The Zimbabwe Pan African Youth Agenda:
Constructing Activist Synergy in Zimbabwe
A December 6, 2011 interview of the Zimbabwe Pan African Youth Agenda
by Itibari M. Zulu, editor, The Journal of Pan African Studies
Why was The Zimbabwe Pan African Youth Agenda created, and what is your central
focus or issue?
The Zimbabwe Pan African Youth Agenda (ZIPAYA) was born out of the need to defend Africa
in general and Zimbabwe in particular against the imperialist onslaught. As patriotic youth who
believe in the morality of African resources being owned and used for the benefit of Africans, we
strongly defend the Zimbabwean government position to give land back to the original owners.
So land is a central issue in Zimbabwe today?
Yes, and contrary to British and US sponsored misinformation Zimbabwe is a leading nation in
the struggle for continental unity and democracy. Zimbabwe was born out of a bitter armed
struggle against British settler-colonialism. What led to the waging of this struggle was land.
the end of the colonial period (1980), the minority of white farmers owned 75% of the best
arable land, while millions of Black people were rendered landless and jobless.
Thus, the historical injustices of colonialism and racial privilege ignited and fueled the wars of
liberation known as the First (1896), Second (1966-1979), and Third (2000-2002) Chimurengas.
Britain and U.S. responded to the Third Chimurenga immediately by initiating an internationalcampaign to demonize President Mugabe and the people’s movement.
And furthermore, the
cowardly, yet consistent use of economic sanctions was imposed on Zimbabwe by the U.S.,
Britain and the E.U., and it persists to this day.
What effect has global pessimism and sanctions had on Zimbabwe?
Nowhere is Pan-Africanism being severely tested in Africa than in Zimbabwe. The current tidal
wave of global pessimism and sanctions against the people of Zimbabwe has made life
excruciatingly challenging for the common folk. Unemployment is reported to be over 70%. The
government of Zimbabwe sought to unlock the value of its people by freeing land to most of the
people in an exercised dubbed “The Third Chimurenga – Our Land Is Our Economy” which was
a code for the Land Redistribution Exercise.
Resistance to this exercise has been fierce as both the former colonial settlers (who happen to be
Whites) and their sympathizers sought to discredit it as illegal and not consistent with human
Undaunted by this criticism and isolation, the Zimbabwe government successfully
resettled many people and preached the gospel of self-sustenance and nation building.
What strategies will ZIPAYA use in defense of Pan Africanism in Zimbabwe?
Our number one strategy is the use of proper propaganda. Hence, we plan to establish the
Zimbabwe Support and Solidarity Network website as a worldwide network of Zimbabwe
volunteers and global Africans dedicated to bringing positive and unbiased news and information
about Zimbabwe free of charge to counter the negative propaganda about Zimbabwe. The West's
media coverage of the Zimbabwe situation is blatantly biased, with the aim of shaping public's
opinions over the situation.
In this regard, we are also connected to some media outlets, internet news portals (Mathaba
News Network, Black Star News), black radio stations (GAP Radio, Lib Radio, Pacifica Radio)
print media (Positive Action Bulletin, Black Panther Newsletter, African Link) which is willing
to coordinate efforts with us to disseminate positive news about Zimbabwe such as in New York,
and some of these organizations in the US have been working with the Zimbabwe Embassy in
Washington DC to produce a newsletter, to tell our story. Plus, we have also been doing
individual efforts to defend the country through an electronic group formed and moderated by us
called Afrimedia (www.africa2020.com/Afrimedia) which has an African global membership of
about 500, scattered all over the world.
What is ZIPAYA specifically proposing in Zimbabwe in reference to youth development?
Mental decolonization workshops will be held across the country, most of the young people are
like bottles filled with dirty water, and what is needed, is to empty the bottles and refill them
with clean water. These workshops will help to reinforce a sense of identity, patriotism, and
racial pride. We will thus work on changing the mind set by instilling Black pride, Black
capability and Black success. So some of the topics which will be covered will examine the
grand agenda of imperialism and its manifestations in institutions such as the IMF, the World
Bank, NATO, the UN and mainstream media outlets such as CNN, BBC, Fox etc. Also, the
youth will be taught why Pan Africanism is the only true and practical ideology to solve African
problems, in addition to lessons on African history, civilizations, culture, and liberation.
Will ZIPAYA be involved in other arenas?
Yes, in health. Our youth are the most affected by the AIDS scourge, so there is a need to
educate our youth about the HIV/AIDS dangers. Here, the youth of Zimbabwe must ask UN
Secretary General what he plans to do about the claim of the former director of UNICEF Carol
Bellamy when she called for attempts to prevent Zimbabwe from having access to the resources
of the Millennium Fund for HIV/Aids persecution of the poor. A country cannot be denied
humanitarian aid because of their political choices and direction. ZIPAYA will expose this
fascist and inhumane effort to use political leverage to deny Zimbabwe access to resources to
fight the pandemic.
Second, we will be involved in entrepreneurship, because of the economic sabotage by Britain
and its allies, jobs are now hard to come by. ZIPAYA will therefore form projects where youth
will be involved in income generating projects, and help to create employment. We will also
lobby the government to give more land to youth. And other projects are lined up that will
position the youth out of the dungeon of poverty and into self-sustenance, wealth creation and
Farming has been identified as project number one because of the current support that the land
usage revolution is enjoying. These projects cover public transport, carpentry, brick molding,
fence making, walling, advertising, marketing and film-making. All these projects will include
training on small medium entrepreneurship, leadership and supervision, motivation and
In short, what are the objectives of ZIPAYA?
To build Pan African socialization systems and practices that will encourage a strong identity
and commitment to the practice of the divine principles of MAAT which consist of truth, justice,
righteousness, order, harmony, balance and reciprocity.
Second, we are working to promote a
widespread and collective ideological training/teaching of the theory of anti- imperialist struggle
based in the case for African unity and the building of socialism.
To provide an organic link with
the people of Africa, Asia and Latin America who are struggling against imperialist
to organize and encourage African businessman in the Diaspora to invest in Africa
(especially in Zimbabwe),
to disseminate positive news about African nations and other socialist
countries under the media onslaught by imperialism;
to work closely with other Pan African
youth movements doing the same efforts in the spirit of unity to eliminate and fight imperialism
that include the exchange and sharing of knowledge and experiences pertinent to the
development of African people,
to create a network of people and institutions committed to
achieving real change for African people, as mentioned before,
to promote holistic health care
services that would improve access to reproductive health information and counseling for
I also understand that you have a library project wherein you are asking for the donation
of revolutionary Pan African literature?
Can you give us some details about that project,
particularly, how we can help?
On behalf of the Zimbabwe Pan African Youth Agenda, I am kindly appealing to my Pan
Africanist comrades to support us with revolutionary Pan Africanist literature for our youth and
student study group .
We are also hoping to establish an African Study Center where youth and
students will have access to that collection. Our youth need constant and ongoing political
education to keep them aware of our urgent tasks in our struggle for total liberation.
We are open
to any suggestions which can help to strengthen this initiative; even those who wish to visit
Zimbabwe for speaking engagements are welcome. The mailing address is Cde Kwanisai Mafa
In conclusion, do you have any parting words for our readers?
Yes, African people must not allow imperialism to hypocritically dictate how and with whom we
engage with in Africa! Our people’s movement for land reforms in Zimbabwe must be supported
and spread throughout Africa!
The Journal of Pan African Studies, vol.4, no. 8, December 2011