Thursday, 22 January 2015

Chairman's 2015 Opener

Chairman's 2015 Opener

ZANU PF UK Chairman: Cde Nick Mangwana
As we everyone who cares about and loves Zimbabwe can acknowledge that our country is facing serious economic challenges. A way out of the current economic malaise is definitely needed.  As part of Team Zimbabwe we need to come up with more lateral thinking and intuitive reasoning.

We have a befitting slogan, None but Ourselves. This espouses the concept that if one chooses to be a passenger in the discourse their country; they should not complain if the destination is not what they expected it to be. Even the nosiest passengers cannot determine the destination and fate of a ship. You Have  to be part of the crew.

On the 21st of February, 2015, yes on the President’s birthday we shall meet in Birmingham. As we commemorate that day, we shall use that meeting not only as a diagnostic meeting but a meeting where we shall all come up with solutions or at the very least exploratory pointers.  We will endeavor to traverse the economic pathway of our country and assist our party with solutions and suggestions. This they have asked of us.

We will share the vision of the party in this calendar year which include Independence Day in April which we shall  organise and celebrate in a non-partisan way. We have the Annual Conference in December in Zimbabwe which is also part of our calendar. We will also discuss the unassailable right of the cadres in Europe to choose their own leaders. Yes the party in Zimbabwe has a right to select its representative who pushes and promotes  its interests in Europe. 

However, when it comes to day to day running of the structures it is imperative that we set a good and democratic example that the leadership has to come from the people. As most of you are aware, the 29th of August has been pencilled as the day when all card holding members of Zanu PF UK with up to date subscriptions will be given an opportunity to choose their leadership.  It is not progressive to stay in an election mode. 

Leadership should not be about winning an election. Leadership should be about the next generation. That is what makes one a visionary. For they would see beyond the here and now.  We are privileged in our party in the UK to have a lot of people with very creative thoughts. We don’t want those thoughts to remain submerged in despair. We want them to be expressed as a vision and that vision to translate into reality, for we are not fantasists. The coming together of comrades is the starting point of a positive economic action.

For us to translate the dreams and vision of our country into reality, we must break out of our comfort zones. We have to nourish those dreams by sharing them and igniting inspiration in each other;  Which inspiration we will use as bridge to walk across, carrying with us, the Zimbabwe of our dreams. Those who are not currently in leadership, please feel free to challenge in an orderly way on the 29th of August. But always remember that leadership is not about a title, it is not about an appellation or designation. It is about inspiration; it is about influence and respect commanded. And whilst a position can be helpful to attain those, it is not a requisite. It is not a condition for one to make a difference in their community and country. We have all heard or even experienced de facto leaders.  In that same vein we can make difference to our loved Zimbabwe.

Our country has gone into the trap of blame apportionment. Everyone blames the other. But we know comrades, that the moment you start to blame, you give up the transformational power.  Let each individual first look in their mirror before they go next door. Each one of us has a contributory portion to what has bedevilled our country. It is everyone’s responsibility to introspect and identify their own negative contribution and convert that into a positive. 

Working for your country without expecting a reward is unrewarding materially but emotionally fulfilling and inspirational to the next generation.  But if physical rewards do come and they are not corrupt  it will be time to celebrate as a comrade. For you would have earned it Those with enterprising minds and want to come together with like-minded compatriots as well as foreign partners, let's all come together. See you in Birmingham on the 21st February comrades. 

Aluta Continua


Tuesday, 6 January 2015

2014 : The Year of Political Drama

By Nick Mangwana

The first few years preceding our independence were given themes.  One recalls such themes like 1980 Year of the People's Power (Gore ramasimba evanhu/ Umunyaka Wamandhla Abantu).  

1981 was declared the Year of Consolidating People's Power (Gore rekutsigira Masimba Evanhu). 1982 Year of National Transformation,(Gore rekushandura zvinhu), this is the year when most places with colonial names had names changed. This was a process mired in controversy at times. One recalls the town called Fort Victoria was named Nyanda then there was some kind of uproar and it ended up being called Masvingo.  Melsetter was called Mandidzudzure but eventually settling on Chimanimani. There are many places whose name transformation could only be achieved after a lot of presentations and meetings.  

1983 was the Year of People's needs (Gore reGutsa Ruzhinji).  This continued year after year when the national focus would be zoned on one aspect and theme.

Now that 2014 is winding down, what name or title would the nation retrospectively give it?  The Year of the Vote of No Confidences(VONC)? Maybe Year of  Vice Presidents? The Year of the Mazoe Crash? The Year of Ideological Realignment? The year of the Thwarted Rebellion?  There are so many names that come to mind. Or should we borrow one from the Queen Elizabeth the 2nd  who called 1992 Annus Horribilis (Horrible Year)? The reader is left to their own genius to give us something catchy and appropriate. 

What is clear is that all the themes above indicate that all the action was in Zanu PF. Little about the opposition except that there was something to do with a school called Mandeville, Tendai Biti, Sekai Holland and then something to do with Job Sikhala coming back into some fold and trying to make issues of Tendai Biti's health matters.  It backfired of course. Every family has been touched by Aids in a bad way and you don't  insensitively trivialise that matter . Ah, but we forget, the MDC-T actually had a congress just a few weeks before the year end! And we have already forgotten about it?  If there is anything which suited the phrase "damp squib" then that probably wins the completion for the Damp Squib of the year.

