|Morgan a master of reverse politics|
|Tuesday, 31 July 2012 00:00|
In a clear revelation of his now legendary vacillating judgement the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change Morgan Tsvangirai, who is also the Prime Minister in the inclusive Government, made a stunning U-turn on one of the most fundamental policies ever to be implemented in Zimbabwe.
Writing in the latest issue of his widely circulating but rather opaque newsletter Tsvangirai is quoted as saying, “Let us be clear, it is nigh impossible to reverse the land reform programme, so it is a fait accompli”.
The whole world is aware that Western countries have been fighting Zimbabwe for the past decade primarily because of the implementation of the land reform programme. And, Prime Minister Tsvangirai has been a willing and leading tool of the West in this agenda.
In fact, the MDC was formed and is being sponsored by white capital primarily with the intention of reversing the land reform programme. Actually, Tsvangirai and his party invited Western sanctions to punish the people of Zimbabwe and their leadership for taking away land from the few whites for redistribution to thousands Zimbabweans. Now only 10-12 years down the line Tsvangirai in typical fashion backpedals and backtracks acknowledging the irreversibility of the land reform programme. Thousands of Zimbabweans who have borne the brunt of the illegal sanctions now have burning questions for Tsvangirai.
l Why did the country have to go what it has gone through yet you know land reform was irreversible?
l Why have thousands of Zimbabweans suffered from sanctions at your instigation as punishment for land reform when you admit it is irreversible?
l Why have you made a people empowerment programme such a costly exercise when you now acknowledge its inevitability and irreversibility?
The truthful, yet overdue admission unmasks Prime Minister Tsvangirai revealing what kind of leader he is.
The message Tsvangirai is passing on to Zimbabweans is that “I cannot be trusted as a leader. I cannot make a decision and stick to it. I do not have a clue to what ordinary Zimbabweans require. I am not my own man. I am waiting to be swept aside by the minds of the revolution”.
For us in Zanu-PF, led by our consistent, resolute and unshakeable leader, President Robert Gabriel Mugabe, we never vacillate or waver in our decision-making, especially on fundamental issues that transform the lives of ordinary people. Zanu-PF has always maintained that the land reform exercise was never meant to be and will never be reversible. Way back in year 2000 the party said “land is the economy and the economy is land.”
And we shall never shift from that viewpoint. It is local land ownership that will drive our economy. The evident success of resettled farmers is vindication of the clear Zanu-PF position on land. This year tobacco farmers, largely indigenous, have sold tobacco worthy close to US$510 million dollars with only close to 10 years experience. How many billions would they have earned the economy if the commercial banks had supported them the same way they supported white farmers?
Coming back to our blundering and dithering Prime Minister, as if to colour his endorsement of the irreversibility of the land reform exercise, Tsvangirai proceeds to make his usual claims that land reform was done in a haphazard manner and needs to be rationalised.
My answer to the Honourable Prime Minister is that: Sir, the land resettlement programme was a revolution and revolutions by their nature are not structured. Revolutions are spontaneous and people-driven.
Revolutions do not wait for cameras, they are not directed by documents and they don’t wait for anyone.
After years of white farmer resistance and dilly-dallying the fast track land reform exercise was kick-started by villagers under Chief Svosve, Mashonaland East, and spread like wildfire throughout the country. Those who tried to put breaks to the motion were swept aside by the sheer ferocity of the revolution.
Mr Tsvangirai goes on to talk about rationalising land ownership, creating a land market, setting up committees and so forth. But, this is just high sounding hyperbole.
We have had the Land Resettlement Act and various amendments, a number of land commissions including the Bhuka, Utete and Rukuni Commissions. What is needed now is providing financial support to indigenous commercial farmers. Zanu-PF has taken the lead in supporting farmers with implements, training and finance where possible. Yet the Prime Minister has travelled all the five continents and we never had him make a single request for implements, skills development on behalf of indigenous farmers whose resettlement and operations he is well aware are irreversible.
While Mr Tsvangirai has seen the light in terms of land reform he continues to be used by white capital to attack the ongoing indigenisation and economic empowerment exercise. Of course, we all know that two or three years down Prime Minister Tsvangirai will make a turnaround and the indigenisation and economic empowerment programme as a transformative programme that is ‘irreversible’.
Currently, Tsvangirai keeps on insisting that the indigenisation policy “seeks to enrich a few elites . . . at the expense of broad masses and “advances the philosophy that you take from Peter to pay Paul”. Yet he also insists that “there has to be an upliftment policy that needs to be broad based.” At least five Community Share Ownership Trusts have been launched with a staggering $100 million earmarked for these communities.
l Masenyama is the director of the Zanu-PF Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Department.