Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Zimbabwe's so called "Land Reform"

In Zimbabwe human beings, of White and Coloured ethnicity, were violently dispossessed of their land.
ZANU-PF and its supporters have claimed that this was to reverse what happened under colonialism.
Is this true?
Here is the simple unarguable answer.

  1. It is true that the land was forcefully grabbed by White colonialists in express breach of African Law and Custom. Coloureds were not involved as they were not born.
2. In particular, please note that African Law and Custom NEVER permitted private ownership of land.  Land was always communal.  

3. So the White settlers were wrong to convert communal land to private.
However our Constitution, adopted in 1980, expressly protected private ownership of ALL property, including land.

4. So it changed African Law and Custom. 

5.And please note that the Constitution protected ALL human beings, including the descendants of the colonial settlers and immigrants, not just Black folk. 

6. This means that there could never be any legal grabbing of land. 

7. So the land could only be then grabbed from White owners on MORAL or POLITICAL  grounds, not legal grounds;
... and it is this MORAL/Political justification that is always advanced by the ZANU-PF camp.

8. It is self evidently immoral to grab property from another human being that he/she has acquired lawfully, as with the farm that was grabbed by Rex Nhongo, (Solomon Mujuru) for instance. 

9. Most of the farms that were grabbed were acquired NOT inherited from colonialists … as with my uncle (a Coloured) who went into considerable debt and spent all his life building up the farm and who had been raised excusively by his African Gogo.

10. So too as regards the farm that Mujuru grabbed.

11. What is important to note is that the farms were grabbed and "handed over" for PRIVATE  ownership, and put into PRIVATE  hands.  

12. This proves conclusively that the land grabs were NEVER about reversing the colonial situation!!!!!!   

13. If the intention was to reverse the colonial situation then ALL LAND needed to be returned to COMMUNAL ownership and African Law and Custom restored.  

14. ALL LAND should have be rendered communal and made subject to African Law and Custom.
This has NOT happenned!

15. That ends the moral and/or political claims that have been fed to the masses. 

16. The moral/political justification is a monstrous lie. It is as simple as that.

17 As regards the legal/constitutional/human rights argument, African Judges at the SADC Tribunal had little difficulty is ruling that the land grabs were in breach of common law, our own Constitution and international precepts of human rights.
Other African judges in South Africa have since upheld those findings.  

So whichever way you want to bake it, if you are in possession of a farm that was grabbed, you are in possession of stolen property.  
Legally it has been stolen from the registered owner. Morally, it has been stolen from our own people. 
You are in possession of stolen property. You are in possession of stolen property. You are in possession of stolen property.

No good has come of this. No good will come of this, as the Mujuru family has found out.  So too will you, your children or your children’s’ children discover.

No amount of convenient excuses, obfuscation, political rhetoric, propaganda, spin, jiggle and jive can change this. 

I'm for truth, no matter who tells it.
I'm for justice,
no matter who it's for or against.

Malcolm X

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Dubai --- as an ordinary human being

I recently had the privilege of travelling on a 7 day sojourn to Dubai, flying business class on Emirates Airline. Service on the flight was just ta!
In 1970 the area was little more than desert, with little infrastructure, little human capital and only one resource, oil. 
A vision was collectively set by the Emirates to become “The first, the best, the biggest”.
That vision has been spectacularly achieved on any number of counts, and Dubai is now the destination of choice across the planet.
I do not propose to list how and why Dubai can lay claim to the title “The first, the best, the biggest”.  You can just google this, starting with the Burj Khalifa (tallest), Burj Al Arab, Rose Rayhaan by Rotana (most expensive hotel), the Dubai Mall (biggest), Emirates Airline (largest airline) . .etc..etc.  The list is endless.
I was more interested in my impressions as an ordinary human being, not the rich and famous. So I did a lot of walking.
1.      It is an understatement to say that Dubai is beautiful. Let us just say that it is a never ending feast for the eyes.
2.      The streets were clean, well lit and marked.
3.      The whole place had an ambience that made you feel good, at peace, safe and alive.
4.      There were no signs of poverty, no beggars, no human misery.
5.      The air tasted good with not a hint of the scent of poverty.
6.      Shops were all well appointed and small and medium business enterprises were littered across all zones, barber shops, convenience and grocery stores, perfume stores, all kinds of food outlets … etc .. etc ... Everything was reasonably priced and of good quality.
7.      Foreign money could be exchanged very easily at no commission.
8.      Internet cafes provided excellent service at little cost at lightening connection speeds.
9.      Public transport, trains, buses and taxis were readily available at very reasonable rates, with waiting time of never more than 5 mins on any. The metro rail was always full, but everyone always behaved with due consideration for others.
10.   Toilets everywhere were scrupulously clean with most also providing hand lotions and scented condiments.
11.   What impressed me most were the people. It is quite difficult to imagine a more ethnically diverse populace, comprising a rich admixture of East, West and Arab with a sprinkling of African.
12.   I would need to be a poet, bard or painter to try and recreate the enormous variations of human facial beauty, physique and garb that is ever present on the streets and malls of Dubai. Even in my imagination I had not known so many variations of human beauty. And Yes, the girls seemed to outnumber the boys by a long way. Yummy!
13.   I felt immensely satisfied that the preferred skin tone, by a big margin, was some nice shade of brown.  Wonderful!  
In short I always felt good. I felt human. I felt safe. It was so good to be alive and part of the species known as homo sapiens.

