Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Zimbabwe Struggle For Empowerment Vital: Opinion & Analysis

Struggle for empowerment vital

By Chinondidyachii Chinondidya-Chinosekerera Marar
Zimbabwe Herald

IT is often said national liberation is based on the right of every people to freely control their destiny and that the objective of this liberation is national independence.

Although we do not disagree with this somewhat vague and subjective way of expressing a complex reality, we prefer to be objective, since for us the basis of national liberation, whatever the formulae adopted on the level of "international" law, it is the inalienable right of every people to have their own history and the objective of national liberation is to regain this right usurped by imperialism, that is to say, to free the process of development of the productive forces.

For this reason, in our opinion, any national liberation movement that does not take into consideration this basis and this objective may certainly struggle against imperialism, but will surely not be struggling for national liberation. Thus national liberation necessarily corresponds to a revolution.

This means that, bearing in mind the barbaric nature of especially contemporary US-led Western imperialism, characterised by ruthlessness and brutality, as well as experience already gained in the field of anti-imperialist struggles elsewhere, notably in Zimbabwe, the principal aspect of national liberation struggle is the struggle against neo-colonialism.

Yet in any struggle it is of fundamental importance to define clearly who we are, and who the enemy is. We, the people of Zimbabwe, are African people of a race martyred and scorned for centuries; we are Africans of this Africa ensnared by imperialism and colonialism for decades and, even in some cases, for centuries. We do not possess the sophisticated weapons that our enemies have; and our economies face a lot of challenges, largely because the same enemies and their agents control our resources, and this gives them opportunities to sabotage us.

But we have our own hearts, our own heads, and our own history. Yes, our own history and we emphasise that because the colonialists usually say that it was they who brought us into history. Today we show that this is not so. The fact is that the colonialists made us leave history, our history, to follow them, right at the back, to follow the progress of their history.

So when in Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Namibia, South Africa, Angola, and Zimbabwe we took up arms to liberate ourselves, we showed we could return to our history, the history which colonialism took away from us. And we return to our history on our own feet, by our own means and through our own sacrifices.

But who is this enemy who seeks to dominate and exploit us, stubbornly scorning all laws and mores of morality? Well, this enemy is not the British people, not even Britain itself; nor is it America, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Spain. The enemy is imperialism. Admittedly, many people criticise US president George W. Bush, and former and current British prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, and say bad things about them.

They are men like any other, and have failings, many major failings at that. And, yes, they are murderous fascists, and we hate them for that. But we are not fighting Bush or Blair or Brown; we are fighting neo-colonialism, a system of imperialism represented by their fascist governments. We don’t dream that when Bush or Blair or Brown disappears then Western neo-colonialism and imperialism will disappear with them.

Let us be precise: For us, revolution means the eradication of foreign domination of our culture and economy, because every other type of domination is dependent on cultural and economic domination. This domination manifests itself in economic and social marginalisation of Africans.

Therefore, transforming our present life in the direction of cultural wholeness and economic empowerment starts with the struggle against neo-colonialism, and this can be achieved in two ways: one, reclaiming African ancestral land from the settler colonists, these racist Europeans that came into our continent uninvited and with no passports or visas; in fact, with many evils; and two, ensuring that Africans, and not Europeans, were the direct beneficiaries of the resources on our continent: gold, diamonds, iron and steel, uranium, copper, cobalt, and flora and fauna.

These colonists, now settled in our midst and fatter than the Equator they crossed, seek to retain for themselves 80 percent of the best farming land in our countries, and to control and monopolise the vast and varied mineral resources on our continent — and all at the expense of the African native majorities.

In Zimbabwe we are fighting — and will fight until final victory — to achieve two major objectives: Firstly, to consolidate our land reforms, from which true Zimbabweans have benefited; and to be direct beneficiaries of mineral resources in our country and, to control the industries associated therewith. In that sense, our struggle is for the economic and social empowerment of Africans.

The certainty of our total victory over neo-colonialism, on an international level, is today evident. It was consecrated on December 8 and 9 last year at the EU-Africa summit in Portugal. The formal, moral character of this victory, in which we successfully isolated the enemy, represents a great step forward for us because this struggle is in its very essence a daily capitalisation of efforts and sacrifices capitalised by our people for their total liberation from every sort of exploitation.

