Small private meeting with Prime Minister Robert Mugabe in his
suite in the Waldorf Towers, August 26, 1980. Als. Bernar dhidzer(
Present: Zimbabwe Development Committee of African-America
Institute (Amb. Donald Easum, Dr. Frank Ferrari, Dr. Gtla
Cook, Randy Nugent, Bill Dietel, Mathilde Krim)
Dr. Alan Piper & David Hood, Carnegie Corporation
Dr. William Carmichael, Ford Foundation.
Dr. Davidson Nicols, head, U. N. Training & Devlopment Program.
P. M. Mugabe began by saying that independence had come earlier than
they had expected; they had thought it would be a year later.
They were determined not to interfere with existing programs,
such as A/ A. I. educational programs for which he was appreciative.
They were in particular need because the U. K. was withdrawing aid to
some categories of students. (Why, he didn't say, or I don't remember!)
They would like to have aid for educationsincrease, particularly1 for:
technical training, engineering, agriculture, mining,
industry and commerce, administration.
The Minister of Manpower and Development was surveying interim and
long term needs, and would be issuing an interim report.
Zimbabwe, he pointed out, had a higher percentage of trained
skills than other African-controlled countries, but not nearly enough
for such a developed economy which was also more advanced than those
of other African-controlled countries. They had special need also for:
segx8 j accunttrsg, and support tepsonnel.
Davidson Nicols mentioned the training course his program ran for
members of the General Assembly, and also for foreign service personnel
both in the home country and att the U. N. It could introduce personnel
to various international agene-ies and:.-J1ist.jct them wilhh whom to get
in contact, as well as what they could expect from each. (Mugabe didn't
respond apart from a nod.Y; he did smile when Nicol congratulated him
not only on independence but also the Olympic gold medal won by the
women field hockey team! (all white but wildly cheered on their return)
GAyla Cook, who runs a special women' section in AAI, asked about
the involvement of women in the government's programs. M. said no plans
for a Ministry of Womens' Affairs, would have to be balanced with Ministr;
of Mens" Affairs which would be silly. But women will be involved in all
that goes on. He then switched his tone and said slightly plaintively that
he felt they were "advanced" in regard to women' participation: three
cabinet offices one minister and two deputies looked on women as
partners One need, however, was pregnancy.leaves & he mentioned 3 years
(Gayla subsequently referred to a critical evaluation of the position of
women in Z. by a woman who had taught M. while he was in prison & whom he
greatly respected, & will send it to me.) M. referred to repo r fay
Alan Pifer, inquired about the University. M. replied -
immediately that it was in need of fundamental changes, structurally etc.
It had been developed primarily for whites & had a ratio of 4 whites to
one black student while the staff ratio favored whites 7-1. Univl could
afford a majority of blacks. University should be devoted to the needs
of the country, and produce skills. Ended "We must discuss among ouroe.v
On HNrSt economic prospects; govt. favored investments & would
provide the possibility of moving funds out, and repatriation of resources
What they wanted was for local investors to be associated with the govern.
ment (responsive, I gather, to gout's suggestions of needs, and working
with it in meeting with them). Opposed having branches of firms that had
their head offices in South Africa. Anglo-American, for example, should
be locally based.
MUGABE: August 26, 1980 (cont)
I raised a question about the secondary school level which, in
my experiences in Afriaan countries is very academically slanted and
M. picked this up immediately. primary education for blacks, he said,
had been very practical and useful since they were being trained for
agricultural and industrial workers. But secondary education was very
santed to lierayarts subjects. They were determined to introduce
praclial as well as more liberal education at that&/evel.
(He did not respond to my suggestion that the Peace Corps,'or the
Canadian and British Voluntary Service Corps might be helpful, and
McHenry lafer said he thought it would be currently impossible to have
Peace Corps in Z. at this stage.)
M. ended by stressing their need for rural economic development.
They have 2-3 arxfg million refugees to resttle.
need to acquire land, and to develop it.
Need to equalize opportunities for African and white farmers.
They were all still learning and were aware that for the long view they
had to transform the social-economic system.
At the Foreign Policy Association luncheon at the Plaza Hotel at 11.30
the same day, M. both made a speech (of which, alas, there is no extant
copy) and answered questions.
He admitted frankly that he is "a socialist," and animated by
the"ideals of Marxism-Leninism', but in-what may have staled his businne
mens audience and others, he maintiEEDd that his "socialism" was rooted
also in Genesis. "God made the wRxitxix plants and animals in five days
ad on the sixth he gave mankind not a man, or men dominion over
them. And then he rested on the seventh day, and that was, perhaps,a
On white commercial farming: All the land that is being farmed
productively will be left in its owners hands. "We need them." But
ommeroc iJ farmers owned a considerable amount of land that had not been
developed, and that would be taken over by the government Rs they had
At the U. N. General Assembly that same afternoon, M. got a rising
acclamation, and made much too long a speech of which some high notes are
They had waged "war for the achievement of a creative peace" as
he and Nkomo had assured the G. A. &n March 1978 when they secured G. A.
support. Commonwealth "pressure"on U.K. at Lusaka led to Lancaster House
They would abide by the Lancaster House constitutional arrangement
but would prefer a one party state like Tanzania where there is inter-
action inside the party. (He said this also to PPA)
The Front Line States, of which Z. now one, were the "vanguard of
the U. N. and the OAU." Z. supported the non-aligned movement of which
it felt a part. Their ideals were "socialist" and equalitariann.".
"They wouldjo their best to "bring pressure on South Afr ca."
They had adopted "positive non-alignment," and"would not our
-E~iends to choose who should be our friends."
Asserted support for SWAPO in its "just struggle." Also offered
Z. as site of conference for South Africa, SWAPO, and other Front Line"
Supports rights of Palestinian people, states.
Recognizes self-determinatioj for Western Sahara
Supports the African National Congress; stands for "anti-racialism
and democratization" of South Africa.