Thursday, 19 May 2011

This is gonna hurt a little - Façade 42: It is time for Julius Malema and the ANC to admit....

 By Steve Hofmeyr

Steve Hofmeyr is an Afrikaner entertainer resident in South Africa who is taking on Julius Malema in public


Afrikaners/Whites are suffering from confession fatigue. Even their children are now paying for the “sins of their forefathers”. They have had to admit to past injustices and are now made to apologise for any prevailing failures. They are secondhand citizens made to pay firsthand taxes. Blaming them is a relief valve for black leadership who has demonstrated zero accountability, confusing self-enrichment with achievement. Hate speech songs (“Kill the Boer”) as sung by ANC leadership are met with quiet insolence and even pride. Our government is now defending(with taxpayers money!) the right of that chant in court. Peter (“One Boer One Bullet”) Mokaba has a FIFA World Cup Soccer stadium named after him. All this while we sport the the most brutal murder-rate in the world, second only to Columbia.  Once again, blameless Afrocentric arrogance  abounds while we are asked to  tolerate pathetic matric exam results and understand perpetrators’ rights. Although South Africans have incompatible memories, collectively we are all heirs of extremely aggravating circumstances. The defeatist victim mentality perpetuates condescendence and alas, inequality. We could have taught the world something. We have not.
It’s time...
1.    It is time for Julius Malema  to admit that Struggle math doesn’t tally. Mitigating and aggravating factors can’t be quantified. Denialism and/or Black Empowerment here is hypocrisy and vulgar opportunism.
2.    It is time for Julius Malema  to admit that the gravest acts of genocide did not occur during Colonialism/Apartheid, but before and after (read today). Right now South Africa has a lower life expectancy than Uganda.
3.    It is time for Julius Malema  to admit  that, unlike Native Americans and Australian Aboriginal genocide, first-nation populations in South Africa escalated under British/Afrikaner rule from 10-30 million in a few decades. Verwoerd was building African schools with Afrikaner money at the time Aussies could obtain fauna licenses to hunt fellow Australians.
4.    It is time for Julius Malema to admit that the only real genocide in South Africa was the Koi annihilation by his ancestors and what Shaka and Dingaan did to their own people. Today, once more, South Africans are wiping fellow citizens off the face of the earth.
5.    It is time for Julius Malema  to admit that South Africans have lost more lives in the first four years of ANC rule than during the entire four decades of Nationalist rule. This statistic should be staggering by now, almost 18 years later.
6.    It is time for Julius Malema  to admit that more Boer children died in the Anglo Boer War than South Africans in the entire century of the Struggle. Fact: twenty times more. Let’s talk entitlement.
7.    It is time for Julius Malema  to admit that discontented South Africans of European descent do not burn down schools, drop their pants, capsize dustbins, plunder and intimidate hospital workers during marches and strikes. We certainly do our share of bad things, but we do not sing while babies die in maternity wards.
8.    It is time for Julius Malema  to see the folly of transformation from Western democracies to Africa-socialism, placing need over achievement. Everybody is poorer and unemployment rife. There is nothing “just” about economic equality when it implies market tampering.
9.    It is time for Julius Malema  (and Robert Mugabe) to admit to the futility of still blaming this on previous regimes. That redemption tool is now exhausted and merely perpetuates condescension and promotes professional suffering.
10.    It is time for Julius Malema  to admit that the demonized Afrikaner was also the rightful owner of land they had acquired after a brutal war they had lost, at enormous  human cost. Trivialising a blood sacrifice is insensitive and dangerous. Don’t question Afrikaner reluctance to assimilate before you get this.
11.    It is time for Julius Malema  to admit that Verwoerd entrusted Malema’s tax-exempt great-grandfathers with gratis homeland larger than achiever-countries like Denmark, Norway and Switzerland, and still came up with nothing to show for it. Many Afrikaners found Verwoerd way too liberal with their tax money.
