Friday, August 24, 2007

RTF: Celebrities Can't Save Africa

It is another Friday. So I will rant on anything that crosses my mind. That could be about Tanzania or anything. That’s the beauty of having your own space. I promise though, that I will not bring you anything crazy.

Today I feel like reflecting a bit on this new trend of Western celebrities making Africa their playground. Just yesterday (August 23, 2007), I found this article on Yahoo. This article is really what prompted me to reflect on this issue.

I would really be mad if someone tells me how to spend my money or my time, especially if I have worked hard to earn tons of money. As such, I believe that celebrities are entitled to the way they want to spend their millions of dollars. Besides, what the Bonos and Jolies are doing is good. I would be stupid to question that.

The issue, from my perspective, is not about who is sending or mobilizing the infusion of financial aid to the African government coffers. The core issue for is whether Africans, through their political leaders, have the same outlook on financial aid as those that donate them. I honestly believe that most African leaders and bureaucrats regard financial aid from the West as a sweet channel of money straight to their own private banks accounts.

If anyone thinks I am crazy, can African continent show evidence that the financial aid that has flown through the continent in years past has really been a catalyst to development? And please don’t give me the typical rhetoric about the West control and the rest of African political junk.

I acknowledge the fact that there was a shift in aid delivery, from that of simply sending money to sending money plus “expatriates” to supervise the use of the money. This shift has probably contributed to the ineffective of financial aid to African, nonetheless, that was due to continent’s own doing. Donors initially sent money only to realize the money was always diverted from the intended use. So I will never blame donors for doing what was necessary.

The flow of celebrities to Africa could be just a fad or seriously a new way of “saving” Africa. Nonetheless, honestly, that is a waste of time.

I know I have just stirred a controversy right there, but the reality is that foreign solutions to the African situation will never work. As African myself, I can straight up tell you this: deliverance of African people will only be achieved when there is a paradigm shift within the African continent. The issues facing African are primarily not financial or lack of resources, it is more the issues of the wrong mindset. Africa’s problems are rooted in a culture that is not conducive for development, as that West knows it.

Unless there is a transformation within the African continent itself, the Clintons are just (unknowingly) finding a nice way to enjoy their retirement from official government posts. That is because financial aid has never transformed anyone and anything in Africa. Bill Clinton, Bono, George Clooney or Angelina Jolie could have the best intentions, but they are certainly stepping into a territory that they are certainly ignorant about.

Unless Africans truly take responsibility for their own destiny or hunger for change, we can always expect to see the next fad in trying to save the continent. Mark my words.
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Photo Credit: School of St. Jude

19 comments:

Mchangiaji said...

Metty, reading your article on this issue, I realize that you are only finding and looking for problems, do not get me wrong on this. I do agree with you in some aspects of what you are saying but, the problem(s) you are trying to portray, never been tagged up with the solution(s).

Metty it will be ideal and best for you, if you will line up practical solutions whenever you are ranting about African problems. I believe that will be the best way of portraying the problems.

It should always be double sided coins, if you know what I am talking.


By Mchangiaji.
mmchangiaji@yahoo.com

Patrick GK said...

You know, as good as it may sound, foreign aid will never replace a people's own will and desire for development. One look at Africa confirms this fact.

You see these celebrities may have good intentions but in the end it's like the old adage: giving someone a fish instead of teaching them to fish for themselves. In the final analysis they are actually not helping the situation.

It is equally true that aid if properly channeled, it can be a catalyst for development, the key word here being properly.

Jaduong Metty said...

@Mchangiaji
How sad that you can't (couldn't) identify any of the solutions I provide. But I willing to help, because you are not the first person to think I just rant without providing solutions or alternatives. Let's take this specific issue of celebrities going to Africa, I will break it down in a simple way.

The problem is that celebrities are going without knowing the underlyingissue. And in my perspective, the main problem is a culture in Africa that that does not foster development. And we have plenty of examples to prove that.

