Saturday, September 12, 2009

Zimbabwe News Update: Protect Land, Youth Urged by President Mugabe; EU Told to Lift Sanctions

Protect land, youths urged

By Sydney Kawadza
Zimbabwe Herald

ZIMBABWEAN youths should protect land, a heritage bequeathed to them after a protracted liberation struggle that claimed lives of many gallant sons and daughters of the soil, President Mugabe has said.

Officially opening the Fifth conference of the Zanu-PF Youth League in Harare yesterday, President Mugabe, who is the party’s President and First Secretary, said land was the only resource given to Zimbabwe as its fortune.

He said youths should be wary of pretenders who promise them lots of things so that they go against the ideology and principles of defending the country’s sovereignty.

President Mugabe said youths should emulate the same faithfulness to the party, which made people such as the late national hero Vice President Joseph Msika a "colossus, giant of the liberation struggle".

"This should motivate all of us here today and put an end to the era of double-forked or double-tongued blood-thirsty beasts that pretend to like our people, by day, seeking every avenue through which to cheat the people.

"Beware of them. They will talk nicely, pretend that they are for the people and with the people when, in fact, they cheat and damage their life.

"They are seeking every avenue to get to power by cheating the people," he said.

President Mugabe — who is the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces — said youths should be motivated by giants of the struggle among them the late national heroes Cdes Joshua Nkomo, Herbert Chitepo and others buried at the National Heroes Acre and other shrines in and outside Zimbabwe.

"We have to remember that this is our country. The land we stand on and that which feeds what comes out of the soil, the one which bears down below, generations and generations of our ancestors.

"This is the soil that will never die because God gave it to us. That it could be our fortune, ndiyo ngoda yedu, ilifa lethu," he said to a thunderous applause from the delegates.

President Mugabe said the soil had been taken by the settlers for more than 100 years and it needed heroes who sacrificed a lot for it to return to its rightful owners.

"There are some people, young boys and girls, who sacrificed their lives in order to redeem it (land).

"This is the kind of sacrifice we had to make to get ngoda yedu. You should always remember that imperialists cannot be friends and imperialism is not friendly and they still need our country — our land.

"That is why they maintain sanctions against us. Our people were killed — imprisoned for this land and there are voices across the world against us because they want our heritage.

"You (the youths) are the inheritors of this heritage. Vakaifira vari kuti heyo nhaka mumaoko enyu. Yodonha here? Do you want it to drop from your grip.

"Your children will condemn you, even the heroes lying in the provinces and some outside the country lying in mass graves will condemn you from their graves," he said.

President Mugabe hoped the theme of the conference, "Youth in Defence of National Sovereignty and Promotion of Economic

Empowerment for a Bright Future", would guide and unite youths to defend the country.

"You are here to consolidate views, principles, unity and oneness in defending the country’s natural resources.

"We will be nothing without our natural resources. We also need to remember that we are one. The provinces we come from are just geographical dimensions.

"Firstly, you are Zimbabwean — sons of the soil by virtue of Chimurenga. Before the war we were not sons and daughters of the soil because we had lost the land.

"Now the land can breathe life into us. We are free from the grip of imperialists. Zimbabwe is for Zimbabweans, not the British.

"Vamwe havazvidi izvozvo asi isu tinoti ndiwo madhisinyongoro. Nyika ndeyedu, pose pawatsika unofanira kuita manyemwe kuti wakatsika panyika pako kunyangwe paruware," he said.

The youth, President Mugabe said, should be strong enough and prepared to make sacrifices and have a national consensus they believe in.

"Your heart should say, truly — this is my country. I am a Zimbabwean. It does not matter where I travel to, I remain a Zimbabwean, I am proud to be a Zimbabwean. This is the spirit impelled by Cde Msika and the other departed heroes," he said.

President Mugabe said Zimbabwe still has some challenges that needed to be overcome.

"Indeed, we still have to correct the distortions created by imperialists with sanctions. We should stand firm — sanctions or no sanctions — because Zimbabwe remains our country.

"Zimbabweans must be organised and managed in a manner that will benefit the people through agriculture — we need food. There has got to be an industry to process what we produce from the land and this would mean employment for our youths.

