By A Correspondent- President of a newly launched political party Parere Kunyenzura has told President Emmerson Mnangagwa that his days are numbered and his reign was coming to an end.
Kunyenzura said because God had put Mnangagwa on a measuring scale and found him wanting, he was ending his reign as the leader of Zimbabwe and ushering in a new leadership.
Addressing the media at the launch of his political party in Harare, Kunyenzura said Mnangagwa’s kingdom had been given to his neighbour just like in the days of Saul when the kingdom of Israel was given to his neighbour David.
We publish below the full text of the statement by Kunyenzura:
26 May 2022 Press Conference
Who we are
We are a newly formed political party called the Zimbabwe Transformative Party. We are not a puppet of the West, as some would like to accuse others of, neither are we of the East, to whom the accusers would like to incline, but we are a puppet of God, and in God we do believe.
Baba: Ndimi muchatimiririra kupinda mu Canaan. Asi chivimbiso chatitambudza.
Nkosi: Nguwe ozasimela ekungeneni kwethu e Canaan. Kodwa isithembiso sakho sesisihlupha.
Kanda vote yako: Pamuchinjikwa ipapo. Pamupostori ipapo. Pagemenzi ipapo.
Phosa i vote yakho: Esiphambanweni khonapho. Kumpostoli khonapho. Kugemesi khonapho.
What we stand for
- A leadership in Government that is driven by the fear of the Lord.
- A commitment to economic recovery and the betterment of the living standards of Zimbabwe’s citizenry.
- Accountability of the Government about its revenue and expenditure, including, but not limited to, mineral revenue.
- General accountability of the Government to the electorate.
- Observation of the rule of law by the Government.
- Observation of property rights by the Government.
- A commitment to the upholding of human rights as enshrined in sections 44 to 87 of our Constitution.
- Taming corruption in deed and in word.
- Political tolerance to divergent views and constructive criticism and being open to reason, knowing quite well that correct ideas come from the people and that no one has a monopoly of knowledge.
- Depolarization of Zimbabwe’s citizenry and her political landscape.
- Infrastructural development, both soft and hard infrastructure; that includes the rehabilitation of our road networks.
- Improving the country’s health delivery system.
- Improving and steadying the country’s supply of energy.
- Improving the country’s education system.
- In summary, we are here to implement transformative or life-changing approaches to the system of governance. Changes that are lasting; changes that are marked; changes that eventually lead to individual, social, religious and economic systems to re-vision and introspect themselves.
If a problem is wrongly defined, there is a tendency to proffer wrong solutions to that particular problem. For example, when Mugabe was forced to resign, behind the scenes, through a military coup, every Zimbabwean was fooled and mobilised into believing that Mugabe was the problem.
The solution to that “problem” was the ascendancy of Mr Mnangagwa. But look, we have more and deeper problems now than we had with Mugabe, and there are more criminals surrounding the President now than there were surrounding Mugabe. Do not forget that teachers and the generality of civil servants were earning around US$540 per month when Mugabe was there, and what are they earning now?
What about the War Veterans pensions; and all pensions in general? What are civil servants getting in retirement packages and gratuities? So, Mugabe was not the problem, but the whole system of political governance, of which he was party to. If he alone was the problem, then by removing him, we could definitely have solved the problem, and by now we should have been flying on planet Mars! Alas; we are now in the abyss—and a self-inflicted one for that matter!
So, what then is our problem as Zimbabweans? The problem that Zimbabwe as a country faces today is that of a leadership that does not fear God. This type of leadership only pays lip service to their allegiance to the Almighty. In typical Pharisaic behaviour, they proclaim at the top of their voices that they are God-fearing; and even go on to attend worship assemblies and crusades by the day, yet under the cover of darkness they violate God’s moral law with impunity. Some of them have the temerity or audacity to violate God’s laws even during the daytime. If their assertion is true that they are God-fearing, then Zimbabweans pause to ask:
- What became of Herbert Wiltshire Chitepo who perished on 18 March 1975?
- What became of Josiah Magama Tongogara who perished on 26 December 1979?
- What became of over 20,000 people who perished in the Midlands and Matabeleland provinces between 3 January 1983 and 22 December 1987 during the Gukurahundi era? Is hatred a trademark of being Godly? Isn’t ethnicity [whether Ndebele, Tonga, Shona or Venda]; only tongue deep, in much the same way as colour [whether black or white]; is only skin deep?
- Are we not all descendants of one ancestral couple; Adam and Eve? Isn’t the whole universe full of descendants of the eight people who came out of Noah’s Ark— Noah, his three sons Shem, Japheth and Ham and their four wives? So where is this hatred coming from? Are we not all one people?
- Are we not all relatives of one another? Do we not share one ancestry? Will God not be happy in seeing the perpetrators of such heinous, monstrous, iniquitous and callous acts repenting of their sins? Shall not every one of us one day stand before the judgement seat of God, in order that each one of us receives what is due for what one would have done in the body, whether good or evil? [2 Cor. 5:10].
- Shall not each one of us give an account of himself to God? [Rom. 14:12]. Shall not each one of us be judged, whether great or small, in accordance with what one would have done on earth when one was still alive? [Rev. 20:12-13].
- Other questions which Zimbabweans pause to ask are: What became of Tonderai Ndira who perished between 13 and 22 May 2008 during the bloody election runoff?