Solution: Africans should take responsibility for their own destiny. Transformation is only possible when there is a change in mindset from the current beggars mentality, we-are-the-victims-of-whatever mentality, and all the rest of the African's own anti-progress mentality.

So tell me, honestly, you didn't see that in my post? Or you simply undermined the significance of a necessary paradigm shift in Africa that I highlighted as a solution?

@Patrick,
As I said, I would sit here and tell celebrities how to spend their money. I acknowledge that they have good intentions. NOnetheless, there have to be a shift in the mindset of Africans receiving aid.

As you said it, Africa gets better and better at asking for fish, but never stress learning how to fish. That is where we need to go.

Mchangiaji said...

Metty, Mind you that, I don't disagree with you with the issues and problems and simplistic solutions you have identify and mention on your article.

But what I am ranting about is the simplicity of your solutions, we all know that, Africans have to take their own responsibilities, and shaping up their destiny, but, what I am asking here are the solutions and not contemporary simplistic solutions which we are all aware of..

Give us a road map, conclusive of African problems and not those you have learn in College or of your own simplistic thinking.

This IS AFRICA.. give us the Solutions for AFRICA.. or you become one of those so called celebrities who try to help but they are ignorant of AFRICAN way of doing thinking/doing things


Get my point.

By Mchangiaji.

wayne said...

"giving a fish - VS teaching to fish" - the problem being (at least partly) Africans DO know "how to fish" - how to develop local economies, how to best utilize natural resources, how to provide for family, etc... the sad note is: why "fish" (even if I know how), if you are willing to give me fish after fish after fish? I am NOT accusing Africans of being lazy - just opportunistic - especially those at the top.
As to the celebrity issue: good intentions without proper knowledge is not only NOT good, but actually creates more problems in the long run and creates dependency. There is an old adage (in English) that says "the road to hell is paved with good intentions" - true in the spiritual realm, true in the development and aid realm. Good intentions are only one small piece of a very big puzzle. Having only one piece (of a puzzle) does NOTHING to solve the big puzzle. Until the west (governments, & celebrities) figure this out, they are only helping Africa dig a deeper and deeper hole, that may become impossible to climb out of. Unfortunately, part of the solution is to remove the political component from both public and private aid and development - GOOD LUCK WITH THAT ONE!!!!

Jaduong Metty said...

@Mchangiaji
It is sad that you think Africa's problems are so complicated they need complicated solutions. Honestly, I don’t see the wisdom of looking for solutions from Mars, while that magic wand is right at Africa’s own backyard.

I really don’t have to reinvent the wheel and come up with new solutions for Africans, Tanzanians in particular. Have you taken a look at MKURABITA and MKUKUTA documents of late? From my perspective, those are great strategies. What about Vision 2025? Aren’t those enough road maps for Tanzanians?

So the issue is not there aren’t road maps, but a true desire to execute those laid out strategies. We have had plenty of rhetoric in Tanzania, but policies and strategies don’t yield results because of ineptitude and lack of seriousness. My question to you is this: if you know that Africans have to take responsibility for their own destiny, wouldn’t it be wise of you to ask why aren’t they doing it? What good is it to have knowledge that you can’t practice?

If you think that Tanzania’s problem is not mainly rooted in the culture and mindset, but some weird factors out there, then I wish you all the best in trying to come up those sophisticated solutions.

@Wayne
I couldn't agree more with you. But as you can tell from Mchangiaji's tone, I that would make a sell-out...how sad.

Anonymous said...

West blind to Zim's successes

By Obi Egbuna in WASHINGTON D.C
ON JULY 13 2007, a correspondent for the Washington Post's foreign service, Craig Timberg, wrote an article titled "In Zimbabwe fewer affairs and less HIV".

Because of the anti-Mugabe slant of his work, Timberg received front-page coverage, a distinction very few journalists can say they have accomplished in their careers as reporters.

