Zim: The envy of African reactionaries
Obi Egbuna Jr Simunye
WHEN Zimbabwe is discussed internally by both its leadership and citizens, those on the outside looking in, are forced to acknowledge that the country’s political understanding collectively speaking in comparison to other African nations is extremely high. That very attribute automatically prevents our former colonial and slave masters’ efforts to demonise President Mugabe and zanu-pf, from having the impact they so desire, which encourages African neo-colonial agents resorting to cheap and tacky publicity stunts whenever they attack Zimbabwe directly or indirectly.
The African world along with the international community witnessed a 27-year old Nigerian journalist Adeola Fayehun attempting to embarrass President Mugabe while he was at the inauguration of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.
While it was natural for Zimbabweans in particular and Africans as a whole to be outraged by the disrespectful manner in which Ms Fayehun approached President Mugabe, what must not be lost was her comment that she raised the same identical questions asked by CNN journalist and hatchet-woman Christiane Amanpour when she interviewed President Mugabe in September 2009.
If this generation of African journalists whether they write for established newspapers or blogs and other additional social media outlets, are deciding to use Mrs Amanpour as a source of inspiration or reference when engaging any African head of state, speaks volumes about the decline of constant political education among our daughters and sons today.
Any African journalist who aspires to be like Amanpour should understand what this represents personally and politically. Amanpour’s biological uncle Captain Nasrollah Amanpour is married to the sister of General Nader Jahanbani, who commanded Iran’s Imperial Iranian Air Force under the brutal and repressive rule of the Shah of Iran, the General’s biological brother Khosrow was married to the Shah’s daughter Princess Shahnaz Pahlavi. Amanpour is married to James Rubin, who was US Assistant Secretary of State during the Clinton administration and an informal advisor to President Obama and former US Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton.
This exposes that Amanpour’s questions for President Mugabe, by no means represented objective journalism, but an intelligent well-spoken woman who unapologetically defends the interests of US-EU imperialism every time she gets in front of the camera representing the corporate monsters who have made her a multi-millionaire.
As this numerical year marks the 50th anniversary of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s book Neo Colonialism The Last Stage of Imperialism, Fayehun’s 15 minutes of fame exposes that the colonial and slave mentality, has indeed been passed down by the previous generation which puts a negative spin on the concept of passing the torch.
During the 13th ordinary session of the African Union General Assembly in 2008, which took place in Egypt, Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf stated Zimbabwe’s June 27th elections were not credible, Sirleaf went on to say that in 1985, the African Union and the world endorsed elections and this frustrated the will of the people and engendered a 14 year civil war that left 200 000 people dead. For Sirleaf to compare Zimbabwe to Liberia was not only preposterous and irresponsible, but the equivalent of equating Ghana under the Osagyefo to Zaire under Mobutu Sese Seko.
For Africans at home and abroad to understand President Sirleaf’s political motivation for even mentioning Zimbabwe by name during this time period, there are some extremely important gestures and overtures, that US-EU Imperialism made towards Liberia that are entirely too important to overlook or dismiss.
In 2007, the US became the first country to grant debt relief to Liberia waving an amount of 391 million dollars borrowed, later that year the German Chancellor Angela Merkel then leading the G-8 provided an additional 324.5 million dollars that represented 60 percent of Liberia’s IMF debt.
This was followed in 2008 Liberia becoming eligible for the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative which saw the IMF and World Bank in 2010 agree to fund 1.5 billion dollars in writing off Liberia’s multi- lateral debt, along with the Paris Club cancelling 1.26 billion dollars with independent bilateral creditors cancelling an additional 107 million dollars.
The International Development Association, at a discount rate of 97 percent, provided Liberia resources to write off its foreign commercial debt.
We then saw and heard President Sirleaf, a Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2011, offer to allow US Imperialism if they were interested, to use Liberia as their headquarters for AFRICOM, and receive a US Presidential medal of Freedom under the Bush administration.
What makes Zimbabwe very interesting is its African detractors have no problem whatsoever attempting to duplicate their policies, when it appears to serve their interests in the short term or long term, this explains Liberia’s One China Policy is an obvious duplication of Zimbabwe’s Look East Policy.
It is for this reason President Mugabe and zanu-pf are not holding their breath waiting for President Sirleaf to admit that the decision to appoint Joice Mujuru Vice President of Zimbabwe created a groundswell, rooted in self determination that ultimately led to her becoming the President of Liberia.
Throughout history, African heads of state rarely admit to errors and mistakes, however, at any given moment they are prone to make a comment to gloss over previous negligence. We saw last year, Sirleaf send the following congratulatory statement to President Mugabe and zanu-pf.
“We pray that God will endow President Mugabe with abundant wisdom and strength as he leads the people of Zimbabwe to greater prosperity” This was similar to when the former President of Nigeria, the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, attacked Zimbabwe at the Germany/European Partnership with Africa in Wiesbaden, Germany one month before the EU-African summit in Portugal, President Yar’Adua accused Zimbabwe of heavy handed tactics towards the opposition. This comment by President Yar’Adua may have gotten him a pat on his back by US-EU Imperialism, however, it put him on a collision course with the entire sadc region, because the entire region threatened to boycott the conference if President Mugabe decided not to attend. That bogus suggestion was made by the former Prime Minister of Britain Gordon Brown when he stated he would boycott the summit if President Mugabe was present.
Because President Mugabe is without question a man of integrity he not only called President Sirleaf after she presented her post 2015 Development Agenda to the African Union High Level Committee and African Peer Review Mechanism Forum reports substantive and informative, but went on to call her an asset to the AU, African Continent and her people.
In his classic book The Wretched of the Earth the Pan Africanist Freedom Fighter Frantz Fanon had two eloquent points pertaining to this dynamic, the first is everything can be explained to the people on the single condition you want them to understand, the second is for a colonised people the most essential value became the most concrete is first and foremost the land: the land bring them bread and above all dignity.
The decision by President Mugabe and zanu-pf to maintain their course has not only hardened the people’s resolve as a unit, but is forcing its enemies at home and abroad to recognise the value of not compromising your principles regardless of the hardships you are forced to endure.
Obi Egbuna Jr is the US Correspondent to the Herald and the External Relations officer if the Zimbabwe-Cuba Friendship Association his email is firstname.lastname@example.org