via email By Andrew M Manyevere
In 1957 Malaysia like Ghana become independent. These were former British territories who had matured, so to speak, to assume self-government. To the North of Africa were Arab states, south, west and east were more African states still suffering under the York of colonialism.
Colonialism would mean, the usual which is, colonies subdued under French, Portuguese and British powers and administered from these countries’ metropolitan overseas than from their cities of Africa. We could run down colonialism from multiple angels including that of neglecting to educate the Africans on governance and the political processes of democracy, but we still have to acknowledge to our dictatorial tendencies which does not believe in multiparty democracy.
We have again and again demonstrated that we hate foreign powers to control how we should deal with others, as though alluding mainly to the way we deal with each other as fellow Africans. In the 1950s there was a realization which caught the British Empire forcing the Empire to begin decolonization as a process of handing back Africa to the Africans. All colonial master nations begun handing back colonies to trusted educated African leaders who promised to follow democratic norms on, in part, using of elections as a process to changing a government.
Studies, which we will not carry here or verify are abound on African decolonization and the challenges of leadership choices then as it highlights itself even in today Africa. Primary above all else was the fact that the leadership pledged to protect and uphold human rights in accordance with universal human rights declarations. Possibly the African leaders then and still as is now, do not want to confess that they do not understand constitutional change and that they are now more vulnerable to world vultures who want to fight for world control while under developing their countries to be the worst economic success of their citizenry. This can only be caused by avarice including the need to remain in power for ever.
African leadership has always emerged from rugged poverty background to assuming diabolically rich heights in no time and adopt a callous stance on human rights, all because of the love for power than for humanity. Many of these leaders had gone abroad to hunt for better education and become elitists hence their preference for making wealth fast that the majority of the masses who give them power were still in abject poverty. May be the mistake is in the way we have beheld these men rise and given them a ‘godly’ status authorizing them, as it were, to muzzle all electoral rights and ridicule genuine deliverables for democracy into mockery through ‘rigging’.
They rig elections in order to remain in power. Rigging has taken many forms and corrupting peers is the rigging element number one. When corruption begins in the president it goes through all systems undeterred and to the administration making the system corrupt. Opposition political parties have tried to take away people’s minds from corruption to focus on honest means of attaining victory in a transparent and visible mode to all participants. Opposition leaders have, as a result, suffered brutal attacks, murder and unwarranted arrests.
Each time real opposition comes up people notice difference between corrupt leaders and clean leaders but it does not last long. Corruption is sweet and riches is what we all want and long to get ultimately. So those in power have not found it hard to bribe upcoming opposition leadership and followers into being rich and so-called well to do people in the community. The price to get to this level of wealth accumulation has been to align with corrupt leadership in order to further individual goals at the of community welfare.
The only group vulnerable to exploitation and who are ready to take on to change are, in Africa, the agrarian peasants. From being the most agitated against colonial control and domination, African leadership has become the most uncaring and daring on exploitation of the masses. They forget people suffered for them to get to the hierarchy of power. To show they are guilty they have all built strongest armies even though there has been no wars going on, on the continent for the duration of the decolonization period. To this date, Africa has no threat from anybody than itself.
The military budgets have gone up in some countries to half of the countries’ total budgets, with hospital budgets scoring the lowest in priority. Indications are clear: Africa has understood the use of power manipulation and not the management of power distribution or wealth creation. Elections on the continent are frequented by Chinese, Israelites, Russians or other African nations ‘technologies’ all to indicate protectionism and a move to socialist colonization.
It is not money African leaders look for, it is security they obtain through mortgaging our countries to illegal bilateral arrangements. None of the common person in his/her poverty could ever stand and honestly acknowledge the benefits of tying Africa to China or Russia, except noting the rapid amassing of Africa’s subterranean wealth in a much uglier way than did the west. It appears avarice among African leaders, by default, will tie the inheritance of Africans to the Chinese and Russians for many years to come. It is lamentable and short sighted of current leadership.
