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Wednesday, 10 December 2008

"Invasion? What invasion?"

You may not believe in it. But we know someone who does

The spirited response to my forecast of a possible invasion of Zimbabwe from Zambia and Botswana would seem to indicate that many observers simply don't believe it can happen, and I am grateful to DC, Martin Gower, RMacleod and Sophie Zvapera for their input. They may of course be right. But I have evidence that the supreme leader himself, R. Mugabe, is not so sure.

My sources within the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) tell me that days before my piece appeared, the agency had submitted a report to Mugabe's office specifically accusing both Zambia and Botswana of offering their lands as "launching pads" for a military attack.

The spies apparentl;y believe that such an attack would be led by Britain - an indication of paranoia amongst the ranks of the spies when you remember that the UK's troops are already fully committed in other parts of the world.

A senior member of the Zimbabwe Army Intelligence (if that's not a contradiction in terms) also told me: "The reports we are receiving indicate that Zambia and Botswana have offered to help in the invasion, and that it would be imminent,"

The same source said that Mugabe had reacted to the reports by ordering a country-wide tightening of security, and specifically calling on military chiefs to put all border forces on high alert.

I then spoke to a senior member of the Police Suport Unit who said: "Most of our border patrol officers will be receiving their rations this week, and they will join up with the national army during the coming days, to intensify an armed presence on the borders."

Meanwhile the Army has reacted to the troop riots of last week by printing and distributing extra money. A soldier told me: "We were told to write down our names in the morning, and in the afternoon we received Z$100 million at the barracks. The money was not part of our monthly salaries. We were also told that the government was sorry for overlooking our grievances, and that things will change."

Our soldiers will draw two conclusions from this:  one, that things won't change, and two, that rioting works. Watch out for further direct action from our gallant troops.

On the international front, while demands for direct action, if only to combat the ever-growing cholera epidemic, continue, the African Union has predictably dismissed any military move, and repeated the mantra that the only way forward is through negotiations. Perhaps the Union really believes that is true. Perhaps.

Meanwhile, to those who do not believe in a military solution from outside our borders, can I put this question:  Two years ago, would you have believed that the world would allow our beloved country to descend to its present tragic, brutal and disastrous state without interfering?


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Moses, to answer your question: Yes, I do believe that: the world CANNOT help. I have on my own website been lamenting the decay of Zimbabwe for well over 10 years now. Even way back then it was apparent to me that the only, repeat ONLY factor in the Zimbabwe situation is South Africa and specifically Thabo Mbeki and his followers.

It is Mbeki who has sabotaged the efforts of SADC, AU, the Commonwealth and even the UN, and continues to do so. Even China which does not care for anything but itself, will take note of a real African opposition to Mugabe - if only to prevent damaging its business in other parts of Africa.

Without these international bodies being allowed to take a firm line, the world response to Mugabe has been and will continue to be ineffectual.

And when you factor in the Zimbabwean population's unlimited capacity for self-torture and political docility. The world can do nothing, will do nothing.

Interfering in the country is still for these very reasons, completely off the cards.

But now some 'hope' from this entry: It may be - perhaps - that Zambia and Botswana will allow a liberation army to use bases within its borders, and offer discrete moral support. This (if true) means a drawn out guerilla war perhaps lasting a decade or longer is on the horizon.

An invasion under Botswana or Zambian flags is just not going to happen, because if it did I can guarantee the full might of South Africa's defence forces will be instantly deployed to repel the invaders and prop up the Mugabe regime. Result: nothing short of a regional war.

Once the conflict goes this way, South Africa will have the upper hand militarily as well as diplomatically and probably maintain a permanent presence in Zimbabwe to safeguard Mugabe, permanently destroy the MDC and assist with a smooth transition of power to a new ZANU-PF dictatorship should Mugabe die in office.

Where there is smoke there is always a fire! maybe that is why ZAPU is getting excited, but it must be asked how would either Botswana or Zambia benefit from a guerilla war, or more likely suffer?

Taking a glance at this scenrio what a concoction, war, cholera and starvation.

Invasion of Zimbabwe could have been the most noble thing to do, but the bottomline is that the current Zambian leadership doesnt have the will and courage to confront the Zimbabwean issue on those lines, rendering the whole story a wishful thinking. Talk of Ian Khama... he is a modern leader and indeed perhaps he can take on Mugabe head-on.