12.    It is time for Julius Malema  to admit to his actual Western appetite combined with  Africans’ neurotic leap from mother tongue education to English, a treason which may still erase the little literature and heritage they had bothered to record.
13.    It is time for Julius Malema to admit he can only favour  place name changes in envy, as not one single Western city, town or street was stolen from anybody on this continent. A child can solve land claims.
14.    It is time for Julius Malema to admit that almost all former fruitful farmland dispossessed in land claims, have suffered the same fate – brutal sterilization.
15.    It is time for Julius Malema  to admit that more Afrikaner farmers are slaughtered annually than South Africans who died during the Sharpeville violence, a figure that dwarfs Ireland’s national mortality rate (FYI, Bono).
16.    It is time for Julius Malema  to admit that the new South Africa has contributed nothing to the world stage but shame and catch-up. This explains the following patronizing and affirmative therapy organizations:
Black African Cricket Forum, Black Broker Service Network (BBSN), Black Brokers Forum (BBF), Black Business Council, Black Business Forum, Black Business Woman Association (BBWA) , Black Editors' Forum, Black Filmmakers Network (BFN), is a network of over 200 individuals and 25 companies nationally, Black IT Forum (BITF), Black Law Students' Forum, Black Lawyers Association, Black Leadership Forum, Black Management Forum, Black South African Students’ Organization (SASO), FEW - black lesbian organization in South Africa, Forum of Black Journalists, National Black Contractors and Allied Trades Forum (Nabcat), National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA), National Society of Black Engineers, etc.
17.    It is time for Julius Malema  to admit that the voters of the previous regime really voted the ANC into power and that they rule by the grace of a benevolent yes-vote  in a referendum in 1992. He was pre-teen then. Everyday he parades his hypocrisy  that yes-vote lives in regret.
18.    It is time for Julius Malema to admit that the killers and rapists in his songs are NOT an Afrikaner statistic. Examples abound 1,2,3. The greatest butchers of South Africans, by far, were his own ancestors (Dingaan en Shaka). Today 3500 plus Afrikaner farmers are no longer with us. This vile statistic of ethnic cleansing accumulates daily and is generally ignored.
19.    It is time for Julius Malema  to admit that poverty will prevail for as long as they keep in power a government defined by nepotism, judiciary containment,  golden handshakes, silent diplomacy, BEE charters, unprecedented unemployment, unethical grants, land grabs, tenderpreneurs and futile dreams of nationalization. A Welfare state of these proportions renders working men obsolete.
20.    It’s time for Julius Malema to admit that the book on tender procedures has been rewritten by ANC cronies, comrades and families. By October 2010 the amount of R26 billion of that had been investigated as fraudulent (The Star , 28 October 2010). By April 2011 the national press editorialized corruption as epidemic.
21.    It is time for Julius Malema  and other instant millionaires to admit that one may only keep what one earns. This is capitalism. Fallible but unchallenged. Possessing what you did not earn is common theft in any language. “Deserving” politicians, nationalization, landgrab etc. translate to Afrikaans as theft, theft and theft.
22.    It is time for Julius Malema  to admit culpability in keeping leaders in power who are dragging this fine nation to the bottom of international management, development and mortality indexes. The latter is the measure of civilization while we sport a lower life expectancy than Uganda. The 2010 Global Competiveness Report by the World Economic Forum rated the new, fair and Democratic South Africa such:
• Quality of the education system – 130th out of 139
• Quality of primary education – 125th out of 139
• Quality of math and science education - 137th out of 139
• HIV prevalence - 136th out of 139
• Life expectancy – 127th out of 139
• Infant mortality – 109th out of 139
• Tuberculosis incidence - 138th out of 139
• Business impact of HIV/AIDS - 138th out of 139
23.    It is time for Julius to explain to other Africans that circumcision and muti rituals are pre-civilization quackery, that AIDS is not cured by raping virgins and that sangomas will always be inferior to the Western tradition of health awareness as a science and a discipline.
