ZIMBABWEANS must steadfastly resist Western machinations to put the country on its knees through economic sanctions that are designed to reverse the gains of independence, but instead work together and preserve the “miracle” that is Zimbabwe, visiting Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has said.
Addressing a press conference with President Mnangagwa at State House in Harare yesterday after jointly presiding over the signing of eight bilateral agreements between Belarus and Zimbabwe, President Lukashenko said the West is spinning a web of lies and deceit in an attempt to suppress sovereign nations.
Both Zimbabwe and Belarus are under punishing economic sanctions from Western nations led by the United States, which observers accuse of sponsoring dissent in independent countries to effect illegal regime change.
Speaking through an interpreter, President Lukashenko said Western countries are determined to suppress and silence independent countries like Zimbabwe and Belarus.
“Today, the biggest countries of the world, the world powers are trying to divide the world, they are trying to suppress countries like Zimbabwe and Belarus and of course to benefit from such suppression.
“Zimbabwe looks like a miracle story, it has all the mineral resources crucial for survival, that is why they will not let you live peacefully.
“The reason behind the sanctions imposed on your country by America is not because you are not democratic, but because your Government made a decision not to let foreign companies cheat your country, rob your country, to put your country on its knees.
“It was the decision of your country to take control of your natural resources that led Western countries, including the United States, to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe,” he said.
Although Zimbabwe has weathered the illegal sanctions, Western nations have stridently tried to illegally remove the democratically elected Zanu PF Government, and with the country poised for harmonised elections this year, the stakes are yet again high as they directly and indirectly fan dissent through their proxies in oppositional forces and non-governmental organisations.
“You will see Western nations trying to sow dissension among you, trying to bend you over, to put you on your knees. You should and must survive, you will survive if you stand united, if you will not let discord separate your nation over some illusory democratic values.
“What you need to do is preserve peace in your country, avoid confrontation, that’s how you will survive, otherwise you will once again get under colonial rule, don’t let it happen,” said President Lukashenko.
“This year you are going to have elections and this will be a huge challenge for your nation and I hope you will be able to pass through this. Please don’t trust liars, there are no miracles, good results and success and happiness can only be realised through daily hard work.
“So I am hopeful that this year you will make the right choice, and by making the right choice you will be able to show the entire world that you deserve your independence and to preserve it, be very careful.
“Remember only through hard work will you be able to achieve what you want to achieve, and remember there is a country in the heart of Europe, Belarus, that is always on the ready to give you a helping hand, if need be.”
President Lukashenko said Belarus will help Zimbabwe all the way and will not be distracted by idle talk from Western nations that would like to foist their ideals and beliefs on a sovereign country.
There is a silver lining to the dark clouds of evil sanctions, found in new frontiers of trade and economic co-operation as epitomised by the rapidly growing trade between Zimbabwe and Belarus, relations which have in less than five years blossomed with huge rewards for local farmers and industries.
“I would like to emphasise that by coming to Africa, we bring peace, science and technology. We are not using colonial style; we are not here to do that. We are bringing peace, we are here to train the specialists, to help you achieve the progress of your economies. We plan to expand our ties with Africa because the world cannot develop without Africa and the future belongs to Africa,” President Lukashenko said.
On his part, President Mnangagwa said the reciprocal visit by his Belarus counterpart demonstrates the warm relations which exist between Harare and Minsk, both victims of callous Western sanctions.
On preparations for this year’s elections, the President said the ruling party is confident of victory in the polls that he said could be held in July.
“Zimbabwe has never omitted to hold general elections when they are due, every five years we have held elections since 1980 when we got independence and the ruling party Zanu PF has been winning all these elections and we shall continue winning them.”
Reiterating his Government Foreign Policy thrust of “friend to all and enemy to none”, the President said the door is open for anyone to be an ally with his country.
“Zimbabwe is a friend to all and an enemy to none. Those who want to be our enemies, it’s their own fault. We want to be friends to all and enemies to none, those who choose to be anything else it’s their fault but this is our policy.
“So we will embrace Belarus and any other countries that are willing to relate to us but not in the perception of horse and rider, no, either we are all horses or all riders. This is how we look at relations and I am very happy that from the first day I met my brother President, we have similar chemistry in terms of how to develop our respective countries on the basis of our domestic resources as well as co-operation with countries which have no intention of dominating us,” said President Mnangagwa.
Over the past few years, Zimbabwe and Belarus have increased trade and co-operation with the status quo helping the country achieve food security.
Meanwhile, President Lukashenko yesterday visited the National Heroes Acre where he laid a wreath at the Tomb of Unknown Soldier. – Herald