“We Will Hit Back” Mugabe Threatens US, UK

ZIMBABWE is fed up with ill-treatment by Western nations and will soon hit back by placing restrictions on Western companies operating in the country, President Mugabe has said.

Addressing thousands mourners at the burial of national hero Retired Air Commodore Mike Tichafa Karakadzai at the National Heroes Acre in Harare yesterday, the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces said Harare was fast losing its patience with the West’s attitude.

“They should not continue to harass us – the British and Americans,” he said. “We are treating their people well here. There will come a time when we also lose our patience.

“We have not done anything to their companies here. The British have several companies in this country and we have not imposed any controls, any sanctions against them. Time will come when we will say, well, tit for tat. You hit me, I hit you. You impose this on me, I impose this on you.”

President Mugabe, who is emerging from a resounding victory in the July 31 harmonised elections after routing the West’s favourite MDC-T led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, said he has a country to run and must be able to do so without foreign interference.

“We have a country to run and we must be left free to run that country. We do not run it by seeking ideas from London and Washington,” he said.

“Our ideas come from us here. Our ideas come from our organisations in Africa and so they should not continue to treat us the way they have been treating us in the past. I want to assure them that our attitude is not going to continue to be what it was in the past. We have had enough and enough is enough.”

Western countries led by Britain and the US imposed illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe after the country embarked on a successful land reform programme that benefited thousands of indigenous people thereby addressing colonial land ownership imbalances.

The Western nations went on to sponsor the MDC-T from its creation in 1999 in a bid to unseat Zanu-PF and reverse the programme, but the move failed.

The final attempt dismally failed last month when Zanu-PF routed the MDC-T in the harmonised elections endorsed as free, fair and credible by various international and local observers.

But the West is refusing to accept the outcome and is fighting strongly in Mr Tsvangirai’s corner in a bid to reverse the people’s choice.

In London, British Foreign Secretary Mr William Hague claimed last week that the Zimbabwean election cannot be said to be credible unless there is an independent investigation into alleged irregularities.

“I strongly believe that an independent investigation of any allegations of election irregularities would be required for the election result to be deemed credible,” said Mr Hague in a press release.

Washington issued a similar statement, saying it was maintaining the illegal sanctions it imposed on the country.

The West’s attitude is despite the fact that it is on record saying it will be guided by Sadc on Zimbabwe’s elections.

The AU, Comesa and Sadc have declared the elections free, fair and credible and the regional bloc went on to elect Zimbabwe as its deputy chair in a show of confidence in the leadership of President Mugabe.

This dealt a blow to efforts by the Western countries to alienate Zimbabwe.