Those in England would recall that fore-running  that "congress" Mr Morgan Tsvangirayi took a fund raising junket. This was a very hyped up trip meant to be a tour de force.  He was to give an earth shattering address to the Royal Institute of International Affairs Think Tank commonly  known as Chatham House. Its role in the British Establishment is well known. They are a think tank which is partially run by the British foreign spying agency MI6. They shape British foreign policy. It is here our esteemed  compatriot came and gave a very sophomoric  performance which was very much about his self-deluded entitlement to State power in Zimbabwe. The purveyor of illegal regime made his tired sounding cry for help to gain same.   

Patriotism makes one feel sorry for a fellow countryman of every political persuasion when they give such a car crash performance and self-destruct in a foreign land. Thankfully, this was wholly ignored by all the British Media Houses. After his address he was again wholly ignored by fellow Zimbabweans who left him to loiter in the foyer with little interest from the attendees . His family members in the Diaspora came to the rescue.  We shall waste no more of the limited allocated space by covering a dinky event. Suffice to say, it was fundraising without funds.  Zanu PF had taken the Diaspora. Never again to be surrendered to counter-revolutionaries.

This was because  Zanu PF had established representatives in the UK  covering Europe. Their role was to establish mobilise and set up party structures, lobby against sanctions on Zimbabwe, raise funds, articulate, publicise, explain and defend party policies, build investment linkages and joint ventures, assist the party with political research  and policy development , counter the negative perception pandered against party and country amongst many other objectives.  By the time Tsvangirayi visited the sands had shifted from under his feet. He was no longer the godfather of the Diaspora he thought he was.  

The Diaspora had responded very positively to the progressive message Zanu PF was preaching . They had established structures and were taking people's views communicating these to Harare. The people's  views were simple. They wanted to be accepted and  respected as a key constituent in the Zimbabwean discourse. They wanted to see a genuine political will to root out corruption from all economic and political systems in Zimbabwe.  They wanted a ministry that represented their interests as well as help to shape policy. They felt that their relationship with Zimbabwe was one-sided as it seemed to be about what the country can get out of its people in the Diaspora and not what it can also do for its Diaspora in return.  They wanted this to be mutually beneficial. These were felt to be noble requests. They also wanted a Diaspora vote.

This was an interesting request because it was coming under the banner of enfranchising every Zimbabwean. Surprisingly every time there was a big Zanu PF meeting in the UK, there was also a concerted effort by the same advocates to get Zanu PF cadres deported from the country and the party banned. This same attack continued including lately after congress. It was again established that there representations made to the British Authorities to deny all those that attended Zanu PF congress an entry back into the country.  

These are the same people that take themselves to be super-democrats and  paragons of democratic virtue yet they do not want anybody else in the  democratic space!  How can they even contemplate a Zanu PF government acquiescing to facilitating the voting of the diasporans when the same people are trying to stop its existence among Zimbabweans there? Is it only democracy when Zanu PF is excluded? Or is it those who are calling for a Diaspora vote and the banning of Zanu PF-UK at the same time are self-serving, hypocritical pseudo-democrats  beating the drum for expediency impinged upon political vanity? If they want Zanu PF to exist in Zimbabwe only, then a free and fair election can only happen in Zimbabwe only because that is where all the parties will be represented. They might as well  buy their tickets and vote there. Now that is fairness.

But we digress, because Zanu PF-Europe is here to stay of course.  It can only grow to cover the rest of the Diaspora. Let us go back to the year. We left our thread when we were trying to find a theme for the year. After the  President's  very successful visit  to China  it should have been all about economic recovery. However economics  faded into the background in such a way that people cannot connect the success that is going to come from that visit and Zanu PF VONC Tsunami. The President's visit to China and the coming of Russia's  Mr Lavrov of Russia were supposed to be a harbinger for further investments. But all these good tidings faded into the background.  This is what happens when you deliver  a good message but then surround that message with a lot noise. People lose the message in the midst of the noise.  Politics should drive economics and not to take precedence over it.

Politics has drama. Economics is boring. People don't want to talk about economics. They just want to feel the positive impact of politics in their lives. This is when they get jobs, they can afford a decent life as well as get a 13th check at the end of the year. Of course in many cases the latter was delayed or deferred. This is when they turn to the dramatics of politics. What, with 15 ministers losing their jobs.!A new for Zimbabwe. With the exciting speculation of recalling of MPs, of course the rumour mill is now in overdrive. But that is part of the year of our Lord 2014. Just hoping that 2015 will commence with Zisco now known as Zimsteel livening up and running in the Midlands again. In February the remaining European sanctions against the First Family should go. But we still won't hold our breath,. We know who we are dealing with.  Some people would never admit they were wrong.

The nation hopes that we can built on the many positives from 2014 going forward into 2015. A little less politics and a lot more economics. We have to continue to value our tried and tested allies from the East but still build bridges with everyone.  We make new friends but continue to cherish the old ones. It has taken a lot of indomitability to stand up to our enemies. It will take a lot more bravery to extend the hand of friendship to them in 2015. 


Nick Mangwana is the ZANU PF UK Chairman