ZANU-PF supporters call for the expulsion of a British official accused of slandering the ruling party and President Robert Mugabe.
Originally uploaded by Pan-African News Wire File Photos.
We think that your position is not based on the actual situation in Zimbabwe and the entire sub-region of southern Africa. Once again we believe that your principal struggle should be waged against the settler-colonial regime in Australia, which is a junior partner of the other imperialist nations such as the US, UK, EU, etc.
Objectively your position, if realized, would create a more liberalized economy in Zimbabwe and effectively return the confiscated land to the white settlers, which is what the MDC and the ZCTU leadership is advocating. They are financed by the imperialists and take their instructions from Washington and London. We cannot support Zimbabwe going the same way as Ghana after Nkrumah, Guinea, Chile, Somalia, etc., where counter-revolutionary coups were ochrestrated by the CIA, the US State Department and the British MI-6, etc.
Included below are two articles which describe the position of progressive Africans in the United States, among others, detailing why they support the ZANU-PF Government and oppose the CIA-CNN campaign to create confusion in the country and the region.
One article is written by the PANW editor and was published in the most recent issue of the Black Star News, a weekly African-American paper in New York City. The article was reprinted yesterday in the Zimbabwe Herald, the leading newspaper in the country as well as other publications and web sites. The other article and letter was written by the editor and publisher of the Black Scholar, a longtime journal which examines issues relevant to the pan-african world since 1969.
Thank you for your comments. We think your positions on other issues are commendable but we strongly disagree with your stand on Zimbabwe and African affairs.
Pan-African News Wire
Link to Black Star News Article on Zimbabwe by the PANW Editor
The Black Scholar Editorial on Zimbabwe
Submitted to Portside
by the Author ===
I think you are off the mark in your April 3 position on Zimbabwe. But that is understandable, in view of the massive disinformation that Blair, Bush, the EU have been dispersing.
The simple fact is that Britain welshed on its Lancaster House agreement to "buy out" white farmers and compensate them for land they had stolen from Zimbabwe some 100 years previously, when the country was a fiefdom of Cecil Rhodes and called "Rhodesia." and thus permit Zimbabwe to repossess its land and income without confrontation.
Mugabe/ZANU inherited a nation whose black population was impoverished [1 % of the population--whites--owned 70% of the arable land.] Zimbabwe then borrowed money from IMF, got into the structural adjustment squeeze even though it has met wage demands as possible.
At the same time, international capital began the destabilization strategy of inflating an opposition, supporting spurious demonstrations, and playing the human rights card, strategies already deployed in Chile, Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Poland to eliminate legitimate administrations.
This campaign ignores the fact that Mugabe had been elected
twice in elections that were deemed fair by international agencies. It also dismisses the Africans' right to self-determination, and ignores the fact that in late March, the leaders at the two-day Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit in Dar es Salaam took measures,asking South African President Thabo Mbeki to help promote dialogue between ZANU and MDC. (AllAfrica.com)
I would suggest that you research a bit more deeply into the roots of the Zimbabwe crisis, and the morphing of the front line states into SADC, which advocates economic regionalism, political cooperation and respects the independence of its members.
Separately, I am sending you an editorial I wrote on this subject that will be published in Volume 37 No. 2 of THE BLACK SCHOLAR.
Robert Chrisman, Ph.D.,
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher,
THE BLACK SCHOLAR
ZIMBABWE: THE LONG STRUGGLE
by Robert Chrisman, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher
THE BLACK SCHOLAR,
VOL. 37 #1
BLACKS IN AMERICA have supported the Zimbabwe Liberation movement, both from our ideology of Pan-Africanism as well as from our identification with oppressed people in emerging countries. This issue of The Black Scholar explores the current crises in Zimbabwe to develop deeper understanding of issues within that embattled country. We give our thanks to the scholars and activists who have contributed their various viewpoints of this complex situation.
Upon its independence and the ascendancy of ZANU's Robert Mugabe to its presidency in 1980, Zimbabwe's main economic resources, particularly agriculture, remained in the possession of white farmers who refused to release the spoils of Cecil Rhodes' policies: one percent of the population owned 70 percent of the arable land.
As part of the peace settlement negotiated at Lancaster House, 1979-80, which involved the US, Britain had promised to subsidize the buy-out of these farmers but did not provide funds to pay them and equivocated on terms, insisting on 'willing buyer-willing seller,' and 'full-market value' for land.
White farmers remained in possession of the land. On November 6, 1997 British Labour Secretary Clare Short sent a letter to Kumbirai Kangai, Minister of Agriculture in Zimbabwe, in which she stated that, 'We do not accept that Britain has a special responsibility to meet the costs of land purchase in Zimbabwe.'
CORRECTING THE ECONOMIC and social welfare inequities for blacks left over by the white Ian Smith regime (temporarily solved by securing foreign credits), and a severe drought, forced Zimbabwe to enter a structural adjustment program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1990.
Structural adjustment typically mandates laissez faire capitalism (disingenuously called 'neoliberalism'), privatization, and the reduction of social welfare. Since implementing these measures Zimbabwe's conditions have deteriorated drastically. Writing of this adjustment, political economist Antonia Juhasz states:
In order to radically reduce government spending, the government fired tens of thousands of workers, gutted the pay of those who remained and drastically reduced spending on social programs. At the same time, taxes were reduced (the idea being to encourage both increased spending and businesses to locate to Zimbabwe), and the country was opened to foreign competition-hitting the manufacturing sector. Both employment and real wages declined sharply.