24.    It is time for Julius Malema  to admit that African folk are still dependent on what South African governments force other South Africans to do for them. Blunt patronization.
25.    It is time for Julius Malema  to admit that he has run out of reasons and time to blame the previous regime and to sever the defeating umbilical chord of Afrodebt. Ironically, the only two former colonized states which became global achievers (India and China), did exactly that.
26.    It’s time for Malema to understand that the settler lineage will never fall for the Struggle propaganda that their contribution and sacrifices were insignificant. You cannot suppress their heritage by stealing the names of world class towns, cities and well established infrastructure; you can only defile it by not sustaining that incredible progress.
27.    It’s time for Julius Malema to show gratitude for a tribe who sacrificed almost 40 000 of its own population to rightfully own a country Africans acquired by virtue of outnumbering them and then agitating for a democracy.
28.    It is time for Malema to admit that one man’s liberty was always another man’s devastation and that the entitlement tug-a-war can only be solved by immediately declaring a breakeven point. Stop BEE, AA, quotas, EE and affirmative therapy right now.
29.    It is time for Julius Malema  to admit that it is inconsequential to bemoan Western influence when everything you do is  for Western style affluence and thanks to Western influence.
30.    It is time for Julius Malema  to admit that nobody wants to rescue Apartheid, but that redress is only possible if something legally owned was taken away. Forced removals were regrettable but almost never done without offers of compensation. Why is this fact omitted when rallying up emotions to grab land?
31.    It is time for Julius Malema  to admit that the oppressed during the Struggle has long since assumed and surpassed the role of the former oppressor. Collective amnesia at this point in our dour histories is dishonest and suicidal.
32.    It is time for Julius Malema  to admit that his ancestors of the time were not invited to the Peace Treaty of Vereeniging, because they were, despite their numbers, economically, technologically, militarily and politically insignificant. This explains decades and decades of gross minority rule.
33.    It is time for Julius Malema  to admit that Afrikaners would not have stood for subjugation by any minority, ever.
34.    It is time for Julius Malema  to read the previous point again and ask the relevant questions.
35.    It is time for Julius Malema  to admit that the colonised is a colonisable individual, and a very envious one at that (Fanon). The pathology of eternal debt is misguided.
36.    It is time for Malema to admit that no South Africans want to return to a pre-Eurocentric African state of mind and affairs. African anti-Western defiance is populist diatribe and hypocritical banter tagged with a huge dollar sign.
37.    It is time for Julius Malema to admit that Africa is the orphan continent thanks to many that went before him, fat-cat despots who sounded exactly like him.
38.    It is time for Julius Malema  to admit that not one single leader, minister or mayor has been voted in legally or democratically. More than half of South Africans still don’t vote. The politically inept and unqualified surface and after being discredited, resurface elsewhere under the banner of ANC aegis.
39.    It is time for Julius Malema  to admit  that South Africa produces almost 25% of this continent’s GDP . SA  qualifies to host world cup events on this continent. Not bad for the land that surrendered "colonial" rule stone last.
40.    It is time for Julius Malema  to see that it is pathetic to use old buildings, highways, systems and infrastructure but pretend to be demoralized by the sight of old flags.
41.    It is time for Julius Malema to admit to the sometimes mutual incompatibility between hatespeech and traditional songs, the way Afrikaners had to sacrifice traditional terms like “kaffer”. He can not have his cake and eat it. If some can chant “kill the Boer”, others will gladly reciprocate by revoking the vocable.
42.    It is time for Julius Malema  to see that most South Africans do not want the old South Africa back. We all opt for an accountable government of any colour or tribe. What we do not want is our former head of police and Interpol boss serving time for corruption and the spouse of our Minister of Security as a convicted drug smuggler. We demand safety and a future for our children.

