OUTGOING Zanu PF MP for Mpopoma-Pelandaba, Joseph Tshuma has made astounding claims Zimbabweans were doomed without the involvement of whites in their affairs.
Tshuma, who is also party central committee member, was speaking at a political parties discussion forum in Bulawayo Saturday.
The event was hosted by the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) and the Bulawayo Media Centre.
Relations between the country and the West took a knock at the turn of the century when then President Robert Mugabe seized productive land which was in the hands of white Zimbabweans of European descent for redistribution to black locals.
Mugabe went on to introduce laws which compelled foreign businesses in Zimbabwe to surrender at least 51 percent equity to blacks.
He followed his policies with repeated public rants against whites on alleged attempts to recolonise his country through financial support to his opponents as well as attempts to prescribe solutions to the country’s myriad problems.
Mugabe once stunned the world during an international summit attended by world leaders when he confronted then British Prime Minister Tony Blair and telling him to “keep your England and I will keep my Zimbabwe”.
Meanwhile, his anti-white stance Saturday invited strong rebuke from one of his former allies, Tshuma who described it as “dangerous”.
“We are coming from the era of Robert Mugabe. An era which closed us out from the rest of the world,” Tshuma said.
“We began to leave in a vacuum. That was the most dangerous thing that was ever experienced by this country other than the bombings during the liberation struggle.”
The Zanu PF lawmaker said no other country was capable of developing without the involvement of whites.
“We made a mistake as a party through our (former) president when we said’ Blair keep your England and we keep our Zimbabwe’.
“Yes, we kept our Zimbabwe but what kind of Zimbabwe did we keep? One thing that I have been made to understand and agree strongly whether painful or not, we cannot do away with that person called umkhiwa (white).
“When you do that, it is at your own peril. You need the white man to be there somewhere.”
Incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa has moved to try and mend the country’s relations with the West through an engagement process that has seen Western business delegations visit the country to explore opportunities.
Mnangagwa has also made steps to reintegrate the country back into the Commonwealth after his predecessor abruptly pulled it out of the bloc nearly two decades ago.
He has reversed a Mugabe ban on Europeans to observe the country’s elections.