No to rescue initiatives, says Mugabe
Mugabe was speaking at the burial of the late former Minister of Information and Publicity, Dr Tichaona Jokonya, at the National Heroes Acre last week.
“You would think we are about to perish as a nation. We are not dying, we may be suffering but we will not die,” he said.
He urged the West to recognise that Zimbabwe had the right to own and control its resources and to chart its own destiny unhindered.
Inspite of the negative reports, Mugabe said: “We mean no harm to anybody. If anything we have helped our neighbours,” he said, citing the assistance Zimbabwe rendered to the liberation of Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo which had plunged into civil war. Mugabe urged all Zimbabweans to remain committed and loyal to their country as true sons of the soil.
Despite differences that may exist among Zimbabweans, he said, the land belonged to them and the government had no regrets for taking away land from the whites and giving it back to its rightful owners.
“We fight unto death anyone who wants to take it (land) away from us, to occupy it, to the detriment of all of us, its rightful owners.”
“We fight anyone who wants to sell or pawn it to the outsider, for he or she disinherits all of us, disinherits our future and that of our children. We are all united by this land, all bounded by it, as indeed we should all prosper from it.”
He took a swipe at those in the opposition for being used by the West against their country.
“Indeed, so they begin to understand that telling Tony Blair to keep his stealthy hands off Zimbabwe was not a matter of Dr Jokonya alone, is not a matter of Robert Mugabe or Zanu-PF alone. It is a matter for all the people of Zimbabwe. It is a national question and message every Zimbabwean must put to the British. The land belongs to us.”
He also castigated those who advocated for sanctions against Zimbabwe, which he said, were illegal, immoral and undeserved as the ordinary man was suffering contrary to reports that the sanctions were personalised.
“That is illegal because the United Nations has not imposed sanctions on us,” Mugabe said, adding that the United States and Britain were influencing other countries not to invest or trade with Zimbabwe by telling them lies.
Meanwhile, Mugabe described Jokonya as a committed cadre, an eminent academic and dedicated and loyal servant of the country.
“He was a man of deep love, friendship and affection, indeed a man who carved fame and friendship beyond the confines of clan, tribe, culture, country, region and continent,” he said.
He said Jokonya had a heart for the poor people in society, particularly the underprivileged in his Chikomba constituency.
“As MP for Chikomba, he visited the outer reaches of his constituency, bending low to hear the troubles of the poorest and the most disregarded,” he said.
“He worried about food for the ordinary people, he worried about resources for vulnerable people, especially children who could not afford to go to school; worried about bad roads which characterise the greater part of Chikomba; indeed he worried about clean water points for various communities.”
Jokonya, who died at the age of 67, served on various diplomatic missions in countries including Austria, Ethiopia, Switzerland and United States. ‘ New Ziana.