, the Savoy, tripping and tumbling in Berlin, the Renewal and more women. 

Many people might not be aware of it but the opposition MDC-T party recently held its elective or should I say selective Congress where Mr Tsvangirai charged without conviction that ‘We will mobilise and galvanise the nation for the end-game’. 

What is it about Tsvangirai’s preoccupation with ‘endgames’, ‘game-changers’ and ‘deep-ends’? 

These are the clutches and grasping at straws by a man and a party with no game, guile or guts, a man whose game ended a long time ago that is if there was ever any game. This is a man who fronts an increasingly irrelevant and disintegrating grouping that has got no game or game to play let alone change. As Mr Tsvangirai rightly predicted in his book the only way for the opposition is a slow but sure descend into the deep-end never to come back up. Right now all the games are happening on the ruling party court with the opposition as mere spectators gazing in awe at the intraparty democracy and reconfiguration.

Political Voyeuristic Disorder: Tsvangirai, Chamisa and
Biti tripping over each otherto read the ZANU PF Manifesto
The picture of Mr Tsvangirai, Nelson Chamisa, Tendai Biti and other MDC-T party leadership tripping over each other to read the ZANU-PF Manifesto just before the 2013 elections is telling and clearly illustrates the political voyeuristic disorder that we see and continue to see within this party. And Mr Tsvangirai could not resist ‘borrowing’ from ZANU-PF again as always during his address at this Elective Congress saying ‘the solution to the national crisis lies in none but ourselves’. None-But-Ourselves (Iwe Neni Tine Basa – Mina Lawe Silo Musebenzi) is the ZANU-PF ideology and it is clear as crystal that MDC-T idolises ZANU-PF hence the huff and puff and tantrums about leading demonstrations to ‘force President Mugabe to accept the need for reforms’. 

This is the same Tsvangirai who during his five years in the GNU made, sorry I meant shared tea daily with President Mugabe and the only reforms he called for were matrimonial ones. The only game Mr Tsvangirai changed during his time as Prime Minister was scoring own-goals and plenty of them for that matter. Nothing personal against Mr Tsvangirai but the trail is there for all to see.

 The fact that the opposition had this Elective Congress and very few people knew about it or cared less is a telling sign of party with no game to play or change or end-game. Even the MDC-T party itself was not very much interested in its own Congress and the leadership mainly preoccupied themselves with analysing and admiring the ZANU-PF internal politics and so-called succession battles. The only game in Zimbabwean politics right now is found in the ruling party where self-introspection, self-analysis and self-reconstruction is effectively at play. The opposition can only wish for the ruling party to implode but what we are witnessing in ZANU-PF is intraparty politics of uninterrupted self-reflection and growth, a party Constitution that works and works efficiently to draw the line, bring cadres back in line and carry the party forwards not backwards or side-ways, not splitting, spitting or splintering.

In his address Mr Tsvangirai stressed that ‘the protests will force Robert Mugabe to the negotiating table and build consensus on the need for a timetable towards a free and fair election’. What is evidently clear from this statement is that Mr Tsvangirai is looking for a short-cut to another GNU and he is enlisting the masses to shoulder his quest for and pursuit of the petal-littered path towards the trappings and luxuries previously presented to him when he was Prime Minister. The only end-game etched in the opposition minds right now is a return to the GNU and that is why they are not presenting any shadow strategy but rather but rather looking for negotiations into government. 

he elections have been, over and done with and the opposition ought to start presenting their own proposals to counter what the ruling currently has to offer. Let us not confuse this relentless quest for splendour and grandeur of the upper echelons of power with championing and leading demonstrations for this so-called desire for ‘constitutional reforms’. Tsvangirai had five years to clamour for these ‘constitutional reforms’ and he did nothing. This is a man who during his entire five years in the GNU frolicked on the High Seas and we have pictures to prove it. A man who wined and dined with the elites of Western capitals has no game to change because he was changed by the game. The only way unfortunately is via the deep-end.

The ruckus and fracas about friction within the ruling are a smoke-screen to confuse, conceal and throttle the the ZANU-PF led Zimbabwe ground-breaking beginning of economic liberation. That will not succeed as there is only one united ZANU-PF, one united Zimbabwe that will prevail at the end of it all. There is indeed is an invisible hand in all attempts to foil and misdirect Zimbabwe’s path toward real prosperity, real wealth and economic emancipation of her citizens. 

