WASHINGTON DC —
President Robert Mugabe addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday and criticized the United States and Britain for imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe and rejecting his victory in the July 31 elections, telling the two countries, “shame, shame, shame on you we say.”
Mr. Mugabe, whose sharp rebuke prompted a walk-out by the U.S delegation, said Zimbabwe was under constant threat from “covetous and bigoted big powers whose hunger for domination and control of other nations and their resources knows no bounds.”
“Shame, shame, shame we say to the United States of America. Shame, shame, shame we say to Britain and its allies who have continued to impose sanctions, illegal sanctions upon our people,” Mugabe said.
“Zimbabwe is for Zimbabweans,” he declared, adding “so are its ample resources. Please may these countries remove their illegal and iniquitous sanctions from my peaceful country.”
The 89-year-old leader, whose re-election in the July 31 polls has been rejected by both the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations and the West, including America and Britain, said his landslide victory had proved the restrictive measures’ inefficacy in facilitating regime change.
While the MDC has labeled the elections a big fraud, Mr. Mugabe described them as “absolutely democratic and fair,” adding the vote had been endorsed by the African Union (AU) and the regional Southern African Development Community (SADC), among other African observers.
He also reproached western countries for “preaching the virtues of democracy and freedom” that they themselves did not practice.
“Zimbabwe however, refuses to accept that these western detractors have the right to define democracy and freedom for it … We paid the greatest sacrifice for freedom and independence in Zimbabwe and we remain determined never to relinquish our sovereignty, at the same time we remain masters of our destiny.
“As we have repeatedly and loudly said and asserted, Zimbabwe will never be a colony again,” Mugabe declared quintessentially before walking off the podium after a speech lasting just over 19 minutes.
Like several other speakers, the president addressed the issue of Millenium Development Goals, saying Zimbabwe had made headway in achieving some of them, but had been hamstrung by financial constraints.
“We have made progress towards achieving universal access to primary education, combating HIV and AIDS, malaria and TB … We are committed to undertake coordinated efforts to accelerate progress and complete the unfinished business in the remaining period to 2015. Any unachieved goals by then should be integrated into the post-2015 development agenda,” he said.
Mr. Mugabe also called for the reform and reconstitution of the United Nations Security Council to include African members with permanent status like America, China, Russia, France and the United Kingdom.
Such reform, he said, would prevent the bullying of smaller nations by bigger powers using the UN Security Council.
“Recent events have shown that decisions of the Security Council have provided camouflage to neo-imperialist forces of aggression seeking to militarily intervene in smaller countries in order to effect regime change and acquire complete control of their wealth.
“This was so in Libya … a similar campaign had been undertaken in Iraq by the [George] Bush and [Tony] Blair forces in the false name of eradicating weapons of mass destruction which Saddam Hussein never possessed."