This article validated the assertion and sentiments pro-Mugabe supporters worldwide maintain, that the propaganda war being waged by the West in an attempt to discredit and isolate Zimbabwe knows no bounds or parameters.

Timberg highlighted a discussion he had with a mathematics teacher by the name of Thomas Muza whom he said recounted his struggle in trying to support his wife and mistress on a teacher's salary.

While Timberg apparently couldn't resist the temptation of magnifying what he considered decadent behaviour, his motivation for incorporating this in the story should never be mistaken for journalistic integrity or commitment to Western family values.

If Timberg chose to, he could have discussed how Zimbabwe's Ministry of Health and Child Welfare prioritises HIV and Aids prevention with priority on behavioural change.

This is extremely significant because most African countries focus on treatment and care due to limited resources.

Timberg also conveniently omitted Zimbabwe's National Aids Levy, the only one of its kind the world over, that benefits child-headed households, support groups for people living with HIV and Aids, and patients on home-based care.

Because the Washington Post foreign service office that covers the Sadc region is based in South Africa, and Washington's political muscle has failed to convince countries in the region that it would be "advantageous" to betray Zimbabwe, articles aimed at downplaying President Mugabe and Zanu-PF's significant achievements should never surprise Africans at home or abroad.

Timberg claimed "Zimbabwe's experience shows that the connection between Aids and economics is not nearly so straightforward" .

A sweeping indictment of this nature gave him the luxury of not informing the millions of people who read his article, that when Zimbabwe's applications to the Global Aids Fund for rounds 2, 3, 4,and 6 were denied, the decision was made by former United States health secretary Tommy Thompson and his British counterpart Richard Feacham, who were the Fund's chair and executive directors.

Both men were living up to the mandates from their respective governments instead of the mandate of the Fund, which aims to assist all people in need of resources.

Timberg went on to talk about how the 18,1 percent HIV prevalence in Zimbabwe is higher than all but five countries in the world, instead of informing his readers that the 15 percent decline in HIV/Aids cases in Zimbabwe is one of only three success stories in Africa, and the most rapid.

Timberg also ignored the fact that Zimbabwe's blood transfusion programme became a training centre in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, that resulted from the initiative taken by President Mugabe's Government when the first HIV/Aids case was identified 22 years ago.

In addition to failing to highlight the genocidal implications of using humanitarian aid as a political weapon against Zimbabwe, Timberg failed to inform his readers that Zimbabwe's land reform programme was the motivating factor for the Western policy of using HIV and Aids funds as a weapon against President Mugabe.

The fact that the development agencies representing Canada, Sweden and Denmark, who were on the ground in Zimbabwe doing HIV/Aids support projects, all informed the Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Dr David Parirenyatwa, that they were instructed by their respective governments to leave Zimbabwe, speaks volumes about the Western world's "compassion" for Africa.

If Timberg spoke to Dr Parirenyatwa, he would have learnt that the World Food Programme's commitment to assist Zimbabwe is because of the progress being made by his ministry and the National Aids Council - another example of how self-determination stemming from the Third Chimurenga goes beyond the political realm in Zimbabwe.

While George W. Bush's emergency plan for Aids relief excluded Zimbabwe, the William J. Clinton Foundation sponsors 10 000 HIV and Aids orphans after initially refusing to provide assistance until it discovered Zimbabwe's commitment to the eradication of HIV/Aids.

The timing of Timberg's article was not coincidental.

During the Congressional Black Caucus' Health Brain Trust meetings in September 2006 and May 2007, many of the health advocacy organisations in attendance discussed how they had ignored the increase of HIV and Aids in our communities in the US because of too much focus on Africa.

This explains why Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California, who chairs CBC's Brain Trust on HIV and Aids, or CBC health liaison Donna Christensen of the Virgin Islands, have refused to address this issue, even though they both received a resolution spearheaded by 15 grassroots organisations concerning this matter. Which resolution was submitted to the UN, Sadc, the African Union, and WHO on April 19 this year.

