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Goblin economics – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 5th December 2015 PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 18 January 2016 20:18

Zanu PF says it has raised well over the $3 million it wanted for its conference at Victoria Falls. Apart from $5 contributions extorted from civil servants and rather larger ones from companies, most of this money will come, in reality, from state coffers.

 

Our galaxy of parastatals – driven into bankruptcy by Zanu PF looting – paid up to $100,000 each for a boastful table at dinners in Harare and Bulawayo held to raise funds for the conference.

 

As the economist Dale Dore observes, the Zanu PF regime is fond of ‘alternative and innovative financing arrangements’. In this case it is the ‘special purpose vehicle’ created by Finance Minister Chinamasa in last month’s budget to warehouse bad debts accumulated by mismanaged state enterprises.

 

This particular ‘special purpose vehicle‘, the misleadingly-named Zimbabwe Asset Management Company (Zamco), is taking over vast parastatal debts to clean the parastatals’ balance sheets and ‘just pretend the debt simply does not exist’ (see: http://www.thezimbabwean.co/2015/12/the-secret-of-making-debts-magically-disappear/).

 

This arrangement conveniently allows parastatals to pay millions of dollars to sponsor party political Zanu PF fundraisers and all the debt will be passed on to the state (which is supposed to regard the debt as an asset!).

 

The Vigil thinks this is rather like the witchcraft apparently practised by the former Education Minister and Mashonaland East Governor Cde Aeneas Chigwedere, who is being sued by his son Magwiza for unleashing goblins to terrorise the family.

 

The Herald reports that the former minister is alleged to have gathered the whole clan at his residence, filled a dish with porridge concocted with herbs and made them drop blood from their punctured little fingers into this brew before forcing them to eat it using the bleeding finger (see: http://www.herald.co.zw/witchcraft-lawsuit-for-ex-minister/).

 

The Vigil is well aware of goblin economics. In the past few days first lady and mother of the nation  Woman’s League boss Amai Dr Goblin Mugabe accused non-governmental organisations of giving food handouts to hungry people ‘year in and year out’ (see: http://www.herald.co.zw/first-lady-slates-confusion-ngos%E2%80%A2-food-aid-yes-but-no-conditions-%E2%80%A2-drought-prone-mat-south-warned/).

 

Dr Goblin continued ‘this shows that they don’t have the people at heart. They want us to be beggars for the rest of our lives. They bring their food handouts that don’t last long and they up their game just before elections to try and convince the people to turn their backs against the Government. We don’t want their food.’

 

The Herald says Dr Goblin was addressing thousands of people at a rally in Matabeleland South at which she handed out food and hailed the ‘mega deals’ signed with China which she proudly pointed out would include funding for the construction of a bigger parliament near Harare and a new warehouse (probably to store government debt).

 

It’s goblin economics for sure.

 

Dr Goblin makes politics out of the starvation in Matabeleland.  But we at the Vigil know how desperate the situation there is. Some of us financially support a pastor working in the Bulawayo area. This is part of his latest report:  ‘I greet you all in the name of the Lord Jesus! At present everyday life is difficult in Zimbabwe, for instance the sick can't go to hospital, and when they do, there are no medicines there. Many times I have driven people 20 km out of town to a clinic where people can get their medicines free. Some of these people cannot even walk, we have to carry them on stretchers. Just yesterday I took a young man, John, to the Bulawayo hospital. He broke his leg in August and it has been replastered three times. Now they say he has to have pins but they can only do it in January. He was discharged without painkillers. Many children are no longer going to school, especially in town.  Parents cannot find the money for school fees. In the rural areas people are constantly complaining of headaches. The reason for this is that they have not eaten. The rain has not come but people are still preparing their lands in hope. Some do not have seed to plant; they have eaten it.’

 

Other points

·       On a day when we were battered by strong winds which tore our banners down, we were happy to have with us again Nyasha aged 5 and Tanatswa aged 3, children of Benjamin Chigamba and Sharon Moyo. Sharon says that when she gets ready for the Vigil the 3-year-old asks if they are going to ‘Mugabe must go’.

·       On Saturday 12th December the Zimbabwe Vigil will be supporting our friends of the Swaziland Vigil who are to present a petition to the Prime Minister’s residence calling for Swaziland to be suspended from the Commonwealth until there is democracy and an end to human rights abuses. The petition has been signed by more than 10.000 people. For details see ‘Events and Notices’.

·       Thanks to those who came early to help set up: Sharon Moyo (with Tanatswa and Nyasha), Benjamin Chigamba, Pearl Shambare, Patricia Masamba, Irvine Huni, Martin Chinyanga and Fungayi Mabhuni. Special thanks to Sharon and Patricia for looking after the front table throughout the Vigil and to Benjamin for climbing up and down the ladder to put up our banners in the fierce wind. Thanks to those who stayed to the end to help pack up: Alice Shimika, Audrey Chihoho, Barbara Kachidza, Benjamin Chigamba, Chipo Kamhunga, Chipo Parirenyatwa, Faith Bhebhe, Fungayi Mabhunu, Kidi Gotsi, Lovemore Mukeyani, Martin Chinyanga, Patricia Masamba, Philip Maponga, Roseline Mukucha, Sharon, Nyasha and Tanatswa Moyo, Taurayi Tsandukwa, Vimbai Karumbidza and Zondiwe Gumede.

 

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

 

FOR THE RECORD: 29 signed the register.

 

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

·       ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 12th December from 11 am to 1.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a sign at street level. It's between a newsagent and an optician. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

·       Monthly Itai Dzamara protest. Saturday 12th December from 2 – 6 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. The protest is to mark nine months since Dzamara’s abduction by intelligence agents.

·       Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 12th December from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB followed by a petition presentation to 10 Downing Street at 3 pm. Gather at the Zimbabwe Vigil for a 2.30 move-off to Downing Street. Contacts: Thobile Gwebu 07873164482, Veli Mamba 07960622878 and Lodiwe Ndwandwe 07517274324

·       ROHR Central London branch fundraising Christmas dinner. Saturday 12th December from 7.30 pm – 3 am. Venue: Tiger Tiger, 29 Haymarket. London SW1Y 4SP. Tickets £40 per head. Dress: smart. Contact Fungayi Mabhunu 07907980889.Esther Nyambi 07446210391 and Barbara Kachidza 07498764473.

·       The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.

·       Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds monthly meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.

·       Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.

·       Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2014 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/642-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2014. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2014 Highlights page.

·       Facebook pages:

Vigil: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil

ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515

ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights-301811392835

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