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  • Writer's picturerutendo matinyarare


Updated: Feb 21, 2022

30 October 2019

I have been listening to many misguided Zimbabweans trying to tarnish the legacy of Robert Mugabe, in an attempt to cover up for their own dereliction and failures at playing their role in building Zimbabwe with the tools Mugabe equipped us with.

Much of this indoctrination is driven by white propaganda [particularly South African and British media] which seeks to convince Africans that their only means of advancement is directly dependent on surrendering their sovereignty, culture, wealth and resources to western paternalism.

Clearly, the white world hated Mugabe for refusing to submit to this western paternalism and him successfully piercing the veil of white superiority to emancipate black minds, which led them to demand their right to self govern and take ownership of their resources, culture and destinies.

1. Out of this came his greatest achievement: unchaining the African mind from a position of servitude to one of self-belief, self-assertion and equity with other races.

This he achieved by asserting African rights to humanity, dignity and equality as enshrined in the UN Charter and Human Rights Declaration, after he implemented the Land Reform and indigenization policies in Zimbabwe, restoring the inheritance and property rights of internally displaced and dispossessed Zimbabweans.

2. Reinstating Black Rights To Property.

Through these policies he set a precedence that humanity starts with people (including previously oppressed peoples) assuming their social, cultural and economic rights to sovereignty, property, control of their national resources, self determination and not just the right to vote.

Rights previously denied black peoples by slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism, to the extent that prevailing international legal customs, adjudicate property rights based only on the prescriptions of the 1453 Doctrine Of Discovery (colonial law) and the African colonial dispossession that followed this law. Through this custom, the western world treats non-Europeans as chattel that is not entitled to property rights.

Mugabe delegitimized this racist and immoral order, as a result, today South Africans and Namibians are discussing land expropriation without compensation.

Tanzania’s Magufuli is raising taxes on mining companies and Zambia is reviewing its decision to give white settlers land at the expense of their citizens’ right to land.

3. Mugabe Rejected Discrimination

From the onset, Mugabe refused to recognize european title to stolen property or human chattel, hence he served ten years in prison for sedition between 1964 and 1974.

On release from prison, he immediately proceeded to direct the liberation struggle from Mozambique.

At the Lancaster House Conference, he took up an obdurate position to make land restitution and “one man one vote” prerequisites for ending the war.

After independence, as a gesture of reconciliation, he honored paying for the return of stolen land in foreign currency on a 50/50 split commitment with Britain. And when the Blair government abrogated Britain’s international obligations emanating from this agreement, with the complicity of other western governments. He didn’t hesitate to set aside the breached agreement, sequestrate the stolen land from white settlers without compensation, to return it to the landless peasants who had suffered colonial displacement and dispossession for generations.

With this he fulfilled the aims of the Zimbabwean liberation struggle, reinstituting black Zimbabwean property rights as close as was practical to the pre-colonial order.

Over night, this man who had been knighted by the queen to appease him not to take land, became colonial capitalism’s worst bogeyman for emancipating savages by reinstating precolonial land tenure and not serving the imperial queen.

4. Education

To advance his vision of emancipating his people, Mugabe and Zanu PF put education as the foundation of delivering total liberation. They understood from the experiences of the first African countries to be liberated, that African countries did not have colonies and they wouldn’t receive a Martial Plan or colonial reparations to lift themselves up. So the black mind was the only means by which the final leg of mental, economic and spiritual liberation would be achieved.

• Taking over a country with a literacy rate well below 30%, barely 177 secondary schools of which 60% were white -only five of them preparing non-white students [black, colored and Indian] for university- and less than 1000 black graduates in 1980. Robert Mugabe and his team embarked on the miracle of building the best black education system the world had ever seen, on a shoe string budget. In the process lifting Zimbabwe’s literacy from below 30% at independence to 89% in just 20yrs.

To put the magnitude of his grand achievement into perspective: the literacy rate of African Americans after 240yrs of emancipation, in the biggest economy on earth, currently stands at 68%. A far cry from the 91% that Mugabe delivered in a third world Zimbabwe.

