Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Abel Muzorewa was a churchman and politician who for a brief moment in 1979 seemed set to play an important and lasting part in the unfortunate and often violent history of his native Zimbabwe.
But his moment came and went, so that he spent only a few months as prime minister before circumstances changed rapidly. In quick succession he was first propelled into prominence and then into obscurity.
But if his political career brought him little in the way of honour and glory, either at home or abroad, he distinguished himself by resolutely preaching peace during the eras of dictatorships he lived through. He was an advocate of compromise but was ill-suited to the politics of Africa, moving too far and too fast in what was then Rhodesia. In his attempts to make an arrangement with the regime of Ian Smith most of his countrymen decided he had settled for too little, too late, and swept him aside. He was displaced by the government of Robert Mugabe, whose character he forecast with grim prescience: "Any talk of democracy, freedom, and independence will be turned into an impossible dream. This country will find itself wallowing in the dust of poverty, misery, and starvation."
The eldest child of a lay preacher's eight children, Abel Tendekayi Muzorewa was born at Umtali in eastern Rhodesia in 1925. He always said he owed his life to a Swedish nurse who helped deliver him in a mud hut. He explained: "I probably would have been just sand or mud – nothing – if she had not been there, because I was born a premature baby. In those days, with all due respect to my African ancestors, people did not know what to do with a premature baby, except to just put it in a pot and throw it away. But because she was there I was saved."
Encouraged by his father, who was a schoolmaster and a Methodist pastor, Muzorewa became first a schoolteacher and later a lay preacher. He studied at various Methodist colleges in the US, returning to Rhodesia with a string of degrees. He went on to hold a variety of positions, including director of the Christian Youth Movement, before becoming the first African bishop of the United Methodist Church in Central Africa in 1968.
His rise within the church was accompanied by his increasing protests against white rule, which brought him to the attention of the authorities. As a result he was banned from a number of tribal areas. For him, religion and political activity went hand in hand. "If religion just means to go to church and pray, then it is a scandal," he declared. "The gospel is concerned about where a man sleeps, what a man earns, how he is treated by the government."
In the early 1970s he and others formed the United African National Council, which took its place among a number of groups opposed to Ian Smith, who in 1965 had declared Rhodesian independence from Britain. The fact that the UANC was moderate and against violence differentiated it from groups led by Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo: they spoke of armed struggle, Muzorewa of liberation struggle. Part of his prominence at the time was due to the fact that other leaders were imprisoned or in exile.
He, too, went into exile for a time, in Mozambique, receiving a huge and enthusiastic welcome when he returned home for a British-sponsored conference. That was one of a number of initiatives which were either aimed at achieving majority rule or making some advance towards it.
It was in the late 1970s that Muzorewa seized what he thought was a historic opportunity. He reached a deal with Smith for new interim arrangements under which blacks could vote but whites would remain in charge of the civil service and armed forces. In a subsequent election he became prime minister, winning a majority of the black vote. He said of his rivals: "They can say what they like, do what they like. They have brought only suffering. I have brought black rule."
This attempt at a settlement had fundamental flaws, however, since Mugabe and Nkomo were not involved in the talks and boycotted the polls. They remained committed to an armed struggle which claimed thousands of lives, insisting on full majority rule and scorning Muzorewa's idea of transitional arrangements.
The general consensus was that Smith had made concessions as part of a desperate rearguard action, and that Muzorewa had inadvertently become his puppet. Muzorewa was scoffed at as "prime minister by name only." His more militant opponents, calling him a traitor, murdered some of his supporters.
Internationally, meanwhile, the new "Zimbabwe-Rhodesia", as it was called, failed to gain support or even recognition from important countries or at the United Nations. It quickly became clear it would not work.
Within months Britain convened fresh talks in London, this time with Mugabe and Nkomo represented. The Lancaster House agreement, signed in December 1979, provided for black majority rule. When new elections were held Muzorewa won only a couple of seats while Mugabe swept to power with more than 60 per cent of the vote.
