Skip to comments.Aligned with Castro and Gaddafi - Mugabe Vows to Defend Zimbabwe from Western 'Bullies'
Posted on 07/23/2002 12:56:55 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
HARARE, Zimbabwe (Reuters) - President Robert Mugabe vowed on Tuesday to defend his government against Western "bullies" and said Zimbabwe's economic recovery hinged on land redistribution.
In a 40-minute speech to open the new parliamentary session, Mugabe made no direct mention of tighter EU sanctions, his media crackdown or any plans for his ZANU-PF party to resume talks with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
Strongly defending his government's right to take possession of white farmers' land, he ignored a boycott of his speech by MDC legislators, who make up just over a third of the assembly.
Outside the southern African state's parliament, there was no sign of a planned protest march by pro-democracy activists after police warnings that the demonstration would be crushed.
Mugabe said Zimbabwe, in the grips of its worst economic and political crisis since independence from Britain in 1980, was facing "considerable challenges" from what he called "British machinations" and a regional drought.
The economy is in its fourth year of recession with record high inflation and unemployment and a severe food shortage.
"Our sovereignty is constantly under attack from the bullying states ... which seek to use their political and economic prowess to achieve global hegemony," Mugabe said.
At 78, Mugabe is a left-winger who counts Cuba's Fidel Castro and Libya's Muammar Gaddafi among his foreign allies.
Monday, the European Union extended a blacklist of Zimbabwean officials subjected to a visa ban and asset freeze. The move is aimed at piling more pressure on the country whose human rights record it says has deteriorated since Mugabe's re-election in March.
The EU imposed so-called "smart sanctions" against Mugabe's government in February ahead of the poll he won amid widespread allegations of election malpractice.
ACCUSES INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
Mugabe's speech also attacked countries he said were trying to use food aid to subjugate his government.
Aid agencies say six million Zimbabweans, or nearly half the population, need emergency food aid because of drought and a disruption of farming operations caused by the government's drive to kick white farmers off their land and give it to landless blacks.
"While Zimbabwe accepts drought-related assistance from the international community, we remain quite wary of countries and organizations which seek to take advantage of our hour of need to attenuate sovereignty," the president said.
He rejected accusations that his party was denying opposition supporters food aid and vowed to continue with his land reform program, calling it "the best insurance against drought-related food pressures."
Contradicting his finance minister, Simba Makoni, Mugabe ruled out a currency devaluation.
The Zimbabwe dollar, which Makoni has said should be devalued, is officially pegged at 55 to the U.S. dollar, but is trading at around 600 on the black market.
"Devaluation is sinister and can only be advocated by our saboteurs and enemies of this government. Devaluation is thus dead," Mugabe said to applause from the government benches while Makoni sat stone-faced.
Outside, the main roads around parliament were closed off, and helicopters circled above the city, preventing a planned march by the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA).
The NCA is a collation of trade unions, professional bodies and church groups. It is demanding a new constitution to replace the current one which Mugabe has amended 16 times since 1980 in what are seen as attempts to tighten his grip on power.
Mugabe dishes out goodies to cronies*** "The United Nations says this is our longest dry spell in 20 years, and yet all our dams are almost 80 percent full. Our dams are so full because the water has not been used to irrigate crops. There are no crops in the ground because government supporters stopped farmers from growing food because they wanted the land for their masters - and now 6 million people face starvation. What a sickening irony." Buckle said that last week, Zimbabwean Agriculture Minister Joseph Made said that any white farmer who did not put a crop of wheat into the ground would have his farm listed for seizure. ***
AfricaWatch: for AfricaWatch articles.
Other Bump Lists at: Free Republic Bump List Register
The BBC was banned before the election. An American-born, British newspaper reporter, and long-time Zim resident
was charged, found not guilty, and promptly urged (ordered?) to leave.
Seems Mugabe's supporters were said to be after hime.
The farms are already listed for seizure! Thugs and crooks run the United Nations...someone get us the h*** out of that rogue organization!
What a joke. Mugabe is nothing less than a terrorist.
I think the lamestream media is afraid to report this story for fear of being branded racist. The only place you hear about this stuff is on talk radio.
1.) They won't report on it because he is black, a marxist , an anti-west racist, a crook, a murderer, and most likely now, criminally insane or at least delusional.
Everything the RDDBs in the media adores.
2.) Mugabe fits the typical description of a despotic African dicator to a "t", so the RDDBs will do everything to protect the notion that white, western civilization
is the real evil in the world.
3.) The fact that Mugabe took a net food exporter and turned it in to a basket case is not their problem.
So the deaths of tens of thousands of people is not their responsibility.
4.) Their own responsiblity and problem is how they are going to figure out a way to blame it on the US taxpayer,
or at least the British taxpayer.
5.) Likewise, the speculation is that South African is going to have a minimum of 400K starving refugees
invading it, is also not their responsibility.
6.) Reporting that their "fair-haired" boy is not only worse than a total failure, but a real psychopathic
dictator, would damage their credibility and attract cries of racism from Jackson, Sharpton, Farrakan, Clinton, et al.
7.) Bottom line is that reporting the truth about Mugabe and his destruction of Zimbabwe is bad for the people who now "practice" the trade of Journalism. Worse for the people of Zimbabwe, but hey, can't have Marxism without murder or pogroms.
I have no idea why Fox is taking a pass (if they are). I get a lot of my news from shortwave, and signal
propagation is generally degraded during the summer months.
Radio Canada isn't coming in too well, but their coverage of Zim has dropped off since the election anyway.
Likewise, VOA/Africa's been pretty unlistenable (as well as my own schedule).
And he's starting with those who are in the opposition party or who voted with the opposition. Next it will be his paid thugs that terrorized the electorate. That should trim the population down to a managable size. The man is a murderer.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.