Category Archives: Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe reelects Robert Mugabe as president

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The following article below was originally published by Fight Back! News, the news wing of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization:

ZANU-PF sweeps parliamentary election on platform of land and freedom

By Dave Schneider
August 3, 2013

ZANU-PF supporters rallying ahead of the Zimbabwean election.

ZANU-PF supporters rallying ahead of the Zimbabwean election.

Although official vote totals in the July 31 election are still coming in, the people of Zimbabwe voted overwhelmingly to reelect President Robert Mugabe to another five-year term. Mugabe’s party, the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), also won the parliamentary election in a landslide, making gains and solidifying their majority. Despite claims by Mugabe’s opponent, Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), that the elections were rigged, monitors from the African Union called the elections “peaceful, orderly, free and fair.”

Mugabe’s victory is a mandate for the ZANU-PF manifesto, which calls for over $1.8 trillion in idle mining assets and $7.3 billion in foreign-owned assets to be turned over to Zimbabweans. Voters similarly favor the ZANU-PF plan for “education for all,” “housing for all,” and gender equality “through laws, empowerment programs and promotion of women in sectors and positions previously held by men only,” according to the ZANU-PF 2013 election manifesto.

This is the third and latest defeat of MDC candidate Tsvangirai, who ran against Mugabe for President in 2002 and 2008. Although Tsvangirai led the 2008 presidential election, he failed to garner a majority vote and lost decisively in the runoff to Mugabe. Wikileaks cables from 2010 revealed collaboration between Tsvangirai with his MDC party and the U.S. Tsvangirai called on the Western countries to toughen the economic sanctions on his own country and people after he lost the election. Since that time, more and more Zimbabweans disapprove of the MDC in opinion polls.

In February 2013, Zimbabweans approved a new constitution, ending a power-sharing deal between ZANU-PF and the MDC. A decisive election victory for ZANU-PF provides a mandate and curbs outsider meddling in the internal affairs of Zimbabwe.

Indigenization Program central to election

Zimbabwe’s election comes at a time of profound revolutionary changes in the nation. In May 2012, ZANU-PF announced the implementation of the Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Program, to transfer ownership of the major national industries to Zimbabweans and workers. According to the ZANU-PF’s election manifesto, called “Taking Back the Economy,” the indigenization “seeks to enforce the transfer to local entities of at least 51% controlling equity in all existing foreign owned businesses.” The aim is to “create dignified employment especially for the youth, distribute wealth amongst citizens more equitably, cause a general improvement in the quality of life of every Zimbabwean and bring about sustainable national development which is homegrown.”

ZANU-PF’s campaign focused on strengthening the nation’s land reform – which redistributed more than 7 million hectares of land, mostly to African peasants and farmworkers – and deepening the indigenization policies. In a preface to the manifesto, Robert Mugabe and his wife, Grace, write, “The essence of ZANU-PF’s ideology is to economically empower the indigenous people of Zimbabwe by enabling them to fully own their country’s God-given natural resources and the means of production to unlock or create value from those resources.”

Indigenization policies already distributed more than 120 mining companies to black Zimbabweans, organized into employee ownership trusts. These trusts allow working people in Zimbabwe to share in their nation’s resources, rather than Western companies taking profits out of Zimbabwe. ZANU-PF also aims to transition the current stock exchange into an indigenized market owned by Zimbabweans called the Harare Stock Exchange. They claim that shares will be distributed to at least 500,000 people in the first year, with the greatest beneficiaries being women, youth, and disabled people.

Zimbabwe’s struggle against colonialism and imperialism

ZANU-PF’s victory demonstrates the continued importance of Zimbabwe’s revolutionary history. British Imperialists, led by infamous mass murderer Cecil Rhodes and his British South Africa Company, invaded and colonized Zimbabwe around 1880. Rhodes named the country after himself as white colonists seized the best land. With most of the land and the government in white hands, the whites ruled the country despite never being more than 4.3% of the population. In 1966, Zimbabweans waged a 13-year liberation war against white minority rule that ended the racist Ian Smith regime in 1980.

Mugabe’s continued popularity and re-election as President comes from his leadership during the liberation war, called the ‘Second Chimurenga’ by Zimbabweans. Influenced by the Chinese communist revolutionary Mao Zedong, Mugabe founded ZANU along with other black revolutionaries in Zimbabwe. Ian Smith imprisoned Mugabe for more than a decade, and then he was elected President of ZANU in 1974 shortly before his release.

After winning majority rule, most black Zimbabweans remained dispossessed and poor while white colonizers kept the best farmland. After a series of austerity measures forced upon Zimbabwe by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the people of Zimbabwe began occupying large farms and taking control of their own resources in 2000. Almost 75% of the beneficiaries of the land reform were poor peasants, former farmworkers and urban workers – many of whom were women – making it one of the most progressive land reforms in the history of Africa.

By stripping wealthy whites of their land and political power, Zimbabwe angered the U.S. and Britain, who responded with economic sanctions that sent Zimbabwe down a destructive path of hyperinflation and economic turmoil. However, with new investment from socialist countries like the People’s Republic of China, Zimbabwe’s economy began to recover, with their gross domestic product growing by 11% in 2011 alone.

