Opinion: America`s anger over failed regime change overtures laughable

by | May 3, 2021 | International, Politics | 0 comments

Hosiah Muviringi

For a child born 18 years ago, it will be excusable for them to conclude that there is nothing good and worth celebrating about being born Zimbabwean.

This is the story of a whole generation of children born after the 2003 ominous signing of the US Executive Order number imposing economic sanctions on Zimbabwe by the then-President George W. Bush under Executive order number 13288.

Then, on 08 March 2003, the message was that sanctions were aimed and targeted only at a few top leaders of the ruling party in Zimbabwe, then led by President Robert Mugabe.

Fast forward 18years down the line. New leadership, fresh elections, a new commitment to international re-engagement, and a long-suffering population yearning for a reprieve, yet an enduring stiff-necked and rigid Foreign Policy position by the US government.

On the fourth day of March 2021 United States President Joseph Biden, in a now all too familiar fashion renewed a long-standing sanctions regime on Zimbabwe, citing what he calls a lack of ‘tangible economic and political progress on reforms ‘.

How did it all begin?
Let’s try to explore the genesis.

Zimbabwe is a small land-locked Southern African nation of a mere 16 million citizens. The country has been relatively peaceful since attaining independence in 1980.
The country has no previous record of aggression against its neighbors or any other country, big or small.
Zimbabwe is famed for its discipline in multiple UN Peacekeeping missions worldwide.
The country has neither displayed, harbored any ambitions, nor does it possess any ability to acquire atomic weapons.
Yet the United States of America has successively affirmed and insisted, over the years, that Zimbabwe indeed poses a to its Foreign Policy and interests, prompting invocation of Section202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622 (D))

What is the reason behind US policy aggression against a small peaceful country?
US Foreign Policy has always been driven by an insatiable appetite for conquest, dominance, expansionism, and resource imperialism.
This unwritten rule is at the core of US Foreign Policy.

Land reform and the Indigenisation programs in Zimbabwe have inadvertently served to upset the cart in the US Foreign Policy endeavors in Africa.
Land reform and resource nationalism in Zimbabwe has become a thorn in the flesh of American aspirations as the twin programs have become an example to many countries in Africa and the progressive world especially those that are led by former liberation movements and those that admire the communist system of governance.
It is important to outline from the outset the fact that American interest has never been driven by a need to protect human rights rule of law and human liberties as they claim in public.
The world has been fooled and misled by these false claims which have regrettably formed the basis of most internationally supported acts of aggression against weak and poor countries. The United Nations has on countless occasions fallen prey to these misleading falsehoods.
The US cares only about her exclusive geopolitical and economic interests.
Forget about human rights and rule of law.
Human rights, rule of law, and democracy are unquantifiable variables that can never satisfy a universally agreed yardstick.
In other words, they are subjective by nature. They can be interpreted to the liking of the observer, thus remain a moving target hard to hit.

While Zimbabwe has consistently displayed the zeal and commitment to observe and uphold these fundamentals, it is imperative to note that the country still remains one of the best-administered republics, with one of the best human rights records worldwide.
In Africa, the country ranks very high and is regarded highly by peers.
However the US thinks otherwise because the country still falls too short of its expectations.
What are the real US expectations on Zimbabwe, having agreed that Zimbabwe ticks most boxes on the human rights and democracy checklist?
It is imperative that the world opens its eyes to the blatant abuse of these fundamentals by the US against small countries that refuse to toe the imperialist line.
Zimbabwe has been specifically selected to act as an example of what happens to a nation if its leaders choose to disregard and go against imperial maneuvers of powerful nations.
In Zimbabwe, human rights, democracy, and rule of law have been used as a pretext for active interference in the internal affairs of the country.
In other countries such as Libya and recently Venezuela these allegations have manifested in the US sponsorship of rebels, mercenaries, and insurgents, to outright open warfare against legitimate governments in the guise of protecting human rights and advancing democracy.

This interference shifted gears and manifested in September 1999 when the US/British alliance combined efforts to form and fund one of the most notorious opposition parties ever to be formed on the African soil.

