Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Role Of The Diaspora In Zimbabwe’s Development Strategy

Globalisation, a debatable reality viewed by some critics with contempt, as a sinister intention to create a global ruling class governed by first world nations, and imposed upon us as a version of imperialism in postcolonial Africa.

Swimming against this tide cannot constitute a proper development agenda for Africa, but harnessing the opportunities that come with globalizations remains a viable option, and globalization like the rise of the knowledgeable worker, has in it a future shock to those nations that remain unprepared for it.

As for the strenuous journey of Africa to development, it is inescapable to blame developed nations for the brain drain, while the motherland is engulfed in a scourge of poverty. We should ask ourselves what strategies should we implement to be able to harvest from globalization, in the face of brain drain?

Globalisation comes with it the free flow of factors of production, among them the contentious issue of brain drain (Skilled labour emigration), which has been negatively interpreted by most postcolonial economic planners.

The African Union has defined the African Diaspora as "consisting of people of African origin living outside the continent, irrespective of their citizenship and nationality and who are willing to contribute to the development of the continent and the building of the African Union".

Its constitutive act declares that it shall "invite and encourage the full participation of the African Diaspora as an important part of our Continent, in the building of the African Union".

In much of postcolonial Africa brain drain has been negatively viewed as the sinister poaching of scarce skills by developed nations, a euphemism for the "accumulation strategies of international capital" of developed nations, the North of America, Australia and Western Europe.

Concern is that the sending countries will lose out in form of scarce skills (Doctors, Teachers, Engineers and other highly educated professionals), lose of taxpayer's money invested in educating and mentoring the emigrating professionals. In Zimbabwe the movement of people (Zimbabwean Diaspora) fleeing the economic and political disaster has from the state point of view been projected as a security threat.

Hence the reluctance by government to allow them to participate in the March 2008 general election. The state has proved beyond reasonable doubt that it views suspiciously, the Diaspora as source of political competition and to some extent economic competition.

Viewing our economy as a victim of the West has inspired policing in Postcolonial Zimbabwe, therefore all policies must be meant to counter foreign threats including the threats from Zimbabweans abroad, seen as working against the ruling party.

What has been ignored is that the Diaspora is a critical element of the development programme of any successful nation; history is littered with examples of nations that harvested from integrating Diasporas in economic planning and programmes; Mexico, China, Korea, Taiwan, India and the USA are few outstanding examples.

We have been our own enemies in failing to locate this historical reality as part of the broader set of solutions to our economic crisis; instead the government has sought to project patriotism as starving and enduring the economic and political collapse.

The deportations of sons and daughter of the ruling elite and cronies from Australia should help to instill the real sense among my countryman who have been swayed by this propaganda that learning and working abroad is sinister and being non-patriotic. At least the Australians action vindicates this pretence by government.

Orozco (2003) articulates, the Diasporas as beneficial to the receiving country through a mnemonic, the 5 T's, implying the beneficial effects in Transport, tourism, trade, Telecommunications and Transmission of remittances. Johnson and Sedaca (2004) also put an in-depth that Diasporas take part in knowledge transfer, investment instruments and business investments.

Transport is boosted, in particular the air, road and rail transport as Zimbabweans domiciled in foreign nations travel to and from Zimbabwe, mostly the majority of them visit during public holidays. The visits also accompany with it tourism, as the returnees will have come home for holidaymaking and visiting relatives.

Zimbabweans in foreign lands also act as ambassadors of the Zimbabwean brand, dependable of whether their conduct can amount to supporting or demeaning the brand. Therefore the Diaspora can be interpreted as political and socio-economic ambassadors.

When they part with their relatives, emigrants want to maintain their social and business ties, so the telecommunications industry gets a boom in telephone calls and Internet revenue from the charges.

Trade is boosted through a network of ties which are developed for example the Indians in the USA act as middlemen's in outsourcing IT requirements for their countrymen, this helps to instill confidents in transactions, thus enhancing trade.

The transmission of remittances is also another obvious oversold benefit of foreign flow of revenue for consumption and investments purposes.

Zimbabwe cannot avoid missing the opportunities of harnessing the Diaspora component in economic recovery, if it is to meet its development agenda.

A post crisis era should encourage the returnees to return back to their motherland and invest in their country through various initiatives among them; creating high interest foreign currency bonds specifically for the Diaspora, and tax exemptions for those bringing industrial equipment and machinery (this paid dividends in China and Pakistan).

Encouraging entrepreneurship should be a priority because the Diasporas have the advantage of huge savings as compared to locals and their competitive edge is a specialized skill and exposure to advanced technologies. The post crisis government should encourage the formation of hometown associations e.g. Harare-SA association as vehicles for investments and networking.

Above all we should secure an economy which values private property rights (land ownership titles should become a market commodity) through a court protection underpinned by an independent judiciary, the Diasporas must be presented as compatriots, and a free contestation of opinions must prevail as a market of ideas.

The state has no strategic capacity to remain with management functions of the economy; it should dispose public entities targeting the Diaspora, and remain with a few strategic public utilities such as ZINWA and National Railways, which should instead be commercialized.

