What a funny country Zimbabwe is


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Over the past few days, I have watched the private and online media falling over each other to defend sanctions on Zimbabwe which have been in force for nearly 20 years.

“The European Union only has an arms embargo on Zimbabwe and a ban on European companies from doing business with the Zimbabwe Defence Industries”, one said.

“The United States has sanctions on only 83 individuals and 37 companies. It has provided US$3.5 billion to the people of Zimbabwe since independence”, another said.

Without giving numbers, a third report said, “the United Kingdom said its sanctions were targeted at those violating human rights in Zimbabwe”.

The underlying message was that the EU, the UK and the US all cared a great deal about the people of Zimbabwe. A few people, unfortunately the country’s leaders, were spoiling things for the nation.

Granted the EU and the UK have eased sanctions on Zimbabwe but the United States has not. It has even added a few more names and puts in the squeeze now and again.

What the gullible media never ask is why on earth has the West suddenly turned benevolent when it never regarded blacks as human beings during the colonial era?

Why was the West never bothered about human rights when it was engaged in the slave trade? Black humiliation continues to this day to the extent that blacks in the US have been forced to tell their fellow countrymen that black lives matter too.

Isn’t it an insult on the Zimbabwean people, therefore, to tell them that the denial of credit lines to the country affects only 83 individuals?

Is the aid that the US has given to Zimbabwe so far something to boast about?  Is this not an insult on the average person’s intelligence?

Can you say you are doing someone a favour by taking all his or her dairy cows and then giving him or her a few pints of milk?

Brazilian scholar Paulo Freire, describes this kind of behavior that the US ambassador to Zimbabwe was boasting about as “false generosity”.

He says in order to have the continued opportunity to express this “generosity”, as we are often reminded by the US embassy in Harare, the oppressors must perpetuate injustice as well.  An unjust social order is the permanent fount of this “generosity”, which is nourished by death, despair, and poverty.

“That is why the dispensers of false generosity become desperate at the slightest threat to its source,” Freire says.

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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