The Herald (Harare)

2 July 2013

Zimbabwe: Time to Defend Our Birthright

opinion

I hope most Zimbabweans have been closely following the events in Libya. The peace and stability that characterised the reign of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is now gone.

Much of what was a modern country with a flourishing industry and sound infrastructure is also no more. It is now history.

The much revered Libya of yesteryear is now history. Badly damaged buildings, ragged infrastructure, armoured tank shells destroyed during the war and the untold suffering of the ordinary Libyans are the remnants of an imperial attack on a sovereign state.

Sadly, the destruction of Libya was orchestrated by foreigners with the approval and betrayal of some African leaders whom the continent expected to defend one of their own. It still pains Africa that our brothers failed to ingeniously read and interpret the surreptitious machinations and intentions of the European Union manipulating the United Nations.

The African brothers unwittingly and unashamedly sanctioned the bombing and destruction of a modern country with a viable economy. Our African leaders from Nigeria and South Africa failed dismally to fully comprehend the consequences of their decisions.

They flagrantly voted with the enemy -- gleefully casting ballots that authorised what they myopically perceived to be a vote for "the enforcement of a no fly zone over Libya and the protection of civilians."

What then followed that ballot -- the mere "X" some of us want to take for granted here in Zimbabwe -- was the routing and destruction of Libya coupled with the wanton, reckless and barbaric killing of its people and leadership. Fellow Zimbabweans, the ruins lying in Libya today were not very long ago a modern and fast developing country that owed this world not a penny.

The rich North African country was the envy of many in the so-called developed world and a direct challenge to the canny British and Americans and their allies, who still regard Africans as feeble-minded creatures and Arabs in particular as arrogant, non-compliant and engulfed in primitivity.

To the Western world, Gaddafi posed a great threat by seeking to create a United African continent sharing the same Pan-African values, ideals and aspirations.

Colonel Gaddafi had shown that potential when he successfully championed for the transformation of the Organisation of African Union into a more coherent African Union.

The inevitability of creating a truly united Africa which was further enhanced by Libya's own assertiveness in African and regional affairs scared the Western world to the marrow.

Running the economy the size of Libya without any foreign debt was something incomprehensible to the Western communities.

How could Gaddafi manage to run such a successful country which would be emulated by all progressive communities of the world without any help from foreign powers? That on its own remains an anathema to the Western world. Gaddafi had stolen their credit by bringing peace and development to Libya.

Gaddafi was therefore being arrogant by showing the European Union how African countries can build successful, vibrant economies and progressive nations without any assistance from the Western countries.

To them, he was setting a dangerous precedent that needed to be quashed at all costs.

The Colonel had committed a terrible sin in the eyes of the Western powers, hence he was to be gotten rid of. All the lame accusations of Colonel Gaddafi being a dictator and oppressive to his people were a mere creation of the West.

These blatant falsehoods were created to provide a justifiable excuse to invade Libya and sponsor surrogate forces that sought to depose Gaddafi.

There is nothing uncommon about the actions of the West. They are notorious and renowned for this.

They killed in Iraq; they killed in Afghanistan and today they are still killing in Syria by sponsoring surrogate forces opposed to president Bashar al-Assad.

But for some African leaders to stand on the side of foreigners and Western puppets, blessing the invasion of a fellow African country is more than betrayal and borders on crass stupidity!

How else does one explain such glaring shortcomings? Today, we witness similar concerns at home.

Some of our Sadc brothers unwittingly urged Zanu-PF to address the concerns of the Western world through the MDC formations. At the same forum they ignored concerns raised by Zanu-PF as if they have already been addressed, sanctions being a case in point.

Shameless insinuations that there are issues in Zimbabwe's political arena that need to be addressed before credible elections are conducted are naive and misplaced. This is a Western agenda driven by the MDCs in order to depose President Mugabe and Zanu-PF.

His sin, like Gaddafi, is challenging white supremacy and empowering indigenous Zimbabweans.

The political arena will never be, even not because of Zanu-PF, but owing to the activities of the MDC parties and their Western handlers.