The many principled men and women in the mould of President Robert Mugabe who are the real drivers for African Renaissance have that difficult but essential task of addressing and redressing the inequalities created by the colonial system through empowerment of the indigenous people of Zimbabwe. President Robert Mugabe is an inspiration and even the incoming British Ambassador to Zimbabwe Ms Catriona Laing rightly described him as ‘iconic’. President Mugabe is an icon yes, not an object of aesthetics, but pure substance. He is the glue that binds the nation and the history that will inspire future generations. It is up to the people of Zimbabwe to define who their real heroes are and no amount of modification or moderation is going to change that. 

The heroes who hold that fundamental belief in the African dear to their hearts are there among us. Those who sit on the fence, swaying in any direction the pendulum swings only tarnish the principles and pose a threat to the ideology that holds and has held this country together amidst the external economic and political obstruction. The only game left to change is to forge ahead with the economic emancipation of the people of Zimbabwe. Another GNU as being advocated by Tsvangirai and his party is all games. 


Cde Bernard Bwoni
Deputy Secretary for Admin; ZANU PF UK

It is Cold Outside Zanu PF Cdes

By Nick Mangwana

Makoni found it so cold outside ZANU PF that he became cosy
with the High Priest of Sanctions: Morgan Tsvangirayi
It’s just a few days to Congress. Zanu PF our revolutionary party is undergoing another revolution. Every analyst is speculating what will happen before, during and after congress. Speculators have said that the party will be split, weaken and even go into opposition. Nothing can be further from the truth. We are given examples of political parties that died like UNIP and Malawi Congress Party. The difference between such parties and our Zanu PF is simple; they did not get their independence through a liberation struggle. But that does not mean we should take each other or the people for granted.

People have left Zanu PF and discovered that it is cold out there (quoting a famous professor). So far we had Zanu Ndonga which was a splinter group formed by Zanu’s founding president Ndabaningi Sithole. This party achieved nothing and those that left followed him faded with him and never made a difference to the people of Zimbabwe. Granted, that party got a seat in Chipinge for a few parliamentary seasons, but that is as much as it went.

We then had our former Secretary General, Cde Edgar Tekere forming Zimbabwe Unity Movement (ZUM). Here was a former stalwart with so much clout. But lo and behold his new party only 2 got seats in the House of assembly. Since then the party just suffered a natural a natural atrophy attributable to organisations based on protest and disgruntlement.  After a few years in the wilderness the much liked cde Tekere ended up home. Back in Zanu PF and was subsequently interred at the National Heroes’ Acre. Cde Tekere was arguably a big political player. But he could not be bigger than the party. Outside the Party, Zanu PF he found it cold out there.

Sithole: Outside ZANU PF his party faded into political oblivion
In 2008 a young technocrat who had done a good stint in Sadc, government and another good one in the corporate world left the party. There was a belief that this technocrat had enough political gravitas to shake the party. This was at the height of the sanctions regime. He benefitted from a protest vote after people had endured the eye of the sanctions storm. But for all the hype and ballyhoo he only got 8% of the vote. He had run as an individual. He expected people to vote for him, not because of what he stood for. Not because he had a vision or ideology. Not because he had been chosen by the people. No. None of the above. Because he was Simba Makoni. After the elections he went on to form a party called Mavambo-Dawn-Kusile. He found it cold out there and faded into political oblivion. He now enjoys a very fascinating relationship with the High Priest of Sanctions; Morgan Tsvangirayi. But when it comes to making a difference to the people of Zimbabwe, he has lost what could have been. 

Cde Edgar Tekere (right); Flirted with ZUM and came
back home to ZANU PF
He possibly could have been making immense contribution if he had remained in the fold. However Simba rehove riri mumvura (A fish will only retain its strength if it remains in the water).
he lost the strength he had as happens a fish he leaves water. As it is said in Shona folklore wisdom;
This is a call for unity. 
However it is not a call for the party to be blasé in its treatment of its cadres and leadership. It is also not a call for the party to be indifferent to the needs of our people. We made electoral promises. The people believed us. In those promises we were being sincere. However our sincerity will only be evidenced by our delivery of better outcomes for the people of Zimbabwe. If we fail to deliver those outcomes, at least let us show that we are trying. Right now we will struggle to do that. 

There is now so much suspicion within the rank and file of the party at many levels including cabinet.  The congruence that is needed to push our agenda via Zim-Asset is now scantly witnessed. We are tempting fate cdes. We are taking a very high risk for which we might pay a very high price. This is a high stakes game in which there is so much to gain but and much more to lose.