"As long as Zimbabwe remains in our control, we remain here as the masters of our destiny, we will come up with economic programmes that will benefit our people."

He said Zimbabweans should have a culture of discipline and values that were recognised as fundamentals that shaped their lives.

"We must recognise that all are entitled to education of discipline of mind and body character so that we are in a position to make choices between values that are constructive," he said.

He said Zimbabweans should fight hard to destroy crime and all vices that affected people’s characters and that of the country.

Zimbabweans had taken their land, President Mugabe said, adding the challenge remained that of making sure that it is used for national development.

"Do not forget the triumph of the liberation struggle and land is available. We should not play with it.

"Asi pane vamwe vanoti tinofanira kumira kupa vanhu minda nekuti zvinotsamwisa vachena tonyimwa mari yezvikwereti. We say down with them," he said to cheers.

He said land was the bedrock of the struggle and talks at the Lancaster House Conference.

"We agreed that we will not tax our people to pay for compensation because their people did not pay for the land when they took it.

"It is the duty of the British to pay the compensation. We will only pay for improvements made at the farms," he said.

President Mugabe also took a swipe at Zimbabweans who decided to work with the British.

"There are people among us who have taken the side of the British. We wonder where is the national consensus of some people to say we are wrong and the British are right.

"Tinozviziva kuti kune vamwe vedu vanoda mari, vanotengesa nhaka yedu. Hatizvidi izvozvi. Panyaya dzenhaka yedu, it’s a sacred, sacred, sacred heritage. The land has always been sacred," he said.

President Mugabe condemned some non-governmental organisations working for illegal regime change in Zimbabwe.

"These creatures called NGOs, zvimhuka zvinovhiringidza vanhu to vote against their party, a revolutionary party. People who vote against the revolutionary party are counter-revolutionaries.

"This is what happened last year — where the results were balanced and we now have this creature called inclusive Government. We, however, need to maintain the party within the inclusive Government," he said.

Cde Mugabe said Zanu-PF should also keep its fundamental principles of defending the country’s sovereignty so that it is not compromised and the land reform reversed.

He said the inclusive Government will last for up to 24 months and if the parties agree, then the country would go for elections.

"We must be ready for the elections. What happened last year with people selling out should not happen again. We rely on the Youth League, as the vanguard of the party.

"You are full of blood and vigour. We recruited people of your age during the war. Your role is to fight to defend our independence.

"Yours is a political fight to stand together kwete kana mumwe akupa $500 yema USA wotarisa kumwe. Ndizvo zvatinoramba zvemadhisinyongoro.

"We do not want youths who are without ideological principles and fundamentals. This is a matter of principle to defend the country," he said.

President Mugabe castigated the British and Americans for meddling in other countries’ affairs.

"We do not want to be controlled, we can monitor ourselves through Sadc, Comesa and the African Union. We control each other, we did not invite whites to control us," he said.

President Mugabe urged Zanu-PF members to be united especially when the country goes for elections.

He said the people should be given a chance to choose their own leaders within the party structures.

"Dzimwe nguva vakuru tisu tinokanganisa asiwo dzimwe nguva kana nemiwo munokanganisa. The losers must accept defeat.

"Accepting defeat unites the party. Mukaramba maresults ndipopanozobuda tunyaya twakawanda.

"Unofanira kuramba kuitwa munhu wevamwe vanhu. Follow the ideology of the party and those elected to lead it."

He said the youth should lead party programmes and listen to what the people want in the communities and report back to the leadership.

"If you are not in the frontline of the party, it is dead. We want you to be reliable and loyal to the party and not to be just spectators. You are a source of strength for us to say we are a people’s party," he said.

On elections to choose a new national executive, President Mugabe urged the youth to be objective.

On the constitution-making process, President Mugabe said Zimbabwe would be guided by the Kariba Draft signed by all the parties in the inclusive Government.

"We have the Kariba Draft compiled by the three parties and signed on every page by representatives of the parties.

"Vamwe vavakuda kusvotoka, ndizvo zvatinoramba. ZvavanaMadhuku, ngavanosunga madhuku avo varikure ikoko, his organisation is a source of a living.

