via ‘China not re-colonising us’ | The Herald November 2, 2013 by Felex Share
The presence of Chinese and Nigerian businesspeople in the country is not a form of re-colonisation, says Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo. He said the Chinese and Nigerians were Zimbabwe’s traditional friends who have always stood by the country even in its darkest moments.
Prof Moyo yesterday said the Look East Policy was a response to the economic challenges the country faced as a result of illegal sanctions imposed by the West. He was responding to questions raised by members of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches during a post-election dialogue conference in Harare. Some church leaders had complained about the influx of Nigerians and Chinese in the country, saying they were slowly re-colonising the country by being active in critical sectors of the economy.
Prof Moyo said when Zimbabwe was under siege from the West over the successful land reform, it had no option but to work with friendly countries that respected the sovereignty of other nations.
“I do not think the Chinese and Nigerians have colonised us,” he said. “What we talk about is really a sign of the consequences of the recent economic challenges in our economy.
“We cannot respond to those challenges by becoming xenophobic. We will never be associated with a position that says let us get rid of the Chinese and Nigerians who are our brothers and sisters.”
Prof Moyo said Nigeria, despite not being in the Sadc region, ended up as one of the frontline countries during the liberation struggle.
“They sacrificed for our independence as they participated in a meaningful way,” he said. “They gave us a grant of US$5 million to buy out the South Africans from the media. Zimpapers and Kingstons were owned by South Africa and we cannot forget what others did for us simply because we are going through economic hardships. The observation that they are in critical sectors is not different from the fact that we are wearing clothes produced outside the country.”
Prof Moyo said China was an all-weather friend that stood by Zimbabwe during its difficult times.
“The Chinese cannot in a way be compared to our colonisers,” he said. “If we did not have China and Russia, the British would have ganged with America and France to declare Zimbabwe a Chapter 7 country and legalise the illegal sanctions through the United Nations.”
Prof Moyo said the West wanted to paint Zimbabwe as a worst case to justify pursuit of their national interests.
“They were stopped by China and Russia and what they alleged and put before the UN has been proven to be false by the passage of time,” he said.
“If preserving our country means anything to us we should be grateful to those that have assisted us. But we do not forget that there are also countries that have national interests. Even if they supported us we have always said that we are our own liberators, a fundamental value to guard against the fears that some of you might have.”
Prof Moyo said the new economic blue print, Zim Asset, crafted by Government in line with the Zanu-PF manifesto, would uplift the living standards of the people.
“We are introducing Zim Asset to empower Zimbabweans and bring them to the key sectors to play a leading role and we do that without being emotional. Everyone, including the church, should embrace opportunities availed under the indigenisation programme and contribute towards improving the economy. We should demonstrate a shared vision and conduct businesses with a high sense of accountability and transparency.”
Prof Moyo outlined six pillars for nation building which he said were critical in finding lasting peace and prosperity. Prof Moyo said efforts to develop the country would be meaningless without stability.
“Without stability we will not achieve peace,” he said. “That is why you saw that the President in the run up to the elections took every opportunity to preach non violence.”