8 March 2017

Zimbabwe: President Calls for Stronger Harare, Accra Relations

President Mugabe yesterday returned from Ghana where he attended the West African country's 60th Independence celebrations on Monday and took the opportunity to call for stronger bilateral relations between Harare and Accra. He was welcomed at Harare International Airport by Vice Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, service chiefs and several Cabinet ministers and senior Government officials.

President Mugabe had an interview with Ghanaian media in Accra yesterday morning where he revealed his sadness at the rate at which other African leaders were vacillating from the principles of the continent's founding fathers.

The President also expressed his displeasure at the treatment that Ghana's founding father, Dr Kwame Nkrumah suffered from his own country after he was deposed through a coup d'etat in 1966.

US Central Intelligence Agency files declassified in 1999, revealed that the United States had been trying to influence Dr Nkrumah's overthrow since 1964 because of his pan-African views.

President Mugabe said he felt tears coming down every time he thought about the treatment Dr Nkrumah received.

"Nkrumah did not deserve that. The most cruel and brutal to Kwame Nkrumah, that coup d'etat of 1966.

"He had not done much. He had wonderful ideas, a Union of Africa. His view was that Africa must not wait until each African country has consolidated itself. If we do that, we will get countries that have entrenched themselves in nationalistic power, which we do not want to get out of, the environment of nationalist. Let's just do it once and establish the Union of African States, the American away," said President Mugabe.

He also revealed that he had talked to incumbent President Nana Akufo-Addo about the prospects for enhanced economic relations between Zimbabwe and Ghana.

"I said lets have strong bilateral talks," President Mugabe told the media.

"You have gold, we have gold. The gold belongs to you, it doesn't belong to France or the British. Our gold belongs to us, it doesn't belong to anyone else.

"You have diamonds, we have diamonds. You have oil, we don't have oil. Agriculture, you have cocoa, we don't have it. We grow tobacco."

President Mugabe said he told President Addo that Zimbabwe had trained a number of specialists such as engineers in various fields.

He said it was unfortunate that some of the Africans were working outside the continent at the expense of their citizens.

"Some are working alas in countries like Australia, Britain and not in Ghana.

"Yes, they say, they remit some money, well, their remittances are not as good as their givennes to working for their people.

"But some will come back. I hope those of Ghana will come back having built some fortune. The few who have come back from America to Zimbabwe seem to be as empty pockets as they went . . . we have to try and give them jobs.

"But we say, they are our people, we can't stop them. We need strong bilateral relations between the two countries. And what example of building strong relations was or is there than that demonstrated by Robert Mugabe and Sally Hayfron when they decided to get married?" joked President Mugabe.

He went on to narrate the ordeal that the late Amai Sally Mugabe went through during her battle with kidney problems that she succumbed to in 1992.

President Mugabe said the late Amai Sally Mugabe had to be interred at the National Heroes Acre because of the role she played during the liberation struggle among them, the formation of the Women's League.

He said it was high time African countries developed in a way that yielded benefit to ordinary people.

The President said it was unfortunate that some countries from outside the continent had come back through neo-colonialism.

"They have come back and said, 'we will help you to develop and we have said yes, yes. 'We will, help you to create employment, yes, yes. Investment well and good, but investment with what?'

"They will not just say they are mining our mines, they will say they are mining their mines whether it's Anglo American or De Beers, the diamond mines, it's our soil!

"When they dig and make those big holes, they are made in our country and when the diamonds are gone and they go back to Britain or to France or to America, they leave us with gaping holes and we have to cover the holes," said President Mugabe.


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