In the General Debate of the 68th General Assembly of the United Nations on Sept. 26, the recently re-elected Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe took aim at all his Western detractors. Mugabe vigorously condemned the United States and England’s “illegal and filthy” economic sanctions as well as the United Nations Security Council’s imperialist complicity.
On the United Nations, the elder statesman stated, “Zimbabwe supports the ongoing efforts to revitalize the General Assembly, which is the most representative organ of the United Nations. We believe that the General Assembly should take the lead in setting the global agenda and restore its primacy that has over the years been encroached upon by other organs. We cannot accept situations whereby the U.N. Security Council is increasingly encroaching on issues that traditionally fall within the General Assembly’s purview and competence, including in the area of norm setting.”
He continued, “Indeed, recent events have revealed that its formal decisions have provided camouflage to neo-imperialist forces of aggression seeking to militarily intervene in smaller countries in order to effect regime change and acquire complete control of their wealth.” Mugabe cited Libya and Iraq as examples.
“We appreciate the central role that the U.N. should play in furthering multilateralism in preference to unilateralism. In this regard, we applaud the consultations and negotiations on the eventual destruction of the chemical weapons in Syria. My country expresses its gratitude and appreciation to Russia and China for their principled stand on Syria. We hope and trust that the Syrian people will soon sit in dialogue to discuss peace and desirable political reforms. Those Western countries in pursuit of hegemony as they pretend to be advocates of democracy must be resisted,” he continued.
“For Africa, the reform of the United Nations Security Council is especially long overdue,” he said. “The anachronistic and unrepresentative character of the Security Council must be redressed. For how long should Africa continue to be denied the right to play a pivotal role in the United Nations Security Council as it decides measures on conflicts within its own borders? The Security Council needs to be more representative, democratic, transparent, accountable and accessible to the wider membership for its decisions to have more legitimacy.”
Mugabe slammed the ongoing economic sanctions, saying, “Zimbabwe strongly condemns the use of unilateral economic sanctions as a foreign policy tool to effect regime change. Thus, the illegal economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States and the European Union violate fundamental principles of the United Nations Charter on state sovereignty and noninterference in the domestic affairs of a sovereign state. Moreover, these illegal sanctions continue to inflict economic deprivation and human suffering on all Zimbabweans.
“In the eyes of our people, the sanctions constitute a form of hostility and violence against them for the simple crime of undertaking the land reform program by which land was put in the hands of the then majority landless Zimbabweans. Our small and peaceful country is threatened daily by covetous and bigoted big powers whose hunger for domination and control of other nations, and their resources knows no bounds. Shame, shame, shame to the United States of America. Shame, shame, shame to Britain and its allies.
“Zimbabwe is for Zimbabweans, so are its resources. Please remove your illegal and filthy sanctions from my peaceful country. If these sanctions were intended to effect regime change, well, the results of the recent national elections have clearly shown you what they can do,” said Mugabe.
Despite Western machinations, Mugabe won re-election by a landslide 61 percent to 33 percent of voters on July 31. He will serve another five-year term in office. Mugabe’s stark criticism unhinged the United States delegation so much that they all walked out in unison during his speech.
On Western democracy, Mugabe said, “We are preached to daily by the West on the virtues of democracy and freedom, which they do not totally espouse. Zimbabwe took up arms precisely to achieve our freedom and democracy. Yet we have been punished by the United States through the odious Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act enacted in 2001 to effect regime change in the country. Now, this malicious intent to continue the relentless persecution of our small, peaceful country has happened again through the USA’s rejection of the recent absolutely democratic and fair election results of our July 31 general elections, even as they were applauded by the African Union and all our regional organizations. It appears that when the USA and its allies speak of democracy and freedom, they are doing so only in relative terms.”
Mugabe continued, “Zimbabwe, however, refuses to accept that these Wwestern detractors have the right to define democracy and freedom for us. We paid the ultimate price for it, and we are determined never to relinquish our sovereignty and remain masters of our destiny. As we have repeatedly asserted, Zimbabwe will never be a colony again!”