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The Sun that Never Sets: Why was Mugabe forced to resign?

We take a closer look at the facts behind the Zimbabwe coup, and here’s what we found.

Haneul Na'avi

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Republished with permission from Regional Rapport

“We cling to our own point of view, as though everything depended on it. Yet our opinions have no permanence; like autumn and winter, they gradually pass away.” Chuang Tsu

93-year old former Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party leader and President Robert Mugabe finally met his maker, at least politically, after a nearly 40-year reign.

After foolishly sacking Vice President Emmanuel Mnangagwa to pass the Mugabe dynasty to his wife, “Gucci” Grace Mugabe, the Zimbabwe National National Army swiftly retaliated in what “seemed like a coup” at his posh Harare residence.

The military elite, many from the defunct Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) that fought alongside both officials during the Rhodesian Bush War, seized control of the government.

Watching nervously from afar, African Union Commission Chair Moussa Faki Mahamat meeped that the shocking events should be “resolved in a manner that promotes democracy and human rights, as well as the socio-economic development of Zimbabwe.”

Surprisingly, the military did just that. Nobody was injured and Mugabe was forced to resign, and  Mnangagwa was reappointed to office shortly afterwards.

Zimbabwe now has the real possibility of a political restructuring, following imminent purges to remove political deadwood, to clear the way for a rapid industrialisation of the country.

The country can now assume a more moderate position seamless with its Asia-centric Look East” foreign policy, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Johannesburg Action Plan, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and African Union’s Agenda 2063 plan.

Theoretical Analyses of the Zimbabwean Coup

Mugabe actions violated his sacred contract with the nation’s military top brass—the backbone of Zimbabwean government—which has guaranteed his longevity until now.

Revisiting Niccolò Machiavelli’s “The Prince” he explains in Chapter XIV that,

[…] it is seen that when princes have thought more of ease than of arms they have lost their states. And the first cause of your losing it is to neglect this art; and what enables you to acquire a state is to be master of the art.

Going further, Machiavelli notes in Chapter XIX that rulers are,

[…] contemptible to be considered fickle, frivolous, effeminate, mean-spirited, irresolute […]

This is precisely what Mugabe’s leadership had become, as he depended too heavily on his military to retain power, whilst neglecting his ‘princely duties’. Conversely, Mnangagwa, known as “the Crocodile” for his formidable military expertise, fully kept the confidence of his armed forces.

In reality, Zimbabwe’s battle is not with ‘imperialists’, but with Mugabe’s own counterproductive policies, international sanctions regimes, massive hyperinflation, health crises, capital and power shortages, and its pariah reputation abroad.

On the surface, the country has longed to eradicate these problems, but has continuously vacillated between Chinese and Western financial support, and its pseudo-socialist foundations have now achieved the same results as the Former Yugoslavia, Brazil and Argentina.

Consequentially, Mugabe’s controversial 2000 ‘land reform’ policy (known as the ‘Third Chimurenga’) aggravated his relationship with Western benefactors.

A SAIIA report offers incredible insights,

[While] Mugabe wanted to ‘free’ Zimbabwe from its traditional Western partners, the country received substantial aid from them in the 1980s, including $417 million from the World Bank, $204 million from the US, and $156 million from the European Economic Community. In the early 2000s, most of Zimbabwe’s trade, investments and loans were with or came from its neighbours and the West.

It continues,

After the US’ promulgation of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZDERA) in December 2001, Zimbabwe reeled under tightened targeted sanctions, [which] were exacerbated by the prohibition of budgetary assistance by the [IMF] and the World Bank.

Therefore, Mugabe’s post-millennium career of anti-Western twaddling wholly contradict the primary source of his capital wealth prior to 2000.

The ZANU-PF’s Look East policy and 2013-2018 Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZIM-ASSET) programme were merely reactions to this painful transition from West to East, as the country capitalised on the 2000 Forum on Chinese-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) to help eliminate the country’s Western debt and restructure its impoverished economy.

Another reason for Mugabe’s economic dithering is that Zimbabwe is strategically positioned amongst two Chinese allies within the SADC portion of the New Silk Road, quite similarly to Turkey as the Eurasian doorway to Europe; both are guilty of using this to their advantage.

