The European Union meeting to be held at the end of this month has generated a lot of excitement across the political divide in Zimbabwe. This is because the illegal sanctions that were imposed on Harare will be on the agenda. The most interesting thing is whether the illegally imposed sanctions on Harare will be lifted unconditionally since a lot of countries now resonate with the Zimbabwean
government and its people that the illegal sanctions must be removed.
It must be pointed out from the outset that the sanctions were meant to be a double edged sword. It was meant to punish or whip into line the Zimbabwean government for embarking on the Fast Track Land Reform programme; in essence it was supposed to reverse this.
Sanctions were also instituted to forcefully and illegally dislodge Zanu-PF as a liberation movement from power.
It does not need a rocket scientist to explain why Britain and America were very much irritated by the Zimbabwean Zanu-PF led government.
Being neo-imperialists they realised that when the Zanu-PF led government embarked on “finishing the unfinished business,” it would become cancerous and be an impediment to their neo-imperialist economic and political machinations in the Southern African region and Sub-Saharan region as a whole.
The winds of change that had started with the Zimbabwean reclamation of their land being buttressed by slogans such as “Zimbabwe will never be a colony again; and the economy is the land; the land is the economy,” sent cold shivers across Europe and America.
It reminded them of Patrice Lumumba of Congo, Thomas Sankara of Burkina Faso, Ken Sarowiwa of Nigeria and many other Africans who died advocating for Africa’s total economic emancipation and development of the African people with their own resources.
This is a fire that was kindled in all progressive pan-Africanists’ hearts, a fire that will never die, dear reader, the truth is too complicated for words.
How then are we to reflect on the sanctions issue? As has already been pointed out above the sanctions have not been able to achieve its two-pronged agendas of reversing the land reform exercise and effecting a regime change.
The situation has been exacerbated by the fact that Zimbabwe has been scoring diplomatic victories one after the other.
SADC as a regional body, the African Union and some other European countries are now strongly advocating for the removal of sanctions. The West, while pretending to be ‘human rights watchdogs have tendentially blamed and pointed fingers at Beijing for not being vocal on alleged human rights violations in Africa.
The crux of the matter is that they have belatedly come to the realisation that China has gained a lot of ground not only in Zimbabwe but on the continent as a whole.
To put it crudely but truthfully this is taking place at a time when most of the European economies are having their turns in purgatory. There are mainly two divergent opinions that are diametrically opposed to each other and what they will achieve in the Zimbabwean context.
The unconditional lifting of sanctions.
Conditional lifting of sanctions or non-removal of sanctions which the Zimbabwean government will not agree to or take lightly.
It must be pointed out that whether they like it or not, the unconditional lifting of sanctions will be a victory for Harare.
It will arguably show that despite the fashionable dictum that the strong will always do what they want and the weak will always comply will be proven otherwise for Zimbabwe has tenaciously soldiered on against all odds and has refused to pander to Western dubious machinations to reverse the land reform process and has in fact embarked on yet another unfinished business of indigenising its economy and empowering its own people.
An unconditional lifting of sanctions will be a blow to the Movement for Democratic Change which has always been touted as the Movement for Destructive Change.
If sanctions are lifted and the Zimbabwe Democracy Act (Zidera) is repealed that entails that Zimbabwe’s relations with international financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank will improve.
If credit lines are opened and money is availed to a level headed finance minister or a progressive revolutionary government then money to agricultural activities will be unleashed.
The indigenisation and empowerment drive will be supported and the Zimbabwean economy will boom. All this puts Zanu-PF in the driving seat.
There are some who opine that if sanctions are removed then that will be the end of Zanu-PF as a revolutionary party because it will not have any excuse to fall back on and therefore a plus for the MDC, but this is all hogwash.
If the truth be told, the MDC formations will not have anything to sell to the electorate.
It will no longer be able to coerce the ordinary citizens to support it by saying, “kana musati mava kushaya zvinhu muchashayisisa.” Arguably you can only tell a good tree or a bad one by its fruit. Dear reader, one party is linked to the liberation of Zimbabwe, it fought for both political and economic emancipation.
