The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara personally called yesterday to invite us to a "Rebranding Zimbabwe" workshop due to be held here in Harare tomorrow (25 June 2009).Unfortunately, Dr Makoni had a prior engagement and had to send regrets for this event.(Some exciting things are happening here and Zimbabwe will experience a political earthquake in the next few days!)But it all just got me thinking: This is an exercise in futility.Some things will actually need to change before Zimbabwe can spend money on rebranding. Right now, the only thing that has changed is that the two MDCs are now part of ZANU PF. Other than that, repressive laws are still in operation, for example.Journalists are still barred from Zimbabwe, sewage continues to flow in the streets, democracy activists continue to be harassed and arrested, WOZA protesters beaten. Zimbabwe remains one of the most expensive places in which to live and just last month, our hotels were abandoned by FIFA because of their ludicrous charges.....Tourists are supposed to come and see this?There is precious little else for them to see because hungry villagers have poached much of the wildlife. In fact, ZANU PF and even some MDC-T MPs have been allocated GAME FARMS under the Land Reform Programme.They have destroyed those farms, neglecting and letting anything and everything happen there.Tourists are supposed to come and see this?Or perhaps the rebranding is directed at investors?Again, I say pull the other one.There are no new policies in place. The Deputy PM very sensibly told the World Economic Forum in Cape Town two weeks ago that "there are no sacred cows" in investments in Zimbabwe and that his new government would welcome partners in everything and anything.But the world is still skeptical that he and Tsvangirai's voices carry any weight in government. They know Mugabe. They have seen him in action, threatening to take away companies like he did with farms. 100% Empowerment is his misleading motto still.Even our Eastern friends do not trust him enough to put their money where their United Nations Security Council vetoes are.The politicans are still at it, aren't they? They insist that they will tell you how and what to think, how to see things. Your own views do not come into it at all, you must do as you are told.It reminds of that summer camp joke: "The beatings will continue until morale improves"."You had better listen to us," as the Prime Minister said.Still, Mutambara's heart is in the right place, but alas, behind it hides a fox and the fish are very unlikely to bite.