So how did Dubai do it. How did it become the “The first, the best, the biggest”?
“A’ah but they have oil” I hear you blurt out. Truth is that oil comprises no more than 6% of their revenue! Gotcha! 
Note also that In 2010, the UAE's population was estimated at 8,264,070 of whom only 13% (less than 2 million) are UAE nationals or Emiratis, while the majority of the population are foreigners!!!!  Gotcha again!!!

The emirate's model of business drives its economy, with the effect that its main revenues are now from tourism, real estate, and financial services, similar to that of Western countries – NOT oil!
Real estate and construction (22.6%), trade (16%), entrepot (15%) and financial services (11%) are now the largest contributors to Dubai's economy. 6500 companies now have a trading base here. (124 of the Fortune 500) 95,000 small businesses now call Dubai home.

I did some research and crunched many numbers. The Emirates did it because they had real vision and very high emotional intelligence. They are innovative and imaginative, divested of irrational emotiveness. You really have to be psychologically and emotionally very mature to allow your own people to be outnumbered 7 to 1 by foreigners. Most of all you have understanding that diversity enriches, NOT impoverishes.

I met with fellow Africans from several African countries.  We had absolutely no difficulty in unconditionally accepting the spectacular achievement of the Emirates and tearfully lamenting the tragic failures of our own, especially Zimbabwe which had virtually unmatchable resources, infrastructure and human capital at Independence in April, 1980.
I mean how does a strip of desert become the world's No.1 tourist destination and Zimbabwe with its Victoria Falls, Kariba, Nyanga, Chimanimani, Vumba,  Hwange National Park .. etc . etc ... fail?  Who is fooling who here?
I could not answer a young Saudi lad who asked me to explain why we were persecuting the most productive sector in Zimbabwe with land grabs and indigenization, especially as these were not foreigners. 

I had been to my beloved homeland a month before. The comparison made me physically sick, especially remembering the smell of human misery as I drove into Harare at 5 am, when the air is supposed to be at its freshest.
Order --- theother.orgfree.com.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A New Years Appeal To South Africa