To the US and many ‘analysts,’ it is still a mystery why the MDC is still out of power in Zimbabwe.
The party was well resourced and supported through the ZIDERA sanctions bill which was expected to incapacitate the ruling ZANU PF party.
MDC had a clear mandate to reverse all nationalist policies in Zimbabwe such as the Land reform and the Indigenisation policy.

In 1998 Zimbabwe participated in a SADC-mandated mission in the great lakes region where the DRC had come under siege from Western-sponsored mercenaries which were backed by Uganda and Rwandese government forces.
Of course, it is a now all too familiar story of the defeat of one of the biggest US imperial projects on African soil.
So, the anxiety, outrage, and anger that manifest yearly as the renewal of sanctions on Zimbabwe can be understandable after all. This the unwritten yet unpalatable truth about the US involvement in the DRC and the resultant ‘beef’ with Zimbabwe.

Nationalist Values and Ethos.

There are certain things, values, and ethos that are not tradeable or exchangeable for any price.
In Zimbabwe’s context, the land forms what constitutes a nation and thus cannot be traded or exchanged for anything, including international acceptance or removal of sanctions.
In the liberation movement’s scope of things, the land does not have a price tag and thus cannot be sold. It remains in the hands of the State for the benefit of future generations.
This deals a direct blow to the US demands for what they call respect for property rights, which they erroneously believe will subsequently reverse the land reform.

Property rights in the US scheme of things refer to land rights. Land rights are a disguise for White man’s right to Agricultural land in Zimbabwe.
This by now should be water under the bridge.
Zimbabwe cannot and will not surrender its people’s right to land in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.
Access to land remains an emotive subject in Zimbabwe as it formed the basis of the liberation struggle in which millions lost their lives. It is therefore non-negotiable. Land reform is behind us and non-reversible!

The geopolitical space that Zimbabwe occupies both in SADC and Africa at large makes the Zimbabwean land reform exercise the most dangerous example to US Foreign Policy which is driven by the imperialist agenda.
The flame that the Zimbabwean land reclamation exercise lit cannot be easily extinguished, thus the US determination to make an example of suffering out of Zimbabwe.
They hope that this will dissuade other countries from following suit. We see this across the Limpopo where the South African government has developed cold feet at the slightest threat of sanctions. Its Banks have been instructed not to advance any Agriculture related funding to Zimbabwean counterparts no matter how lucrative the deal might be. The sad reality on the ground.
The land reform in Zimbabwe remains an invaluable template for Africa to adopt, improve and build on for the total emancipation of the mother continent.

So, Does Zimbabwe pose a Foreign Policy threat to the US?
The answer is a strange YES!
Yes, given the foregoing, Zimbabwe indeed poses a perennial headache for US Foreign Policy planners.
If not, why would a World Super Power be fixated on a peaceful nation for almost two decades?
There is something special about Zimbabwe and I challenge all those who seek to disagree with me to find that special thing about this country that justifies Executive Orders.
Future younger leaders will have to carry this challenge to find and fight to preserve this important place that the country occupies among nations.

In 2018 Zimbabwe held a clean election by any standards, which was observed and certified by international agencies.
Compare to the US elections of 2001 which got Al Gore gored by the bully George W Bush.
Fast forward to the 2016 elections which got Donald Trump into office. To date, the rigging mysteries are yet to be debunked, same as the November 2020 elections which culminated in an unprecedented Army deployment on Capitol Hill after a bloody protest.
This clearly shows that the US is not a saint, neither are they the world policeman on democracy.

It is all about the US’s quest to control all resources underneath and above the ground in Zimbabwe. That is the genesis of sanctions on Zimbabwe. Forget democracy and rule of law smokescreen.
Zimbabwe thus stands as a major impediment on the US expansionist excursion route from Cape to Cairo.
It thus goes without saying that any negotiations with the US for the lifting of sanctions remain academic as they will never yield a different result.

Zimbabwe, therefore, carries hopes of millions of Africans, most of whom tremble in their pants when they imagine the suffering we have gone through, yet still, hope that our resilience will inspire a generation of new fearless leaders on the continent.