Unemployment remains a persistent struggle in Zimbabwe, caused by the continued sanctions placed on Zimbabwe by the U.S. and Britain. However, ZANU-PF designed the indigenization program to create dignified jobs for Zimbabwean workers and allow them greater ownership of the nation’s resources.

At 89, Mugabe is the oldest African head of state, and constitutionally this will be his final term as president. ZANU-PF spent the past five years, after the 2008 election, holding party cadre schools to train activists to continue the revolution. With a new victory on the horizon, the days ahead shine bright for Zimbabweans.

Constitutional referendum, presidential elections to be held in Zimbabwe

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The following analysis below was originally published by Fight Back! News, the news wing of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization. To understand more of the history of the ZANU-PF and its ongoing revolutionary shaping of Zimbabwe, then I’d highly recommend everyone in reading “New Democracy & ZANU-PF: Zimbabwe’s Revolutionary Path,” which was published by Return to the Source

Constitutional referendum, presidential elections to be held in Zimbabwe

January 27, 2013

Zimbabwe’s two major political parties agreed to a new draft constitution Jan. 17. After nearly two years of deliberation, the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), reached an agreement that may replace the country’s current constitution and pave the way for a presidential election later this year. This draft proposal will go before the Zimbabwean people for approval in a nationwide referendum later this year.

Following the agreement, President Robert Mugabe, of ZANU-PF, called for peaceful presidential elections as early as March 2013. Fearing defeat, the unpopular MDC immediately came out against holding elections.

Most analysts believe that Mugabe and his party, ZANU-PF, will handily defeat Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC at the polls. An August 2012 survey by Freedom House, a pro-imperialist Western think-tank, found that more than 31% of people support ZANU-PF compared to the 20% who support MDC in the upcoming elections. The study found that the MDC had lost 18% support since 2010 while ZANU-PF had gained 17% support in the same period. Even Zimbabwe Vigil, a pro-MDC firm based in Britain, predicted in September 2012 that ZANU-PF would win the upcoming elections because of corruption in the MDC.

The draft constitution comes amid the profound revolutionary changes taking place in Zimbabwe. White colonists, never more than 4.3% of the population, ruled Zimbabwe for many decades. Then Zimbabweans waged a 15-year liberation war against white minority rule that led to negotiations and ended Ian Smith’s racist regime in 1980. This victory established African majority rule and most whites left the country. Still, wealthy whites continued controlling most of Zimbabwe’s good farmland and resources. Former colonial power Britain claimed to support land reform and resettlement, but failed to fund it. Britain ignored their agreements with Zimbabwe’s government and stirred up trouble.

After a series of austerity measures forced upon Zimbabwe by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the people of Zimbabwe began occupying large farms and taking control of their own resources in 2000. President Mugabe and ZANU-PF supported these farm occupations through the Fast Track Land Reform Program. The reform redistributed 7 million hectares of Zimbabwe’s land to more than a million small farmers. Many large landowners were dispossessed and their land given to the rightful owners.

The land reform drastically changed ownership and power relations in Zimbabwe. The U.S. and Britain responded with economic sanctions, sending Zimbabwe down a destructive path of hyperinflation and economic turmoil. In the 2008 presidential election, Britain and the U.S. tried to use Zimbabwe’s economic crisis to violently destabilize the country and oust Mugabe, trying to replace him with the puppets of the MDC.

Although the MDC won a plurality of the votes in the first round of the 2008 presidential election, they withdrew from the runoff in an attempt to delegitimize the democratic process. In the runoff, Mugabe defeated the MDC candidate Tsvangirai in a landslide. Mugabe nearly doubled his absolute vote total from the first round of elections – 1.1 million in the first round to 2.2 million in the runoff. Shortly after the election, Mugabe and ZANU-PF formed a power-sharing government with the MDC that included Tsvangirai as prime minister.

Land reform is not the only area of Zimbabwe’s economy experiencing serious progressive change. In 2012, the Zimbabwean government began enforcing the Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Bill, which requires at least 50% black local ownership of all businesses and companies. This policy is extremely popular among the Zimbabwean people, who see it as means of exercising their right to control over their own resources. By November 2012, Zimbabwe had indigenized 120 major mining companies and created 400 Employee Share Ownership Trusts to better redistribute the nation’s wealth to the people.

In spite of the continued sanctions and economic warfare from the U.S. and Britain, Zimbabwe’s economy continues to recover and has grown at a remarkable rate since 2009. According to Zimbabwean Finance Minister Tendai Biti, the country saw 8.1% growth in 2010 and 9.3% growth in 2011. Agricultural production experienced growth from the land reform as well, with tobacco production expanding from 2008′s record low of 105 million pounds to 330 million pounds in 2012. As Zimbabwe recovers, more black Zimbabweans will share in their nation’s wealth than in the 33 years since the end of white minority rule, leading to a more balanced, collective economy.