- What became of Solomon Mujuru who was burnt beyond recognition on that fateful night of 15 August 2011, a hero dying immediately after celebrating Heroes and Defence Forces days?
- What became of Itai Dzamara who was abducted on the morning of 9 March 2015 and disappeared outright; who then was campaigning that the failed Mugabe must step down?
- Is a revolution that eats its own people; including eating those who are party to the revolution, a Godly revolution?
- If God’s sixth commandment says, “You shall not murder” [Exod. 20:13: ESV]; do leaders who are God-fearing go on and shed blood?Were not people killed like insects on the streets of Harare by the army on 1 August 2018, when they were agitated by the delay in the announcement of the presidential election results, as they were demanding the immediate release of the same; following the 30 July 2018 harmonised elections?
- Were Zimbabweans not killed again in mid January 2019 when they were protesting about the 150% increase in the price of fuel, along with the increasing levels of poverty, the poor state of the economy and the general decline in the standards of living?
- Can our dear President of the Republic of Zimbabwe purport not to know what exactly transpired on these events that led to the death of civilians on the street of Harare? Does not section 213, subsections 1 and 2, of our Constitution, state that only the President, as Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces, has the power to authorise the deployment of the Defence Forces and to determine the operational use of the same? Then if anything goes amiss in this deployment, is he not answerable to the citizenry for the outcome of the deployment?
- Were our Parliamentarians not equally culpable, for according to section 214 of the Constitution, when the Defence Forces are deployed in Zimbabwe to assist in the maintenance of public order; the President must cause Parliament to be informed, promptly and in appropriate detail, of the reasons for their deployment as well as informing Parliament of the place where they are deployed?
- So if Parliament was not informed by the President, then what did the Parliamentarians do? Sit and watch? Shouldn’t they have resigned en masse if their conscience is clear, and if their parliamentary authority was undermined with impunity by the head of state and government? Ladies and gentlemen,
- God shall one day ask questions, by which he will demand answers! It is never too late at this juncture to come in the open and repent! God is eagerly looking forward to seeing this repentance.
Thus given the foregoing, our problem in Zimbabwe today is entrusting in positions of authority political leaders who do not fear the Lord. They are a god unto themselves. This set of a leadership does not know God.
They are a leadership that is insensitive to the plight of the generality of Zimbabweans; a leadership that is indifferent to the needs of the people, a leadership that is inward-looking, a leadership that is self aggrandising and a leadership that lacks empathy.
This type of leadership is sinful. Lest we forget, if anyone knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, is sin [James 4:17]. So a good number of our leaders are sinful today in that they know that people are starving due to the meagre wages they earn; they know that people are dying due to lack of medication and proper staffing levels in public hospitals; they know that many basics like transport, food, shelter and education are beyond the reach of many Zimbabweans, but they fail to redress or remedy the situation. Therefore, if leaders know the right thing that needs to be done, but they ignore or fail to do it; they are definitely sinning against God.
Thus given our definition of the problem at hand, the following are, therefore, not the problems, but they are mere symptoms of the problem. They are the results of a problem. They flow naturally from the problem. They are the economy’s direct response to the problem.
Symptoms of the problem
- High levels of unemployment that hovers at over 90%, including university and college graduates who have never known formal employment; with some having graduated almost 20 years ago. Venturing into informal sector or entrepreneurship should be an option, and not mandatorily induced by circumstances.
- A meltdown of economic activity.
- High interest rates and the cost of borrowing.
- Hyperinflationary environment. According to Steve Hanke, a professor of applied economics at John Hopkins University, Zimbabwe has the highest rate of inflation in the world which is pegged at 244% followed by Lebanon’s official rate of inflation which is pegged at 208.13%. This makes our currency a worthless currency. Its highest denomination cannot even buy a half loaf of bread as of now, yet according to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency [ZimStat], the country’s year-on-year inflation was 96.4% as of April 2022.
- Acute foreign currency shortages in spite of the three-tier exchange rates [i.e. interbank rate, auction rate and parallel market rate].
- High government expenditure, with a huge appetite for borrowing; resulting in high levels of both domestic and external debt. Zimbabwe’s external debt, at US$10.5 billion in 2020, stood at 86% of Gross Domestic Product according to the IMF. This debt is owed to the international financial institutions including the Paris Club, African Development Bank, and the World Bank.
- Deteriorating living standards; with over 80% of the population living below the national poverty datum line, making Zimbabwe the 22nd poorest country in the world [World Bank]. The majority of Zimbabweans are living on less than US$1.90 per day, which is the international poverty rate according to the UN Human Development Index.
- Low life expectancy. The average life expectancy was as follows in 2021: Zimbabwe 61.63 years; South Africa 64.62; Egypt 72.22 years; Botswana 69.55 years; Namibia 64.12 and Zambia 64.12 years. [World Bank 2019].
- Failure to observe the rule of law.
- Failure to observe property rights.
- A poor operating environment for business; despite professing the ease with which business is done in Zimbabwe.
- Wages which are tantamount to slavery earnings; especially for government workers.
- A proliferation of roads that are riddled with potholes, or should I say “dish” holes.
