Nduduzo Tshuma, Political Editor
AS Zimbabwe turns 37 next week, the celebrations to mark the country’s Independence come at a time when its enemies are in overdrive working against the gains of the protracted struggle that gave birth to this beautiful nation.
This year’s Independence celebrations also come a year preceding the national elections and as has been the norm, Western powers are at it again with their meddlesome politics in a bid to effect regime change.
The regime change agenda however, is not only experienced in Zimbabwe but in the country’s neighbours as has been seen by marches against South African President Jacob Zuma organised by merchants of white monopoly capital but disguised as a movement of ordinary people “fed up” with Mr Zuma’s rule.
In Zimbabwe on the other hand, Western embassies and their international partners have started trying to influence the country’s electoral processes.
British Ambassador to Zimbabwe Ms Catriona Liang last month hit the headlines for making unsubstantiated remarks to the effect that the takeover of the procurement of Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits by Government might compromise the credibility of next year’s elections.
According to reports, Ms Liang preferred a scenario where the Government of Zimbabwe surrendered the procurement of the BVR kits to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The embassies have been making trips to parts of the country, operating outside their mandate and meddling in the affairs of the country’s internal politics.
In the past month, British and German Ambassadors have persisted with their meddlesome politics, holding meetings with politicians in Bulawayo on a mission to push the regime change agenda.
The German Ambassador, we are told, asked why Bulawayo was quiet when other parts of the country were already “gearing” for elections and also called for political parties to come together to challenge the ruling Zanu-PF in the coming 2018 elections.
The European Union on the other hand has pledged to fund non-governmental organisations with millions of United States dollars to oil the regime change machinery with the bloc calling for the organisations to form consortiums.
As the clock ticks towards elections, more similar or worse initiatives are expected to come from the Western countries in collaboration with their partners — the opposition parties.
It is in this context that the independence celebrations on April 18 should be appreciated because in as much as the Union Jack was lowered in 1980 and the Zimbabwean flag hoisted, Western countries are still burning the midnight oil coming up with all sorts of strategies to reverse the country’s independence.
It should be remembered therefore that after 37 years of majority rule, our Independence remains under threat from Western countries who want to continue colonisation by other means and through willing vessels in the opposition so that they can pursue and protect their neo-colonial interests in the country.
However, on a positive note, this is not the first time that the country faces such machinations from the West working hand in glove with the opposition parties and all attempts since the formation of the united MDC in 1999 to dislodge the ruling Zanu-PF have come to naught.
This is mainly because of the visionary leadership of President Mugabe who has weathered all forms of pressure from the West and its partners to isolate the country and his person in a bid to force him to pander to their whims.
Despite all this, President Mugabe has remained strong and resolute in his mission to see the principles of the liberation struggle implemented in post colonial Zimbabwe that will see the empowerment of his people.
The recent master stroke by President Mugabe is the successful Command Agriculture programme and the Presidential Inputs Scheme that will not only ensure food security in the country but ensure that the country will, going forward, not need to import grain from other countries to feed the nation.
Politically, the Command Agriculture lands a fatal blow to one of the strategies of the Western agencies in times of elections who work with NGOs and political parties to dangle food to drought affected people so that they could influence the voters on which party to vote for in the polls.
The 2018 elections come with all Zimbabweans having a full stomach after the successful agricultural season following the good rains experienced in all parts of the country.
This coupled with the government’s pro people policies meant to empower every Zimbabwean will make it easy for the ruling Zanu PF to defeat the enemy.
However, this does not mean Zimbabweans must ignore the threats to the country’s liberation because they are always alive and come in various forms.
It is the same President Mugabe who last Friday called on Zanu-PF to shun demonstrations against fellow party members accused of acting against the rules of the party but instead seek recourse through laid down structures.
Addressing the 105th Ordinary Meeting of the Zanu-PF Central Committee at the party’s headquarters in Harare, President Mugabe said the party’s provincial structures and organs must now look into the grievances raised by party cadres who demonstrated in various provinces against fellow party officials instead of resorting to further demonstrations.
He said demonstrations were destructive to the party as they exposed it to the opposition and Western countries who wanted to see it disintegrate.
It takes such kind of leadership to keep Western machinations meant to reverse the country’s Independence under check.
The gospel of radical socio-economic transformation long preached by President Mugabe has gripped neighbouring South Africa and the reaction from imperialists has been swift with marches calling for President Zuma to step down led mainly by the opposition and some members of the African National Congress compromised by imperialist powers being held.
Coincidentally, April is also the month South Africa celebrates her Independence and what is apparent is that all liberation movements in Africa face similar threats of an imperial make up to reverse their respective freedoms.
What Africa needs is to be vigilant and guard against all forms of threats that work against the gains of its Independence.