Queen Elizabeth’s decision to withdraw an honorary knighthood bestowed on President Mugabe in 1994 is actually a blessing in disguise as it removes one of the last vestiges of colonial titles on an outstanding African statesman and revolutionary, Mugabe’s supporters have said. While the rabid western media ranted and raved about the event because of their warped value system, progressive Zimbabweans saw it as signifying the further decolonization of Africa, they said, according to Friday’s The Herald, a state-owned newspaper.
A social commentator was quoted as saying Zimbabwe was independent and has its own value systems that protect African humanism, integrity and empowerment.”The decolonization process was a rejection of British value systems and so as Zimbabweans we simply see this as the removal of one of the last vestiges of colonialism. No one has ever referred to our President as ‘Sir’ Robert Mugabe. He is known as ‘Comrade’ Robert Mugabe and that says it all,” he said.The supporters said the move should be seen as further proof of the British Empire’s brazen interference in Zimbabwe’s internal affairs, as if the country is still their colony.They said it was shameful that the Queen still thinks the knighthood has more meaning to Zimbabweans than the 100 percent black empowerment program that President Mugabe has embarked on.
The Deputy Minister of Information and Publicity Bright Matonga laughed off the development, saying the continued existence of the knighthood had given the British the mistaken impression that they still held some form of sway over the country. “My President never used that knighthood. It meant nothing to him and it means nothing to us as Zimbabweans and this is why it was never talked about here,” he said. British Queen Elizabeth II stripped Mugabe of his ceremonial knighthood on Wednesday on the advice of Foreign Secretary David Miliband, who said Mugabe should have the honor revoked following widespread violence and intimidation of the southern African country’s opposition before the presidential run-off.
Mugabe has repeatedly slashed Britain and other Western countries for trying to interfere into Zimbabwean politics.He said the Western powers are angered by Zimbabwe’s land reform program, under which the government acquired land from white farmers for re-distribution to landless blacks.Zimbabwe held presidential run-off Friday, with Mugabe being the sole candidate after his rival, the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, pulled out, though the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has dismissed his withdrawal, saying his submission of the withdrawal letter on Tuesday is too late.