Zimbabwe’s Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act (IEEA) came into force in March which means that local Zimbabweans are entitled to own 51 percent ownership in all foreign-owned companies; this act has the potential to be a historic moment for the African continent in regards to correcting past wrongs towards Zimbabweans and the issue of land redistribution for African people in general.
In March this year the Zimbabwean government’s Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act (IEEA) came into law ,which meant that local people were entitled to own 51 percent of foreign firms in their country. This act is part of the government’s plans to correct historical wrongs by imperial powers and to empower local Zimbabweans.
Unmasking the demonising of Mugabe in the media
Since President Robert Mugabe’s land reform programme in 1995 the western media has painted him as a ruthless dictator who has murdered his own people to remain in power.
Whether Mugabe has committed crimes against his own people is an internal matter for his country and perhaps the African Union to investigate, what is an issue however is the fact that the western media has hidden crucial evidence in their reports to why Mugabe is opposed by western governments.
Horace Campbell, a member of the African Studies Association and the National Conference of Black Political Scientists, wrote “…in the past fifteen years Mugabe has turned the victories of the people into a never ending nightmare of murders, killings, forced removal and brutal oppression.” (Global Research: December 2008)
He also said that because of Mugabe’s constant references to imperialism being the causes of Zimbabwe’s plight many Africans and people abroad do not criticise him and see him as a heroic revolutionary figure.
Campbell presents a compelling argument that whether Mugabe or any African leader for that matter is a heroic revolutionary figure this should not prevent people from criticising him or holding him accountable for his crimes against his people.
Campbell’s critique of Mugabe however must be placed in the perspective of what Stephen Gowans mentioned in his article published on the Global Research website, on December 31, 2008, titled ‘Understanding the Crisis in Zimbabwe: Cynicism as a substitute for scholarship’
Gowans said that many progressive scholars such as Campbell ignore the fact that the very groups and organisations that they use as references in their arguments are linked to western powers out to destabilise Zimbabwe so that a regime change can bring about a government more compliant with western interests.
He said that Campbell’s critique was published in Pambazuka News, a project linked to the US Ford Foundation. He also mentions that anti-Mugabe opposition groups such as Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), which Campbell referred to in his article has support from the US government through Freedom House which is tied to the CIA.
Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the MDC and a western favourite was funded by the British government and the party’s policy advisors has links to the Republican Party in the US. Is it any surprise that he is a western ally?
This leads back to the IEEA that Mugabe’s government has enforced in law and which was rejected by none other than Morgan Tsvangirai.
In an interview with Gregory Elich, Netfa Freeman, Director of the Social Action & Leadership School for Activists, who had just returned from a trip to Zimbabwe in September 2006 said:
“Nowhere on the continent have Africans taken as radical a measure toward land reform as we have in Zimbabwe. And not only have Zimbabwe’s land reforms been an inspiration for people in other African states, they have gained respect in Diasporan countries such as Venezuela and Bolivia. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has publicly praised Zimbabwe’s land reform process as a model he would like to emulate in that country.” (Gregory Elich: Global Research: September 2006)
“Furthermore, President Mugabe is a leader who also publicly keeps the inspiration of Kwame Nkrumah alive. That is, not only have all the aforementioned things been done under the leadership of Mugabe, he also often mentions Nkrumah and his ideals in speeches addressing other Africans. He is not afraid to speak of socialism at a time when no other African leader dares utter the word. President Mugabe openly condemns imperialism with the boldness and clarity we have only come to expect from leaders such as Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez. That is why President Mugabe receives such resounding applause wherever he goes on the continent of Africa or when he speaks at UN or AU summits. No other African leader is doing what he is doing right now, and because he is, Zimbabwe stands as an inspiration to African people the world over. We need to see and hear such things. They serve as political education for pan-Africanism.”
In a Reuters report yesterday titled, ‘Zimbabwe says foreign firm takeovers start with mines’, and edited by Stella Mapenzauswa and Andrew Roche, it mentions that “The world’s two largest platinum miners, Anglo Platinum and Impala Platinum, have multi-million dollar investments in Zimbabwe, while Rio Tinto has gold and diamond interests.” This statement was in relation to the government’s Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act which will hand over 51 percent of these western companies to Zimbabweans. Is this what the fierce anti-Mugabe media stories is really about? It seems so.
Anglo Platinum is a subsidiary of Anglo American PLC and Rio Tinto is a British-Australian, multinational mining and resources group with headquarters in London and Melbourne.
The IEEA seems to be a significant historical act for Zimbabwe, handing over the theft of resources and land back to the indigenous Zimbabweans. It spells danger from a western point of view if similar measures are taken by other African governments and their control and power on the continent diminishes; this seems to be the real reason why Mugabe is demonised in the media.
For further research: