The same day that a unity government took office in Zimbabwe, Feb. 13,
opponents of Western colonialism protested before the British and U.S. missions
to the United Nations in New York City demanding an end to the economic
sanctions imposed on this southern African country and the right to
self-determination. The December 12th Movement and Friends of Zimbabwe called
this action. Speakers at a rally outside the U.S. Mission included D12’s
Omowale Clay and Sara Flounders from the International Action Center.
Imperialist sanctions have crippled Zimbabwe’s economy for almost a
decade, ever since the African masses instituted a radical land reform policy
of taking back their lands illegally stolen by white farmers. These earlier
land thefts date back to the days of British colonialism, starting in the late
19th century. Once Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe backed this grassroots land
reform program, the imperialists demonized him with a vengeance.
Mugabe, a leader of the ZANU-PF party coordinating Zimbabwe’s
liberation struggle, was prime minister from 1980 to 1987, and president since
then. Now the ZANU-PF is sharing political power with two opposition parties
that are backed by the U.S. and Britain.
One of these parties, the Movement for Democratic Change, nominated their
treasurer general, wealthy white farmer Roy Bennett, whose vast land holdings
had been seized by Zimbabwe’s people, for deputy agriculture minister.
When Bennett arrived in Harare Feb. 13, he was arrested and charged for his
role in an earlier plot to overthrow President Mugabe. The continuing
international sanctions against Zimbabwe and the role of people like Bennett in
the opposition to Mugabe indicate once again that Zimbabwe’s quest for
sovereignty and true independence is far from being over.