The state should retain a regulatory, coordinating and accountable role in the management process of the economy; by setting the rules of the game and ensuring that there are respected by all. Trampling on private property rights and other economic subjects should become a treasonable offence.

This will allow Zimbabwe to speak the same language in the international business circles while ushering in a middle class composed of entrepreneurs, which are a more stable element and ardent supporter of the development of the country.

The lessons of the harsh legacy that Zimbabwe has received should collectively unite us on a vision for the love our motherland, through the theme "no more abuse of us beyond March 2008".


Johnson, Brett and Santiago Sedaca (2004). "Diasporas, Émigrés and Development: Economic Linkages and Programmatic Responses," Study conducted under the Trade Enhancement Service Sector (TESS) Project under Contract for the U.S. Agency for International Development, Washington, D.C.: Carana Corporation, January 2004.

Orozco, Manuel (2003). "The Impact of Migration in the Caribbean and Central American Region," Focal Policy Paper FPP-03-03, Ottawa, Ontario: Canadian Foundation for the Americas.

Hillary Kundishora is a Scholar of Strategic management. He can be contacted on and

Friday, December 28, 2007

Dr Gono, Yet Again Prescribes The Wrong Medicine

Dr Gono never ceases to amaze me, after crowding out news on the print and electronic media on an imminent solution to the cash crisis he has finally revealed what is in his ambit, nothing except the usual rhetoric that does not offer any help and hope to the Zimbabweans who have experienced economic malaise. He has in fact reserved the waste as a Christmas present for the suffering masses of Zimbabwe.
What has particularly made me to pen this article, as follow up to the other one at, is the fact that there is a sinister propaganda connection between economic strategy and planning in Postcolonial Zimbabwe.
Dr Gono's cash shortage busting is one typical, and the unveiling of this irrelevant and unsustainable strategy was accompanied with the usual rhetoric, that the economy is under siege from cash barons, who are hoarding cash.
While it is not debatable that barons and cronies are partly responsible for the cash crisis, the logic of the blame shifting hear was to shift ownership responsibility of the rapidly declining economy to barons and cronies thus diverting national discourse from real issues of economic mismanagement which must be interrogated.
The same policy attempts I raise in my article, I mentioned that Dr Gono and company are attempting to criminalize rationality, thus swimming against the tide. Dr Gono's futile attempt to account for the cash shortages by blaming cronies and barons is not only devoid of holistic economics knowledge but a whole heartered attempt to present the real underpinnings that construct ZANU PF's economic strategy and planning.
As I alluded to, in my last article that the neo-populist strategy is meant to bridge the widening gap between the poor and the party, by projecting the masses as victims of the scheming of the rich or private capital. The opposition and other interest groups in Zimbabwe have also kept quite about this falsely projected opinion, thus playing well to the hands of ZANU PF propaganda.
What must be interrogated is, why is it that the barons and cronies are hoarding the purported huge sums of cash?
The answer lies in that rational, sane and law abiding citizens of this mismanaged economy, whom we are told are economic criminals are engaging in financial exclusion, by carrying out all their transactions excluding the financial sector (e.g. Banks).
This practice of rationality is a result of a consistent policy disaster by ZANU PF economic planners and strategist, after leading mass looting of businesses during the "operation lower prices/Operation dzikisai mutengo", businesses are now left under stocked or not stocked at all, causing rational citizens to turn to imports in an effort to avoid starvation.
The logic of ZANU PF carrying out the operation was to pre-empt public anger and pending mass unrest, which could possibly have been accompanied by looting, by itself instigating the looting. Thus ZANU PF had turned into its own opposition.
This strategy has however backfired; combined with the already in existence, low industrial capacity utilization. To make almost all transactions fall outside the formal market.
Then according to Dr Gono's thinking people must then go and deposit any excess cash in the banks yet the banks are charging punitive bank charges, very low interest rates and restrictive, low withdrawal limits.
The rational attempts by law-abiding citizens to then make a living through purchasing from the so-called black market notwithstanding the aggressive attempts by ZANU PF to destroy all civilization. Are now called concerted efforts to sabotage the economy.
It is upon this fact that I submit that DR Gono's false economic prescriptions, are devoid of logic, and are doomed to fail, because all facts point to the fact that by around February next year we will be in the same crisis.
Dr Gono's crowding out of legislated players and wrongly interpreting the law, as allowing him to extend his tentacles in all spheres of Zimbabwean life, some kind of unelected demi-god. Is with a lot of inflationary disaster than the logic he claims to be championing.
The irrelevant solution to the cash crisis will chew up a lot of public revenue, which was supposed to be used for the meaningful payment of drugs of the sick and develop the nation among other national priorities.
A lot of monies have been spent on purchasing vehicles and on high administrative costs of instituting and implementing the irrelevant solutions to the economic crisis in the name of the economic turnaround slogan.
Dr Gono is also the major cash baron, who through the unelected and powerful RBZ is purchasing foreign currency on the black market to fund government programmes. Dr Gono should first explain his source of foreign currency as a public gesture of accountability to the Zimbabwean public before pushing for his false war against rationality.
Dr Gono's attempt to criminalize rationality is a threat to civic liberties including the source of the false rationale of trampling property rights in the name of economic turnaround and protection of the poor. How can a crime be so ubiquitous, who will effect the laws when all the people, are breaking the law.
Dr Gono is one person who is now a liability to the nation by falsely pretending to be aware of the right medicine to the economic ills whilst administering the wrong dose, which is more of being an arsonist than a fire fighter.
Dr Gono should cease crowding out and polluting the intellectual discourse with irrelevant bus stop arguments. Zimbabwe needs to implement the right policies, than to pursue speculators, barons and cronies. How can Kleptocrats pursue themselves?
Hillary Kundishora is a Scholar of Strategic management. He can be contacted on