We shouldn’t condone treachery and betrayal. Betrayal and back stabbing by your own is not only vulgar but the deception is cruel.  By the same token we shouldn’t also betray the trust bestowed upon us by the people to make their lives better. Let us never forget that after all has been said and done, there is life after Congress.

In the same breath we should also say, it is cold out there, so whoever is flirting with leaving the party should learn from history.  Those who do not remember history are condemned to repeating it.  

Aluta Continua.


Nick Mangwana; ZANU PF UK Chairman

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Mind Your Business Chaps

By Nick Mangwana

We note with a knowing smile and rub our hands with glee at the further demise of the amoeba
opposition parties in our country. 

We always never comment. We have always known that they lacked an emotional energy and benefited from a protest vote emanating from the sting of the Sanction Regime they so sadistically called for. Even knowing this much we concentrate on our own business. It is such that we prefer to mind.

We have a few things happening in our party. Whatever the ins and outs of that, the opposition parties have decided that this is their business as well. Really astounding acts of voyeurism.

Surely, when members of one family are having their feuds, debates, or differences what business is it for the village idiot?

Zanu PF is made of congenial cadres and Cdes. We are bound to have fraternal differences. Whilst these may be considered unhelpful at times, we are more annoyed when we start having opposition apparatchiks masquerading as pseudo-experts on Zanu PF affairs.

Why are we having one Prof Madhuku threatening war if Zanu PF power matrices reach one outcome or the other? Shouldn’t he be concentrating on trying to democratically wrest power from us? Shouldn't he also be seeking another project as the constitution is no longer an issue? Is this the way he has decided to maintain relevance and bleed donor funds?

Why are we having one Mrs Priscilla Misihairambwi Mushonga suddenly appearing on certain forum as an adroit panelist on the outcomes of our power dynamics as if their parties are no more? Oh, of course it is that their parties are inanimate.

They have no history, no ideology and no soul. Should it not be considered a productive use of their
intellect and time to try to find a soul? If ZANU PF cadres call themselves fundis on ZANU PF that of course would make a lot of sense. It however would be considered ridiculous should I suddenly prance around as an expert on the MDC (A-Z).

Sometimes we are flattered when we are vindicated as the only business in town. But there are times when we just find these long noses poking everywhere pretty vexatious.

How can it not be annoying when we have cowards threatening war if our elective processes achieve a certain outcome? People like Morgan Tsvangirayi were old enough to join the war and help liberate the country. He chose to run and help the oppressors by brewing the Baas some tea. Suddenly with bravado he threatens to lead unrest from the front. This would be hilarious if it were not serious.

We laugh for we recall this chap running from his own shadow and using one Western Embassy as a
bolthole. That's why we ask, from whence cometh thine valour Mr Tsvangirayi?

We have always concentrated on making our party fit for the 21 st century and the delivery of our
electoral undertakings. But we cannot ignore idiotic political voyeurism. Parties whose only ideology is Mugabe Must Go! We are surely not interested in their 2 pence worth of opinion. It would do no harm for us to remind these chaps to mind their own business (if they have any).

Mr Biti also threatens war. A man with such a dysfunctional party that no one knows who actually leads it. Is it Mangoma? Is it Biti? Sekai Holland or Sipepa Nkomo? Alas we give up with a knowing smile that it is none of our business.

Whilst that rings true we will not ignore when cowards start beating war drums in feigned bravery which is ostensibly just a bluff. Surely a coward is much more inclined to quarrels than men of spirit.

If these people were brave and wanted to be useful, we would deploy them in seeking for the removal of the sanctions they instigated during one of their many times of treasonous treachery.

Should the ZANU PF business be so much of interest to these chaps, then we invite them to come and buy the card, pay subscription and be conscripted into our Cells. For they have a few things to learn and a lot to atone for. 


Nick Mangwana is the Chairman of ZANU PF UK. 
He can be contacted on info@zanupf-uk.com

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Beyond ZANU PF Drama and Entertainment : Sound Policies and Strategy

By Nick Mangwana

MY party Zanu-PF has provided the media with so much to write about. What, with so many sound bites and catch phrases entering our lexicon! In the last few months we have been reminded that there is something called “Gamatox”, we rolled our eyes in nostalgic trance. 

Trying to remember what in God’s name that actually is.

