Abayomi Azikiwe, Editor of the Pan-African News Wire, covering the No War on Iran demonstration on Aug. 1, 2008 in downtown Detroit. The action coincided with protests in over 100 other cities. (Photo: Alan Pollock)., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
By Norman Muvavarirwa
Mugabe’s victory a defeat for the West
“Robert Gabriel Mugabe belongs to a dying breed of politicians on the African continent. Moulded in the crucible of politics of nationalism he emerges as the surviving face of African nationalism radicalised through armed resistance to settler colonialism.
It is this dimension of his generational politics, this trait of his character which Britain and Western world has not been able to comprehend,” observed Roy Agyemang, producer of the award-winning documentary “Mugabe: Villain or Hero?”
At the age of 89, Zimbabwe’s President Mugabe has traversed the political path with vigour. He has and is still conquering politically. He is still going strong.
On July 31 of this year, Zimbabwe held a general election after four years of governmental of national unity.
President Mugabe trounced MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai after securing 2 110 434 votes (61.09 percent) against the 1 172 349 votes (33.94 percent) polled by the latter.
Further, his ZANU-PF party garnered 160 legislative seats to amass two-thirds of the National Assembly compared to 49 seats won by MDC-T.
The outcome received mixed reactions with Western nations failing to come to terms with President Mugabe’s victory.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said of the Zimbabwe elections, “In light of substantial irregularities reported by domestic and regional observers the United States does not believe that the results announced today represent a credible expression of the will of the Zimbabwean people.”
President Mugabe has said of such utterances: “We have had elections before, democratic elections.
The West might not have accepted them as democratic but our own people definitely know we have done no cheating, never, ever. We are also Christian nation."
This refusal by the US, European Union and countries like Australia to accept the electoral outcome is in contrast to the manner in which African countries and organisations have all hailed Zimbabwe’s election.
As leading Zambian daily newspaper The Post observed, it is surprising that countries like the US which had no observers on the ground are at the forefront of rejecting the election results.
The AU, SADC and the SADC Parliamentary Forum, COMESA, and individual countries like South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique, Benin, Nigeria, Venezuela, Russia and China among many others – who were on the ground – have all hailed the elections.
As noted by Abayomi Azikiwe, the editor of Pan-African News Wire, the West simply cannot accept outcomes that are contrary to their interests in Africa.
Azikiwe says, “Consequently, anti-imperialist forces inside the Western states must accept and salute the people of Zimbabwe for their political decision to return ZANU-PF, the party of national liberation, to office with an overwhelming victory.
“The struggle of the people of Zimbabwe backed up by the African continent should serve as an inspiration to all who are fighting against the hegemony of imperialism throughout the world.”
If the West cannot have its way, then it must eat humble pie and re-engage with the popularly-elected government in Harare.
Petina Gappah, a Zimbabwean writer and long-time critic of President Mugabe, admitted as much when she said: “I think the process of re-engagement should continue.
“We live in a world where Britain does business with nasty people such as Saudi Arabia. The Foreign Office will have to accept that ZANU-PF is going to be in government for a very long time.”
Political analyst Reason Wafawarova says it is time the West realises that financing election outcomes in Africa is no longer as straightforward as it was when the US ran Latin American like its own backyard.
Author Alex Perry contended in TIME Magazine that with the economic meltdown and political dysfunction in the West, Africa’s leaders have increasing confidence to challenge interventionist policies on the continent.
President Mugabe knows that this is not just a victory against a Western-funded political party.
“We are happy that we have dealt the enemy a blow and the enemy is not Tsvangirai. Tsvangirai is a mere part of the enemy. The enemy is he who is behind Tsvangirai, who is behind the MDC, the British and their allies.
“Those are the ones who were the real enemies. Those whom we have knocked down. They (Western countries) are quite a strange people. To them principles do not matter, even pledges do not mean anything . . . they are never honest.”
Zimbabwe personifies the emerging Africa that is increasingly bold and assertive in its engagement with the world.
The country has realised that the West needs Africa’s resources and it will no longer be bullied into selling off its raw materials for a song.
The Herald, Zimbabwe’s largest daily paper, ran an editorial in which it stated: “We are masters of our destiny, and we are charting our destiny. The West and their proxies should never fool themselves that what worked in other parts of the world at their instigation, will work in Zimbabwe. We fought hard to attain independence, and we will safeguard it jealously.”
Zambia’s The Post newspaper added; “It is time they (the West) realised that the days are gone when their will prevailed in the world without question or challenge.
And it is not their will that matters in the Zimbabwean election but that of the Zimbabwean people.
“We hope they have also learnt something from the Kenyan elections, where they were openly threatening the Kenyan people with consequences if they voted for (Uhuru) Kenyatta. Again, in Kenya like in Zimbabwe, their man lost.”