Fungi Kwaramba The Interview
As Zimbabwe remembers its heroes and heroines, both the living and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to remove the yoke of bondage, our Political Editor Fungi Kwaramba had an interview with the chairperson of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) Ambassador Chris Mutsvangwa on the important occasion, below are excerpts of the interview, which he dedicated to his friend — the late national hero Cde Perrance Shiri, who died last week.
FK: We are just a few days from celebrating Heroes Day, what is your message to Zimbabweans on this important day?
CM: This year’s Heroes Day comes at an auspicious time when the evolving scenario in the all-important financial, monetary and central banking sector is spawning a normal economic and business environment. For more than 130 years, modern Zimbabwe has been in the grip of ruinous corporate colonial allocation template in the management of the national economy.
The plunderous state of affairs survived nearly four decades from independence in 1980, mainly because of poverty of economic theory and blind worship of the economic practice of the moribund colonial order.
Fortunately, the Second Republic has volleyed a much refreshing gust of fresh air. The raft of Statutory Instruments taming the ‘Wild West’ private oligopoly mobile money platforms, reining-in the wayward Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and centralising the national payments system into the Central Bank have delivered financial magic.
The consequences on the process of national price discovery have been breathtakingly dramatic. The foreign exchange auction is chugging along into the third month. Now a second window is being opened for small capitalisation players to enjoy the fairness of open transparent trading of foreign currency.
Butt out Cecil John Rhodes and exploitative allocation. Zoom in Adam Smith and free market interplay.
Henceforth, business parasites shall be scorched. While hard work and risk will be rewarded. Welcome to the brave new world of Zimbabwe Second Republic and prosperity unbound!
F.K: This year, celebrations have been affected by the Covid-19, as one of the surviving heroes of the Second Chimurenga how will you observe this day?
CM: Covid-19 has changed everything up to now and probably till a vaccine is discovered. It has definitely removed the element of exuberant exaltation of our heroes and heroines and their epic sacrifices. But the pandemic has re-fired that spirit of survival against the odds. If Zimbabwe could come through one of the bitterest modern wars Africa has ever faced, brave through two decades of onerous sanctions meted by dominant economies of the vengeful West, surely they will triumph over Covid-19. After all they have been through it all.
F.K: You went to war as a young man, what’s your message to the youths of today, the Twitter brigade?
CM: Father Prosser, the Anglican prelate of Tsambe, St Augustine’s was one of the many remarkable teachers of our generation of supreme sacrifice. In 1975, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) asked him why the African pupils were absconding across to Mozambique. His deft retort was to feign ignorance punctuated by a deft rejoinder: I don’t know why, but what I have come to know is that it is the best and the brightest who are going to war.
In a short five years we mastered the art and science of modern warfare against an enemy succoured by the self-proclaimed Masters of the Universe of the USA-led NATO allies.
The youths of today can only do themselves well by studying and embracing the ‘can do spirit’ and mining the rich ores of endurance of a generation that accepted to die in tens of thousands so Free Zimbabwe can be reborn.
FK: What can be done to preserve the legacy of the liberation struggle?
CM: The best way to preserve the legacy of the struggle is to build a vibrant and prosperous Nation. The youth of my generation did not sacrifice their only lives for flags, leaders or political parties. All these were mere symbols of organisation towards the goal of freedom. And freedom as the pathway to national revival and economic greatness.
That is the reason I’m so excited with the ongoing and far-reaching economic and business reforms. We can attain the dream and reality.
FK: We have seen the fight against Zimbabwe assuming market form. Why is this happening despite the Second Republic’s commitment to re-engagement with all nations?
CM: The West has always profiteered out of African weaknesses ever since it took advantage of the law of uneven social development by embracing modern capitalism ahead of Africa and indeed most humanity. To persist in continued and unfair exploration, it has ever actively wished and willed weak African state structures.
Zimbabwe, by being forced to win freedom through painful armed struggle, ended up building the sinews of a modern African state. This is the cardinal sin that has not been easily forgiven by Washington, London, Berlin, Paris, Brussels, Ottawa, Canberra et al. No wonder Harare has been visited by the bane of two decades of unremitting and unrelenting sanctions.
But God is not for Western powers alone. The global economic landscape is positively becoming flatter and democratic. The traditional economic stranglehold of the IMF-World Bank, Bretton Woods Institutions, is being forced to let go.
Opportunities now abound for President Mnangagwa and his policy: Zimbabwe Is Open for Business.
The recent and timely settlement of Compensation for Land Improvements kicks the business door even wider to all-inclusive population participation in rewarding economic activity.
FK: Final message to the people of Zimbabwe?
CM: Watch and embrace the exciting developments in the open and transparent foreign exchange markets.
Hard and honest work is finally being rewarded. The 1970s delivered military glory, and the 1980s gave us political freedom. The 2020s will now grant the manna of economic prosperity we all yearn for. The fallen heroes and heroines of Chimurenga II are now being atoned. The price of a dear life painfully sacrificed for a modern prosperous Zimbabwe nation.