- A poor health delivery system where basics like bandages and painkillers are hardly available; with health professionals miserably remunerated. In SA, a junior doctor earns an average salary of about R48 000; which is the equivalent of about US $3 402 per month. In other regional countries, the figures are: Namibia US3 120. Botswana US1 518. Lesotho US $1 500. Swaziland US$1 500. In Zimbabwe, they earn peanuts; that’s why they are behaving like monkeys, for the old adage goes, “Pay them peanuts, and they will behave like monkeys”. They are constantly and rightfully making noises about adjusting their remuneration levels in line with the cost of living.
- A nation living under incessant power outages.
- A nation that is highly polarized.
- A politically intolerant system of governance; and the labelling of any dissenting voice as sell-outs.
- A political environment that is characterised by political violence and blood-letting, with lip profession to the upholding of the sanctity of life.
- Massive looting and plundering of state resources.
- Exponential levels of corruption that go unchecked; with lip profession to taming it.
- A miscarriage of justice, especially for opposition political players.
- High crime rate, some of which is precipitated by poor conditions of service, especially for government employees.
- Regular resurgence of medieval diseases such as cholera and typhoid, mainly due to contaminated water and the general unhygienic living conditions.
- Uncollected garbage, yet most residents religiously pay their bills monthly, and having urban settlements that go for almost 10 years without tape water—Mabvuku and Tafara come to mind, under the nose of a Local Government Minister; which central government so often shifts the blame to the opposition.
- An average teacher-pupil ratio of 1:60; in this day and age. I was in grade 1 in 1981 and 1:60 was the ratio then, soon after the war. Now about 42 years down the line, it is still the same; if not worse in some public schools.
- A country flooded with land barons most of whom, if not all of them, are politically connected; depriving innocent citizens of their hard earned cash.
- Repressive media laws such as the pending Patriotic Bill and the Private Voluntary Organisation Amendment Bill [PVO]. The Patriotic Bill seeks to criminalise acts that campaign against Zimbabwe, including, but not limited to, advocacy for the imposition of sanctions on Zimbabwe, private correspondence with foreign governments or any officer or agent thereof. A patriot cannot be created by legislation, but rather patriotism ought to be an intrinsic feeling of appreciation of the good socio-economic welfare of the country, and not as a result of a mandatory and repressive legislation. The PVO Bill that was subjected to community-based public hearings across the country; exposes the intention of the Zimbabwean government to provide itself with a legal tool to control and eventually silence civil society. If enacted, it will be a threat to the freedom of association, in sharp contrast to what is enshrined in section 58 of the Constitution.
- In fact, the list is inexhaustible.
Thus given the above plethora of symptoms, Zimbabweans need a new page; a new beginning and a new approach to governance. Leaders should morph up into new creatures that are fearful of the Lord God. They need to undergo transformation. Leaders should be good stewards of God’s people.
True wisdom begins when people begin to fear the Lord. The psalmist hammered the point home when he said, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practise it have a good understanding. [Ps.111:10; ESV]. Solomon adds, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” [Prov.1:7; ESV].
Again he says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” [Prov. 9:10; ESV]. Thus the quest for wisdom begins when a man begins to fear God. Consequently, intellectualism outside of God is being non-intellectual. What then does it mean to fear God? To fear God is not to be afraid of him. To fear God is to obey him, to respect him, and to live in accordance with the dictates of his commandments.
submission to the Lord is critical to the attainment of real understanding. Thus wise counsel comes from the Lord Jesus Christ; for he is the Wonderful Counsellor [Isaiah 9:6]. If one disobeys him, one will never know real peace. All things will fall apart under one’s nose if one disobeys God.
Thus leaders need the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and fear of the LORD [Isaiah 11:2]; all of which are the hallmarks of our Lord Jesus Christ. The book of James caps it all when it says , “…the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” [James 3:17-18; ESV].
So wisdom from God is pure, peace-loving, not violent [gentle], willing to listen to sensible or logical thinking, willing to forgive those towards whom one has the power to punish or harm, full of good produce, unbiased and free from pretence or deceit.
Can anyone deliver Zimbabweans from bondage except God?
Now given our current problem and its corresponding symptoms, where can Zimbabweans turn to? Who can save them? Is it the West? Not really! Can it be the East? Not really too. Nobody can save Zimbabweans from their predicament altogether.Absolutely no one, except the Lord Almighty! God is the only one hope remaining. He is that one hope that has never failed to save humanity in its entire history.
Under such trying times, Zimbabweans have never ceased crying to God their Maker. We would like to salute all Zimbabweans for their resilience and tenacity under these very difficult circumstances. Everyone has suffered including even most veterans of the armed struggle. No one has been spared.
They have suffered in the hands of their taskmasters. They have suffered in the hands of those in positions of political leadership. Is God deaf and dumb? By no means! God does not keep quiet when his creation is being tormented. God will fight in his people’s corner. He will fight on behalf of the Zimbabweans.
As a reminder, no single Zimbabwean has title deeds to the land of Zimbabwe. The whole universe is God’s creation. So no one has entitlement to Zimbabwe, including those in ZANU PF. It is God who created and allocated the various geographical regions to people upon which to live.[Acts17:26]. Therefore, every Zimbabwean is a stakeholder to the motherland called Zimbabwe.
