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An Interview with ZANU-PF Youth Activist Kwanisai Mafa

John Paul Cupp, Public Relations Director for the North American Committee Against Zionism and Imperialism (NACAZAI) interviews Cde. Kwanisai Mafa, a ZANU-PF youth activist involved in a number of Pan-African and anti-imperialist projects.

An Interview with ZANU-PF Youth Activist Kwanisai Mafa

John Paul Cupp, Public Relations Director for the North American Committee Against Zionism and Imperialism (NACAZAI) interviews Cde. Kwanisai Mafa, a ZANU-PF youth activist involved in a number of Pan-African and anti-imperialist projects.

Hello, comrade brother. On behalf of the North American Committee Against Zionism and Imperialism (NACAZAI) allow me to extend warm and fraternal greetings to you and to the Black African masses of Zimbabwe who are heroically waging the Third Chimurenga for land and freedom against neo-colonialism and imperialism. Please introduce yourself to our readers giving a brief autobiography of yourself, your heritage, and your activities, as well as introducing the Ujamma farm project by 1) contextual zing the project, 2) its goals and difficulties that go along with it, 3) the assistance that is needed from the International forces, 4) what are its businesses, ideological, material and spiritual functions, and 5) the heroic undertaking within the context of the Third Chimurenga that is to be built on land that is liberated from the neo-colonialists.

Revolutionary greetings to you comrade and NACAZAI, it's good to hear that our struggle in Zimbabwe is not a lone voice in the wilderness. It's really motivating and inspiring that you are in full support of the Third Chimurenga's fight against the neo-colonial and imperialist control of our land.

I will start by giving you a brief autobiography of myself. I was born Kwanisai Mafa in rural Masvingo. Masvingo is the town which houses the great Zimbabwe monuments which Zimbabwe was named after. Zimbabwe means the house of stones. I was born 30 years ago and I did all my education in the town of Gweru where I now live with my family.

I was born at a time when Zimbabwe was still under colonialism and I grew up being told how whites came and brutalised, robbed and raped our ancestors. I was also told even in folklore how we were forcibly removed from fertile lands and taken to arid regions called Reserves.

It is this historical knowledge, which inspired me to join the ZANU-PF youth wing, which I am in now, so that I can help in consolidating the achievements it has made in an independent Zimbabwe. ZANU-PF fought for our political independence and it is now fighting for our economic independence, under the tutelage of the Third Chimurenga.

I am a Pan-African organiser in Zimbabwe, manager of the Afrimedia www.africa2020.com/Afrimedia an E-group that discusses African affairs, a Program Manager of www.thecenternet.com, a Pan-African social welfare organisation in Zimbabwe which helps poor African youths, and also namely the founder and Chairman of Ujamma Youth Farming Cooperative www.ujammafarming.org. Also, I write about anti-imperialism and Pan-African issues.

Established in June 2005, UYFP is an African youth-led farming cooperative that has secured a 100-acre plot in the city of Gweru under the Zimbabwe government's A1 resettlement program and is registered under the Ministry of Youth, Gender and Employment Creation. The leadership core of UYFP is a very socially conscious unit that despises poverty and desires greatness at family, national and continental levels. Our mission is to empower African youth through gainful farming initiatives so that they are able to demonstrate the essential skills necessary to function as lifelong productive citizens in Africa's development. While one of our immediate goals is to offer produce to wholesalers and retail outlets in and around midland provinces in Zimbabwe, a longer term goal is to establish a training program such that youth of African descent from outside of Zimbabwe and even outside Africa will also visit, meet, train/work, and bond with their youth counterparts on the farm.

Since the formation of UYFP, we've learned that our biggest challenge has been mobilizing resources to kick-start the project. While we have every intention of becoming self-sufficient, we do not qualify for loans from local banks and the land cannot be used as collateral because it was been acquired under the A1 village development scheme for non-commercial farmland. As such we decided to reach out to Pan-African minded and/or socially conscious brothers and sisters in the Diaspora for support and we have successfully made friends in Washington DC, Chicago and New York City. But however well meaning, support from them has been in relatively small and sporadic amounts, making it difficult to plan sustained activity and maintain moral among the youth members.

