ZANU PF Tries To Justify Its US$300 Million Warchest From Plunder Of Diamonds As It Indoctrinates The Military
The Zimbabwe Air Force (the bane of rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo at the end of the 1990s decade, where they decimated columns and nests of guerrillas fighting against Joseph Kabila Snr) is seen here marching in August this year. Zimbabwe's military is being openly, deliberately and systematically indoctrinated by ZANU PF through "lectures" at the Staff College. Yesterday, it was the Minister of National Security who was telling them NGOs are enemies of Zimbabwe, Trojan Horses for the West's "regime change agenda"
Harare, Zimbabwe, 22 October 2009
Former Defence Minister and ZANU PF heavyweight, Sydney Sekeremayi was at the military Staff College in Harare yesterday where ministers appear in order to give political direction to the soldiers of the country under training.
Sekeremayi, who is now the Minister of State For National Security (a superfluous and redundant appointment designed by Mugabe solely for the purpose of bloating government and providing a job for his favourites), told the students that the West has poured US$700 million into NGOs and other non-state institutions in order to "finance regime change".
The Minister claims that what ZANU PF calls the "regime change industry" in Zimbabwe (those fighting for real change and democracy like Lovemore Madhuku at the National Constitutional Assembly) employs more people than the formal sector of the economy in Zimbabwe.
The soldiers were told that this is in order to condition Zimbabweans to be "amenable" to the regime change agenda.
But the true significance of this will probably be lost on most people, which is that ZANU PF is simply trying to justify its reported US$300 million war chest from the plunder of diamonds at the Chiadzwa Diamond Fields.
The money is being used as I write. ZANU PF is setting up projects with high-sounding titles and verbose promises, paying fees for orphans and distributing agricultural inputs in the rural areas through its structures.
They are, as I revealed yesterday in another story, essentially buying votes and loyalty in preparation for the next election. They had taken their rural base so much for granted that Morgan Tsvangirai gave them a shock when he thrashed them in areas they previously held. Now they realise they have to work to get these people back into the electoral fold.
Much more important, however, is the fact that, for those who have been puzzled by the continued intransigence of the military towards the MDC-T especially, here is an explanation, which has always been obvious to observers:
The Soldiers of Zimbabwe are not only trained militarily, but they also get "political education" and direction from ZANU PF through the lectures given to trainees by Mugabe's ministers and members of his party.
This is not just part of foundational training for the military. No. Officers regularly get sent back to the Staff College for re-orientation and re-education in a classic Maoist tactic used to great effect by Mugabe during the liberation war of 1970s. This tactic requires that both fighters and civilians buy into a specific set of beliefs and ideologies so that they understand the intellectual (ideological) motive force behind the actions of an insurgent army or, in this case, a so-called revolutionary government.
If Morgan Tsvangirai was cleverer, he would be pushing to have as many of his ministers and party members give lectures to these soldiers as he is now part of government.
He would be able to give the soldiers his side of the story and give them democratic orientation (although I know for certain that the Prime Minister is no democrat).
Even if he is not allowed in the end, at least he would be showing that he has his wits about him and knows what he needs to do to outwit Mugabe on this, his firmest ground and territory.
Still, Sekeremayi's statement was aimed not just at the soldiers, but a wider audience because it will soon be evident that ZANU PF is awash with money. They will then turn around and say the MDC and its partners are getting nearly a billion US dollars from the West to dislodge ZANU PF and that the ruling (or rather, ruining) party is also entitled to amass money to fight back.