Now, we would like to assure our fellow country men and women, that the true God towards whom you directed your prayers day and night, is not dump and deaf, neither does he sleep. God does not enter into the voice mail mode. Thus, this true God has sent us, to deliver Zimbabweans from the jaws of a monster, and this monster, unequivocally, is the ZANU PF political leadership and its administration.
We are not delusional; nor are we suffering from any hallucination. We are simply putting on record what is in the mind of God. For the avoidance of doubt, this is not our project, but God’s, in much the same way as the deliverance of Israel from the Egyptian bondage was not Moses’ or Aaron’s project, but God’s.
We are not hiding from anyone the fact that God has truly heard the prayers of Zimbabwe’s citizenry and has thus sent us as executors of his plan. We are his vessels who are ready to execute this plan on his behalf. He is the author of this project.
When God called Moses, he said to him, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey,……
And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” God said, “But I will be with you…” [Exod. 3:7-12: ESV].
Even if God is omnipresent, that is, even if he is available at all places at the same time, for he is in heaven, his dwelling place, as he is on earth, he “descended” from heaven in a special way to deliver his people from the Egyptian bondage.
Zimbabwe today is comparable to the Egypt of yesteryear. Zimbabwe’s citizens are living in the yesteryear “land of Goshen in Egypt”; where oppression was the order of the day. Zimbabweans can no longer breathe. Democratic space has been squeezed by an authoritarian, totalitarian, autocratic, despotic and tyrannical political system of the ruling elite.
Her citizens have been oppressed and abused left, right and centre. Her political leaders were supposed to be good stewards and shepherds of God’s people. However, to our surprise, today’s political leaders have cannibalized God’s people and consequently, they have scattered them. Cannibalized them?
Yes, because as of now, a lot of Zimbabweans have perished in the hands of those who are supposed to look after and care for them. Some have been abducted and disappeared outright. There has been continued and systematic subjugation of the will of the people.
Scatter them? Yes, because over four million Zimbabweans are now livingin the diaspora, some as political refugees fleeing from political persecution, while others have fled the country as economic refugees looking for greener pastures because political leaders have committed economic genocide of exponential proportions.
Thus Zimbabweans have been crying for a very long period of time, and God has heard their cry, and has responded due to his abundant grace. Therefore, we have been sent by God as the Moses of today.
Political hurdles will stand in our way, but God will prevail
In directing us to take this political route, God is not oblivious to the fact that this journey will not be a stroll in the park. We have no illusions whatsoever about the troubles that are lurking ahead of us. God did not promise us that the journey will be trouble-free. Far be it. However, what he promised us is that even under trying times; he will not leave us alone as orphans.
He will always be with us; just as he promised his disciples that he would be with them always right up to the end of age [Matt. 28:20]. God is quite cognisant of the bumpy political road that lies ahead of us, and of the political hurdles that besiege this racing track. We are, therefore, fully aware of the political terrain on which we have now begun to tread. Notwithstanding these challenges, let us hasten to say that we are tempted to remind people that we have never seen or heard of a man or woman, in the entire history of mankind, who has waged a war against the Almighty and prevailed.
Absolutely no one! Just as God promised Moses that he will be with him, he indeed promised us that he will not leave us alone in this project. When a man’s actions are in conflict with God’s commandments, we will endeavour not to please man, the creature, but to please God, the Creator. As ambassadors of the Gospel of Christ, we do not trust in chariots and horses of war, but in the name of the Lord [Ps. 20:7].
Even if some of us may perish along the way, the resolve within us will not be extinguished; for we are prepared to endure on this route, and we will endure up to the end [Heb. 3:14]. We will suffer together with Christ in this project, in order that we may also be glorified with him when he returns [Rom. 8:17].
Our position on other main political parties
We acknowledge the role played by the MDC group and their mutable variants, especially from the days of its founding and iconic president, Morgan Richard Tsvangirai; for the democratic struggle that they have undertaken for almost 23 years now. Their efforts are quite cherished.
However, they have been in the dugout, they have been in the trenches for far too long. In fact, their struggle has been longer than the ZANU PF’s struggle itself of 17 years [1963-1980]. Zimbabweans are tired and desperate. Tired? Yes; because they have fought this war for over two decades now. Desperate?
Yes; because they are not quite sure if ever their landslide voting patterns will ever translate into them getting the power they so vigorously have been fighting for. Mugabe, by his own admission, said in one of their meetings that Morgan Tsvangirai had clobbered ZANU PF in the then Presidential election by winning 74% of the votes, only to be “corrected” by those in attendance to the effect that it was 47% of the votes and not 74. I hadn’t heard Mugabe as truthful as this before—a very honest statement from the geriatric! Very truthful indeed! So one is tempted to conclude that the MDC have been winning since the 2002 Presidential elections, but they have not been ruling.
On the contrary, we are here, in the name of God, to wrap up this struggle. We are here, in the name of God, to bring this chapter to its closure. We are here, in the name of God to bring it to its logical conclusion.
We also acknowledge the role played by the original and true cadres of the armed struggle, both in ZANU PF and PF ZAPU. They put up a brave and bitter armed struggle that culminated in the attainment of our independence that was epitomized by the raising of our Zimbabwean flag on 18 April 1980, ending a colonial system that officially had stretched from the midnight of 12/13 September 1890 when the Union Jack was raised on our soil; in the then Salisbury.