As Zimbabwe approaches its 2013 elections, the danger of imperialist meddling in southern Africa runs high. Wikileaks revealed in August last year that Tsvangirai, of the MDC, had used his 2009 visit to U.S. President Barack Obama to lobby for greater sanctions on Zimbabwe in order to bring down Mugabe and ZANU-PF. Banks and corporations in the U.S. and Britain have a vested commercial interest in seeing an end to ZANU-PF’s progressive, national democratic policies and anti-imperialism. True to form, the MDC showed their loyalty to their foreign masters by unveiling the Jobs, Upliftment, Investment, Capital and Environment Plan on Nov. 29 of 2012. This scheme proposes to reverse ZANU-PF’s indigenization policy, facilitating U.S. and British corporate domination.

It’s no surprise that the people of Zimbabwe have turned against the MDC, given the party’s allegiance to Britain and the U.S., at the expense of the people. However, the US, Britain, France and other Western European powers are waging a campaign to re-colonize Africa, most recently seen in the U.S.-backed French military intervention in Mali.

Military interventions by imperialist powers in Somalia, Ivory Coast, Libya, Uganda, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and now Mali demonstrate the willingness of the U.S. and Western Europe to use military force against governments or people that resist their dominance.

Progressive activists, organizers and revolutionaries in the U.S. must resolutely oppose any attempt by Western powers to intervene in Zimbabwe, especially with elections on the horizon. People in the U.S. should support the right of the Zimbabwean people to determine their own destiny, as expressed through the policies of ZANU-PF, and they should fight moves for the re-colonization of Africa.

The dictator you didn’t know about

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By Stephen Gowans
August 23, 2012

He’s a virtual dictator who presides over a virtual one-party state controlled by his own ethnic minority. True, he has been elected multiple times, but he relies on violence and intimidation to win “mind-bogglingly one-sided elections.” (1) In the last election, his party won all but two of 546 seats in parliament. (2)

When opposition supporters objected to one of his improbable election victories, he ordered regime forces to open fire, “killing 193 and wounding hundreds. Thousands of opposition leaders and supporters were rounded up and detained.” (3) Opponents who weren’t jailed were denied food aid, jobs and other social benefits. (4)

A rebellion against his regime has been met by “brutal campaigns” involving rape and the killing of his own people. (5) Last year, he sentenced two Western journalists to 11 years in prison for reporting on rebel groups fighting to overthrow his tyrannical regime. (6) And in 2006, he sent his forces into a neighbouring country to occupy it militarily, because it was weak and unable to defend itself.

Syria’s Bashar al-Asad?

Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe?

The description fits the picture painted of these two leaders by the US State Department and its echo chamber, the Western mass media. But it is neither of these men. Both are reviled in Washington—and so automatically by the Western press—for reasons allegedly having to do with their bad attitudes to democracy and human rights and so it’s easy to believe the leader depicted above is one of them.

But the real reason the US State Department–and in train the mimetic Western media—treat these men as heinous criminals has to do with their attitudes to Western free enterprise and domination from abroad. Neither man has been willing to open his country to untrammelled exploitation by foreigners (or in Zimbabwe’s case to the descendants of settlers.) Neither votes in the United Nations as Washington directs, and neither is willing to act as a military proxy for the Pentagon.

Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi

But Meles Zenawi, the leader I’ve described above—the dictator you haven’t heard about—was willing to do all these things.

Meles, the prime minister of Ethiopia, died last Monday. An anti-Communist, he dropped out of medical school in the 1970s to fight Ethiopia’s then Marxist-Leninist government. As prime minister, he shepherded Ethiopia through a free-market, free-enterprise takeover that opened Ethiopia’s economy to foreign investors. (7) In 2006, when the United States asked him to invade neighbouring Somalia, Meles—the uncompromising local agent of US interests—was only too happy to comply.

For his services the Ethiopian strongman was showered with aid—$1 billion from Washington in 2010, and nearly the same amount last year. (8) And his “military and security services” are celebrated in Washington as “among the Central Intelligence Agency’s favourite partners…in Africa.” (9)

While Meles was of the kind of leader Washington professes to revile, there were no campaigns for Meles’s removal engineered by the US State Department, and then taken up by the compliant media, and from there by liberals, soft-leftists, non-violent pro-democracy activists, and “no-fly-zone-arms-to-the-rebels” Trotskyists. All of these forces were too busy trying to outdo each other in denouncing the rogue’s gallery of socialists and economic nationalists Washington trotted out for disdain, allegedly because they hate democracy and human rights, but actually because they hate foreign domination. Meles never made Washington’s list of rogues. Nor by consequence the Western mass media’s. Nor by consequence the aforesaid leftists’.

Writing Meles’ obituary, New York Times reporter Jeffrey Gettleman felt moved to explain the gulf between Washington’s rhetoric about supporting democracy and human rights, and its practice of supporting their very enemies.

“Ethiopia,” wrote Gettleman, “is hardly alone in raising difficult questions on how the United States should balance interests and principles.” Contra Gettleman, the trouble here is that there is no balance between interests and principles. US interests—which is to say the interests of the one percent—vastly outweigh principles, which is why Washington continues to support leaders like Meles and tyrants in the Gulf. Principles are simply rhetoric to cover up the rape of other countries in the pursuit of profit.

