Mantashe: The burden of African development


RECENT utterances by the African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Gwede Mantashe that Zimbabwe’s Land Reform Programme had caused the country’s economic hardships are a classical example of the tragedy that confronts the people of Africa who are under leaderships that willingly submit to our former colonisers’ whims and caprices.
Zimbabwe is paying the price for transferring ownership of its resources to the majority.
South Africa has to pay for empowering its people.
“Look at Zimbabwe,” Mantashe told a rally in the Free State a fortnight ago.
“It used to be the bread basket of Africa.
“Today it imports almost everything.
“The Zimbabwean dollar has disappeared.”
Mantashe whose embattled ANC party is struggling to shrug off embarrassing allegations of corruption by beleaguered leader Jacob Zuma and stiff competition from former ANC youth league leader Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Front (EFF) should focus on building a sellable manifesto to the electorate.
His ‘advice’ to the EFF that it should not take inspiration from Zimbabwe’s ruling party, ZANU PF which romped to victory in the July 31 2013 harmonised elections on the back of its empowerment policies smacks of desperation and a chronic fear of upsetting whites who control South Africa’s economy.
There is no doubt that the ANC whose reluctance to uplift the masses is a recipe for social unrest in South Africa.
South Africa is a country in limbo and therefore Mantashe’s attack on the EFF whose manifesto champions nationalisation of mines and land reform tells the sad story of an individual whose party is slowly becoming the bane of African development.
The EFF, Mantashe claimed, was not guided by the Freedom Charter, but rather was inspired by ZANU PF’s ‘influence’.
“To me the EFF has nothing to do with the Freedom Charter-it has everything to do with influence of ZANU PF,” Mantashe said.
Does South Africa, a country widely viewed as one of the most unequal societies by way of ownership and distribution of resources have an option, but to take the Zimbabwean route whose painful costs are underpinned by the Western sponsored illegal economic sanctions?
Does Mantashe wish to stand against history, against the wishes of a people so desperate and so agonised by the bane of failure to control their own land and resources?
History is very much against Mantashe and his party stands to become a coalition of comrades who abandoned the very goals that made them take up arms against the enemy.
Is this the leadership that the people of South Africa want?
A leadership that allows a few minority to enjoy the benefits of a country whose people they abused only a few years ago.
Zimbabwe’s land reform and resettlement and the ongoing indigenisation and economic empowerment programmes are the hallmark of enduring leadership.
They are a definition of unwavering commitment towards the upliftment of the majority whose objectives are premised on foundations of wars of liberation that many countries waged against former colonisers in the continent.
Mantashe a ‘veteran’ of South Africa’s war of liberation should be the first person to know Africa can never be free until the goals of the liberation struggle are fulfilled.
Ownership and control of land and resources were and are still the goals and objectives of the liberation struggle.
Mantashe’s claim that South Africa’s economy would ‘disappear’ if the country followed the Zimbabwean example is dishonesty of the highest order.
Zimbabweans have become better people through the land reform and resettlement and the indigenisation and economic empowerment programmes.
The tobacco farmers out there, the small-scale miners across the country and the many entrepreneurs occupying spaces previously owned by whites are testimony of a programme and policy that shapes the destiny of the majority.
The acres of space now being committed by experts like renowned Sussex University agriculture expert, Professor Ian Scoones and our own Blessing Miles Tendi among other experts on the success of the land reform and resettlement programme have vindicated President Robert Mugabe’s decision to indigenise land in Zimbabwe.
The bumper harvest that beckons for Zimbabwe will add more glitter to the indigenisation thrust.
Very soon, we shall write about the success of the indigenisation born from the Land Reform Programme.
We have walked the journey Cde Mantashe, and it takes the bold to leave the footsteps on this path.
After all, it is said God favours the bold.
We have felt the pains of this transition to being owners of our land and resources.
We have felt the pinch of an economy swept off by the raging fury of a Western bloc whose kith and kin relinquished that which never belonged to them.
We are on our way to establishing a new economy, an economy driven by none but ourselves.
For us it is destination in sight.
Never again shall we keep a policy of accommodating colonisers.
Zimbabwe continues to empower its citizens.
We have a model that inspires progressive people.
We have come a long way to achieving this historic milestone.
Zimbabweans today stand tall, proud and satisfied that they can now till land which is their own, run industries in the same vein and contribute to their economy.
This is not for the weak Cde Mantashe.
Let those with ears listen.


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