The Land Reform Programme
The land reform process in Zimbabwe, which the West strongly criticised from its inception, is an integral feature of Zimbabwe’s Foreign Policy, and the reluctance by some countries to recognise its centrality to economic development and stability has continued to strain relations with some sections of the international community.
Land will remain the vehicle for the total emancipation and liberation of the nation of Zimbabwe from the yoke of colonialism, settlerism and neo-colonialism in all its forms.
Zimbabwe is very grateful for the solidarity and support received from SADC, the AU and the Non-Aligned Movement and China against Western resistance to the land re-distribution programme.
In the context of what has become the Western media’s obsession with Zimbabwe over the latter’s assertiveness and defence of its nationhood and national economic heritage, the Foreign Policy challenges arising therefrom include the repeated references to Zimbabwe’s relationship with its former coloniser, the UK; its relationship with the European Union (EU) and the United States’ economically damaging legislation in the form of the punitive Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of December 2001.
The bilateral dispute with the UK is a very wasteful standoff, which has turned attention away from the real priorities embodied in existing frameworks for bilateral and multilateral cooperation between Zimbabwe and Britain.
Regrettably, the principles of democracy, human rights and the rule of law (the very values for which the people of Zimbabwe fought and died) are now being transformed into instruments for punishment by some sections of the international community.
Zimbabwe-EU relations became strained when the EU imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe on the pretext that the 2002 Presidential elections, which the EU did not observe, were not free and fair. Subsequently, the bloc rejected the verdict of the March 2005 Parliamentary elections which gave the ruling Party a landslide victory and, lately also rejected the results of the June 2008 Presidential run-off election. Since then the West has continued with its attempts at effecting illegal regime change in Zimbabwe, to the extent of even politicising the cholera outbreak so as to justify interfering in the internal affairs of the country. Thus the EU has taken unilateral measures and made unilateral demands without due dialogue or engagement taking place yet Zimbabwe has always been ready to dialogue with it.
Since the US’s promulgation in December 2001 of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act, Zimbabwe has reeled under tightened economic sanctions that include the prohibition of budgetary assistance by the IMF and the World Bank as well as other sources.