“Saudi Arabia,” continued Gettleman, “is an obvious example (of interests trumping principles), a country where women are deprived of many rights and there is almost no religious freedom. Still, it remains one of America’s closest allies in the Middle East for a simple reason: oil.”

Right, but not oil, as a resource US consumers and industry depend on that can’t be obtained elsewhere. Indeed, the United States is one of the world’s top oil producers and more than half of US oil is sourced domestically. Neighbouring Canada supplies as much oil to the United States as do all of the oil producing countries in North Africa and the Middle East combined. (10) The loss of Saudi Arabia as an ally wouldn’t leave the United States short of oil. On the contrary, Saudi Arabia is a source of only a small part of the oil the United States consumes. But it is a source of gargantuan oil profits for US businesses, not only directly, but through the recycling of petro-dollars through US banks. Saudi Arabia remains one of the United States’ closest allies in the Middle East for a simple reason: not oil itself, but for what it delivers–immense profits.

Gettleman went on to point out that, “In Africa, the United States cooperates with several governments that are essentially one-party states, dominated by a single-man, despite a commitment to promoting democracy.” (11) But he didn’t say why. If it’s oil profits in Saudi Arabia, what is it in Africa? The Wall Street Journal is more forthcoming. Meles transformed a Communist-controlled economy by “loosening up of lucrative industries” and attracting “investment in agriculture and manufacturing.” (12) In other words, he helped make US investors—the one percent— richer.

Meanwhile, leaders who have resisted their country’s exploitation by the West’s one percent have been destabilized, sanctioned, bombed, and—with the help of plenty of leftists—tarred by the blackest campaigns of vilification.

1. Jeffrey Gettleman (a), “Ethiopian leader’s death highlights gap between U.S. interests and ideals”, The New York Times, August 21, 2012.
2. Peter Wonacott, “Ethiopia in flux after leader dies”, The Wall Street Journal, August 21, 2012.
3. Wonacott
4. Gettleman (a)
5. Jeffrey Gettleman (b), “Ethiopian leader’s death highlights gap between U.S. interests and ideals”, The New York Times, August 21, 2012.
6. Gettleman (a)
7. Wonacott
8. Wonacott
9. Gettleman (a)
10. Danile Yergin, “America’s new energy security”, The Wall Street Journal, December 12, 2011; Juliet Eilperin, “Canadian government overhauling environmental rules to aid oil extraction”, The Washington Post, June 3, 2012; Sheila McNulty and Ed Crooks, “US groups unlock secret recipe for oil”, The Financial Times, March 3, 2011.
11. Gettleman (b)
12. Wonacott

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Zimbabwe: Call to intensify rural development

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May 12, 2012

Minister of State in Vice President Joice Mujuru’s Office Sylvester Nguni cuts the ribbon during the official handover of Mashumba Irrigation Scheme to the Mudzi community.

There is need to intensify development in rural areas through co-operatives and industrialisation since the areas can immensely contribute to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, a Cabinet Minister has said. Addressing hundreds of villagers during the commissioning of 122 various projects valued at US$37 million in Mudzi on Thursday, Minister of State in Vice President Joice Mujuru’s office Sylvester Nguni described rural areas as the “bedrock” of Zimbabwe’s development.

The projects that are being carried out in Mudzi North, West and South constituencies are set to uplift the livelihoods of thousands of villagers in the drought-prone area. Community Trust Development Technology in collaboration with other non-governmental organisation is spearheading the projects, which include an irrigation scheme, dip tanks, dams construction and rehabilitation, nutrition gardens and cattle sales pens.

Said Minister Nguni: “The assets I am handing over to you are a testimony that rural communities can be a major contributor to the national economy. “Such developmental projects in rural areas have to be intensified as we continue fighting the illegal economic sanctions imposed on us by the West.”

He urged the people to work hard and desist from relying on food handouts.

“Be self-reliant. You have been given a hand by the various stakeholders and they have offered another US$15 million and 28 590 metric tones of beans, wheat and cooking oil for the continuation of the programme for another year but that does not mean we have to wait for their assistance. Let us make use of the direction they have given us and produce such that we stand on our own,” he said.

NGO’s, said Minister Nguni, should complement Government efforts and stop meddling in the country’s politics.

“I am happy to get a report from the local leadership that the NGOs working here are abiding by the laws. This should be the case countrywide not what we are seeing in other provinces where they (NGOs) are spreading the gospel of regime change. Government will not hesitate to ban such organisations for their intention is to destabilise the country politically,” he said.

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Robert Mugabe: ‘Sjambok Mzungu’ (Whip of the White Man)

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The following article below was originally published by the Sons of Malcolm news blog: 

By Garikai Chengu
May 10, 2012

A young Robert Mugabe once remarked that if you “educate the masses, politicize the masses and instill ideology in the masses then Empire will crumble under the weight of the masses.”

For daring to politicise people Robert Mugabe endured a decade in Ian Smith’s jails. During this time Mugabe continued educating the masses and himself, obtaining several degrees. The world’s most educated Head of State knew that all three revolutions revolve around education: the first that frees the native’s mind. The second that captures the State House and the third that transfers economic power from the white minority to the black majority.