Contradictions Between Postcolonial Coercive Redistributive Mechanisms And Global Competition

Colonial injustice and economic subjugation of the majority, and indigenous inhabitants of African states was fought on the premise of the recreation, rediscovery and restoration of a humanistic, fair and just society (egalitarian). A Postcolonial Zimbabwe was collectively envisioned as a society whose values for equity and equality would collectively be embraced, as a rallying point.

Thus a lot of people were swimming with the tide, aboard the freedom train on the pretext that the postcolonial state will be as much socio-economic and politically inclusive as possible, in fact it was like water and oil with the then prevailing apartheid state, which was a racial predication of extending privileges to the white minority at the expense of the indigenous black people.

The freedom train was more attractive because of the much held collective aspiration that independence will bring with it economic and material rights. The much-ignored view was that the rich would not necessarily surrender all their wealth to the poor in the name of equity and equality. Yet the Paradox was that the independence implied an end to injustice and the enhancement of competition in all spheres of life without bias to race.

The question of this collective material egalitarianism gave birth to socialism, human rights, land rights, anarchism, and the Afrocentric economic rights movement which was predicated on the popular perspective that there is a need to set up a coercive mechanism, to coerce the rich towards a spirit of equity and equality.

Hence the legislation of the coercive redistributive mechanisms with the face of the land and indeginisation laws in Postcolonial Zimbabwe, all directly aimed against beneficiaries of the precolonial establishment and their interests.

And naturally Zimbabwe’s Postcolonial history has shown that in particular those people who were granted coercive redistributive powers would often abuse them, thus directly engaging in conflict to the principle of equity and equality that is ironically being presumed to be the broad church. Inequalities in use of political power for selfish ends have become the new conflict born out of the need and/or attempt to address inequity and inequality in Postcolonial Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe’s case of redistributive coercive mechanisms is a paradox; those purporting to be extremely for material equity and equality are also massively and extremely against political equity and equality. Whilst ignoring that political fairness is Indispensable of material fairness.

What remains after the land reform is a question of whether it is a black or indigenous person who is incapable of farming or successfully running an enterprise wants it has been seized to him or reallocated to him?

Despite the noble and popular coercive redistributive mechanisms, there is a contestation of what really needs to be reallocated or seized from the rich or beneficiaries of the precolonial systems, in order to settle the question of economic rights.

Zimbabwe provides a testimony that a business or a farm is not necessarily successfully because it has been reallocated in its physical or monetary state to the indigenous beneficiary. The inherited farms, some which had state of art equipment and machinery, have been converted into massive idle lands, with the equipment and machinery suffering depreciation, corrosions and obsoleteness.

The question that still remains is that, why the limited success of all the coercive mechanism in Postcolonial states of Africa? South Africans are already in contentious debate on the usefulness and the relevance to speedy resolution of the question of material rights using the mechanisms, of willing buyer and willing seller, which are less coercive.

Debate is also raging in Africa, particularly in SADC about the question of indeginisation and empowerment with many global high-ranking figures publicly accepting that President Mugabe despite ruining the economy of a promising African state, he remains arguable a hero to some distant observers, mostly those not domiciled in Zimbabweans, who have not experienced the real consequences of this lawlessness.

The heroism of President Mugabe is on the challenge he has given on imperial establishment, in particular on the land question; some radical citizens of Africa view his version of indeginisation and empowerment as courageous and relevant to the restoration of these rights, in fact President Mugabe’s admirers believe land is a non-negotiable birth right.

There is contestation of the land issue on the economic value it can add and/or has added to the beneficiaries given the current results in a Zimbabwe marred by economic decadence, even excluding the third factor, the battered economy, which negates agricultural production, some critics of the programme feel the farmers could still have done better.

The contradiction that global competition pose to the coercive redistributive mechanisms (e.g. land reform and indeginisation), and its understanding of competition as a driver of economic growth and ultimately equity and equality, continue to put us as nation against the tide.

The global competition perspective is centered on the contestable pretext that with more competition (free market), more jobs will accrue for the poor and more revenue will be raised and possibly rechanneled for the upliftment of the economically disadvantaged, a euphemism for a multiplier effect, and the world will become a better place for all.

This economic philosophy is in direct confrontation to the egalitarian doctrine (fairness), which was used to collectively mobilize the oppressed masses against the white minority establishment. The question, which needs to be further addressed, is how can we then reallocate the other remaining critical success elements in order to complete the said revolution, given that it has been proved beyond doubt that there are other outstanding crucial components for a successful empowerment and indeginisation?

