THE “not in a thousand years” statement by former Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith has over the years been attributed to him solely though the attitude of the speaker and the import of his words is something that the Western world has turned into a nauseating chorus since Zimbabwe became independent in 1980.
A few years after independence this could have passed off as a colonial hangover but for the Western world to be still harbouring the same kind of attitudes about this country, with the attendant disdain for a black man’s self-rule and a binary understanding of human rights steeped in racial bigotry is quite shocking for the so-called civilised world.
How else would one explain the escalation of sanctions against Zimbabwe by the Americans on the eve of our independence? Our record in as far as guarding our sovereignty jealously is unrivalled on the continent and beyond, no wonder why this has pricked the haughty West whose appetite for our resources has indefatigably grown even as our country took concrete steps to assert our sovereignty in real terms.
The US’s decision to tighten its illegal economic sanctions against Zimbabwe at a time when Zimbabweans are celebrating their freedom from the shackles of colonialism is as disdainful as it is equally telling.
It would appear, just as Smith’s declaration that not in a thousand years would a black man rule this nation, and by extension have access to resources of the land, the Americans are determined to thwart all efforts to empower Zimbabweans through emasculating the very Government that stands for that liberating thrust.
According to the Americans, we have yet to shake off the savage in us that they feared would one day take over resources that the West believes it has divine entitlement over.
The moment Zimbabwe decided to take back the land and all within that land, many voices from the same “not in a thousand years chorus” invaded our shores with a new circus of Western puppetry disguised as opposition politics. While we jubilate and mark 34 years of independence, our erstwhile colonisers, some of whom sustained the Smith regime through busting sanctions, continue to count their losses and plotting to nurture and prop up a chosen messiah to titillate our masses under the guise of taking them to the Promised Land when in actual fact the idea would be to blot out the 34 years of exasperation for the looting Western brigade. As Zanu-PF Chief Whip, Cde Joram Gumbo, put it: “This is really a situation that is expected from the West as they will always try to frustrate us and we cannot expect anything good from the US.
“Instead of joining us in celebrating our independence, they pour cold water to dampen our spirits.” The divide and rule tactics being employed by the US and its allies in the West of removing certain names from the sanctions list and adding new ones is one that has been tried a countless times in their regime change agenda to no avail.
As our President has said before, we seek friendship and we have not asked for any square inch of any foreign land, hence our expectation for such a reciprocal gesture from the West. But alas, not in a thousand years will the West allow us to have control of our resources without a fight.
And fight we will.
We fought for this country in a bitter struggle whose culmination was the birth of Zimbabwe in 1980, and it is on this rock called Zimbabwe that our economy shall be built.
It is on the strength of our mineral and other resources that we shall build this country while the Western chorus recedes in shame as our celebratory drum beat takes root, signifying our full ownership of our land and all.
The progressive world continues to stand with us in the fight against illegal intrusion of foreign powers in the governance of our land for their selfish interests.
Zimbabweans shall never retreat nor surrender under the weight of sanctions and the country shall continue to seek new friends in the exploitation of its resources in partnership with other nations that do not impose their will on us.
After all, Zimbabweans fought for their democracy and won it through loss of limb and life, and they are prepared to defend their sovereignty. In any case, that is the essence of independence, that we be left to be masters of our destiny.