We know that sometimes journalists, depending on how they were trained, believe that current events take precedence over historical developments.

Poor Timberg appears to be a victim of this shabby orientation.

We remember the Elian Gonzalez situation in Cuba seven years ago when Commandant Fidel Castro boldly proclaimed that US citizens learnt more about Cuba in four months than they had in 41 years because of the child's abduction.

As long as President Mugabe continues to lead the fight against HIV and Aids and imperialism, he will neutralise US and British imperialism' s political fantasy of trying to effect illegal regime change in Zimbabwe.

Obi Egbuna is an African-American, and member of the US-based Pan African Liberation Organisation, and Zimbabwe Cuban Friendship Association.

The Mulindwas Communication Group
"With Yoweri Museveni, Uganda is in anarchy"
Groupe de communication Mulindwas
"avec Yoweri Museveni, l'Ouganda est dans l'anarchie"

Mchangiaji said...

Metty, I think you miss my point here, seen your last comment make me think that, you just want to stand on your guards and protect your ideas/views about Africans people and African leaders alike.

And that the problem, therefore you become part of that huge problem and not solutions.
I think you suffer this myth of black inferiority, and the press/blogs like yours are constantly promulgates the worst of the African experiences.

May be you should start focusing on positives, (have a balance views) may be that will help, and become part of the revolutions to solve our problems, and not follow the bandwagons of press/media relentlessly put the worst of African affairs into you brain, and that is the THE MYTH OF BLACK INFERIORITY, which are been portrayed of us all.

Don't you see that ??? May be you should start doing a little research on that!

By Mchangiaji.

Anonymous said...

WHY AFRICA MUST SUPPORT ZIMBABWE
By George Nyan

There is nothing more exhilarating and empowering than a change of consciousness. The biggest reason for the lack of development in Africa has been the poor leadership on the continent and Western economic interest. The case of Zimbabwe is making waves right now because of the awakening of the conscience of the leadership.

Regardless of what one thinks of Mugabe what happens to Zimbabwe will set the tone for Namibia, South Africa, and Mozambique when it comes to Land reform and redistribution of resources from the white minority to the black majority.

The international assault against Zimbabwe for Mugabe returning land occupied by white farmers to indigenous Africans is unjustified because the real victims have been the Zimbabwean people.

No emphasis is made of the billions owed to Zimbabwe by Britain. Independence means that Zimbabwe has the right to decide what to do with her resources since Britain did not honor the terms and conditions of the Lancaster agreements.


The modus operandi now on the continent is that African governments must compensate white farmers for "their" land, but no mention whatsoever of compensating Africans for the stolen land, resources, and national treasures. Families have been displaced, communities were turned into laborer camps, and the fruit of the land is still being enjoyed by the minority whites.

Land and resources in Africa were not bought or negotiated for, they was taken at gun point and if the original inhabitants want them back now they have to pay for them. Any mention of reparations by an African leader is met with hash objection and criticism, he will be vilified and seen as a militant.

The rationale for extending colonialism and apartheid in Africa was because Europeans argued that Blacks were not intelligent and capable of handling a modern political state. Any government that tried to serve her interest against the interest of the West was sabotaged and replace with a dictator that maintained Western economic interest.

Why did we not see this kind of backlash against the regimes of Mobutu, Eyedama, Biya, Boigny, and others, instead the West was silent just like they were with Mugabe when he protected their interest but turned on him when he woke up and decided to collect money owned to Zimbabwe by Britain.

The support of African dictators by Western power serves two points. First, it maintains their dominance and control of Africa’s resources. The West will not make the mistake they made from 1820 to 1885 when they decided to trade fairly with Africa after the abolition of slavery.

Rubber, cotton, palm oil, and ivory that used to be taken for nothing had to be bought at market prices, this was crippling the European economy while Africa experienced a period of economic resurgence and immense wealth distribution.

