ANC YOUTH LEAGUE STATEMENT ON THE VISIT TO AND LESSONS FROM ZIMBABWE:
08 April 2010
The African National Congress Youth League visited Zimbabwe from the 2nd to the 5th of April 2010. The visit was meant to build and consolidate working relations between ZANU PF Youth League and the ANC Youth League, which constitute youth wings of former liberation movements in Southern Africa. The visit to Zimbabwe also incorporated the ANC Youth League's study-tour programme of visiting countries that have succeeded or failed with Nationalisation of and greater State participation in sectors of their economies.
The ANC Youth League delegation arrived at the Harare International Airport on the 2nd of April 2010 to a jubilant welcome by members of Zanu PF Youth League, who throughout our visit displayed the humility, compassion and care definitive of all progressive National Liberation Movements in Southern Africa, Africa and the world. On the 2nd of April, the ANC Youth League delegation held a joint meeting with the Politburo of Zanu PF and Central Committee of Zanu PF Youth League. The leadership of Zanu PF gave us a detailed and comprehensive briefing on the state of Zimbabwe's security, economy, and politics.
In outlining their vision, the leadership of Zanu PF under the capable guidance of the Secretary for Administration (Secretary General) and Minister in the Presidency, Comrade Titus Mutasa assured the ANC Youth League delegation that Zanu PF is committed to peace and rebuilding of Zimbabwe amidst many socio-economic challenges that came with the imposition of sanctions. We have no reason to doubt Zanu PF's commitment to a peaceful and successful Zimbabwe.
On Saturday, the 3rd of April 2010, the ANC YL delegation visited the house in Avondale (Harare) where exiled ANC Comrades, particularly Comrade Joe Gqabi conducted ANC work during the apartheid years. This is the house where Comrade Joe Gqabi was murdered through a bomb by apartheid forces in 1981. The delegation appreciated with practical observation the role Zimbabwe played in the liberation of the black majority and Africans in particular from apartheid repression and bondage. From the Avondale House, the delegation was taken through the tour of the Heroes Acre, wherein struggle heroes of Zimbabwe and Southern Africa are buried and where the history of Zimbabwe is narrated.
At a subsequent stage, we attended a rally in Mbare, Harare wherein we addressed thousands of Zanu PF youth, encouraging them to build a strong peaceful organisation, with capacity to mobilise the people of Zimbabwe behind the progressive vision of Zanu PF. We specifically cautioned the youth of Zimbabwe against imperialist organisations, which have potential to give Zimbabwe back to the imperialists. We used the rally to communicate South Africa's hosting of the World Festival for Youth and Students in December 2010.
On the night of Saturday, we attended a gala dinner of the Zimbabwean Affirmative Action Group, a lobby group with substantial influence over Zimbabwe's indigenisation and empowerment policies. We accepted the honorary membership of the Affirmative Action Group and will forever cherish its noble ideals of building a better Zimbabwe, wherein the African majority play a significant role in the economy.
On Sunday, the 4th of April 2010, we had a session with Zimbabwe's Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment, Comrade Saviour Kasukuwere, who is a known progressive youth activist in Southern Africa. The Minister presented to us Zimbabwe's Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act and policies, which are very courageous forms of policies on how Zimbabwe will retain the wealth of the land to the ownership of and benefit for the people as a whole.
We subsequently visited small scale farmers in Zimbabwe's Province of Mashonaland and witnessed young people who are productively involved in agriculture. From the small scale farms, we visited Zimplats, a Zimbabwe based platinum mine, which is owned by Implats and some Australian Investors. Like many Mines in South Africa, Zimplats does not do anything for the empowerment of communities where they are mining, and do not contribute anything on the development of youth.
From the small scale farmers in Mashonaland, we attended a soccer match of Zimbabwe's league champions, Dynamos vs. FC LUPOPO of the Democratic Republic of Congo in their Confederation of African Football clash. We attended the soccer match because we wanted to promote South Africa's hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in 63 days' time. Throughout our visit, we always made it a point to emphasise and display through attire that South Africa is hosting the FIFA World Cup in June/July 2010.
From the soccer match we visited a large scale Donington Farm owned by the Governor of the Zimbabwean Reserve Bank Governor, Gideon Gono. The Governor took us through a session on the Zimbabwean economy and how they came to adopt a multi-currency option as part of the economic recovery plans. The agricultural genius shown by Governor Gideon Gono is an inspiration, not only to the youth of Zimbabwe, but to the entire Southern Africa youth who have to engage themselves in agricultural activities. We as the youth of South Africa are greatly inspired and will encourage as many young people as possible to participate in productive and commercial agriculture to avoid almost total reliance on white farmers for food production.
On Sunday, the 5th of April 2010, the ANC Youth League had the honour of meeting His Excellency, the First Secretary of Zanu PF, the Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwean Armed Forces, Honourable R.G. Mugabe. President Mugabe reminded the ANC Youth League that during his days at Fort Hare University in the early 1950s, he was a member of the ANC Youth League together with former ANC YL National Secretary and President Joe Matthews and ANC outstanding leader and former Secretary General, Duma Nokwe. The resilience, courage, forthrightness and dedication of President Mugabe bears testimony to the fact that he was once a member of the ANC Youth League and therefore a product of the organisation that produced Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo and many others.
President Mugabe taught us that we should never sacrifice principle at the alter of expediency and we should forever remain focused. He appreciated the revolutionary character and militancy of youths in all revolutions and taught us how as a young revolutionary Kwame Nkrumah would always say that a good imperialist is a dead one. He also gave us a detailed history of the Zimbabwean revolution and how Britain under Tony Blair came to betray the commitments made at Lancaster House. We will forever support President Mugabe's leadership of political and economic programmes, which will redress economic and political injustices of colonialism.
What Lessons did we get from Zimbabwe?
1. The courageous and militant land reform programme has contributed substantially in the empowerment the people of Zimbabwe. From the 4000 white farmers who used to own farms and land in Zimbabwe, there are currently more than 350 000 Zimbabweans who are in farms and agriculture. Young African people are involved in agriculture and not reliant on few white farmers who do not have the interests of the people of Zimbabwe at heart. In essence, the State's greater role in land redistribution and mechanisation will contribute a lot in durably empowering the people of Zimbabwe.
2. The indigenisation and economic empowerment policies constitute a very brave, militant but very correct methods of transferring wealth from the minority to the majority. There will be challenges in the implementation of these policies, but they have a potential to give the people of Zimbabwe real economic power as they will be in ownership of more than 51% of Zimbabwe's wealth.
3. The resilience, dedication, courage and fearlessness of the Zimbabwean political leadership, particularly the Zanu PF leadership has far much greater potential to bring Zimbabwe to stability.
4. The ANC Youth League will continue to interact with Zanu PF Youth in order to give it more strength and discourage it from possibilities and reports of violence and counter-violence for political reasons.
In conclusion, the people of South Africa should support the economic recovery programme of Zimbabwe and assist in areas where Zimbabwe needs assistance. The success of Zimbabwe is South Africa's success and its failure is also our failure as a country. We encourage as many South Africans as possible to visit Zimbabwe to witness for themselves the potential Zimbabwe has. Pamberi Zanu PF! Pamberi Zimbabwe! Phansi Imperialism!
Statement issued by the ANC Youth League, April 8 2010
Click here to sign up to receive our free daily headline email newsletter