Presently we are in urgent need of seeds, farming equipment, wheel barrels, irrigation equipment, and barbwire fencing for 25 hectares, tools, protective clothing, and materials to build a borehole. Currently, we do not have a water source at the farm, so a borehole will be a very strategic achievement. Your assistance in acquiring these things will be a major step toward the project's self-sufficiency

Ujamma Youth Farming Project envisions an evolution into Ujamma Youth Project, which will tackle other areas of human endeavour. Farming has been identified as Project Number One because of the current State support that the land usage revolution is enjoying.

Other projects are lined up that will position the youth out of the dungeon of poverty and into self-sustenance, wealth creation and nation building. These projects cover public transport, carpentry, brick moulding, fence making, walling, advertising, marketing and filmmaking. All these projects will include training on Small Medium Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Supervision, Motivation and HIV/Aids Awareness.

With your support comrades and friends, we swear to defend our Land Revolution as the bulwark and the heritage of all the revolutionaries who will fight for the full sovereignty and freedom of the people of the world as the African fathers did in this continent. The colonial forces have the money to buy loyalty of these reactionary forces and let us be united to fight their evil intentions.

Any aggression against Zimbabwe's Land Revolution should be considered as an aggression against Global Africa. Individually, we are too weak to withstand, let alone defeat, the forces of imperialism that desire to peg us eternally on the lesser podium of global race relations. It is only when we stand together, and galvanise our individual strengths into a colossal army can we move Africa forward. Africa must reclaim her strength and her destiny. The work is massive and your input materially and logistically is forever welcome. It is with this in mind that we salute SALSA for their portfolio that is designed for capacity building for organisations such as ours. We take our hats off to you.

This support and solidarity between Ujamma Youths and brothers and sisters in global Africa must remain unbroken because your fight is our fight as we fight to free ourselves from the shackles of imperialism, colonialism and neo-colonialism. One way of defeating the imperialists was by working the land that had been reclaimed by the Government of Zimbabwe. Remember, a united people striving to achieve the common good for all members of the society, will always emerge victorious. Together we can.

We are kindly appealing to the Pan African and anti imperialist community to help us in cash and kind to help us in our growth and developments as a youth cooperative. Documents or extra information about the pan Africa youth project can be send to you upon request.

Would you tell me please what Chimurenga means exactly, and what were the First and Second Chimurenga? Would you also kindly give us an updated reality of the situation in your beloved nation, particularly with regards to land reform and the central role it plays?

Chimurenga simply means a revolution. The First Chimurenga was waged in the 1890's by our ancestors against white occupation of their lands. Their weapons were inferior to those of the settlers and they lost most of the battles. The most notable leaders of the first Chimurenga were Mbuya Nehanda, Sekuru Kaguvi and Lobengula, just to name a few.

The Second Chimurenga started around 1966, and this time was more organised by a new crop of leaders, which among them were Cde Mugabe and the late Cde Joshua Nkomo. This time they were getting logistical and military support from liberated African nations, as well as from China and the Soviet bloc. It is the Second Chimurenga, which led to the demise of the illegal white rule in Zimbabwe. We won our independence in 18 April 1980, and the great Bob Marley came to Zimbabwe to share his joy with the people of Zimbabwe.

Like I said before, the land is now in the hands of the rightful owners, and to me this is JUSTICE and true independence. This situation did not go down well with Bush and Blair. Hence, they passed legislation in their countries to slap Zimbabwe with sanctions and sabotage its economy.

Would you talk with please about the inability of the Third Chimurenga and the African people in general to compete with the neo-colonialist and imperialist powers with regards to media presentation to the outside world? I think it would be interesting for you to comment on this area, and to give alternatives, etc.

What sort of thoughts do you have on the important issue of media, communications, and presentation of the Third Chimurenga and Pan-African popular resistance to the outside world? Also, what do you see as the long term problems facing the Third Chimurenga and the popular resistance direction it seems to be taking? In this context, what sort of things are the masses of Zimbabwe doing or need to be doing to ensure the survival of the Third Chimurenga?

