@Jamwanda2 on Saturday: Zim mining: Losers as moral sentries
@Jamwanda2 on Saturday
Mining on Slaughter-Bench
Our subsoil assets are on the slaughter-bench. Or so wishes the powerful Western mining/industrial/political Complex.
It really does not matter if the assault on Zimbabwe’s mining assets is placed on seemingly foreign broadcast or newspaper platforms; the point is the medium is never the source of the message.
Critical thinkers go to source, to establish common root in what may appear to be disparate claims and reports which, to gain believability and propaganda traction, may appear to emerge and converge from different times and hemispheric spaces.
Not many Zimbabweans appear to be alive to this grand ruse, which is why this instalment becomes important, nay urgent! But, first things first.
Khrushchev’s poisoned gift
“That depends. There is history. Crimea was at the beginning Russian, no? It was Khrushchev who gave Crimea to Ukraine in the era of the Soviet Union . . . With regards to international law, even these ex-Soviet Union countries do not have status that is effective in international law because there is no international agreement to solidify their status as a sovereign country.”
The afore-quoted words are attributed to China’s top diplomat in Paris, Ambassador Lu Shaye.
He is quoted to have said them a week ago, last Friday, triggering a torrent of fury from Ukraine and several Baltic States, and also in the West, France included.
The following Monday, Beijing was forced to distance itself from the Ambassador’s remarks made on French News Channel, LCI.
Beijing said the remarks did not represent official policy of the People’s Republic of China, stressing these were the Ambassador’s personal views.
Good for the goose
The broader background to this diplomatic incident relates to two landmark developments, each hard on the heels of the other.
President Xi paid a high stakes official visit to Russia, followed by a meeting of defence ministers of both China and Russia.
This triggered speculation in the West that China was now militarily backing Russia in the latter’s war against Ukraine.
It is a prospect the West finds staggering, even then as they do exactly that by supporting Ukraine against Russia. An addendum to that visit were the rising tensions around Taiwan, China’s renegade Province, as US, supported by a handful of satellite countries in the Far East, mounted war games in the same area, in mock defence of Taiwan in the event of China’s imagined full-scale invasion for repossession and re-integration of Taiwan into the mainland.
Breaking American hegemony
The second major development was French President Macron’s surprise visit to China, during which he seemed to orbit within Chinese and Russian thought-tracks by denouncing relations that allowed US hegemony over Europe.
Europe, declared Macron, must reassert her autonomy and free herself from the tyranny of the American dollar.
This was unprecedented, made all the more so in that it was said on Chinese soil.
US views China as its biggest threat and challenge to its global hegemony.
Above all, Presidents Macron and Xi agreed to broker peace between Russia and Ukraine, which is what gave Ambassador Shaye’s remarks on French soil quite some sharp resonance.
First Word goes to Chukwu
I turn to African wisdom to understand this development, specifically to Nigerian wisdom as capsulised by its renowned late son, the writer Chinua Achebe.
Achebe, through one of his characters, said, it is the first word that gets to Chukwu!
Chukwu is the Ibgo name for God.
Put simply, it means what one says on the spur of the moment quite often represents the unedited truth.
Additional comments, moreso corrective ones, are for the Devil who gets the hindmost! Shakespeare would have put it differently: he would have called the Chinese diplomat’s words “the firstlings of his mind!”
I don’t think it helps much to debate whether or not the diplomat spoke Beijing’s subconscious.
The Chinese Government has said he did not; we should go by that, more so given subsequent developments which appear to fortify this.
President Xi placed a call to Ukraine’s Zelensky, with his interlocutor telling the world the call was both warm and pregnant with possibilities for eventual peace between the two warring neighbours: Russia and Ukraine.
That, to me, seems more important!
At one with History
But Chukwu heard the first words.
He won’t mind me making the following observations which to me suggest profound Chinese international diplomacy.
If Ambassador Shaye’s views were personal, certainly there is no disputing the stark fact that his personal views are also the views of History!
History records loudly that one day, a happy Khrushchev gave away Crimea to a Soviet Province called Ukraine in a fit of playfulness.
Little did he know that nearly a century later, his frivolity would breed a bloody conflict on the same. Secondly, history records that there is no international framework to the creation of CIS states.
Again, this is why war, not international law, is the only arbiter.
Thank you Ambassador Shaye for reminding us!
The American Sentry
As a write, some United States Organisation called The Sentry has released a report alleging the abuse of Zimbabwe’s Chrome resource, and claiming palm-greasing of Zimbabwe’s leadership and military by one Zunaid Moti, founder of some company called African Chrome Fields (ACF).
ACF, we are told, is in the middle of negotiations with some unnamed Chinese company for the setting up of a lithium battery factory in our Zimbabwe at a cost of USD1Billion.
Taken together with the proposed energy park in Mapinga, and a couple of other lithium battery manufacturing projects mulled for Zimbabwe, our country seems set to be a leading clean energy players in the car industry in our region, on the African Continent and beyond.