• Underpinning this phenomenal system, basic education began in liberation camp bush schools, managed by Dzingai Mutumbuka and Fay Chung in Zambia and Mozambique during the struggle.

This was because Zanu PF believed that liberation by the gun was just the first step of liberation, but it needed to culminate in Zimbabweans educating and skilling themselves enough to built a prosperous and truly liberated nation.

• From the bush, Mugabe and his comrades began to implement the most ambitious education project on the continent, to equip Zimbabweans with both academic and technical skills that would leverage the nation’s aspirations.

The academic subjects were standard, while the technical subjects included business, building, agriculture, fashion & fabrics, mechanics, woodwork, plumbing, technical drawing and metalwork to give Zimbabweans tangible life skills to drive the economy into a middle income country in the shortest time.

• Over the next 37yrs, Mugabe and his government painstakingly built more than 5709 schools [3462 Primary and 2247 secondary], 13 teacher training colleges to capacitate educators, 13 universities, 13 polytechnics, 43 vocational training centers, 16 research institutions, 8 nursing schools and 3 medical schools using a food for work program and the District Development Fund.

This ensured that every Zimbabwean had access to subsidized quality primary to secondary education, despite the budgetary constraints and punitive sanctions (apartheid government sanctions; Matebeland unrest and the war in Mozambique funded by the CIA and apartheid government; US, EU and UK sanctions facing the nation today).

• Today, this standard of education set by Mugabe is still the benchmark to beat in Africa, according to UNESCO rankings in 2018. Meanwhile in maths and science, Zimbabwe ranks 4th despite the 18yrs of economic sanctions and the preceding economic sabotage imposed by the United States and the entire Berlin Conference cabal.

With this education, Zimbabwean human talent and skills have become the nation’s biggest export to the developed world. Enabling Zimbabweans to travel across the world, learning and gaining new skills to enable them to control and leverage their natural resources to industrialize their country that is endowed with vast strategic mineral resources [in the center of the Persian Gulf of strategic mineral resources] that western countries are dependent on to maintain their economic, industrial and military leadership.

A third world country’s educated population controlling its strategic mineral resources was identified as an unacceptable threat to the western world order since colonialism ended.

It’s mainly for this reason why EU and US sanctions were unilaterally imposed and are being maintained on not just the Zimbabwean government but 16mil Zimbabweans to put an anchor on the nation’s capacity to process and sophisticate those resources.

This was corroborated in 2003, when George Bush declared Zimbabwe (as a nation) an unusual and extraordinary threat to US economic, national and security interests to impose EO13288, EO13391 and EO13469 Executive Order sanctions.

A telling development, considering that pre-WW2 Germany, Japan, USSR and post war South Korea, Russia, Vietnam, Panama, Cuba, China, Libya, Iraq and any other country that has challenged US and European domination have at one point or another been placed in the same threat category.

5. Health Care

Coming out of a colonial legacy where 200 in every 1000 black children born, died before the age of 5. Mugabe realized that for Zimbabweans to reach their full potential through education and economic development, black children would need to survive beyond their fifth birthday.

To deliver this, a comprehensive healthcare system upgrade was planned and embarked upon. Bringing into existence 19000 hospital beds by building over 1200 healthcare centers in 30yrs, from the 13230 beds in 600 odd healthcare centers that Smith built in 90yrs of colonialism.

• Maternity beds were increased from 1 bed per every 2560 pregnancies in 1980, to 1 bed for every 567 pregnancies by 2000.

• Doctors grew from 1 per every 200 000 patients under Smith, to 1.7 and 8 nurses per 10 000 people. This is in spite of our nurses and doctors being poached incessantly by first world economies because of their high standards of training.

• Infant mortality was reduced from 200/1000 births in 1980, to less than 40/1000 by 2000, while the country enjoys a lower rate of miscarriages than the continental benchmark South Africa. Putting Zimbabwe into the top ten lowest miscarriage rates in Africa.

Even though the nation’s healthcare system is no longer in the top five in Africa because of the impact of sanctions. It still ranks in the top 10 on the continent, better than many countries without sanctions.