"How many people does he represent? He wants to provoke us so that he is arrested and he cries foul to his sponsors. We will not follow that, we stand by the Kariba Draft and we will not accept anything else.

"If they do not accept, we will continue with the current Constitution, which is also good for us," the President said.

He urged the white former commercial farmers to embrace the land reform programme.

"Once people have offer letters and they are valid, that’s it. The farm is not yours any more. Please don’t resist. I am saying please, please but that will stop.

"If we hear about any resistance, we will stop pleading. I will just send the police to drive them away. If they thought they would be saved by the inclusive Government, kunyeperwa ikoko!"

The youth conference will choose a new national executive in a historic election that should usher in a leadership of cadres aged between 15 and 30 years.

Over 3 000 attend Zanu-PF youth conference

Herald Reporters

More than 3 000 delegates thronged the City Sports Centre in Harare yesterday for the 5th conference of the Zanu-PF Youth League ahead of the party’s main national congress later this year.

Clad in national and party colours, the youth sang revolutionary songs and danced as they acknowledged the presence of their First Secretary and President Cde Mugabe and First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe.

Also among the delegates were Vice President and Zanu-PF Second Secretary Cde Joice Mujuru, national chairman Cde John Nkomo, Politburo members and senior party officials who came to Harare to show solidarity with one of the pillars of the revolutionary party.

According to Zanu-PF’s constitution, the Youth League shall be led by members aged between 15 and 30.

Youths from the party’s 10 administrative provinces arrived at the venue chanting "Mugabe, Mugabe, Mugabe", in anticipation of the arrival of their revered leader.

The mood was spiced up by songs from the late national hero and party commissar, Cde Elliot Manyika.

President Mugabe’s arrival brought the house down with delegates jumping up and down.

The youths pledged to defend the ideology and principles of the party and to seek total involvement in the country’s economic affairs.

There were, however, problems with representation from Harare Province that only joined the proceedings in the afternoon following a dispute over who was supposed to attend the conference.

The differences were resolved with the provincial youth representatives joining the conference when President Mugabe was midway through his opening address.

Outgoing Zanu-PF deputy secretary for the Youth League Cde Savior Kasukuwere said elections would be held to chose a new leadership and urged prospective office-holders to remain vigilant in defence of the party.

"My colleagues and friends who tomorrow (today) will be passing on the baton, would like to thank you Cde President and the leaders of the party in general who allowed us to serve this revolutionary party in its most trying and extraordinary times," he said.

He said the gallant leaders of the party such as Cde Mugabe, the late Father Zimbabwe Cde Joshua Nkomo, the late Vice Presidents Simon Muzenda and Joseph Msika, among others, had laid good ground for participation of the youth in national development.

"As a youth, I urge you to go out there and strengthen the party’s unity and cohesion, grow party membership and defend the country’s democracy.

"I challenge tribalists, corrupt characters who devour the souls and strength of our party. Tell those who abuse the sacred institution of the Youth League that the league is not for sale," he said.

Party secretary for finance Cde David Karimanzira said the conference was important in that it was bringing a new leadership of cadres aged 30 and below.

"This policy change is a critical factor in that the conference is going to correct the Youth League age structure, which was mostly above 30, and replacing it with a crop of younger men and women who may not have had previous experience at national level," he said.

The conference heard solidarity messages from Chama Chamapinduzi of Tanzania, the World Federation of Democratic Youths, the Democratic People’s Party of Malawi, the Namibian Youth Council and the Pan African Youth Union, among others.

WFDY vice president, Cde Justice Chiusaru, called on Britain and its allies to remove the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, saying they were hurting the people.

He paid tribute to Sadc and the African Union for resolutely standing behind Zimbabwe in its battle against neo-colonialism.

"To the youth, I say stand guard of the revolution and the ideals of the party and the country’s democracy," he said.

PAYU representative Cde Tendai Wenyika said her organisation recognised the role played by Zanu-PF in the liberation of Zimbabwe and Africa and would continue to support the country’s struggle for the total emancipation of its people and the continent.

DPP Youth League representative Cde Louis Ngalande called for the strengthening of ties between Zimbabwe and Malawi.

