We Must Continue to Resist Blurring of National Memory

Last Monday, the Government moved a step further in implementing part of the Global Compensation Deed agreed upon with white former commercial farmers.

The Global Compensation Deed deals with constitutionally-required compensation for improvements made by the previous owners.

Part of that agreement involves the regularisation of the land tenure of former farm owners who remained on compulsorily acquired land. Those with offer letters are also entitled to apply for the 99-year leases.

All this is part fulfilment of the country’s Constitution, and the exercise is specific to two categories of farmers whose land was compulsorily acquired under the Land Reform Programme.

The first category is that of indigenous black farmers whose farms were compulsorily acquired by the Government and the second is that of white former farmers whose land is protected by Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreements or Bilateral Investment Treaties with Zimbabwe at a time the land was compulsorily acquired for resettlement.

These are entitled to compensation for both land and improvements, in terms of subsections (1) and (2) of Section 295 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

This category, as clarified by Minister of Finance Prof Mthuli Ncube is that of “former farm owners on compulsorily acquired land (who) should urgently regularise their tenure through designated Government institutions in the first instance, before consideration can be made for issuance of 99-year leases”.

As has become customary, some MDC Alliance officials latched on to the compensation issue — attacking the Government for betraying the liberation struggle whose main grievance was land dispossession.

MDC Alliance vice president Tendai Biti and secretary-general Chalton Hwende went ballistic in attacking the Government, calling the deal a betrayal of the liberation struggle.

This, notwithstanding the fact that this is the same party which constantly ridicules the same struggle including daring the struggle veterans to return “the country where they liberated it from”.

Zimbabweans must refuse the blurring of memory. We must refuse the mental jarring that the opposition political figures want to inflict on young impressionable minds that should be conscious of the actual standing of certain political outfits as far as the liberation of this country is concerned.

It is without doubt that even the MDC Alliance benefactors who have financially and morally propped up the outfit were shocked to the hilt by the disingenuous statements by the MDC officials.

We must resist the slightest temptation to blur our national memory to the barest fact one of main reasons the MDC was formed principally to reverse the revolutionary land exercise that today they now claim to valorise.

History is replete with incidents, speeches, statements and even manifestos by the MDC, all expressing their disdain for the Land Reform Programme, which empowered more than 300 000 ordinary Zimbabweans.

We must resist the temptation to blur our national memory to the fact that one of the enduring images of modern-day Tshombeism are those of MDC founding president Morgan Tsvangirai being pampered with cash by white commercial farmers who saw the opposition leader as one who could safeguard their interests and ill-gotten privileges.

We must resist the slightest temptation of blurring our national memory by not pointing to the fact that MDC did not and does not make it a secret that their heart and soul is rooted in identifying with former colonisers or Western imperial interest.

Let’s say it as it is so that future generations won’t have any confusion about what the MDC stands for. They have shown in their actions and orientation that they think real salvation comes in identifying with Western imperial interests.

This is the reason they constantly appeal to the West including physically visiting America to lobby for continued stay of sanctions.

Zimbabwe is one of the most democratic countries in the world. Where on earth can one find an opposition party, which does not make it a secret that its main existence is rooted in pushing foreign interests being allowed to operate freely and be allowed even to hoodwink voters into believing that they are homegrown political party with their interest at heart?

We find it interesting that David Coltart shares the same disingenuous statements expressed by Hwende and Biti.

No one could have put it better in expressing his disgust over the hypocrisy of the MDC in regard to the land issue than veteran journalist Joram Nyathi.

In a Facebook post, Mukoma Joram said at first he wasn’t amused when the Government announced the signing of a Land Compensation Deed with farmers, but it later turned out the deal was having unintended positive consequences.

Mukoma Joram deserves to be quoted verbatim in order to profoundly send the message home. In his own words, Mukoma Joram said:

“People who invited sanctions on Zimbabwe for reclaiming its ancestral heritage, their land, suddenly realise the liberation war was about land, and that white are alien racists!

“Opposition supporters who have relentlessly fought war veterans, whom they accuse of keeping Zanu PF in power, now talk fondly about the gains of the liberation struggle.

“People who in the past election talked about generational consensus to kick out those who fought in the glorious liberation war are now talking about applying for land of their own!

“People who have derisively dismissed land reform as a chaotic election gimmick now don’t want any corrections made.

“People whose party was founded and funded by a few greedy white racists now don’t want their funders compensated for ‘their’ land!

“People whose raison d’etre has been democracy, constitutionalism and rule of law now find it abhorrent that Zanu PF and ED should implement clauses in the national Constitution to compensate a few white farmers!

“This should be sweet music to our people; that at last we might find each other on something as fundamental as national sovereignty, for without our land we are nothing. Except these people will never be sincere. Theirs is to oppose Zanu PF on anything and everything.

“They wanted to be ones to claim credit for implementing the constitutional clause on compensating white farmers for improvements on farms.

“Zanu PF has apparently pulled the rug from under their feet.

“Still, their biggest fear is a deal which enables Zanu PF to engage in fruitful dialogue with the West which could lead to the removal of sanctions.

“That inspires dread because it would neuter the opposition and its variegated CSOs and NGOs accomplices in their fight against the nation of Zimbabwe. Let this be our chance for honest dialogue.”

I need not add more save to say no amount of cheap political posturing will erase the historical fact that the crisis that Zimbabwe has had since 1999, is a crisis of having to deal with a political outfit which shamelessly panders to the whims of the former colonisers.

Yes, in post-colonial Zimbabwe we engage with everyone, but we shall always resist the temptation to engage blindly. Our historical consciousness empowers us to engage with all eyes open. Let’s resist the duplicitous narratives from charlatans who at the slightest temptation are prepared to sell us all for a case of whisky.

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