6. Law Enforcement

To ensure that the nation building process was secure, law and order was bolstered. For this purpose Mugabe transformed the colonial law enforcement and judiciary to ensure that they represented the people.

Unlike what is punted by white media as Africa’s model for rule of law [South Africa], Zimbabwe doesn’t see a woman raped every 4mins, 54 murders per day, taxi violence, drug wars or foreigners being murdered and burnt in the streets without a response from government.

The country has an effective law enforcement, hence criminals (irrespective of them being foreign or local) know well not to perpetrate criminal activities in the republic because the long arm of the law is uncompromising with criminals.

This is why Zimbabwean criminals and those from further north, sadly crossover into South Africa, to commit crimes they would never attempt north of South Africa’s boarder despite the fact that businesses and people in Zimbabwe regularly carry, hold and openly trade millions of US dollars, diamonds and gold without armed guards or firearms for protection.

Even though Zimbabwe is a transit hub bridging SADC, poachers, drug and human traffickers tend to avoid the country to go through the Heroin Coast because Zimbabwean law enforcement is a hinderance to their enterprise.

7. Traffic Enforcement

• The country’s road death toll is one of the lowest in Africa at 13 deaths/100 000 people, very close to european standards because of reasonable roads and traffic enforcement. South Africa as an African benchmark is almost three times higher at 34 deaths/100 000 people.

• The reason Mugabe left a country with low crime and road deaths is because he built a judiciary and law enforcement that works. It’s not incompetent, corrupt and untransformed as the South African system in which judges are bought, crime dockets sold, breeding impunity for racism; crimes like rape, murder, culpable homicide, drug wars, taxi wars and other such in which senior business people, police officers and politicians are often implicated.

• In Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, we hardly heard of prominent business people or active politicians being assassinated in office, even though Zimbabwean opposition politicians and activists go to the extents of calling for sanctions upon the country.

However, in “Africa’s greatest democracy”, in the last 3yrs alone, more than 90 politicians have been assassinated in Kwa Zulu Natal only, while prominent business men and lawyers blowing the whistle on leading business mafia and politicians die mysteriously and in most cases the perpetrators are never found.

8. Military

• As part of Mugabe’s illustrious contribution to Pan African defense and security. The Zimbabwean army has been one of the most effective outfits at combating imperial inspired insurgency on the continent, hence SADC does not suffer from terrorism, banditry and the presence of the biggest sponsor of terrorism [Africomm].

• As part of the Frontline States mutual defense pact, Mugabe sent his army into Mozambique to protect Zimbabwe’s strategic assets and Mozambican citizens from MNR rebels who were financed by the apartheid and US governments to destabilize Mozambique.

By 1992 Zimbabwean soldiers had significantly neutralized the threat of MNR to force a ceasefire and peace in Mozambique.

• In 1998 he galvanized the Namibians, Angolans, Libyans, Sudanese and Chadians to join him sending troops into Congo during the Second Congo war ( the biggest war after WW2) to curb the human carnage that was fast hitting 6mil deaths by 1996 as a result of Rwandan and Ugandan western backed rebels destabilizing Congo, to kill Kabila and make way for the UN to divide Congo into five separate easy to loot states.

9. Zimbabwe’s participation in that war forced the Sun City Accord, preserving Kabila, bringing an end to large scale human slaughter in Congo and keeping the nation in one piece. Only for the war to resume a few years after Zimbabwe and her allies were replaced by the SANDF and UN forces who were more committed to protecting the interests of the same western mining companies that were behind the apartheid government destabilization of the region for the last 40yrs.

This is why western powers who were sponsoring Kagame and Museveni in Congo were not happy with Zimbabwe’s intervention. So as retaliation for this regional military leadership, combine with land reform and the threat of Zimbabwe’s educated black population taking over their resources, it aggravated grounds for western sanctions on Zimbabwe.

Subsequently, other countries that participated with Zimbabwe in Congo have experienced western attacks that saw Gaddafi of Libya being overthrown, Chad experiencing two unsuccessful coups, while Sudan recently suffered a successful coup against Bashir.

