On the brink – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 5th December 2020 Print
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Sunday, 06 December 2020 14:58

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/50683047268/sizes/m/

 

President Mnangagwa has launched a fierce attack on the West, accusing it of hindering Africa’s development. He was speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Museum of African Liberation in Harare.

 

Comrade Mnangagwa said: ‘To this day, our quest to the unhindered right to access and utilise our natural resources continues being hampered. In the case of Zimbabwe, sanctions constrain the realisation of our full socioeconomic potential. In the case of other countries on our continent, detractors continue to fund and fuel divisions so that while we fight, the pilferage and looting of our resources goes unchecked.’

 

He rambled on: ‘Let us never give in to the cunning machinations of neo-colonial forces in whatever guise.’ (See: https://dailynews.co.zw/ed-tells-off-western-countries/.)

 

Earlier the President had declared that Zimbabwe was on ‘the brink of greatness’. The remark follow a visit to the new parliament building nearing completion in Mount Hampden outside Harare.

 

Some pessimists think the Chinese neo-colonialists would have done us a greater service by spending their aid money on a more productive project than a new parliament for an increasingly one-party state. Mnangagwa said the new building would be a commitment to democracy and the rule of law. ‘We are proud of our institutions of government and our belief that all Zimbabweans should have a say in the running of our country’ (see: https://www.herald.co.zw/we-are-on-the-brink-of-greatness-president/).

 

Some might think the President is floating away on a cloud of mbanje. The government apparently sees export earnings from cannabis outstripping those from tobacco by almost three times next year following the legalisation of the drug for medicinal use.

 

The government has apparently issued 44 licences in the last four months and a Treasury spokesman Clive Mphambela said sales are forecast to reach US$1.25 billion next year. By comparison tobacco, Zimbabwe’s biggest agricultural export, made US$444 million this year. Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said he saw: ‘immense potential’ in tax revenue from cannabis exports (see: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-11-30/zimbabwe-1-25-billion-plan-sees-cannabis-as-biggest-cash-crop).

 

The Vigil wonders whether the Treasury has been using medicinal cannabis for illegal purposes. Their predictions seem to be pie in the sky. Far from being an adventurous outlyer, they are a rather stoned late arrival. Everyone in the region is already involved in the cannabis industry. For instance, the potency of a strain of cannabis grown in Malawi is ranked as ‘the finest’ by the World Bank. The Malawi government also hopes, like Zimbabwe, that ‘Malawi gold’, (known locally as chamba) will help boost its economy.

 

Zambia and Lesotho have also decriminalised cannabis for medicinal purposes and South Africa has gone even further by decriminalising it for recreational use (see: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/1110-malawi-pins-hopes-on-gold-standard-of-cannabis).

 

When they descend from the cannaboid clouds we can only hope that the government might help people grow food as well. They might realise that food is useful to keep people alive so they can vote for Zanu PF.

 

Other Points:

  • Despite Mnangagwa’s hostile attitude towards the West, the British Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Melanie Robinson, said Britain wanted to increase trade and economic co-operation. She was speaking after talks with Foreign Minister and International Trade Minister General Sibusiso Moyo (see: https://www.herald.co.zw/uk-scales-up-cooperation-with-zim-ahead-of-brexit/).
  • The recent national budget announced by the finance minister has been criticised for worsening the position of the growing number of poor. Christopher Mugaga, Chief Executive of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce, said: ‘The onus is on Ncube to strengthen relations with the donor community. He has to do that because no matter how arrogant we are as a country we have a collapsed health sector.’ (See: https://thenewshawks.com/zim-economy-is-not-serving-the-poor/.)
  • Because of the coronavirus we can no longer physically meet outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, so we have a virtual Vigil while the restrictions continue. We ask our activists to put on Vigil / ROHR / Zimbabwe regalia and take a photo of themselves holding an appropriate poster reflecting our protest against human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. The photos are uploaded on our Flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157717173548203. Our virtual Vigil activists today were Esther Munyira, Rudo Takiya and Lilian Kanyasa who kindly contributed to Vigil funds.
  • For Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

 

Notices:

  • 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.
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil. All proceeds go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe's work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
  • Facebook pages:

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

         ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/Restoration-of-Human-Rights-ROHR-Zimbabwe-International-370825706588551/

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