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I lost eleven precious years of my life in the jail of a white man whose freedom and well-being

I have assured from the first day of Zimbabwe's Independence.

I lost a further fifteen years fighting white injustice in my country.

 

 

Statement by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe

Comrade R. G. Mugabe

on the occasion of the 62nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly,

New York, 26 September, 2007

 

Your Excellency, President of the 62nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Mr. Srgjan Kerim

Your Majesties

Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government

Your Excellency the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon

Distinguished Delegates

Ladies and Gentlemen.

 

Mr. President,

Allow me to congratulate you on your election to preside over this august assembly. We are confident that through your stewardship, issues on this 62nd Session agenda be dealt with in a balanced manner and to the satisfaction of all.

Let me also pay tribute to your predecessor, Madame Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa, who steered the work of the 61st Session in a very competent and impartial manner.

Her ability to identify the crucial issues facing the world today will be remembered as the hallmark of her presidency.

Mr. President,

We extend our hearty welcome to the new Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, who has taken up this challenging job requiting dynamism in confronting the global challenges of the 21st Century. Balancing global interests and steering the United Nations in a direction that gives hope to the multitudes of the poor, the sick, the hungry and the marginalized, is indeed a mammoth task. We would like to assure him that Zimbabwe will continue to support an open, transparent and all-inclusive multilateral approach in dealing with these global challenges.

Mr. President,

Climate change is one of the most pressing global issues of our time. Its negative impact is greatest in developing countries, particularly those on the African continent. We believe that if the international community is going to seriously address the challenges of climate change, then we need to get our priorities right. In Zimbabwe, the effects of climate change have become more evident in the past decade as we have witnessed increased and recurrent droughts as well as occasional floods, leading to enormous humanitarian challenges.

Mr. President,

We are for a United Nations that recognises the equality of sovereign nations and peoples whether big or small. We are averse to a body in which the economically and militarily powerful behave like bullies, trampling on the rights of weak and smaller states as sadly happened in Iraq. In the light of these inauspicious developments, this Organisation must surely examine the essence of its authority and the extent of its power when challenged in this manner.

Such challenges to the authority of the UN and its Charter underpin our repeated call for the revitalisation of the United Nations General Assembly, itself the most representative organ of the UN. The General Assembly should be more active in all areas including those of peace and security. The encroachment of some U.N. organs upon the work of the General Assembly is of great concern to us. Thus any process of revitalizing or strengthening of the General Assembly should necessarily avoid eroding the principle of the accountability of all principal and subsidiary organs to the General Assembly.

Mr. President,

Once again we reiterate our position that the Security Council as presently constituted is not democratic. In its present configuration, the Council has shown that it is not in a position to protect the weaker states who find themselves at loggerheads with a marauding super-power. Most importantly, justice demands that any Security Council reform redresses the fact that Africa is the only continent without a permanent seat and veto power in the Security Council. Africa's demands are known and enunciated in the Ezulwini consensus.

Mr. President,

We further call for the U.N. system to refrain from interfering in matters that are clearly the domain of member states and are not a threat to international peace and security. Development at country level should continue to be country-led, and not subject to the whims of powerful donor states.

Mr President,

Zimbabwe won its independence on 18th April, 1980, after a protracted war against British colonial imperialism which denied us human rights and democracy. That colonial system which suppressed and oppressed us enjoyed the support of many countries of the West who were signatories to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Even after 1945, it would appear that the Berlin Conference of 1884, through which Africa was parcelled to colonial European powers, remained stronger than the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is therefore clear that for the West, vested economic interests, racial and ethnocentric considerations proved stronger than their adherence to principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The West still negates our sovereignties by way of control of our resources, in the process making us mere chattels in out own lands, mere minders of its trans-national interests. In my own country and other sister states in Southern Africa, the most visible form of this control has been over land despoiled from us at the onset of British colonialism.

That control largely persists, although it stands firmly challenged in Zimbabwe, thereby triggering the current stand-off between us and Britain, supported by her cousin states, most notably the United States and Australia. Mr Bush, Mr. Blair and now Mr Brown's sense of human rights precludes our people's right to their God-given resources, which in their view must be controlled by their kith and kin. I am termed dictator because I have rejected this supremacist view and frustrated the neo-colonialists.

Mr President,

Clearly the history of the struggle for out own national and people's rights is unknown to the president of the United States of America. He thinks the Declaration of Human Rights starts with his last term in office! He thinks she can introduce to us, who bore the brunt of fighting for the freedoms of our peoples, the virtues of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. What rank hypocrisy!

Mr President,

I lost eleven precious years of my life in the jail of a white man whose freedom and well- being I have assured from the first day of Zimbabwe's Independence. I lost a further fifteen years fighting white injustice in my country.

