Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Leave Mugabe and Zimbabwe alone!

Written by Ernesto Yeboah

For some time now the West through its media has focused its attention on Mugabe and Zimbabwe. Aside their giant media houses like the BBC and CNN, Aljazeera have lately joined the bandwagon, running daily documentaries on the impoverishing state of Zimbabwe. They have even been innovative enough by stepping into the world of adverts and clutching such opportunities to further demonize Mugabe and Zimbabwe. The recent TIGO advert is a clear case in point!

There is absolutely no problem with the western media charting such a cause. Such reportage does not only form part of their editorial policies but its foundations. Their motives are clearly defined and it is that which inures to their ultimate benefit and nothing else. What remains significant is that all these giant western media houses currently in this war against Zimbabwe have in no way hidden their interest. Whiles the BBC's motivation is driven by Mugabe's righteous reclaim of white-occupied (not white-owned) farmlands by mostly British, the CNN's is on a solidarity march. The partial manifestations of its imperialist and hidden racial sentiments are also real and cannot be overlooked.


Whiles reason is adequately found in justifying the war on Zimbabwe by Western media, the thinking by some African journalists in this regard is very appalling. They lack understanding; they have no perspective and obviously no direction. They have joined the west in demonizing Mugabe and Zimbabwe. In fact, they even lack history. But this is just what happens when a purpose driven journalism is absent. At the inauguration of the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's maiden President, could not have struck much sense in his cautioning statement to journalists across the continent when he said:

“We are in a revolutionary period and we must have a revolutionary morality in journalism and all other walks of life. We cannot be neutral between the oppressor and the oppressed; the corrupter and the victim of corruption; between the exploiter and the exploited; between the betrayer and the betrayed. We do not believe that there are necessarily two sides to every question; we see right and wrong; just and unjust; progressive and reactionary; positive and negative; friend and foe. We are partisan!”

If there was anything called objectivity, then Nkrumah's statement is not far from it. Until journalists come to this effective conclusion, we shall continue to see through the lenses of the West on our own soils, we shall not stop culling African news from foreign media and the retrogressive fight against ourselves shall not seize. The question of finance should not even attempt coming up; where there is a will there is a way. African governments are able to finance all sort of things even war in some parts of the continent. The difference is leadership and their choices thereof.

We must be prepared to go there ourselves and report what the real news is. When the Arabs felt so, Aljazeera was immediately born to accomplish the task. Journalism is not sitting behind a computer conjuring stories or in a studio reading announcements, it goes further. It demands a high level of consciousness that explains the similarities and contradictions in society and the world at large. This way, it portrays and project an overall agenda; and in this case, the African agenda.


For a moment lets ask ourselves the interest of those Ghanaian journalists and media Houses who have just joined the dinosaurs in demonizing Mugabe and Zimbabwe; What interest have for instance, Tv3 or Metro TV in telling Ghanaians that Zimbabwe is poor, that the only bread making factory is closing down or has closed down? What problems does such news item solve other than the western imperialist aims it enforces?

In any case, have these media houses gone further to ask what has resulted in Zimbabwe's current predicament? Are they for instance aware that even as the whites left they deliberately destroyed almost all farm machines and have effectively made it impossible for the importation of their replacement? Are these Ghanaian journalists aware of the sanctions currently over the roof of Zimbabwe? Would a rather tacit campaign on their part for the sanctions to be waved not see a Zimbabwe glowing? What about frantic efforts on their part to get African governments to come to Zimbabwe's aid? What is wrong with us?

It is high time journalists of Africa became African journalists. They must have an interest; the African interest! They must begin to understand that, war against any African country is war on the rest of Africa. If the politicians wont, journalist must! A revolutionary morality will mean rising to pick up the broken pieces, providing active support, forming groups and associations and moving to help Zimbabwe stand; if Zimbabwe is dying we do not need Aljazeera, CNN, BBC or the IMF/World Bank to tell us, we must know it ourselves and this could be done through the effective coordination of for instance all state owned media across the continent just if we are poor; but even more effective, by local private journalists or local private media houses.