Comrade Mugabe often notes that his greatest weapon in the trenches against white minority rule was the politicised mind of the masses. The comrades on the front line, the villagers that harboured the comrades, the musicians and ideologues that graced all night politicisation vigils or “Pungwes”organised by villagers, the native financiers that bankrolled the vigils and supplies for comrades on the front line – all played a part in liberating Zimbabwean minds and inevitably territory.

Robert Mugabe carried the radicalism and militancy needed to overthrow white minority rule into office and he has consistently applied that same militancy to democratising the economy. This unwavering quest for political as well as economic democratisation is the essence of Mugabeism.

Cde Mugabe’s socialist “Education-For-All” policy adopted at independence – much to the chagrin of the IMF – is the reason why Zimbabwe has the highest literacy rate in Africa.

A hungry man will gnaw away at his ideals. Whitehall knows this. As such, the British sought to bring down Cde Mugabe’s socialist project by way of illegal economic sanctions. The prevailing level of education amongst Zimbabweans meant that the people knew who their true enemy was. Infact, far from gnawing away at pro-people ideals at the ballot box, Zimbabweans are set to resoundingly re-elect Cde Mugabe in a matter of months.

At independence, a staggering 42% of Zimbabwe’s land area was owned by just 4000 white farmers. Today that land has been divvied up amongst 413,000 black households. Benefiting 1,000,000 people – who have been part of the largest demographic movement in southern Africa in the past decade. A bloodless revolution if ever there was one.

70 per cent of the redistributed land has benefited 270,000 poor rural families and their urban counterparts, who on average have acquired 20 hectares of land.

If President Mugabe has simply dished out this land to “cousins and cronies” as British media would have us believe, then 1 million beneficiaries or 1 million “cousins of Mugabe” will make election night a long one for the British establishment.

Despite recurrent droughts and dry spells and sanctions induced lack of capital, Land Democratisation has been a resounding success. Thanks to new black farmers, today Zimbabwe boasts the fastest growing agricultural sector (19.8%) in the world.

The final chapter in the ongoing struggle for economic independence is Cde Mugabe’s Indigenastion and Economic Empowerment Legislation. Today Zimbabwe also boasts the fastest growing mining sector (44%) in the world and Indigenisation is set to create a Sovereign Mineral Wealth fund. The economic democratisation programme will also transfer 51% ownership of all corporations to the black majority; establish Community Share Ownership Trusts and Employee Share Ownership Schemes.

The National Economic Empowerment board estimates that over the next five years Indigenisation will transfer $3billion dollars from predominantly foreign owners to local employees and communities. Indigenisation is also set to create 1 million jobs. In short, Indigenisation shall re-orient Zimbabwe’s economy to put poor before profiteer.

Robert Mugabe is affectionately known by the common man up and down the African continent as “sjambok mzungu” or “whip of the white man.” The west loathes President Mugabe because his policies have the power to transform Zimbabwe into a truly independent, egalitarian and prosperous socialist nation. Whitehall and Washington also detest Mugabeism because its resource nationalism will invariably encourage neighbours to follow suite.

In short, Mugabeism is an ideology that believes in transferring not only political power from the minority elite to the masses but also an unwavering commitment to the transfer of the means of production – land, minerals and corporations – from the privileged few to the downtrodden many.

Robert Mugabe’s western detractors waste no opportunity to remind the world of his mortality. So much so that the western media’s rather macabre practice of “Mugabe watching” has been elevated to somewhere between a fetish and a creed.

Robert Mugabe’s supporters, however, also waste no opportunity to remind detractors of the irrelevance of President Mugabe’s mortality: a leader that rules by way of politicising the masses, economically empowering the masses and instilling ideology in the masses shall continue to rule from the grave.

Garikai Chengu is a graduate student at Harvard University and author of – The Black Man’s Burden: A manifesto for an African Century, 2013. He can be contacted on garikai.chengu@gmail.com

Zambian President Sata slams Western-backed illegal sanctions against Zimbabwe

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April 27, 2012

Zambian President Michael Sata (left) listens to National Museums and Monuments curator Rumbidzai Bvira (centre) while Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi looks on during a tour of the National Heroes Acre in Harare yesterday.

Zambian President Michael Sata yes­terday bemoaned the effects of illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by Western countries.

He also supported the land reform programme, saying the liberation strug­gle would have been in vain had land remained in the hands of a few.

President Sata said Zimbabwe’s econ­omy could perform much better with­out the illegal sanctions. He made the remarks during a tour of Dairibord Zimbabwe Limited. “Zimbabwe is surviving under harsh conditions because of sanctions. If there were no sanctions, they (Dairibord) would do very much better than this.”

The Zambian leader, who was elected into office in September last year, said entrepreneurs in his country had a lot to learn from Dairibord. “We need to get some of those people to come and see how their friends are doing here,” he said.

He pledged to create business for Dairibord in Zambia.

President Sata was in a jovial mood and cracked jokes throughout his tour. On noticing Deputy Prime Minister Professor Arthur Mutambara’s name and signature in Dairibord’s visitors’ book, he said: “Mutambara was Acting Prime Minister, where was the Prime Minister? Why was he acting PM?”

