To Putin — it’s not the West you should protect Mugabe from


“PUTIN vows to protect Mugabe from the West” was the headline on a local newspaper website recently after President Robert Mugabe’s recent visit to Russia. I could not help but laugh at why a country that is now desperately trying to re-engage the West as we are should need protection from it.

In my opinion, the West wants to help Zimbabwe to get out of this mess and we as a country need them more than they need us — if we are to revive our economy.
The West is also helping pay school fees for 1 million of our kids whose plight has been neglected while the government spends millions on luxury motor vehicles per annum, but cannot pay school fees for our children.

We are the only country that actually expects our “enemies” in the West to invest in the future of our children and even feed us while we insult them.

This rhetoric about how the West hates Zimbabwe is a myth that has been created by those in Zanu PF to protect them from scrutiny from their corruption and greed that is devastating this country. In my book, China is actually doing us more harm than good and we need economic protection from them otherwise our industrial base will never recover.

Zimbabwe is now a big Asian tuck-shop. According to Zimstats, Zimbabwe’s trade deficit with key trading partners is becoming worse.

The country’s exports for March declined to $188,7 million from $260,7 million recorded in the prior month.

After South Africa, Zimstats reported that the next leading export destination was Mozambique which imported $26,1 million worth of Zimbabwean goods and services followed by the United Arab Emirates at $19 million; Israel at $9,4 million and Zambia at $9,1 million. The Chinese export market continues to disappoint at a mere $47 000 worth of imports from Zimbabwe!

With regard to imports, except for South Africa, the leading import market for Zimbabwe was Singapore as Zimbabwe imports from the Asian country were valued at $112 million.

This was followed by China, India, Mozambique, Zambia and Japan with imports valued at $36,7 million, $22,3 million, $15,4 million, $14,3 million and
$11 million respectively.

Clearly we are in trouble because an estimated 40% of our imports are non-essential goods and our Look East Policy has resulted in us buying more from them than them from us.

This is why I am not impressed with China. It is evident that their so-called “all-weather friend” relationship is more about them than us, and yet we are the ones who need to be exporting more to them.

Our economy needs protection from cheap imports from Asia and you will notice that we are hardly doing any business with Russia anyway where Russian President Vladmir Putin has vowed to protect Mugabe from the West. Protect him from what?

I actually think that Mugabe needs protection from ordinary poor Zimbabweans who are reeling under his economic policies that have destroyed a once-
vibrant economy. They are angry and disillusioned with his leadership.

He also needs protection from those he has purged from Zanu PF and who he has treated with utter contempt.

Lastly, he needs protection from the predator cabal that surrounds him which continues to lie to him about the state of affairs. This includes praise singers such as Manheru who continue to use their skills to reframe our problems, pretend that all is well and to prop up a dictatorship that has killed our potential as a country. How crass.

There are dangerous men surrounding the President who are pretending to be loyal but are destroying this economy every time they open their mouths. He needs protection from them and not the West.

We must always remember that every country first looks after its own interests. As educated as we claim to be, I don’t really know why we are so naïve as a country to believe that other countries like China and Russia really care about us.

They certainly do not because if they did, they would have paid our debt to the IMF for us and invested billions to create real jobs in Zimbabwe.
That is not about to happen. We are on our own and yet we continue exporting jobs to South Africa and Asia and have the audacity to call the millions of jobless vendors on our streets the “new economy”. That is idiotic.

We need a radical change in our economic policy if we are to get out of this Zanu PF-manufactured rut.

I have said before that ZimAsset is a pipedream, a delusion manufactured through a cut-and-paste exercise.

It is like the devil promising you eternal life in heaven — it’s not going to happen.

Even if it had a chance of happening, it will mean that we would need to attract $30 billion of new money into the economy.

This is in a case where we cannot protect the property of foreign investors as we continually see not only in agriculture but in industry too as in the recent case of Telecel.

As I have said before, Putin has only three interests — Putin, Putin, and Putin. China has only two interests — to dominate the world in commerce and create jobs for 70% of its population that lives in abject poverty. What are the interests of Zimbabwe — sovereignty and widespread poverty?

It is embarrassing to see what this country has become. The sad part of it is that we have reports from organisations such as Afrobarometer that are far removed from realities on the ground.

Zimbabweans might be disillusioned with the opposition political parties, but this does not mean by default they love Mugabe.

Anyway I am tired of those in the Diaspora especially our academics who are quick to criticise Morgan Tsvangirai. For goodness sake, come up with your own alternatives and let’s see how you do.

Talk is cheap.

l Vince Musewe is an author and economist based in Harare. You may contact him on


  1. Ya man . Am on my way now preparing the nation for real political business. What we need is a real plan to save ourselves from hell. We need neither look North . East . West o South but all must look unto Zimbo coz we are NEWS. Come 2018 and this nation gonna have a new leader and the man is he who is posting

  2. tired of commenting, but this is good stuff. unfortunately the zims who are hear this and understand it are fast asleep and will do nothing. so sir your write ups have no takers only zanu dogs and cios who hear nothing or see nothing. i remember one politician saying to masuphula sithole he should keep on analysing while he continues ruling(destroying the country) and they continue to this up to this day with the old man in the lead. its unfortunate that they are people like msipa and jubulani sibanda who still believe that mugabe has a good heart. May God help me because its hard for me to believe that.

  3. Good article, Vincent. The Bob regime is hopelessly stupid. They have only survived so far due to their use of brute force. The economy will soon sort them and harshly!

  4. @ Vince

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article until the last bit. “Anyway I am tired of those in the Diaspora especially your academics who are quick to criticise Tsvangirai et al. For goodness sake and come up with your own alternatives and let’s see how you do.”

    Where did that come from?

    Many of those academics whom you are sick and tired of have done a great job in pointing out why the GNU had been a total waste of a golden opportunity to deliver the democratic changes we all agreed are important. Many people did not realize that Tsvangirai et al had sold-out big time, now a few of them do.

    We are in this political and economic mess not just because of tyrants and murderers like President Mugabe and his cronies (they are the one who dragged us into this mess) or corrupt sell-outs like Tsvangirai et al (they betrayed us and gave away the get out jail card) but, most important of all, because we have a naïve and gullible electorate who are easily cheated.

    If the Zimbabwe voters were awake and on the ball then President Mugabe and Zanu PF would have never remained in power for 35 years.

    If the Zimbabwe voters were awake and on the ball then they would have forced Tsvangirai et al to implement all the democratic reforms during the GNU and we would not be in this mess!

    One more thing, the criticism of Tsvangirai et al is completely justified, they sold-out for Pete’s sake! What did you want; have their betrayal swept under the carpet? It seems some people claim to be democrats but the minute they are held democratic accountable they cry foul!

    Vince you have softened your criticism of Tsvangirai et al, a prelude to your joining MDC-T perhaps; still that does not mean Tsvangirai et al did not sell-out, they did and they must be held accountable for that. Judas Iscariot sold-out and he did the right thing and committed suicide Tsvangirai et al must follow his example!

    These sell-outs must not be allowed back into power ever again; there will be no compromise on that!

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