During 1991-1996, manufacturing employment fell by 9 percent and wages dropped by 26 percent. Public sector employment fell by 23 percent, with wages dropping by 40 percent. (Juhasz, 'The Tragic Tale of the IMF in Zimbabwe,' Daily Mirror of Zimbabwe, March 7, 2004)
The privatization of health care has had disastrous consequences for AIDS/HIV treatment in Zimbabwe:
While campaigns to prevent and treat HIV in other African nations benefit from international aid, the political situation in Zimbabwe has caused most foreign donors either to decrease aid for the country or halt it altogether. The United States, Australia and the European Union have also imposed economic sanctions on Zimbabwe.
The neighboring nation of Zambia, which has a similar HIV prevalence rate, receives around US $187 per HIV-positive person annually from foreign donors; in Zimbabwe, the figure is estimated to be just $4. (Graham Pembrey, 'HIV and AIDS in Zimbabwe,' Avert.org)
Clinics and individuals cannot afford to buy the needed drugs. Even so, on their own initiative, the Zimbabwean government and people have reduced incidence from 25 percent to 20 percent.
ZIMBABWE HAS BEEN SUBJECT to a two-pronged destabilization program led by the United States, United Kingdom and the European Union-1) economic sanctions and 2) a relentless propaganda barrage. Allegations against Zimbabwe of torture, cruelty, and abuse resemble similar Western orchestrations against Cuba, the German Democratic Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Nicaragua, North Korea, Palestine, Poland, and other countries targeted for economic, political, or military assault.
The goal is not economic justice for citizens but the creation of a national bourgeoisie which serves Western global interests, not those of its own people. A notable case is the Mexican crisis, brought about by the neoliberal polices of former president Vicente Fox and NAFTA.
THROUGH ELECTIONS Mugabe has remained in power, but as is often the case when an independent or non-Western force prevails, its legitimacy is contested by pro-Western international and domestic forces. 'Democracy' in this context often means penetration of the nation by international capital, which ignores the fact that the primary issue is self-determination, not democracy.
However, a country's cooperation with global capitalism does not mean sharing in its profits. As Moamar Gaddafi stated March 2, 2007, the 30th anniversary of his declaration of a Jamahiriyah or 'state of the masses,' the West has yet to provide economic aid to Libya, despite its retreat from nuclear programs:
The prevailing powers today are in the hands of those who have economic and military power which puts fear in others. They can make you starve. They can close the doors for your exports of raw materials such as coffee or oil. . . . This is an international dictatorship that is being practiced against people, especially poor people. (William MacLean, Reuters, 'Gaddafi Says Fear Drives World Economic System,' Reuters.)
For example, with the destruction of the Iraq nation state headed by Saddam Hussein-to create 'democracy'-its nationalized oil policy was destroyed to permit the plunder of the rich Iraq oil fields, which are to be divided among ethnic and religious factions, with the global West controlling their markets.
Writes Pepe Escobar, 'Sixty-five of Iraq's roughly 80 oilfields already known will be offered for Big Oil to exploit. Iraq has as many as 70 undeveloped fields--small' ones hold a minimum of a billion barrels. As desert western Iraq has not even been exploited, reserves may reach 300 billion barrels' (Escobar, 'US's Iraq Oil Grab is a Done Deal,' Asia Times Online, February 28, 2007).
The Road Ahead
ZIMBABWE'S PROGRESS toward true independence and self-determination has been hamstrung by the Draconian measures of economic sanctions, IMF schedules, and international demonization. Possessing extraordinary mineral and rare earth resources and fertile agriculture, Zimbabwe must be permitted to develop and integrate its resources with other developing nations in Southern Africa. The following measures must be taken immediately:
-Forgive Zimbabwe's IMF debt. Currently Zimbabwe is 128 million dollars in arrears to the IMF. Considering that this amount is about five percent of the two billion dollars a week the US spends waging war on Iraq, debt forgiveness is a small price for securing peace and alleviating poverty and suffering.
-The US, UK, and European Union should lift their economic
sanctions on Zimbabwe. These sanctions have served no useful purpose but in fact expose the West as a group that will ruthlessly punish an emerging nation for reclaiming its patrimony of land, liberty, and the pursuit of economic and social justice.
-The demonization of Zimbabwe must stop. The whirlwind of
disinformation pouring from Western and pro-Western presses does not provide an objective, comparative context for understanding Zimbabwe's issues relative to those in other parts of the world, particularly the western surrogates in Asia and the Middle East.
-The West must stop its provocative campaign for regime change and respect the national and regional autonomy of Zimbabwe, as Russia, China, South Africa, and the African Union have done. The continuing escalation of the West's belligerence and sanctions against independent, sovereign countries at the same time it offers a bait and switch of 'free elections and democracy,' offers a caution for blacks in America.
The cause of social and economic justice in Zimbabwe is best served by the elimination of sanctions, the cessation of the propaganda war, and the forgiveness of the IMF debt. Such measures will allow Zimbabwe to solve its own problems without foreign interference.