The presence of the past


IT is critical to evaluate the implications of re-engaging the European Union (EU) from the point of view of the common man who survived the bloc’s failed attempt to re-colonise Zimbabwe.
In retrospect, it seems irrefutable that if Zimbabwe had not looked East, the common man would have been stripped naked by the EU sanctions.
In retrospect also, one feels that we should have been forewarned by Cde Herbert Chitepo if we had been obsessed with our past enough to seek its guidance with our vision.
Way back in 1974, Cde Chitepo described the machinations used by the Rhodesians to draw the EU’s involvement in Zimbabwe’s internal affairs with the intention of replacing the liberation movement government with a puppet regime that would defend minority white interests. 
Today, I feel that before the nation entertains re-engagement with the EU it is imperative that we replay Chitepo and listen to his voice of reason.
In 1974, a year before he was assassinated by David Coltart’s brothers-in-arms, Chitepo had this to say:
“I think you must appreciate this.
“Zimbabwe’s situation, the settlers there (Coltart, Bennet, Cross, Kay, Freeth), can and truly should be looked upon really as the immediate local agents of a huge international capitalistic manoeuver to control and continue to exploit the resources of Zimbabwe which … in which they include ourselves.
“We are just a natural resource, to be exploited for the benefit of these big combines … these big companies. 
“You will notice that among the techniques of exploitation has long been to seek – among the settler regimes of southern Africa – to seek the involvement of big capital from abroad.
“I think you have read about the Cabora Bassa.
“Cabora Bassa is nothing, but Portugal’s way of implicating … of bringing in capitalist involvement in Mozambique and obviously, incidentally in Southern Rhodesia or Zimbabwe and in South Africa, in order to strengthen the local people both in Rhodesia, white people both in Rhodesia and Mozambique and in South Africa.
“That is what Cabora Bassa really is meant to do.
“If you look at the whole of the economy of Rhodesia, there is a massive attempt to draw the big international capitalists of the West to come and participate in the exploitation because they think by doing this, you then get the support of the big capitalist nations in the world.
“Therefore, you are able to continue the exploitation.
“You are even able to get the involvement of big countries.
“They will be able to send armies because they are ruled by their companies.
“The companies are the biggest influences in America and in various countries.
“If in fact, these companies get threatened by the indigenous people, you will no doubt find that they will send troops to go and save their so-called properties in these areas. 
“This is what all this machine is … it’s part of the machinery of the international capitalism to try to exploit the Third World in particular, southern Africa.
“They want to use the resident white minority as their immediate agents for carrying out their exploitation on their behalf.
“So, they will get the support of capitalism in the West.
“I say this because I think it is very important for us to appreciate that the struggle we are engaged with is not simply against the immediate European settlers (Coltart, Bennet, Cross, Kay, Freeth) by themselves.
“They are not alone! With them are in the background, a whole lot of other people. South Africans, the Portuguese, the British, the French, the Germans, the Americans.
“They are all in it.
“They are all trying to get something out of the wealth of Southern Africa.
“They are all part of the exploiting machine.
“That is really what we are fighting against.”
Given Chitepo’s observations, it is today, critical to remember that what made the illegal sanctions invited upon the black nation by the racist Rhodesian community effective is that what we believed was our collective economy was sustained by European foreign investment. 
The economy was sustained by European technology.
Our government institutions were equipped with European technology, like British Landrovers and  Spanish Santanas in the ZRP; British Bedfords and German Mercedes Benz’ in the Zimbabwe Defence Forces; European warplanes  in the Airforce of Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwean industries were running on European machines.
Farm equipment was predominantly European.
The suppliers of fuel were predominantly European.
The whole arrangement made it possible for the EU to use the supply of spares and services as an effective weapon of the mass destruction of the government of Zimbabwe and its capacity to defend itself.
In essence, the targeted economy did not belong to the majority black people.
The participation of black people in that economy was peripheral.
They were the powerless suppliers of labour in an environment where black labour movement leadership had been subverted into a treacherous political entity that served racist employers’ interests.
When the politically subverted labour movements organised the poor black workers into mass ‘stay-aways’ from work, it was surprisingly not to demand due respect as well as shares in the ownership of the land, the resources and the means of production.
It was rather to stop the black government from demanding due ownership of the economy by the indigenous black majority.
The white farmer or company owner’s power lay in the capacity to withdraw employment and therefore livelihood from the landless black workforce.
In the live-and-let-die racist arrangement, the Rhodesian initiators of illegal sanctions against landless black Zimbabweans could sustain themselves from savings in off-shore accounts and yet have the power to completely snuff out the life of the black worker.
Their power lay in their retention of the industrial infrastructure they had shut down with the result that unemployment and poverty among the blacks was driven to unsustainable levels.
And, the arrangement amounted to a softening of the nation for a European take-over.
The clear intention was to enrage the black electorate to initiate regime change in which they would still be marginalised workers living under the racist whims of the Rhodesians who owned the land and the industry. 
In retrospect, after the overwhelming vote against re-colonisation on July 31 2013, one would want to believe that our decade-long experience of EU Satanism would have given us an unforgettable lesson.
One would want to believe that the experience would have taught us to keep EU investment in our economy at the barest minimum that won’t make any future sanctions against us effective.
We now have our land, and we are slowly but surely building our own industry and we won’t mass-stay-away from our own enterprises.
Surely, logic and the irrefutable facts of history should advise us not to go back to racist Europe for equipment and funding that we have so far managed to wean ourselves from, and which if we accept, will only restore the stranglehold the racists have since lost on our economy.
Surely, we cannot snub our eastern all-weather friends who once gave us weapons to liberate ourselves from the same racist Europe and went further to veto a NATO invasion that would have wiped out millions of us like is happening in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.  
It is surely imperative for the nation to consider again, if opening our doors to the EU is not in essence, a suicidal rejection of the irrefutable facts on the ground.
Is it not a taking the recovering common man back to the place of racist bondage?


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