Fresh onslaught targets Zim economy

The United States and Australian governments, colluding with Harare-based functionaries, are working hard to revive their discredited claim that Zimbabwe is in deep crisis and unready for foreign investment, it has been established.

Shannon Smith
Shannon Smith

Information gathered by The Sunday Mail over the past two weeks indicates Washington is trying to build an international case of an ungovernable country to pursue the secondary stage of its broad regime change agenda, which is to push out President Mugabe before he completes his first five-year term under the 2013 Constitution.

The plan is premised on three planks: politics, using opposition elements; the economy, focusing on frustrating access to FDI and discrediting local diamond mining; and civil society and the private media to spread the propaganda.

It is understood Washington and Canberra are funding NGOs to discredit Zimbabwe’s diamond mining sector ahead of the Kimberly Process Intercessional Meeting in Angola this month and elections for a new deputy chair of the KP Certification Scheme.

In April, there was an attempt to make it appear diamonds from Chiadzwa were being traded through illicit means, thereby disqualifying them from international trade.

This is because Zimbabwe is supporting the United Arab Emirates to take over the KP deputy chair post and is opposed to Australia’s bid.

Leakages of the precious stones have been acknowledged, but their scale is being misrepresented to discredit Zimbabwe. Government has identified diamond mining as a key pillar for economic revival.

The onslaught has been farcical to the point of claiming two firms – Africa Dune and Zimbabwe Diamond Opportunity – were registered to carry out illegal trade in diamonds and yet information from the Registrar of Companies indicates the pair do not exist as legal entities in the first place.

The “companies” were allegedly fronts for the Italian mafia and supposedly worked with unnamed senior Government officials to loot diamonds from Chiadzwa – claims that remain unsubstantiated.

Then Washington dispatched its deputy assistant secretary of state (African affairs) Shannon Smith to Harare three weeks ago under the guise of seeking re-engagement.

Officially, Smith met Government, business and civil society representatives to “get first-hand information on human rights, democracy and governance” since the adoption of the 2013 Constitution.

But sources indicated Smith also met opposition elements and embedded NGOs to craft a strategy to smear Zimbabwe’s image.

The sources said this interaction – read against MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s agitation last week for illegal vendors to defy Government and continue operating outside the law – showed there was appetite in the West for civil unrest in Zimbabwe.

It is understood activists are being sponsored to pose as illegal vendors protesting against regularisation of their activities.

The same week that these schemes were brewing, sacked Vice-President Joice Mujuru resurfaced to proclaim there were “undertones of national crisis”.

A Government source said all of this was “an escalation of a supposed crisis in Zimbabwe”.

Morgan Tsvangirai
Morgan Tsvangirai

“There are elements that want to create the false impression that the country is on the brink and that the economic and political situation is similar to that of 2008 and yet the nation has long since passed that phase and is firmly focused on socio-economic transformation.

“That is why all these things are happening simultaneously. This month, the KP will have a meeting, and all of a sudden we have stories of non-existent companies being linked to illegal diamond deals.

“This is all part of a grand plan to put Zimbabwe under the international spotlight and make it seem as though things are far from well here.”

The plot has gained momentum with Washington placing Zimbabwe under the US president’s Atrocities Prevention Board (APB), which focuses on instability hotspots.

An American inter-agency body, the APB was established three years ago by the Obama administration to place countries at the highest level of US government scrutiny.

The board comprises representatives of the departments of state, defence, treasury, justice and homeland security; the joint staff, USAid, the mission to the United Nations, the office of the director of national intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the office of the US vice-president.

Last Wednesday, a US house of representatives hearing of the sub-committee on Africa, global health, global human rights and international organisations sat in Washington to consider presentations on the future of US-Zimbabwe relations.

The eight-member committee, chaired by Republican lawmaker Christopher Smith, received presentations from deputy secretary of state Smith, Zimbabwean former commercial farmer Ben Freeth (fronting shadowy “pro-democracy” outfit Mike Campbell Foundation), and Solidarity Centre regional programmes director for Africa Imani Countess.

Smith expressed US authorities’ frustration at Africa’s continued support for Zimbabwe, adding that this had left the US in an “awkward” position.