When they could not afford to buy the raw materials needed to fuel the industrial revolution, they simply decided to invade and colonize the continent. Secondly, these failed African states perpetuate the stereotype of the African being inferior and legitimize the meddling into African affairs by non- Africans.

We need to support Zimbabwe because the success of her means that an African state can survive and function without the aid or interference of the West. This is important in dispelling stereotypes and popularly held by racist beliefs about the inferiority of the Black man and his inability to organize and govern himself (with disregard to history).


Success will also mean that other African regimes maintaining Western interest at the expense of their people will not be tolerated, lessons learned and policy implemented in Zimbabwe could be duplicated in other countries that are facing similar situations. Most of all, the intangible feeling of pride and brotherhood will flow throughout the continent.

Progress has been made in Zimbabwe since the assault and economic sabotage began from Britain and her allies. Debts to IMF, World Bank, and commonwealth have been paid off, new tractors arrived in time before the raining season, construction and economic policies are in place.

It is important for everyone to have realistic expectations about how soon we will begin to see changes from policies that have been implemented. Failure is not an option at this point and demonizing Mugabe will not help the situation, we need to do whatever it takes to support the Zimbabwean people during this period of transformation. In the words of Sekou Toure of Guinea who was vilified after defying the French ‘the Guinean people preferred poverty in freedom than to riches in slavery’.

George Nyan is a Counsultant with Africa Political & Economic Strategic Center and writes from Nigeria

Jaduong Metty said...

@Mchangiaji
Would you provide countering arguments, that is, why you think culture and mindset is not Africa's main problem?

That would benefit the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

Did someone somewhere say that there are no ECONOMIC SANCTIONS on Zimbabwe? Read again this paragraph from the article above: "The fact that the development agencies representing Canada, Sweden and Denmark, who were on the ground in Zimbabwe doing HIV/Aids support projects, all informed the Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Dr David Parirenyatwa, that they were instructed by their respective governments to leave Zimbabwe, speaks volumes about the Western world's "compassion" for Africa. Then , please, google: "Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act", and read it in its entirety.

Maricha said...

Mchangiaji, I also had and still have the same view as yours when it comes to criticizing Africans and Tanzania in particular without pointing out the viable solution to the problem one is ranting about. Sometimes we forget we are part of the problem and should be part of the solution too, we keep thinking it's only our leaders job to bring about maendeleo.

I like the way Metty analyzes our problems but he often falls short when it comes to solutions to the same problems. I hope our critique of his way of writing his articles will make him put in the same efforts of research and critical thinking as he does when he dissects Tanzanian/African problems. "mindset/culture" solution is way too general.

wayne said...

@anonymous:
the pulling out of development agencies is not economic sanctions - at least not by any conventionally accepted definitions. Economic sanctions are things such as limiting trade with a targeted government, limiting the methods & amounts of DFI by companies that have their home registration with the sanctioning government, etc.. What you describe are simply decisions by governments either in reaction to the rhetoric coming from Mugabes government, or an act to protect the safety of the workers. Anyway, I would think, given your position as to your perceived attitude by western governments toward Africa, you would be happy that all western money and support of any kind would be withdrawn from Africa.
By the way, the United States has committed to nearly doubling their food aid to Zimbabwe in light of the assessments made by the WFP of the UN - I suppose, given your hatred of the west, that should be pulled as well and let Mugabe sell his latest fleet of luxury cars to buy corn from SA, Zambia, Malawi, Moz., etc... to feed the millions who are on the verge of starvation.
As to your earlier post - buying 15 farm tractors and having no fuel to run them is hardly an investment in the agricultural sector. Seems to be more of a smoke screen. When ZANU-PF has to resort to those kind of tactics, it is a clear indication of near collapse.
BG pulled their funding from the Lancaster agreement after years of mismanagement and corrupt use of the funds by the Zim government after auditing found that less than 10% of the millions and millions of dollars placed in the fund had actually gone to purchase any land.
I believe it is very possible to have compassion for the people of Africa without sanctioning or supporting a corrupt government that is known to kill its own people (Gukurahundi), do away with all journalistic freedom, invade peoples private lives and violate their personal rights and liberties on a daily basis, send the economy into a tail spin all the while, casting blame elsewhere.
The current actions of the SADC remind me of the old OAU who gave Idi Amin a standing ovation at the very moment his thugs were murdering 10's of thousands Ugandans.