We may be against Mugabe but we can insist that we shall not rise against Zimbabwe, we shall clothe its women, feed its children, uplift its disadvantaged and underprivileged just like Zimbabwe would have done, once the rest of Africa extends a helping hand in her great hour of need. At least, this will make nonsense of the directives of retrogressive institutions as the IMF/World Bank as they stated in no uncertain terms some few months back, that, financial assistance would only come to Zimbabwe on grounds of regime change. What argument? Since when did regime change become an item on the conditionality list for these forces; may be long ago, but now they have become even more confident.

More to the point, by their own reportage, the people of Zimbabwe are suffering; many others are fleeing and some even dying. Thus a financial request only follows that it is going to be used to mitigate these problems. But here we are, the IMF/World Bank is saying that the people of Zimbabwe should die just because of one man. The paradox; this “one man” is asking for help on behalf of the “dying people” of Zimbabwe and the extent to which the IMF/World Bank cares, is the extinction of this man or they perish.

It is important to understand that, the issues are deeper than what we can ever imagine. There is a conspiracy and it can only be unravelled by an African centred journalism. These institutions have never been interested in the good of Africa than its maintenance at subservience. Aside, Africa's selfish, greedy and ignorant leadership over the years, the Breton woods institution comes next as the cause of the scourge in Africa. We are aware of their agents located in almost every government ministry in many African countries. Ghana is no exception.

Mugabe's fingers may not be clean but Zimbabwe's woes are not self inflicted, it is artificial but its consequences are real. The true oppressors are the parents of the countless sanctions on the head of Zimbabwe, those that have brought to the people suffering, and those that have set policies deliberately meant at destabilizing the economy of Zimbabwe and bringing it to its knees. If Africa rises, this economic sabotage will not last and our victory will be established.

The unnatural silence of African governments is those journalists must attack. What they should be doing is rallying support for the dying people of Zimbabwe, calling on governments across the continent to turn their attention on the land. Little by little, Africa will become for Africans as we start with the donations; the donation of teachers, the donation of food, the donation of funds, of labour, and of machines. The African journalist would have then achieved the revolutionary morality. Africa, Arise!


  1. Geez, Mr Yeboah!

    IT IS Mugabe who is supposed to give us a break with his jaundiced and meaningless claptrap.
    IT IS MUGABE who has single-handedly destroyed Zimbabwe.
    The pathetic attempt to make the unnecessary voyeurism of Mugabe part of an anti-Africa agenda by the west is so old.
    I stayed in Zimbabwe from 1997 to 2001 and I have an eye-witness experience of the cause of Zimbabwe's downfall. And, if care to know, it has everything to do with this single individual, MUGABE.
    You can think of the issues in Zimbabwe the way you choose to, but the people of Zimbabwe know very well who the author of the deaths and destruction and hunger in the land is.
    Don't go on about the lancaster agreement and other cheap pro-Mugabe political propaganda, These are gimmicks! The fact remains that MUGABE ochestrated all the chaos we see today. The savage beating of Mr. Tsvangirai and others, the abductions of MDC members and the murder and assasination of the tens of opposition member was not done by the west. MUGABE did that.
    MUGABE overplayed his cards and lost the game.
    Today Zimbabwe has lost almost all her critical manpower and the country is on her knees because MUGABE sacrificed the welfare of the 10 million Zimbabweans for his own selfish gain.
    To be frank this blame game is so oner!