He also bemoaned the fall from grace of Mujuru – who was fired from Government last year for colluding with other rogue elements to unconstitutionally unseat President Mugabe.

Mr Smith said: “As a hero of independence and a majority rule movement, however, Mugabe has enjoyed the support of many other African leaders who have considered him an honoured elder and have generally declined to join international efforts to sanction his Government.

“This has placed the United States in an awkward position with limited African support for economic and political reforms that the people so desperately need in Zimbabwe. As is the Government’s repressive tactics are not repressive enough, political jockeying in Zimbabwe including the dismissal of Vice-President Joice Mujuru places the succession of President Mugabe in doubt, which puts US policy in question.”

Deputy secretary of state Smith said the US government would work with NGOs to “promote our (US) values”.

And Countess bemoaned the US government’s cutting of financial support to NGOs in Zimbabwe by 40 percent, saying this had curtailed their operations.

On June 3, anti-Zimbabwe organisation, the Robert Kennedy F Centre for Human Rights, sponsored authoring of a sensational article on Zimbabwe calling on US intelligence agencies to remain close to developments in the country.

The article was titled “Ominous warning signs resurface in Zimbabwe” and it appeared in Foreign Policy magazine, an influential publication in the West.

It was co-authored by Jeff Smith of Robert F Kennedy Centre for Human Rights and Todd Moss of Global Development, and reads in part, “The Obama administration will need to keep a keen and close eye on the ongoing events in Zimbabwe, including tasking the intelligence services for an assessment of the potential for mass violence.”

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  • GeorgeBachinche

    So why is Mai Mujuru’s picture in the story?

    • Tafirenyika

      My question too!!!

    • Political observer

      Because she connives with the US ?

    • Zim1

      Because she looks nice in that picture

  • Zvichapera chete

    Thats rubbish. Its known that Zimbabwe is in crisis. 90% unemployment. Companies closing down. Nothing to harvest from agriculture. People surving on vending. Stop blaming USA. Its self inflicted economic, political and social decay.

    • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

      You are entitled to your world of ignorance and MDCT foolish politics. Sanctions are a reality and those imposing them know better why they are not repealing the satanic law, ZEDRA.

      • Tendai

        You hardly ever talk about corruption in government. Recent conviction of Air Zimbabwe senior excutives is indicative of the rot in our government. Air Zimbabwe long stopped flying to other destination including London. This was a very profitable route. Air Zimbabwe was always fully booked What happened then, you cannot blame sanctions, can you? You are obsessed with sanctions yet you cannot point at any one commodity which is in abundance because Zimbabwe failed to export it because of sanctions or any commodity which Zimbabwe ordered but was blocked by sanctions. You know like every body does that the sanctions issue was taken to the European court (not British) and it failed. Who represented Zimbabwe? For your information it was the devil British lawyers who were charging up to £5000 per hour and even more for appearances. Balance your stories Prof . You resort to being abusive to any one who has a different view from yours. No one is perfect and the most successful regimes in the world have had instances of bad policies. A good government accepts this and informs its citizens how it has learnt from its mistake. What is Zimbabwe doing to avert these so called sanctions? There is nothing to be gained from talking about them daily without indicating what is being done, All countries under sanctions have a plan B In your view what is the Plan B.

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    After refusing to accept the results of our elections in 2013, the West are behind the scenes working with MDCT to make our economic recovery difficult. Zimbabweans should remain united until we conquer the evil incarnated in MDCT /West!. Those who still not believe sanctions are the major cause of our economic ills belong to the circle of political and economic devils against Zimbabwe.

  • AfricaUnite

    Its an open secret that Zimbabwe is failed nation, companies have closed and city centres around the country are full of vendors, what do you call that?

    • 22843

      A failed Favela Banana republic.

      • AfricaUnite

        Kikikiki Favela sounds like a Mozambiquean province

        • 22843

          Favela is a name given to Brazilian slum townships.

  • MukarangawekuMberengwa

    desperate ZANU PF idiots

  • mwana wavo

    zimbabwe boasts about 90% literacy rate, what is literacy when zimbabweans fail to know their devil. Zimbabwe is not in america or britain. Please zanupf you have zimbabwe and it is you who are failing nothing to do with zidera.