Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Former sadc Executive Secretary Dr Tomaz Augusto Salomao yesterday slammed the international order where multilateral financial agencies approach Third World countries dangling financial support on condition that they reduce their budgetary support on defence and security. He said the move was meant to further weaken the developing countries.
Dr Salomao said the reduction of budgetary support on defence and security by developing countries would then create hegemony by First World countries as Third World countries would then rush to Western capitals for help in the event of problems.
He said this while delivering a lecture at the National Defence College in Harare attended by senior officials in the police, army and other state security arms.
“The strategic objective is to make the defence and security weaker so that when you have problems you cannot solve it on your own, but you have to call London and Paris,” said Dr Salomao. “I do not think this order will change in the next few years to come.”
Dr Salomao said multilateral agencies like the International Monetary Fund and World Bank would commit to fund social services and infrastructure development in developing countries, but then insist on reduction of the countries’ budget on security.
He described President Mugabe as an exceptional leader who was one of the few African leaders who have challenged those from Western capitals in defence of the values of the continent and its resources.
“That is why he is respected in Africa,” he said.
Zimbabwe, he said, was paying the price for its firm position on land where it insisted that Britain should fulfil its commitment to pay for the land reform programme as agreed at the Lancaster House conference.
Turning to Sadc, Dr Salomao said the region was the most peaceful bloc on the continent as it had managed to foster stability.
Participants asked him why there do not seem to be enough cohesion and zeal in attaining economic independence as a region the same way as that existed during liberation struggle where countries were collectively determined to have political independence.
Dr Salomao said in his view, the creation of two term presidential limits have created anxiety among leaders as they narrowed their focus to national development than the region.