Mchangiaji said...

Metty,

I believe you are now starting making critical analysis of your views, on Africans, I am not psychic but I can see that from tone of your last comment. You are desperately looking for those solutions. Seriously thats the compliment. The solution is your own self Metty and nobody else. Think about that.

We need to strip off of The Black Inferiority Myth, which overshadow and most of the time hindering our progressive outlook in our country/continent in every front, from Economic and Development, Justice and Education. The media in the West are subjecting us to this idea, but we need not to take it and engrained on our brains.

and secondly, we as indivudials what are we doing to help our government in that regard ?? and not by constant critisizim and betrayal, Yes we need to do all that, but at the same time we need to focus on goods of the people and country, we need to follow and abjudicate the fine individuals in the governments and local levels. We need to propagate and discuss those fine views and ideas of those peoples, in that way we create heroes and champions, but at the same time we set ourselves set of goals, development objectives/procedures and timelines, and then we fine tunes them as time going a long.

The result of that we as citizen, we become engrained to their GOOD, fine ideas on any social-economic fronts and specialities, and we can then figure out how to make progress on that as mentioned above.

Ask ourselves, how many individuals with the good fine ideas about progressive development of our country do we know ?? and read about, because you know what we are supposed to be inferior and we allow ourselves to take that on board, the media/press would not want to talk about them, you don't need to be smart to understand that ? but if we focus in our innerselves and strip away our ego and selfishness then we can progress. Believe me. China does that, Botswana do the same, Rwanda do the same, Believe it on not Nigeria do the same, despite the battering on every front in Global media, South Korea do the same, Malaysia do the same.

By Mchangiaji

Anonymous said...

One of the ways to "start" changing our mindsets is to "love" ourselves as a nation, as a people. One feels that we, Tanzanians, actually hate ourselves. This is somehow a controversal statement, but consider this:

Our government has been struggling with demands from all sectors to inceasing(and enforce) minimum wages. At certain point, even the prime minister has complained that even though the economy is "growing", poverty is still rampant. We are told that increasing salaries abitrarily will cause inflationary pressures. Well,this is what text book economics is telling us! But the same books tell us, also, that low levels of absolute income will hamper consumption and investments. It follows that low levels of salaries causes income poverty, low levels of consumption, and therefore demand side constraints.

For how would a person receiving less than 100,000 per month feed a family of four for a month? How about school fees and transport costs?

We choose to fear inflation while ignoring the fact tha people are actually eating and travelling "less" than they should. How do you expect a teacher to teach properly if he don't know where the next meal is gonna come from? How can you expect pupils to grow both phisically and mentally if they are malnourished because their parents cannot afford three meals a day? How can you expect local production of food to increase if there is no "effective" demand for it?.

Consider this also:
This years' budget increased taxes on oil products. The problem with this is that its "multiplier effects" are far reaching. You have prices of virtually everything going up. This is amid cries among the populace that the inflation levels announced by the BOT are far lower than the actual inflation they experience at food markets in daily existance. The innevitable question that pops in the mind: did the budget really think about the people? Did the budget really consider that people might be forced to walk because daladala prices will double?. Did the budget think about US, the people?. Did we think about ourselves, indeed, do we love ourselves?

In western countries, minimum salaries cover the whole month, and for the unemployed, the benefits are culculated to last for a month, including housing and a little leasure. They are, in the west, true socialists: They love themselves, do we?

