The concluding star rally for the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party. President Robert and First Lady Amai Grace wave to the party supporters., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
President winds up rallies
July 29, 2013 Headlines
Hebert Zharare Political Editor
ZANU-PF wound up its highly subscribed programme of star rallies at the giant National Sports Stadium in Harare yesterday, turning the arena into a sea of green and yellow. That the revolutionary party shifted the final star rally that was initially penciled for the 30 000 seat Rufaro Stadium to the 60 000 seat NSS testified to the party’s growing confidence ahead of harmonised elections due Wednesday.
The Zanu-PF campaign, running under the theme “Indigenise, Empower, Develop and Create Employment’’ with the catcphrase “Bhora Mugedhi/ibhola egedini’’, drew huge crowds in all provinces prompting the party leadership to prefer open air spaces to contain the multitudes.
The Zanu-PF message which is about empowering citizens to take ownership of their economy through resource nationalism contrasted with the MDC-T mantra of extending a begging bowl to Western donors who are reeling in a severe economic crunch that has sent many into the streets either as dwellers or protesters – the “occupy’’ phenomenon that began in the US financial hub of Wall Street in New York.
Addressing thousands of jubilant supporters yesterday, a fired up President Mugabe – Zanu-PF First Secretary and President – said Election 2013 was about bequeathing the legacy of the liberation struggle to the nation whose principles and values future generations should convey to posterity in perpetuity.
The President said he had soldiered on to this stage upon realising the struggle was not yet over as the young generation needed to be empowered to take ownership of the country and its economy.
He said foreigners wishing to exploit Zimbabwe’s natural resources were to come in as subordinate partners in line with the country’s indigenisation laws and not come as “masters”.
“Hezvi tinoda vadiki vedu vasimbaradzwe nokuti ndivo vachengeti venhaka dzedu mangwana vakuru venhaka yanhasi vanenge vasisipo. Hatingavasiye vasina (nhaka) ndokusaka takauya neindigenisation yakabatwa nava (Saviour) Kasukuwere (Minister of Youth Development Indegenisation and Empowerment).
“Our wealth is our wealth. We must own our natural resources. Our land belongs to us Zimbabweans. Zimbabwe’s land is an asset for Zimbabweans and must enrich Zimbabweans. If others want to have a share of our wealth, then they should come and join us not as masters, but as subordinates to us, hatirambe. The main shareholding must be that of Zimbabweans.
Isu tinenge takabata kukobvu, ivo vakabata kutete,” he said to thunderous applause from thousands of receptive supporters.
President Mugabe said the God-given natural resources such as gold and diamonds among other precious minerals were more “sacred” than the capital the investors were bringing into the country adding that Zimbabweans were supposed to remain masters of their resources.
He said the machinery and equipment the investors were bringing, which he likened to hoes, did not match the value of the minerals the country was endowed with.
“They (investors) do not have anything and should not complain. Nokuti wauya nemapadza woti upfumi hwavava kuchera – gold nemadiamonds ndehwako. Ndozvatinoramba izvozo. Mapadza ako, hongu, tinozvitambira kuti ibasa rauri kuita.
They say we are the main investor tine capital – without capital you cannot develop your raw materials. But they are my raw materials, they belong to me and your capital belongs to you,” he said.
President Mugabe warned that all the investors wishing to do business with the country were supposed to give indigenous Zimbabweans their rightful position as sovereign owners of the resources.
“If they want to invest in land, diamonds and gold, you are free to do so on condition you recognise you are not the owner of the raw material. Isu we want your capital, but your capital is not a tool that displaces me as the owner of my raw resources, ndaramba. Kunzi ndauya necapital iwe chibva hausisiri muridzi (wemaresources), ndini ndava muridzi because ndauya nemari? Ibva netwumari twako! Wondisiya neupfumi hwangu.
Ndopatinopesana ipapo,” said President Mugabe.
The President took a swipe at some African leaders who allow Western countries to plunder their natural resources while the indigenous people walloped in poverty.
“Africa yapera kutorerwa, kusvetwa mafuta. Kunana Gabon vakawana mafuta asi zvavakunzi the oil belongs to France. Ah, kungopa zvavo France, iwe ndiwe wogoverwa neFrance your oil. Kupusa ikoko ndiko kwatiri muAfrica. Toramba takadaro here?
“Muno zvainzi gold ndere Lonrho, Anglo-American nana Rio Tinto. They wanted us to benefit by way of labour only according to their economics. We must rewrite economics books our children learn. They were written to save the purpose of imperialism and colonialism. So their economics must go and we must introduce our economics here,” he said to applause.
President Mugabe said the indegenisation of the economy was the way to go, adding educated Zimbabweans, among them engineers and geologists were supposed to be on the driving seat of the economy.
So far Zanu-PF has spearheaded the launch of 59 community empowerment schemes, 133 employee empowerment schemes and a youth empowerment fund valued at US$10, 5 million which have created 8 691 jobs.
Under the community share schemes, the communities where the companies operate benefit directly, while the rest of the country benefit through the sovereign wealth fund.
President Mugabe said people’s minds needed to be disabused of the notion that the Caucasian was superior, adding it was time indigenous Zimbabweans became major shareholders of the companies.
The President said the land reform programme had since empowered many youths who were now into tobacco growing which used to be the preserve of white commercial farmers.
He said the Zanu-PF Government would ensure that people received loans at concessionary rates to fund their farming businesses, companies and shame detractors who wanted to the economy to collapse so they could blame Zanu-PF.