Wednesday, 30 April 2008

ZAMBIAN PRES: BROWN SHOULD LEAVE ZIMBABWE ALONE

Hands off Zim, Kaunda tells Brown

Zimbabwe Herald
April 28, 2008
From Augustine Hwata in LUSAKA, Zambia

BRITISH Prime Minister Gordon Brown is not qualified to
comment on challenges facing Zimbabwe, let alone to call
for more sanctions, founding Zambian president Dr Kenneth
Kaunda has said.

Dr Kaunda told Zambia’s Post newspaper at the weekend that
Brown lacked proper background information regarding
Zimbabwe’s problems and was not helpful towards finding a
lasting solution to the current situation.

"It is sad for Prime Minister Brown to say what he said
about the Zimbabwe situation," Dr Kaunda said while
delivering a speech as a special guest to recipients of
recognition awards from Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican
Embassy here last week.

"Brown does not understand what he is talking about. It is
a sad thing that he said that (calling for more sanctions
against Zimbabwe)," said the former president.

Dr Kaunda said he had wanted to inform Brown on how the
challenges facing Zimbabwe came about before the British
premier had even replaced Tony Blair, but failed to get
that opportunity.

Dr Kaunda was at one time determined to travel to Britain
to meet Brown, but did not do so on the advice of his
doctors.

The former Zambian president, who turns 84 today, said
Brown and the West should leave Zimbabwe alone so that it
solves its own challenges, especially the political tension
between Zanu-PF and the opposition.

"I think people in Zimbabwe are trying to find a way out of
their own problems by talking of a government of national
unity."

He urged the West to discard the belief that they were the
best to prescribe solutions for Africa’s problems.

"As usual, they want to tell what they think is right for
us."

Dr Kaunda said calls by Brown for an arms embargo on
Zimbabwe were misplaced and do little to solve the
problems.

"Embargoing the defense forces is not the solution at all,"
said Dr Kaunda, adding that he wondered why the shipment of
arms from China was being blocked when the order was placed
last year.

It was unfortunate that the consignment was now being
linked to the post-election period and a stalemate over the
result of the presidential election.

Meanwhile, Zambian farmer and boxing promoter Mr Gevan
Mumba has thrown his weight behind President Mugabe and
the land reform programme.

Mr Mumba said Africans had a right to work on their land.

"I own more than 80 hectares of prime land in the Mufulira
area and have two streams that pass through my plot. I
produce crops and feel empowered that I have something to
call my own," he said.

Unlike Zimbabwe, Mumba said Zambia does not have much
pressure on land because it had a bigger geographical area
and vast open areas against fewer people who wanted to
farm.

"We are lucky that there is land available to Zambians who
need it, unlike in Zimbabwe where the whites had most of
the good areas. Because land is important, Britain, which
does not have as much land, was pained when President
Mugabe took some farms from their white relatives to
redistribute to his people.

"I know for sure that Britain and America want (Cde) Mugabe
to go and replace him in office with someone they can
control over Zimbabwe’s land. The same thing happened in
Iraq when Saddam (Hussein) was killed for his oil," Mr
Mumba said.

(end)

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