The appointment of Robert Mugabe in the SADC hierarchy can only signal lacking in vision, statesmanship in current leadership. No wonder why long queues of children and mothers relocating still flows daily from one African country to another while these men and women spend time, delighting at their political decay and emptiness they have built. The organs that are supposed to make decisions on the future direction on African, has never been poorly manned as currently is the position. African leadership has lost direction completely on what to make of Africa. People need revise the charter for better direction. Too much taxes funds are being spend in promoting social gatherings while common man remained locked in prison of poverty.
Africa has lowest doctor per capita. There is rising poverty among common people and on the contrast a sharp rise in wealth sharing among the petite bourgeoisie and little spread far and thinly on middle men. In the case of Zimbabwe this middle man bribes the upcoming young grooming them on a vision of making money so fast, expanding a cascade poorly focused leadership on the continent. The misconception and wrong perception comes from the way African nationalism conveyed the context of decolonization. Race featured as the factor than system as the cause for sustaining unchanging attitudes and behaviours that are focused on selfish ownership from accumulation that denies masses basic means upon to survive.
Ordinary people have no future and cannot feel ownership of anything in many African countries. There are no jobs and people leave schools to face poverty. In the case of South Africa, Zuma would not even have the courtesy of sending one word of condolences for miners gunned down under his watch for committing no offense. It is the same Zuma who at SADC meeting (July 2013) has the audacity to dance in congratulating Mugabe on robbing elections from Zimbabwe people. How can one condemn colonialist on one hand and yet on another hero worship structures and results that go beyond colonial emulation and create insatiable love to stay in power for ever. The image for the young generation on the continent is marred signs of incomplete tasks from immature overgrown babies. Africa need to urgently revise her stand or we face numerous uprisings just as we witness in many Arab nations today.
The group of young mercenaries, inducted so by African leadership in order to protect their leadership rot, is impervious to change and loves comfort without paying any prize for it. The African leadership have sacrificed the common peoples making them fodder for their long stay in power. While the mercenary group has risen to the occasion protecting the petite bourgeoisie for fear of losing their huge gains of being slightly better than the common person.
Listening in the corridors of power, to the SDAC or AU jovial times among leaders, one hears some of the worst morass from a people who regard very little of the plight of the common person. Sometimes one is left with a unique feeling that these guys have surely forgotten common people’s plight except when they connect it to some threat directed on one of them. It is tragic that the ordinary people themselves do not have anyone who stands for them in the circumstances. Zimbabwe may have come from thirty three years back but it shall not go that far again without significant and sharp contradictions setting masses free.
Robert Mugabe, for example, highlighted the fact that he is emotionally unstable and, like a baby, has great fears of threats and would do anything until he has control. His apology to both Zuma and Lindiwe (Zuma’s advisor) during recent (17 August 2013) SADC meeting is indicative of how protective a club the African Union and all her sub regional committees are for African leaders irrespective of irregularities committed on governance or during conducting of the elections.
What then is the difference between Africa, China and Russia and the west? Political maturity to accept that others can present stronger arguments to convince the electorate and win. Failure to see others as equals but to believe in self as the best even in worst of circumstances. Leadership changes come through natural wastage or repeat of same personality than through and election. Regrettably African leadership fights her own people through pretext of blaming the west for all her political deficiencies.
Zimbabwe Diaspora has to study this African condition and work towards a Zimbabwe for all irrespective of race, tribe, religion or political party affiliation. We know home people are waiting: Since some are still on mountain tops afraid of Zanu hooligans who come at midnight to burn them in their homes. Thank you all those who stood by the oppressed masses and displaced Diasporas, and who have remained strong against rigging of elections in 2013.Thank you Botswana, out of the whole fifty-four nations, for unwaveringly standing with the dying masses in Zimbabwe. Africa has once again let down the down trodden masses. We recall with pain how leaders like Ian Khama and people of Botswana, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania defied Africa and pushed out Ugandan dictator. We cherish these moments and we will remember them for Zimbabwe masses in the time of need.