HARARE – The apology by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair that he misled the world about the war in Iraq has now been interpreted by loyalists to say that Zimbabwe strongman President Mugabe has always been correct on his criticism of the wars that are perpetrated by the west, according to Zimbabwe State media.
Mugabe has long accused Blair’s Labour government of reneging on promises of funding land redistribution in Zimbabwe made under the 1979 Lancaster House agreement. Critics, however, say it is an attempt to shift blame from his supporters’ violent seizures of white-owned farms that crippled the southern African nation’s economy.
In what is now dubbed as the ‘Chairman Sir John Chilcot’ report there was no ‘imminent’ threat from Saddam Hussein when Blair send his troops to the battlefield.
Mugabe is on record saying the former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair has always been a liar as noted in the UK’s Iraq war inquiry chaired by Sir John Chilcot.
According to political analyst loyal to Mugabe’s party Zanu PF, Dr Davison Gomo the apology by Blair is not a new revelation or discovery but the report is authenticating what President Mugabe has always been saying about him and his western allies.
He said Blair should instead be on his way to the International Criminal Court in the Hague to face criminal prosecution.
Another loyalist, Dr Antony Mutamba says diplomacy was never given a chance in Iraq because the West was set on destruction and they falsify information that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.
Dr Mutamba sighted how the former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyata was humiliated at the International Criminal Court in the Hague were charges of crimes against humanity were later withdrawn yet Western leaders are perpetrating bigger crimes and are left to walk scot free.
In his own words before a commission of inquiry, the former British Prime Minister Blair revealed, admitted and apologised that he misled the world into believing that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.
Analysts say of what good is it to apologise when hundreds and thousands of innocent people were killed and some left homeless due to misjudgment, hence the call for the arrest of Tony Blair to face prosecution.
Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia, since independence 35 years ago, has been condemned by human rights groups for orchestrating political violence and rigging elections, and remains under EU and US sanctions.
The British government agreed to fund the arrangement, compensating the former colonial farmers for land that they gave up. Under that arrangement the white farmers were able to survive – more or less; Zimbabwe remained economically viable – more or less.
Lancaster House Agreement that brought about independence in 1980 protected the interests of white commercial farmers. They could, of course, be bought out, but their land could not be simply seized. There had to be a “willing buyer, willing seller”.
And then in 1997, along came Tony Blair and New Labour, and in a fit of avowed anti-colonialist fervour they unilaterally scrapped the arrangement. The overseas development minister, Clare Short, made it clear that neither she nor Blair gave a stuff about the former colonial farmers. As she put it at the time: “I should make it clear that we do not accept that Britain has a special responsibility to meet the costs of land purchase in Zimbabwe. We are a new government from diverse backgrounds, without links to former colonial interests. My own origins are Irish and, as you know, we were colonised not colonisers.”
It was that betrayal of Lancaster House that gave Mugabe his pretext to launch his pogroms against the whites.