Significantly, we are in the process of proving that people such as ours — economically exploited, and in other parts of Africa living sometimes almost naked — are able, through their own sacrifices and efforts, to beat the enemy who is not only more advanced from an economic and technological point of view but is also supported by USA, the world’s foremost imperialist bully.

We are also conscious of the fact that achieving final victory will not be easy. Yes, although Britain is isolated, we do not forget that it still has at its disposal powerful forces of destruction far superior to our own and that, overtly and covertly, it is aided and supported by other forces hostile to the freedom and progress of Africans: multinational corporations, NGOs, the whole civic society industry, and local economic barons. But at least for now we know that the European imperialists and their puppets are conscious of one reality: that no power in the world can shake us from our determination to accelerate the rapid and total eradication of Western domination in our country. The dialectic of imperialist exploitation has proved that today no aggressor can overcome people who are determined to win back their freedom.

Thus, before the world and before Africa we ask: were the British right when they claimed that we were uncivilised peoples, people without culture? We ask: what is the most striking manifestation of civilisation and culture if not shown by a people who took up arms to defend their right to life, its right to sovereignty and to economic emancipation?

In 1980, we won our independence through armed struggle. We were not fighting simply to hoist a flag in our country and to have a national anthem. We were, and still are, fighting for the complete liberation of Zimbabwe and of the African continent from neo-colonialism because we knew then as we know today that neo-colonialism is an instrument of imperialism; indeed neo-colonialism can be defined as the paralysis or deviation or even the halting of the history of one people in favour of the acceleration of the historical development of another.

In 2000, we fought and won back our land, and have now turned our efforts to fighting for economic empowerment so that imperialist insults may no longer rule our country; so that our people may never more be exploited by imperialists — not by Europeans, not by these people of pink skins, because we do not confuse exploitation or exploiters with the colour of persons’ skins; we do not want exploitation in our country by any race, not even by African people.

Therefore, our armed struggle was one aspect of the general struggle of the oppressed people against colonialism and imperialism, and our struggle today is a people’s struggle against cultural domination and economic exploitation. So, in the framework of this our struggle, we want to make the most effective contribution possible to the complete elimination of all forms of foreign domination on our continent.

Because we are firmly convinced that making full use of the riches on our continent — natural resources, and human and cultural capacities — will contribute immensely to creating a rich human species, which in turn will make considerable contribution to humanity. We are for an African policy, which seeks to defend first and foremost the interests of African people, of each African country. All Africans are our brothers and sisters; our struggle is their struggle too. Every drop of blood that falls in our country falls also from the body and heart of an African brother or sister.

We are for African unity, for unity that favours African people, unity that reinforces and accelerates the reaching of just ends, unity that we consider to be the means, and not the end — but we must not betray the end. That is why we are not overly anxious about the slow pace of unity among Africans. We know that it will come, step by step, as a result of the fruitful efforts of African people. It will come at the service of Africa and of humanity.

Further, our ethic of unity has one vital need: we must be capable of — and free to — adopt without equivocation any position which aims to serve African economic emancipation and empowerment. In other words, we do not want this overwhelming desire for unity to betray in its achievements the interests of Africans everywhere.

For example, we in Zimbabwe openly declare in our ruling Zanu-PF party programme that we are willing to join any African people in fighting imperialism, but on only one condition: that the gains made by our people in the liberation struggle, and the economic and social gains and the justice which we seek and are achieving little by little, should not be compromised by unity with other peoples. That is our only condition for unity.

Yet we are also for a policy that does not, at any time, forget the interests of the world, because we see ourselves as part of a vast front in the struggle for the good of all humanity. We therefore are fiercely in solidarity with every just cause in the world.

That is why our hearts, in Zanu-PF, beat in unison with those of our Moslem comrades in Iraq and Afghanistan who are giving us a shining example of heroism by courageously facing up to the most shameful, barbaric and unjustifiable aggression of the US and British imperialists against the innocent people of these two countries.

We are with refugees, the martyrs of Palestine who have been driven from their own land by Zionist and American imperialists. We support whole-heartedly everything that the Palestinians are doing to liberate their country.

Our hearts are equally with our brothers and sisters in the DRC who, in the bush of that vast and rich African country, face imperialist aggression and manoeuvres — and through puppets.