How can we empower the poor to rediscover themselves, as capable people who can be able to withstand global competition? Since it is now a proven reality that the poverty (inequality and inequity) cannot be eliminated exclusive of the global community, and with disproval and contempt for private property rights in the name of empowerment and indeginisation, in fact Zimbabwe has proved that it lacks the strategic capacity to operate without the world.

How can we attract foreign and domestic investments to utilize our trainable and knowledgeable citizens, let alone business ventures when we are in direct confrontation with property rights, and global competition?

Zimbabwe remains isolated from the world of domestic and foreign investments because of the existence of coercive redistibutive mechanisms aimed at seizing, and reallocating all material wealth from the owners of the wealth to the purported indigenous people, and cronies.

Can Zimbabwe afford to go it alone against global competition or is Zimbabwe mistaken on the real drivers of equity and equality?

After chatting with a long time friend on what needs to be done to get Zimbabwe back on track we finally agreed that Zimbabwe requires a political therapy centered on a new political dispensation, headed by a legitimate and legal leader who is capable of articulating the collective vision of people so as to restore national faith and future either wise even domestic reinvestment or economic rediscovery of the indigenous people is also not possible without security and/or whilst people and their investments are under threat from some coercive redistributive mechanisms.

I aver that the insecurity to investments best explains even the reluctance to engage in any meaningful investments whilst opting for speculation, tendency rife among the new farmers, to the extent that this vicious cycle reinforces itself. The Post crisis era must be defined collectively on a shared vision and destiny on fairness, which resounds in the minds and heart of a united people.

We should be awakened to the fact that, it is impossible to change our collective and shared destiny, if we fail to secure a competitive economy, which is robust and resilient. Enhancing competition should become a priority in order to rediscover us on the international space.

The vision for competitiveness should be anchored, on attaining as much possible, a reduced number of coercive redistibutive mechanisms, as much as it is permissible. People should not fear competition, because it is the vision that inspired China, Malaysia and other developed nations.

To increase productivity and reduce the decimating inflation, we need to open our economy to foreign investors, domestic investments and including the externalized Zimbabwean brains (Diaspora), so that they bring with them technology and knowledge.

A recovery of the economy is pinned on the successful acceptance of Zimbabwe into the international space based on the respect to property rights, investor rights, and the competitive edge remains the quality trainable and educated workforce.

Hillary Kundishora is a Scholar of Strategic management. He can be contacted on

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Can We Trust The Bad Company On The Amendments To Repressive Laws?

The constitutional discourse in Postcolonial Zimbabwe has been a response to the human rights violations, with most proponents of constitutionalism acceding to the idea that a new constitution or at least amendments to strategic repressive laws will help us restore the Zimbabwe we want.

I subscribe to the idea that constitutionalism is one way of tackling the Zimbabwe crisis but not in itself an end to the crisis, while I will not want to undermine the effectiveness of challenging Mugabe and company on the human rights and constitutional dimension.

I would like to suggest that Mugabe and company could also be challenged on a discourse of lack of effective and suitable leadership credentials on the critical values of love and spirituality in leadership, which define a law-abiding citizen.

The bashing of the opposition supporters, the torching of their belongings, the rigging of elections and the economic mismanagement is/was prior not legally and legitimately permissible not withstanding it being carried out in the full view of Zimbabweans and the international community

I submit that the present discourse on the amendment of security laws and media laws as a commitment or an attempt to democratic values by Mugabe and company is without substance, because acceding to legal restrictions that guarantee freedom in itself will not mean that that this bad company has reformed or reinvented themselves.

The conspicuous lack of spirituality and love (spiritual and emotional intelligence) in leadership is a militating factor to the bad company miraculously rediscovering and reinventing themselves as law-abiding citizen.

Love seems strange to others in the context of politics and leadership because it emotionally suggestive of sex and romance but alternatively they can refer to this unique lacking leadership quality as the spirituality.

However others see these things as being separate, for this group of people I will attempt to explain what I mean by alternatively using the word spirituality for love, if love sounds too sentimental for them.

Spirituality and/or love have been ubiquitous since time immemorial; even tyrants would concede that they were suppressing their feelings and needs of practicing love and/or spirituality in leadership.

Love and/or spirituality in leadership is genuine compassion, empathy, valuing quality of human existence, good relationship with others and connection to the world beyond, responsible, sensitive, accountable, tolerant, selfless giving and caring, considerate to others in decision making, trustworthy, and nurturing of ones own sprit and love.

It is deeply follows that spoiling the future generations for selfish ends is not acceptable and is not a loving thing, leaders must above all be servants of the people than to be tormenters of their subjects.

Though love and spirituality were particularly popularized and adopted in the belief and religious industry, here love and spirituality do not imply or require a religious component or affiliation. In fact it is far from it.

When unloving, dispassionate love exist in a leader, whatever its cause, this unavoidably sets tone for the whole organization to be unloving and uncaring, and devoid of spiritual awareness, and Zimbabwe’s leadership and the ZANU PF case is no exception.

In some unfortunate instances dispassionate anti-spiritual leadership can be aggressively result driven and they can be a miracle of the dictatorship, where they can be popularly successful, usually according to their own projected definition.

The historical prevalents of a dispassionate leadership, unloving ideas, and uncaring behaviour in Postcolonial Zimbabwe has tended to determine leadership, and so the whole selfish cycle reinforces itself.