The language that it speaks is that of enhancing the lives of the ordinary people so that they cannot continue to be the “colonial boys and nannies.”
The other party is a creation of the West and is geared at perpetuating the dependency syndrome. It does not speak to our language and explains why at one point in time it was linked to one Ari Ben Manashe and now the Nato commander and has blatantly lied to the civil servants that it is going to increase their salaries.
Secondly, if sanctions are not lifted or if there is conditional lifting of sanctions, Zimbabwe will neither change its domestic nor foreign policy.
Zimbabwe as a sovereign state will not afford to belittle its own importance for Harold Lasswel correctly noted that politics is about who gets what, when and how.
A conditional lifting of sanctions or no-lifting of sanctions will be equally damaging to the opposition parties in Zimbabwe.
It is already in the public domain that they called for sanctions that have devastated the lives of the ordinary citizens across the political divide.
They have also failed to persuade their masters to remove the sanctions showing that they were not very sincere to the promises that they made to call for the removal of sanctions. This is a minus on their part.
As for Zanu-PF, its policies embedded in land reform, indigenisation and black empowerment will continue unabated.
These are policies that are anti the exploitative western hegemonism and power politics that has proved to be an impediment to Zimbabwe’s own development.
Zimbabwe’s development must be rooted in the First, Second and Third Chimurenga and now the Fourth Chimurenga is all about finishing “the unfinished business.”
It is a fact known by all progressive Zimbabweans that Zimbabwe as a country is not in an unfavourable position. We strongly contend that Zimbabwe’s future is not bleak.
Sanctions may not be lifted because the EU cannot stomach seeing a peacefully developing Africa explaining why they are reluctant to let Africa run its own show. They still want to benefit from Africa’s vast material resources, not as partners in development but on an unequal footing.
It cannot be disputed that Western economies are like the proverbial giant with the limbs of a mosquito. The West’s economies are in purgatory. Zimbabwe since 2000 adopted the Look East policy that is already bearing fruits.
This why we are optimistic and envision just like ambassador Mutsvangwa , “Zimbabwe as the new Singapore.” The world is full of contradictions, politically, socially, economically etc. Notably Zimbabwe can use some of these and exploit conditions that are favourable to Zimbabweans, opportunities that we can take advantage of.
An example is the adoption of Ambassador Mutsvangwa’s proposed currency swap arrangement with China to by-pass the American dollar for easier trade and investment deals.
This is why Professor Jonathan Moyo is correct in saying that, “the people’s revolution must continue uninterrupted . . . in a revolution theory follows practice.”
It is in this light that we opine that it must be left to Zimbabweans to determine their own future, like a boat sailing against the current, you either forge ahead or you are swept downstream. Samuel Decalo in one of his articles advised that, “nation building and generational and attitudinal changes, though time consuming are an integral and universal component of the developmental process.
These current challenges and disturbances in some countries in Africa may well be the countries’ symbolic years in the wilderness in its drive from colonial and neo-colonial subjugation to a viable and meaningful independence.”
This is why we strongly opine that whatever decision the EU comes up with Zimbabwe must continue on a path that it has chosen, develop its economy and let the ordinary Zimbabweans be beneficiaries of their God given resources.
The economy must develop visibly so that it is supported by the masses for this will be reflected in a gradual rise in the standard of living of the ordinary citizens.
The agricultural rural economy must be strengthened for if farming is neglected then the rural economy will collapse. All progressive Zimbabwean citizens must not allow the country to descend into turmoil.
This is why Zanu-PF as a progressive liberation movement has called for a zero tolerance to violence.
All progressive Zimbabwean politicians must guard against countries that want to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs igniting artificial disorders.
Zimbabwe as a country cannot afford the laxity of seeing its institutions and people being corrupted. It is a fact that no one forgets what he has said more quickly than a liar.
All Zimbabweans must remember that it is the seed that you sow that will determine the type of crop that you are going to harvest. Politicians across the Zimbabwean political divide are aware of the seeds that their parties have sown and they must be prepared to reap what they have sown in the impending elections.
Darlington Ngoni Mahuku and Bowden Mbanje are lecturers in International Relations, and Peace and Governance with Bindura University College.