This legacy by the veterans of the armed struggle cannot be underestimated, neither can we downplay it. Their cause was, is and will still continue to be a well cherished cause. As Zimbabweans, we do not deny our indebtedness to this worthy cause, for which a lot of blood was shed. We salute all the gallant fighters of the armed struggle—both living and departed. However, this rich legacy has gradually been eroded by the shenanigans of the ZANU PF political actors, on whom they had bestowed the trust to lead Zimbabwe’s citizenry.
This rich legacy has wrongly been used as a license to maim people, as a licence to butcher and kill people; as a licence to pay a blind eye to the rule of law, as a licence to disrespect property rights, as a licence to pay a blind eye to revenue accountability and the general accountability of those in Government to the electorate, as a licence to loot and plunder national resources with impunity, as a licence to pay a blind eye to the violation of human rights, as a licence to suffocate media and journalistic space, as a licence to squash democratic space; as a licence to embark on political intolerance, and as a licence to violate the Constitution willy-nilly and to the whims and caprices of the ruling elite.
God forbid! All these vices are quite in sharp contrast to the ethos, values, cause and ideological thrust of the armed struggle. Today’s political actors in the ruling party have abused the trust and power which was vested in them by the stalwarts of the armed struggle. Not surprisingly, everyone is crying, including these stalwarts of the armed struggle because of the self-centredness of those upon whom they entrusted the stewardship of the country.
Our position on land
One of the key triggers of nationalism in Zimbabwe that subsequently led to the taking up of arms was the unjustifiable dispossession of the natives of their land and other resources without compensation. Section 72 of the 2013 Constitution; subsection 7; paragraphs (a) and (b); is quite explicit about this fact. Hence, according to section 72, subsection 3, paragraphs (a) and (b); and section 295, subsection 3, subject to section 295 subsections 1 and 2 of the same Constitution, no compensation is payable in respect of its acquisition, except compensation for improvements effected on the land before its acquisition, and no court may entertain any such application, for according to section 72 subsection 3 paragraph (c) of the Constitution, the acquisition may not be challenged on the ground that it was discriminatory in contravention of section 56 of the Constitution.
Thus Statutory Instrument 62 of 2020 was also promulgated with the same spirit of compensating such farmers only for improvements effected on their farms. Note that all “agricultural land” as defined by section 72 subsection 4; paragraphs (a) and (b) of the Constitution continues to be vested in the State, and no compensation is payable in respect of its acquisition except for improvements effected on it before its acquisition.
Historically, successive segregationist pieces of legislation were enacted that paved the way for inequalities in land ownership in Zimbabwe between whites and blacks. This philosophy of moving blacks off their land began immediately after the 1893 War of Dispossession which saw the defeat of the Ndebele. It continued for the next 84 years through to 1977.
It was a dual process of alienation [taking land from the original and rightful owners] and moving the original Zimbabwean inhabitants to less fertile and less well-watered Tribal Trust Lands or Native Reserves. From 1893 to 1977, there were seven Land Commissions that were set up by the settler authority to deal specifically with the land question, for example, the 1894 Land Commission, the 1902 Land Commission, the 1914 Land Commission and the 1925-26 Morris-Brown or the Carter Commission.
Thus the first land commission was set up in 1894 which specifically dealt with the aftermath of the defeat of the Ndebele. As a result of this defeat; the British South African Company [BSAC] claimed ownership of all land occupied by the Ndebele. Since the Ndebele, by right of conquest, had dominated most parts of Zimbabwe, this means that the white settlers, by extension, resultantly claimed the ownership of all land in Zimbabwe.
The 1894 Commission recommended the creation of “reservations/reserve areas” for the displaced Ndebele; and in 1895, two reserves namely Gwai and Shangani were established in a dry, semi-arid region hundreds of miles north of the centre of the Ndebele kingdom. In making such evictions, the Land Commission was not concerned about the economic and social well-being of the displaced people.
No wonder why the forced removal of the Ndebele to Gwai and Shangani as well as the hardships of living in that harsh environment, were among the primary causes of the 1896 Ndebele rebellion that culminated into the 1896-7 First Chimurenga/Umvekela, that became a national war.
The Carter Commission of 1926 recommended the segregation of all land on a virtually permanent basis between Blacks and Whites. The attitude of the Carter Commission is summarised in the following quote from their Report, “Until the Native [Black person] has advanced very much further on the path of civilisation, it is better that the points of contact between the two races should be reduced.”
Therefore, based on the Carter Commission’s Report, the need to divide the land between Blacks and Whites brought about the Land Apportionment Act of 1930. Hence, the division of the land as a result of the Land Apportionment Act produced the following outcomes in land ownership: Whites 51% of the land; Native Reserves 22%; Native Purchase Areas 7.8%; Forest Area 0.6%; Undetermined land 0.1%; Unassigned land 18.5%. Due to the Land Apportionment Act, about 1.5% of the population [whites], owned 51% of the land, while 98.5% of the population [blacks]; owned only 29.8% of the land.
As a consequence of this and subsequent Acts, the best land, for example along the Highveld was allocated to whites. Along the Highveld, temperatures were good and the rainfall pattern good too. On the other hand; the Native Reserves where ecologically fragile. These Reserves had poor agricultural soils, had erratic rainfall patterns and unfavourable climatic conditions.