Thus began the Mugabe regime which has lasted until the present day; thus also ended the effective political career of Abel Muzorewa. He made a number of half-hearted attempts to stage a comeback but failed. In 1983 Mugabe had him locked up, Muzorewa saying incredulously that it was alleged "that I had an army in Israel, South Africa and other countries." It was the ultimate confirmation of Muzorewa's charge that under Mugabe democracy and freedom would be "turned into an impossible dream."
In his later years the Bishop concentrated on his religious work. He remained an outspoken critic of Mugabe, denouncing his government as "one of the worst around, with corruption, mismanagement of funds and deprivation of the freedoms of speech, assembly and association."
Explaining why he had made his deal with Smith, Muzorewa once said: "I tried to do what Mandela did but we were not understood. I did not believe that we should continue to throw guns at each other, destroying ourselves, black and white. We could talk with the enemy and, in spite of all the criticism against us, I went to talk with Smith. I want to believe that shortened the bloodbath and the armed struggle in Zimbabwe. Really, if I had not cared about the bloodshed, we could have gone on but we stopped the bloodshed through negotiation."
Abel Tendekayi Muzorewa, churchman and politician: born Umtali, Rhodesia 14 April 1925; married 1951 Maggie Chigodora (deceased; three sons, one daughter.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Zimbabwe on the downfall of Mugabe

People gather to demonstrate, with an image of General Constantino Chiwenga. Photo / AP

As he was driven back to his Palace in Harare on Tuesday, surrounded by bodyguards in military fatigues and wearing motorcycle helmets, Robert Mugabe had no reason to suspect that his 37-year rule was about to end.Having been in power since 1980, Mugabe - not to mention Grace, his high-handed, grasping second wife - thought he was invincible. Just days earlier, he beamed with satisfaction at a ceremony to change the name of Zimbabwe's main airport to the Robert Mugabe International Airport.He believed he would be president of the former British colony until he died, and had once proclaimed 'not even God' wanted his murderous reign to end. His wife, meanwhile, had called for a Mugabe family 'dynasty' to run the country forever.But what neither knew that sunny afternoon was that Mugabe's loyal presidential guard had been swapped for military personnel who were in league with his enemies - the very generals who had previously been loyal to the despot since he came to power after the bush war against white rule.The first sign of any trouble was when Mugabe's convoy arrived at his home in a suburb of the capital city, and the men accompanying him arrested the security officers on duty there.The 93-year-old president was then hustled into the house and, a short time later, the man in charge of Zimbabwe's armed forces arrived to break some rather bad news to Mugabe.A protester demanding that President Robert Mugabe stands down carries a placard referring to Mugabe's wife Grace Mugabe. Photo / AP
A fearsome individual known for his volcanic temper, General Constantino Chiwenga is one of the so-called 'Dirty Half Dozen' - six sinister military and intelligence chiefs whose junta has kept Mugabe in office for decades, terrorising opponents and rigging elections.Bluntly, Chiwenga told Mugabe he was under arrest. Without uttering a word, Mugabe promptly collapsed to the floor."He was in shock, and collapsed when he realised what was happening," one coup plotter told me. "He had to be resuscitated and revived. He could not believe what was happening at first."
Zimbabwean First Lady Grace Mugabe was reportedly in tears when the coup peaceful coup occurred. Photo / APGrace - with whom the president had begun an affair after spotting her in his typing pool when he was still married to his first wife - was terrified. She was hysterical and burst into tears.According to one who was told about the unfolding events: "She's been in a mess ever since - in tears and mentally gone. She begged to be allowed to fly out to Malaysia [where she has millions in investments]. She thought she would be killed."
After being revived - Mugabe has a history of fainting fits and falling asleep at Cabinet meetings - the president and the general began a tense discussion. By then, dozens of other senior army personnel had arrived at the presidential palace. Realising how perilous his position was, Mugabe made an astonishing bid to save his own political skin - and possibly his life.Incredibly, he promised General Chiwenga he would anoint him the next president if he called off the coup and stood down as the head of the armed forces.In a last desperate throw of the dice to cling to power, he told Chiwenga that he would immediately be appointed Mugabe's vice-president and that he would take over as Zimbabwe's leader when Mugabe eventually dies.Even then, Mugabe, a sly old fox who has long played factions off each other to remain in power, had one condition: that Grace should have a prominent role in a future government. General Chiwenga flatly turned down the offer.
