AFRICAN FOCUS By Tafataona Mahoso
Sunday, March 07, 2010 – sundaymail.co.zw
Despite the nominal co-optation and ascendancy of an African-American, Barrack Obama, to the presidency of the leading Anglo-Saxon power on earth, the intensity of Anglo-Saxon fear of an African revolution in 2010 is at the same level if not worse than it was in 1961 during the Congo crisis.
This is the context in which renewals of illegal US and EU sanctions against Zimbabwe must be viewed.
One indicator of that fear is the frantic search for African masks and alibis to cover up the white man even so many centuries after the slave holocaust. For instance, Anglo-Saxon crimes against the Congo (DRC) in 1960 and Zimbabwe in 2010 are comparable:
— Both have for a long time been considered too rich to be left alone; and Zimbabwe can use the Congo experience in 1960 to defend itself better in 2010.
— Both have been subjected to multiple, well-documented Anglo-Saxon crimes which require and deserve massive reparations as well as prosecutions of the living criminals for war crimes and crimes against humanity. It is these well-documented crimes together with the natural riches of the two countries which make the Anglo-Saxon powers scared and yet unable to let go. For DRC some of the crimes are as follows:
Between the end of the Berlin Conference (1884-1885) and 1908, the people of the Congo were subjected to a holocaust and to modern slavery where they were forced to produce certain quotas of rubber on pain of having their fingers, toes and arms chopped off if they failed to meet those quotas.
During the Hitler wars, Belgium was over-run by the Nazis and the Belgian state wiped out. Belgians established a government in exile in London which subsisted on looted Congolese natural resources and minerals. Re-establishment of the Belgian state after 1945 was made possible through Congolese resources. Between 1960 and 1998, the people of the Congo were subjected to successive stooge regimes sponsored by the same Western powers and intelligence agencies which destroyed the first Congolese government and revolution and murdered Congo’s popular and first prime minister Patrice Lumumba on January 17 1961. Between 1998 and 2003 the same Western powers interfered in the internal affairs of the DRC by opposing Sadc’s intervention against their proxies and Zimbabwe was particularly singled out for punishment for leading the Sadc intervention and stopping genocide against the Congolese people. In the Zimbabwe case, British settlers and companies dispossessed the people of their land and minerals for a hundred years; and when the people reclaimed that land between 1992 and 2002 they were put under illegal Anglo-Saxon sanctions which Europe and the US renewed in February and March 2010 respectively. For the people of Zimbabwe to be able to reclaim their land between 1992 and 2002, they had to wage a protracted guerilla war from 1965 to 1980 in which Europe, the US and white South Africa supported the white Rhodesian settler side.
In 1973 the Convention for the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid made it clear that the punishable crimes of apartheid were committed not only in South Africa but throughout the Southern African region and against most of the indigenous people and nations of the region by white Rhodesia, white South Africa and their Anglo-Saxon supporters who provided arms, mercenaries, trade and finance to all the white settler regimes and to their puppet regimes in the then Zaire (DRC) and to Jonas Savimbi’s Unita in Angola.
Therefore in both Zimbabwe and Congo (DRC), because of the historical realities of racism, war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of mass dispossession and looting — the Anglo-Saxon powers have always been eager to use African masks and alibis. Before Jonas Savimbi of Angola, the biggest mask for white racist interests and the biggest provider of alibis for Anglo-Saxon imperialism was Moise Tshombe, the puppet African prime minister of the white corporate breakaway province of Katanga. With the agreement of all the key Western powers, the Belgians arranged a system where Tshombe himself and all the ministers of his puppet government were controlled and run by white Belgian private secretaries. The police and military structures were also managed by white officers in the same way. The Western powers figured that all the crimes and atrocities required to destroy Lumumba’s government and reverse the small gains of the Congo National Movement (MNC) could be blamed on Tshombe and his stooge ministers, or on the African population itself, while maintaining the image of the white powers and their looting corporations as civilised, humane and well-meaning.
Coming to Zimbabwe, on Tuesday March 2 2010, the media reported that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai had finally stated bluntly that all illegal Anglo-Saxon sanctions against Zimbabwe must be lifted. This was followed by passage of a double motion in the House of Assembly praising the Prime Minister for his decision to call the illegal sanctions by their real name and asking him and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara to proceed to lobby the Anglo-Saxon powers for the complete removal of the same sanctions. These events mark a new stage in the struggle to unite the people against the illegal and racist sanctions in order to strip the Anglo-Saxon powers of the criminal mask and alibi which they have enjoyed through the MDC formations for the last 10 years. This is the moment to unite all people for Zimbabwe.