  2. Surely this author must be jesting (hehe, i couldn't resist, been dying to use that word) - seriously?!! This blog is becoming wayy too political. But anyway a few things:

    Mugabe DOES deserve to be demonized. Any leader of a DEMOCRATIC country that has been in power for over 20 years deserves to be demonized, because he is making a mockery of his country's government and the people's wishes. A PARTY may be in power for 20 years, but NOT a person. If he wants so badly to rule for life, let him make it a monarchy - no one complains about Mswatis duration of rule. (BTW - why would the IMF give Zimbabwe money when it is a very real possiblity that mucg of that money will surely be used to fund the shopping sprees of the likes of Dis-Grace Mugabe?) If the IMF wants to give money, let it give to the NGOS who are helping Zimbabwe. And just because Mugabe is pleading for funds for his people does not mean the funds will go to his people.

    AFricans should take responsibility for themselves - and we should start by letting elected leaders know they can't do whatever they like. As for $$..... where would we be able to come up with any substantial donation for Zimbabwe from? And darned if i won't be angry if my government give a million dollars to Zimbabwe when our roads and hospitals are so bad people die there everyday. it is unrealistic to care for the great needs of others when you can't care for the simple needs of your own (and talking from a country perspective, zim is other if i am not from zimbabwe). In such a case, only token sums of money will be available. ZImbabwe needs tons and tons of cash - cash that african governments do NOT have, which is the gospel truth. If they did, their countries and people would be much better off!

    Our newstations, like TV3 and Metro, do have a responsibility to us to tell us exactly how bad things are in Zimbabwe (or anywhere) - if the only bread factory left is shutting down, it would be nice to know., just like it would be nice to know if the innovations Zimbabwean doctors are using to cure their people. The arguments in this article are mostly flawed and wholly baseless. Just because the western media acts wrongly by putting a negative slant on anything that goes on in AFrica does not mean that AFricans reporting only positive things are doing the right thing - we are also doing the wrong thing. And please don't support Mugabe or anyone because of their skin (we are all AFricans) - that just amounts to racism, which in anyone of any color, is plain wrong.

  3. ha! Laughable I say!... okay maybe not. But seriously! MUGABE's own actions and decisions is what has broguht all this on Zimbabwe. I can not for the life of me understand why a helpless looking man can wiled so much power over and entire country but what am I saying, we let Rawlings and his cronnies put so much fear in us that Ghanaian journalists could hardly criticize him until his reign of terror ended! Freedom of speech only became evident after the NPP came into power. Yeah, maka a maka! You can tell me otherwise. I am only stating what my young eyes beheld.

    You mentioned that "What interest have for instance, Tv3 or Metro TV in telling Ghanaians that Zimbabwe is poor, that the only bread making factory is closing down or has closed down? What problems does such news item solve other than the western imperialist aims it enforces?"- I think this informs our people of the dangers of not holding your government accountable. If we take ownership of our destiny, this might not happen to us. It is about time African leaders were made aware by the general populace that we, as countrymen/women will not stand for any of their gimmicks because we are NOT going to end up like Zimbabwe!

    Justs my 2 cents :P

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Let me start by first saying that IF I WERE MUGABE I WOULD HAVE LEFT OR WOULD LEAVE. Why am I saying this? Most Africans including Zimbabweans themselves see their problem with Western eyes. Enersto I know almost everybody who would read this would be against you but I have argued this over and over with another blogger PEN POWDER. I am in favour of what you are saying. Most of us now see Kwame Nkrumah as a hero but what was thought of him when he was in power. People demonised him. Some said he has made a god out of himself and that he has been in power for too long (six years or so). So I am not shocked that we see Mugabe with their eyes. To them this man has done nothing for them. He is the devil who has brought curses unto them. But for those Christians they forget that Moses took the Israelites out of Egypt and when problem started they began to insult Moses saying that they would wish they were in Egypt. Zimbabweans are not acting any differently. We forget that when Mandela was fighting for the liberation of his people he was demonised and until last year Mandela was a terrorist on the list of the CIA and the ANC a terrorist organisation. It would be better if we see our problems with our own eyes. Would Black Zimbabweans prefer to work on the White people's farms? Would they prefer to be labourers on their own lands than owners. Let's face it. For every decision we make there would be fallouts and it is our ability to face this fallouts that makes us men. America never became America without sacrifices and fallouts. Obama would never have become president of America if other blacks haven't died for certain decisions to be made. Zimbabweans want to own their land but they don't want to go through hardship and fallouts and shakeups. It is impossible. Life is not full of roses. At every point in time people sacrifice for posterity. IF I WERE MUGABE I WOULD GIVE THE LANDS BACK TO THE WHITES AND ALLOW ZIMBABWEANS TO BE THE SLAVES THEY WANT TO BE ON THEIR OWN LANDS. SIMPLE. Ghanaians have started talking about the way the Nigerians are trooping into the country to purchase land around the oil-find areas of the Western Region. These are black people and we have started complaining, how much more if they were Whites in the case of Zimbabwe and South Africa. It is said that if the problem is not affecting us then it is affecting trees. We have to see through this conspiracy. This clear case of connivance and make our decision. Do we want to remain slaves and enjoy for the rest of our time or suffer to gain. We are a funny group of creatures. You cannot love rain and hate thunder.

