HARARE – President Robert Mugabe says Zimbabwe’s anti-imperialist stance is an envy of many countries, adding that the Zimbabwe economy is bound to grow.

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\nThe West’s love affair with Mugabe came to an abrupt end when he rejected the Washington Consensus and embarked on a fast-track land reform program. Its disdain for him deepened when he launched an indigenization program to place majority control of the country’s mineral resources in the hands of black Zimbabweans.

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Mugabe’s transition from ‘good’ liberation hero to ‘bad’, from saint to demon, coincided with his transition from “reliable steward” of Zimbabwe’s economy (that is, reliable steward of foreign investor and white colonial settler interests) to promoter of indigenous black economic interests.

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Speaking to the State media in Harare today in his 91st birthday interview, President Mugabe said the West is still baffled why Zimbabwe has not crumbled under illegal economic sanctions imposed on the country after it had embarked on the land reform programme.

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He added that it is bad to analyse urban dwellers as a reflection of Zimbabweans.

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“Our people managed to stick to their resources especially land and that is what the imperialists don’t understand.  They still don’t understand that the survival of our people is not equal to the survival of people living in urban areas, with no recourse to any other source of living,” said the President.

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On western machinations to deprive the country of information about its mineral resources, Cde Mugabe said ‘De-beers had taken all information and hidden all the maps from us, but fortunately some people cleverly got the documents and sent them back to us.’

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He added that Zimbabweans must now fully exploit the natural resources that the country is endowed with, adding that according to maps, diamonds and gold are in all the country’s provinces.

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Mugabe has led the country since independence in 1980.

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The 91-year-old Mugabe has indicated that he will represent Zanu PF at the next general elections scheduled for 2018.

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At one of his birthday parties, Mugabe said that he was a reluctant leader.

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“I was just one of the leaders. I never joined the struggle because I wanted one day to be Prime Minister, no, but I joined the struggle to play my part as prescribed by the party, first publicity secretary and as we moved from NDP, ZAPU, I was still publicity secretary right through,” he said.

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“I refused right up to the end even after getting out (of prison) we negotiated for those who had been arrested to be released and released before the Geneva Conference and I was still that.

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“And when they were released I was still secretary general. My argument was, well the president can only be appointed by the people, but in 1977 we had that meeting in Chimoio, I accepted on one condition that we will get a verdict from the people as soon as we get back home. But I was just playing my part,” he said.

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There is a fear among Mugabe’s supporters that they may lose control of their country to neocolonialist forces intent on controlling its natural resources.

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The feeling among Zimbabweans is that, Mugabe has got to go.

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“He’s eloquent, he’s educated us, but sometimes it’s the people around him we don’t agree with, so if he can’t control them, he has to go.”

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What will Mugabe’s legacy be? An evil dictator who shattered an economy by his radical policy on land, or a hero who has liberated Africans through economic independence?

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