The London Telegraph explains,

In the last four years, [China] has provided more than half a billion dollars in direct aid for schools, clinics and transport infrastructure in a bid to stabilise a country that sits at a strategically vital point between [its] two largest investments in Africa – Angola and South Africa.

Certainly, the ZANU-PF’s history of double-dealing is not an isolated case, as it has capitalised on China’s belief in the supremacy of the peasantry over that of the USSR working class (proletariat), especially after losing Soviet backing to the rival ZAPU.

This has always been Mugabe’s original support base—the peasantry and military—as the proletarian base was under Soviet control until being merged into the ZANU party in 1987.

SAIIA continues,

For ZANU, the China–USSR split presented an opportunity to maximise its gains in its struggle against ZAPU. The ZANU–ZAPU split coincided with the Sino–Soviet split, partially explaining why China and the Soviet Union were so invested in this proxy-like war in Zimbabwe.

The ZANU-PF party inherently rejects Marxist-Leninism and embraces Narodism, a movement based on the peasantry and their blind submission to heroic figures—precisely what Mugabe and Mnangagwa represent. The ZANU-PF use their legacy of ‘anti-colonialism’ and ‘heroic struggles’ as a superstructural mechanism to rule Zimbabwe, with very little material successes.

Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin explained in his essay “On Narodnism” that,

The revolution of 1905 finally revealed this social essence of Narodism, this class nature of it. The movement of the masses […] swept aside Narodnik, professedly socialist, phrase mongering like so much dust and revealed the core: a peasant (bourgeois) democratic movement with an immense, still unexhausted store of energy.

He continues,

[…] “popular” socialism is a meaningless phrase serving to evade the question of which class or social stratum is fighting for socialism throughout the world […] Class-conscious workers [must] ruthlessly ridicule would-be socialist phrases and not allow the only serious question, that of consistent democracy, to be hidden behind them.

Zimbabwe, through its land reform programme, focused its revolutionary struggle on race instead of class, developing the ZANU-PF party along ideological lines and not material; the fundamental difference between the ZANU and ZAPU.

Lenin clearly demonstrates the correct path to take in “From Narodism to Marxism”,

With the bourgeois peasantry against the survivals of serfdom, against the autocracy, the priests, and the landlords; with the urban proletariat against the bourgeoisie in general and against the bourgeois peasantry in particular—this is the only correct slogan for the rural proletarian […]

‘Anti-colonial’ parties such as the ZANU-PF (and to an extent, many African political parties) are fundamentally bourgeois at their cores because they have not addressed the question of consistent democracy, which is establishing a proletarian dictatorship to eliminate class strata, in addition to this financial dillydallying with Western and Eastern financial institutions.

The Rise of “The Crocodile”

In order to understand the nature of the November coup d’etat, one must look into the support China has poured into Zimbabwe, why this is significant, and why Mnangagwa was seen as the preferred successor to Mugabe.

Firstly, in 2008, political turmoil between the ruling ZANU-PF and Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) parties erupted after Mugabe won a ‘landslide’ victory that year.

Reuters stated,

The Movement for Democratic Change has refused to recognize Mugabe’s overwhelming victory in a June 27 vote held after MDC candidate Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out, citing violence by ruling party militia […]

Following the chaos, both parties signed the 2008 Inter-party Agreement, brokered by then-South African President Thabo Mbeki and the United Nations, in order to stabilise the country and continue negotiations with China on the SADC and FOCAC.

After doing so, the premise was simple. Either the ZANU-PF party can lead the country’s macroeconomic initiatives, or the MDC will, prompting the party to revive Sino-Zimbabwean relations in 2011, which were previously cooled after Mugabe’s brutal 2008 electoral crackdown.

The London Telegraph continues, citing MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa,

It’s not a government-to-government relationship, but a Zanu PF-China relationship […] These relations have consequences considering Zanu PF is a sunset party and the sun shall set on its allies.”

