Africans are spoiled for choice: which oppressor do they want? African, European, Singapori, American or Chinese? Oppression is bullying, so, maybe, those with experience, like the Europeans, will prevail. No culture I know of accepts bullying. Bullies are loathed the world over.
Bullying is “the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively impose domination over others”. Bullying is often ‘repeated and habitual’, just like the European Union is, once again, doing in Africa. Further, ‘one essential prerequisite of bullying’ is “the perception, by the bully or by others, of an imbalance of social or physical power”. As Africans were judged by European standards, there was immediately created an imbalance of both social and physical power. Now, there is a new scramble for Africa, only this time the Europeans are not coming as individual nations but as a united entity whose skewed view of the world can only appeal to former colonial masters, like themselves, who are suffering from a congestive case of nostalgia. Wars and national upheavals are ignited when the cries of the oppressed are not heard or listened to. Across Africa, Europe listens to the jingle of money, not to the cries of distress. In Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, who once delivered to them, could no longer do as such so the EU backed Morgan Tsvangirai, the then new kid on the block.
The abuse of the people, the raping of the economy and the treatment of Tsvangirai and his party caused the EU to impose targeted sanctions against Mugabe and his inner circle. The people’s will was always being undermined at the polls; public funds were being looted; people were being killed; properties, particularly farms and companies, were being grabbed; opposition supporters were being terrorised and killed; elections were being rigged and ZANU-PF seniors were always in Europe and America spending funds that belonged, not to them, but to the nation. This prompted the EU to impose the targeted sanctions on the offending individuals. That was in 2002 and, in 2003, the US president issued an executive order imposing the same targeted sanctions on the same individuals.
Those sanctions were imposed “as a result of actions and policies by certain members of the government of Zimbabwe and its supporters to undermine democratic institutions and processes in Zimbabwe”. As victims, we cheered thinking that the guilt of the Europeans over their abuse of Africa was overwhelming their conscience and they wanted to help. Fast forward to May 2014. Now, as then, Zimbabweans still face unexplained killings and disappearances; the land grabbing continues, with Mugabe himself and his family grabbing farms as recently as last week; the abuse of public funds has reached an all-time high at parastatals, councils and government; the abuse of people continues at Chiadzwa Diamonds Fields, at the Chingwizi Transit camp and nationwide; our government has no use for its own constitution and farmers continue to be killed, with a white farmer and his daughter being killed the same week that the Mugabes grabbed more land for themselves.
The Europeans imposed sanctions on perpetrators of injustice in our country, hoping to get more from the opposition were it to get into power, as signs at the time indicated they might do. Yet, today, faced with a scenario as bad as that of 2002 and having realized that Tsvangirai’s star started to set before it rose into the skies, the EU, with an eye on profits, diamonds and access to Zimbabwe’s natural resources and business deals, has all but removed the targeted sanctions. Only Mugabe and his wife remain on the list and the EU is in the process of removing them as well. The EU abandoned the mantra of human rights and now wants to “re-engage” with Mugabe by offering his government what it calls “a rescue package” of a whopping $320 million. The heart of the matter is that, with this money, the European Union is not rescuing our people but condemning Zimbabweans to further misery.
The money will strengthen our oppressor and will not get to the intended destination. The money will be shared among the same thieves and what is left of it will be used to harm, contain and abuse our people just the same way people are being abused at Chiadzwa Diamond Fields, which is the EU’s target. In less than ten months as the sole ruling party, there are justifiable fears that Mugabe and his followers are, once again, taking the country’s economy back to the period when the annual inflation reached 500 billion percent in December 2008.
The EU is strengthening our oppressor and wants us to thank them for that. They did the same to us during the war of liberation – sending antibiotics, antiseptics, bandages and painkillers to freedom fighters while they sent guns and bullets to the minority government we were fighting. Even if Mugabe steps down, dies or continues as incapacitated as he has become, his machinery still grinds on and the EU is strengthening this same machinery. The European Union is just as immoral as our own born-out-of-wedlock African Union. They are brethren; their mission is not to heal but to steal from the infirm and the incapacitated. The EU behaves no worse than the Zimbabwe Republic Police officers who steal items at the scene of accidents before offering token assistance to ferry victims to the hospital. The Europeans have supported presidents we have rejected and, in the process, have caused us to flee our countries then bar and deny us refuge as we seek justifiable protection from monsters they support back home.
Strength does not always win battles as David showed Goliath and as the Vietnamese taught the French and the Americans. When the world conspires against innocent people so as to grab what those poor souls possess; when people cry ceaselessly with no help coming; when abusive leaders change meaning of words and describe victims of their violence as perpetrators of violence; when governments are rewarded for abusing and denying aid to their own citizens, then we should be prepared for the worst. Everything and everyone become fair game. The hunter becomes the hunted. We must be mindful of the fact that the EU’s original goal was to facilitate trade among the nations of Europe. Because of the economic power generated from that attempt at uniting, the EU became a political group but their roots and intentions were economic prosperity and when it comes to money, they are meaner than junkyard dogs. They want our resources, not human rights. We do not need their money. We need good governments. Europe must stop supporting abusive governments. Destiny is in our hands as people, as individual nations. No one knows more about betraying Africans that the Europeans. There is no purity in the EU’s intentions. I would love to see the list of the reasons why the EU imposed targeted sanctions on ZANU-PF in the first place but, more than anything else, I would love to see the list of why the EU removed those same targeted sanctions.