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'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 else, ordinary.

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 achieve.

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 was dropped.

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 we are.

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 them.

TM: Your Excellency, allow me to take you to the First Family. We have seen you and Amai with(yourdaughter) Bonagraduating, youlookedveryproud. And 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 born.
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 succeed.

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 is it.

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 girl.

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. Good show.

TM: Your last words to the youth who look up to you and emulate what you have gone through?
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 school.

They should try to do what they are doing correctly. But behaviour comes first. Their discipline comes first. Without discipline you cannot achieve anything

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.


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