President Sata has always advocated the removal of sanctions that have affected Government efforts to turn­around the economy. He later toured Tyron Farm in Mashonaland East Province owned Cde Noah Mangondo where he threw his weight behind the country’s agrarian reforms.

“You should not be cheated, the whole world survives on land. America is what it is because of land. The fight for Zimbabwe would have been in vain if land did not go back to where it belonged.”

President Sata was addressing people gathered at the farm to welcome him. “This is the first country we are pay­ing a State visit because we think like you people,” he said.

“Pamberi naJongwe,” a feast-waving President Sata said. He urged farmers to put land allo­cated to them to good use.

Mashonaland East Governor and Resident Minister Aeneas Chigwedere said contrary to reports in the interna­tional media that farms allocated to blacks were lying idle, Zimbabweans were fully utilising the land.

“We are here to show you what some of us are able to do to utilise the land,” he said.

“When you are out there you are told that former white-owned farms are lying derelict but this is evidence that a lot is happening. Africans are closely attached to their land.”

President Sata also toured the National Heroes Acre in Harare accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi. He laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and commended Zim­babwe for according its heroes a proper burial. “It is a good idea to remember those who lost their lives in the struggle,” Pres­ident Sata said. “It is encouraging that in all of Africa, it is only Zimbabwe and Namibia that have Heroes Acres.”

President Sata said some people were enjoying the benefits of independence out of sacrifices made by Zimbabwe’s gallant sons and daughters. He recognised a number of heroes buried at the national shrine, including Cdes Herbert Chitepo, Samuel Parirenyatwa, Julia Zvobgo and Mark Dube.

“Some of the people buried here I saw them physically,” he said. When he reached the grave of Zanla Commander General Josiah Tongogara, he quipped: “Everybody feared him.”

President Sata cracked jokes while touring the National Heroes Acre.

On realising that there were more male heroes than females buried at the national shrine, he jokingly said: “This is discrimination. We need more women to die.”

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Zimbabwe: Youths must spearhead economic development

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April 26, 2012

Members of the ZANU-PF Youth League holding a demonstration in support of their govt. and the indigenous land reforms.

Youths have the potential to contribute to national social and economic development and must be placed at the forefront of economic revival, a Cabinet minister has said.

In a speech read on his behalf by Mashonaland Central Governor and Resident Minister Advocate Martin Dinha at a field day on Tuesday, Youth, Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere said it was Government’s responsibility to ensure youths are economically empowered.

The field day, held at Sunridge Farm in Mazowe, was attended by stakeholders in the agriculture sector.

“The mandate of the Government through my ministry is to ensure that youths and indigenous Zimbabweans are economically empowered through entrepreneurship and business development,” Minister Kasukuwere said.

“Youths face challenges of not having the right knowledge and skills to start businesses and also not having equipment and loans to run their businesses.”

Minister Kasukuwere said his ministry had programmes to help youths identify viable businesses in the areas they live and these programmes try to reach every ward in Zimbabwe.

A group of 61 youths that was resettled on Sunridge Farm in 2003 hosted the field day in which they showcased their potential to produce effectively given proper support.

They are producing various crops that include maize, soya beans, butternuts, sugar beans and flowers.

The youths have so far made notable achievements and have acquired 102 head of cattle.

They fall under the Youth In Farming Organisation that is represented in all provinces.

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ZANU-PF declares two members liberation war heroes

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April 25, 2012

Zanu-PF has declared two of its four members who died in a car crash while conducting party district elections in Gutu over the weekend liberation war heroes. This was in recognition of the role they played before and after independence. Provincial executive committee member, Cde Elizabeth Shudu (46) of Chipimbi Village in Chiredzi and Gutu district ex-detainees chairperson, Cde Alois Puraje (63) of Old Location in Mpandawana, died on the spot while Cde Tsungai Mutakwa (40) of Zvavahera Village in Gutu and  Stanley Munengerwa (39) of Mpandawana in Gutu, died on admission at Gutu Mission Hospital.

Their car, a Land Cruiser, veered off the road and plunged into a river last weekend. Two other Zanu-PF members sustained severe injuries and are hospitalised at Gutu Mission Hospital. The Land Cruiser belongs to Masvingo Governor and Resident Minister Titus Maluleke. Zanu-PF Masvingo provincial chairman Cde Lovemore Matuke, yesterday said Cdes Shudu and Puraje had been declared liberation war heroes after considering their sterling work in freeing Zimbabwe.

Cde Matuke said Cde Puraje will be buried in Gutu this week while Cde Shudu will be buried in Chiredzi on Saturday.

“We declared Cde Shudu and Cde Puraje as liberation heroes because of the roles they played in making sure Zimbabwe was freed from the yoke of colonial tyranny through our independence and also for the work they continued to do even after independence seeking the betterment of lives of the majority.

“Cde Puraje spend over eight years in jail after he was arrested by the Ian Smith regime for assisting freedom fighters during our country’s independence and he was chairman of ex-detainees Gutu district chapter.

