THE major reason the independence celebrations in 1980 were tinged with a slight sense of relief was that there was a nagging, unavoidable belief that the enemy would soon regroup and try to destabilise the country.
“I don’t believe in majority rule ever in Rhodesia…. Not in a 1 000 years,” colonial Rhodesia henchman and the then Prime Minister Ian Smith said in a televised address on March 20 1976.
He amplified that narcissist belief with the odd claim that blacks would not rule the country without the support of whites.
The controversial leader was, to an extent, right in his warped belief.
Giving credit to the devil, he had, with a sense of hindsight, studied the behavioural pattern of some blacks in our midst.
It did not take long for whites to exhibit their true colours, as they hung onto the land for 10 years through that infamous Willing Buyer Willing Seller Lancaster Conference clause.
Now water under the bridge, the inescapable reality was that the chief grievance of the liberation struggle needed to be addressed and that blacks wanted their land back.
Heroes and heroines were born out of that painful struggle.
A solid defence force was also born out of that protracted struggle for freedom.
It happened in 2000 through the Land Reform and Resettlement Programme which has to date empowered more than 400 000 households, who have been sowing and reaping on their ancestral lands the Government assisted them to reclaim.
Therein lies the many problems that we have been facing as a country.
Zimbabwe has been labelled a pariah state by its enemies both inside and outside the country because of the Land Reform Programme.
There were serious efforts to derail implementation of that historic programme since 1980 by the West.
We give an orderly account of events that took place prior to the execution of the programme.
We will draw from the New African magazine’s November 11 2018 article by Baffour Ankomah titled, ‘Why Robin Cook’s Ghost is Smiling’.
“On this momentous day, November 30 2007, Stan (Mudenge, former Zimbabwe Minister of Foreign Affairs) pulled me aside to a corner of the Zimbabwean Grounds, where we could hear ourselves above the din of the commotion caused by the march. A great historian, Stan reminisced about the escapades of 2000-2001, and told me: ‘In one of our meetings with the British government in London, Robin Cook (who was foreign secretary under Prime Minister Tony Blair) pulled me aside and told me: ‘Stan, you guys must get rid of Bob’.” Bob is the moniker for Robert Mugabe.
Stan said he pretended he had not heard what Cook had said, so he asked him: ‘What did you just say?’ Cook replied: ‘You heard me right. I said you guys must get rid of Bob’. Stan said he told Cook: ‘We can’t get rid of Bob. As much as you guys want him out, we want him in’. At this point, Stan said Cook looked at him hard in the eye and told him point-blank: ‘Well, don’t say we didn’t warn you. If you guys don’t get rid of Bob, what will hit you will make your people stone you in the streets’.
Stan said he came back home and reported Cook’s massively threatening words to Mugabe and his cabinet.”
The results have been devastating because of the aggression that the country has been subjected to by the West, who are still opposed to the land reform programme.
Our security forces, who will be honoured next week, have been unfairly labelled because of the role they have played in maintaining peace and security, both within our borders and outside.
Every year the country gives a befitting honour to these brave sons and daughter of the soil, the men and women who have given Zimbabwe the much needed security and protection.
But the threats to that peace and security continue to erupt by the day.
Our people’s wellbeing continues to be threatened.
Last week provided yet another pointer that we are under siege as a country.
It was supposed to be the ‘mother of all demonstrations’, an outing that would bring the country to its knees and culminate in a change of leadership.
But as the sun set on July 31 2020, the usual ‘normal’ that we have been living under since March 2020 was there for all to see; a country that has abided by the current lockdown regulations and a people who have put their safety ahead of the anarchy and destruction that had been planned by Western governments through their acolytes.
A certain breeze, uncanny, soothing and undeterred whistled in Harare’s Central Business District on Friday last week, and wishing away the ills that had been meant to destabilise the country.
Missing in action were Job Sikhala, the non-conformist Hopewell Chin’ono and the eccentric Jacob Ngarivhume, organisers of the demonstration.
Chin’ono and Ngarivhume were languishing in prison while Sikhala was, as one would expect, in a hideout that had been provided by the US.
There is a nauseating narrative that normally visits upon us each time there is a major event in the country or across the globe.
We are constantly fed with the narrative of so-called human rights abuses, alleged abductions of activists or the Government not respecting democracy.
Last week’s demonstration was meant to destroy property, to paint a picture of a rogue leadership in the country and indict Zimbabwe of crimes against humanity.
There is nothing unusual or untoward about the arrests of Ngarivhume and Chin’ono.
The gentlemen allegedly incited the masses to violently protest against Government and they were duly nabbed according to the laws that govern the country.
There was nothing peaceful about those demonstrations.
They were planned to destroy property, to cause anarchy and chaos, hence the gleeful support from Western governments, particularly the US, which has yet to dispute allegations that they provided funds for those demonstrations.
When all is said and done, the reality that should be embraced by all, is that Zimbabwe is a sovereign state which should be respected.