Ian Smith is responsible for the death of well over 50 000 of my people. I bear scars of his tyranny which Britain and America condoned. I meet his victims everyday. Yet he walks free. He farms free. He talks freely, associates freely under a black Government.

We taught him democracy. We gave him back his humanity.

He would have faced a different fate here and in Europe if the 50 000 he killed were Europeans. Africa has not called for a Nuremberg trial against the white world which committed heinous crimes against its own humanity. It has not hunted perpetrators of this genocide, many of whom live to this day, nor has it got reparations from those who offended against it. Instead it is Africa which is in the dock, facing trial from the same world that persecuted it for centuries.

Let Mr. Bush read history correctly. Let him realise that both personally and in his representative capacity as the current President of the United States, he stands for this "civilisation" which occupied, which colonised, which incarcerated, which killed. He has much to atone for and very little to lecture us on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. His hands drip with innocent blood of many nationalities.

He still kills.

He kills in Iraq. He kills in Afghanistan. And this is supposed to be out master on human rights?

He imprisons.

He imprisons and tortures at Guantanamo. He imprisoned and tortured at Abu Ghraib. He has secret torture chambers in Europe. Yes, he imprisons even here in the United States, with his jails carrying more blacks than his universities can ever enroll. He even suspends the provisions of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Take Guantanamo for example; at that concentration camp international law does not apply. The national laws of the people there do not apply. Laws of the United States of America do not apply. Only Bush's law applies. Can the international community accept being lectured by this man on the provisions of the universal declaration of human rights? Definitely not!

Mr President, We are alarmed that under his leadership, basic rights of his own people and those of the rest of the world have summarily been rolled back. America is primarily responsible for rewriting core tenets of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We seem all guilty for 9/11. Mr. Bush thinks he stands above all structures of governance, whether national or international.

At home, he apparently does not need the Congress. Abroad, he does not need the UN, international law and opinion. This forum did not sanction Blair and Bush's misadventures in Iraq. The two rode roughshod over the UN and international opinion. Almighty Bush is now coming back to the UN for a rescue package because his nose is bloodied! Yet he dares lecture us on tyranny. Indeed, he wants us to praise him! We say No to him and encourage him to get out of Iraq. Indeed he should mend his ways before he clambers up the pulpit to deliver pieties of democracy.

Mr President,

The British and the Americans have gone on a relentless campaign of destabilising and vilifying my country. They have sponsored surrogate forces to challenge lawful authority in my country. They seek regime change, placing themselves in the role of the Zimbabwean people in whose collective will democracy places the right to define and change regimes.

Let these sinister governments be told here and now that Zimbabwe will not allow a regime change authored by outsiders. We do not interfere with their own systems in America and Britain. Mr Bush and Mr Brown have no role to play in our national affairs. They are outsiders and mischievous outsiders and should therefore keep out! The colonial sun set a long time ago; in 1980 in the case of Zimbabwe, and hence Zimbabwe will never be a colony again. Never!

We do not deserve sanctions. We are Zimbabweans and we know how to deal with our problems. We have done so in the past, well before Bush and Brown were known politically. We have our own regional and continental organizations and communities.

In that vein, I wish to express my country's gratitude to President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa who, on behalf of SADC, successfully facilitated the dialogue between the Ruling Party and the Opposition Parties, which yielded the agreement that has now resulted in the constitutional provisions being finally adopted. Consequently, we will be holding multiple democratic elections in March 2008. Indeed we have always had timely general and presidential elections since our independence.

Mr. President,

In conclusion, let me stress once more that the strength of the United Nations lies in its universality and impartiality as it implements its mandate to promote peace and security, economic and social development, human rights and international law as outlined in the Charter. Zimbabwe stands ready to play its part in all efforts and programmes aimed at achieving these noble goals.

I thank you.

posted 28 September 2007

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Condemn sanctions on Zimbabwe
The Herald



Dr John Sentamu The Archbishop of York England Re: Appeal to lift sanctions against Zimbabwe I am writing in my personal capacity, in response to your radio interview which came over the BBC last night (September 16 2007) in which you vehemently attacked, and condemned President Mugabe's rule and called him a racist and compared him with Idi Amin.

You heaped all the blame on President Mugabe, not so much on his Government, for inflation, for alleged mass starvation, for mass migration of people, for lack or scarcity of essential common commodities, for harassing the members of the opposition, for the abuse of human rights, and for lack of Press freedom, etc.

You went on to call upon the British and others to do something in order to restore democracy, the rule of law and prevent starvation, and suggested further sanctions as one of the ways to bring about change.

Your radio interview distressed me considerably because you jumped onto the bandwagon of groups of people and media who condemn President Mugabe for the appalling situation now obtaining in Zimbabwe without trying to understand what went wrong.

