The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Time To Act On Foreign Aggression

While the forthcoming United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly to be co-hosted by Zimbabwe and Zambia at the Victoria Falls provides a rare and exciting opportunity for the two SADC nations to showcase their world class tourist attractions, recent pronouncements by Canada that it is withdrawing from the world tourism body is an act of aggression.

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird recently announced that his country was pulling out of the UNWTO in protest over President Robert Mugabe's appointment as a special tourism ambassador.

Such a hostile gesture by Canada towards Zimbabwe is not new. The country has hitherto been religiously campaigning for the barring of trade in Marange diamonds alleging that the gems were tainted by unfounded human rights abuses at the diamond fields.

Its civic group, Partnership Africa Canada, had been unrestrainedly publicising abrasive and unverifiable reports claiming that the Government of Zimbabwe was perpetrating human rights abuses at the Chiadzwa diamond fields and thus should be expelled from the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme and its gems blacklisted as "blood diamonds".

To further embolden its stranglehold on Zimbabwe's diamond trade, Canada and its imperial acolytes were at it again during the just ended KPCS intercessional meeting in the United States.

In order to scupper diamond trade in Zimbabwe and other developing nations, the cabal of Western aggressors wanted to push for the broadening of the definition of conflict diamonds to include the so-called "human rights issues" which they exclusively blame on countries deemed antagonistic to their hegemonic designs.

Other than this laughable proposal, Canada and its allies also wanted to outsource the KPCS secretariat to perennially biased neo-colonial organisations as an intrusive measure to continually scuttle diamond trade in revolutionary countries like Zimbabwe.

Canada's bellicose motive has always been to further strangle the besieged economy of Zimbabwe after realising that the Chiadzwa gems have become a lifeline to the country's limping economy in face of the suffocating Western sanctions.

Without losing sight of its avowed mission to vilify Zimbabwe, Canada is now targeting another pillar of the Zimbabwean economy, its tourism sector. According to the 2011 World Tourism Report, Zimbabwe's tourism sector is second in Africa after South Africa, a gargantuan feat which could substantially be boosted when the country co-hosts the UNTWO summit in August 2012.

Canada could not digest such a positive prospect for Zimbabwe hence its frenetic attempt to scupper the successful holding of the world tourism summit.

One cannot help but ask why the North American country is unremittingly acrimonious towards a peace-loving and non-aggressive African country like Zimbabwe. It is clear that Canada really has a axe to grind with Zimbabwe and has adopted economic sabotage as its weapon of choice. The question is why?

The answer could be found on Canada's political background. Canada is presently an occupied state with Queen Elizabeth II of England being its head of state. The aboriginal people of Canada have been vanquished and their land and resources expropriated by colonial settlers.

The settlers are palpably frightened by Zimbabwe because it stands as an illuminating example of how dispossessed indigenous people can repossess their sprawling resources snatched from them by the bigoted imperialist settlers. The Canadians, like all other settlers, fear the ripple effects that the resource redistribution programmes in Zimbabwe will have on other similarly disenfranchised and disinherited people of this world. Events in Zimbabwe could trigger similar actions by the aborigines of Canada.

Already the contagion effect of Zimbabwe's revolutionary efforts is being felt in South Africa, where the ANC's Youth League is now actively stoking the fires of land and mineral reclamation thus raffling the feathers of the die hard apartheid functionaries who are frantically trying to protect their ill-gotten wealth. This is what the Canadians and their other imperial acolytes want nipped in the bud before it spreads like cancerous cells to other corners of the globe.

Canada has indisputably declared war on Zimbabwe for its revolutionary pursuits. This is an open war.

In face of such belligerence, we can no longer afford to keep on giving the other cheek. It is high time we counter these acts of aggression. I stand guided by one of the resolutions at the Zanu-PF 2010 Conference in Mutare that urged "the party to take counter measures through Government against those foreign companies, institutions and entities whose home countries continue to impose and maintain sanctions against Zimbabwe, including raising the indigenisation threshold beyond the 51 percent provided in the current law."

We know that among other business interests, Canadians operate Caledonia Mine and we should ensure that such business interests are reclaimed and redistributed to indigenous people. If possible we should just sever diplomatic ties with this country just as we did with the Commonwealth group for our relationship with it is irretrievably poisoned.

Tendai Moyo is a researcher and social commentator

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