That is why we of Zanu-PF proclaim loud and clear that we are against Tshombes, against all versions of Tshombe — Morgan Tsvangirai, Jonas Savimbi, Arthur Mutambara, Mobutu Sese Seko, John Makumbe, Eldred Masunungure, Alphonse Dhlakama, Elfas Mukonoweshuro . . . Our hearts are also with our comrades in Cuba, whose revolution — taking place only 80 miles from the greatest imperialist of all time — has been successful, thus validating the practical and conclusive illustration that a people is capable of taking up arms and successfully defend its fundamental interests, and of deciding its own destiny.

We are, of course, with the Africans in the United States of America — we are with them in the streets of Los Angeles, Florida and Chicago, and when they are left to die in jails and to fester in floods, deprived of all possibility of life, we suffer with them. We are also most seriously and painfully with our brothers and sisters in Kenya, who remain terribly economically marginalised in the slums of Kibera and Mathare, and are killing each other because of evil imperialist machinations.

We hope that Zimbabwe’s revolution against neo-colonialists and their agents — settler colonists, western-sponsored NGOs and media outlets, and reactionary opposition parties — will be an example to our comrades there as well as in the rest of Africa. It is our duty to state here, loud and clear, that we have firm allies in Africa and in the Asian and Persian littorals. Africa assists us, yes. Admittedly, there are some African countries assisting us as much as they can, directly, bilaterally.

However, in our opinion Africa can assist us more if only it could clearly understand and appreciate the value and importance to our continent of our struggle against neo-colonialism, because in this glorious struggle against neo-colonialism and imperialism on our continent, we are the first to have heroically reclaimed our land from the settler colonists and withstood the fallout occasioned thereby. This surely should rank as one of our most interesting contribution to the history of Africa and to the history of our people.

And too because we sincerely believe that our struggle does not only serve our own people, it also serves the fundamental interests and progress of all the peoples of Africa and of the world. No doubt those imperialists and their agents who were present at the AU/EU summit in Lisbon on 8-9 December 2007, seeing Africans together, hearing all the delegates speak, witnessing the fraternal welcome and support given to President Mugabe by the African heads-of-state, sense they are lost, and are losing. Their fear is even greater!

So we hope that on the experience of Lisbon the next summit of African heads-of-state will take concrete steps to effectively reinforce the continent’s collective solidarity against imperialists.

But we also know that the rise of the Asian bloc has radically changed the balance of world power, and that countries of this bloc are today showing themselves fully conscious of their duties, international and historic, but not moral, because these countries never colonised us — nor do they desire to exploit us. These, our Asian friends, have shown a keen awareness that the development of our struggle call for their fraternal assistance and support.

This is why we have the honour of openly telling the world that we are receiving substantial and effective help from China, Malaysia, Iran, and Singapore, which help reinforces the assistance we receive from our African comrades. We also get help from Cuba and Venezuela. If there are people who don’t like to hear this, let them come and help us in our struggle too, else they should go to hell.

And what are they doing, these people, Europeans, who don’t like to hear us say we get assistance and support from Asian countries, as well as from Cuba, Iran and Venezuela? Ah, they are busy helping Britain, the fascist government of Brown, to fight us, otherwise without this help the British government would not be able to carry on fighting against us.

Britain counts on help and support she gets from her European Union allies. But we must state clearly what EU means. Yes, we know: EU is a grouping of European imperialist states committed to imposing, advancing and entrenching Western economic, cultural and political values on African countries so they can exploit us in every sense possible.

But that is not what we wish to discuss; we must discuss the EU. The EU is made up of concrete countries, concrete governments and states. EU is Germany, France, Belgium, Sweden, Portugal . . . all countries that have teamed up with Britain in imposing sanctions on us. But Britain has other allies too: USA and Australia, which have similarly imposed sanctions on the people of Zimbabwe, and have been churning out propaganda against our President and country; and there is New Zealand, Canada and other obscure allies who hide their faces because of the shame which this represents.

Be that as it may, we are absolutely certain that the victories we are winning each day over the British in our struggle against neo-colonialism in Zimbabwe will motivate our brothers and sisters on the continent, particularly in South Africa and Namibia, to rid their countries of the vile and shameful remnants of apartheid, and to reclaim their land from the Boers.

On our part, we the people of Zimbabwe are prepared to help our comrades in the African National Congress and SWAPO by sending to the countries as many men and women as may be needed to achieve these objectives.

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