We can't compare with the west. But we need to consume as much as they do. We need proper meals and be able to take a bus to work as they do. They produce a lot because they can consume a lot, but if we deliberately constrain consuption, how can we expect production to increase? To sell to who?

Why should Banana farmers in Arusha, maize in the south-west highlands, potatoes in usambara mountains and cassave in the coast and south of the country double production of food if the food cannot be bought in the market? How can they sell to a teacher, a policeman, a supermarket attendant at Shoprite if these people cannot afford to by even though their families are hungry?

It is easy to dismiss such thing as salaries increases with the suspect reasons as "its only a small proportion of the population". But we need to start somewhere, we need to make small improvements all the time.

I hope that the current considerations by the government to increase salaries will make many people be able to live on, at least, a dollar a day! That will be a big step forward. That will be the beggining of "loving ourselves".

Anonymous said...

@Maricha and Mchangiaji
I think you are all missing the point right here. If you read Metty's articles carefully you will see that he always provides solutions. Its just I think you two just like the millions of TZ are looking for that big money idea or Huge donation or a blue print of success in TZ. If you look closely what Metty is trying to say is that WE need to change our way of thinking starting with the two of you. If you think He portrays TZ in a wrong way please sight examples. TZ's problem is mindset and attitude. If we change our attitude and the way we think then we will be able to embrace even the little we have and make it big.

Another thing you should consider is what if Metty's Job is to point out what is to be changed and then people needs to work on changing them? We all have different assignments on earth what is yours? What have you done? Let the man write and write what he thinks is right. That is why he has a personal blog. So chill out and find where you can help to bring the change.
Love you all.
Ciao
.

Mchangiaji said...

at any 10:39am, you are missing the whole ball game together, full of rage and misunderstanding.

I repeat myself I do agree with Metty, on many aspects of what he is talking about, BUT...his focus on the worst of African leaders and African mindset???become an obsession to him, which doesnot play well in bringing the GOOD for the changes.

on the last comment, I talked about the solutions, Why not discuss them and see the possibility, may be that will move the discussion foward. Don't you think so.

Last and not least this is a public blog, the readers like myself are very much interested with what Metty is writing on Tanzania and African issue at large, THATS WHY I KEEP COMMING BACK...It has never been a personal blog, it is www.

By Mchangiaji

Anonymous said...

@wayne,
Welcome to the world of "unconventinal" definitions of sanctons!. Obviously, you can't see the sanctions because those imposing them have succeeded in their efforts to disguise them. But now they are also coming out, saying they have imposed sanctins which now might fit your definition.

Christopher Dell, the then America embassadoe to Zimbabwe(now posted to Afghanistan as No.2)told the Sunday News of Zimbabwe on 24 June, 2007: "In terms of financil sunctions agaist Zimbabwe, the US is a member of various International financial institutions and we have certain voting rights for or agaisnt Zimbabwe-that is not illegal" So here you have it from the horse's mouth.

America's main sanction law- the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act, which was passed by Congress and signed by President Bush on 21 December 2001,stipulates in section 4(C) that: The(US) secretary of state shall instruct the United States excecutive director to each international financial institution to OPPOSE AND VOTE AGAISNT (1)any extension by the respective institutions of any loan, credit or guarantee to the government of Zimbabwe; or (2) any cancellation or deduction of indeptness owed by the government of Zimbabwe to the United States or any international financial institution.
In section 3, the act defines international financial institutions as the multilateral development banks and the IFM. The multilateral banks are named as The world bank group(IBRD,IDA, IFC), The Inter-American Development Bank, The Asian Development Bank, The Inter-American Investment Corporation, The African Development Bank,The African development Fund, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Multilateral Investment Guaranty Agency-basically all the lending isntituions in the world!

Man, these guys know how to tie it when it comes to sanctions!

