Friday, March 30, 2018

EDITORIAL COMMENT: US, Opposition Collusion: Zimbabwe Deserves Better
28 MAR, 2018 - 00:03 
Zimbabwe Herald

ZIMBABWE won independence from settler rule after 90 years of struggle beginning with the First Chimurenga/Umvukela of 1896/7 through the Second Chimurenga of 1966 to 1979.

Nothing came on a silver platter. We had to fight for the electoral democracy that the United States purports to want to teach us today as the US then circumvented legitimate, UN sanctions to buy Rhodesian chrome.

We are a proud people with a revered history of stolid, defiant protest to all forms of domination which is why even after close to two decades of an illegal economic sanctions regime, our people have not carved in and continue giving Westerners and their surrogates in opposition politics, the cold shoulder at the polls.

Anyone seeking to engage Zimbabwe should engage from that perspective. We would rather die on our feet than live on our knees. The Trump administration must not mistake Government’s willingness to engage for capitulation. Ours is just a normal wish to mend relations with fellow countries in the community of nations but within reasonable bounds.

We applaud France for commending Government’s progressive efforts and for pledging to advocate the lifting of the EU sanctions regime.

French Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Mr Jean-Baptise Lemoyne, who paid a courtesy call on President Mnangagwa at the Africa CEO Forum in Abidjan, said France was happy with the reforms effected by President Mnangagwa and would advocate the complete removal of the EU economic sanctions regime.

The French statement exposed the Trump administration which, a week earlier, issued a series of demands as a precondition for re-engagement with Zimbabwe through amendment of the so-called Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act.

Suffice to say the American demands were an exact replica of demands by the MDC Alliance which visited Washington last year to lobby for the continuation of the US sanctions regime.

To this end we agree with President Mnangagwa’s call on the US to desist from making decisions on the basis of ignorance or self-serving opposition scripts.

Any objective observer will admit that President Mnangagwa is preaching and practicing a refreshing brand of politics which only those with ulterior motives can shun.

What is ironic is that the US demands come at a time of increasing hullabaloo in Washington over alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election that saw Donald Trump thump Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House.

So if Americans cannot fathom covert or overt interference in their domestic politics, what makes them believe such interference is palatable for Zimbabwe?

Are we children of a lesser god? Or maybe a child race that requires chaperoning?

We are a self-governing people in our own right.

And to make matters worse it is the opposition candidate being packaged as representing the new who was among those who grovelled for the continuation of sanctions.

What this means is the young Nelson Chamisa represents old politics while the perceived old man, Emmerson Mnangagwa represents the new politics of engagement, investment and building on the nation’s founding values for national development, the inter-generational wish of all progressive Zimbabweans.

Now that Chamisa and the MDC Alliance are reading from the US script, Zanu-PF must make the removal of sanctions a pre-condition for any perceived reforms.

What is more, the MDC-T demands are unwarranted given that the party was part of the inclusive Government that was set up to prepare for Election 2013.

While a patriotic opposition is integral to keeping the governing party on its toes, a puppet opposition is inimical to and detracts from the national interest.

Zimbabwe deserves better.

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