I wouldn't like to concede inability by African people to compete against imperialism. One deadly weapon which imperialism has in its arsenals is its control on the media. They have this control to affect their imperialistic agenda and mind control. Any nation, which stands in the way of imperialism like Zimbabwe, Cuba, Venezuela and Iran, are branded axis of evil, pariah states. There is a saying which says that if a lie is told a lot of times it will be believed as the truth, and American media thrives on this. That is why the BBC and CNN are obsessed with peddling falsehoods against Zimbabwe, so that Zimbabwe can be isolated and shunned by other nations.

I am happy that the African Union has plans underway to come up with its own radio and television network to tell the African story. I am happy that there are some alternatives news websites now sprouting on the internet, like the www.mathaba.net, and I have read that google.com has delisted it on their index because it has news which they "they don't like".

Zimbabwe is soon going to come up with a satellite broadcast to reach abroad and tell the true story. The problem which the third Chimurenga is going to face is that imperialist forces do not rest until it destroys the independence gains of our people. The people of Zimbabwe must be united and defend their country against all these evil machinations. They should be vigilant all the time.

I'd like your assessment on the ZANU-PF and of President Mugabe. Do think that is correct to consider the ZANU-PF a people's party? Furthermore, what are your feelings with regards to President Mugabe and the stream of vindictive propaganda directed against him in the West? Its seems to me that he is basically the last of the major African independence leaders. On the urban front in Zimbabwe, President Mugabe received some criticism from the imperialists and neo-colonialists about a year or so ago for his renewal projects in the cities and urban ghettos. Would you please elaborate on this?

ZANU-PF under the wise guidance of President Mugabe brought independence to Zimbabwe, and it would have been an insult to the people of Zimbabwe if Mugabe would leave office without addressing the land question. Political independence without economic independence is meaningless to the toiling masses in Zimbabwe. To me ZANU-PF and its leader are still relevant, especially at this time when people are taking control of their resources. You are right that he is the last of the major African independence leaders. The western media might vilify and demonise him but to the Africans he is a liberator and a freedom fighter.

The clean up operation to me was good, though it could have been done in a better way. The program sought to improve sanitary and hygienic conditions in towns, formalise the informal trade sector, and give proper and decent accommodation to the people. Some unorganised settlements were now a hive of criminal activities. As I speak now, most of the affected ones have been given proper accommodation, the informal traders have been given designated areas to conduct their business, the crime rate has been reduced in the cities, and they are now cleaner than before.

In the US, it seems that the front of fight against imperialism and neo-colonialism is in the rural areas with the peasants. Do you think this is an accurate assessment? What are the black Africans in the countryside doing to advance the struggle?

Your assertion is correct in that the majority in Zimbabwe stays in the rural areas. Most of the armed struggle was waged in the rural areas because forests, rivers, cave; mountains gave sanctuary to the freedom fighters. The rural people provided shelter, intelligence, food, and other logistics to the freedom fighters. Rural people are dependent on land for their livelihood, that is why they understand the struggle for fertile land and they identify with ZANU-PF, which fought for it. It was the rural people who were forcibly taken away from good lands and taken to areas with little or no rainfall. That is why the ruling party is popular in the countryside.

I'd like for you to please spend a minute or two sharing with us the African and international support the Zimbabwe regime and Third Chimurenga have secured. Perhaps you could tell us about the sentiment of the sub-Saharan streets with regards to the goals of the Third Chimurenga and Pan-Africanism? Has Zimbabwe been able to ensure that the Third Chimurenga resonates with any of the African regimes and or popular masses within any of these regimes? What efforts has Zimbabwe made to connect with the various anti-imperialist regimes outside of Africa?

Zimbabwe still has the support of the African Union and its neighbours in the Southern African region. America and Britain has been for years trying to put pressure on AU and SADC to isolate Zimbabwe without success. Right now there are cries for land by the landless people in Southern Africa, but the western media is quite on that. To survive the sanctions the Zimbabwean government adopted a "look east policy", and most Asian countries are trading and investing in Zimbabwe, the biggest being China. Relations between China and Zimbabwe dates back to the days of the liberation struggle. China gave weapons and training to the ZANU-PF military wing called ZANLA. Even its modus operandi was modeled on Chairman Mao teachings.

