Thursday, July 10, 2008

(TALKZIMBABWE) Talking Africa and walking West

Talking Africa and walking West
Reason Wafawarova―Opinion
Thu, 10 Jul 2008 00:00:00 +0000

THE December 2007, Lisbon EU-Africa summit might go down in history as a historic diplomatic victory for Africa in general and for Zimbabwe in particular and to many this was a moment when the African continent resolutely stood in defiance of the now notorious political benchmarks forced down the throats of world leaders by Washington and London.

While many in the political and planning circles of the Zanu PF government are looking at Lisbon as a diplomatic score against what was clearly an act of arrogance based on prejudiced supremacy by Gordon Brown; the West seems to have learnt their lessons from the bitter experience very well and they are using the experience to their benefit in the unjust war for regime change in Zimbabwe.

Lisbon clearly showed the US and Britain that Africa did not identify with their political project in Zimbabwe – a project politically trading as the Movement for Democratic Change. Rather, Africa sent a clear message to the West that they were far from being used against one of their own.

The MDC, particularly the faction led by Morgan Tsvangirai, did all in its power to make sure that Zimbabwe was excluded from the Summit, but all efforts were rendered absolutely useless when Africa rested the case by declaring that an EU-Africa summit without Zimbabwe was not a subject for negotiation at all – that way delivering the unequivocal message that Africa was not going to be dictated to by Western powers.

The beginning of 2008 was a somewhat turning point for the MDC’s foreign policy. The pugnacious Morgan Tsvangirai started to shift from his inimical attitude towards African states and even began a tour of African countries.

Many people were taken by surprise when even the jarring Nelson Chamisa suddenly stopped calling Sadc a club of dictators and started talking of “our allies” within Sadc. The MDC language shifted from the “international community” euphemism to the “regional community” slant.

The grating attitude by the MDC towards the African Union has suddenly toned down and to many the MDC appears like a party that has suddenly found its Damascus path of the African light.

The pre and post-March election period showed a Morgan Tsvangirai with a newly found vision of touring homeland Africa ahead of his favourite Western capitals. He even had the luxury to stage manage exiled life in neighbouring Botswana and South Africa for the whole of April and the better part of May this year. It had to take a James McGee visit and instruction to get Morgan Tsvangirai out of Thabo Mbeki’s South Africa as the June 27 run off was fast approaching with Tsvangirai busy pretending to be running away from illusional assassins.

The MDC masquerade has obviously drawn favour from a few African leaders who have either confused the posturing for African patriotism or are only too aware of the game at play and are just too keen to prop up the MDC party as a bona fide African political outfit.

That the MDC-T is an organization run from London is not news to anyone who has an iota of value for objectivity. It takes no quantum physics to know that Morgan Tsvangirai is a lapdog politician whose keenness for Western instruction easily beats the obedience of any award-winning foot soldier.

The well-obeyed sojourn in Botswana and South Africa after the March 29 election was one classical case of how Tsvangirai ranks as a top class neo-colonial puppet.

Who in his right mind would ever flee from an election victory, only to come back to take yet a second go at another election run against the same monster from whose defeat one escaped in the first place?

If President Mugabe was so keen to have Tsvangirai killed for “winning” the first round of elections, what sense did it make for Tsvangirai to bring back his hunted life for another election run, especially when he was convinced that another win would just get the purported assassins a lot angrier?

In typical lapdog politics style, Tsvangirai friskily packed his bags for Zimbabwe from South Africa ‘at the instruction of US ambassador’; James McGee and he made his followers believe that he had decided against “abandoning the victorious masses”.

When Tsvangirai went on his campaign trail in June, he obviously noticed the political ground upon which he was treading was now way different from the last episode where he had gone around saying “Gwendo guno hazvikoni”, literally meaning “This time we cannot fail”. Now it was more of “Gwendo guno zvazogozha”, and that is Shona for “This time the going is really tough.”

Initially Morgan Tsvangirai was this reductionist simple minded politician who reckoned that a 47.9% vote simply meant getting another 2.2% vote in order to win the second round of elections. With this mentality, Morgan Tsvangirai boldly shrugged off suggestions for a postponement of the run off election arguing that no one had the power to cancel the election at law.

He even declared that no amount of intimidation or violence would reverse his “pending” victory. And that was exactly three days before he announced that he was pulling out of the race on account that he did not see himself winning the election, this time because some amount of “intimidation and violence” had actually pre-determined the election result. In other words an election whose result was irreversible regardless of whatever amount of intimidation and violence on a Thursday was suddenly not winnable on the Sunday.

Well, whoever does Tsvangirai’s thinking was obviously sleeping on duty on the Thursday, the 19th and they realised that their horse was going to run a losing race on the 27th of June, prompting them to instruct the ever obedient Tsvangirai to resile from a process he himself had rightly said was irreversible at law.