Already, the ban on exportation of raw lithium is beginning to make sense, leaving even the most obdurate clear that the Zimbabwe Government has a grand plan.
A forgetful nation
Not so the American The Sentry!
In typical Zimbabwean short-sightedness, no sooner is mischief brewed than we come under giant seizure of amnesia.
We seem like we are a country with no memory, no firm sense of history, and thus unable to see occurrences in a continuum.
I read through Trevor Ncube’s Zimbabwe Independent report on these new allegations being made to malign the country’s mining sector, the country’s political leadership and the country’s Military.
Nowhere does Trevor Ncube’s weekly remind the reader who The Sentry organisation is.
Yet it is the same American organisation which produced another report on mining, agriculture and fuel, titled “Shadows and Shell Games: Uncovering an Offshore Business Empire in Zimbabwe”, which maligned Kudakwashe Tagwirei to justify his and his associates’ placement on US sanctions the year before, in 2020.
No, instead, the weekly cryptically introduces The Sentry in undisguised adulatory terms as “a US-based investigative and policy organisation that fights multinational predatory networks benefiting from corruption, oppression and kleptocracy.”
I don’t need to tell you whose words the weekly judiciously incorporates into its report, are.
Or which lawyer-politician fondly uses them in his bile-filled and saliva-littered political expletives.
A NSC functionary
Thankfully we live in a digital age which makes the journey to the research morgue as short as the click of a computer button.
So, who is The Sentry and how does it get associated with Zimbabwe’s Mining Sector?
The Sentry is a Washington-based activist organisation founded by two American gentlemen: John Prendergast and George Clooney.
If we had a good memory and living sense of history, both names would have immediately rung a bell. Regrettably we are not, we a Nation of a day!
John Prendergast is formerly director for African Affairs at the US National Security Council, NSC.
The NSC, created soon after Second World War is the US President’s foremost forum for shaping US strategic Security, Military and Foreign Policy.
It is chaired by the US President and produces global policy projections which span over 50 or more years, principally focusing on securing US resource and strategic interests around the world in order to retain hegemony.
This is the body which Prendergast once served. You will be a hopeless illiterate to think his relations with it got severed upon his retirement!
Zimbabwe’s Chrome in American history
Now the American NSC can never be indifferent to a resource-rich country called Zimbabwe.
It was Chrome, after all, which got America to bust United Nations sanctions against UDI Rhodesia in 1968/69. America’s argument was, sanctioning Rhodesian chrome, itself a strategic mineral then, would force America to source the same from the then Soviet Union, its arch-enemy.
The situation has barely changed today.
The DRC connection
There is another dimension to Prendergast and Africa, Zimbabwe specifically.
He was Susan Rice’s African Affairs Director, and shaped US Policy not just on Africa broadly, but in Central Africa, including the resource-rich DRC in which Zimbabwe, alongside Angola and Namibia, got entangled in 1998 when Susan Rice was still in Office.
She has never forgiven Zimbabwe for costing her the top post in the State Department, as a result.
The DRC invasion was her project; she took the flack when it foundered.
Today, Prendergast is an advisor on the International Crisis Group, itself another arm of US interventionism around the world, which started in post-Soviet Eastern Europe.
Funder of Democrats
George Timothy Clooney is a director and filmmaker with strong associations with the Council on Foreign Relations, itself a key tool for shaping American policy abroad and a playground of Tendai Biti.
He unfailingly Fund-raises for all US Democratic candidates or Presidents since Obama.
That includes the current US President, Joe Biden. Shadows and Shell Games, and its sequel on Moti’s ACF, are thus directly linked to Security levers of the US Government.
No divination on whose bidding and interests they operate and chase respectively, even though Trevor Ncube’s papers feign judicious ignorance.
As I write, there are efforts to put the Moti story on Bloomberg News, in the hope of some Al Jazeera sibling programming.
Our Antony Sguazzin is putting together the report.
A medley of Anti-Zimbabwe and SA politics
The Moti Report is calculated to create the second swallow so a case for a summer on finite Resource corruption is made against Zimbabwe.
I do not need to recall the highly malicious Al Jazeera Bhaisikopo which simply cast aspersions on people merely on the basis of boasts by a handful of simpletons, and gold-smuggling criminals this country has always known and acted against.
Then we had Daily Maverick’s Mark Heywood and his Cartel Dynamics, again culled from so-called investigations by some British-based, intelligence-linked organisation called Africa Risk Consulting, ARC. ARC in March 2021 published what it termed “Zimbabwe Political Economy Stakeholder Map”, which was meant to buttress the “Panama Papers” and to extend the South African Zondo Commission to Zimbabwe.
Peter Hain’s ARC
As with The Sentry, little information was shared on ARC in order to give it a halo of altruistic disinterest and pro-African poor inclination.
In reality this is a Peter Hain outfit which he uses to keep up his fight against the ANC of South Africa, his country of birth, and against Zanu PF, a liberation party he never forgave for wrestling back Land from Rhodesian whites.