Apart from anything else, it was too late by then. More than 30 army personnel carriers and 21 tanks had earlier in the day moved into key strategic locations. Mugabe loyalists, in the police and military, had been ordered back to barracks 24 hours earlier and prevented from leaving.The truth is that Mugabe had sealed his own fate. His mistake was to bow to pressure from Grace - who wanted to take over as president after his death - to purge her rivals for the crown.
Those on her list of enemies in particular included a man called Emmerson Mnangagwa, a veteran of the bush war and the man who believed it was his destiny to take power.
Known as 'Ngwenya' - or The Crocodile - Mnangagwa was for decades one of Mugabe's closest allies, running his fearsome intelligence wing as well as being in charge of defence, before being appointed vice-president in 2014.
Grace believed Mnangagwa was her only rival for power - and made a decisive move against him last week, stripping him of his vice-presidency, and calling for her rival's demise."A snake is better dealt with by crushing the head," Grace told a political rally less than two weeks ago. Mnangagwa's "head must be crushed. I will personally make sure Mnangagwa is dealt with even if everyone else in the party is scared. I will not be intimidated."
Mugabe and Grace also accused Mnangagwa of using "witchcraft" against them.
But Mrs Mugabe chose the wrong man to fight. An architect of the so-called Gukurahundi massacres in the Eighties, in which more than 20,000 from the Ndebele tribe were brutally slaughtered because of their allegiance to an opposition party, Mnangagwa commands huge support in the army and among war veterans.After his summary sacking a few days ago, fearing he would be arrested or killed by Mugabe loyalists, The Crocodile tried to flee Zimbabwe.
He and his security detail were denied entry to Harare airport, so he could not fly out from there. Mnangagwa and his allies then tried to charter a private jet to arrive from South Africa to pick him up - but Mugabe's authorities denied the craft permission to enter Zimbabwean airspace.
So The Crocodile and his men were forced to drive east and cross into neighbouring Mozambique via old smuggling routes used by bush fighters. From there, he headed to South Africa.In secret conversations with his army comrades, Mnangagwa decided to activate a plan they had mapped out to remove the ageing Mugabe from power.The coup would be carried out in Zimbabwe - but it was made in China.For I can reveal that, after secret telephone discussions with his ally General Chiwenga back in Zimbabwe, Mnangagwa boarded another aircraft - this time headed for Beijing.
He was to be a guest of the Chinese government.
Around the same time, General Chiwenga informed Mugabe he had routine business in China, which has supported Mugabe's regime for years with cash and weapons in return for access to its lucrative diamond mines and other minerals.
He also flew out to Beijing.
So it was that Mnangagwa and Chiwenga discussed their plans with Chinese officials. It's instructive to learn that both men had been trained at China's Nanjing Military School.
The two Zimbabweans had also been the architects of many of the lucrative deals struck between China and Harare, including a multi-billion-pound diamond mining deal, which could have made the country rich, but instead was riddled with rampant corruption, with some £15 billion believed to have been pilfered in one year alone.
In truth, the Chinese do not really care who is in charge of Zimbabwe - as long as their business and strategic interests are taken care of.It is part of China's African-wide strategy of propping up corrupt regimes in return for access to the minerals and oil the Chinese need to supply their vastly expanding economy.
Beijing had long feared that Mugabe's refusal to anoint his successor would mean there could be chaos once he died, threatening their investments which, significantly, include a £100 million new spy college in Harare for Zimbabwe's ruling party.So began a global power play against Mugabe, known as "the Old Man" throughout Zimbabwe. With the Chinese pledging to back the new regime after the coup, both American and Russian intelligence were also told of the plans.
Diplomatic sources claim the Americans were happy for Mugabe to be replaced as long as there was no bloodshed, and a smooth transition to the new regime. (Britain, scandalously, had helped prop up Mugabe for years over fears of instability if he was ousted, having helped to install him in 1980.)