THE Government of Zambia has denied reports that it has joined forces with Botswana to invade Zimbabwe and forcibly remove President Robert Mugabe from power.
Kabinga Pande is minister of foreign affairs. He said that the report, which was published on http://www.zimbabwetoday.co.uk and dated 7 December 2008 was malicious because Zambia has committed to working within the framework of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) decision in resolving the situation in Zimbabwe.
He was speaking in the capital Lusaka, at a press briefing with his counterpart George Mpombo from the ministry of defence.
Mr Pande said the online report was malicious.
“I wish to add that Zambia is committed to the spirit of dialogue and co-operation which are enshrined in the regional and continental charters to which we are a state party,” he said.
Mr Pande said the government of Zambia believes that peace and stability in Zimbabwe could only be achieved through dialogue among the stakeholders.
Mr Pande said it was not feasible for Zambia to agitate for military invasion in Zimbabwe.
“These provocative insinuations should therefore be dismissed with the contempt they deserve as they are indeed baseless and false,” he said.
He said suspicions were that the website was created by Zimbabweans who were not living in that country.
And Mr Mpombo said that it was unthinkable for Zambia, which worked hard to liberate Zimbabwe to push for regime change through the use of force.
“The allegations are a complete political hogwash and there is no truth in these allegations. Our role is to help Zimbabwe overcome the problems and this is through dialogue and not as a way of military intervention. We can not move away from the SADC position,” he said.
In the article, it is alleged that Zambia’s commandoes at Mushili area of Ndola have been training in joint operations with the army in Botswana with the view of invading Zimbabwe.
The story quotes anonymous sources in Zambia. It adds that Zambians are equipped with AK 47 riffles and rocket launchers.

The invasion of Zimbabwe, to remove Mugabe, can only be successful if it involved armies of atlest four SADC countries.

Unfortunately this still sounds like the mutterings of a paranoid government. It seems that you're either for or against Mugabe, and there is a lot of space between the two!

The only possibility of this hypothetical invasion taking place would be if the US and UK were to arm Botswana and Zambia, and with one country in the middle of changing presidents and the other bankrupt, I can't see either getting involved.

Rumors of Zambia stooping low to planning an attack on Zimbabwe must be discarded with contempt they deserve as hogwash from war-mongers. My country Zambia treasures every life and does not believe tanks and bullets on Zimbabwe would be solution to the myriad problems Zimbabwe is in. Zimbabweans like any peoples of SADC and Africa as a whole are our dear brothers and sisters we swish no evil. This season of frictional politics in Zimbabwe transitory and does not warrant military option but diplomacy, consensus building and compromise in a spirit of give and take for the good of the country.
Zambia has been a melting pot of many during the struggles our folks in Africa since the sixties. We believe in the democratic peace theory and out rightly detest war because it is destructive, retrogressive and not an option of a civilized generation. Invading Zimbabwe and killing God's people in whose interest? Africa has DRC, Somalia, Slums of Kenya, Ivory Coast and many critical hotspots taking heavy human toll where service of intervention is justified.
Zimbabwe needs a political and economic solution. Cholera cannot be fought with tanks and bullets but medical and necessary material support from all that care. Zimbabwe and Africa as a whole is breeding and every true human being must be counted in playing a constructive role of fostering peace and prosperity to Zimbabwe. In this vein, Zambia will always play a progressive role in fostering regional and global peace. We love Zimbabweans and we believe in Africa. To Tanzania, Namibia and South Africa who have led the initiative of supporting Zimbabwe against cholera, I say bravo! Let’s responsibly help our needy folks in Zimbabwe the more.

Zambia is an oasis of peace and strongly believes in peace than bullets and wars.

Can you use your CIO contacts to better use finding the ubductees ?

Bwembya is very right. I wish to add my voice by supporting his views. As a Trade Unionist myself, one important lesson I have learn over the years is that the most sustainable solution in a conflict situation is one that is generated through dialogue. Any other approach may produce a positive result, but the big question is that of sustainability.

Just take the example of Irag. George Bush thought the best way to solve the problem was to wage war. Indeed he went ahead and defied reasonable public opinion. The result of his myiopia and arrogance is there for everyone to see. As Zambians, we DONT WANT to see a replica of the Irag disaster.

We shall remain committed to the promotion of peace. The only advice to the political leaders in Zim, especially to Mr Mugabe, is that national interest (and not personal interest) should be the overriding factor in determining how the current problem should be tackled. How do you want history to judge you? What will be your legacy? What should you be remembered for?

I end by wishing our Brothers and Sisters in Zim victory over the current problems. Victory is certain. Aluta Continua!!

Leonard Hikaumba
President - Zambia Congress of Trade Unions.

zambia has a histroy of peace signing protocols and not military occupation or evasion..those insinuation are born out of paranoir by some individual who thinks no better but insightin violence to the region..\the CIO has not obtains its finding in a better way.mugabe has nothing to be fought for ..there are some president in africa and the other continet who have outlived there president times..countries like cameroon ,uganda libya just a few to mention /..why not go there and invade them,
zimbabwe is a son of SADC and SADC was foundered in zambia.for region resolution and not military camp training for evasion

It seems like we are missing the writer's point. He said his sources from the cio told him that days before his piece appeared, the agency had submitted a report to Mugabe's office specifically accusing both Zambia and Botswana of offering their lands as "LAUCHING PADS" for a military attack.

