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Mnangagwa slams western hypocrisy

by Staff reporter
23 May 2022 at 06:39hrs | Views
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has slammed western hypocrisy where "false environmental and mining lobby groups" are paid to agitate local communities to fight non-western investment in their localities. The country has recorded a series of coordinated protests by some purported environmental and mining lobby groups targeting areas where Government would have granted mining rights to Chinese investors.

President Mnangwa said of concern is that the protests are being  organised in areas previously run by western mining organisations.

Writing in the Sunday News and Sunday Mail, President Mnangagwa warned of false and fake nationalism which has resulted in xenophobic attacks in South Africa targeting only blacks. He said this is part of a bigger plot sinister coercive economic diplomacy by the West which threatens the independence of nations.

"Southern African region has witnessed a more sinister dimension to this coercive economic diplomacy by the West including here in Zimbabwe. We have seen some Western Governments sponsoring several false environmental and mining advocacy groups which seek to agitate communities against non-western mining interests. Peasants are being roused and mobilised to fight battles in which they have neither stake nor gain either way," he said.

Mnangagwa said in Zimbabwe there have been such sponsored lobbies active in Hwange, Uzumba, Mutoko, Makaha, Marange and lately in Bikita. Surprisingly, all these mining concerns are not new. They are old claims which have only changed hands as broke western miners who owned them previously voluntarily disinvested.

While those mining properties were in western hands, both long before our Independence and after, not once did host communities benefit. Nor were host communities incited, mobilised and sponsored to defend their depletable resource and environment.

The NGOs which now proliferate were nowhere in sight."The President said in Bikita, the opposition was  paid to mobilise their supporters to demonstrate against Chinese investments including at Bikita Minerals. "Ironically, Bikita Minerals was only taken over by a Chinese investor earlier in the year, after being owned and exploited by Western interests for many years since the resource was discovered back in colonial days. "The mine has been teetering on the brink, until these new Chinese investors came to the rescue injecting fresh capital with which to expand operations, thereby securing jobs for Zimbabweans. When the mine was in western hands, those who now raise protests, sat contended in silence," said the President.

President Mnangagwa said the sudden focus on African minerals is now caused by the rise of countries like China as global players.He said the partnership of Zimbabwe and China has resulted in several projects in the sectors of energy, air transport, water, real estate, industrial value addition, mining and defence being implemented.

Mnangagwa said the false narrative being observed in Zimbabwe is also spreading to regional countries such as South Africa, Namibia and Zambia where Africans are used as pawns in the bigger scheme of western coercive diplomacy.

"On the face of it, this new sentiment looks like a second wave of genuine people-nationalism led by radical African cadres seeking to defend and protect African heritage, resources and interest yet on deeper examination, it reveals a sinister, deceitful and manipulative hand of the West.

It, too, is staked against our sovereignties. The West now seeks to sponsor and instigate false and fake African community nationalisms as potent tools in its fight against China, Russia and other actors who are now challenging its exclusive historical dominance on our Continent whose roots lie in colonialism," said President Mnangagwa.

He said this is a false and bastardised form of nationalism which does not benefit Africa or Africans. Rather as it only seeks to weaponise Africans while making Africa an exclusive and uncontested frontier for the West's sole resource exploitation.

Mnangagwa said Africa stands to gain nothing from this parody of genuine resource nationalism. President Mnangagwa said in countries like Namibia there have been campaigns to shut down Chinese shops for producing alleged fake products.

President Mnangagwa said the false nationalism has seen South Africans turning against black immigrants. "In South Africa, a whole violent and often lethal movement against African immigrants has now taken root. We have witnessed wanton acts of black-on-black, African-on-African violence, all in the name of protecting South African jobs or even vending sites. "Yet no white immigrants are affected, even though South Africa's economy largely remains in white and foreign hands, as is also the case in many African countries," said President Mnangagwa.

"This is a racialised war of black African underdogs, couched as nationalism, a fight for servitude by equally disempowered Africans, whatever their countries of origin. This attacks the very heart and soul of our solidarity as Africans uniformly o bjectified by long colonialism."

He said regional leaders should take a firm stance against the weaponisation of Africans by the West and stand against false and fake nationalism when in reality the region is facing a recolonisation agenda.

"It threatens the Pan-African spirit which won us our Independence and freedoms; it also threatens the spirit of internationalism which laid a firm bedrock upon which we pursue our interests worldwide, guided by mutually gainful partnerships by whomsoever is ready to work with us," said President Mnangagwa.

"Above all, it gives a racist ring to our mantra of Zimbabwe is open for business. That mantra must never be understood to refer to Western business interests alone. "We have opened up to the whole world, with the West electing to place impediments in its way through needless sanctions and other restrictive measures. That negative stance by the West should not hold us back. Or block alternative capital from flowing in. We run free economies which are not indentured to the West or any other power. We pursue our interests, free from disabling histories and legacies."

The President said it will be detrimental if the region ignores the western sponsored disruptive fake nationalism which aims to wedge conflicts between historically-rooted sister countries.

Source - The Chronicle