From: C R Spinner <>
Newsgroups: soc.culture.zimbabwe,soc.culture.african.american,soc.culture.african
Subject: Zimbabwe Marks Independence
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2003 23:46:50 -0700
Message-ID: <>

Mugabe says Britain, U.S. try to colonize Zimbabwe

By Crisp Chinaka, Reuters AlertNet, 18 April 2003

HARARE, April 18 (Reuters)—Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe accused Britain and the United States on Friday of trying to “recolonise” the southern African country by leading an international campaign against his policies.

In a defiant speech marking the country's independence from Britain 23 years ago, Mugabe said Western opposition to his seizure of white-owned farms for landless blacks was part of a drive to keep the Third World poor.

“We abhor imperialistic machinations and iniquitous efforts by Britain and its ally, the United States, to recolonise us and we stand ready to resist such attempts,” the 79-year-old Mugabe told an independence rally in Harare.

“Africa is for Africans and Zimbabwe is for Zimbabweans… Our land, our dear Zimbabwe will never again fall into foreign hands. Never, never, never again will Zimbabwe be a colony,” he said to loud applause from 20,000 supporters in a stadium draped in posters declaring “Zimbabwe is our motherland”.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) accuses Mugabe of stealing last year's presidential election and has vowed to lead street protests in a bid to drive him from office.


Mugabe .. says the economy has been sabotaged by domestic and Western opponents of his land campaign aimed at redressing past colonial injustices.

Britain and the United States have slapped sanctions on Mugabe and his inner circle. They deny allegations by Zimbabwean leaders that their opposition to Mugabe is “racist” and aimed at controlling the country's natural resources.

A top U.S. official this week repeated Washington's call for a transitional government leading to fresh polls. Mugabe's victory last year was condemned as fraudulent by some Western (white) nations, which also accuse his government of rights abuses.

[However western nations, including USA, UK and EU countries, have also been accused of rights abuses by human rights groups.]

The European Union, with U.S. backing, had proposed a motion to the Commission on Human Rights condemning rights violations in Zimbabwe. But African countries voted to block the EU call.

In his speech, Mugabe said he would not tolerate unrest.

“Those who reject democracy and choose the road of violence to achieve their political goals are the enemies, indeed evil enemies of Zimbabwe and will not be allowed to succeed.”

The government said the (fuel) increase, which saw petrol more than double to Z$450 ($0.55) a litre, was necessary to import fuel supplies scarce since a deal with Libya collapsed last year.

Mugabe said his government was working to revive the economy and ease fuel shortages that have left thousands stranded for transport during the Easter holidays.