However the Mugabe and company has been caught up in a web given the enormous challenge from globalisation, with its approach to political diversity as strength not as a weakness.

Precedence, is premised on that Mugabe and company are totally devoid of spirituality and love in leadership because this leadership quality is so connected to motivation and change, leaders with a spiritual calling and love are exactly the opposite of Mugabe and company.

If this bad company cannot locate love and spirituality in their mindset then there are slim chances that there are serious about being law-abiding citizens.

I submit that the Zimbabwe we want can be restored together with the constitutional route, but the absence of the compassionate love and spirituality in the leadership informs that the cosmetic legal amendments to AIPPA, BSA and POSA will be irrelevant given the precedence set by the bad company of continuously selectively and abusively interpreting the legal statutes to their advantage even for laws that are clear, in blue and white.

For any genuine talks to succeed in restoring the path to the Zimbabwe we want there is need for leaders to have a collaborative mindset, reach out to others, mediate daily, challenge themselves outside their comfort zones and above all do the right things because it is the right thing to do.

Hillary Kundishora is a Scholar of Strategic management. He can be contacted on

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Brand Zimbabwe

The country’s national brand is how others view the country. It is a very important concept these days of a global village reality; there are some who still hold the global village with contempt because they view it as a first world conspiracy, a sinister occurrence whilst at the same time they submit themselves to a lot of un-necessary theorizing and intellectual discourse of swimming against the tide.

Whilst I would not want to build blocks on this important discourse, because to do so will be to tantamount to summarize and conclude on an international discourse thus it will limit my understanding, to my preconceived ideas, I would like to submit that globalization is now a reality and people must not fear it but harness it and opportunities that come with it.

Globalisation implies that there is free flow of resources; among them information, people and factors of production because the world will by then be viewed as a huge interconnected village. Sovereignty will be relevant to a lesser extent because the conceptual underpinnings of sovereignty, such as patriotism, nationalism, in some instance tribalism will have been expanded to be so inclusive to include the international people and community.

The issue of the diminished sovereignty (a min-state) is the base of the contestation and debate because it is a widely accepted view that people will then be abused by the rich or left to the whims of capitalism, a euphemism for the evil market forces that are popularly undesirable.

It is imperative that national strategy formulation, evaluation and implementation must then take into consideration this real phenomenon in order to harness opportunities in globalization.

South Africa and Egypt are among the African countries to first embrace a national business plan (or national marketing plan). This is a rallying document, which has a unique nationally inclusive objective of improving the quality of life of the citizens of the concerned country.

Politicians, Academics, Civil society, Government departments, key Ministries and other important national stakeholders drive the national business plan based on the principle of the social contract where people have to surrender their interest in order to pursue national goals (but not to be abused).

The value of the National business plan is that State actors and non-state actors where ever they are they then act in support of the unique uniting objective of improvement of the national quality of life of all citizens.

The purported issues of sabotage, conspiracy and other issues against the attainment of supreme national goals will now be distinguishable and critical success factors for a successful national business plan are a strong governance system, a democratic culture, a non-corrupt culture and other important variables that I will not mention because my subject is about the Zimbabwe brand, it is thus imperative that I narrow my argument to democracy, a contentious issue which undermines the Zimbabwean brand.

The question that we should ask ourselves is to what extent is the Zimbabwean brand violated? What constitute violation of the national brand objective? A statement made by Germany’s Angela Merkel triggered me; he referred to Zimbabwe as damaging the image of Africa.

Foreign and domestic Investment is centered on the ability to make sustained profits in a business venture that makes sense though in some cases investors may invest for speculative purposes (i.e. projected change of government-post Mugabe era).

Given our brand ranking on the global place, it is also possible to conclude that the socio-economic and political crisis in Zimbabwe is damaging to the Zimbabwean brand firstly in terms of economic strategy and planning, observance of property rights, observance of freedom and the counter publicity generated by frustrated concerned foreigners, citizens and the international community.

The negative publicity that we enjoy then becomes the base to which everything Zimbabwean must be devalued; Knowledge and skills, its people, its culture etc. this is then projected on the global place as a definition of Zimbabwe and to some extent Africa.

I would like to postulate that this becomes the bases by which thousands if not millions of Zimbabweans, who are domiciled in foreign lands, become abused and viewed as a people undermining peace and tranquility, criminals, prostitutes despite a few isolated cases, which are genuine.

The negative publicity then militates against talent, knowledge, skills, moral and ethical uprightness to which we submit to and were socialized to as Zimbabweans. Our weakness has been the failure to stop the violation of the Zimbabwean brand by the ZANU PF brand.

I wish to put it on record that the behaviour of the ruling party ZANU PF does not necessarily define and constitute a Zimbabwean brand, but investors and the global citizens should ignore it as a lapse in governance and an abuse of the peoples mandate, an anti-people doctrine.

The international community must be kept rest assured that Zimbabweans are sober, intelligent and sane people who are not people who are defined by neither the current Zimbabwe brand nor the ZANU PF brand.

