Friday, March 15, 2013

(HERALD ZW) Defend your land: Chief Gaborone

Defend your land: Chief Gaborone
Friday, 15 March 2013 00:00
Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter

ZIMBABEWANS must defend their land from aggressive forces as it is the cornerstone of development for every country. Chief Gaborone of Botswana, Mr Monare Gaborone, told journalists after meeting President Mugabe at State House in Harare yesterday that land was Africa’s gold.

Chief Gaborone is in the country at the invitation of the Government. He played an instrumental role during the liberation struggle as he offered his house to Zanla forces to operate from.

One of his rooms was turned into a Zanla armoury during the liberation struggle. Chief Gaborone said: “The people of Zimbabwe know what I did for them. They love me and I love them.

“I strongly urge them to look after their land. Land is our gold and if anybody comes to take the land tell him to go to hell. If they want money, give them but not land.”

Chief Gaborone, who is now 96 years old, described the time of the liberation struggle as the most difficult period.

He said he offered accommodation to many people who flocked his home fleeing from oppression in their respective countries.
President Mugabe paid tribute to Chief Gaborone for the role he played.

The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces said Zimbabwe was indebted to Chief Gaborone and the people of Botswana.

“Of course he (Chief Gaborone) is an old, old friend and ally of the liberation struggle,” said President Mugabe.

“He looked after our people in Botswana and Botswana used to be our route to Tanzania and Zambia. Some remained in Botswana and of course they were assisted by Chief Gaborone.

“They needed accommodation and Chief Gaborone accommodated them free of charge. We are indebted to him and the people of Botswana for the help they rendered and hospitality they gave to our young people.”

President Mugabe said some of the people assisted by Chief Gaborone were still alive and some were late.

He said he visited Chief Gaborone twice after independence.

“I paid two visits to his home after independence. He once came here after independence and I am happy that he is back again. Unfortunately he came alone. Our mother, his wife, passed on six months ago but he came with his son (Ledingwane) and we are really happy.

“His visit reminded us of the good old days and I am only a youth to him. He is 96 and I am only a miserable 89,” said the President.

Meanwhile, Chief Gaborone laid a wreath at the grave of Cde Gaylord Themba Hlatshwayo at Warren Hills Cemetery.

Cde Hlatshwayo whose Chimurenga name was Cde Mao died on April 29, 1997. He was a Zanu representative in Botswana during the liberation struggle and worked closely with Chief Gaborone.

Earlier President Mugabe met Mines, Industry and Energy Minister from Equatorial Guinea Gabriel Obiang Lima.

Speaking after meeting the President, Minister Lima said they discussed areas of co-operation, especially in the mining and agricultural sector.

He said Malabo was keen to tap mining expertise from Harare.

“You know we are brotherly countries and we have a lot of agreements. We want to cement our cooperation. We want to gain mining experience from our brothers in Zimbabwe. We want to bring our civil servants for training in Zimbabwe,” he said.

Minister Lima said they would send some of their civil servants once they finalised negotiations with local universities and technical colleges.

He said he also brought a special message from President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo thanking President Mugabe for supporting Equatorial Guinea.

Minister Lima said they were happy that President Mugabe attended all the summits hosted by Equatorial Guinea since 2011 such as the African Union Summit, African Caribbean and Pacific Summit and the Africa South America Summit.

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