During our liberation war, we fought against the British oppressor, his 13,000 US, EEC, and Boer mercenaries, and defeated them using Russian and Chinese training and weapons.

After attaining independence, instead of strengthening our relationship with the east, we reconciled with the colonizers (Britain) and the west, and allowed them to continue controlling our land, resources, and we purchased weapons from them.

In 1981, Zimbabwe purchased eight British Hawk fighter jets, which were delivered in July 1982. Within a week, on July 25th, 1982, six white Zimbabwean British passport-holding air-force pilots and three South African apartheid commandos infiltrated Thornhill airbase and destroyed four of the new jets and ten other aircraft, on the order of their British and American handlers.

This action reduced Zimbabwe’s air force by 40%, devastating our air defenses and leaving us vulnerable to apartheid Zuid Afrika air raids. Just before that, the British and Americans had given a green light to apartheid South Africa to sanction Zimbabwe to prevent it from countering the apartheid order down south.

In collaboration with the CIA who were launching their attacks from the Comoros Islands, Zuid Afrika then bombed our Beira oil pipeline and railway line, forcing us to export goods and import fuel and industrial inputs from South Africa.

As a result, Zuid Afrika raised tariffs on our imports, held our export cargo until contracts were cancelled, delayed our food exports until they decayed in port and detained our parts and fuel imports. This led to Zimbabwe’s export earnings and forex receipts falling, beginning the deindustrialization of the country.

In 1987, we finally acquired funding to start replacing our jets with supersonic Chinese F7s, which cost over US$1 billion then, about US$2.4billion today. The total expenditure and borrowing to replace weapons and fix the loss to our economy from ZA sanctions and sabotage was over US$3.8 billion, or over US$11 billion today.

This period resulted in Zimbabwe incurring its highest debt in history, equivalent to 60% of overall debt, to modernize its military and survive sanctions.

Consequently, Zimbabwe borrowed more from the IMF in 1990, to build schools, hospitals, roads and to mitigate the 1992 drought, which led to ESAP. As for the British Hawks, they were repaired in Britain, and most of them are currently out of commission due to sanctions preventing Zim from obtaining necessary parts.

Therefore, why is our government eager to reengage and rejoin the Commonwealth of nations that hate us? These are the same nations that coerced us into signing the one-sided Lancaster House Agreement after we won our freedom. In 1980, they made reconciliation/reengagement mandatory for trade with them, then they sold us jets, got the Boers and their Rhodesian associates to destroy the same jets.

When the moratorium on “willing buyer willing seller” ran its course, we requested that they honor the Lancaster Agreement, but instead, they and their Allies imposed sanctions to deindustrialize and weaken us further.

As a nation, did we not learn who our enemies are then? Gadaffi also had the same Stockholm Syndrome and inability to distinguish between friends and foe. So he sought to reengage the British in 2008 and disregarded his Russian and Chinese allies. In 2011, NATO convinced the UN Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over Libya, leading to Gadaffi’s death.

It is interesting to note that the Russians, Chinese, Nigerians, Democratic South Africans and Gabonese abstained or voted for the West to kill Gadaffi because he chose the wrong side.

In our region now, it appears that the ANC may lose its majority in the 2024 elections. If so, we will be fortunate if the ANC and EFF collaborate. However, if not, we may see a combination of the DA and ANC with ANC neo-liberals, in a middle-of-the-road scenario.

However, the worst-case scenario is a DA, ActionSA, Freedom Front Plus, Gayton McKenzie and other right-wingers forming a coalition to restore the apartheid order and hegemony in SA.

If that happens, then Zimbabwe will be bordered once again by the apartheid system, which will constitute the Ukraine of Africa, guaranteed to work with the West to destroy Zimbabwe and SADC once again.

Racists never change, so our government has got to start reassessing reengagement/reconciliation, recalling that the last time the former Rhodesians and Boers [after reconciliation], chose to partner with their western allies to murder 600 000 SADC residents which cost SADC its industry and over $100 billion then.

The war we never finished and the Cold War are back while we are under the illusion of reengaging white supremacy.

by Rutendo Bereza Matinyarare

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