I wish to submit that Zimbabwe is richly endowed with natural resources and people of a rare and unique usefulness. The international community should discard a few malcontents damaging our national brand, be they criminals, social outcasts, Politicians and pro-dictatorship elements to the dustbins of history as evil having temporarily overpowered and triumphed over good.

Hillary Kundishora is a scholar of strategic management. He can be contacted on

To What Extent Does Economic Strategy and Planning Reflects Kleptocracy?

Postcolonial Zimbabwe has witnessed the proliferation of pseudo pro-poor and neo-populist policies by ZANU PF, a distant observer of the economic policing and strategy would concede that there is nothing which fails more than success itself, thus submitting to the belief that ZANU PF economic policies are not bad but that there is distraction by imperial forces, thus to some extent ZANU PF is a victim of western conspiracy.

After Zimbabwean’s have become perpetual victims of failed economic policies they must ask themselves, what ideological construction informs economic strategy and planning in Postcolonial Zimbabwe?

It is a widely accepted populist view that the poor are victims of the scheming of the rich, implying that the rich are responsible for perpetrating poverty among the poor. The understanding is centered on the state projected belief that private entrepreneurship and profit are sinister.

The purported sinister agenda of the private individuals in postcolonial Zimbabwe are reflected in increasing unethical business conduct, illegal deals and a thriving black market, which is just a euphemism of trying to incriminate rationality.

Under this scheme of propaganda war, new crimes have been invented i.e. externalization, which was purely a civil matter since time immemorial, has had stakes raised higher and redefined as a crime worth a custodial sentence (yet the truth is that no one who is sane and rational, even the Ministers, can transfer wealth to the state by converting foreign exchange using an over-valued exchange rate).

These crimes then become the purported bases for which the state must intervene to protect the poor from the rich or private capital.

But however a closer look reflects the government is into state capitalism a euphemism for self-enrichment of the government; the true ideology is self-aggrandizement and economic appeasement of rulers, Ministers, party leaders, public civil servants and party supporters.

The national character of the ruling elite is deep in negative nationalism and negative socialism, the socialism is anchored on the state as an entrepreneur and controller in the economy under the false ideology; the government is protecting the people.

The negative nationalism is based on the obsession and indifference to reality, by pretending to be pursuing national preservation for an increasingly isolated country, whilst pursuing prestige and power for the ruling elite at all costs.

Nationalism and socialism are strong ideologies because their function is to oppose international capitalism; because capitalism has failed to articulate the concerns of the poor thus nationalism and socialism remain popular despite not offering a hope to the poor but only because of the functionality of opposing capitalism.

The economic rationale is that the poor and the less developed economies for which Zimbabwe is included must be given a big push in order for it to make a take off. This is the base for the justification of the unfettered state interferences. Why is it then that names of popular and politically connected cronies crop up when ever there is massive looting or asset stripping?

The answer lies in the excesses of the Hobbesian social contract propounded by Thomas Hobbes, whereby the people give up some rights in trust (in fact economic rights) to authorities in exchange for the perception of basic protections, including welfare issues and defense. This then provides a mechanism for the transfer of wealth and resources from the masses to the ruling elite and cronies.

This notion clearly defines what President Mugabe on the eve of the ZANU PF extraordinary 2007 congress summed up; when he ironically complained that the very same beneficiaries of government economic empowerment and indeginisation are the same people behind profiteering and the black market.

I then asked my self, to what extents are we engulfed in a state enmeshed in Kleptocracy? Given that we are also under a fully-fledged dictatorship. The over involved nexus of the evil between decision makers, economic planners and kleptocrats implies that the economy and any future economic planning is subordinated to the interests of the kleptocrats, and state funds are just siphoned from state coffers ostensibly to assist the poor, who we are told require a big push in order to make a take off.

The dilemma in Zimbabwe is that there is a fertile ground for proliferation of kleptocracy because there is no free platform for contestations of leadership, no free market of ideas (an information asymmetry), no rule of law, no vibrant civil society (often suppressed) and the population lacks the means and capacity to properly identify kleptocrats and remove them from office.

And as a result this kleptocracy powered by dictatorship, typically has resulted in economic decadence, massive hardship and suffering of the masses. In addition like all other kleptocrats they routinely ignore economic and social problems in the quest to amass even more wealth and power.

A persistent feature of the economic planning has been to appease and reward along patronage lines, so as to always power dictatorship with a strong production and financial structure hence the shocking donations on ruling party fund raising programmes, the unveiling of the 220 high powered, top of range vehicles for campaign purposes at a time when the masses are enduring economic suffering and hardships should be viewed in that sinister dimension.

A probe into the issue will reveal that there are from party donations, this then confirms the existence of an unholy alliance between the ruling elite and cronies.

I aver that we are now caught up in a serious kleptocracy powered by dictatorship, which is running down the economy to levels never seen before in modern days. The greatest risk which we face comes by every new economic policy and strategy which is unveiled, which is hurriedly announced as a redeemer of the poor and implemented ostensibly for the poor masses whilst the irony will be that kleptocrats will have in fact invented a new technique to illegally and illegitimately siphon from state coffers.

Why is it that Operation Garikai, the Mechanisation programme, ASPEF, Operation Maguta, Price controls, Bio-diesel Programme, Land reform programme and just recently the new baby on the block, BACCOSI, have all failed to yield the publicly purported goals? The answer lies in the sinister ideological construction that informs economic strategy formulation and planning, Kleptocracy!