These are the same culprits that invited the economic strangulation of Zimbabwe.

According to the European Union in a commentary contained in a document entitled: Zimbabwe -- a conflict study of a country without direction; the authors wrote: "Without economic deterioration, there would hardly be any social unrest, without social protest, there would be no pressure for political change and without political change the economic issues cannot be effectively addressed". The MDC (before its split) and its allies deliberately set to achieve regime change in Zimbabwe by fuelling dissatisfaction and social unrest as a result of economic strangulation of the country.

The economy was supposed to scream in order to depose President Mugabe from power.

Fellow Zimbabweans, bear in mind that before the imposition of sanctions, Zanu-PF implemented numerous programmes aimed at improving the lives of the ordinary Zimbabweans. No doubt, the party legislated many changes, which eliminated the numerous inequalities of the colonial epoch.

The policy thrust of Zanu-PF aimed to:

Consolidate the gains of Independence and the liberation struggle;

Correct colonial imbalances as reflected by political, economic and social institutions; and

Economic development and empowerment of the black majority. Various services were extended to sections of the society hitherto excluded. There is no doubt that without the illegal sanctions, the economy would have witnessed a vast expansion of agriculture particularly through the entry into the market of formerly marginalised communal farmers. But, all these programmes were stifled by the illegal sanctions invited by the MDCs led by Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube.

The imposition of sanctions at the behest of the MDC parties seriously derailed Zanu-PF's efforts in improving the livelihoods of Zimbabweans through creating employment and easing rural to urban migration.

The concept of Growth Points that had been introduced by the government of Zanu-PF and which led to the flourishing of business centres all over the country boosted by rural electrification programmes came to an abrupt and tragic halt. Small business enterprises that used to get support at national government level, impacting positively on the standard of living of the communities were also seriously affected by the imposition of these illegal sanctions.

How do the MDC parties level such a badly skewed playing field? The fairness that the MDC formations clamour for should relate to all parties that are contesting the elections. Why should all odds be against Zanu-PF? The MDC formations and their cohorts in their quest to remove Zanu-PF from power created a rugged and tilted political playing field as early as 1999.

If Zanu-PF was not a firmly grounded revolutionary party, it would have sunk into oblivion. The complaint that the public media is favouring Zanu-PF is nonsensical. We are all aware of the barrage of criticism of Zanu-PF propagated by numerous private media not to mention the pirate radio stations that continue to beam anti-Zanu-PF propaganda undeterred into our airwaves.

The private media are assisted by the uncouth Non Governmental Organisations which are also proxy of western nations all bent on removing President Mugabe and Zanu-PF from power. The MDC formations are simply trying to outwit Zanu-PF by raising frivolous issues which should not be entertained by patriotic Zimbabweans.

It will be foolhardy for the sons and daughters of the soil to buy into the so-called reforms. Fellow Zimbabweans, the immeasurable suffering being borne by Libyans today is a result of some bad decisions made by certain African leaders.

Though they later regretted their decisions, irreparable damage had been done to the innocent lives and people of Libya. In this regard, let us jealously guard against a similar predicament befalling our beloved country. Some people are too slow to comprehend the consequences of their actions and therefore we need to be wary of their advice. We should not be victims of our forefathers' exhortation.

Gentle reader, these same brothers later shamefully claimed that in voting for the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya, they did not know that they had supported the bombing and routing of civilians and destruction of Libya. Later they will say also about Zimbabwe, "we were not aware that we were supporting an imperialist takeover of the country".

Then there is this foolish and childish talk that Service Chiefs make public pronouncements that they will support any leader or party that wins the forthcoming elections, really! Where in the world has this ever happened? If there are any public pronouncements to be made, they should come from the MDCs apologising to the nation that they brought suffering and misery to the country by inviting the illegal sanctions -- period.

Fellow Zimbabweans, time has come for us to resoundingly defend our birth right in the forth coming elections. Let us stand up as a nation and emphatically say: "Zimbabwe will never be a colony again."

Rasputin Masamba is a political analyst based in Harare.

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