Cde Shudu was a reputable war collaborator who assisted guerrillas with food and uniforms during our struggle for independence and continued to serve the party Zanu PF with distinction even after independence and was aparty provincial executive member at the time of her death,’’ said Cde Matuke.

Source

President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe’s speech on country’s 32nd anniversary of sovereignty

Standard

April 18, 2012

Honourable Vice President Joice Teurai Ropa Mujuru, Honourable Vice President John Landa Nkomo, Honourable Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Honourable Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara and Mai Mutambara, Honourable Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe, Mai Muzenda, Honourable President of the Senate, Mai Edna Madzongwe, honourable Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr Lovemore Moyo, Honourable Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, honourable Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, Honourable Ministers, Honourable Members of Parliament, Service Chiefs, His Worship the Mayor of Harare, Muchadeyi Masunda, families of heroes of the Zimbabwe Liberation struggle, representatives of different political parties present, your Excellencies Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Performing Artists joining us on this Day,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Comrades and Friends.

I welcome all those of you who are here today and the many other thousands following today’s events through other sources of information dissemination, with the great sense of national pride with which we celebrate this occasion. As we are aware, Independence Day is one of the special, indelible days in our history as a country, a day that cannot lose its value nor its importance, for it stands unchanging as a signal of our victory over imperialism , colonialism and racial subjugation. Because of this historic day, first celebrated in April 1980, our people cannot be regarded, much less, treated, as second –class citizens, in their land anymore.

Gradually over the years, in different, phased programmes, and as a united people, we have transformed that political independence which came on the 18th of April 1980 and raised it onto the next step of economically empowering our people. We are not dreamers anymore –we are now masters of our destiny. My gratitude and that of the leaders here, goes to the people of Zimbabwe, who have refused to be divided by the same enemy they encountered yesterday who, today, like the cunning wolf, comes in sheep’s clothing.

We can never forget the difficulties and the barbarous treatment that marked the road to the freedom we enjoy today. It was long, bloody arduous and protracted. It thus took commitment , focus and great sacrifices for our people to effect the complete liberation of this country which Ian Smith had, in his small mind, thought could never be ruled by blacks – certainly, not in a thousand years as he had proclaimed . oh, yes, our sons and daughters backed by their mothers and fathers, scarred physically and emotionally, fought valiantly to dislodge the strongly fortified and arrogant racist settler regime. All of us in this country, whatever our ethnic and cultural backgrounds are proud inheritors of that legacy of total sovereign independence, with all its freedoms and ownership of natural resources.

I say, congratulations, to you all on the attainment of this 32nd Anniversary of our Independence.

But sovereign independence also imposes on us certain obligations and responsibilities as leaders and as ordinary citizens. Thus the security and welfare of every citizen needs to be guaranteed at every stage of our development. Every one of us has the right to life. In this regard, government must fight hunger. Government is aware that while the early rains initially raised the prospects of a good harvest, many parts of the country subsequently succumbed to a devastating dry spell. Provinces such as Masvingo, Matabeleland South and North, parts of Manicaland and Mashonaland East will require some food assistance. Government has accordingly decided that the Grain Loan Scheme and the Free Assistance Programme will be extended until next season in order to assist those of our people in food insecure areas.

As a precautionary measure, government has set aside funding for food shortage mitigation programmes in the affected areas.Government also continues to enhance social safety net programmes targeting children, particularly orphaned and vulnerable, children.

The initiative to create a peaceful environment has recorded some success and those leading the process should be commended for a job well done. Peace is an inevitable pre-requisite for sustainable development in the country. To this extent, all political party leaders should encourage their supporters to promote the spirit of peace, tranquillity and harmony through social dialogue.

Finalization of the Constitution-making Process needs to be hastened. The Principals sin the Global Political Agreement will be examining the Draft Constitution so it can soon be put before the people in a Referendum marking the beginning of a definite process towards general elections this year.

Efforts to create the necessary environment for rapid and sustainable economic growth have been thwarted by the continuedillegal sanctions imposed by Britain, the United States of America, the European Union and other Western nations. This has in turn frustrated the steady economic recovery efforts through impediments to Zimbabwe’s access to world commodity markets and critical conscessionary funding facilities which are important for rehabilitating infrastructure, industry and the importation of essential industrial raw materials and spare parts.

Comrade Julius Malema, President of the ANC Youth League, declaring solidarity to President Mugabe and the ZANU-PF.

It is in this context that we call upon those responsible for imposing these sanctions to urgently remove them unconditionally. On this very important matter, we sho9uld speak with one voice as a nation.

Notwithstanding the challenges we have endured, I am happy that the economy has continued to register positive economicperformance. Last year, growth was estimated at 9,3 percent underpinned mainly by agriculture, mining, manufacturing, tourism and financial services. Production of major commodities in agriculture, which included tobacco, cotton, livestock and Soya beans, recorded a significant rise.

In manufacturing, capacity utilisation levels which averaged 38 percent in 2010 peaked at around 54 percent last year. This development resulted in the further availability of locally produced goods on the domestic market. To further stimulate industrial growth and development, government simultaneously launched the Industrial Development Policy (2012-2016) and the National Trade Policy (2012-2016) last month. The Industrial Development Policy will provide new impetus for industrialisation and sustainable industrial development by promoting value addition for both domestic and export markets and align the country with global trends. The National Trade Policy is expected to provide the framework for all trade negotiations and agreements for the country at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels.

