Thursday, September 24, 2020

Will Africa ever rescue South Africa again?

The aftermath of Zimbabwe’s elections cost us seven citizens, “allegedly shot by soldiers”, when people were overwhelmed by suspicion and lost patience with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission whose behavior was condemned by none of Africa’s many democracy-loving governments.

International observers flooded the country and we now do not understand why they bothered to come in the first place.

As their final reports trickle in, we see that they were just on holiday, preening the egos of electoral thieves.

The decision reached by Zimbabwe’s so-called Constitutional Court, composed of Zanu-PF’s hand-picked men and women, most of whom beneficiaries of farms violently taken from white farmers, was a surprise to noone.

Congratulatory messages poured in and the shortchanged voters were urged to accept “the rule of law”.

To placate the complaining Zimbabweans, European delegations added a few criticisms of the electoral process but expressed satisfaction while urging more electoral reforms in the future.

Just what is it that Zimbabwe did to Africa, SADC, African Union and to South Africa where leader after leader comes swinging like greased lightning in support of a leader that Zimbabweans reject?

South Africa is playing a very dangerous game in Africa.

Zimbabwe is only one of many countries where South Africa has sided with repressive governments against the wishes of the local people.

Thabo Mbeki, Kgalema Motlanthe, Jacob Zuma and now Cyril Ramaphosa, different men with different attitudes but all doing the same bloody thing against the people of Zimbabwe.

South Africa is a sell-out to the people of Africa who suffered to bring independence to South Africa.

No, it was not the Frontline States; it was not Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe or Samora Machel in Mozambique nor was it Fredrick Chiluba in Zambia or Ketumile Masire in Botswana. These presidents were standing on the shoulders of African peasants and workers in their countries.

Today, we watch helplessly as South Africa conveniently forgets that while they were busy necklacing each other in Soweto, Africa was coming together to force sanctions that liberated South Africa.

Today, they tout the “Freedom Charter” as a foundation of what they think is a major democratic trajectory, yet they fail to implement its imperatives at home, let alone outside their own borders.

I do not like the way South Africa treats the peoples of Africa by by always comforting and supporting Africa’s repressive governments.

I do not appreciate their embarrassing overzealousness to beat all other countries in being first to pronounce faulty elections as a success, be it in Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast or elsewhere.

Kgalema Motlanthe, a former South African president, is among those hand-picked foreigners to be part of and to chair “a commission of enquiry” into post election violence that resulted in the shooting deaths of the aforementioned seven people.

The ‘Commissioners’ are all known Zanu-PF apologists from Tanzania, Nigeria, South Africa in addition to Zanu-PF office holders.

Why were foreigners picked? The people who experienced the slaughter are Zimbabweans, with some streaming the chaos live on Facebook and other social media.

Soldiers were seen firing live bullets and all. And one of those soldiers has already been identified by the people and is not on the run.

But Mnangagwa and his government deny soldiers were involved and brings in their friends to “investigate”. I am ashamed of Motlanthe but then, he is ANC.

It does seem to me that South Africa has a “how to” guideline on how to deal with African countries. South Africa finds strength in weakened African countries.

South Africa might have a big economy, but it will go through all the cycles that every independent African country has gone through. It is already in economic decline.

African countries never care to learn from the experiences of those that got “independence” before them. Every time, we see newly-independent African countries going through the same unnecessary pains as all others before it.                                             

It is inevitable because the destiny, success or failure of any African economy is decided outside its borders.

Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Algeria and Angola are Africa’s top five economies. It is no comfort that these countries still receive millions, if not billions, in “foreign aid” from the United States, let alone the European Union, Britain or some other country.

Zimbabwe is in economic doldrums and South African businesses are making a killing. They are Africa’s ruthless exploiters of the highest order.

But then, even apartheid rulers before the ANC came to power always supported repressive governments in Southern Rhodesia, Rhodesia and when blacks took over, they followed the behavior of their former apartheid masters.

In Africa, South Africa is playing a very dangerous game both politically and economically.

As I write, many African presidents are in China for something called ‘Forum on China-Africa Cooperation’ (FOCAC).

All these countries owe money, not only to China itself but to the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other lesser known financiers yet they fly to China to borrow more.

China never “helps” any country. FOCAC is not akin to the US Marshal Plan where America doled millions to European countries “for free”. Today all money must be paid back.

Zimbabwe is in serious trouble with the International Monetary Fund. Zimbabwe owes China too.          But they have all flown there to beg for more, less than a week after Sri Lanka, having failed to service its debts to China, accepted China’s solution for Sri Lanka to hand over “the strategic port of Hambantota to China on a 99-year lease”. Not only that, the deal also required that Sri Lanka hands over 15, 000 acres of surrounding land.

But whose land is it? It is the people’s land but who benefitted from the money Sri Lanka borrowed from China and how did they benefit?

Africa appears to be caught in the middle, yet it has much more resources than most other continents.

But because it lacks strong institutions to police itself, Africa shall remain in such financial valleys from which it might never arise.

I once felt elated when Botswana took a hard stand against China but then, Africa being Africa, we always find a way to get back with the rest of the head.

The continent has been, and continues to be, mortgaged by individuals who look upon the owners of the African countries as slaves that need to be whipped into compliance.

Things cannot continue like this. When will all this end? Will South Africa take off the imperialistic cloaks of its old masters and use what it considers to be economic muscle to improve its own people’s lives and leave the African people alone?

The recklessness with not only Africa’s property but its hopes cannot be allowed to continue. We are killing our youngsters across the continent and we are slowly injecting them with venomous political sludge that our leaders inherited from their colonial masters.

It is my hope that when the tide starts to turn, it will be no ‘Arab Spring’ but tiny little forces in millions of sports across Africa that shout to the high heavens that ‘enough is enough’.

I cannot tell Africa to grow up; it is the oldest. It is my master. All I can do is to beg it not only to wake up but to stand up.


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