"The ushering in of young people to leadership positions shows that Zanu-PF is serious about the role of the youth in the development of Zimbabwe," he said.

The conference is also expected to tackle issues of indigenisation, establishment of businesses by youths and programmes to curtail the spread of HIV and Aids.

Sadc NGO Forum to tell true Zim story

Herald Reporter

The newly formed Sadc NGO Forum will soon send a team around the region to conscientise Southern African nations on the true situation in Zimbabwe and has hailed President Mugabe’s "heroic stance" on the land issue.

The forum, which was formed on the sidelines of the recent Sadc Summit in DRC earlier this week, also said African leaders should remain resolute in opposing all forms of neo-colonialism.

The communiqué, released following the launch of the forum reads: "The citizens of Zimbabwe must resist any constitution-making process in an environment besieged by economic sanctions.

"In other words, the removal of sanctions must precede the constitution-making process.

"The heroic stance by President Robert Mugabe against imperialism remains exemplary for all Heads of State and the meeting hailed him as a true son of Africa.

"It was also resolved to send a delegation to visit all Sadc States to explain the true Zimbabwe story of a people whose land was stolen and has been reclaimed."

The communiqué said MDC-T had campaigned for the economic embargo and the onus was on Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s party to also campaign for their removal "so that the people of Zimbabwe can enjoy free political activity not influenced by Western sanctions".

The NGOs said: "The imposition of illegal sanctions against any African State should remain condemned as it undermines the very core values of public international law."

On the issue of the Sadc Tribunal, the Forum said regional nations must not "abrogate the sovereignty of their States".

The Forum drew participation from NGOs from 14 Sadc members and elected Mr Tedius Banda of Zambia as its president and Zimbabwean lawyer Mr Chris Mutangadura as its secretary-general. The body commended the people of DRC for establishing peace, while saying the Sudanese government deserved the support of the entire continent to counter efforts by the West to indict President Omar al-Bashir on racist grounds.

SA pushes EU to lift Zim sanctions

Herald Reporter

SOUTH Africa has reiterated its call for the European Union to drop illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe ahead of a landmark trip by a delegation from Brussels to Harare today.

President Mugabe will meet the three-man high-level EU delegation as part of continued efforts to thaw relations between Zimbabwe and the EU.

The visit of the troika is the first at such level since the EU imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe in a bid to influence the outcome of the 2002 presidential election.

South African President Jacob Zuma yesterday met Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, whose country holds the EU presidency.

Reports from South Africa yesterday indicated that differences over Zimbabwe overshadowed the meeting with South Africa determined to push for an end to sanctions although the Swedish premier insisted the bloc was not ready to lift the embargo.

President Zuma and other Sadc leaders called, during a summit in Kinshasa, for an end to the sanctions and he made it clear that he would push the same demand with Prime Minister Reinfeldt.

"We are saying both of us understand where Sadc comes from and where the EU comes from. But we are saying precisely because of that we need to engage so we can try and persuade the EU to lift sanctions," President Zuma said on Thursday.

Prime Minister Reinfeldt yesterday said the meeting with President Zuma would afford him an opportunity to learn more about the situation in Zimbabwe.

He said the visit was not in preparation for the lifting of sanctions against Harare.

"I want to be clear: the EU is not prepared (for) lifting the restrictions we have on Zimbabwe," he said at a public address in Johannesburg on Thursday.

Britain and other EU countries imposed the sanctions after President Mugabe won overwhelmingly in the 2002 presidential election claiming human rights abuses.

African nations, however, insist progress has been made with the signing of the Global Political Agreement negotiated by former South African president Thabo Mbeki under the auspices of Sadc and the AU.

President Zuma has also argued that an end to the sanctions would help stabilise things in Harare.

"Once you have got sanctions there are things you cannot do in Zimbabwe, but if the sanctions are not there you give more scope for that agreement to be implemented. That is the point we are making."

The EU delegation — led by aid commissioner Karel de Gucht — will meet President Mugabe today and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai tomorrow.

Government, however, said nothing much should be expected from the meetings, as the two sides should cover a lot of ground to normalise ties.

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