President Kenneth Kaunda speaks to Black journalists (FCN, 11-18-2003)

UNITED NATIONS ( – President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe told the United Nations General Assembly that his nation was at “peace” with itself and its neighbors, and offered “absolutely” no threat to international peace and security. It was surprising, therefore, that the United Kingdom and its “Anglo-Saxon allies” had embarked on a vicious campaign seeking to tarnish Zimbabwe while appealing to Europe and America for sanctions against it.

“Those imperialist countries have shamefully abused the power of the media by portraying themselves as philanthropists and saviors,” Pres. Mugabe charged. “Yet, they have remained silent about the shocking circumstances of ‘State’ neglect surrounding the tragic Gulf Coast disaster, where whole communities, mainly the young, had been abandoned like sacrificial lambs to the ravages of Hurricane Katrina,” Pres. Mugabe argued.


The Zimbabwean president said that most of the victims of the hurricane were Blacks, and he was bound to ask what transgressions they had committed. Pres. Mugabe then asked a rhetorical question, was it not enough punishment and suffering that, Blacks had been uprooted throughout history and made helpless slaves through a vicious system of colonialism that turned them landless and property-less?

“Now, in this day of humanitarian ethics and sacred principles of human equality that has us assembled here to save, enhance and prolong life, Blacks, once again, have become victims of careless racial neglect,” Pres. Mugabe stressed. He protested that, “in this day and age, Blacks should be treated as lesser human beings than people of other races”. Pres. Mugabe said he wondered whether those that had survived Hurricane Katrina would truly be rehabilitated and returned to their original homes.

He then turned his attention to what he called “this neo-colonialist attempt and blatant interference in the internal affairs of Zimbabwe.”

Pres. Mugabe called it “strange and anomalous” that the government of Zimbabwe should be maligned for restoring order and the rule of law in its municipal areas. He said his detractors failed to acknowledge that “Operation Restore Order” had soon given way to a well-planned vast reconstruction program through which properly planned accommodation, factory shells and vending stalls were being constructed in many areas of the nation. He rejected the “scandalous demand”, as expressed in a report by a special envoy sent in July by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to Zimbabwe, that he (Pres. Mugabe) lower his urban housing standards to allow for mud huts, bush latrines and pit toilets. “Nothing could be more insulting and degrading to the people of Zimbabwe and Africans, generally,” Pres. Mugabe insisted.

The octogenarian leader then said that his message to his detractors was very simple and very clear: “The people of Zimbabwe had come through a protracted guerrilla struggle to establish themselves as a free and sovereign nation. They cherished that hard-won freedom and independence, and no amount of coercion — political, economic or otherwise — would make them a colony again.”