Dr. Martyn Davies, China-Africa relations expert and CEO of Frontier Advisory seconded this,

It’s not in [China’s] interests to do some transaction which in two years or maybe even sooner would have to be restructured if there’s a change in Zimbabwe’s political arrangement […]

To prevent this ‘change’, an important part of Sino-Zimbabwean relations included rebuilding ZANU-PF’s coercive apparatus—the national military. SAIIA reports that since 2003,

The major arms sales include 12 jet fighters and 100 military vehicles valued at $240 million in 2004; six trainer/combat aircraft in 2005; six additional trainer/combat aircraft in 2006; and 20 000 AK-47 rifles, 21 000 pairs of handcuffs and 12–15 military trucks in 2011.

The PRC Embassy to Zimbabwe noted that, shortly after adopting the Look East policy, Sino-Zimbabwean trade skyrocketed, with Harare incurring a massive trade surplus with China.

“The trade volume between the two countries in 2002 was 191 million U.S. dollars. The export of China to Zimbabwe [totalled] 32 million U.S. dollars and import 159 million U.S. dollars,” it stated.

Following the 2003-2006 hyperinflation crisis, China threw the Mugabe administration a lifeline by increasing development projects and investment throughout Zimbabwe to sustain its economy.

Additionally, from 2015-2017, Chinese President Xi Jinping cancelled debts for Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and partially Angola and following the write-offs, Zimbabwe adopted the Chinese Yuan to its basket of currencies.

Zimbabwean Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa expressed that,

They [China] said they are cancelling our debts that are maturing this year and we are in the process of finalizing the debt instruments and calculating the debts […]

Contrary to public opinion, this was not under Mugabe’s orders, but VP Mnangagwa.

An observant Bloomberg article revealed that,

Mnangagwa, who received military training in China during a war for independence decades ago, proposed in 2015 to have the Chinese yuan as legal tender in inflation-prone Zimbabwe.

It continues, citing Shen Xiaolei, Chinese Acadamy of Social Sciences research fellow,

Mnangagwa has a more open and moderate approach in economic policies and is also a friend of China […] Mugabe’s receding power is just a matter of time, and sooner is better than later because it can help stabilize the domestic situation.

Wang Hongyi, research fellow on Sino-Africa ties continues,

[Mugabe’s] policy was too radical and Chinese companies there stood to suffer […] Mnangagwa is seen as a steady hand, and he will limit or even revoke the indigenization law.

In conclusion, the military coup was an existential concern for the ruling ZANU-PF party, and the new Emmanuel Mnangagwa administration plans to correct the mistakes of Mugabe’s dynasty. This will satisfy everyone, from the Chinese, to the Zimbabweans, to the new ZANU-PF party, which will undergo a severe but necessary transformation via purges.

As this transition period comes to pass, one must not forget the ominous words of the Zimbabwean Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA),

[There] is an unwritten understanding that there are no permanent friends or enemies, but permanent interests. Zimbabwe’s Foreign Policy therefore, strives to foster long-standing relationships of mutual co-operation and trust.

Those permanent interests have just been safeguarded. In dialectics, there is no permanence, and prominence is given to that which is developing and rising, not decaying and passing away.

Haneul Na’avi is a regular contributor to The Duran, Global Village Space, and ALLRIOT. His work has been featured in RT News, PressTV, openDemocracy, the Centre for Research on Globalisation, and The Pravda Report. Kindly visit his blog Dialectic Productions for more information.

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Tape recorded evidence of Clinton-Ukraine meddling in US election surfaces (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 114.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a look at new evidence to surface from Ukraine that exposes a plot by the US Embassy in Kiev and the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) to leak Paul Manafort’s corrupt dealings in the country, all for the benefit of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

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Via Zerohedge


Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has launched an investigation into the head of the Ukrainian National Anti-Corruption Bureau for allegedly attempting to help Hillary Clinton defeat Donald Trump during the 2016 US election by releasing damaging information about a “black ledger” of illegal business dealings by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The Hill’s John Solomon, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko

“Today we will launch a criminal investigation about this and we will give legal assessment of this information,” Lutsenko said last week, according to The Hill

Lutsenko is probing a claim from a member of the Ukrainian parliament that the director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), Artem Sytnyk, attempted to the benefit of the 2016 U.S. presidential election on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

A State Department spokesman told Hill.TV that officials aware of news reports regarding Sytnyk. –The Hill

“According to the member of parliament of Ukraine, he got the court decision that the NABU official conducted an illegal intrusion into the American election campaign,” said Lutsenko, speaking with The Hill’s John Solomon about the anti-corruption bureau chief, Artem Sytnyk.

