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You need political technique, to see through sanctions and democracy

The main reason for the sanctions – was the late Cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe’s radical land reform programme


By Nhamo Muchagumisa

The easiest way of speaking positively about Zimbabwe without inviting antagonism is to mention the high literacy level

Then the big question follows, does the mastery of letters translate into the wisdom that will lead the nation out of the economic mess that makes some of us be embarrassed of being ourselves?

It is easily discernible that at the centre of our beautiful nation’s destruction, there are highly educated people.

The people you hear loudly defending the economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the western world are highly educated people, lawyers and journalists among them.

They defend the sanctions, not because they do not see the harm the sanctions have done to the nation, but because they earn their flamboyant livelihoods from the very sanctions.

These people are to be found in the opposition fraternity whose cradle was the formation of the MDC in 1999. The various opposition formations have various limbs in the guise of civil society and human rights organisations whose political outlook never strike a person with a discerning mind on the blind spot.

List of sanctioned companies

These people will tell you that the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the European Union, the USA, Canada and Australia are not meant to inflict harm on ordinary Zimbabweans, but on a few “bad”people in ZANU PF.

If ZANU PF is ruling Zimbabwe and it is put under sanctions, then the people under ZANU PF rule are under sanctions.

This sounds naive, isn’t that so? Now let the reader consider the following for deeper understanding. At the inception of the sanctions, the following financial institutions were placed under sanctions, Agribank and ZB Bank, formerly Zimbank. Are these ZANU PF institutions or state institutions?

Were these institutions not put in place to serve an economic purpose?

The list of business entities put under western sanctions include Ziscosteel, among other Government related sections of the economy, and as late as 2014, Zimbabwe Fertilizer Company was added to the list, and the common Zimbabweans allow their minds to be manipulated by political demagogues to believe that the sanctions were put to serve the interests of the common person, half the population of Zimbabwe consigned to the lunatic asylum.

Why the war of liberation had to be fought

The main reason why Zimbabwe was put under sanctions was the late Cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe’s radical land reform programme that made him bestride the white man’s monopoly of the mainstay of the country’s economy like a colossus.

One might ask why in Zimbabwe a liberation war had to be fought, while in Zambia and Malawi, there were peaceful transitions to independence.

Were these two other nations not part of the Rhodesian federation? The answer falls in the British colonial policy.

These other two principalities of the Rhodesian federation were exploitation colonies, whose resources would benefit Southern Rhodesian, a settlement colony.

The white man therefore gave political independence to these two nations whose resources he would continue to exploit and maintained a strangle hold on Southern Rhodesia.

According to written records held by the British colonial office, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Canada, Australia and Newzeland are listed as white man’s county, in which the white man would eventually outnumber the natives.

The model worked well for Canada, Australia and New Zealand, almost worked for South Africa, but failed dismally for Zimbabwe.

The wily British had to consider other options and political independence was the way to go.

Ian Douglas Smith still hoped in the original model, opted for UDI, and said that there would be no majority rule in Rhodesia in a thousand years.

Following the defeat of Ian Smith, Zimbabwe got its political independence, but the land we had fought for remained in the hands of the white minority.

Pro-sanctions propaganda

The Lancaster House constitution of 1979 had forbidden the compulsory acquisition of land for the next ten years, prescribing a willing buyer willing seller model in which there were no willing sellers, and to make matters worse, Britain later reneged on the release of the funds.

The culmination of this scenario was a letter written to the then Minister of Lands Cde Kumbirai Kangai in 1997, by Mrs Clare Short making it clear that Britain would not fund the Zimbabwean Land Reform. After all efforts had been made to break the impasse, Cde Robert Mugabe settled for land acquisition without compensation.

The UK did not take this lying down. She advocated for sanctions, influenced the European Union and the USA to follow the same example, while channelling funds towards opposition formations to effect regime change.

A UK based organisation ccalled West Minister Fountain for Democracy, formed to perpetuate neocolonial interests in Africa was the first sponsor of the MDC. It is interesting to note that the pro-sanctions propaganda cites human rights violations and a return to democracy as justification for the imposition of sanctions on Zimbabwe.

The funny thing is that the would be beneficiaries of Comrade Mugabe’s Land Reform Programme were cited as the very victims of human rights violations.

It is the same former colonial masters who sponsored the nearly quarter a century long civil war in Angola, buying diamonds from UNITA, which enabled the rebel forces to buy military equipment.

In Zimbabwe our former colonial masters realised that Zimbabwe, having no strong tribal element, with the unity accord of 1987 having resolved the differences between the Shona and the Ndebele, the only way to effect regime change in Zimbabwe would be through “democratic” means and opted to sponsor opposition political movements, the MDC at the centre of the project.

Political aggrandishment

The Party is full of highly educated people who know our history but have chosen to trivialise the nation’s liberation war ethos in their quest for political aggrandisement.

They are beneficiaries of a dubious democratic model fashioned by the very forces Zimbabwe fought in the struggle for independence.

One thing that we may not take seriously about ZIDERA is that it was drafted by our own lawyers, then the document forwarded to the USA during the reign of Bill Clinton.

A former MDC official Gabriel Chaibva confessed on ZBC radio that the sanctions bill was drafted at a hotel in Nyanga by lawyers in the MDC, so when the MDC defends sanctions, they are defending their own political strategy.

The local opposition, fronted by the late Morgan Tsvangirai, fervently wanted South Africa to throw it’s weight behind the western forces.

The late trade unionist, turned politician appeared on ZBC-TV saying that South Africa should cut transport links with Zimbabwe, cut fuel and electricity supplies to Zimbabwe to send the right signal to ZANU-PF.

This came after the observation that as long as South Africa stood with Zimbabwe, the western sanctions would not be very effective. A lot of literate Zimbabweans allow their minds to be manipulated to think that the western sanctions are just a corrective measure which would eventually benefit the nation.

This is a ‘die dreaming’ interpretation of an otherwise dreadful scenario.

The grief of luring Dangote

The implications of sanctions include the cessation of foreign direct investment, as multinational companies in the western world are afraid of being placed under sanctions should they start businesses in Zimbabwe.

Even African or regional investors are deterred by the sanctions. Remember how attempts to lure Aliko Dangote came to grief!

Let the highly literate Zimbabweans, who shout home and abroad that sanctions are a bitter medicine that will eventually heal Zimbabwe understand that the economic embargo is actually sweet poison, that flavours the dream of regime change, that could only be realised through constructive political strategy.

Let all those who believe that they have mastered unprecedented political literacy realise that condemning sanctions does not automatically make a person a ZANU-PF supporter, that when someone says that President ED Mnangagwa won the harmonised elections of 2018 ( the results of which Nelson Chamisa rejected), he or she is not saying that the economy is performing, but simply expressing a political fact.

It is painful that our opposition politicians have for two decades been used as the soiled limbs of Western giants in their fight to reverse the gains of our liberation struggle.


Nhamo Muchagumisa write s in his own capacity and can be reached on whatsapp +263777460162 or Email: muchagumisan@gmail.com.





The disempowerment of Zimbabwe’s teachers is a major anomaly in a modern society.


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