via Zimbabweans don’t riot, minister boasts 17 August 2014
A CABINET minister has claimed that the country’s serious economic problems have not resulted in chaos and instability because of the “legendary resilience” of Zimbabweans.
Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengewi told regional counterparts at the SADC summit underway in Victoria Falls that Zimbabweans “refused to remove their government due to economic challenges” created by western countries.
Instead of going to the streets and creating chaos, the minister claimed, resilient Zimbabweans opted to tough the crisis out in sympathy with their ruling party and government.
The country suffered a decade-long economic crisis which started at the turn of the century with critics blaming President Robert Mugabe’s polices while the veteran leader denies responsibility, pointing instead at former coloniser Britain.
Mugabe and his Zanu PF party claim sanctions imposed by the West, at Britain’s encouragement, to punish Harare’s land reforms brought the country’s economy to its knees.
The Zanu PF leader also says the sanctions were aimed at sparking protests which, the West hoped, would help remove him from power.
But Mumbengegwi claimed the West was shocked when Zimbabweans did not go to the streets to protest the economic difficulties.
“All our detractors cannot understand how people who go through such economic difficulties fail to create chaos and instability,” he said.
“But the resilience of Zimbabwean people has become legendary. Yes, legendary! The resilience is unmatched and unparalleled.”
Mumbengegwi did not tell his counterparts that millions of Zimbabweans also left the country in a development that relieved pressure on the ruling party as remittances from the Diasporans helped ease the plight of relatives back home.
The Zanu PF minister also said Zanu PF’s example showed that economic sanctions do not work as a tool for regime change.
“It is not by accident that those who want to achieve regime change imposed sanctions on those they wanted to impose a government on,” he said.
“If you want to cause political and social instability, undermine the economy. It will however not always work. Zimbabwe is a living example.
“You all know the results of the July 2013 elections. All detractors anointed to cause regime change were decimated. The people spoke emphatically. They refused to remove their government due to economic challenges.”
Although Mumbengegwi claimed the 2013 elections were an “emphatic” endorsement for his Zanu PF party, the opposition insists the vote was a monumental fraud.
Opposition leaders say Zanu PF’s claim of ringing endorsement is undermined by the failing economy which did not get any boost from the elections and is sliding back to the chaos of 2008 when inflation hit 79.6 billion percent in mid-November of that year.