Hillary Kundishora is a scholar of strategic management. He can be contacted on

Saturday, December 8, 2007

EU-Africa Summit Agenda:Africa must set an Empowerment for Poverty eradication!!

As the EU-Africa Summit approaches, African scholars, Intellectuals, Political leaders, Civic leaders and ordinary citizens of Africa must ask themselves, "What agenda should constitute the Summit?"The quest for Africa to achieve development in Post-colonial Africa has been not been easy, if not unaccomplished at all because of failures on the part of Africa and lack of a constructive international engagement with key powers on the globe. What has been ubiquitous in Africa has been Independence, which is broadly negatively and narrowly defined as the absence of direct control and manipulation of the political spheres.

Over 50 years after the Independence of the first African nation, Ghana, Africa must probe itself "Why is it that independence has never been positively and broadly defined in Post-colonial Africa?" and "Who is dictating the pace and life in Africa?"Africa, having been formerly and overwhelmingly exploited during the Pre and Post- colonial era by some key participants of the EU-Africa summit, must use this opportunity to set the tone of the relations so that at least some of her concerns prevail, in order to reassert the proper definition of independence.

The colonial question has remained broadly unresolved; many Africans have never experienced the real independence but real poverty and in fact repeated cycles of trauma of failing to reconcile their economic Pre-colonial expectations of independence with their post-colonial experiences.The attempts to controversially empower indigenous people in Zimbabwe through the controversial seizure of white owned farms comes into my mind but there remains an enduring question as to who must foot the bill for compensation of white owned farms?

The African governments need to seek clarification from their co-partners on this enduring colonial question given the rise of pro-land reform sentiments in much of post-colonial Africa.The Zimbabwean case should provide a testing ground and precedence of on how to tackle this key issue of compensation. Though the economic performance of agriculture in Zimbabwe after the farm seizures offers minimal convincing public relations support to the popular land reform exercise, this colonial question remains relevant in the quest for a higher-level independence.

Various interest groups attack the quest for land empowerment using imperial inspired arguments such as; the beneficiaries' inabilities to finance meaningful investments, the lack of technical skills and modern farming knowledge in beneficiaries, the chaotic nature of the fast track land reform, the destruction of employment opportunities in the farming sector and in some instances the food shortages and the economic downturn in Zimbabwe.

There is striking similarity between the argument which was used to advance the pre-colonial dualisation of Zimbabwe's agriculture which was a racial doctrine based on the premise that Africans are not ready to govern themselves and utilize the economic space around them and this was used to advance the cause of the evil of colonialism.The issues against indigenous ownership of land are however now irrelevant because land has already been seized from the beneficiaries of colonialism, but what can be done is reorganization of the ownership systems of land in Zimbabwe so that they become broadly nationally inclusive, economically sensible and pro-poor in picture rather than total reversal of the process.

Africans need to ask their co-partners what contribution they will make to clear this mess to avoid a repeat of the Zimbabwean case. Africa must approach their partners on an equal footing in order to settle this enduring question once and for all.The EU-Africa Summit coming shortly after the end of the China-Africa summit this year must enable Africans to probe the ideological construction, which informs the China and the EU scramble for Africa. Is it informed by a relationship of equity and equality which is a "win-win situation"?Africa is yet to control and be responsible for her economic sphere despite undertaking various controversial initiatives and attempts to legislate indigenisation and empowerment.

My view is that given the financial and political muscle of China and EU, and the sinister past of some key EU-Africa summit participants, Africa will not be able to benefit much, which advances its cause of independence if it does not get concessions especially on the questions of empowerment for poverty eradication as opposed to aid for poverty eradication.The summits are in fact making Africa more vulnerable from its former colonial masters, a euphemism for a negative and narrow definition of independence given the lack of commitment by the super powers to reform and make clear policy pronouncements on key issues of African empowerment.

The purpose why Zimbabwe has dominated the pre-summit debate on whether President Mugabe should attend or not, is not centered on the purported key issues of diminished civil nationalism of the ruling Zimbabwean government but on the enduring question of indigenisation and empowerment hence the split along lines of Africa and the West, who are the citadels of imperialism. Given that Zimbabwe and Africa can use the opportunity to bring to the table this enduring colonial questions, which leaves the EU, with a bad past an egg on the face, fortunate or unfortunate to Africa, they have given President Mugabe solidarity in his quest to get a seat at the summit.

I wish to submit that the solidarity extended to President Mugabe has been done by Africans so that he can articulate and act as an icon for empowerment on a key and emotionally controversial issue of land during the summit, which most nations wish to pursue and admire, but are afraid of because of the backlash associated with confronting and questioning this imperial hegemony, hence the notion by the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown that an attendance by Zimbabwe's President will disturb and divert the summit agenda.

Africa remains geo-politically strategic to EU and China's interest because of its rich minerals and as a market for their goods including arms of war, rather than because of its plight of poverty. Africans can only make these summits different from the Berlin conference of 1884, which partitioned Africa for better exploitation of her resources by articulating her cause and not by ceding economic concessions to China and EU without deriving any equal reciprocation. Africans should set the tone of the Summit by asking the enduring colonial question of empowerment for poverty eradication than of Aid for poverty eradication.

