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Sanctions: Weep no more

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WE, in the village, since time immemorial, have always believed in self-sufficiency; Joromiyo ane gadhi rake, Juriet ane gandiwa rake, and we thrive and live comfortably.

And as the West refuses to lift sanctions, we are now past being bothered by this evil act; we weep no more.

The milestones we have achieved thus far set us up for real and sustainable growth.

“The Beitbridge Border Post remains the backbone infrastructure for traders and exporters in Zimbabwe and those on the North-South Corridor. I am happy that the modernisation of the Beitbridge Border Post has removed bottlenecks that previously slowed down the movement of goods and the travelling public,” President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.

The recently refurbished Beitbridge Border Post.

“Plans are in place to establish a One-Stop-Border Post at Beitbridge  to further facilitate seamless trade. The modernisation of Chirundu, Machipanda-Forbes and Plumtree border posts, among others, will soon commence.” 

It is not pub talk that sanctions have hurt us badly and that on our own we are recovering and recording phenomenal growth.

It is not only Zimbabwe that has suffered and taken itself out of the quicksand.

To date, Cuba and Iran sanctions are some of the toughest the US has imposed on any country but these nations are thriving.

It is a fact that the West, in general, and the US, in particular, as long as Zimbabweans continue exercising their democratic right by choosing a Government which puts the interests of the indigenes first, will not be relenting on its sanctions regime until they impose a puppet.

We know, for a fact, that it is the duty and ambition of every American President, Democratic or Republican, to topple the legitimate rulers of Zimbabwe for quislings.

Zimbabwe embarked on a Land Reform Programme that addressed a century-old land distribution travesty where a handful 4 000 white farmers had their land repossessed by more than 400 000 black households.

So we know that for the foreseeable future, we will not be at peace and the regime change agenda will remain a consistent thread.

It thus calls for us to be vigilant and bust the sanctions, for a beautiful and thriving Zimbabwe, for future generations.

The US has a healthy track record of trying to effect regime change in Zimbabwe since the country adopted black majority rule.

Former US Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Christopher Dell, on November 2 2005, had tried to hide behind a finger while making a presentation at Africa University when he gave away the objective of ZDERA:

“The Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 is the cornerstone of US Policy toward Zimbabwe (Cornerstone because it would make the economy scream while pushing President Mugabe out of power). Under the Act, the US conditions aid and financing of Zimbabwe.”

It was more than dismaying to read a paper published in July (2005) by the Centre of Global Development in Washington on the ‘costs and causes of Zimbabwe’s economic crisis’.

The paper calculated that the purchasing power of the average Zimbabwean in 2005 had fallen back to the same level as in 1953 – that is an astonishing reversal of 52 years of progress in only half a dozen years.

The Zimbabwe we are currently building is the best ever for our people, there are a lot of half-truths and outright dishonesty when people compare Rhodesia to Zimbabwe.

Rhodesians inflate their capabilities with godlike imagery while some later-worn out black politicians declare: ‘Life was so much better under Rhodesia’ seeking some sort of political relevance.

These half-baked projections and statistics attempt to validate white sentiment that black people are not naturally equipped to govern, are not intelligent yet they have, even during the colonial period, been the backbone of this nation.

The book, ‘A Portrait of an Economy under Sanctions 1965-1975 (1976)’ by John Handford seeks to glorify  Rhodesians, telling a story of how the white population survived the sanctions by the UN post the 1965 Declaration of Independence (UDI).

It was, “…the will to govern, the ability to adapt, the aptitude for innovation, the reasonableness which underlies self-discipline – in short, the determination not be beaten (which saw Rhodesia thrive),” gloats Handford.

These half-baked sentiments attempt to validate the age-old white view that black people are not naturally equipped to govern.

But Zimbabwe, since 1980, has achieved major milestones that put Zimbabweans up there with the rest of the world.

How many Africans, today, boast land ownership?

It was cheap African labour that saw a boom in Rhodesia despite the sanctions.

Other countries carried on to trade with Rhodesia despite the UN resolution.

The countries more sympathetic to Rhodesia, politically, South Africa and Portugal (Mozambique), did not apply sanctions, shared common frontiers and had the ports that were used by the Rhodesian government.

It is a fact that during the time of the sanctions by the West on Rhodesia, the US continued to import  minerals, especially chrome necessary for their industrialisation.

And do you know that the sanctions had very little impact as the Rhodesian population, in 1965, was 4,4 million, with 4,2 million Africans and 210 000 Europeans.

“The standard of living of white Rhodesians was so high that a good deal of financial fat was available once the closed economy was instituted,” concedes Handford.

It must be remembered that outside of labour, there was no other provision for black improvement in the Rhodesian economy, with blacks in the public service used as subordinate staff for a pittance.

Did you know that the ordinary black citizen had only Christmas to enjoy basics like bread and rice that were enjoyed by whites on a daily basis? 

We, in the village, were very much acquainted with this situation back then in Rhodesia.

Even though there were sanctions on commodities like fuel, the few cars in Rhodesia were only meant to cater for the whites, while the ‘happy cycling’ Africans were seen on bicycles.

It is a fact that cannot be disputed that the Rhodesian economy was tailor-made for the 200 000 white population with a sprinkling of Asians and coloureds.

Fast forward to Zimbabwe, in 1980, with a 7,2 million population which was growing fast as education, health and opportunity was made available to the black population, there was an influx into the towns and the economy that once catered for just over 300 000 whites suddenly had to take care of millions.

When Zimbabwe was handed over the economy, many like to point out that the dollar had the equivalent value of the British pound.

Many, however, do not realise that the country was also under debt.

Handford writes: “Rhodesia was able to save large sums of foreign currency by defaulting on payments in London on loans incurred pre-UDI.”

This means that Zimbabwe, in its infancy, already had a 700 million-dollar debt incurred by the Rhodesian regime.

The debt, as pointed out by Handford, had been taken from international banks, mostly by farmers to develop their farms and improve production.

While many countries continued to support the Rhodesian regime while publicly declaring their displeasure, when sanctions were imposed on Zimbabwe, the country found herself totally isolated right after the highly successful Land Reform Programme, with a doubled population unlike that of Rhodesia.

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