They were also not quite suitable even for grazing. They were also “buffer zones” for wild animals like pigs, baboons and monkeys which fed on and destroyed their field crops, not forgetting lions and hyenas that preyed on their livestock. Note that the Land Apportionment Act made it illegal for Africans to purchase land outside of the established Native Purchase Areas.
Then there was the Native Land Husbandry Act of 1951, which was amended in 1969; which was enacted to achieve the following: regulate conservation measures; ensure good farming practices; relate the stocking levels of each area to its carrying capacity; allocate grazing rights to individuals; redistribute arable land into compact and economic units; and to register each individual’s holding of the land.
Do not forget that by this time, blacks were already overcrowded in what was called the Native Reserves or the Tribal Trust Land as a result of earlier pieces of legislation such as the Land Apportionment Act. This made the native areas become high population density homelands.
Then the Land Tenure Act No. 54/69, as amended in 1977; was another segregationist law that superseded the Land Apportionment Act. Its purpose was to ensure that each race would have its own area. Thus the interests of each race was to be paramount in its area and no race could own or occupy land in the area of the other race, except by permit, which permit was issued or refused by a Minister of Government, who was white. So these two Acts, namely the Land Apportionment Act and the Land Tenure Act; were not different in intention or effect. They were practically the same.
Let us not forget that by 1891, before Southern Rhodesia was established as a territory [Responsible Government was in 1923]; there were about 1,500 whites residing in the country. This number grew phenomenally especially after the Second World War which ended on 2 September 1945.
This number grew to about 75,000 by the end of 1945. In the decade 1945 to 1955, the white population doubled to 150, 000. So, in bid to cater for this ever growing population due to immigration, during this decade, over 100,000 farming black people had to be forcibly evicted and resettled away from the farmland that had been designated by whites, for white ownership. The white population in Zimbabwe continued to grow and it reached a peak of 300,000 in 1975-6; representing about 8% of the population.
Note that after the war in 1980, the land ownership imbalances where such that about 70% of arable land was in the hands of about 220 000 white people [with about 4 500 farmers amongst them]; while about 7.2 million black Zimbabweans [with close to 800 000 farmers amongst them]; directly or indirectly shared and depended on the remaining 30% of arable land. This imbalance was despite the fact that even by the early 1970s, total blacks outnumbered total whites by a ratio of 22:1.
Not surprisingly, due to the imbalances in land ownership that was engineered by successive pieces of segregationist legislation, the land question was the bedrock upon which a bitter and protracted armed struggle was premised. Land was the prime goal of King Lobengula’s War of dispossession as he fought the British encroachment in his dwelling area in 1893-4. Land was the principal grievance for the Ndebele and Shona uprising in the period 1896-7.
Land was also the overriding grievance that triggered the Second Chimurenga. Land was the fundamental grievance too that caused the Third Chimurenga. In all these wars, the objective of the wars was to right a historical wrong. Thus the land question was a primary cause of each and every Chimurenga/umvekela that was fought in Zimbabwe.
Given the foregoing, it would, therefore, be quite myopic for anyone to wish that blacks would once again be “moved off” their land, from which land they were originally evicted by colonial settlers without compensation. Never lose sight also of the fact that even well before the segregationist pieces of legislation were enacted, blacks were systematically being marginalised by the colonial settlers.
Thus in an effort to correct the historical wrong or the land ownership imbalances, there came the 1985 Land Acquisition Act. It gave a policy framework for land redistribution exercise by identifying and assessing farming areas that were not being efficiently utilized; determining the fair price for compensating the current owners of the underutilized land, which owners were primarily Europeans, and selecting rural dwellers that would be provided farming areas in the resettlement zones.
Then soon after the expiration of the 1980-1990 willing buyer-willing seller clause of the Lancaster House Agreement, came the 1992 Compulsory Land Acquisition Act. It sought to compulsorily acquire land. This Act was amended in 2000 [Fast Track Land Reform]; and further amended in 2005 to put all non-urban and non-communal land under state ownership.
The land redistribution exercise was meant to give back to the blacks their God-given inheritance; the land. Do not lose sight of the fact that the mainstay of the Zimbabwean economy has been and is land, upon which agriculture is based.
Notwithstanding the above facts, we do not condone the violent manner in which whites were removed from the land. We also do not condone a system of greed whereby the ruling elite eventually became multiple farm owners. In this regard, a rationalization of the land is needed and will be carried out. Zimbabwe should stick to the principle of one man one farm, in much the same way the veterans of the armed struggle advocated for a one man one vote.
Non-productive farms should be downsized and reallocated to those with competency in farming, because farming is and should be viewed as a business. White farmers who are still willing to cohabitate, farm and live symbiotically with black Zimbabweans should also not be left out in the rationalization exercise. They should also be allocated a piece of land on which to farm and earn a living, for land is a vital factor of production; that was given to humanity by God.
Our position on sanctions
Sanctions are a resultant child of ZANU PF’s maladministration. They are an illegitimate child born by ZANU PF from their shenanigans out of wedlock. Notwithstanding this fact, sanctions are not good for our people. They hurt the ordinary man on the street the most. They hit hardest the less privileged members of our society. It is true that they were enacted as targeted sanctions, for they were meant to target certain individuals and organisations with associations to such individuals.
