On 12 May 2007, BBC News Online reported that Zimbabwe has been elected to head the UN’s Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), “despite strong objections from Western diplomats” . The BBC report noted that it was the developing African nations who voted for Zimbabwe. (‘Zimbabwe to chair major UN body’)
Naturally, Zimbabwe’s election came as a bit of a shock to the various imperialist states with an ‘interest’ in the area. For years they have been vilifying Zimbabwe, explaining patiently to anyone who is willing to listen that the transfer of land from colonial settlers to the indigenous population was a genuinely terrible thing, with devastating consequences for the Zimbabwean economy. Unfortunately for these imperialists, the African people can see with their own eyes what is happening in Zimbabwe; plus great numbers of them have learnt not to trust the words of wisdom that emanate from the BBC and the settler press.
Peter Kagwanja, a senior researcher for the Human Sciences Research Council in Tshwane (formerly Pretoria), puts it accurately: “Many African nations are still struggling to get over the economic and political legacy of past colonial and racist regimes, and so they are more or less sympathetic with the bold moves taken by Zimbabwe,” moves that “they are not capable of doing themselves.” (Quoted in ‘Why Africa won’t rein in Mugabe’ by Scott Baldauf, Christian Science Monitor, 16 May 2007)
The recent conference of the South African Development Community (SADC), held in Dar es Salaam, threw its weight firmly behind Zimbabwe and its leadership. South African president Thabo Mbeki, whom Britain and the US have been pressuring to denounce Mugabe, called for African unity and the defence of Zimbabwe in the following terms:
“The fight against Zimbabwe is a fight against us all. Today it is Zimbabwe; tomorrow it will be South Africa, it will be Mozambique, it will be Angola, it will be any other African country. And any government that is perceived to be strong and to be resistant to imperialists would be made a target and would be undermined. So let us not allow any point of weakness in the solidarity of SADC, because that weakness will also be transferred to the rest of Africa.” (Ibid)
The Christian Science Monitor correspondent noted that, at the end of the conference, “African leaders threw their unanimous support behind Zimbabwe’s Mugabe and called on Mr. Mbeki (not the West) to mediate between Mugabe and the political opposition.” (Ibid)
Economic problems aside, Zimbabwe has achieved what so many African countries, including South Africa, have so far failed to achieve – it has settled the land problem for once and for all. With the Fast Track Land Resettlement Programme, the situation where the white settler minority (3 percent of the population) owned over half the land, and the most productive land at that, is resolved. The black rural population in Zimbabwe (by far the most numerous economic group in the country) is incomparably better off now than it was before land reform. Zimbabwe’s neighbours can see and understand this, and thus Zimbabwe remains highly popular in Africa, despite the extraordinary amount of propaganda put about by the imperialists and their puppets.
Zimbabwe has been placed under severe economic sanctions for having dared to expropriate the lands of white farmers growing cash crops for the benefit of imperialist corporations. The sanctions have caused severe difficulties for Zimbabwe, which the imperialist media then try to blame on ZANU and Mugabe personally.
It would seem, however, that the western imperialist monopoly on international finance has been broken by China, which is offering development assistance that will enable Zimbabwe to escape the net. This in turn has enabled Zimbabwe to announce the nationalisation of foreign-owned businesses (ie, that a majority stake in all foreign companies is to be transferred to Zimbabweans) – a move that the western imperialist media are denouncing as ‘another’ disaster for the Zimbabwean economy.
While no doubt the imperialists will do everything in their (waning) power to make Zimbabwe suffer for daring to dispossess them, in actual fact these measures are a disaster for imperialism – not for the Zimbabweans!
Long live African anti-imperialist unity!