Canadian sanctions on Zimbabwe launched after failed NATO plot to install US military base

A Zimbabwean police officer and election official check a voter's ID, during 2008 election. Image Credit: Time Magazine

By Christian Shingiro, The Canada Files, Dec. 16, 2022

A high-ranking member of the Zimbabwean Communist Party has exclusively informed The Canada Files of a Canadian-backed, NATO plot to put a US military base in Zimbabwe, which was thwarted in 2008. Canada has punished Zimbabwe for defeating the plot ever since.


Human rights and Canada’s Special Economic Measures Act

When analyzing Canada’s sanctions regime, including the sanctimonious ones announced on Russia, Iran, and Myanmar during International Human Rights Day, you’ll discover that these sanctions are entirely based on lies to achieve economic and geopolitical goals for NATO and the EU. Canada’s Special Economic Measures Act, in particular, lists many African countries that they either plunder or want to plunder, including Zimbabwe.

Since 1991, the ZANU-PF has granted Canadian companies exclusive mining rights in what the Zimbabwean Communist Party called “treason”. Since 1980, there’s been an active Canadian embassy in Zimbabwe in anticipation of this “cordial” economic relationship. This being a similar case to Canada’s embassy in Rwanda, launched this year. When the US activated the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA) to brutally punish Zimbabwe for preventing Kagame and Museveni from attacking Angola and the rest of Southern Africa in 1998, and for taking back the land from white settlers, Canada didn’t follow suit right away. Canadian economic interests can explain this previous stance.

So what, then, has motivated the current round of sanctions by Canada, initiated in 2008? The answer has absolutely nothing to do with human rights, and everything to do with NATO.


The origins of the modern, contemporary ZANU-PF

Ian Beddowes is the Secretary of International Relations at the Zimbabwean Communist Party, as well as a former Umkhonto We Sizwe Intelligence Officer (the Armed wing of the ANC during the anti-apartheid struggle) from 1985-1994. Beddowes, speaking to TCF pointed out that the current leadership of the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) is a product of African bourgeois grooming by the founder of the British Special Air Service, David Sterling.

The program, known as the Capricorn Africa Society, was founded in 1949 by Stirling, and lasted until 1972. CAS was meant to infiltrate national liberation movements with willing puppets, under the premise that white minority rule would be an unsustainable colonial model, according to Beddowes.

Bizeck Jube Phiri, in his dissertation, “Capricorn Africa Society: A Study of Liberal Politics in Northern Rhodesia/Zambia, 1949-1972”, gives a very clear and damning explanation of the CAS’s goals using their own publicly available documents in this passage (pg. 75-76):

"The Capricorn Africa Movement, of which the Capricorn Africa Society was one of the three wings and the most prominent, was founded with four aims and objects in mind:

    1. The cultural, political and economic establishment of Capricorn Africa as an integral pillar of western civilization;

    2.The development of Capricorn Africa mainly by large scale European investment and immigration;

    3.The political and economic closer association of all Capricorn Africa;

    4.The promotion of a just Race Relations policy, based on Southern Rhodesian Two-Pyramid policy, and adaptable to the changing needs of time and space."

On top of settler colonialism publicly being supported, the racist Two-Pyramid policy, would be publicly promoted as “just Race Relations”. Movements such as the Southern Rhodesian Communist Party fiercely opposed the policy in the same period, emphasizing how it would produce nothing more than the British version of apartheid.

Leopold Takawira, a founding member of the Zimbabwean African National Union (ZANU), who later became the Vice President of ZANU, was an employee and member of the Capricorn African Society at ZANU’s founding in 1963, according to Ian Beddowes.

Robert Mugabe, Emmerson Mngangwa, and many other “prominent” current and former leaders of the ZANU-PF were in fact actually carefully selected “controlled opposition”, that rose up as a counterweight to the Zimbabwean African People’s Union (ZAPU). ZAPU’s leader, Joshua Nkomo, was seeking arms from the Soviet Union at the time of ZANU’s founding, said Beddowes.

They were chosen to subvert the leadership of Joshua Nkoma, the nationalist leader of the Zimbabwe African People’s Union, and liquidate or assimilate ZAPU. and successfully did so. Canada, and other commonwealth countries, established diplomatic relations following “independence” in 1980, and economic relations in the early 90s, as they knew their man, Mugabe, was going to win out. Beddowes explained that these nations were confident, once a brutal crackdown killing 20 000 ZAPU members from the minority Ndebele tribe was initiated in Nkomo’s hometown, in 1982.