    I may have my problems with Mugabe but this is the time for Zimbabweans to rise and support their own. It remains a puzzle the way we want the easiest way out of everything. Africans especially Ghanaians complain about too much imports yet we are not ready to purchase the locally made produce. It is the same. I would end here but we should see through these Western media propaganda. In fact, these media loved Savimbe when he was killing people in Angola, they loved and supported Taylor in the beginning, they loved and supported Saddam Hussein, so if they hate Mugabe then I know why. There are a lot I can say but would end it here.

  6. @Nana here we go again with this western/cia talk, Africans give too much credit too these groups their are not as organized as we think.Mugabe has pawned the poor peoples of Zimbabweans for his own ground stand, knowing very well lot Africans will come to his aid with all this bullshit Pan African crap.Pan African is an African who is well feed,basic education and basic health care not some yelling from a mad man..It amazes me i see lot Mugabe's boy's in his party and government sendin their own kid to private colleges in the states .ie.PITZER AND CLAREMONT COLLEGES in California..How do i know..hmmmm...

  7. Sigh. Where to start. I am Zimbabwean and I'll attempt to wade through this pan african drivel. Mugabe is a part of the problem BUT the biggest problem is that there is now a culture of corruption, the idea that you do not have to work for what you want but can take what someone else has done. Black farmers as well as white ones got their farms taken off them with no compensation. Some poor pple got a little bit of the land, with not much support from the government, no roads, no schools, no clinics, no sanitation, no seeds, not even any advice!! The majority of all the great properties went to Mugabe and his cronies! So how did that improve anything! And don't even start with all of that imperialist nonsense, Mugabe was the darling of the UK and the US and their preferred president for at least a decade! And he was commiting genocide with over 20000 Ndebele pple killed during that time ! Please take the blinkers off! Journalists need to tell the truth without agenda otherwise the truth does not get out there and nothing changes!

  8. Ernesto's line of reasoning is exactly what is wrong with SOCIALISM. Socialists like Ernesto (I have been friends with him for exactly a decade to this year) believe that when a government bandies the word "people" about, then it is actually working for the PEOPLE. Wrong. Mugabe, in seizing farmlands to hand them to the Zimbabwean "people", has succeeded in arousing the partisan sentiments of all the socialists and some pan-Africanists. The reality of the situation however is that he has given the lands to only his sycophants. These people didn't have the capital, or the knowhow or the competitive pressure to make the farms succeed. The result is that Zimbabwe has been plunged into an economic black hole, a rut that they're struggling to come out from.

    If he wanted his people to own the majority of the economic means in the country, Mugabe should have empowered them. If they were empowered and went out to compete, they would have beaten the white folks at their own game without destroying the economy. Zimbabweans are complaining because they don't want to starve just for Mugabe and his cronies to achieve their racist objectives of kicking out the whites. I would complain if I were in their situation. Why should my kids be out on the street because someone determines the race I should work for? It's absolute bollocks.