“It means that we think Mr. Sytnyk, the NABU director, officially talked about criminal investigation with Mr. [Paul] Manafort, and at the same time, Mr. Sytnyk stressed that in such a way, he wanted to assist the campaign of Ms. Clinton,” Lutsenko continued.

Solomon asked Lutsenko about reports that a member of Ukraine’s parliament obtained a tape of the current head of the NABU saying that he was attempting to help Clinton win the 2016 presidential election, as well as connections that helped release the black-ledger files that exposed Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort‘s wrongdoing in Ukraine.

“This member of parliament even attached the audio tape where several men, one of which had a voice similar to the voice of Mr. Sytnyk, discussed the matter.” –The Hill

What The Hill doesn’t mention is that Sytnyk released Manafort’s Black Book with Ukrainian lawmaker Serhiy Leshchenko – discussed in great length by former Breitbart investigator Lee Stranahan, who has been closely monitoring this case.

Serhiy Leshchenko

T]he main spokesman for these accusations was Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian politician and journalist who works closely with both top Hillary Clinton donors George Soros and Victor Pinchuk, as well as to the US Embassy in Kyiv.

James Comey should be asked about this source that Leshchenko would not identify. Was the source someone connected to US government, either the State Department or the Department of Justice?

The New York Times should also explain why they didn’t mention that Leshchenko had direct connections to two of Hillary Clinton biggest financial backers. Victor Pinchuk, the largest donor to the Clinton Foundation at a staggering $8.6 million also happened to have paid for Leshchenko’s expenses to go to international conferences. George Soros, whose also founded the International Renaissance Foundationthat worked closely with Hillary Clinton’s State Department in Ukraine, also contributed at least $8 million to Hillary affiliated super PACs in the 2016 campaign cycle. –Lee Stranahan via Medium

Meanwhile, according to former Fusion GPS contractor Nellie Ohr, Leshchenko was a source for opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which commissioned the infamous Trump-Russia dossier.

Nellie Ohr, a former contractor for the Washington, D.C.-based Fusion GPS, testified on Oct. 19 that Serhiy Leshchenko, a former investigative journalist turned Ukrainian lawmaker, was a source for Fusion GPS during the 2016 campaign.

“I recall … they were mentioning someone named Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian,” Ohr said when asked who Fusion GPS’s sources were, according to portions of Ohr’s testimony confirmed by The Daily Caller News Foundation. –Daily Caller

Also absent from The Hill report is the fact that Leshchenko was convicted in December by a Kiev court of interfering in the 2016 US election.

A Kyiv court said that a Ukrainian lawmaker and a top anticorruption official’s decision in 2016 to publish documents linked to President Donald Trump’s then-campaign chairman amounted to interference in the U.S. presidential election.

The December 11 finding came in response to a complaint filed by another Ukrainian lawmaker, who alleged that Serhiy Leshchenko and Artem Sytnyk illegally released the documents in August 2016, showing payments by a Ukrainian political party to Trump’s then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

The documents, excerpts from a secret ledger of payments by the Party of Regions, led to Manafort being fired by Trump’s election campaign.

The Kyiv court said that the documents published by Leshchenko and Sytnyk were part of an ongoing pretrial investigation in Ukraine into the operations of the pro-Russian Party of Regions. The party’s head had been President Viktor Yanukovych until he fled the country amid mass protests two years earlier.

-RadioFreeEurope/Radio Liberty (funded by the US govt.).

So while Lutsenko – Solomon’s guest and Ukrainian Prosecutor is currently going after Artem Sytnyk, it should be noted that Leshchenko was already found to have meddled in the 2016 US election.

