Staring Into The Abyss Of Civil War, Zimbabwe Is Now Cursed By Wealth
Although, under the current circumstances and in a more stable country, the presence of the army (above) at the Diamond Fields would be welcome in order to protect the nation's resources, the current situation where we see uniformed forces becoming mining moguls should all give us cause for concern. Put this together with the fact the defence forces themselves are factionalised, each supporting one or the other faction in ZANU PF, then you have a recipe for cooking up civil war
Harare, Zimbabwe, 21 September 2009
You have probably read the story below this one, about a group of reporters that went undercover into the Marange Diamond Fields to report on the abuses there.
But the absolute shock comes from the revelation in that story that at 400 square kilometres, the Marange Diamond Fields are probably the biggest the deposit of the precious mineral in the WORLD.
It is amazing how many people are not aware of this fact.
This makes our diamond wealth bigger than Botswana's which has built the strongest currency in Africa (stronger than the South African Rand) on the back of nothing but their diamonds.
It means, properly used, we will never have to ask for anything from the world ever again, except for that which we want to buy.
But it also explains the reluctance by ZANU PF and the army to see progress made in terms of mining these diamonds at Chiadzwa.
In Sierra Leone, in Liberia and even in the Democratic Republic of Congo, it is minerals like diamonds that fuelled horrific civil wars as powerful warlords sought to control the mineral wealth not only to fund their arms buys but also to fund luxurious lifestyles.
The involvement of the Zimbabwe army and the revelations about the way in which they are mining those diamonds should give us all cause for concern.
Put this together with a statement that the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commanders often repeat and you see how troublesome this whole business is going to be. The Commanders have never forgotten Morgan Tsvangirai's statements at various fora that he will ensure that they are arrested and sent to Hague when Mugabe dies and when Tsvangirai takes over as President.
They are determined not to let this happen.
And they have access to guns.
As previously exposed here as well, they also have private armies, set up to ensure ZANU PF victories in various rural constituencies.
The moment things do not go their way, it is almost certain that we will see them react violently. As one of them (one of the very top three commanders) has said before, "I am not afraid of the Hague, but I will leave this country after ensuring that Morgan Tsvangirai is dead. I am willing to die in the process of killing Tsvangirai."
Now we know why.
Zimbabweans need to step back from their emotions now and stop this habit of thinking with their hearts.
We need strategic thinkers right now, people who can seriously sit down and work their way around the Zimbabwe Generals and ZANU PF, people who are able to distinguish between trees and the forest.
The Generals and Mugabe need to be outmaneuvered in such a way that by the time they wake up, it will be too late to either go back into the bush and regroup of reverse the democratic process in some other way.
What we must always keep in mind is that the Diamond Fields, large as they are, can not automatically guarantee us prosperity. Especially when we have corrupt politicians being elected by a gullible electorate. Not when we have clueless dunces being lifted into high office on the shoulders of masses who can not see beyond their next meal.
But I fear that we may be too late. Entrenched positions have already been established. The forces of democracy refuse to come together and present a formidable front.
True, an electoral victory alone is not enough. Look at the MDC, even though their MPs were popularly elected, that is not stopping them from engaging in corruption and stealing the taxpayer blind.
More than ever, we now need upright and morally incorruptible leaders to step forward to take Zimbabwe forward. We need leaders now who will not look the other way as corruption runs riot.
Because today, it is corruption on cars and donor funds for AIDS victims, but tomorrow, it will be a bigger fight, with the corrupt forces using the same tactics they use against the people now to ensure that they hang on to the wealth of Zimbabwe.
We are a nation set apart, we Zimbabweans. We must, therefore, never allow ourselves, our children and generation to come to be put in the same situation we see all over Africa, where nations that sit on trillions of dollars' worth of resources have to go and beg from the world in order to survive.
That we are already halfway there should really make every Zimbabweans ashamed.
Yes, I know, I am talking to the wind here and no one will listen. Every Zimbabwean knows it all and only his ideas are the best, only his leader is the best.
But, I just put this down for the record:
Mark these words: at the rate we are going, embracing mediocrity and thieving leaders, we will remain a laughing stock of the world and we will wake up one day with this country consumed by the fires of civil war.
It will be too late.