However, when the assets of such targeted individuals were frozen, some of these individuals, if not all, entered into the mode of wrong compensatory behaviour. They wrongly responded by increasing their marginal propensity to loot and plunder national resources. To illustrate my point, for example, when a person’s US$1 billion was frozen; the person in question would loot first US$1 billion to cover the gap.
Then, he would also loot an additional US$1 billion as a “safety net” or as an “insurance sum”; ‘just in case’. The net effect is that the national assets are cleaned up. Therefore, it would not be surprising to find that there are no drugs in hospitals, let alone basics like bandages and painkillers. Given this background, the net loser was not the targeted politician, but the net loser became the ordinary man on the street who was meant to benefit from the embezzled national resources. No wonder why even if a loaf of bread costs US$100, these targeted individuals are so filthy rich that they can afford to buy several loaves of bread per day for the rest of their lives. Thus the response by the West of imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe was off the mark, it missed the target because it ended up hitting hardest the unintended target.
Please note that the “sanctions mantra” has been used rhetorically by the ruling party as a scapegoat for poor economic performance. Sanctions should never be used as a cover up for maladministration. The “sanctions mantra” is simply empty rhetoric and it is hyperbolic. People should not lose sight of the fact that as soon as Ian Douglas Smith announced a Unilateral Declaration of Independence on 11 November 1965, Southern Rhodesia was immediately slapped with an economic embargo by virtually all countries, save for apartheid South Africa and until 1974, Portugal.
The sanctions stretched for 14 solid years up to their revocation in December 1979 during the ceasefire period, when Southern Rhodesia had reverted to become a British Colony during the Lancaster House Talks. Please take note that despite the fact that Smith was fighting a bitter war to repel the gallantly ZANLA and ZIPRA combatants; Southern Rhodesia went on to post some budget surpluses in some of the years in the 1970s. As if that was not enough, sanctions gave the Rhodesian manufacturing sector a major stimulus. These sanctions obliged Rhodesian industries to diversify and create many import substitution undertakings to compensate for the loss of traditional sources of imports. The processing of local raw materials also increased rapidly.
Major growth industries included steel and steel products, heavy equipment, transportation equipment, ferrochrome, textiles and food processing. Thus the economy of Southern Rhodesian sustained international sanctions for over a decade following UDI under a very tough guerrilla war situation. As if that was not enough, in 1980, when the Union Jack was lowered and the Zimbabwean flag was moved in the opposite direction, the cross rate of the British Pound to the Rhodesian Pound was almost 1:1.The Unites States dollar, now the envy of many Zimbabweans was a pale shadow in strength to the Rhodesian dollar. The rand and the pula, we did not even look at them.
Hence, Smith was operating under a worse economic embargo than we are witnessing today, yet his economy grew phenomenally. From the aforesaid, we can authoritatively conclude that the current administration is merely using sanctions as a cover up for poor economic performance and deteriorating living standards. Sanctions have been used as a scapegoat for poor economic performance in much the same way as the Russo-Ukrainian war is now blamed for a spate of price increases in Zimbabwe, even if we know quite well that Russia illegally invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022, and by then, we were already in a hyperinflationary environment.
We are not denying the fact that exogenous factors like the war in Ukraine is contributing to the death of a child called Zimbabwe. They are playing a part. However, this child was already in the intensive care unit well before 24 February 2022. Therefore, the harm was triggered by endogenous factors, whilst the exogenous factors are merely finishing off the child.
Is funding Zimbabwe’s major handicap? Why is it that some of the richest nations in terms of natural resource endowment rank among the poorest?
Funding is not Zimbabwe’s major setback, but political will is. Political will, which is the determination of political actors to say and do things that will produce a desired outcome, is the main handicap. Put differently, in our context, political will is the extent to which key political decision-makers are committed to supporting a particular policy solution to a particular problem.
Thus political will exists when a sufficient set of decision-makers with a common understanding of a particular problem on the formal agenda, is committed to supporting a commonly perceived, potentially effective policy solution. If political will is non-existent, it does not follow suit that richer countries in terms of natural resource endowment automatically become richer countries economically. Look at Zimbabwe as an example. She is home to over 60 minerals, only 10 of which are actively being mined.
Zimbabwe has also the second highest grade of chromium ore in the world after South Africa, amounting to about 12 billion tonnes, which is about 12% of the global total. As if that is not enough, Zimbabwe has also the third largest deposits of platinum ore after South Africa and Russia, amounting to 6.83% of the global total. The Great Dyke is home to vast mineral resources, yet Zimbabwe is the 22nd poorest nation in the world. Lest we forget, in Chiadzwa, one simply needed a pick and a shovel, unlike the diamond mines in Kimberley; South Africa; where one needs to dig 20 km deep in order to get these gems. Who benefited from the discovery of these gems in Chiadzwa? Did the Chiadzwa diamonds benefit the generality of Zimbabweans? The answer is in the negative.
Let us also look at the case of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is the richest country in the world in terms of natural resource endowment. It has over 1,000 minerals, and has a surface area equivalent to that of Western Europe, and the second largest rainforest in the world; with untapped deposits of raw materials amounting to US$24 trillion; yet the DRC is the 17th poorest country in the world according to the United Nations Human Development Index [2019 Report].
