via End fixation with the past, Mugabe told 18 August 2014
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe must “move on” from his fixation with the past and the injustices inflicted on Africa by European states during the colonial era, a German politician has said.
Dr Uschi Eid, a former Parliament of Germany State Secretary, made the remarks to Zimbabwean journalists who were visiting the country last week.
She said while it is true that European states committed great injustices during the colonial era, Mugabe must not be “stuck” in history.
The veteran Zimbabwean leader, jailed 10 years for fighting to end the racist Rhodesian settler regime, is considered a liberation icon across Africa and regularly speaks out against Western imperialism.
Mugabe, 90 this year, remains notoriously suspicious of the West and, even now, blames Zimbabwe’s economic problems on attempts, he sincerely believes, by Britain to recolonize the country for its mineral wealth.
But Eid said she foresees “great potential of growth for Zimbabwe and the entire southern African region “but my advice to Zimbabwe and Africa is that they should not be stuck in history”.
“Start doing things and move forward, never mind about colonialism and it is our admission that the Berlin conference (which partitioned Africa between European powers) was wrong but that should not prevent you from moving forward,” Dr Eid said.
Her remarks are also in line with a recent call by US president Barack Obama for African leaders to look inward for solutions to economic problems and not make “excuses” based on a history of dependence and colonisation.
Speaking ahead of the US-Africa summit, Obama said: “At some point, we have to stop looking somewhere else for solutions, and you have to start looking for solutions internally.
“And as powerful as history is, and you need to know that history, at some point, you have to look to the future and say, ‘OK, we didn’t get a good deal then, but let’s make sure that we’re not making excuses for not going forward.’”
Meanwhile, Eid also took issue with what she said was Mugabe’s attempts to explain Zimbabwe’s problems through regional blocs such as SADC and the African Union.
“There is a problem of unifying problems,” she said.
“This should help you in spelling out your problems and seek for assistance from the world as a nation than standing as a member of SADC.”
Eid said Germany assisted liberation movements in Africa including Zanu PF during the war and hoped that Zimbabwe would regain stability to spur further economic growth.
“Trade regionally and create employment among your regional nations if there are any barriers restricting you to trade with Europe and I tell you your economies will grow,” she said.