This was first posted in January 2011 and again in Jan 2012. It was widely circulated. However it was completely ignored by all those that it appeals to. I remain undeterred, as truth must always endure.
It as relevant as ever as during  past years we have heard Whites being referred to as "thieves" and Lindiwe Mazibuko being attacked just for being a Black in the Democratic Alliance, just for starters. Comments on social network sites, and in response to media reports, show that the populace is as racially orientated as ever.
None other than the President, Jacob Zuma, has just lambasted our Black populace not to love dogs and use facial and hair enhancement lotions, as this betrays Black ethnicity. "Even if you apply any kind of lotion and straighten your hair, you will never be white," he was reported as saying.  
This is terrible stuff! really!.
He had previously voiced discomfort with the current Black Economic Empowerment model (BEE), saying what we all already know – that it has proved to be simply a vehicle for enrichment of a new “connected” elite. Read ....
So, once again, this is a direct appeal to Redi Tlhabi, John Robbie, Jenny Crwys-Williams (all of Radio 702), Justice Malala, Professor Pierre de Vos, Patricia de Liile, Helen Zille, Judge Dennis Davis, Mondli Makhanya (Sunday Times),  Ferial Haffaje (Mail & Guardian), Bongani Keswa (the Sowetan) … and other influence peddlers in South African Society.
Please decide which of the following statements are true as regards South Africa -
a)   human beings are categorized according to race, colour and ethnicity under Affirmative Action (AA) laws and BEE protocols;
b)   with Whites excluded from jobs and contracts as a matter of course;
c)  with Blacks included as of right;
d) and with Coloureds/Indians/Chinese to be included only if they first claim and prove that they are Black;
e) so rights and privileges are being accorded on the basis of race, ethnicity and colour;
f) this was the paradigm approach of the apartheid culture and system;
g) that culture was racist;
h) racism is evil;
i) and evil begets more evil.
Never mind which you may want to bake it, all of the above statements appear to be true. It would appear that we have racism. We have adopted it, believe in it, nurture it,  sustain it, and propagate it … despite its evil nature.
At a stroke we appear to have adopted the very essence of the apartheid oppressor’s culture.
It is not the reality we wanted, or want … but it is the reality we got.
Certainly this is the position, unless one is able to counter this conclusion with the same simplicity of the statements advanced, without emotive obfuscation and political gobeldigook and spin.
The simple answer is that racial discrimination is not, in itself, racist. It is racist only if it lacks justification or is unfair. Given the need for massive transformation, after apartheid,  little socio-economic transformation would have occurred without  it. It would have been somewhat naive to believe that the largely "advantaged" Whites, who have as yet to just say sorry for the daily mistreatment of Blacks during apartheid, would have "volunteered" any form of real transformation.
In short, this is one of those rare occasions when the “end does justify the means”. Normally it does not, as would be the case where we would not award our “General” Cele a medal for uncovering a plot to bomb Soccer City and kill 75, 000 fans … if he uncovered the plot by torturing the informants.
Our case can be likened to having to use the venom of the snake itself in order to counter the effects of its bite.
But, of cause, as with using snake venom, we were always required to be acutely mindful of what we were dealing in, to proceed with extreme circumspection and to use no more of this venom than was absolutely necessary, if we were to avoid harming, even killing, the patient.
But, with respect, except as regards Employment Equity (salutary), which includes non-racial discrimination as regards gender and our disabled brethren, we have not been at all circumspect in the use of this poisonous elixir, but somewhat reckless. To-day we appear to have an “Animal Farm” situation where “Black good, White bad, Coloured/Indian not too good” as the underlying national premise on which entitlement to socio-economic rights and privileges accrue. President Jaco Zuma's latest "you want to be White"  gaffs have vindicated my stance on this quite spectacularly. 
The problem, and with respect, it is a terrible problem, was in the setting of the basic criteria under AA as “Black”. It would have been a relatively simple matter to set and implement it as subsisting apartheid induced disadvantage. Since Black folk are the majority in this category, they would still have been the majority beneficiaries of AA and other “real” transformation strategies.
The difference however, and it is a real difference, is that the socio-economic transformation model would then NOT have been racist.
This paradigm difference in approach would also have largely put paid to the present BEE model, which has but a nodding acquaintance with redressing disadvantage, and as Zwelinzima Vavi (President of Cosatu) says - "It is greed that is inspired by the conspicuous consumption of the new elite, the (black economic empowerment) types who blow up to R 700, 000 on one night parties ...” while millions are denied true transformation and still live under corrugated iron, cardboard and plastic. Read ....
It is blindingly clear that, because we prescribed being "Black", as opposed to NEED, as the paradigm criteria, opened the door for all these fat cats to tenderpreneur themselves to fabulous wealth whether or not they were ever disadvantaged. Evil begets evil!
This embedding of Black ethnicity, as the basic criteria, is having other pernicious repercussions. If you don’t think it is evil consider the plight of Coloureds as a "touchstone" test. During apartheid many Coloured families had a “White sheep of the family”. By this is meant, a family member who had “crossed over” and was very secretly “playing White” so as to secure socio-economic advantage.Now, by law and protocol, all Coloureds are required to “play Black”, so as to secure the same advantage.
You see, in Australia the government shamefully abducted Coloured children and tried to “breed out” their Black blood. Here we imagine that passing a law classifying them as Black under a so called “extended definition of Black” gets rid of the “Coloured problem”.
It is to state the obvious to say the a person should neither be advantaged or disadvantaged, purely on account of ethnicity.
Now, please ask any 5 year old child whether or not Trevor Manuel or Herschel Gibbs is “Black” . You are then going to have to deal in lies in order to assure the child that … blah, blah, blah … as you trot out the politics of advantage and disadvantage. Please spare the child the business about Chinese being Black.
Justice can never be founded on lies!
Consider what we are doing to our children with this “Animal Farm” environment in which “Black good, White bad, Coloured/Indian/Chinese not so good” is the message.
What do Sonia and Mathew Booth tell their children about who and what they are? This is wicked stuff. 
What is happening to the self-image of each of our little ones? Ask any criminologist and/or psychologist how important it is for human beings to accept and be proud of what and who they actually are. Problems with self image predisposes human beings to deviant and/or criminal conduct. What culture are they internalizing?
Do we really believe that one day Black folk will suddenly decide that Blacks are no longer "more equal then others" and that race, ethnicity and colour no longer matter? Do we really believe that? Do we really???
Are we so delusional as to believe that this obsession with race, colour and ethnicity is a worthy replacement for apartheid culture?
Oh yes, the American brand of AA is also raced based. The difference, and it is a huge difference, is that it is race based benevolence by a White majority for the benefit of a Black minority, apparently as an act of atonement. No one is prejudiced. No one is corruptly enriched. Despite this, the Courts there are still  often embroiled in having to deal with allegations of "reverse racism" with resolution dependent on whether the discrimination was just and equitable.
As said, if subsisting apartheid induced disadvantage, was the criteria for AA and other true transformation programs, we would not have our hands steeped in perpetuating the evil culture of our apartheid oppressors.
Now unless you are able to say that what appears above is not true, in language that has  the simplicity of truth, devoid of emotive obfuscation, you have a duty, a sacred duty, as an influence peddler, as an opinion maker, as a leader in your own right, to take on this evil. It is corrupting the very fabric of our society, subverting nationhood and fueling confusion, resentment and dysfunction.
You cannot continue to countenance the very essence of the culture of the apartheid oppressor and say, 
as it did  -
"we do this in the name of social justice".
I'm for truth, no matter who tells it.
I'm for justice,
no matter who it's for or against.
Malcolm X
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