According to the World Bank, DRC has the 3rd largest population of poor people globally. In 2018, it was estimated that 73% of the Congolese population, equalling about 60 million people, lived on less than US$1.90 a day, which US$1.90 is the international poverty rate. Therefore, almost 14% or one out of seven people living in extreme poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa lives in DRC.
Let us contrast the above with Japan, for example. Japan, one of the most highly developed countries in the world, has virtually no natural resources like gas, oil, gold, coal, copper and iron. It largely depends on imported raw materials and energy. Do not forget that its nuclear power plants were closed some years ago due to incessant earth quakes and tsunamis. Japan is the largest importer of liquefied natural gas and coal, and the second largest importer of oil in the world, yet she ranks as one of the most developed economies.
Other than agricultural land, of which only 20% of total land is suitable for cultivation, and its fisheries; Japan has negligible mineral resources under her seabed. Note also that 40% of her total forests are planted forests. Despite all these setbacks, Japan ranks among the highly developed countries on planet earth. So to have or not to have natural resources is not the main determinant of economic prosperity/wealth/funding, neither is it the main determinant of poverty/human welfare.
So it is not simply a question of funding or of having a lot of assets or natural resources that triggers a country towards economic prosperity and economic independence. It is more to do with the political will to harness and appropriate the resources in question for the betterment of everyone’s living standards. Why, for example, is it that a good number of billionaires in the world today rise up like islands in a sea of poverty in poor third world countries? We should look no further than the unchecked access to the looting and plundering of state resources for our answer!
Hence, our problem in the developing world is not to do with funding or resources, but the mismanagement of the funds or resources is symptomatic of the problem. Leaders who do not fear God are the problem. How can we explain why Japan, which does not have a significant mineral resource, is an advanced economy? Human capital is not the only factor, for this can be acquired by Africa too, for example, through partnerships and knowledge transfers.
The answer is greed political leaders who are not made to account for their actions. These political leaders craft agreements with foreign investors, not for the benefit of their counties, but for the betterment of their families at the expense of their nation. This obviously shrouds the political will to advance their economies, since national benefits or resources become like private fiefdoms, which are meant to feed their families and friends at the expense of the rest of the populace.
No wonder why as Africans, we are always holding a begging bowl in our hands, yet Africa has a rich endowment in natural resources. These leaders do not exploit and appropriate the resources for the advancement of everyone’s living standards, but for their personal gain largely.
By failing to honour God, Belshazzar engineered his own downfall
When Belshazzar, son and successor to King Nebuchadnezzar was feasting and celebrating, he ordered that the utensils that his father had taken from the Temple in Jerusalem during his conquest of the same, be brought in before him at the party. He and his lords, his wives and his concubines put wine in them and drank the wine; and he praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know, but he did not honour the true God in whose hand was his breadth. Then as he drank the wine, a hand that came from the presence of God wrote on the wall in front of him. The inscription read: MENE MENE TEKEL and PARSIN. The interpretation, as revealed by God to Daniel was that:
- MENE: God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end.
- TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting.
- PARSIN/PERES: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.
This scenario is analogous to our Zimbabwean situation today. We have a similar message to the political leadership of the ruling party in government, that is, the administration of His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, the Head of State and Government and Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Cde ED Mnangagwa. The message is that:
- God has numbered the days of your rule and brought it to an end.
- You have been put on a measuring scale by God and found wanting.
- Consequently, your kingdom has been given to your neighbour by God. Like in the days of Saul, God did not hide from Saul the fact that he had given the kingdom of Israel to his neighbour, David [1 Sam.28:17]. The reason why God rejected Saul was that Saul was the first to reject God. Reciprocally, God too rejected Saul. Hence, God told King Saul through the prophet Samuel, “…For you have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you from being king over Israel” [1 Sam. 15:26]. Similarly, even today, God has also not hidden the fact that he has given the kingdom of Zimbabwe to your neighbour; a David. This fate has been sealed. This fate is irrevocable. This fate is un-appealable, for God’s case has no appeal. God is a Supreme Court in himself.
To avoid ambiguity, this David is not coming from the MDC group, with their various mutations that encompass the CCC brand, just in case some fanatics in this division may start to prematurely celebrate; neither is this successor David coming from within the ZANU PF stable. What I am saying is the mind of God; and it will happen irrespective of the amount of resistance or opposing force. Should I hide the fact that God has appointed me the David? By no means! Certainly not! If I do, I would be a liar like most of them, which is sin. God did not even hide this fact from King Saul.
Last but not least, I urge my sisters, brothers, mothers and fathers in the Security Services of Zimbabwe [the Defence Forces, the Police Service, the Intelligence Services and the Prisons and Correctional Service]; that they should remain apolitical as per section 208 subsections 2 and 3 of our Constitution. This is purely a political contest; and politics should be left to civilian rule.
A better Zimbabwe will be better for everyone, including you too. Lest I be misquoted and be charged with either treason or subversive speech; let me put it on record that we do not seek to overthrow the government through undemocratic and unconstitutional means. That is not Godly, and more so, we do not subscribe to that sort of philosophy. Our hands cannot kill even a cockroach. Our overriding principle is that we will get into power through the ballot box, democratically.
Like a dove, I come in peace and in peace I sign off.
PRESIDENT: ZIMBABWE TRANSFORMATIVE PARTY.