'EU, it's time to drop this stupidity'
President Mugabe (PM) last week held a wide ranging interview with the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation's Tazzen Mandizvidza (TM) in which he spoke at length about various issues. The first part appeared in last Saturday's Herald.
Today we publish the third
and final instalment of that interview.
TM: Your Excellency,
moving on to regional issues,
you are the incoming chairman
of SADC. At the same time in
2015 you are going to be chairing
AU. This being chosen to
leadership at the continental
arena, is it a sign or recognition
of your leadership ability?
PM: It's only a decision
that has been made in recognition
of Zimbabwe as eligible for
leadership. We have led before
in the same way. So normally,
it's the country that they look
at and, of course, the country
and its leaders but I think it's
high time we also became leader
of the AU.
Well, we have not led the AU,
we led the OAU, but since the
transformation of the
organisation into AU we have
been much more of a supporter,
supporting member like everybody
But we are entitled to take up
leadership like every country is,
provided they have the capacity to do so and we have that
capacity, we don't see ourselves
failing to do it.
TM: Your Excellency, the
AU recently took a decision
that I want to refer to as onefor-
all-and-all-for-one. That is
when they decided that if you
are not invited to the EU-Africa
Summit they were going to
boycott. Now, such a decision,
is it colleagues, friends supporting
President Mugabe or
is it Africa finally standing up
to bullies and speaking with one
voice, something that you have
always talked about?
PM: Yes, I think it's more
of the latter than the former. It's
a matter of principle that if it's
Africa that they would want association
with and Africa is led
by the AU and the AU comprises
a set of members, it's that
set of members that must represent
Africa. For us to say
Africa was present at any particular
meeting in full.
Africa is not Africa without
Zimbabwe or without any
other country. So if you want
us to be with you, you Europe,
then accept us as we are.
And you cannot begin to
pick and say we can only meet
you if such and such a country
are not present. No, such
countries are part of Africa.
And therefore take it as we
put it to you otherwise we
don't meet with you at all. It's
a principled position and we
welcome that as long as it applies
not just to us but to the
rest of Africa.
TM: Your Excellency,
talking of the EU, there are
reports that the EU is going to
scale down on illegal sanctions
against Zimbabwe but
you and a few might be left on
the sanctions list. What is
your reaction to that?
PM: Ha, that's nonsense;
rubbish! The question
of sanctions, I don't understand
(what the EU) wants to
achieve or the British want to
They have used the sanctions
for a long time and if they
think the sanctions have
worked to the extent that they
wanted, fine, well, sure, they
have affected our capacity to
interact with the rest of the
world, to be able to borrow resources
from international financial
institutions, trade with the free
world, sure and they restricted the
movement of the world, sure but
that nonsensical approach of we
will remove this and leave that
doesn't have any meaning to us
at all and it's high time this stupidity
We don't understand the
sense of it, anyway. And as Zimbabwe,
sanctions or no sanctions,
the country shall continue.
In fact, if the sanctions were meant
to effect regime change, well, there
Our people continue to confirm
that they have faith in us and they
vote to disgrace those who have
imposed sanctions on us and to
make them feel ashamed if they
have any sense of shame left in
TM: Your Excellency, allow
me to take you to the First Family.
We have seen you and Amai
we are also expecting kunzwa
nyaya yesvitsa tsvene kuti
aroorwa avakuchata. Well that's
quite a good thing. I am sure you
and Amai should be proud of her
as having led well as the first
PM: Sure, sure we are very
happy that she has behaved well
and that academically she has
proved to concentrate.
She was, you know, a dedicated
girl and lots of things she had
against her but she didn't take
that to account and along the way
those who imposed sanctions
wanted to obstruct her but we
found ways and means of avoiding
that and there she was; she
did her first degree in Hong Kong
and then the second degree in
Singapore and, well, that's Masters
Degree and she thinks that
now time has come to get herself
to yet another area where she will
emerge this time with a husband,
she became a married woman, fine.
You know, a father nurtures,
well can I say the parents actually
nurture the children. They are told
when they become toddlers, yes,
looking after them going to
school, and so on and so forth.
You wonder whether they will
You are looking at their performance
all the time and you see
them perform and when at the end
of the day they would have performed
and emerged with a qualification
you are a bit your own
person, say ha we have done it;
now we leave it to her or him to
find her way into life and now this
She will now not be with us but
with some foreign Gondo
ramuwana. Eh paye the time
yamunenge muchiti sva sva
makondo arikuuya sva finally
kunozouya rimwe rinoti ah go
moti ah uyo waenda.
So ya waenda; we hope it
will be a happy marriage. It's
tasking everybody. We are
working day and night to try
and make the environment correct.
They didn't give us much
time, the first of March is just
next door. But there it is, we are
very happy. And the rest is her
and her husband to be but so
far so good and we look forward
to the boys now emulating
The boys are happy-golucky.
The degree of concentration
is different. She takes
seriously; if she wants something
she does it.
But the boys ho, happy-golucky,
yes the elder one likes
basketball and he is good at it.
Studies . . . he has the brains
but basketball matters much
more than academia.
We want him to switch on in
the academic talent which he
has but we do not discourage
him playing basketball. Now
the other one who speaks a lot
and wants to be a president one
day: he has asked, you have
these degrees dad, how did
you do it?
Studies. If you want to be
president you must have
books. Fine, we do hope that
he goes through O-Level and
A-Level and goes to university.
But that one he likes talking;
I can say politician emerging.
But he is a happy one and
makes good friends.
We are happy. I never
thought that I was going to live
to see my daughter getting
married. We were told our life
expectancy in Africa is 56.
Well, I got married when I was
in my 70s and I said if I can
only see her get through the
second grade, fine.
But oh, the university . . . here I
am, perhaps I can see the others
also through to university.
I thank God for the long life.
TM: Your last words to
the youth who look up to you
and emulate what you have
PM: I will always continue
to urge them to be wellbehaved,
to be hard-working,
whatever the discipline they
will be pursuing might be: they
are at school or finished
They should try to do what
they are doing correctly. But
behaviour comes first. Their
discipline comes first. Without
discipline you cannot achieve
The discipline we want is internal
discipline: that which is
in you, bidding you to do certain
things and not do others.
The dos and don'ts.