But for our amnesia, we would readily remember Hain for his strident, diabolical anti-Zimbabwean stance under the Tony Blair’s Labour Government.
He was also behind the South African State Capture Report, and is a close associate of Thuli Madonsela who brought down Jacob Zuma.
The ARC report featured the same characters in Al Jazeera documentary and many more, most notably Nic von Hoogstraten, Billy Rautenbach, late John Bredenkamp, Zunaid Moti, Tafadzwa Musarara, Kamlesh Pattni, the McMillan Family and Simon Rudland. The focus was on gold, tobacco and agriculture.
Curiously, Tendai Biti and Hopewell Chin’ono play a direct role in all these investigations. I don’t need to add the equally shallow Maguwu Reports which were used by the same forces to indict our diamonds as bloody.
The import and the goal remains the same, including personalities and institutions maligned or harnessed to give crushing indictments.
Anything that offers Zimbabwe prospects for economic recovery must be attacked and vilified!
Losing a backyard
I said Zimbabwe’s sub-soil assets are on the slaughter-bench.
What I needed to add was the stark fact that the butcher-men come from both sides of the Atlantic, that is, the Anglo-Saxons.
They are quite upset that they have lost out on Zimbabwe’s mineral resources, in spite of their long-running colonial and imperialist historical association with the country.
They have lost out to the Russians, the Chinese and, going into the future, to the Indians and Belarusians.
Their unchallenged sway in Platinum has been diminished, which is why the Darwendale Platinum Group is the connecting thread.
Gold-led Economic Recovery
Much worse, the Chinese have moved in in a big way, dominating the lithium, energy and now carbon steel sub-sectors.
Old gold mines they used to dominate are being resuscitated under Kuvimba Group which the Zimbabwe Government controls.
Besides, the change in royalties policies means Zimbabwe is building stockpiles of strategic and precious minerals, including gold, diamonds, platinum and, before long, lithium. Gold alone has shot up, bringing Zimbabwe back to the London Bullion, but not as an underdog.
Not helped by the talk of Zimbabwe joining BRICS!
Alliances which must be stopped
The iron project in Manhize is a game-changer, and is set to take Zimbabwe on an industrialisation path as never seen before on the continent of independent Africa.
Now, the link between Indians and Chinese business interests in the lithium beneficiation value chain grows goosebumps on Western skins.
It must be stopped in its tracks. This is why the lithium battery factory mooted by Moti’s ACF must be stopped, possibly by placing Moti and his Group on US sanctions list.
Any literate Zimbabwean must needs ask themselves why a country on the cusp of manufacturing iron and steel would need to smuggle out chrome from itself, when chrome is itself a constituent mineral in iron and steel manufacturing.
Why are we building Manhize at all?
Bad example about to succeed
That mining has contributed remarkably to the USD11 billion earnings is unsettling on both sides of the Atlantic.
This simply means Anglo-Saxon sanctions will lose their sting before long.
Much worse, that Zimbabwe is set to lift herself by her own bootstraps, unaided.
This is a very subversive example.
Never in history of imperialism has a small, Third World Country defied the potentates of the West and failed to buckle in and collapse.
Zimbabwe appears about to bulk that history.
Singing, not screaming
And our sins continue to multiply. The Economy that was supposed to scream, seems about to sing sweet symphonies.
The infrastructure is being rebuilt, including the highway to Kanyemba which is a few kilometres shy of Mushumbi Pools.
This is the highway America offered to build gratis, provided we conceded one kilometre of servitude on either side of it to them, after allowing them to survey the road as they pleased.
Their plan was to deliberately map it truncated our lithium and uranium fields, thus making them assume automatic prospecting and licensing rights.
We frustrated that calculation, even pulled out pegs which the unsuspecting Rural Council had given them. They are angry, very angry!
Outside the gaze
Penultimately, if all these mean-good organisations really seek to protect Africa, Africans and, in particular, Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans, against marauding multinationals, why is their focus exclusively on non-Anglo-Saxons, on non-Westerners?
We have lots of multinationals here who have pillaged our resources from time immemorial; yet they fall out of these do-gooders’ judicious gaze. Why?
Total war, total assault
Then the timing.
We are a few months from our harmonised elections.
Zanu PF looks formidably strong, while the fractious opposition is at its weakest ever.
In that situation, the maligning of the ruling Party, its elections-contesting leadership and our Military – the keeper and carrier of the State – all these come under unremitting attack!
Zimbabwe ideologically and economically faces what Russia is going through militarily, economically and ideologically: a combined NATO-assault on its sovereignty.
Through the targeting of her subsoil assets, Zimbabwe’s sinews must be cut at tendons so it is stopped in its tracks. This is why the attack is pointedly on mining, agriculture, tobacco and, lately, on its currency.
The slaughter-bench is ready.
Devils in history, losers in the present, today play moral sentries!
We see it clearly in our donkey world.
How about you, humans, bipeds?