The BBC repeatedly reported that Morgan Tsvangirai was lobbying the African community for support in his efforts to oust President Mugabe. The lobby saw Tendai Biti visiting some of the most suspicious Africa destinations one can ever imagine.

Any peace-loving citizen of any African country would develop goose pimples if they heard that one of their politicians was lobbying Rwanda and the post-January 2008 Kenya for some form of political support. This writer felt the same with the Biti adventures in East Africa.

The MDC has been told to talk Africa and to keep walking West in order for the West to divide Africa on the one hand and to provide cover and legitimacy for some of their traditional client regimes in Africa.

There are some African countries that simply could not come open in support of the MDC because of Morgan Tsvangirai’s open disdain for Africa in the past nine years. Tsvangirai has recklessly called African leaders “dictators” in the past and he has also done very little by way of synergies with African countries until his recent instructions to do so.

It is this recent posturing as a willing fellow African ally that has provided some of the traditional Western client states like Nigeria and Kenya the platform and cover they need to help their masters’ attack on Zimbabwe.

Nigeria held a real sham election in 2007 and they even admitted openly to that fact. Kenya followed suit in December 2007 and they capped their sham election where the average voter turn out was well over 100% with the massacring of 1 500 innocent souls in post election violence. Now the BBC tells us that this was only “ethnic clashes”, otherwise the election was fine.

Kenya got independence on British terms and Jomo Kenyatta was the West’s point man during the Cold War era. He even was Britain’s biggest arms trading partner in Africa, earning visits from the likes of the US’s Henry Kissinger.

Nigeria did not only get its independence on British terms but actually refused independence ahead of Ghana arguing that they were not ready to govern themselves. When they finally agreed to take up independence, Nigeria was ruled by a succession of military strongmen who still take turns to run the country up to this day. That is not a problem in the least to the most democratic and civilised West who see a lot of democracy in Shell’s free reign over the oil resource of Nigeria.

Ken Saro Wiwa was publicly hanged by these Generals who happen to be Western darlings for questioning the dealings of Shell in Nigeria and no one even mentioned the word sanction when this was happening.

Now we are told the former British protectorate of Botswana is way dismayed by the way Tsvangirai has been politically treated in Zimbabwe, and so is the post Kaunda Zambia.

The question is not why these countries are not happy with what is happening in Zimbabwe but on whose behalf they are this angry.

Surely Nigeria’s Yar Dua does not believe that his election to office was anywhere near an example of democracy. It is a joke to imagine that Raila Odinga believes that what happened in Kenya in January this year has something to do with the topic of democracy. Of course Odinga pretends to see in Zimbabwe what he was blind to in his own Kenya.

Yes someone from Africa must speak out against Mugabe for the West and the untainted Thabo Mbeki is just but refusing to do the Western bidding. In this scenario it is just as good to spruce up the dirty fellows and get them to do the job.

Credit must be given to Botswana for political stability and a relatively sound democratic system but the timing of their concerns over Zimbabwe still raises a lot of eyebrows.

As for Zambia, everyone is well too aware of what election time means for our northern neighbours. It is good to appeal to neighbourhood as a form of authority as long as there is a moral ground upon which such an appeal is mounted.

Now Morgan Tsvangirai calls for talks with President Robert Mugabe and does a somersault right in the face of the negotiator who is understood to have come at his instigation.

Tsvangirai’s string puller is fast becoming too clever by half. Everyone can now see that Morgan Tsvangirai long stopped thinking for himself, if he ever did in the first place.

Now that the Western juggernaut has activated its African machinery, it is time for vigilance on the part of the children of Zimbabwe. History has shown that the West has no slightest worry over stirring up turmoil and instability in Africa.

They are responsible for whatever Jonasi Savimbi did to Angola, for all the atrocities that Alfonso Dhlakama did to Mozambique and for what Paul Kagame did to Rwanda, yes including the gunning down of a democratically elected Head of State.

This is the Kagame who is shocked by a voting process he says he cannot understand. Surely a killer of a sitting President cannot understand the idea of an election.

This writer is not writing this piece in defence of ZANU PF or the government of Zimbabwe. Neither is this piece blind to the misery caused by the violence that preceded the run off election. Those who engaged in any form of violence are petulant hoodlums whose behaviour is not only deplorable but also highly instrumental to those who wish to prove that Africa still lives in the dark ages.

Arrests and trials for those who have perpetrated violence on fellow countrymen must not stop with the announcement of the election result. It is incumbent upon Zimbabwean authorities to ensure that everyone who took part in any form of violence from whichever political side is brought to book. This must not be too difficult.

However, it is best that this process of healing be part of the proposed talks so that the country can forge its way forward on a solid footing.

This writer proposes that the talks must address this issue of stability; the lifting of all forms of sanctions, with the MDC-T coming open against sanctions and of course the talks must address issues of power sharing. This is good for our nation.

Zimbabwe we are one. Together we will overcome. It’s homeland or death!

Reason Wafawarova

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