Some countries in the United Nations have voted against blacklisting Zimbabwe as a country, which needs humanitarian assistance from the Security Council. As you see Zimbabwe is winning all the diplomatic wars. Our President also takes advantage of the international forums to tell the world the true situation of the Zimbabwean crisis and he always receive standing ovation.

I do not think our interview would be complete without asking you about the state of Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism in the world today. I thinks it must be asked how this ardent patriotism expresses its self in the popular struggles raging in the African continent. Furthermore, I would request of you to please assess for us the state of Pan-Africanism and the African continent, the hopes it has for unity and freedom, and the tasks it has at hand. Would you kindly share your thoughts on this?

Remember Pan-Africanism has been fought tooth and nail since its birth. It is Pan-Africanism that brought political liberation to Africa. Pan-Africanism also preaches the gospel of African ownership of resources. So when the colonial regimes lost control of their colonies they never concede defeat, they came under the hidden form of neo colonialism and imperialism. Most of the Pan-African leaders were toppled to give way to their puppets who will allow them to continue having control on their resources. The victims of these machinations are the great Kwame Nkrumah and Patrice Lumumba.

The rise of the spirit of Pan-Africanism is depicted by SADC states solidarity to the third Chimurenga.The understand this fight and the need for the locals to own their resources, That is why they refuse to succumb or burge to imperialist pressure to isolate Zimbabwe.

The rise of Pan-Africanism was also demonstrated when Zimbabwean, Angolan and Namibian armies united to defend the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from USA secretly-backed rebels to topple the regime.

Pan-Africanism is also on the rise as seen by the increasing number of people now demanding their rights to land in South Africa, Namibia, and Kenya.

Imperialism is fighting hard Pan-Africanism by destabilising Pan-African nations and installing puppet regimes in their place. The Great Lakes region has known no peace because of the abundance of natural resources in this region. A number of terrorists have been arrested in Zimbabwe, Equatorial Guinea, etc with the aim of destabilising these regimes.

I think that Africans are now realising the importance of Unity against one common enemy. So African Unity is in the horizon.

As we are starting to wind up this interview, I think its only natural that you are asked the international solidarity between fraternal peoples. In this spirit of anti-imperialist unity, what sort of concrete things do you feel should be done by the anti-imperialist forces in the US and other imperialist countries, to support the Third Chimurenga and to defend the struggle of the African continent for militant unity against imperialism and neo-colonialism? Furthermore, how do you view the dialectical relationship between the struggles of the African continent on the one hand, and that of the Black African slave Diaspora in North America, on the other?

I can vividly see international solidarity between fraternal peoples against imperialism. I think you have seen masses in Europe and elsewhere demonstrating against World Trade Organisations and Anglo- American administration visits to their countries. You can see how the people in Iraq are attacking the Americans out of their lands. You have also read about the amount of 'terrorist attacks' against imperialist interests.

The only way to conquerer imperialism is to unite against it. More networking amongst the anti-imperialist forces are needed now to form a monolithic and formidable front to give a final blow to imperialism.
The gap between blacks in motherland and those in the Diaspora is being bridged by the big amount of networks on the Internet. Blacks in the Diaspora are increasingly getting interested in African affairs and more are thinking of repatriating home. Most revolutionary Pan-African movements in the USA and Britain support the Third Chimurenga.This shown by their presence at ZANU-PF conferences and the big number of their projects and visits in Zimbabwe. This coming year in October there is going to be the 8th Pan-African Congress in Zimbabwe where the global Pan-African family will come to give solidarity to Zimbabwe's Third Chimurenga.

It has been a pleasure interviewing you comrade Kwanisai Mafa. I most graciously thank you for your time and the valuable contributions you have shared with us about the struggle of your people. On behalf of the North American Committee Against Zionism and Imperialism (NACAZAI), I would like to affirm our full support for the masses of Zimbabwe in their heroic heads-on confrontation with the enemies of humanity, our full support for the Third Chimurenga and its leadership, and to declare our steadfast defence of the legitimacy of all goals entailed in Pan-Africanism.

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