Mining continues to be on an upward trend, as reflected by increases in the production of gold, platinum, diamonds and coal. We need more facilities for the local processing of our mineral output in order to maximise on value and to provide employment for our people.

As a major sign of confidence in our tourism industry, Zimbabwe and Zambia won the bid to co-host the 20th Session of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly in Victoria Falls next year. Preparations to host this very important occasion are at an advanced stage. I would like to urge the nation to support the initiative as it carries immense benefits through new investments, employment creation and income generation. This year, Zimbabwe will conduct its fourth Census, from the 18thto the 28th of August 2012. The main aim of the Census is to provide demographic and socio-economic data required in the formulation, monitoring and evaluation of development plans and programmes. I wish to call upon every Zimbabwean to fully support this process and ensure that we have a successful 2012 National Population Census.

The recent launch of the Presidential –eLearning Programmes at Chogugudza Primary School in Mashonaland East Province is clear testimony to Government’s commitment to providing quality education to our children. Throughout 2012 and beyond, Government will intensify the introduction of the Programme at our schools, tertiary institutions and universities.

The implementation of the indigenisation and empowerment policy continues to gather momentum through the implementation of various programmes such as the community Share Ownership Schemes which ensure that communities benefit from the resources found in their areas. Such Schemes have been established at Zimplats, to cater for Zvimba-Mhondoro-Ngezi-Chegutu, the Unki and Mimosa Schemes in Shurugwi and Zvishavane and the Schweppes Employee Scheme. The Small and mediu7m Enterprises sector (SMEs) will continue to receive Government attention for the potential it has towards poverty eradication and the empowerment of communities.

Government takes the welfare of its employees seriously and is committed to improving their conditions of service in tandem with improvements in the economy. To this end, the Civil Service Housing Loan Facility has been re –introduced and will help civil servants to acquire houses and stands on a home ownership basis.

In the health sector, the number of people on anti-retroviral treatment for HIV/Aids increased to 410 000 last October . malaria control programmes now cover 89 percent in 45 target districts while immunisation of children exceeded 85 percent. Loss of critical health staff such as doctors and specialist nurses to the private sector is adversely affecting health delivery.

To meet the growing demand for higher education, preparations have begun for the establishment of the Marondera University of Agriculture Science in Mashonaland East; Manicaland University of Applied Sciences and the Gwanda State University in Matabeleland South. In this way, we would have brought on board the three remaining provinces that were still to have a State university each.

Zimbabwe’s foreign policy objective is anchored on safeguarding the country’s hard-won Independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. In pursuit of these core values, Zimbabwe continues to strengthen and further deepen its relations with various countries in the Southern African Development Community, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the African Union, Asia and Latin America through the framework of strategic bilateral Joint Commissions and regional cooperation meetings. The Look East policy is an important consideration on our agenda as it continues to bear fruit both politically and economically.

On the international front, Zimbabwe is concerned that some Western countries continue to abuse the United Nations Security Council and regional oganisations in pursuit of subtle and dirty regime change agendas under the guise of supporting democracy, rule of law and human rights.

In this context, Zimbabwe will continue to call for the urgent reform of the United Nations Security Council to make it more representative of the majority of Member States.

The commitment of our defence and security forces to maintaining peace and security in Zimbabwe and beyond is always applauded. I wish to encourage them to carry on the good work in various local, regional and international peace-keeping United Nations and African Union assignments.

Now, as we look forward to the coming years, I would like to avail myself of this opportunity to wish our dear nation a happy 32ndIndependence Day Anniversary!

Makorokoto!

Amhlophe!

Congratulations!

I thank you.

Source

ZANU-PF secretary Cde Chombo: ‘Govt. won’t allow white settler farmers back into land’

Standard

April 16, 2012

ZANU-PF Secretary Cde Ignatius Chombo

Government will never allow white former commercial farmers ousted under the Land Reform Programme to return, Zanu-PF secretary for land reforms and resettlement Cde Ignatius Chombo has said.

Addressing journalists in Harare last week, Cde Chombo said the land reform programme was irreversible.

He said Zimbabweans owning the land should drive Zimbabwe’s economy without interference from the white farmers.

“Some quarters, both local and international, continue to entertain the possibility of the return of the white settler farmers to the land appropriated in terms of the laws of Zimbabwe for equitable redistribution to the indigenous people of Zimbabwe,” he said.

“Our people are now on the land and are committed to ensure optimum utilisation of this valuable Zimbabwean resource.” Cde Cho-mbo said Zimbabwe was beginning to reap the fruits of the land reform.

“After the land reform programme, we have seen a transformation in our agricultural sector with numerous success stories in tobacco, cotton, livestock and even horticultural sectors,” he said.

“We need not remind our detractors that people went to war in order to reclaim, not just our independence but also our land.”

He said it was “wishful thinking” for people to imagine that whites would be given a chance to appropriate the land.

Source