Being faithful to the patronage of CAP and David Sterling, ZANU-PF proceeded to betray the liberation struggle with the implementation of World Bank introduced structural adjustment programs in March 1991. Canada became a great beneficiary in the mining sector, after structural adjustments were implemented.

However, as many puppets around the world do, Mugabe began to think for himself. As a result of a strong desire for self-preservation, Mugabe decided to stop an imperial escapade in the DRC, led by Rwanda and Uganda in 1998. Mugabe deployed Zimbabwean troops in Eastern Congo, to prevent Rwanda and Uganda from going southward to Angola and the rest of Southern Africa. .

Mugabe then implemented fast track land requisition from white settlers after Zimbabwean soldiers and the peasantry began land occupations which forced his hand, according to Ian Beddowes. This triggered the whipping of the colonial masters in the form of ZIDERA in 2001, which essentially bans the Zimbabwean economy from functioning altogether.


The 2008 Elections That Were Used to justify Canadian Sanctions

ZANU-PF was stagnating as a political force just preceding the elections, largely due to Robert Mugabe’s old age and the active looting of the country by its leadership amid the ZIDERA sanctions, says Beddowes. At the time Beddowes was himself actually a member of ZANU-PF, and witnessed the underhanded tactics used by Robert Mugabe to retain power, such as undermining and blackmailing all rivals to leadership, despite the strong desires from members to change the ZANU-PF leadership.

During the 2008 presidential and parliamentary elections, many ZANU-PF members voted for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the political party infamous for voting against ratifying land requisition into the constitution in 2005, in protest. Two years earlier, MDC’s leader Morgan Tsvangirai had welcomed  Colonel Lion Dyck, an infamous mercenary previously aligned with the white supremacists of Rhodesia, into his home. Tsvangirai admitted to both this, and wanting to cooperate with Dyck.

As a result of the protest vote against ZANU-PF during the first round of presidential voting, the MDC obtained a plurality of votes, 47 per cent, compared to 43 per cent for ZANU-PF.

That vote was, however, short of the 50 per cent plus majority needed, so a run-off was announced. Beddowes says tribalist violence on both sides between the Shona and Ndebele, drove MDC leader Svangirai to strategically withdraw his candidacy, and claim the elections were “rigged”. Mugabe then won the second round of the presidential election unopposed, while the MDC took parliament.


The MDC & NATO plan to install a US military base in Zimbabwe

The 2008 violence and “rigged elections” were the pretext used by Canada to implement the Special Economic Measures Act on Zimbabwe. The truth, however, is that Canada was actually punishing Zimbabwe for politically defeating their co-conspirators.

Ian Beddowes, with his position as a Umkhonto We Sizwe veteran granting him privileged information on matters in South Africa, was made aware of a South African intelligence intercept in 2008 that discovered MDC and NATO’s plan to install a US military base in Zimbabwe which NATO allies, such as Canada, could use to protect their ill-gotten assets in the region.

The plan was botched with Mugabe’s re-election, thus triggering Canada’s Special Economic Measures. Needless to say, South Africa was more diplomatically supportive of ZANU-PF after this election. What NATO, and Canada in particular, wanted was a similar situation to one  obtained in 2016, in Botswana. The situation: having a US military base in all but name, where Canadian soldiers go for “Canada’s Military Training and Cooperation”, while an F-16 or any other US fighter jet can sortie to bomb any belligerent capital in the region in the span of two minutes. This was made clear in a speech by Julius Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters, the third largest political party in South Africa (15:46-17:23)


Canadian foreign policy: to punish countries who want even the slightest morsel of sovereignty

Canada’s foreign policy in Africa almost entirely consists of setting up embassies in countries that either grant mineral access, or those who they’ve worked together with for many years to commit genocide, such as Rwanda and Uganda.

The arms embargoes and general sanctions, respectively, are really only about stopping African populations from finding the necessary arms to rise up and overthrow these despotic puppets, or to punish any African country that goes against the NATO line.

Zimbabwe, in particular, is being punished by Canada for preserving even the tiny morsel of what remains of its own sovereignty.


Christian Shingiro is a Rwandan-born naturalized Canadian citizen. He is known for his participation in Communist/anti-imperialist national and international politics and is the radio show host of The Socially Radical Guitarist. He is also a freelance web developer in Toronto, striving to provide "Socially Radical Web Design at a socially reasonable price".


Posted Dec. 24, 2022