The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is utterly disgusted that President Robert Mugabe was awarded China’s Confucius Peace Prize purportedly for his management of the economy in Zimbabwe and promotion of peace and stability in the 1980s.
Gorden Moyo Secretary-General People’s Democratic Party
PDP would like to remind the Confucius Peace Prize promoters that the past is present in Zimbabwe. The 1980s that they are parading as Mugabe’s most successful years were actually the worst years in the history of Zimbabwe. It was that “lost decade” which saw Mugabe presiding over ethnic cleansing which left over 20 000 innocent lives of Ndebele-speaking people, including women and children, from Matabeleland and Midlands provinces losing their precious lives.
It is an insult to the people of Zimbabwe for anyone to suggest that the 1980s were prosperous. While figures may indicate that the economy witnessed some growth and education and health expanded during that period, it must be equally noted that more lives were lost in that decade compared to any other post-independence period.
Homesteads were torched down, property destroyed, schools shut, and opposition leaders and supporters hunted down like wild animals by Mugabe’s private army, the Fifth Brigade. For this reason, the awarders of the Confucius Peace Award are guilty of the fallacy of ignorantia elenchi — they are missing the point by a very wide margin.
In fact the rule of Mugabe is paved with blood, violence, arson and cruelty. Evidence of all this is aplenty to ignore. Operation Murambatsvina, Operation Mavhotera Papi, Operation Red Finger, Third Chimurenga, the violence of 2008 and the abduction of Itai Dzamara in March this year have been reported internationally and it boggles the mind how the awarders of the prize missed these or they simply chose to ignore them. If they have any iota of moral rectitude,then they should hang their heads in shame.
Actually, one needs to be a fool to believe that the State managers of the economy of Zimbabwe deserve recognition, acknowledgement or a pat on their back. For years now, Zimbabwe’s economy has been suffering from a liquidity crunch, deindustrialisation, informalisation, balance-of-payments deficits, unemployment, shrunk fiscal space and abject poverty just to mention a few as a result of Mugabe’s wrong-headed policies. Today Mugabe is presiding over a full-blown economic dislocation and yet somebody is thanking him for that — God forbid!
While PDP acknowledges the role played by China during the liberation struggle, which role included assistance in the form of weapons, training and food for the freedom fighters, the party is concerned with the post-independence activities of China. China provided weapons of war worth millions of dollars in 2008 for Mugabe to emasculate the opposition. To date, China is the leading supplier of weapons to Zimbabwe. China also looted Zimbabwe’s mineral wealth in the form of diamonds in Marange with the help of Mugabe and the people of Zimbabwe got nothing. To this extent, the Confucius Peace Prize of $15 000 given to Mugabe is an insult to the people of Zimbabwe. PDP agrees with Moeletsi Mbeki who earlier in the year noted that Mugabe deserves a “bad leadership award”as he has succeeded in ruining the economy of Zimbabwe. PDP is therefore calling upon all the members of the intellectual community-academia, faith-based organisations, civil society and the political opposition to denounce the Confucius Peace Prize awarded to Robert Mugabe with the contempt it deserves.