The Sunday Mail
Morris Mkwate News Editor
President Mugabe continues to provide strong leadership to Zanu-PF and Zimbabwe, and only the people can determine his mandate and tenure, Namibia’s Founding Father Dr Sam Nujoma has said. In an interview with Zimpapers Television Network in Windhoek, Namibia last week, Dr Nujoma provided insights into his strong friendship with President Mugabe and how the two iconic figures of African independence have maintained close contact for decades.
He also revisited his explosive 2002 Earth Summit in South Africa speech in which he openly confronted then British prime minister Tony Blair over his interference in Zimbabwe’s affairs; a meeting still remembered for President Mugabe’s stern warning: “So, Blair, keep your England and let me keep my Zimbabwe.”
Last week, Dr Nujoma said President Mugabe enjoyed expansive support.
“(President Mugabe’s tenure) is the decision of the people of Zimbabwe, and no foreigners should interfere in the internal affairs of the Republic of Zimbabwe. We should not listen to foreigners (regarding such matters). We should make our own decisions and maintain that because our unity is very important.
“The leadership of Zanu-PF is strong and has the support of all the people of Zimbabwe, and no foreigners should be allowed to interfere in the internal affairs of the Republic of Zimbabwe,” he said.
Dr Nujoma went on: “Our friendship (with President Mugabe) is based on unity of purpose and action. We fought together against colonialism and minority white occupation led by Ian Smith in Zimbabwe and John Vorster’s apartheid regime in Namibia. And we succeeded.
“So we have to ensure that there is no neocolonialism and no economic control by other forces outside our region and continent. Those are the days I remember when we assisted each other, and finally we achieved our genuine freedom and independence … I think we are strong.
“Yes, after independence, we continued with our relationship at party as well as government level to ensure unity of purpose and action were maintained; not only between Zimbabwe and Namibia, but across the entire continent of Africa. And yes, we do contact each other from time to time …”
Regarding his confrontation with Mr Blair, he said: “I believe that the people of Zimbabwe make their own decisions and nobody else must interfere.”
At the Earth Summit, Dr Nujoma caught Mr Blair by surprise, openly criticising him for advocating debilitating economic sanctions on Zimbabwe on the back of its revolutionary land reforms.