In a project like this there is no one in his or her foolishness will go on a press conference and say yes we are preparing for a military assault? or we have signed an agreement with so and so to use our land to attack our neighbours.

Moses your piece is a breaking news, it is hard to believe but those who has ear please try and find where to go, there will be flames of fire in Zimbabwe.

It is better for Manyika who travelled before the trouble.

Impossible things are still happening, remember Julias Nyerere vs Idiamin, Paul Kagame and Laurent Kabila Vs Mobuto and then Kagame vs Mugabe, Dos santos,and Kabila. Was the war sanctioned by the AU? which side was Zambia Botswana Southafrica and Mozambique?

This is politics money and friendship. Anything can happen.
I believe you Moses.
My friend in the cio told me that things are not right, Commandos are being reshuffled and it is about trust he said. He asked me this question Kazie Chiyangwa nana Dzvairo vakamira here kuita basa ravo? kana vakamira Akuchisina here vamwe vana Dzvairo. Dabengwa is Dangerous! and my friend's phone went off.

I doubt there's enough in it for Zambia or Botswana to invade, they stand to lose too much in reputation at the AU, and Africans enver do things like this out of conscience and humanitarian concerns.

Your sources in the CIO are probably picknug up rumours put out from the very top as African propaganda to pre-empt the idea.

Any overthrew violently of Mugabe, and it would need to be violent is certainly beyond the realms of reality at this point in time, will have to come from within and I believe it's very easy to catalyse.

It Zambia and Botswana truly want to tip the scales, they need only shut their borders for a week, on the pretense of keeping cholera out, and the Zambawean economy would completely collapse, causing the army to desert.

South African leadership is defiantly propping this mess up and if they were left to it, the pressure would become too much to bear.

Zambia can not invade Zimbabwe, brothers We have problems of our own and no one can force us to invade another country. We are a proud nation we can quarrel but we can not fight. If you recall Zambians suffered at the hands of Zimbabwe just for a tablet of butter. Zambians lost life by you people in Zimbabwe not during liberation struggle but after independence. it will be unthinkable for Zambia to sent the army to Zimbabwe for what? Zambia only help to settle disputes by bringing the agrieved parties to negotiate. Please count Zambia out of this. We will assist in any other way but not to invade. We love our country so much that we can be insulted but we will never retaliate and people have mistaken us to be docile but we are not. We just love our country we will rather sacrifice everything for the sake of peace.

Now you are really becoming panyoparous!!!Zambia did not invade Rhodesia to remove Smith (whose various units attacked Zambia many times!) how could they even contemplate such a self-destructive option? Mugabe is not Zambia's problem. It is Zim that has degrees in violence, not Zambia and Botswana - so now is the time to show the world what you know instead of waiting for little Botswana to fight on your behalf. You should be ashamed of yourselves you selfish middle class with a colonial mentality.

Enough is enough I agree with British PM Brown. Mugabe fought for Independence so that his children and grandchildren will have brighter future, but that’s not the case. How many people have died because off his selfishness?

I believe an invasion would not be a bad idea.

Zambians dont look at issues that way.
If your history can be on hand to help you, you will realise that Zambia has always treasured the lifes of its neigbours and the entire africa.

Zambia sacrificed greatly to see its neigbours gain independence.

Much resource was spent on Zimbabwe and South Africa; this was dont to see their brothers and sisters free and happy.

Zambia was troubled in heart when Angola and Mozambique had internal fightings. Again much resource was expended to see peace reign in these countries.

Therefore, with that spirit, Zambia would never want to cause or even see any more bloodshed within our common citizenery of Southern Africa. No, No, No!

Zimbabweans should sort out their problem of Mugabe and not bring in others such as Botswana and Zambia. Why should any other nation shed blood for Zimbabweans. Zimbabweans both within and outside the country should learn to sort out their problems. Zambia and Botswana to some extent sacrified a lot for Zimbabwe`s independence hosting exiles and suffering attacks by the white regime. Problem is Zimbabweans are spoilt..go back home and sort out your mess which ever way you deem appropriate!!

it is the People of Zimbabwe who are to blame for being docile and they shouldnt expect other people to liberate them. it is like running to a neighbour so that he comes and helps you discipline your unrully wife. isnt it the same zimbabweans who used to laugh at us when we crossed into their country to buy essential commodities. now the tables have turned. leave us alone. we have a lot of things to sot out here at home.