Now, Julius, go tally your populist and unfounded anti-western sentiments. You are keeping my South African compatriots  victims  in this sad old race to upstage Europeans. Ironically your efforts are still subsidized by white money. This you use gladly and squander greatly. We are not immigrating. We shall secure a future for our children in our motherland. This ship will be turned around by sober thinking South Africans, and I want to be there.
Steve Hofmeyr




Good Evening Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.

On behalf of my wife Heather, my party the Movement for Democratic Change, and of course the people of Zimbabwe, I thank the SA Business Club for the opportunity of engaging with like-minded people—people who care about the prospects of a democratic Southern Africa. Given the much esteemed personalities who have addressed this forum previously, I feel truly humbled.

I hope that my address helps to shed further light on the inescapable fact that Zimbabwe’s continuing trials and tribulations will increasingly impact negatively on South Africa, and on the region, if there is no true resolution of the crisis. A true resolution can only come when the theft of Zimbabwean votes is righted—when Zimbabweans are allowed to elect leaders of their choice.

Nearly twelve years ago, a close family friend of mine living in Johannesburg told me of a discussion he had had with one of Johannesburg’s celebrated business leaders. The gist of this conversation was along the lines of ‘Well even if President Mbeki has covered up for Mugabe, and the MDC actually did win the 2000 elections, so what?’ This whole issue will be seen by us in, South Africa as irrelevant and it will be business as usual—that’s ‘AFRICAN POLITICS’.

We all know now some of the more obvious results of President Mbeki’s policy of ‘Quiet Diplomacy’. South Africa has, for example, been overwhelmed by at least two million Zimbabwean migrants. This sad, unnecessary, traumatic exodus will be felt for decades and decades to come. Indeed, the effects cannot yet be fully evaluated. For the two million Zimbabweans cast into abject poverty, it is a human tragedy of epic proportions. If ever South Africans wanted to see the sheer scale of their misery, a visit at night to the Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg, is all that is needed. Bishop Paul Veryn and the Methodist Church will always be warmly remembered and admired by Zimbabweans for his single-handed, herculean efforts to ease the plight of homeless Zimbabweans.

The pressures exerted by desperate Zimbabweans, experienced across South Africa, has seen highly literate Zimbabweans compete for employment opportunities from white collar jobs to the most menial of tasks. This human contagion has already resulted in turmoil and social discord. Yet President Mbeki denied the very existence of xenophobia in South Africa, such was his disconnect with reality in his own country, let alone Zimbabwe.

I have news for all South Africans. If the result of the next Zimbabwean elections, likely to be held in early 2012, are not accepted by the MILITARY JUNTA/ZANU PF DICTATORSHIP and the resulting will of the people is again, for the fifth time, ignored, Zimbabweans will be left with no hope for a peaceful democratic future. They will pour into South Africa! But this flood of refugees will be different. The Zimbabweans, who will come to South Africa in 2012, will be older, much older and totally destitute. They will also be less educated, and they will most certainly not assimilate into South African society as well as the previous flood of Zimbabweans. They will become a DAILY, living reminder, on every street corner, of South Africa’s dreadful complicity in the subversion of democracy in our region. For Botswana, where Francistown groans under the weight of the Zimbabwean influx, the story will be the same. We are looking at an awful scenario.

Ladies and Gentlemen, please do not in any way simply brush this possible development aside. What we have in Zimbabwe is a ruthless coterie of thugs, bullies, and incompetent individuals, masquerading as a political organisation—ZANU-PF. They are capable of anything. Their capacity for institutionalised violence and torture is unprecedented, even in Africa. Most recently, they dragged my friend, the MDC’s Deputy Treasurer General, Honourable Elton Mangoma, to court in leg irons after an unpleasant and unjustified incarceration. Honourable Mangoma is Minister of Energy in this so called INCLUSIVE GOVERNMENT, and is a respected and influential leader in our party.

The South African Government and the governments in the region, as represented by SADC, MUST FINALLY and I repeat FINALLY, demand in simple unambiguous language, that ZANU-PF adhere to EACH AND EVERY condition that forms part of the Global Political Agreement. If they don’t, the REGION, the WHOLE REGION of Southern Africa, will feel the effects of their feebleness. Reluctance on behalf of SADC once again to reign in ZANU PF, will negatively and radically affect future regional business investment. It will be a red rag to the indigenization radicals in ZANU PF—a group that already has the whip hand—and the international investment risk profile for the entire region will go through the roof. It will also provide fuel for those in South African politics who see ZANU PF as blazing a trail, showing how the game should be played south of the Limpopo. This is not an exaggerated scenario. Every South African, Botswanan, Zambian, and Malawian citizen should demand from their governments that GADAFFI’S bosom buddy, ROBERT MUGABE, respect the peaceful democratic will of the people, and transfer power to the people’s choice, once their votes are tallied, after a peaceful electoral process. More than anyone, it is the South African business community that must see this scenario in full Technicolor and push its government to finally bring this nonsense to an end. Another pseudo-solution will be a disaster.