Mr Tsvangirai and MDC-T had reached a new stage indeed:
— First, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa was going to the UK to deliver two messages: that South Africa under the ANC government will never play for imperialism in Zimbabwe the same role which South Africa under apartheid played for imperialism in Rhodesia; and that it makes no sense for the Anglo-Saxon powers to retain illegal sanctions against Zimbabwe in the hope that sanctions will motivate the liberation movement in the inclusive Government to implement the so-called GPA to its fullest, since the GPA document itself requires the very same illegal sanctions to be condemned and defeated or lifted before the GPA can be considered complete. How can the same evil sanctions condemned in the GPA be considered an incentive to encourage completion of the GPA?
— Second, the demonstration against sanctions by the Zanu-PF Youth League which was followed by the music gala celebrating President Mugabe’s 86th birthday in Bulawayo on February 26 2010 helped spread the anti-sanctions campaign from the realm of political commentary and party politics to the realm of popular Pan-African culture. Having Jamaican reggae musician Sizzla Kalonji as the focus of the gala and having him condemn the sanctions on behalf of both Rastafarians and Pan-Africanists was indeed the stroke of genius which crowned all the communiqués of Sadc, AU, ACP and NAM, which had condemned the same sanctions in the last seven years!
Linked to Bob Marley’s performance of “Zimbabwe” and “Africa Unite” on April 18 1980, Kalonji’s performance against white racist sanctions in Bulawayo truly globalised the struggle to defend Zimbabwe’s sovereign independence and economic empowerment.
Popularising the defence of Zimbabwe’s sovereign independence and economic empowerment at the same level as Bob Marley’s 1980 visit increased pressure for the Anglo-Saxon powers to look for cover or for an alibi. Mr Tsvangirai, too, had to take cover because on January 19 2010, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary David Miliband sought to reinforce imperialism’s criminal mask by claiming a false alibi. He claimed that the sanctions were not hurting ordinary Zimbabweans because they had no impact on the economy. That was the alibi. But Miliband went further to say that the same illegal and racist sanctions, which supposedly did not hurt anyone, would, however, be lifted only when Tsvangirai’s MDC-T (who originally begged for them to be imposed) came out and asked the same sanctions to be lifted. The Standard, through its UK-based writer Alex Magaisa, correctly sensed danger for Mr Tsvangirai in David Miliband’s alibi and mask. In fact, he felt that Miliband should not have revealed that for the last 10 years the Anglo-Saxon powers had been using the MDC formations to create an alibi for their intrusive and illegal intervention in the internal affairs of Zimbabwe. Magaisa felt that the MDC-T as a British mask in Zimbabwe would no longer be able to perform its function once Miliband pointed to it and identified it as a British-EU mask. Magaisa’s Standard article was entitled “A case of the embarrassing uncle”.
Magaisa is worth quoting at length to demonstrate the importance of the present moment for patriots in Zimbabwe.
“It doesn’t matter that Sekuru Rameki’s (David Miliband’s) speeches may contain a grain of truth. Often he says it as it is. The trouble (for whom?) is that he knows neither the location nor the time to make his utterances . . . I was reminded of the likes of Sekuru Rameki last week when the furore broke over the statements made by British Foreign Secretary David Miliband in relation to the contentions issue of sanctions in Zimbabwe.”
It is obvious that Magaisa has painted a picture of the relationship between MDC-T and the white racist Anglo-Saxon powers which is meant to flatter MDC-T and dismiss Miliband as a drunken uncle. Yet it is significant that even Magaisa recognises or imagines that a family relationship does exist. Where in 2000 Mr Tsvangirai called the Rhodies “cousins” of the MDC formations, Magaisa says the Anglo-Saxons, represented by Miliband, are the same family as MDC-T, Miliband is the uncle of MDC-T who mis-spoke! History shows otherwise. The issue involved is more serious than a slip of the tongue. First it shows that the sanctions are illegal and racist. Therefore the people of Zimbabwe have the right to be compensated for the economic terror and damage caused. Tsvangirai cannot end by calling only for all the sanctions to go. Why must the sanctions be lifted immediately? Because they are evil and destructive. Why were they imposed in the first place? Well, to restore white Rhodesian property in land and minerals which the British stole from the African majority in 1890 and gave to their Rhodie children. So, how has the African nation been injured? Well, it has been doubly injured because it lost the use of its land and minerals for 100 years and then got 10 years of illegal and racist sanctions for reclaiming and redeeming that same stolen land!
Such serious crimes have always required alibis. When the slave holocaust against Africa came under moral attack, the Anglo-Saxon powers said they were not responsible because some African chiefs sold their people to white slave-catchers. What that was meant to hide was the fact that whites waged wars to capture African slaves.