Reject conditional aid from West, says President Mugabe

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at
Sun Jul 21 14:23:30 MDT 2002

Reject conditional aid from West, says President

>From Itayi Musengeyi in HAVANA, Cuba
Zimbabwe Herald Reporter

AFRICA must reject Western aid under Nepad if it comes with
conditions, President Mugabe said here yesterday.

Speaking for the first time on the South African and Nigerian-
sponsored economic recovery programme, President Mugabe told
African ambassadors based in Cuba that the continent should
co-operate with developed countries in transforming its
economy but must guard against being dictated to.

The need to revamp the continent¹s economy had led some
African countries to come up with Nepad, under which Africa
should develop partnership with the West, he told the

Differences over Nepad emerged at the AU summit in Durban and
it was not clear how it would be implemented, Cde Mugabe

"It¹s up to us to remain vigilant in any process of co-
operation with them (the West) and reject any tendencies to
subject us to their whims. The main principle is that we as
United Africa can forge unity with developed countries and
get them to fund a process of transformation," he said.

"But others have their own reservations, they fear that the
developed countries might subject us to their whims. They
might impose conditionalities like those of the International
Monetary Fund and World Bank."

President Mugabe said the West was least qualified to lecture
Africa on human rights, democracy and good governance because
it denied Africans their rights under colonialism.

"Now they are coming to us as teachers of democracy when
during colonialism and imperialism they would not allow us to
exercise our rights.

"Soon after South Africa got independence and all African
countries were free, the developed world started new methods
of controlling us. But it¹s up to us to remain vigilant," he

Nigerian ambassador to Cuba Mr Ngam Nwochukwu said he had
doubts about Nepad and saw no reason why Africa should trust
the West.

He said there was no way the West would fund Nepad and let
Africa to run its affairs.

"My President Olusegun Obassanjo is one of the founding
fathers of Nepad but still he has doubts and reservations.
One thing which is of great concern is why our leaders still
tend to trust the West," Mr Nwachukwo said.

He added: "If we go back to history, these particular people
have done everything to demonise us, colonise and make us
slaves and they still are doing everything to keep us down."

The Nigerian diplomat wondered why African leaders still
believed the West would change.

"Why do we believe that Nepad will work. Sir, I still have my
doubts because in the past they have used that guise of
helping us so as to keep us down.

"So if we engage Nepad shall we try as much as possible to
keep them out because he who pays the piper dictates the
tune. This was an idea to help Africa that has been

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Macdonald Stainsby
In the contradiction lies the hope.
                                     --Bertholt Brecht

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