Zimbabwe: Remain Resolute
Posted: Tuesday, September 16, 2008
By Talib Ray in PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago
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CONGRATULATIONS to Zimbabweans on the occasion of the signing of a power-sharing deal between your three main political parties. My sincere thanks go to President Mugabe for his dedication and gallant efforts in keeping the fires of the struggle for total liberation and justice burning. President Mugabe is an inspiration and a hero to all objective-minded, self-proclaimed Pan-Africanists like me.
I was born in a country where the very foundation of existence was built on slavery. It was a system of slavery unprecedented in the history of mankind for its brutal, uncivilised and barbaric nature.
Yet despite the barbarism, despite the travesty of justice and despite the historical reality of such a despicable existence of human character, the cries for justice and calls for a higher level of human consciousness are still primarily met with outrage and defined as militant and unacceptable behaviour by the very perpetrators of the injustice.
Such injustices committed against the people of African ancestry are global in their relationship. The atrocities committed during the epoch of the slave trade in the Americas have a direct relationship with the atrocities and crimes against humanity committed during the colonialisation of Africa.
It was a display of human behaviour that, with the exception of walking upright, has no similarities that would describe the kind of human behaviour we might expect and think befitting that of mankind. Yet given all of the historical evidence and the world's inability to deny that such human behaviour existed, we find that the same calls for justice from the recipient of such behaviour are met with the same response.
It is a deep-rooted inflexible response by the people of European stock that still ignores their wrongdoings. More importantly, it highlights their stubborn willingness to continually try to reverse the psychology of their own actions. Those who call and act to achieve justice are labelled as racist conspirators and militants with no regard for the rule of law. It is a rule of law which has been twisted into a law of convenience, primarily serving to uphold the rights and ambitions for continued "white privilege".
In the real world, a world of reality, a world whose universal laws can be basically defined by the simple law of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you'", an injustice on the face of its existence is an injustice for all times. Injustice is not somehow corrected by the passage of time: 10, 100 or 1 000 years.
It does not go away by ignoring that it ever happened. It is corrected by transcending the level of human consciousness which caused it to happen. It is corrected not only by saying we are sorry, but also by a willingness to practically enact the character and actions that will at least make some effort towards compensation for the wrongs that were caused and committed.
While there have been many gains by those of African ancestry in the Americas, particularly in Europe and the United States, these historical injustices have a direct relationship with the causes of underdevelopment for the people of African ancestry. This is particularly so in the case of the underdevelopment that still exists on the continent of Africa.
Concerning the underdevelopment of Africa, the late Walter Rodney, an Afro-Guyanese, in his book "How Europe Underdeveloped Africa", wrote: "Mistaken interpretations of the causes of underdevelopment usually stem either from prejudiced thinking or from the error of believing that one can learn the answers by looking inside the underdeveloped economy. The true explanation lies in seeking out the relationship between Africa and certain developed countries and in recognising that it is a relationship of exploitation."
Yet today, despite the injustices inherent within the relationship between Africa and the West, there is still no attempt or apparent interest to right the wrongs that were committed. There are no concerns for the ethics of justice and its dispensation. There are only mobilisations for sanctions, political and economic alienation to frustrate any such calls or actions to obtain justice for the African people such as we witness today in Zimbabwe.
People of Zimbabwe, you should know that your struggles are a microcosm of the struggles of the African people and those of its Diaspora. I salute you for all the sacrifices you have made during these times of economic and political sanctions. I was happy to read that President Mugabe, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara have signed a power-sharing agreement.
While I might have been somewhat happy about this agreement, I believe that in the long run, such an agreement will prove to be only of superficial benefit for the people of Zimbabwe if some Zimbabweans continue to be used by Western powers, whose sole objective is to stop the redistribution of land.
Citing another passage from the book of our late brother Rodney, he wrote: "During the colonial period, the reforms of political subordination in Africa were obvious. There were governors, colonial officials, and police. In politically independent Africa states, the metropolitan capitalists have to insure favourable political decisions by remote control.
