The west has no right to interfere in Zimbabwe’s democracy

Grace Zvavamwe

A full 43 years after freedom, Zimbabweans still strive for what our forefathers sought then which was the enjoyment of our own democracy.

What initially comes to mind when the word democracy is brought up is our right to vote and choose our leaders of choice without any interference from outsiders.

Democracy is more than just a buzzword of revolution. It represents hope for a better, freer, and more prosperous future in countries around the world.

 The west, namely the United States (US), has taken up the cause of democracy worldwide, especially in Zimbabwe over the past 43 years.

The US feels it is their role to usher in a new world order using their democratic framework which they believe will foster democracy, peace, and development.

According to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe owes its democracy to itself therefore; it does not need tutors or lessons in democracy delivered by external forces.

He emphasised that as we progress as a country which is proudly African and sovereign, we should be insisting on the principle of reciprocity when it comes to the practice of international election observation.

“The time will soon come when we will not accept that condescending and even racist view of a pecking order when it comes to measuring electoral democracy unfolding in our sovereign countries, and which, in any event, is meant for our people,” said President Mnangagwa.

He downplayed the issue of a pecking order with on one side “white super dogs” who must observe elections of lesser beings, and on the other black underdogs whose polls must be observed, passed or failed.

“Nothing about our chequered colonial history justifies that false hierarchy; nothing in present international rules legitimises that presumptuous supremacy.

“Much worse, we reject as utterly racist and condescending this practice of making our proud and sovereign nation an equal if not a junior of some Western non-governmental centre, institute or foundation. We are no one’s subaltern, least of all of some non-governmental organisation. Never again will we subject ourselves to such false, humiliating equivalences,” said President Mnangagwa.

President Mnangagwa’s view is a perfect position which carries a moral obligation in challenging the whole of Africa to wake up to the reality that we should no longer let the west threaten our own democracy.

The reality is that, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to systems of governance. 

Each nation has its own history and problems that need a customised way of solving them. 

Yet ‘democracy’ is made to seem like the ideal system for all and is forced down our throats. 

The US cannot champion democracy in our country because it is the major stumbling block to world democracy and peace. This is not a secret.

It is unacceptable that the US should continue to masquerade as a champion of democracy.

The US was part of the force we fought in our Chimurenga wars, that force which said that our land, our wealth and our labour was owned by the British, to exploit at will for its self-aggrandisement and that of their European kith and kin. 

We still fought and defeated the Americans together with their British kith and kin and the rest of the West European world which was behind the Rhodesian regime. 

After we had fought and defeated the European Rhodesian project and were at Lancaster where the project Rhodesia was negotiating its terms of surrender, the Americans offered to provide funds to pay white Rhodesian farmers for the land that the state of Zimbabwe would take to resettle Zimbabweans. 

However, when the time came, the Americans would not provide the funds, arguing it was not binding. After they and the British defaulted on their promise to pay for land which not only belonged to the people of Zimbabwe as their inalienable right, but also land which Africans had liberated with their own blood and untold suffering, the Americans, together with their British and European relatives, declared a new war against us, a relentless one in the form of illegal sanctions. 

To punish a people whom, you have oppressed and exploited for 90 years for having taken back their land as a right of conquest is to declare that such a people have no rights of any kind at all. 

But we have rights! 

We are part of the human family and no-one can rob us of our humanity and all that it entitles us. 

No-one can rob us of what thousands of our forefathers fought for, suffered and died for.

The west has created the political brawl that is going on now in our country, with the multi-fragmented Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) claiming the Zimbabwean throne, when it is well known that the so-called coalition is an instrument of restoring not only British hegemony over Zimbabwe but also Western influence and control over the land. 

However, it is prudent to remind the West that we have memories of sobbing shadows in the land, in this great Zimbabwe. 

This charade of American self-imposed world leadership and the nonsensical claim of being champions of democracy cannot continue to be flaunted before our eyes.

The West must recognize that their path to democracy has been vastly different from that of Zimbabwe and as such cannot superimpose their experiences and solutions.

Michael Barker, Global Research, April 16 2008 argued that it is not lack of democracy in Zimbabwe that worries the westerners but it is the fact that democracy has produced a Government that has challenged them and wish to remove.
What the West wants is to overturn democracy in Zimbabwe and impose a Government of its own.  Interference into our polls by outsiders with sinister agendas cannot be tolerated.

If America doesn’t invite us to be part and parcel of their internal affairs, they have no moral obligation to do so in Zimbabwe, every country has a duty to respect other countries

Nonetheless, while it is important for Zimbabwe to learn from the experiences of Western countries especially in economic development, it is unrealistic and counterproductive for Western countries to require Zimbabwe to replicate their models of governance word for word.

The west should stop interfering in Zimbabwe’s internal affairs. Zimbabwe is 43 years into independence but they still persist on trying to colonise our minds to tow their ways as if they are imperial masters of Zimbabwe.