    Esi Cleland makes a conscious effort to buy from Ghanaian companies (if they offer goods that she wants to buy). It is a noble idea, something I admire. It will however be wrong for her, if she becomes president of this country one day, to sack all the Lebanese who own some of the nicest stores in Accra, and hand the shops over to Ghanaians and ask all Ghanaians to buy from Ghanaian shops only. Such line of thinking is wrong on principle (of liberty) and wrong on the foundations of basic economics (demand & supply).

    Mixing racism/tribalism with economic activity has resulted in disaster everywhere it's been tried. (Ghana under Busia, Uganda under Idi Amin, Germany under Hitler etc.) One therefore wonders why some Africans encourage this odious phenomenon in Zimbabwe. The ANC, since it took over in South Africa, has consistently rejected calls for a sudden, sweeping black economic takeover. This is because they see that to be just what will throw the country back into chaos. That is why leading black figures such as Moeletsi Mbeki will rather die than give in to the cries for black economic empowerment.

    This article may give you some more understanding of what's wrong with Zimbabwe: (warning: it was written by a whiteman for an AMERICAN foundation). For a more indepth understanding of how economies work, come over for a copy of BASIC ECONOMICS by Thomas Sowell (a black economist). You may also want to read ECONOMICS IN ONE LESSON by Henry Hazlitt. It is available for free download from

  9. Thank you all (people who commented above me) for calling it like it is.

    Ernesto, please speak to some Zimbabweans (who are unconnected to the Mugabe government) and test the thesis of your argument with them. They are the most qualified to judge whether or not it is all CIA/Western media influence or Mugabe's own mismanagement that has destroyed their once thriving economy.

    I visited Zimbabwe in 1991 and it was a beautiful place; much more prosperous than Ghana at the time. Why has Ghana flourished in the past 18 years while Zimbabwe has floundered? If your answer is CIA/Western media, then you are clearly delusional.

    Personally, I have wondered for many years why some hungry Zimbabwean soldier hasn't put a bullet in Mugabe's head yet. It is long overdue and in other parts of Africa (where less nonsense in tolerated) the problem would have been solved. I believe very strongly in democracy but I also believe that tyranny must be resisted with swift and decisive force.

  10. Esi, I am a bit disappointed that you allow such drivel on your otherwise wonderful blog. Or are you now using "Fox News tactics" to stir-up controversy and web traffic? I think the latter :)

  11. Thanks. "when you control a man's thinking, you worry less about his actions..." You will definately see nothing wrong with the manner of reportage by journalists when your brains are controlled right from the kind of books you read and what has become known to you as the truth. Ernesto is definately right!

  12. Ernesto Said...
    This blog has obviously been built to encourage interaction, we are not bound to agree on everything; this is why people like Wofa Eric should come again. "Esi, I am a bit disappointed that you allow such drivel on your otherwise wonderful blog. Or are you now using "Fox News tactics" to stir-up controversy and web traffic?"

    "Intellectual Intolerance" , that is the how I call such comments, it is this kind of intolerance that got so called professors like Kwapong of the university of Ghana to order and supervise the burning of Nkrumah's writtings in front of the Balm Library in 1966.

    In any case, this piece some have condemned so much has equally attracted commendation so much. It won the best feature article in the just ended GJA awards competition until the realization that I was not a card bearing member of the association.

    The same piece footed the cost of my air ticket to and fro East Africa, where I was tasked to make a presentation on Ethics and Professionalsm in journalism to professionals all over the continent. None of them are socialists.

    Make your points as freely and openly as possible but please leave Esi Cleland out of this; she's done nothing wrong, all she did was to have gifted us with a forum. And those who feel so strongly about changing the subject, submit it for healthy discussion as we have always done.

  13. Wow! Ernesto can I have your number; this is a timeless masterpiece.

    Alison Clay.