If any further proof is needed of ZANU PF’S failure to grasp reality, reflect for a moment on the absurdity of their most recent INDIGENIZATION demands. These are totally and utterly illegitimate, they are not endorsed by my party, and if implemented they will, as sure as day follows night, lay waste to Zimbabwe’s natural resources industry. If ever intelligent people are inclined to wonder what investors think of ZANU-PF’S nationalization/indigenization policies, just look what has happened to the value of PLATINUM shares such as IMPALA and ANGLO PLATINUM on the London Stock Exchange. It is beyond comprehension in today’s GLOBALISED competitive market place, to expect companies to cede 51% of their equity, and to fund the business going forward assuming their obligation and those of their NEW PARTNERS!

We only have to look back a few years to see what indigenization Mark 1 did to the country: we have gone down the road of ‘so called’ “Agricultural Land Reform”. Every Zimbabwean besides half-baked ZANU PF zealots knows now that agriculture and agri-business, hitherto Zimbabwe’s most productive sectors, have been virtually destroyed. Indicatively, literally all our groceries and food stuffs are imported, primarily from South Africa! Far from being liberated, we have become a Bantustan.

These are the legacies of ZANU-PF’S ‘BREAD BASKET, TO BASKET CASE IN TEN YEARS!’ How should business respond to these challenges? To begin, the desperate INDIGENISATION demands made upon well-known, respected London Listed companies must be disregarded. The majority party in Zimbabwe’s parliament is not a signatory to this institutionalised theft by individuals, posing as agents for the Zimbabwean people! Ladies and Gentlemen I also find the attempts by management of these companies to ‘NEGOTIATE’ an acceptable level of ‘theft’ quite nauseating. It is symptomatic of a worldwide malaise affecting many companies. Namely a gross failure to understand, that a country’s resources, whether they be Libyan, Egyptian or Zimbabwean, are not the property of illegitimate dictators, their wives and fellow travellers. The justifiable anger of the Egyptian people directed at the MUBARAK family should serve as a real wake up call to ZANU-PF. Zimbabweans have had enough of Grace Mugabe’s shopping trips using our peoples resources!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am not an embittered ‘Rhodesian Farmer’. I am not a product of WHITE privilege. In fact most of you will be interested to know that many WHITE Zimbabweans complicit with the regime for monetary gain actually loathe me—I am ‘BENNETT the TROUBLE MAKER’ etc. I have often been asked to ‘CUT A DEAL’—‘ALL THEY WANT IS MONEY’ and so on. My constituency and reference point in life is the wonderful, brave ethical people of CHIMANIMANI and ZIMBABWE. A friend of mine once told me I have perhaps become the JOE SLOVO of Zimbabwean Politics. Being a simple Zimbabwean farmer, I didn’t know whether it was a compliment or a back handed snide remark, given how apparently unpopular the late JOE SLOVO was with many white South Africans! However, the steadfast bravery and support which I enjoy from ordinary Zimbabweans, reminds us all in Southern Africa of Nelson Mandela’s vision. This is what he had to say at his inauguration as democratic South Africa’s first president on the 10th May 1994 and it rings loud and clear for us tonight: ‘The time for the healing of wounds has come. The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come. The time to build is upon us... We enter into a covenant that we shall build the society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without any fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity- a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world’ This is the part of the African National Congress that ZANU-PF can never resonate with. Since when should I accept that I have no rights in the country of my birth? Since when should Ndebele’s accept second class citizenship in Zimbabwe, and so on, and so on?

Is it too much in the 21st Century for Zimbabweans to expect access to functioning educational infrastructure, decent/effective health care, socially acceptable housing, and meaningful employment opportunities, with access to impartial courts of justice?

