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  • Writer's picturerutendo matinyarare


Soft power.
Zimbabwe is neglecting soft power.

Over the past four years, I have written several proposals to the Zimbabwean government, urging them to create world-class documentaries through an internationally acclaimed Zimbabwean filmmaker acquaintance of mine.

These documentaries would serve to educate the nation on our national history, our liberation struggle, imperialism, sanctions, #sanctionsbusting, what the government is doing to mitigate sanctions, and the threat the nation and region face from sanctions, neo-colonialism, and the sentiment war that comes with it.

If the government had executed these documentaries in a world-class manner three or four years ago, our citizens would have imbibed national core values, and our neighbors would have understood the threat our country and region face, as well as what Zimbabweans and SADC must do to ensure survival.

By doing so, the government would have bulletproofed the country's image, and Al Jazeera would not have had any angle to portray sanction-busting as corruption, as they are attempting to do now.

The biggest problem Zimbabwe faces is that its leaders, who are meant to be proactive, have become complacent to the threats the nation faces, perpetually caught up in money-making, fund-raising, electioneering, and self-absorbed party politics.

This has led to the same complacency that removed Gaddafi, Mubarak, Saddam, Ben Ali and Mugabe, settling into the revolutionary movement and regional liberation movements, while they remain oblivious of the threat.

Most problematic, our leaders (at home and else where in the region) neglect the minds and hearts of their people, meanwhile a committed and disciplined enemy is busy infiltrating the hearts and minds of our youth, planting seeds of insurrection.

This is the same reason why astute Jonathan Moyo and his not-so-smart G40 cabal were removed, and now the removers are showing similar negligence of soft power.

The fact that Al Jazeera was able to get into our country, record people and create such a documentary under the noses of what used to be one of the best intelligence units in the world, is an indictment of both our civil and military intelligence. Worse still, I suspect it could be a sign of divisions in the security cluster.

On the business side, the people who are meant to be the shadow government/think tank that protects the material interests of the common wealth, are clueless, too self-absorbed and out of touch, thinking that their money will save them from civil unrest and NATO’s right to intervene. They clearly learnt nothing when oil billionaires and millions in Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and Syria were arrested and lost everything under U.S. invasions.

We are in a revolution, against a very determined foe, and in this day and age, the revolution is not defended by hard power but hearts and minds molded by soft power (PR, documentaries, culture, values, law, victories, history, traditions, heritage, hope and soundbites are the new weapon).

It is hearts and minds that Al Jazeera targeted to overthrow Gaddafi, Mubarak, Ben Ali and Saleh. It’s Zimbabwean hearts and minds that the CIA is targeting now with #GoldMafia.

Equally, hearts and minds have defended Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela, Russia, Iran, and even Zimbabwe from previous assaults, but, the partisan indifference of our leaders is eroding patriotism which must be rekindled by telling our own good stories.

We must learn fast how to unite and connect with our people and stop behaving as if we do not know that our enemy seeks NOT someone to devour but to devour us as the most revolutionary, gold currency having, nation in Africa since Libya fell.

Written by Rutendo Matinyarare, Chairman of ZASM and Founder of Frontline Strat Marketing.