This was a follow-up to the boosting of our ontological knowledge through “Weevil/ Chipfukuto”.
For those who are thirsty, there is “Mazoe Crush”. If you missed that one, you definitely now know what a “Lacuna” is. Then to cap it all “Gay Gangsters”! When it comes to our revolutionary party you are never far away from drama and theatre.
But nicely tucked away or flying off the radar in this Zanu-PF word stock are “Value addition and Beneficiation”.
We even had the generosity of giving the phrase to Sadc in August 2014.We felt the region had a few things to learn from us. During the term of our chairmanship of Sadc that will be our catchphrase until the region is in total harmony with it. The reader should try this; Google “Value Addition and Beneficiation”. You are sure to find either Zimbabwe or Zim-Asset coming up in the suggestions. In this I take pride.
We have scored another first. Yes, I say another because we also gave the world “Indigenisation”. The reader is challenged to try that one as well. Zimbabwe will emerge in most, if  not all hits.Why is this important, you may ask?
How does this help feed families?
SADC is adopting a similar approach with
President Robert Mugabe leading the way.
How does this help fulfil those job promises? The answer is in that these are the words at the heart of Zanu-PF policies.
How can it not be important when commercial mining has been happening in Zimbabwe since 1888 and yet Zimbabwe has little to show for it?
This was when that trickster Charles Rudd, acting on behalf of Cecil John Rhodes, used subterfuge to gain exclusive control of Mashonaland and Matabeleland mining rights.
This was the beginning of the exporting of primary minerals from Zimbabwe. We fast forward to this day; Zimbabwe is leading the resource-rich Africa in saying this cannot be allowed to carry on.
The indigenous population needs to benefit from what is extracted from their territories (Indigenisation). But not only that, the mines should process these minerals in Zimbabwe and beneficiate them in Zimbabwe (Value Addition and Beneficiation). This will boost the value of those minerals as well as create downstream industry and employment. Yes, part of those 2,2 million jobs depend on this.
You may not like Zanu-PF. It is your right. But surely, you would struggle to find fault with this policy.By all means, please enjoy our drama and everything else that we do, but you surely would have difficulties in finding any malfeasance in this noble policy. How can you?
Nigeria is one of the world’s top producers and exporters of crude oil.Ironically, it is also a top importer of petroleum and allied products at extortionate rates. How can they solve this absurdity? The only answer to this irregularity is beneficiation.
Cote d’ivoire is the world’s best cocoa producer . Ghana is number 3. Cocoa is the biggest ingredient in chocolate. How many of us have ever eaten a Ghanaian chocolate? In fact, the best producers of chocolate are Switzerland and Belgium. All from imported cocoa beans!
If that situation is not anomalous, then I don’t know what is. Let us bring it closer to home a bit. Zimbabwe has the second largest platinum reserves in the world after South Africa. Are we even in the top ten league of producers of catalytic converters, laboratory equipment, electrical contacts or electrodes?
Are we even producing, dentistry equipment or platinum jewellery? For these are the things that platinum is used for. The answer to these question is not in a yes or no. The answer is value-addition and beneficiation.
Granted there is always a large gap between Government policy and public opinion.So one has to understand the cynicism of some of our compatriots. How can we not empathise with that cynicism, when there seems to be a war of attrition within my party?
We should surely print tickets and start charging for some of this entertainment we provide.
But one clever person said that, the cure of cynicism is to engage honestly. Yes with honest engagement one would notice that behind all the comedy and farce the Zanu-PF Government is addressing these travesties in resource politics.
It has pushed the platinum producers to build a refinery plant.Whenever platinum is refined there are other benefits. Platinum is normally associated with other base metals like iron, copper nickel and cobalt, as well as gold and silver.This list is quite long and includes other metals like iridium, ruthenium, iridium and osmium.

Whilst the drama is keeping some people entertained:
a platinum refinery is being built in Zimbabwe
 in pursuit of Value Addition

Without our own refinery our platinum will continue being refined in South Africa and we will lose the value and benefit of those other products. With more positiveness, one would also notice that there is a policy intent to build a university for Value Addition and Beneficiation.
Surely one cannot find anything amiss with this policy too. I have been asked many times why I am a member of Zanu-PF. The answer for me has been quite easy. Of course, Zanu-PF is all I have been all my life by familial default. But it is policies like these that made me buy my first card decades ago. It is polices such as these that make me pay my subscription every month.
It is these type of empowerment ideologies that gives an opposition party its worst nightmare. For how can one oppose these?
How can you say this is wrong and win an election? If you say it’s not wrong then what are you opposing?
One can contend that, it is the epitome of mediocrity to just to oppose for the sake of having an opposition.
For beyond all the Zanu-PF drama, the fury and sound bites there is a sound policy.



    Nick Mangwana is Chairman — Zanu-PF UK . He can be reached on info@zanupf-uk.com