With key global players in agreement, the secret strategy to deal with Mugabe - which The Crocodile was told must appear to the world not to be a coup - was activated.
Military forces were recalled to barracks; a list of prominent Mugabe cronies and their whereabouts was produced.Meanwhile, General Chiwenga flew back from China and held a meeting with Mugabe on Monday night - 24 hours before the military action began. He warned the president that the "purges" against his wife's rivals must end.
Not realising the scale of the threat, Grace, who was present at the meeting, was furious. She told the general that she and her husband would have him fired and replaced as head of the army by the leader of the presidential guard.
Once again, Grace's hectoring aggression only served to spur her enemies to action. So it was that tanks rolled through the streets of Harare this week.
While Mugabe and Grace were placed under house arrest, military units swooped and arrested key loyalists such as Jonathan Moyo, Mugabe's higher education minister, and Ignatius Chombo, his finance chief, who was discovered trying to pack $10 million in banknotes into bags when he was seized.
Along with police chiefs loyal to Mugabe, these men are now being held at secret military detention facilities around the country and face prosecution and long jail terms in some of Zimbabwe's most gruesome penal institutions.
Yet what none of the plotters were prepared for was Mugabe's refusal to step down.The plan was that, having reinstated The Crocodile as his vice-president, he would be compelled to announce his resignation, leaving his rival to take over.
However, during hours of discussions with his captors this week, Mugabe has refused offers to be flown out of the country, or provided with state security and allowed to live quietly in Zimbabwe. But then he is deeply stubborn and still cannot imagine giving up his position or privileges.
Anxious to adhere to China's insistence that there should be no violence, and despite calls by some hardline opponents to kill the president and his wife, the generals have not harmed Mugabe, or Grace, who remains under house arrest with her husband in Harare, in spite of reports that she had fled to neighbouring Namibia."We cannot hold a gun to his head," one military source told me. "As the days have gone by, he has become more and more argumentative. He says what the generals are doing is against the constitution and that they are the ones causing instability. He is getting rather hot-headed."So what now for poor, benighted Zimbabwe, which has gone from being the breadbasket of Africa to an economic basketcase?
Supporters of The Crocodile, who returned to Zimbabwe on Thursday, remain confident they can persuade Mugabe to stand down in the coming days, particularly given the fragile mental state of his wife.Then, if he does stand down, this will be presented as a smooth transition to a new government of national unity.As for Mugabe, his one remaining hope is that other African cronies will step in to save him. Fearing military interventions against their own corrupt regimes, figures such as South Africa's Jacob Zuma and Uganda's Yoweri Museveni have described the coup as unconstitutional, with Zuma sending envoys to meet Mugabe and the "coup leaders" on Thursday.
As part of a complicated, elaborate charade, The Crocodile and his generals even allowed Mugabe out to attend a university graduation ceremony in Harare yesterday - before he was returned to house arrest with Grace.It appears Mugabe was allowed to attend the event to give the appearance at least that he is not the victim of a coup.But by last night, all of the Zimbabwean provinces that once supported Mugabe had called for his resignation, meaning the former president can be recalled to government and compelled to stand down. "The Croc trained as a lawyer," one loyalist told me. "He's smart and wants the military coup to be seen as a political coup."
For the first time in living memory, the new military leaders have given permission for a huge march planned for today in Harare, which is expected to be attended by tens of thousands calling for Mugabe to step down, signalling new freedoms.
Previous attempts at protest have been crushed by Mugabe's police. This is all intended to show the international community that the people of Zimbabwe want Mugabe gone.Fearing outside military intervention, not to mention a fightback from Mugabe loyalists, the military leaders here have set up army road blocks around the country, with searches carried out of all vehicles for weapons or suspected enemies of the new regime.
As part of the attempts to make the coup not appear to be a coup, the military on the streets have been told to win hearts and minds. Whereas Mugabe's police were allowed to extract bribes from motorists, the soldiers I met at more than a dozen roadblocks this week were professional and polite.After years of poverty and brutality under Mugabe's regime, most people here are celebrating his downfall, even though there are fears the new regime will be just as bad, albeit with a new leader."We have got rid of a snake and replaced it with a new snake,' said Gibson Lovemore, a street vendor."But we wanted rid of the old man and need change. This has gone on too long."