I, however, sympathise with you and I am equally concerned about the situation in Zimbabwe, but I cannot excuse you for siding with all and sundry who stage-managed the destruction of Zimbabwe.

Now here is the basic information:

Zimbabwe is a large country; it covers 390 757 square kilometres; it is about 1½ times the size of Uganda with a population of 12 million, or about half that of Uganda, 80 percent of whom are Shona, 14 percent are Ndebele, 1 percent are European and the rest are natives of different tribes (The World Almanac, 2006:850).

The current situation has its origin in the unequal ownership of land. At the time of independence in 1980, the Europeans, 1 percent of the population, owned 87 percent of the land, and the Africans, who made up 99 percent of the population, lived on 13 percent of the land.

In 1988, I was Uganda's High Commissioner to Zimbabwe, and while attending the annual agricultural show in Bulawayo, sitting next to the late Dr Herbert Ushewokunze and Dr Stan Mudenge, I asked them why there were no Africans taking part in the show. The two ministers relayed my question to Mr Robert Mugabe, who, by then, was Prime Minister.

I was seated about two or three places from Mr Mugabe. He went on to explain to me that the Africans could not participate in the exhibition because they had nothing to show, they owned no business, no farms and the majority survived by working as porters on the settlers' farms and on small land holdings on which they could not farm or practice animal husbandry.

Mr Mugabe told me that the land issue had been raised at Lancaster House when the independence terms were being discussed and it had been agreed that the question of land redistribution could be discussed after a period of 10 years after independence and Mr Mugabe assured me that he intended to raise the issue in 1990 and, sure and certain, that is what he did.

As soon as Mr Mugabe called for a serious discussion regarding the redistribution of land, the European settlers went wild! Mr Mugabe was rubbished, condemned and called a racist and despotic dictator who did not care for the welfare of his people. The more he called for something to be done so that the African people could get some piece of land which they could call their own, the louder the condemnation became.

It is regrettable that Archbishop Desmond Tutu, like you, would have preferred President Mugabe kept quiet!

The settlers owned large expanses of land, owned ranches and estates on which they grew maize, sugarcane, beans, rice, wheat. They raised cattle, pigs, sheep, and horses. They were the only ones who owned butcheries, banks, textiles, factories, bakeries, and beer factories. They owned petrol stations, beer bars, bookstores. They were the accountants, lawyers, doctors, and garage owners. They were the senior personnel in every government department as well as in every private business. The Africans were porters, gatekeepers, cooks, drivers, and worked in mines, and owned nothing.

Now, Sir, consider this: The more Robert Mugabe intensified his land acquisition efforts, the more bitter the settlers and their media became and began to dismantle their manufacturing plants, they stopped to grow any more food, remember Europeans grew maize and processed it, but did not eat it, it constituted the staple diet for nearly all Africans; and so by not growing this crop, shortage of maize meal was certain (Editor's note - actually the bulk of maize came from communal farmers as white farmers grew mainly cash and industrial crops).

Now, I would like to know from those who condemn Mr Mugabe, including Archbishop Tutu, to let us know what Mugabe could have done. Could he be advised to leave the land question; so that his 12 million Africans remained on 13 percent of their ancestral land in order to earn endless praises as a foresighted democratic, non-racial leader, an example for all African despots to emulate? Should he have resigned in order to make way for the MDC leadership and the Roman Catholic bishop for Bulawayo, Pius Ncube, to take over whom the settlers and the Press considered more efficient, capable and understanding than the Mugabe administration?

By calling for further sanctions, Dr Sentamu, you are demanding the intensification of the suffering of the African people and I would like to point out that for all I know, sanctions seem not to work and would like to know where, on the African continent or elsewhere, have they been able to bring about a more beneficial political system?

Finally, I would like to suggest that instead of calling for further sanctions (on Zimbabwe), you should:

Advise the anti-Mugabe groups to understand the origin of problems in Zimbabwe.

Advise the British and their friends to avoid blaming Mr Mugabe as the cause of the problem, but as an unfortunate leader who found himself in a situation to settle the problem he did not create.

Instead of calling for sanctions, you should call upon the international community to come to the rescue of Zimbabwe by stepping in to arrange the redistribution of land by compensating the aggrieved settlers.

You and Archbishop Tutu should lead a campaign for the international community to get essential supplies of maize meal, sugar and medicine and to send health works to assist in the rehabilitation effort. Mr Mugabe and his Government deserve our empathy and sympathy, but not condemnation.

I seriously request you and Archbishop Tutu to appeal to the African Union leaders, it would be the most grotesque sin we all would be committing to approve, leave alone, or impose sanctions on Zimbabwe.

The African Union should come to the rescue of Zimbabwe, sanctions must be avoided.