Moses Moyo. I dont aggree with your report. Honestly my Great Country Zambia suffered a lot to free you people from the chains of colonialism in that country, how can we today come up with the idea of causing war in the country we helped so much? Maybe you have forgotten and since I am a very generuous Zambian, I will remind you. Those beautiful structures you are seeing in Harare, which can not be found in Zambia, were built using Zambias money. We hleped you left, right and center to make that country free, and what do we get from you people, baseless accusations. I am a journalist and I remember that when I was in college, I was taught that a "Pen is mightier than a swaord." So Moses Moyo, be careful with what you write or else, you are going to start a fire which will be to huge for any body to stop.
Leave my Zambia out of your problems. Sort out those problems on your own.

please ,please brothers in zimbabwe, you should careful how you bring in zambia into your problems. currently most of our sisters from your country are roaming the streets of our capital,livingstone , siavonga and chirundu trying to sell sweets and biscuits to just make ends meet and they are not harrased , we look at them as part of us, so how do even dream of zambia thinking of invading your country? what gain . our goverment would rather send peace keepers to dafur under the lawful body of AU and UN than waist time fighting a sister country like yours. zimbabweans rise and redeem yourselves , no one from outside will come and sought out your problems. those in britain and america remember the suffering of your relatives back home and do not get blinded by the bread and butter out there.
i rest my case.

Well Moses, you've certainly opened a can of worms!

Judging from the official and other Zambian responses we can be pretty clear that the Zambians are not going to invade. Of course, they may still tacitly (if not explicitly) allow rebels to use Zambia as a base, but they could never admit to that.

Interesting however how much of the Zambian (no Botswana comments?) comment here seems to believe that the relationship between the Zambian people and the Zimbabwean people is the same as that between the Zambian government and Zimbabwean government. Nothing could be further from the truth.

If Zambian people truly cared, they would support a war at least in principle. By forcibly removing Mugabe they are not shedding Zimbabwean blood. They would be saving it and bringing hope. Of course some Zimbabwean lives would be lost as would Zambian lives. That is the nature of military sacrifice. Are you telling me no (black) Zimbabwean lives were lost during the 1970's liberation war? The greater good - the promise of a better Zimbabwe - justified it.

That struggle needs to be repeated today. But like that struggle, it needs to be Zimbabwean rebels and guerillas who lead the war. Not the Zambian army.

I truly agree with Bruce that the report that moses moyo got from CIO were baseless and not true.Therefore, if anything as quick as possible it should be dismissed by him, moses moyo, as he is the source. When you are at the river and you jump into it and start swimming up to the middle of it be sure that you are going to come back swimming otherwise you are going to get drawn. A peace loving Zambia with warm relationship with Zimbabwe can and will never do such a thing. We have a peace loving leaders here in Zambia who don't solve a problem by guns and bloodshed but by dialogue and negotiations. The problem of Zimbabwe is not for the Zimbabwean only but for Africa as a whole. Therefore, as Zimbabwean people are affected we are also affected as Zambian and we have to solve the problems as brothers in one land. Please remember that there is only one Africa and One African continent and Zambia is the real Africa under the real problem of Zimbabwe that needs to be addressed by dialogue not by guns and military tanks.

It will not be a bad idea freeing our beloved naive neighbours. We can help change the political climate in Zim today. We believe in you Zimbabwe. We believe you can. It is very clear today that you need us like never before. And here we are waiting for you. There has never been such a time in history when so much is at stack. Look within yourselves and draw peace from within you. You are couragous and well able to defy the oddies. We believe in you, Zimbabwe. Robert, a great statesman indeed, one envied by so many. But today leaves less to be desired of self. Sir, overcome your own fears of the state benefits, see the child dying in the street of Harare. Human you are no hands on death, but you have the ability to influence life in such a way men and women will live to appreciate and cherish. Mugabe once ze Hero....what a life men live here on earth.

Mugabe is a selfish man who wants to rule Zimbabwe up to his death day. Any normal Parent will work hard and fight for his children. All these bad things which are happening in Zimbabwe are all because of one selfish man. Why?

I blame organizations like SADAC, AU which are some how useless because they are not doing what they are suppose to do. Mugabe is not different from Saddam Hussein and there is need by all countries to criticize and remove him from office at all costs.

What level do you want Zimbabwe to sink to before appropriate action can be taken?

Some African Presidents have criticized Mugabe publicly and they have not received any support from other African Presidents. Come on Africa lets not wait for the west to come up with a solution, we can do it our selves. Let’s get reed of this Evil selfish man by all means.

Congratulations Moses, you have certainly stirred the preverbal hornets nest and in doing so, you have revealed what was a very large silent readership!

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