Sunday, July 08, 2007
By George Chellah in Harare, Zimbabwe
Sunday July 08, 2007 [04:02]
TONY Blair’s much-awaited departure was an added bonus to Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe has said. And President Mugabe said Zimbabweans must take full charge of their economy. Addressing the 70th ordinary session of the ZANU-PF central committee on Friday, President Mugabe chronicled the support Zimbabwe was getting from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU).
“We convene at a time when our cause continues to win international support and acclaim. As you will recall, our last meeting was held against the backdrop of the historic SADC extraordinary summit in Dar-Es-Salaam. That summit emphatically registered and re-stated SADC’s continued support for Zimbabwe in her ongoing struggle against vestigial British imperialism,” President Mugabe said.
“We thank all the governments and leaders of our SADC region for their comprehensive solidarity. Just this week, at the AU summit in Ghana, our cause received firm support and acclaim, not just African leaders, but also from the people of Ghana. I also had occasion to address the Ghanaian people at a successful rally organised by our supporters in that country.”
He further said even within the UN, Zimbabwe registered great victories.
“As evidenced by our election to head one of that World body’s arm on environmental matters. Against robust opposition from the governments of Britain, America and the rest of the Western World, this was no small victory for our country. Only last month in Nairobi, we were elected and assumed deputy chairmanship of COMESA. As with other forums, COMESA was unequivocal in its support of our cause,” President Mugabe said.
“Of course an added bonus to us was the much-awaited departure of (former British Prime Minister) Tony Blair from Number 10 Downing Street. Needless to say he went out with a limb, utterly dismayed that his disgraceful policies against Zimbabwe came to naught. His mentor and master, George Bush, remains, but only just! We hope the new man at 10 Downing Street has the sense to realise we are a full, sovereign people with rights which are just as big and sacred as those of his own country.”
He said Zimbabweans should not allow the present pressing and immediate challenges to blind them to the bigger picture.
“It is very easy and even tempting to reduce the present challenges to a battle of tills and price tags. The fight is not in the supermarket where goods are overpriced, nor is it in the warehouses where essentials are hoarded. The fight is much deeper and the party needs to focus on the real game. Using a thin facade of gratuitous blame, our detractors today hold us responsible for adverse outcomes arising from the illegal sanctions they have imposed on us,” President Mugabe said.
“The British and Americans have been doing untold harm to our economy, using their economic hit men. The impact of that subversion is what their media twist into charges of bad management laid against us. Are we being told that our economic management skills only started failing the day we decided to take back our land when all along we were hailed as pragmatic and reasonable leaders? Are we being told that the current runaway prices merely coincided with decisions in the West to oust ZANU-PF? Mere neat coincidence or intimate causality?”
President Mugabe said Zimbabwe could not secure the livelihood of its people if it did not own its economy.
“The present challenges should convince us more than ever before that the struggle we have just ended in respect of land should now extend to other spheres of our economy. So that we are true masters of our destiny,” said President Mugabe.
“A people with no economy of their own are not a sovereign people. We all know who our enemies are, or who our allies are. By harnessing the economy to support his politics, Blair has clearly shown us what we lack and thus what we need to consolidate our sovereignty. We must move in and take full charge of our economy.”