Letter from America:with KENNETH MUFUKA
Zimbabweans are more computer savvy than any other nation on earth. I do not, therefore, have to explain that the United Nations debate, centred on global climate change, was streamed into every household and we were able to watch the events there live.
This is where a kid (US English for youth) who was attending a parallel conference on global climate change, stole the show, and relegated presidential speakers like US leader Donald Trump and our own into secondhand sideline shows.
The climate change militants had prepared the groundwork very well. Before Greta’s speech, there was a march on New York, which was joined by thousands of fun-seekers. They were pronouncing bad words and making gestures to by-standers, as if they were ready to take the law into their own hands.
We want climate justice,
We want it now!
We won’t wait
Or hell will freeze
The crowning speech came with Greta. She heaped all the sins of an impending climate disaster on the “old generation” with which she showed no patience.
“The eyes of all the future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say we will never forgive you. Right here, right now is where we draw the line.”
Though I was watching from a Sportsbreak restaurant and some distance from her physically, I and my colleagues were seized with some trepidation. Greta was very angry. It seemed to me she was ready to do something, and I was in the front row.
“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words and promises.”
I felt very uncomfortable where I was sitting. She continued to excoriate world leaders, who had betrayed incoming generations by placing profits above righteousness. Time is running short, she said.
If we continue to heap fossil sludge, smoke from our powergenerating plants, already there are signs of catastrophic climatic events, such as hurricanes whose force we have never experienced before. But the rulers of this world only mouth empty words and they look to the youth for solutions.
“How dare you?” she challenged.
Only Germany and France have accepted the challenge. Germany will stop all coal mining by 2038 and is moving towards solar and wind power, even as we speak. France imposed an emissions tax on fuels, but experienced serious strikes by workers who suffered a rise in the cost of living. Britain promised to do “something”, but interference from the European Union is one of the complaints that favoured Brexiteers.
China and India have kept mum on the matter. Trump has withdrawn from the Paris Accords, partly to spite former president Barack Obama and partly to save coal mining jobs in six states.
Brazil has been condemned for burning the rain forest, even as we speak, in order to clear ground for cattle ranching. Brazil retorts that any criticism of its self-sufficiency policy is colonially inspired.
So Greta gets even angrier.
I momentarily forgot that I was at a safe distance and that even though she extended her hand, she could not touch me.
In any case, Greta has suffered from Asperger syndrome, a disorder which interferes with social interactions and non-verbal communication skills, resulting in restrictive and repetitive patterns of behaviour.
In her interviews, she says the disease may be a blessing because it allows her to reflect more, otherwise she might be tempted to “do something” to climate change malefactors.
Reports by climate change activists contradict each other. Ice-packed Greenland has been warming, raising water levels in shoreline communities. On the other hand, Greenpeace activists who sailed to Antarctica, assuming that it was warming up, got themselves stuck in the ice and were rescued by US air force.
Zimbabwe’s seeks a place in the sun!
The United Nations is a perfect forum for backroom deals. Zimbabwe’s delegation, which consists of between 60 to 90 operatives, has enough manpower to engage whoever they want.
Their plan was simple enough. Finance minister Mthuli Ncube engages the international finance tycoons based in New York and Washington, DC. After all, Zimbabwe is open for business.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa made an appeal at the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday. No vote will be taken on whether US-European Union sanctions will be lifted. His aim is to build a permissive atmosphere towards that end.
Sister Auxillia Mnangagwa has been hailed by health departments at Harvard University. All these favour a change in the attitude of the global tycoons who matter.
While ED is doing everything he knows how, the headwinds against his programme are gathering strength. Former US State department officials issued a statement against honouring Auxillia. Their fear is a repetition of the “Mugabe mistake”.
The Zimbabwean government will do much better if they befriend US ambassador Brian Nichols. Nichols has made a statement to the effect that command agriculture will not achieve its purpose, as half Zimbabwe’s population remains on food aid.
The worst anti-government propaganda is self-inflicted. The abduction of Dr Peter Magombeyi was handled foolishly. At first blame was heaped on the US embassy.
Then Magombeyi, who suffered severe trauma and physical injury, was found barely alive. Then he was beaten up in the hospital by an “alleged” policeman. Then he was prevented from seeking medical help from abroad. The police were involved in some of these shenanigans.
If ED has such friends, I suggest that they are as raw as “tsvanzwa mbishi”.
As if this is not enough, the Zimbabwe dollar crashed from Z$2,50 to the US$ in June to Z$22 to the US dollar in 90 days.
The sum total of ED’s efforts in New York is a consensus that his battlefront is in Zimbabwe. He needs to put his house in order and to handle corruption there first before seeking world input.
The Zimbabwean government, however, has found an eloquent spokesperson, Rutendo Matinyarare, PhD, who has injected new life into the Zanu PF ideology.
Matinyarare says capitalism is to blame for corruption because it seeks profits for the few while imposing deprivation for the many. How dare anybody blame Zimbabweans for their poverty after a century of looting by Cecil Rhodes and his cronies?
We do not need to pay any mind to Matinyarare. If we accept his premise, we are surprised that after Anglo-American looting, Zimbabweans are “making big noise” (black English) for the return of the same exploiters and their capital.
l Ken Mufuka writes from the United States. In his previous life, he served a representative of Zapu in the West Indies. He has written 10 books, the latest, (with Cyril Zenda) Life and Times of Robert Mugabe, Dream Betrayed, is available in Zimbabwe from INNOV8 Bookshops, in the wider world from the Internet at kenmufukabooks.com.