Watch:

Meanwhile, you can also check out Stranahan’s take on Leshchenko being left out of the loop.

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‘I will take over as Brexit Party leader’: Nigel Farage back on the frontline

Nigel Farage says that if the UK takes part in European elections, he will lead his new Brexit Party.

RT

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Via RT


Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has announced that he will lead his new Brexit Party into the European elections if UK MPs decide to delay Brexit beyond May 22.

Farage, who has ostensibly appointed himself leader, told various media, including the BBC and Sky News on Friday morning: “I will take over as leader of the Brexit Party and lead it into the European Elections.”

It comes after the Brexit Party’s leader, Catherine Blaiklock, quit over a series of alleged Islamophobic statements and retweets of far-right figures on social media.

It is not yet thought that Farage has officially been elected as leader, as the party does not, as yet, have a formal infrastructure to conduct such a vote.

The right-wing MEP vowed to put out a whole host of Brexit Party candidates if the UK participates in the upcoming EU elections in May, adding: “If we fight those elections, we will fight them on trust.”

On Thursday night, the EU agreed to PM May’s request for a delaying to Brexit beyond the March 29 deadline. Brussels announced two new exit dates depending on what happens next week in the UK parliament.

The UK will have to leave the bloc on April 12 unless British MPs agree to May’s Brexit deal. If the withdrawal agreement is passed by next week, EU leaders have agreed to grant an extension until May 22.

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Baltics cannot rely on Germany any more

The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it is supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership blunders.

The Duran

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Submitted by Adomas Abromaitis…

On March 29 Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will celebrate 15 years of becoming NATO member states. The way to the alliance membership was not simple for newly born independent countries. They have reached great success in fulfilling many of NATO demands: they have considerably increased their defence expenditures, renewed armaments and increased the number of military personnel.

In turn, they get used to rely on more powerful member states, their advice, help and even decision making. All these 15 years they felt more or less safe because of proclaimed European NATO allies’ capabilities.

Unfortunately, now it is high time to doubt. The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership’s blunders. Every member state does a bit. As for the Baltic states, they are particularly vulnerable, because they fully depend on other NATO member states in their defence. Thus, Germany, Canada and Britain are leading nations of the NATO battle group stationed in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia respectively.

But the state of national armed forces in Germany, for example, raises doubts and makes it impossible not only defend the Baltics against Russia, but Germany itself.

It turned out, that Germany itself remains dissatisfied with its combat readiness and minister of defence’s ability to perform her duties. Things are so bad, that the military’s annual readiness report would be kept classified for the first time for “security reasons.”

“Apparently the readiness of the Bundeswehr is so bad that the public should not be allowed to know about it,” said Tobias Lindner, a Greens member who serves on the budget and defense committees.

Inspector General Eberhard Zorn said (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-arms/germany-not-satisfied-with-readiness-of-submarines-some-aircraft-idUSKBN1QS1G7) the average readiness of the country’s nearly 10,000 weapons systems stood at about 70 percent in 2018, which meant Germany was able to fulfill its military obligations despite increasing responsibilities.

No overall comparison figure was available for 2017, but last year’s report revealed readiness rates of under 50 percent for specific weapons such as the aging CH-53 heavy-lift helicopters and the Tornado fighter jets.

Zorn said this year’s report was more comprehensive and included details on five main weapons systems used by the cyber command, and eight arms critical for NATO’s high readiness task force, which Germany heads this year.

“The overall view allows such concrete conclusions about the current readiness of the Bundeswehr that knowledge by unauthorized individuals would harm the security interests of the Federal Republic of Germany,” he wrote.

Critics are sure of incompetence of the Federal Minister of Defence, Ursula von der Leyen. Though she has occupied the upper echelons of German politics for 14 years now — and shows no sign of success. This mother of seven, gynecologist by profession, by some miracle for a long time has been remaining in power, though has no trust even among German military elites. Despite numerous scandals she tries to manage the Armed Forces as a housewife does and, of course, the results are devastating for German military capabilities. The same statement could be easily apply for the Baltic States, which highly dependent on Germany in military sphere.

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