At the invitation of ZANU(PF), Harpal Brar, Editor of Lalkar and Chairman of Zimbabwe Solidarity Front (ZSF), attended a Conference in Harare with the theme “The Liberation Struggle Continues”. Held from 20th to 23rd April 2004, the Conference, organised by ZANU(PF)’s external relations department, was attended by liberation movements in southern Africa and solidarity movements from abroad.
The liberation movements that attended included the ANC (South Africa), SWAPO (Namibia), BDP (Botswana), MPLA (Angola), UDF (Malawi), CCM (Tanzania), MMD (Zambia), SPLM (Sudan) and UNIP (Zambia). Lesotho and Swaziland also sent representatives, while Frelimo was said to have sent a message that it could not attend the Conference.
The Conference, which coincided with the 24th anniversary of Zimbabwe’s independence, was opened by Cde D.N.E Mutasa, ZANU(PF) Secretary for External Relations and Minister of Special Affairs in the President’s Office and Cabinet, responsible for Anti-Corruption and Anti-Monopolies Programme.
The main item of the discussion at the Conference was naturally the land question and land resettlement and reform programme in Zimbabwe on which excellent papers were presented, among others, by Dr. S.I.G. Mudenge, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Dr. J.Made, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Throughout the Conference, emphasis was laid on the need to fight against imperialist, especially Anglo-American imperialist, plans for world domination under the deceptive slogans of the “war on terrorism”, “restoration of democracy”, “good governance” and “human rights”. Although no one believes them anymore, nevertheless the imperialists are on the rampage to crush any government and any country that dares take an independent stance against their vile ambitions.
It was noted with satisfaction that Zimbabwe had stood firm in carrying out its land reform programme and defeated the vicious opposition of imperialism and its stooges aimed at frustrating this historic return of Zimbabwe’s land to its people from those who had stolen it at gunpoint over the previous one hundred years. Now, imperialism’s focus had shifted to ensuring that other countries in southern Africa did not follow the Zimbabwe example to correct similar historical injustices.
All the participants were of the view that Africa must prepare herself for a determined struggle against the neo-colonial designs of imperialism, and that the best way to do that was to follow Zimbabwe’s examples, to strengthen relations between African countries, and improve the conditions of existence of the masses. The liberation movements, it was stressed time and again, needed to realise that the enemy they had fought and defeated in the bush, had not disappeared – it was fighting back with re-doubled effort. The leader of the MPLA delegation, Eduardo Ruis, struck a chord when he said: “Our enemies will continue to do everything possible to remove us from power and we have to organise ourselves to continue working together, exchanging experiences and strengthening our political and economic relations in order to defend ourselves and to implement our programmes aimed at defending our interests and improve the living conditions of our peoples”.
The delegates expressed the opinion that in view of the penetration by imperialism of bodies such as the UN and the African Union (AU), it would be suicidal for independent-minded regimes to rely on these bodies. In this context, Nigeria was singled out for special criticism for inviting former white commercial farmers from Zimbabwe to undertake farms in Nigeria.
At this Conference, Harpal distributed a message of solidarity, reproduced immediately below. Based on his participation at the above Conference, the papers presented at it, as well as other information, he has written a lengthy article on the land question in Zimbabwe, which will appear in two parts in the next two issues of Lalkar. It will also be included as a chapter in his forthcoming book on the liberation struggle in Zimbabwe, which will be printed and available at the end of the coming September.
Lalkar and ZSF would like to take this opportunity of thanking ZANU(PF) for its invitation and the warm and generous hospitality accord by it to Harpal Brar.
Message of Solidarity delivered by Harpal Brar to the Harare Conference,
on behalf of Lalkar and Zimbabwe Solidarity Front
On behalf of the magazine LALKAR and the Zimbabwe Solidarity Front, I extend my heartfelt greetings to ZANU(PF) on the occasion of this important Conference: The Liberation struggle Continues.
For a number of years imperialist countries and their agencies, ranging from the governments of the leading imperialist countries, in particular that of Britain and the US, to the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other sharks of world imperialist finance capital, have done their best to sabotage the economy of Zimbabwe. This sabotage has been accompanied by a ceaseless campaign of lies, slander and innuendo, conducted by the imperialist print and electronic media with the aim of maligning and demonising the Zimbabwean regime in general, ZANU(PF) and President Robert Mugabe in particular. They have done everything to interfere in the internal affairs of Zimbabwe. They have created, funded and supported a clique of traitors, who will sell the hard-won independence of Zimbabwe for a fistful of US dollars, with the sole purpose of replacing the Zimbabwean regime with a puppet government at their beck and call.