You contend that the UK left the Lancaster Agreement because of embazzlements. Well, Clare Short, Tony Blair's international development secretary think otherwise. She beleaved that they had achieved "most of their targets" as regards land reform. On 5 November 1997, she wrote to Zimbabwe's then minister of agriculture and land saying "I am told Britain provided a package of assistance for resettlement in the period immediately following independence. This was, I gather,carefully panned and implemented, and met most of its targets. Again, I am told there were discussions in 1989 and 1996 to explore the possibility of futher assistance. However, that is all in the past". Clearly, no mention of corruption here.

There are others, Like Connie White, who thinks that there are sanctions and these sanctions are unjustified!

Sanctions on Zimbabwe: Africa Under Attack

By Connie White

The European Union and the American government have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe? What is the main aim of these sanctions? They are meant to . . . weaken and remove the regime of president Robert Mugabe. Like other actions taken by institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, they seek to pressure and impose a government on the people of Zimbabwe in the name of 'democratic elections.' (AfricanPerspective.com, Issue #51, Saturday February 3, 2002, "No Sanctions on Zimbabwe")

In 2002, the fifteen member states of the European Union decided to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe. Sanctions are war without guns and bloodshed, and have limited, if any, effectiveness for changing behavior or governments of target countries. (Working Papers 1997 of the Institute For International Economics).

On the other hand, sanctions target to kill or injure infants, children, the elderly, and the chronically ill. (Ramsey Clark: Report to UN Security Council re: Iraq, January 26, 2000)

The Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 states that U.S. sanctions will remain in place against the Zimbabwean "government" [euphemism for "the people"] until the U.S. president certifies that the "rule of law has been restored in Zimbabwe, including respect for ownership and title to property. . . and an end to. . .lawlessness." The U.S. government and its imperialist cohorts around the world are the ones who are "lawless" and defying the "rule of law" in Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwean government has declared that it is against the law in Zimbabwe for 1 percent of the population in Zimbabwe -- i.e., white settler colonists -- to own 1/2 of the arable land, while 95 percent or more of the population in Zimbabwe are impoverished and without land.

Once again, welcome to the not so conventional, mechanical definitions world. In this new world, "hate of the West" do not really apply, its about equitable distribution of wealth around the globe that will do.

In the long run, the land question in all of Southern Africa will have to be resolved. Otherwise, 100 years down the roads, we will have new Mugabes, new sanctions, and new Waynes.

wayne said...

@anonymous at 7:05 AM;
My intent was to neither condone nor condemn sanctions - I was simply trying to provide a working definition. While I agree that many types of sanctions are quite harmful and, in fact, harm innocent citizens of a given country, I still believe that a sovereign nation has the right to assess the actions and political status of another nation and take what they may deem to be appropriate action - (e.g., Nyere was right to "go on the attack" against Idi Amin),especially when they have what they believe to be good evidence of non-compliance with agreements - be they trade, military or whatever. The level of action (i.e., sanctions) must always be commensurate with the perceived cause. Mugabe certainly has the right to enter into trade and other agreements with nations like Libya and Iran (which he has done recently) and the US, EU, Australia or the UK have the right to "react" to those by imposing their own sanctions. It goes on second by second in the business world - it is called cut throat business planning. I will add this statement, based entirely on my personal feelings - NO ONE should ever, ever impose sanctions or take other action that leads to death of innocent citizens, leads to a reduction in personal liberties, or otherwise diminishes the quality or quantity of life. While it is true that ordinary Zimbabweans are suffering as a result of sanctions by the US, UK & others, I believe that the intended target of those sanctions are the political leadership of Zimbabwe, including those known to be some of the worst perpetrators of crimes against average Zimbabweans - particularly higher ranking members of ZANU-PF, high ranking military officers, Mugabe and his inner circle. I cry for the voiceless victims in all of this - the typical Zimbabwean who simply wants to feed his/her family, pay school fees, work at a job, and enjoy the life God has given him/her.