By Panganai Nzira
According to the online dictionary answers .com, an award is something given to a person or a group of people to recognize excellence in a certain field; a certificate of excellence. Awards are often signified by trophies, titles, certificates or medals. An award may carry a monetary prize given to the recipient and may also simply be a public acknowledgment of excellence, without any tangible token or prize.
ÂAwards can be given by any person or institution, although the prestige of an award usually depends on the status of the awarder.
The National Arts Merit Awards NAMA held a few months ago were condemned as biased by most people and the yardstick for the recognition of nominees was put under the spotlight.
In this article the focus is not on arts merit awards but on awards given to politicians, academics, lawyers and journalists.
Some of the recipients of awards include:
– Reginald Matchaba Hove ZESN Board member
– The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) democracy award in 2006,
– Jenni Williams of Women of Zimbabwe Arise,
-Â 26th Annual Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, November 23th, 2009, Beatrice Mtetwa
– 2003 Liberty/Justice and Law Society Human Rights Lawyer of the Year Award,
– New York based Committee to Protect Journalists International Press Freedom 2005 Award,
– 2006 London based Index on Censorship Press Freedom Award in the Law Category,
– 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists,
– 2010 American Bar Association (ABA)’s International Human Rights Award,
– Jestina Mukoko, Zimbabwe Peace Project DirectorÂ
-Â US State Departmentâ€™s International Women of Courage awards for 2010, Morgan Tsvagirai
-Â Nominee of the EU Courage Award,
-Â 2001 Morgan Tsvangirai was awarded the Solidar Silver Rose Award
-Â International Lifetime Achievement Award 2009 from the Spanish Foundation CristÃ³bal GabarrÃ³n,Â
-Â International Bar Association human rights award,Â
-Â 2010 W. Averell Harriam Democracy Award from the National Democratic Institute (NDI)
These awards have been extended, several times to the rank and file of opposition politics, and while these awards have been given to supposed custodians of the western doctrines of democracy and human rights no single award has been given to the heroes of the land revolution in Zimbabwe and veterans of the liberation struggle. Not even Chief Svosve who led the masses in 2000 to reclaim their land.
However the people have bestowed their own priceless recognition on personalities leading the decolonisation crusade and in the process this has invited the wrath of the powerful so called judges of elitist and selective awards.
The Zimbabwe media space has been replete for years with awards on democracy, human rights, media freedom and governance. A random analysis will conclude that these awards have been advanced to a selected clique albeit many a times such that it has become routine.
There has been a crusade to shower praise and pamper the same political constituency and the sponsors of the awards have become all too familiar.
Â Itâ€™s particularly important to note the source and motives of these awards. In Zimbabwe the players in these awards are dominated by the so called civil society.
Most non governmental organisations are fingered as the resource centers for institutions and foreign governments aiming to achieve regime change agendas and enlarge their spheres of influence.
It is thus crucial to understand the politics of these awards.
Most NGOs operating in the country have been used as provincial administrative centers by the western world and powerful individuals such as the ubiquitous George Soros and the Ford Foundation.
Money is poured into these organisationsâ€™ purses and just like the biblical Judas many sell their soul for the thirty pieces of silver. The fronts of western hegemony and imperialism then recommend dubious recognition awards for neo-imperialist doctrines such as democracy, good governance and human rights and those who follow the teachings blindly.
The recipients of these awards are then showered with praises from an equally clientele media and invited to Washington, London and Berlin to declare their covenants of loyalty to western hegemony and in the process receive a pat on the back and the kisses on the cheek for a job well done.
Thank GOD the regime change agenda has only remained an agenda with so many fallacies and shortcomings such that it will not succeed in achieving desired results.Â
The G 15, NAM and the progressive world as epitomised in the visionary and ideological compass given by leaders such as President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, has remained resolute and alert to the evil machinations of the western capitalism.
A case in point of an administrative post of US influence is the Zimbabwe Election Support Network and an outfit called the Zimbabwe Democracy Trust. These organisations despite being generously funded by the US through Congress and the State Department are described by the Western media as â€œindependentâ€ while ZESN partner, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), is called â€œan international pro-democracy organisationâ€ and â€˜a Washington-based groupâ€™.
This group recently gave an award for democracy to the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai.
The National Democratic Institute is actually known as the National Democratic Institute of the Democratic Party. It provides the focal point and is the foreign arm of the Democratic Party. The NDI receives funding from the US Congress, as well as from USAID and corporate foundations, which it then splashes out to NGOs in US-designated â€˜outposts of tyrannyâ€™.
The NDI claims to be a non profit, non partisan organisation working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government. However in reality it must be noted that it is only in the service of propaganda that the Democratic Party would be called â€œa Washington-based group?â€
Professor Jonathan Moyo recently wrote that the strategy of employing “democratic” or “human rights” awards and giving them to pliable and treacherous individuals and organisations did not start with Tsvangirai and his MDC-T party, but has its roots in eastern and central Europe as well as in Latin America and became particularly pronounced after the end of the Cold War when democracy, good governance and human rights became instruments of foreign policy and propaganda mantras of Western countries against the developing world.
The intentions of the United States is in black and white as shown by the reformed regime change bill now to be called the Zimbabwe Transition to Democracy and Economic Recovery Bill of 2010, which is just another tool to fast track AmericanÂ proxies and political clones into power.
The United States government has categorically stated that, â€œit wants to see the Zimbabwean oppositionâ€¦trade unions, pro-democracy groups and human rights organizationsâ€¦ bring about a change of administration.â€
The goal of this transition agenda to what they term democracy and good governance is to extend the sphere of influence of global capitalism by rewinding the land reform and economic indigenisation policies to the pre independence era.
The bottom line is to erode the national liberation agenda. This is done by sponsoring the so called civil society which forms part of an interlocking community of imperialist governments, wealthy individuals and corporate foundations.
These awards then are just meant to be swearing in ceremonies of rank and file of boys and girls where vows of transitional democracy and one world government dominated by the West are reaffirmed.