It is not difficult to see the reasons behind these outrageous acts of imperialism, which are in violation of all rules of international law and standards of justice. Zimbabwe has upset imperialism by its commitment to its land distribution programme, its opposition to the IMF/World Bank diktat, and its fraternal support to the Kabila regime in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Zimbabwe resorted to the present policy of land seizures after Anglo-American imperialism had reneged on its promises, made during the Lancaster House negotiations, to provide Zimbabwe with $2 billion to enable her to finance the purchase of land from the white farmers, whose ancestors had stolen half of the country’s best land at gun point from the Zimbabwean people. After 20 years Zimbabwean peoples’ patience had run out and their government had no choice but to embark upon the only course open to them, namely, to expropriate the expropriators. Anyone with the least sense of justice, anyone with the interests of the people of Zimbabwe at heart, would have nothing but praise for the course of conduct of the Zimbabwean government and the ruling ZANU(PF).
Equally the Zimbabwean government was perfectly within its rights not to implement the policies of starvation sought to be imposed by the imperialism through the World Bank and the IMF. The interests of the people of Zimbabwe, their right to life, are far higher than the right of imperialism to exact larger and larger tribute from the exploitation of the workers and peasants of Zimbabwe. The resistance of the Zimbabwean government, under the leadership of ZANU(PF), to the atrocious demands of world imperialism would attract nothing but praise from workers and peasants of all countries.
When imperialism, in its insatiable thirst for the fabulous mineral riches of the Congo, sought to overthrow the regime of Laurent Kabila, it was the fraternal duty of Zimbabwe to come to the aid of the beleaguered Kabila regime. If your selfless support for the DRC has produced outcries and howls on the part of imperialism and its agents, so be it. Again, those who regard the independence, sovereignty and freedom of the oppressed nations as precious, would have nothing but praise for your efforts in support of the Congolese regime – efforts which have impeded imperialist designs to loot unhindered the riches of the Congo by installing a puppet regime of the type that ruled for so long under the late and unlamented kleptocrat – Mobuto.
Thus it can be seen, dear comrades of ZANU(PF), you have much to celebrate at this important Conference. ZANU led the Second Chimurenga and liberated the country politically from British imperialism and its agent, the white minority racist regime. During this struggle 40,000 Zimbabwean patriots gave their lives so that Zimbabweans could lead a life of dignity and prosperity. You are now engaged in the Third Chimurenga, designed to restore to the people of Zimbabwe the land that was stolen from their ancestors by the conquering marauders of Cecil Rhodes’ British South Africa Company. The imperialist media is full of calumny against you for the alleged injustice you are doing to the white minority in your country. This they are able to do because they ‘forget’ that the rights of 13 million Zimbabwean blacks are far higher than those of the 70,000 whites, a mere 4,500 of whom own 50% of Zimbabwe’s 81 million acres of land.
Your actions, which are in the finest traditions of the First Chimurenga, the war of liberation waged by your ancestors just over a hundred years ago and which are an inspiration to the oppressed people all over the world, have incurred the wrath of imperialism which has launched frenzied attacks on the government of Zimbabwe, subjected Zimbabwe to economic sanctions, political ostracism and diplomatic isolation, and interfered in the electoral process of the country, in the parliamentary elections of June 2000 and the presidential election of March 2002. But all these attempts by imperialism to topple the Zimbabwean regime have been marked by utter failure.
Zimbabwe belongs to the Zimbabwean people. Neither imperialism nor its stooges can deprive the people of Zimbabwe of that which is rightly theirs and for which they have made so many sacrifices over the last 100 years. Comrades of ZANU(PF), you are privileged and honoured to be at the head of this glorious national liberation struggle. We wish you every success in this enterprise. We extend you our very best wishes for the success of your enterprise and we give our best regards to all the delegates at this Conference. On this occasion, we wish, in particular, to greet Comrade Robert Mugabe, who through his steadfast leadership of ZANU, has rightly become the representative spokesman of the aspirations of the Zimbabwean people and of their struggle to throw off the shackles of colonialism and its heritage.
Pamberi ne Chimurenga