• Under Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s army would be sent to Somalia, Sudan, Chad, Angola and Equatorial Guinea on various missions, to make it the most seasoned army on the continent.

• Inside the country, Mugabe fought and defeated Rhodesian and apartheid South African sponsored Super ZAPU tribal terrorists and dissidents between 1983 and 1987, to ensure peace and that Zimbabwe would not be another failed African state plagued by tribal conflict.

• His Air Force would go on to train the South African Air Force for 10yrs after they got independence because it was one of the best Air Forces on the continent. A natural progression emanating from Zimbabwe’s STEM education output.

A Great Public Service And Service Delivery

As a result of this amazing public sector service delivery in education, healthcare, security and infrastructure. Zambians, Batswana, South Africans, Malawians, Angolans, Mozambicans and even Ugandans migrated into Zimbabwe for these services, from the period of 1990 till 2005, two years after sanctions were doubled through the executive order sanctions in 2003.

Mugabe Built Zimbabwe Into A Successful Nation

At this juncture, it’s important to reiterate that this effective public service was built by Mugabe and a very capable team from a very low base using schemes like the Food For Work Program and government departments like the District Development Fund.

All was achieved without a Martial Plan or colonial reparations in a country bogged down by Rhodesian sanctions and colonial debt, at a time the country was also defending itself from apartheid South Africa’s western backed destabilization attacks.

I stress this to reiterate that Mugabe, his team and Zimbabweans built that prosperous Zimbabwe everyone harps on about. And the same institutional memory is still in charge of the country today but under the chokehold of sanctions. Yet white propaganda will have us believe that Zimbabweans inherited a jewel from the Rhodesians and then they mismanaged it.

The data and facts paint a picture of Mugabe and Zanu building a formidable economy that became a threat to western interests. For this reason it was attacked by the on going economic warfare and collective punishment of 16mil Zimbabweans [by sanctions] to destroy the example Zimbabwe was setting for other Africans. It’s the proverbial run away slave being set as an example by the slave master to discourage other slaves from attempting to free themselves.

Moreover, where the Rhodesian colony did create infrastructure, it was only catered for 6-10% of the population [white people] and their black servants. As a result 90% of black Zimbabweans were confined to overcrowded rural reserves where they had no services or infrastructure but were heavily taxed to build Rhodesia’s social welfare system for the whites.

In essence the little they built was capitalized by black slave labor, a plethora of heavy colonial taxes on the black rural population, exploited resources and debts that we are still paying today.

These are facts the racist media will not divulge, to continue to foment the narrative that black leadership equals corruption, incapacity and inability. Therefore, Africans must shun strong African leaders like Mugabe and instead look up to western father figures who must retain control of African resources on Africa’s behalf.

What’s ironic about this manufactured consent is that the only African country still governed by a white [father figure] shadow government and business community [South Africa] has the worst education, HIV health crisis, corruption, infiltrated military, crime on the parallels of a war zone because of poverty and food controlled by father figures.

10. Economics

• Today the biggest bank in Africa with a revenue of $3bil/mth, 6.7mil customers and 26000 outlets is a Zimbabwean outfit known as Ecocash. This bank which only operates in Zimbabwe, is able to generate more revenue than most South African banks that operate on the entire continent. A testament to the money floating in the hands of Zimbabweans.

• This also feeds into the fact that Zimbabweans have a higher net asset ownership and low personal debt than most other economies across the world. All because Mugabe empowered his people and built a moral code that promoted people to live within their means, build gradually, own assets and shy from debt.

• As a consequence, many Zimbabweans including villagers own considerable tangible assets: homes, land, water sources, seeds, solar electric generation capacity, mineral claims, livestock, crops in the ground, farming implements, insurance policies, business properties and assets without debt. Giving them some of the highest networths and gearing for economic growth in future.

Even the waiters and helpers many South Africans disparage, own more property than the average middle class debt ridden South African, hence they end up starting businesses while their counterparts are bogged down in debt for cars, clothes, airtime and many times even food.