So they set up their political puppets in many parts of Africa, who shamelessly agree to compromise with the vicious apartheid regime of South Africa when their masters tell them to do so. The revolutionary writer, Frantz Fanon, has dealt scorchingly and at length with the question of the minority in Africa which serves as the transmission line between the metropolitan capitalists and the dependencies in Africa. The importance of this group cannot be underestimated. The presence of a group of African sell-outs is part of the definition of underdevelopment."
To say that I am not happy to see the brothers, President Mugabe and the now Prime Minister Tsvangirai meet, would be against the innate African spirit of forgetting and forgiving those who have committed wrongs against us.
But the time has come for us to set aside this quality of human spirit that is so readily being taken advantage of by those who consider this behaviour a sign of weakness to be exploited.
It is disheartening to see African leaders being used against their own people. It is a practice of divide and conquer that has been used continually since the beginning of the African-European relationship and continues to be effective.
It is time that the people of African ancestry realised that the controlling entities of the Western world do not have the capacity to transcend the deformed levels of human consciousness that will lead us to a mutual plane of human relationship.
So I say to the people of Zimbabwe, look ahead and thoughtfully witness what will now happen to the land reform programme. Keep in mind that the social and political settlements that you have achieved are based on the idea that the land reform programme will be halted in its tracks.
Know that this land reform programme will not be tolerated by those of European stock not only in Zimbabwe, but throughout the Western world. Know that political stability, sharing of power will not be enough to stop the wrath of economic sanctions if you decide to continue your land reform and redistribution.
Oh, people of Zimbabwe, we must begin to reunite ourselves for the common good of our people. Not for the sake of being braggarts, thinking that we are somehow superior to all others, the kind of pseudo superiority complex we have historically witnessed from so many of those of European stock. We must unite ourselves for the sake of further human development and an elevation of the human spirit whose strength and foundation can be found within the communal character of the African culture.
I have often said that the second phase of the struggle for total liberation of the African people has begun in Zimbabwe. That the Zimbabwean people have taken up the role of leadership in showing all other African countries what must be done. It would be a pity to let puppet politics derail the African struggle. The African people should be familiar with the script by now.
Make no mistake concerning the motives of the Western powers. They have no concern for how political power is to be shared within the Government of Zimbabwe. They have no concern for how long any political figure has been in Government. They have no regard for human rights abuses or civil injustices. Their only objective is a blinding parasitic selfish interest. In an effort of appeasement, Zimbabwe will be granted some level of economic stability by the Western powers.
There should be no doubt that this economic and political stability will not be without cost. The cost of this stability will most certainly be to stop the redistribution of land. And with this achievement, the West will also gain solace in knowing they have once again stopped the momentum of the struggle. Zimbabweans must never lose sight of the struggle for the redistribution of land.
Land redistribution was of vital necessity if total liberation is to be achieved.
Africa's hopes and aspirations depend now more than ever on her ability to unite. She must now begin to earnestly evaluate the pseudo-independence which is the true state of affairs of each country. The mind-set of independence will only serve those who continue to take advantage of this division, to keep Africa in an environment of continued exploitation.
The realisation of total liberation of the African continent cannot and will not be realised without unification. It is the obvious course of action to take and yet given this clear and decisive road map, her leaders are still unable to take its path. Africa must begin to unite country by country with a preamble of government that will not tolerate outside interference.
Once unification has been achieved, then she will be able to engage in the fundamentals of international law giving her the rights to achieve total nationalisation of her resources, resources which can be leveraged for the transfer of technology that has been systematically denied her. The unification of Africa will enable her to achieve mutual respect among nations of the world, with mutual relationship for mutual development.
It is not only up to the leaders and people of Zimbabwe to shoulder this responsibility of the struggle towards total liberation. It is the responsibility of all African leaders and her people.
Total liberation will once again place the destiny of Africa back into the hands of the African people. I say to the people of Zimbabwe, be consciously aware of what is happening to you at this time in the liberation struggle.
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