Zimbabweans demand that the fundamentals of democratic society, stolen by ZANU-PF, be returned to us. We are NO DIFFERENT from KENYANS; FROM IVORIANS. How are we different from the brave people of South Sudan, our African brothers and sisters in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt? The days of tyrants and dictators are over.

Individually, when evaluating the possibility of supporting MDC, all of us here need to reflect on the reality that the African National Congress is not aligned to ZANU-PF, and has little in common with it.

ZANU- PF’S history in the war of liberation was in Partnership with the PAC. When President Jacob Zuma, and ANC MK CADRES fought alongside freedom fighters in the then Rhodesia, President Zuma came under fire with comrades from ZAPU and their armed wing ZIPRA alongside him. The party of Luthuli, Mandela, Sisulu and Tambo is not, and can never be equated with ZANU-PF. ZANU-PF is the party of TRIBAL ETHNIC CLEANSING. Mugabe’s shameful extermination of thousands of Ndebele’s was a deliberate systematic pogrom of murder. Only recently Operation MURAMBATSVINA (CLEAN OUT THE FILTH) is yet another grotesque example of ZANU-PF’S ‘APARTHEID JACK BOOT’ approach to solving dissent. The similarity displayed by ZANU-PF’S disgusting destruction of people’s homes, mirrors the myriad actions of the Apartheid regime’s delinquent behaviour over many years with forced relocations. The shameful record of ZANU PF obligates every South African to speak out. ZANU PF constantly violates EVERY tenet, of the remarkable South African Constitution. We as MDC strive for people’s Constitution that is comparable.

The one strand that I sense is the real fundamental disconnect between the ANC and ZANU-PF, and which is at the core of the African National Congress and its Alliance Partners, is its declared commitment to non-racialism and the pre-eminence the ALLIANCE gives to HUMAN RIGHTS. We in the MDC, aspire to be a party, which shows by its decisions and policies, that we are in step with the vision of Nelson Mandela.

My involvement in the unfolding struggle is to ensure that fundamental HUMAN RIGHTS be entrenched in every component of our country’s new constitution. My struggle, and that of many Zimbabweans, demonstrates to people—irrespective of race—that those whose rights have been ignored, and trampled upon, are also citizens deserving to have their respect and dignity restored.

Now enough with the ‘gloom and doom’. Believe me; I am totally optimistic about Zimbabwe and the region’s future. With one caveat though: there is, in spite of what I have said, no room for any of you as mere spectators and arm chair critics! Accordingly, I urge each and every one of you, to genuinely engage in your own way directly in the fight for Southern Africa’s DEMOCRATIC FUTURE. A real life drama is playing out. Everyone is part of history in the making.

Most of you in this audience are probably sceptical about the suggestion that Zimbabwe has all the possibilities to become Africa’s ‘Switzerland’. But if one stops for a moment, and reflects on RWANDA’s dramatic progress over the past few years, Zimbabwe’s transformation is entirely feasible and optimistic.

My position heading up our party’s GLOBAL ADVOCACY campaign which embraces far, far more than FUNDRAISING, has enabled me to meet one-on-one, with some of the world’s most influential entrepreneurs, financiers and business leaders.

I find it simply incredible that LONDON and NEW YORK are more favourably disposed to Zimbabwe than South Africa. It is not ignorance either: whether the interest comes from Europe, Canada, or Brazil or Sweden, I have been warmly received.

Business opportunities will flourish in Zimbabwe as our economy begins to grow again. One of the world’s outstanding entrepreneurs confirmed to me, after a personal, on the ground visit to Zimbabwe recently, that unlike most African countries, ‘Everything, infrastructure-wise was built— power, roads, railways, schools, arms, factories, homes. It is always easier to rebuild than to create from scratch’. I was deeply impressed with his observations and advice.

My colleagues in party leadership positions will fast track ethical investment in every sector of the economy. It is South African business, those listed construction companies in South Africa, mining houses, exploration companies, health sector players that stand to benefit, if they engage properly. But perhaps significantly, it is individuals, who wish to re-connect with Africa, that offer our best hope for the future.