Hillary Kundishora is a Scholar of Strategic Management. He can be contacted at

To what extent is official patriotism a threat to Britain's paradigm shift in Zim foreign policy?

Patriotism has been a strategic response used by Post-colonial governments, whose legality and legitimacy is under threat from the opposition or political contestants. Zimbabwe is an inescapable case of an abuse of official patriotism, which raises ethical connotations, because the patriotism implies that “Motherland” however defined is a moral value or moral standard.

Official patriotism is an extreme belief because it implies that citizens should place the interests of the nation above their personal and group interests, and this sacrifice may extend to their own life (some kind of unethical and immoral blindness). From the days of Hitler to this day, troubled political parties and greed individuals have used patriotism to hoodwink people because patriotism as something modeled like nationalism, it raises morale and “mental blindness”.

After defining the threats that are posed by a certain political party, group of people, individuals and nation to the government, people are then hoodwinked to believe that there are in a state of war, which then justifies an illegal and un-announced state of emergence. This would then make it permissible for people to fall over each other in surrendering their rights and strategic interests to the government in order to protect and fortify false national interests.

Leadership contestations will then be seen as rebelling against the commander of the revolution (President Mugabe) and in fact an anathema, because the ostensibly spiritual connected leaders must be given a chance to drive the nation to a state of safety, which is never real, but a real illusion.

This was the base of fascism and racism during the time of Hitler, people were then killed in thousands, if not millions, economies run down, people beaten and torched to death in the name of patriotism. All the catastrophic human losses, including welfare losses were then treated as collateral damage, a military term which does not clearly define the loss sufficient to justify a mission, a euphemism for rallying soldiers even for an immoral and unethical war.

People in Zimbabwe are being abused through propaganda appeals, which raise patriotic emotions, so that they continuously think that the “motherland” is under attack and the enemies are the MDC, EU, Britain, USA and Australia. A form of change in leadership is viewed as a direct ambivalent action to authority, not tolerated because the strategic interests of people are under threat, and anyone who dares raises the issue invites patriotic inspired scorn, if not death.

The lessons from the intensity of official patriotism in Zimbabwe are that it is a dangerous strategic instrument and those propagating it are in fact more dangerous to the people because it is used to abuse citizens, hurt them, kill them, torch their belongings and rape them, all in the name of sovereignty and affirmation to the motherland. The patriotic appeals to citizens are used to raise patriotic emotions in attacking political opponents and implicitly accusing them of betraying or “selling” the country.

The dilemma is that the opposition elements in Zimbabwe have failed to read the radar, on circumstances that play well in the hands of this dictatorial tool, possibly because the patriotic vacuum has already been “filled and privatized”, thus to some extent they then reject patriotic loyalty and pride because they feel excluded from the "national project" and see no reason to be proud of it. Dictators since time immemorial have abused patriotism to gain illegitimate and illegal reign over nations and Zimbabwe’s case is no exception.

Since the EU-Africa summit has occurred, with Zimbabwe’s attendance having dominated the pre-summit debate we should ask ourselves “To what extent are we threatened by official patriotism? Given that official patriotism in Postcolonial Zimbabwe has been based on the purported threat to our sovereignty and nation, in this case from Prime Minister Brown (formerly from Prime Minster Blair). “To what extent are we caught in a patriotic paradox?

My thesis is that after UK’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown has insisted that he cannot locate global issues outside personalities by preferring to stay away from a strategic global event for the sack of the attendance by Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe. I have questioned my self “What is it that is informing this nonsensical behaviour”, “What is the sense in all this public circus and nonsense”.

I have arrived to the understanding that Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s actions can be summed up in a proverbial statement, “ Gordon Brown has thrown bath water together with the baby”.

The actions of Prime Minister Gordon Brown herald a new era of the escalation of the political stalemate, an attendance of the summit by him as the most senior representative of Britain would have symbolized seriousness, would have helped the summit meet its goal of building strategic partnerships between EU and Africa.

His sacrifice reflects a paradigm shift in the foreign policy in relation to the treatment they will offer to the Mugabe government. The sense in the Briton’s action is that there is more pressure coming, more sanctions to come and obviously new ways of directly confronting President Mugabe and his government.

What is at play is intense official patriotism, which has been used to justify foregoing important issues in order to achieve strategic goals for both leaders. Like soldiers in a war Prime Minister Brown and President Mugabe are now caught up in patriotic paradox, both are acting within their strategic interests, with President Mugabe trying to muscle his way in his quest for life power retention and self-preservation while on the other hand Prime Minister Brown is trying to block President Mugabe’s unquenched appetite for power.

The celebration of a new democratic era in Postcolonial Zimbabwe entails shattering and demystifying this patriotic myth and script, this gives a mammoth task to the opposition in Zimbabwe to continuously post an image of itself, in a nationalistic outlook in order to avoid falling prey to official patriotism especially now, towards elections because war cries are already now being loudly heard “the motherland is in danger”, a dictators plea for citizenry patriotic emotions.

Hillary Kundishora is Scholar of Strategic management. He can be contacted on