The Sunday Mail
They say that a wise man, or woman, will only celebrate his or her achievements for a nanosecond and then move on.
Yet every time one is reminded of their own achievements, especially by external forces whose opinion matters, they are forced to bask in that glory and relive that nanosecond again. Such is nature.
Zimbabwe constantly finds herself in that position. Having been the pioneer of Africa’s land reform programme that has seen the country’s agricultural sector anchoring her economy, more and more African countries are finding inspiration from the small southern African nation.
During his visit to Zimbabwe last week, Namibian President Hage Geingob took the opportunity to take a few notes on how to embark on an agrarian revolution.
His country is not the only one aspiring to follow Zimbabwe’s footsteps in land redistribution. South Africa, having attained independence in 1994, also has its eyes on this noble initiative.
Soon and very soon, the continent will be singing from one hymn book with one booming harmonious voice — the chorus accentuates the need to own land and unlock great value from it to pave way for economic independence.
This is coming out of the realisation that only economic independence will give birth to Africa’s true political independence. Currently, political independence in most African countries is only a facade because economic independence is non-existent.
The land, which still remains in the hands of the minority white despite it being the birthright of the millions of Africans, is the key to that economic independence. That is where African pride resides, never mind the ranting that may come from the West.
A lot of sweat, tears, and blood gushed as Africa fought for what was rightfully hers during her liberation struggle. It is a catastrophe that decades after attaining that ‘independence’, most Africans are still leaving like paupers without even a square meter of land to their name.
This land question is an emotive issue and those who partake in it must be willing to face the risk of scalding their hands. Zimbabwe has received countless lashes from the West for daring to claim back her land.
Yes, the walk has been tough, but it has been worth the while.
President Mugabe, the steadfast man who has been behind this massive revolution remains one of the most unpopular statesmen of our times due to the stance that he decided to take for the sake of this country’s economic liberation.
Agriculture has been the country’s forte for decades, with tobacco being the main pillar on which the economy anchors. Command Agriculture and the Presidential Input Scheme have also come in to augment that position with many farmers now free from the jaws of poverty.
Now, it is a good thing that Namibia, South Africa and many others have been watching and learning. However, they do not necessarily have to carry out the agrarian reform the Zimbabwe way. The fundamentals are always different in each and every nation and therefore different scripts shall be written for different nations.
But whichever routes are taken, Africa must ultimately own her means of production.
President Mugabe’s contagious prognosis of an Africa that is on a steady growth path has rubbed on to all the African souls. This African dream is now harbored by all the sons and daughters of the African soil.
And as the other African Heads of State start to see the light, let their love for Africa shine through and manifest in true emancipation of the African folk through land reforms.
This mission will bring about real and sustainable transformation and therefore teamwork is very crucial. Zimbabwe has been a lone fighter in this revolution for far too long. This is an African problem that requires genuine African unity.
African leaders need to be reminded that their work is clear cut, Africa needs economic liberation and that liberty will only come through land ownership.