With a natural resources boom underway, and likely to be in play for some time ahead, the fundamentals of SUPPLY and CAPACITY constraints continue to undermine landlocked Southern Congo, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana’s ability to effectively leverage the value of their mineral resources.

As long as Zimbabwe, which acts as the LOGISTICS HUB for Central Africa, is rightfully perceived by the investment community as another SOMALIA in the making, Botswana, Zambia and the resource-rich Southern Congo, will be deprived of natural resources growth investment. An efficient rail network is required in the region. Investment of this scale clearly requires a measure of stability going forward. This is just one fundamental reality beyond the scope and capacity of ZANU-PF to understand.

Our Party’s is a broad church. Its bedrock is the Zimbabwean people, most of who are recognised throughout Africa as industrious, intelligent, educated individuals. Unlike many in Africa, we know the STATE cannot offer sustainable economic growth, employment or career opportunities. The institutions of the STATE are they HEALTH, EDUCATION, WATER AND SEWERAGE, RAILWAYS or ROADS, have been ruined by ZANU-PF.

Tremendous business opportunities therefore exist in Zimbabwe for tomorrow’s dynamic entrepreneurs. EVERYTHING, I repeat EVERYTHING, has to be RE-BUILT. The goodwill and financial capacity to fund this is available from the world community—if we get our politics right.

We look for inspiration to our friends in Botswana, South Africa, Zambia and our SADC partner Mauritius. Why can’t Zimbabwe emulate the development that is occurring in these countries?

Everyone can be sure of one thing. I speak to you tonight in all honesty, and filled with excitement of perhaps being able to look on as an elder figure, while the youngsters, the smart guys in our party, roll up their shirtsleeves and create a genuinely business-friendly environment in our beloved country. It is an honour for all Zimbabweans, and a singular reason for us to be proud, that our MDC Minister of Finance has become respected around the world. I acknowledge our economy’s modest size but reflect also on his achievements against all odds.

By helping us in Zimbabwe, to rid ourselves decisively of the scourge of ZANU-PF—folks it’s in South Africa’s selfish best interests. Here is a simple illustration of my argument. An MDC-led Zimbabwe will embrace broad based economic EMPOWERMENT initiatives that clearly sustain and encourage investment, which are supported by local communities and CIVIL SOCIETY. This carefully crafted legislation will be the genuine perfect alternative to POPULIST rhetoric in South Africa for the nationalisation of specific sectors. Zimbabwe has been down the nationalisation road to ruin and chaos. The evidence of abject failure is there for all who truly have the best interests of the region’s people at heart. We in Zimbabwe have seen the MOVIE, been there, and DONE THAT. Believe me; South Africa does not need to go down that road.

We yearn to show you all that Zimbabwe can, and with the hard-nosed good will of others, in time truly become an African Switzerland. We can, as predicted by MDC President Tsvangirai at the recent MDC party congress in Bulawayo, transform ourselves into a US$ 100 billion economy within 30 years.

While many among you may be sceptical, perhaps even cynical, Zimbabwe offers so many opportunities for those who are African in their souls. Those who wake up in Zimbabwe, and breathe that wonderful fresh, unpolluted air still believe. ‘Yes, we Can’ overcome the pervasiveness of failure and AFRO pessimism. Now is the time for action. Zimbabwe’s glass is most definitely half full and the future is that of opportunity and growth.

I would like to take this opportunity to say with pride MAKOROKOTO, AMHLOPHE, CONGRATULATIONS, to the MDC for last weekend’s successful historical third Party Congress. A big thank you to my fellow members for the confidence they have shown in my unopposed re-election, congratulate my colleagues on their election and join them in a commitment towards the next election, TOGETHER. UNITED, WINNING, READY FOR REAL CHANGE!

It has been a pleasure to talk to you this evening as an African talking to my fellow brothers and sisters from South Africa. I say THANK YOU-SIYABONGA- BAIE DANKIE- HAMBE GAHLE.