Joseph Tshuma, an outgoing Zanu-PF MP says Mugabe made a big mistake by ‘chasing the white man out of Zimbabwe’.
Joseph Tshuma, an outgoing member of parliament has stated that “without the involvement of whites” the country cannot prosper. His proclamation is in reference to the Robert Mugabe era Zimbabwe, where the country remained isolated and unassisted.
Tshuma was speaking at a political party’s discussion forum in Bulawayo on Saturday. The political meeting was hosted by the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) and the Bulawayo Media Centre.
According to New Zimbabwe.com, Tshuma, who is also a party central committee member, revealed that Mugabe’s anti-white rhetoric was detrimental to Zimbabwe’s growth and prosperity.
‘Zimbabwe began to live in a vacuum’ – Outgoing Zanu-PF MP
Tshuma, a former ally of ousted president Mugabe, described the leader’s vehement anti-colonial position as dangerous and counterproductive, saying:
“We are coming from the era of Robert Mugabe. An era which closed us out from the rest of the world.
We began to live in a vacuum. That was the most dangerous thing that was ever experienced by this country other than the bombings during the liberation struggle.”
Mugabe’s social reform policies, implemented at the turn of the century, were promised to redress atrocities committed under colonial rule. Instead, liberated Zimbabwe entered an era of extreme poverty and isolation, coinciding with the then president’s rants against white imperialism.
‘Keep your England and I will keep my Zimbabwe’ – Mugabe to Tony Blair
This was a turning point for Zimbabwe in terms of international relations. After former president Mugabe entered into a war of words with then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair, financial aid, trade agreements and hospitable treaties were scrapped.
In conjunction with nationwide land and business reform laws, Mugabe effectively nationalised land and major industries. The take-over was spurned by racial rhetoric, resulting in widespread violence against white farmers during forceful land seizures.
Tshuma rebutted Mugabe’s view on independence, saying:
“Yes, we kept our Zimbabwe but what kind of Zimbabwe did we keep? One thing that I have been made to understand and agree strongly whether painful or not, we cannot do away with that person called umkhiwa (white).”
New Zimbabwe under Emmerson Mnangagwa?
Mugabe’s successor, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, says he is committed to ending Zimbabwe’s isolation. It’s reported that Mnangagwa is in the process of introducing new policies in an effort to re-engage with the international community.
Speaking on the issue of attracting foreign investment, Mnangagwa has commented:
“My government is committed to open Zimbabwe out to investment by building a free and transparent economy which benefits Zimbabweans and is welcoming to outsiders.”