US must stop patronising, offensive attitude

Bradley Bessire

Bradley Bessire

Tichaona Zindoga Political Editor
Many people may have seen or observed at home how cats have a habit of playing with their prey. The situation plays out like this: the cat goes out into the garden and catches a mouse or rat, which it immobilises with a bite serious enough but not fatal.

With the rodent hurt but still alive, the cat sets out to play and taunts the poor animal. It releases the rodent from its mouth, giving it temporary respite, whereupon the rodent may dash to supposed safety.

It may not even reach the closest safety hole or corner before it is caught by the neck, shaken from side to side and thrown up before being let away again.

Poor rodent, it still hopes.

It hobbles. Its life wobbles.

It gives another try. Another dash.

Typically, it may be left to go and hide in a corner before being sniffed and pawed out. The game continues thus until the cat is tired or rather bored and its prey dead. The cat may decide to eat the rodent, or not. It’s such a funny spectacle, and a sickening deadly game of life and death, too.

Experts have attempted to explain this phenomenon with one journal saying it is a way cats assure themselves that the rodent is “totally dead” and, “In a way, incessantly torturing a mouse is a form of self-defence, feline style.”

We are told that for indoor cats, “the torture factor could be related to pure pleasure . . . it may simply be because she’s playing with it like a toy or a game. She also may be pretty proud of her catch, plain and simple.”

One may have imagined this spectacle playing out, if they came across a story carried by one website titled, “US impressed by resilient Zimbabweans”.

In the story is a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Director of Southern African Affairs, one Bradley Bessire, who has reportedly been on a tour of Matabeleland to evaluate the scope and severity of the current drought.

He then tells his interlocutors: “I am impressed and inspired by the resilience of the Zimbabwean people.”

Adding: “The United States will stand by the people of Zimbabwe during this drought, meeting their immediate needs while also reducing their vulnerability to shocks and building long-term food security.”

To the uninitiated, this may sound so well-meaning and considerate to come from the US official but it actually is probably the biggest insult that Zimbabweans have suffered so far this year, 2016.

Just how can the United States of America, the chief torturer of Zimbabwe, be “impressed and inspired by the resilience” of its victims except by trying to tell us that it enjoys its cat-like tyranny over us?

The US imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2001, along with its cousins in the European Union and Commonwealth.

The sanctions were at the instigation of Britain, which was unhappy that Zimbabwe had embarked on a programme to redistribute land from a few whites of colonial stock to the majority poor blacks.

At the end of the programme, land that was monopolised by about 4 000 whites was redistributed to 250 000 families who were previously condemned to arid areas.

But this did not impress the West.

Not only did the West seek to topple the heroic Government of President Mugabe to replace him with a stooge that would reverse the land reform programme, the West, led by America, which crafted a whole law which places the reversal of land reform as a precondition of the lifting of sanctions, embarked on a programme of causing national pain to Zimbabwe.

They froze budgetary and balance of payments support and credit lines to Zimbabwe and caused major multilateral lending institutions to veto any extension of loans and debt relief to Zimbabwe.

Key companies that sustained the Zimbabwe economy, from the land bank, Agribank to the power utility company Zesa, the country’s CEO and other business faces were put under sanctions, preventing both exports and imports.

Zimbabwe suffered a lot as a result of sanctions the peak of which was in 2008, when a humanitarian disaster nearly unfolded on the back of a cholera outbreak while general misery was fomented by hyperinflation, which was mostly to deal with the currency war that the West wrought.

Zimbabwe recovered somewhat when the opposition MDC, beneficiaries of the national misery that gifted them with a protest vote, got into Government in 2009.

It was envisaged that the opposition — which had the mandate of reversing the legacy of Zanu-PF — would take power from within.

They failed because the people rejected them in 2013.

The sanctions are still there, save for cosmetic changes that have intervened, and the country continues to suffer from the systemic and structural hostilities of the West, led by America.

The current drought has just been worsened because the capacity of the State to deal with disasters has been curtailed by the hostile interventions of the US and its friends.

Where new farmers could have benefitted from a functional land bank, the US and its friends ensured that it was one of the first institutions to be crippled by sanctions and all other critical sectors of the economy were equally maimed or dsestroyed.

Is this how the US loves the people of Zimbabwe?

What kind of love is this when the US bites a country’s spine and then tries to play hide and seek with such a mortally wounded people?

In the discourse that followed sanctions, the US and the EU maintain that they have provided aid to the tune of billions as well as trade.

Hence this fatuous claim that “United States will stand by the people of Zimbabwe” — and not their Government which they choose!

It has to be said that this is a very dishonest excuse.

We have not had a chance to address the new US Ambassador, Mr Harry Thomas Jnr on this issue.

He better take note: this obfuscation will not be tolerated — just as we have rejected the excuses of his predecessors who have tried to hoodwink the world regarding the issue.

When he opens his mouth the wrong way, we will sure be at hand to remind him.

The long and short of it is that the US poses an extra-ordinary and continuing threat to the wellbeing of Zimbabwe because of its needlessly hostile policy on a small, peaceful country that only seeks progress for its people, including by fully owning its God-given resources.

Zimbabweans do not need to be commended for “resilience” by the likes of US or its agents at imperialist arms.

At any rate these murderers and torturers do not need to feel “impressed and inspired” by their victims — for it is their duty to inflict pain, sometimes carried out playfully, sadistically.

The patronising, dishonest, disturbing and particularly offending attitude shown by this one Bessire will not be tolerated.

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