I feel a little bit unsettled that President Mugabe has had no outright support from his African colleagues with the exception of Mr Kenneth Kaunda and South African President Thabo Mbeki and a few others. These and others are being accused of being unable to remove Mr Mugabe from power, but the reason is that they understand a bit more of what led to the present situation, and that makes them less likely to condemn the Zimbabwe leadership.

I am, Sir,
Professor Mwene Mushanga
PO Box 46
Kabwohe, Bushenyi
Uganda.

 *   *   *   *   *

Obituary: Ian Smith (1919-2007)

2 November 20/07

During that period, his government illegally declared independence from British rule and fought a guerrilla war against factions of the majority black population. It was a struggle he eventually lost, paving the way for the country's independence as Zimbabwe. His supporters considered him a political visionary. His detractors called him a racist who stayed in power for too long.  .  .  .  Born in the then British colony of Rhodesia in 1919, Ian Douglas Smith was educated at Rhodes University in South Africa, a real son of the soil and a crack sportsman. The colony of Southern Rhodesia was still ruled by a tightly knit white community of fewer that 250,000. The country's black population, numbering some five million, had no say in its political or economic life. Most white Rhodesians could claim British descent and Rhodesia looked to "the Mother Country" with reverence. . . . 

On 11 November 1965, he made his Unilateral Declaration of Independence. Rhodesia had cast itself adrift from Britain and the Commonwealth. . . .

Attacks on white border farms started in 1972. Five years later, the guerrilla war was costing Rhodesia an estimated half a million pounds a day. John Vorster's South African government, distracted by this expensive sideshow, pulled the financial plug on its neighbour. . . . Following independence in 1980, Ian Smith remained a key player in Zimbabwean politics. His presence in parliament, which only ended with the scrapping of white-reserved seats in 1987, was a comfort to the white minority and a source of constant irritation to the government of Robert Mugabe. BBC News

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He illegally declared independence from Britain in 1965 and his white minority government led the country for 14 years amid international scorn and sanctions. Following a bitter bush war with black nationalists, his government gave way to a new administration in 1979, leading to the creation of Zimbabwe. . . . He became prime minister of the then self-governing British colony of Rhodesia in 1964. The following year he made his Unilateral Declaration of Independence and years of civil war ensued. Ian Smith denied this was caused by the actions of his regime and insisted there was nothing wrong with five million blacks being ruled by 200,000 whites. In the end, Mr Smith maintained, it was not his enemies who beat him, but apartheid South Africa's threat to cut Rhodesia's lifeline.

Margaret Thatcher's UK government brokered a peace deal in the Lancaster House talks in 1979 and a black-majority government took over Zimbabwe. BBC News

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Launching the Pedagogical History of Africa Project in Harare yesterday [5 September 2011] , President Mugabe said . . . "The history that must be written by our African scholars and academics here is the history that focuses on African people in struggle as creators of their own destiny rather than mere consumers of stories written about them by passive on-lookers who oftentimes happen to be non-African outsiders . . . . Real history belongs to a people in struggle and not to the interpreters of history. The people themselves are the makers of history and therefore the real historians. The interpreters are mere raconteurs of history and not the actual history-makers as is often wrongly implied . . . Only this way can we avoid history written by colonialists as 'winners'. Our real winners are the people, whose real history or struggle the so-called winners would like to distort and suppress . . . You cannot be a historian of African people if you do not share their cry or their laughter. No. The African sensibility, reflected in African culture and worldview, is the only accurate compass to guide a historian who is genuine about writing African history. . . . Slavery and colonisation do not themselves constitute African history. They disrupt and falsify the trajectory of African history. They dehumanise Africans to fit into the scheme of European capital. The ideology of racism is created as a parallel process to rationalise the oppression of Africans. . . . I need not stress that it is imperative to edify educational systems, which embody the African and universal values so as to ensure the rooting of youth in African culture in the context of a sustainable and participatory development. This way we continue to foster the spirit of unity in Africa as embodied in the African Unity Charter”AllAfrica

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

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#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
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Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays

Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis 

Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America. This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . . Cited by a literary critic in 2004 as "the seminal study in the field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which most scholars in the field 'cut their teeth'."

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Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.

As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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Related files: Empires and Lynching  The Real Trouble with Zimbabwe    The Lynching of Robert Mugabe (Ogbunwezeh)   Black Africa's duty to help Zimbabwe    No to invasion of Zimbabwe! (Molefe) 

Western Hypocrisy   Zimbabwe and the Question of Imperialism (Goodman)  Look What I Found (video)  Choosing Sides  Trans Africa & Progressives on Mugabe  Colin Powell on Mugabe   Sanctions on Zimbabwe 

Zimbabwe's Lonely Fight for Justice     Reporting Zimbabwe    President Robert Mugabe's UN Speech   A Shattered Dream  Zimbabwe and the Question of Imperialism    Zimbabwe: In The House of Stone