Region must be wary of destabilisation
Everyman gotta right to decide his own destiny
And in this judgement, there is no partiality
So arm in arms, with arms, we will fight this little struggle
‘Cause that’s the only way we can overcome our little trouble.
Brother, you’re right, you’re right,
You’re right, you’re right, you’re so right!
We gonna fight, we’ll have to fight,
We gonna fight, fight for our rights!
Set it up in Zimbabwe,
Mash it up-a in-a Zimbabwe
Africans a-liberate Zimbabwe.
No more internal power struggle;
We come together to overcome this little trouble.
Soon we’ll find out who is the real revolutionary,
‘Cause I don’t want my people to be contrary.
These are prophetic lyrics sung by legendary Jamaican musician Bob Marley on the eve of Zimbabwe’s birth on 17 April 1980. These lyrics are still fresh and relevant in Zimbabwe today just as when they were composed 37 years ago.
Last Tuesday, Zimbabweans from all walks of life celebrated the country’s hard won independence and this was a time to take stock of achievements over the past 37 years of black majority rule.
It was also time to recognise the immense sacrifices made by the gallant sons and daughters of Zimbabwe – the departed and the living — who took up arms to confront the racist, imperial and colonial system that had reduced the black majority to slaves in their own land.
The results are there for everyone to see and it is the duty of every Zimbabwean to jealously guard this independence to the hilt.
As the country celebrated its 37 years of sovereignty, there is need to take stock of the achievements made over the past three decades as it moves forward and consolidate the gains made over the years.
At the same, it must be categorically stated that this independence that Zimbabweans enjoy today must never be taken for granted as it never came on a silver platter. Indeed, thousands who took up arms to fight the successive oppressive and racist colonial governments died fighting and their fight was not in vain.
We take note of statements by the country’s Defence Minister Dr Sydney Sekeramayi that the SADC region must remain vigilant, even as it has attained political freedom, as detractors are still looking for ways of destabilising countries in the region.
Dr Sekeramayi, a key member of the ruling Zanu-PF party, said SADC security and defence officials were on high alert following intelligence reports of heightened destabilisation activities in countries governed by former liberation movements.
He said the region was alive to covert plans by elements from some Western nations fomenting internal strife to effect regime change.
It is trite that leaders in the region are aware of these machinations and must therefore remain on top of the game.
Namibia recently celebrated its 27th independence anniversary and in a few weeks’ time, it will be South Africa’s turn. But what Dr Sekeramayi said was very visible a few weeks ago when reactionary forces took to the streets in South Africa demonstrating against that country’s President Jacob Zuma who they want to leave office even before his term of office has expired.
We also take note that the demonstrations came just a few weeks after President Zuma had called for a radical approach to the land reforms in his country. Namibia has also called for a similar approach, having noted that the willing-buyer willing-seller model of land reforms does not work and has never worked anywhere in the world.
As we also report elsewhere in this issue, President Hage Geingob is calling for a more serious approach to land reforms and black economic empowerment and we will not be surprised if the same reactionary forces that are marching against Zuma are reigned against him too.
These are the forces the Zimbabwean Defence Minister refers to which have never been happy that Africans are now exploiting their own resources and have never been happy that we are independent.
We are, however, glad that liberation movements in the region regularly exchange notes and are aware of the forces ranged against them. But as countries and liberation movements in the region cherish their hard won political independence, they must never skirt around issues of economic independence and empowerment for their peoples.
There is therefore a need to jealously guard the political independence of countries of the region and at the same time tackle economic empowerment with a unity of purpose towards the exploitation and beneficiation of their natural resources for the benefit of all.