Friday, 21 September 2007

Illegal Sanctions to Blame for Economic Challenges - Mutasa

Illegal Sanctions to Blame for Economic Challenges - Mutasa

The Herald (Harare)

21 September 2007
Posted to the web 21 September 2007

The biggest security threat facing Zimbabwe are economic challenges stemming from illegal Western sanctions, the Minister of State for National Security, Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement, Cde Didymus Mutasa, has said.

Addressing senior military commanders at a joint command course at the Zimbabwe Staff College in Harare yesterday, Cde Mutasa said the rationale behind the imposition of economic sanctions was to reduce the capacity of the country to survive within the context of a fully integrated international economic system.

Some of the commanders were drawn from Sadc member states. "A degraded economic environment is being marketed as Zanu-PF's inability to govern, thus justifying regime change," said Cde Mutasa. He said the West was equally angling for economically driven socio-political discontent that would lead to mass protests and riots as a precursor to illegal regime change. Such disturbances, he said, would be covered by the international media as reflecting a "state of ungovernability" in Zimbabwe. "The 'crisis' would then be referred to the UN Security Council with a view to imposing mandatory UN sanctions against Harare or conducting a UN sanctioned invasion to effect regime change.

"The MDC would be expected to preside over the process of restoring white economic hegemony and privilege," he said. Cde Mutasa said MDC legislator for Chitungwiza Mr Fidelis Mhashu is on record confirming the MDC position that if elected to power, they would return land to white farmers. He said national security had remained central in the political and economic life of independent Zimbabwe. "This is precisely because Government has remained loyal to the fundamental and liberation war driven objectives of offering economic security to its own citizens.

"Availing land and mineral wealth are key to enhancing human security. However, the goal of enhancing the economic security of Zimbabweans is being bitterly contested by the Western world led by the British government," Cde Mutasa said. He said the Western countries had consistently identified "anti-liberation" forces and individuals whom they have used in attempts to resist African efforts at self-interpretation.

He said these anti-people efforts had failed consistently over the decades.

"African governments have seen through Western machinations and have refused to embrace anti-liberation forces. The support accorded Zimbabwe at the Sadc Summit in Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania) should be seen in this context," he said. He said persistent global anti-Government propaganda by the powerful media houses and the economic sanctions were two potent modern weapons being used to undermine Government and Zanu-PF's grip on power. He said the economic "misery" that was being driven by illegal sanctions and the negative publicity would fail to undermine the resolve of Zimbabweans to defend the land issue. "As Government, we draw comfort from the fact that our security establishment has remained resolute in the defence of the fatherland against these external threats," he said.

Cde Mutasa said Zimbabwe offered a good case study of the contemporary methods being used by powerful states to threaten the existence of smaller states. He said the other was direct military invasion as in Afghanistan and Iraq where there were undeclared economic sanctions backed up by sustained propaganda by a powerful international media were tools, which were now deployed to great effect. "Additionally, we have noted that the cyber space is now utilised to mount a sustained attack on a target country," he said.

He said the land issue lies at the root of current efforts to subvert the State in Zimbabwe. The drive by Government to acquire land and distribute it to landless people had alarmed Britain, the US and the rest of the Anglo-Saxon community, he said. Cde Mutasa said this prompted the US government to pronounce that Zimbabwe "poses an unusually and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States."

"This assessment clearly suggests that Washington is alarmed and views Harare's drive for land restoration to blacks as spawning an international phenomenon where those natives around the world, who have been denied access to resources such as land in their own countries, could rise up and demand restitution."

He said the land reform programme was viewed as a "direct assault" on the ideology of private capital and property rights. Zimbabwe covers 39 million hectares of land. Of the 39 million, 33 million hectares are reserved for agriculture while six million hectares cater for National Parks and urban settlements. At independence, almost 6 000 white commercial farmers owned 15,5 million hectares of the most arable land, located in mostly high rainfall areas where the potential for agriculture was greatest. Six million black people were confined to 17,5 million hectares located largely in low rainfall areas with poor soil fertility.

Cde Mutasa said as an instrument to effect regime change, Britain and its allies embarked on a demonisation campaign against the Zimbabwean Government, distorting, misinforming and exaggerating events taking place in the country.

"To further the objective of demonising Government, Britain and its allies in the West have deployed short wave radio stations, namely the Dutch-sponsored Voice of the People, the British-sponsored Short Wave Radio Africa and the American-sponsored Studio 7 which daily beam anti-Zimbabwe Government propaganda into the national airwaves, inciting Zimbabweans to take up arms against their own Government and praising acts of violence perpetrated by the opposition. "The same Western countries have also sponsored the creation of a plethora of opposition aligned websites on the Internet which carry and promote the ideology of hate and division," he said. Through selective reporting, Cde Mutasa said, the international media remained blind to acts of violence perpetrated by the MDC which always acts in cahoots with some Western-sponsored NGOs and the ZCTU.

"In doing so, they only focus on the actions of the police in order to create and perpetuate the impression that the police in Zimbabwe is partisan, brutal and repressive.

"The media and cyber war waged by Britain and its allies has been relentless to the extent that the image of Zimbabwe out there is that of a country which has sunk into anarchy," he said.

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