The Honorable Robert Mugabe
Apparently, there are still African leaders who speak in the interests of Africans. Just maybe, there is a powerful minority willing to challenge the powers that be. Lest you forget, it only takes one Lion to slaughter a 1,000 dragons. It should be noted that President Mugabe received the most applause at the 59th session of the UN General Assembly, in September of 2004, even though he spoke alongside Bush, Blair and Kofi Anan. Here is a very abridged version of his speech:
"Zimbabwe has had to withstand unprovoked, declared and undeclared sanctions, imposed by Britain and its allies who are bent on bringing down our legitimately elected government. Mr. Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister, has arrogantly and unashamedly announced in his Parliament that his government was working with Zimbabwe's opposition party to bring about regime change. Once again, the lawless nature of this man, who along with his Washington master, believes he is God-ordained to rule our world, has shown itself.
"Regime change is an inalienable right of our Zimbabwean people who, through their sovereign vote, can make or unmake our governments. In any case, we reject completely, the pretended assertions of democracy by our former colonial masters, whose undemocratic regimes we taught the lesson of one man or one woman, one vote through our liberation struggles.
"Here in the United States, we remain aware of the plight of the Black American of both yesterday and today, of the semi-slave and half-citizen status that has been his burden. Have the blacks in the USA got equal political, social and economic rights and status as their white counterparts? When shall we have a black or African-American president of the United States? Never, ever!
"I am pleased to inform you that we have, in spite of the sanctions and evil wishes of Britain and its allies, now emerged from that difficult phase. We had a relatively good agricultural season this year and our Land Reform Program has begun to make a significant contribution towards the turn-around of our economy.
"We are seriously concerned that the United Nations, the pre-eminent instrument for the maintenance of international peace and security, watched helplessly while Iraq was plundered by the US and UK led, so-called coalition of the willing. Such belligerent gun-slinging diplomacy and illegitimate territorial occupation of the state of Iraq are blemishes on the fair play image of the UN. While the sadistic scenes from Abu Ghraib remain vivid in our minds, other places in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay have provided useful samples of the Western concept of respect for human rights. Let me say once again, the West should spare us their lessons on human rights. They do not have the moral authority to speak about, let alone parade themselves as torch-bearers of human rights!
Extract from New African magazine, November 2004, #434