By Tawanda Chenana

THE formation of the War Veterans League is a very welcome development which has delighted many of us back in the village.

We should not tire of celebrating our war veterans for the role they played in liberating our country from the yoke of colonialism.

As we work towards achieving Vision 2030, of an upper-middle income economy and building our country brick-by-brick, one of the major obstacles in our way is the colonial mentality. 

We, in the village, already are hearing murmurs of some people asking if we need a league of war veterans.

And the question I pose is: Why not? 

Why should we not do everything in our power to ensure that this important constituency remains relevant in our everyday activities.

The colonial mentality is a terrible disease of the mind that threatens to derail the ongoing development work happening in the country.

We fail to see the importance of institutions, such as the War Veterans League, because these people are suffering from a terrible inferiority complex in relation to the whiteman. 

The poor sufferer of this disease always takes the whiteman — his institutions, systems, everyone from the West — as the paragon of excellence, while on the other hand the same black sufferer looks down upon himself and all blacks as inferior beings capable of doing only ordinary things.

But they fail to see that among the most respected and revered people in the West are war veterans.

Veterans from the First World War, right up to those who have fought in recent US wars abroad, are honoured every day.

But we refuse to honour our fathers and mothers and disrespect institutions they come up with to help the country move forward.

Institutions like the War Veterans League, I am convinced, will help us get rid of the colonial mentality from some of our people? 

It is an institution that should play a key role in reminding people, time-and-again, that the liberation war defeated the whiteman. 

It must constantly remind the people that the whiteman is gone and that he is not coming back to do good things for Zimbabwe. 

Most importantly, it must remind the people that the whiteman never did good things for the blackman in the past and will not be doing so this time around. 

The cry for the whiteman we hear day and night from some of our fellow men is a complete waste of time and tears. 

The blackman is at the centre of Zimbabwe; this is what the War Veterans League must remind us on a daily basis. 

The War Veterans League simply reminds and informs us that the whiteman is no god.

We need all the help we can get to defend our motherland.

More than a decade ago, one Dr Stephen Burgess, in 2010, predicted that the US would resort to ‘coercive diplomacy’ in 10 or 20 years as a means of accessing the strategic minerals of Southern Africa. 

And it is now happening.

Southern Africa hosts most of the world’s strategic minerals, such as chromium, manganese, rare earth minerals, cobalt, uranium and others which the West need for their industries and the production of weapons systems.

The US and its Western allies are concerned that access to the minerals of Southern Africa will become more and more difficult to obtain in future because of increasing global demand, supply shortages caused by inadequate infrastructure, resource nationalism and, most importantly, China’s growing involvement in Southern Africa.

The Chinese have penetrated Africa’s mining sector by striking win-win deals which are favourable to African countries, most of which are keen to grow their economies using their natural resources.

In view of the West’s habitual bullying tactics, it is very important for China and the governments of Southern Africa to work on strategies to defend themselves from possible military action by the US and its Western allies. 

The NATO attack on Libya should serve as an example of what can happen to resource-rich countries in Africa. 

And who best to advise us than the war veterans who went toe-to-toe with the imperialists and defeated them.

The West has a rich and varied legacy of war veterans who continue to work and assist their governments to further political, social and economic agendas. 

Our war veterans bring unique perspectives and important experiences as well as knowledge to a whole lot of issues.

These men and women are perfectly suited to counter the evil machinations of the West.

Who better to help preach the gospel and philosophy of nyika inovakwa nevene vayo/Ilizwe liyakwa ngabanikazi!

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