As darkness fell on Zimbabwe last night, and thunder and lightning crackled around the capital, the future of the country hung in the balance. But one thing seems clear. The monstrous despot who has ruled with an iron fist for so long is still refusing to give up.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Raila Odinga Economic boycott strategy.

Kenyan opposition boycott hurting economy
Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga has called on supporters to boycott firms that allegedly back President Uhuru Kenyatta. Economists warn of possible dire consequences.
Kenyans buying milk at a supermarket
Markt Lebensmittel Kenia Symbolbild Milch Produktion
The boycott targets giants in the telecommunications industry and companies that deal in dairy products, cooking fats and oils. The head of the main opposition coalition, the National Super Alliance (NASA) Raila Odinga took the lead, publicly migrating from the Safaricom phone network, whose client he had been for the last ten years, to a new provider called airtel.
Odinga accused the companies concerned of backing President Uhuru Kenyatta's reelection and abetting "the subversion of the will of Kenyans."
It is too early to say how many people have followed the boycott, but already economists are warning that, if widely heeded, it could lead to a massive loss of jobs.
This hasn't deterred many of Odinga's supporters. Millicent Odhiambo of Kibera, in Nairobi, told DW that she was about to follow his example. "I have never owned an airtel line. I have been a faithful client of Safaricom. But today I am moving. Anybody who thinks this is short term is mistaken. We are going to go on until we see Safaricom on its knees. We are going to go on until we see Bidco on its knees. We are going to go on until we see Brookside on its knees," Odhiambo said, naming the boycott's three main targets. Lawmakers said Safaricom was targeted because it had helped transmit election results. Brookside Dairy is partly owned by Kenyatta's family and partly by French dairy giant Danone.Bildergalerie Kenia 50 Jahre Unabhängigkeit Massai mit Handy

A young Massai guarding his herd and using a cell phone
The boycott of Kenya's biggest mobile provider Safaricom could become a problem
'We are moving'
Phillip Ouma, another staunch opposition supporter, said that even though jobs were at stake, the boycott was for a better cause and sacrifices must be made. "First we boycott. The next stage is "kuhama sasa," which means "now we are moving." And that is why I am at this shop. Here I am changing from Safaricom to airtel. We must teach Safaricom a lesson," Ouma said, accusing the company of meddling in politics and siding with the governing party Jubilee. "They helped them to rig our elections," he said.
Jane Atieno told DW that she will miss her favorite brand of milk. "I stopped drinking Brookside milk the day Raila Odinga told us not to. As you can see, I have bought milk from other companies."
Odinga, who withdrew from the October 26th presidential election, has vowed to add more companies to the boycott list. He said that if there is no justice for the people, there should be no peace for the government and its supporters.Odinga supporters protesting next to burning tyres

Odinga supporters protesting next to burning tyres
Raila Odinga's supporters refuse to accept President Uhuru Kenyatta's reelection
The citizens suffer
As growing numbers of opposition supporters heed Odinga's call, the companies have started to complain. Four days after the start of the boycott, the country's biggest telecom service provider Safaricom says it has started to incur losses.
Esther Muchemi, chairperson of the Safaricom telecommunications company dealers' association, said that they have felt the pinch. She warned that more than a million jobs are at risk. "We can say for a fact that we have experienced a decline, even at the individual dealer level. We can almost with certainty report that, yes, the politics are affecting the common citizen, including us. This call is likely to affect all the businesses. The economy is being affected and we dealers are being affected."
Kenya's vice president William Ruto has called the boycott an "extortion racket-style scam" and assured the affected companies of the government's support.
Kenia Wahlen (Reuters/M. Eshiwani)

Wednesday, 1 November 2017






Mwenyekiti wa CCM Mkoa wa Arusha Atoboa Siri Nzito Kuhusu Lazaro Nyalandu Kuhamia Chadema, Amtaja Nape Nnauye.