Tuesday, July 30, 2013

(SUNDAY MAIL ZW) Ngozi and Obama’s mission to Africa
Saturday, 13 July 2013 16:17

My July 7 2013 instalment suggested that the purpose of US President Barack Obama’s visit to Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania in late June 2013 was to try to tie together Euro-American economic interests threatened by Chinese, Russian and Indian initiatives across Africa. Zimbabwe (especially because of its impending 2013 elections) was an important target. But Obama in 2013, like George W. Bush in 2002, could not tackle Zimbabwe directly. Zimbabwe had to be approached in terms of what might be called the Anglo-Saxon objectives of “Sadc integration,” as opposed to the Pan-African understanding of the same.

From a Pan-African point of view, Sadc integration means the reclamation, transformation and unification of Sadc, based on the indigenous aspirations and interests of the majority of the people who have been marginalised by apartheid and settlerism since the 1870s in South Africa and since the 1920s in Zimbabwe, for instance. Sadc regional integration from a Pan-African perspective means using the liberation aspirations of the majority in the 14 Sadc states to drive economic transformation, asset reclamation, ownership and control. This vision is best articulated in Zimbabwe and it is a major factor in the 2013 elections. China, Russia and India are welcome in this scenario because they are seen as respectful of this vision. The opposite imperial objectives of the Anglo-Saxon powers can best be explained by an EU document called “Towards an EU-South Africa Strategic Partnership.” There are similar documents on the US-South Africa partnership as well.

For the European Union and the United States the approach to Southern Africa was expressed by US Ambassador to Tanzania Robert Royall in 2003. This is Professor Issa Shivji’s account of that approach.

“Addressing the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee of my country, US Ambassador Robert Royall commended Tanzania for the change in its foreign policy from one based on principles of African Freedom and African Unity to one based on economic diplomacy.

The liberation diplomacy of the past, when alliances with socialist nations were paramount and so-called Third World Solidarity dominated foreign policy, must give way to a more realistic approach to dealing with your true friends - those who are working to lift you into the twenty-first century, where poverty is not acceptable and diseases must be conquered.”

Professor Shivji gave this account in a paper significantly called “The rise, the fall, and the insurrection of nationalism in Africa.” That nationalism is what Bush, Obama, Blair and David Cameron have come to Southern Africa to exorcise.

Focusing more on South Africa and Zimbabwe the Euro-American or Anglo-Saxon agenda which brought Barack Obama here after Bush and Blair is based on the following assumptions:

* That the historical solidarity of African liberation movements with India, Russia, China and Latin America should not be allowed to transform itself into meaningful economic co-operation on a new footing which is mutually beneficial. This was Robert Royall’s message in 2003. This was MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s message on July 7 2013 in Marondera when he told Madzimbahwe to vote MDC because it has rich Western friends who will now bring beneficial investments which they have never been able to bring to this region since 1870!

* That the (crime) ngozi of the white settler and that of his Euro-American cousins and supporters was permanently wiped away when former South African President FW de Klerk and his former prisoner (also former President) Nelson Mandela jointly received the Nobel Peace Prize on the same white platform.

* That the joint Nobel Peace Prize for Mandela and de Klerk, just like the Nobel Peace Prize which the EU gave itself in 2012 despite Nato aggression everywhere, should now remain the permanent emblem for post-nationalist and post-racial politics which Obama preaches. Such an image or emblem should be capable of wiping out from the native mind the ongoing Euro-American atrocities in Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Guantanamo, and Iraq (Abu-Graib). The capacity of that post-national and post-racial myth to wipe out even the ongoing and evolving atrocities of the West is what enabled Obama to fake a stricken conscience at Robben Island, thinking that the world was no longer awake to or aware of the live concentration camp on Cuba’s stolen soil at Guantanamo Bay. Obama is also a recent recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize despite his murderous record.

* That once the white empire’s ngozi in apartheid, in Portuguese fascism and in Rhodesian UDI was wiped away through bogus awards - then the white business class of South Africa (with Euro-American assistance) would heroically co-opt African political and business elites and march together into the rest of Africa, recreating and fulfilling for imperialism what PW Botha once called the constellation of states around the new South Africa and against the Russian, Chinese and Indian initiatives. This renewed constellation of states would then be able to support and mould the MDC formations into a grand coalition which would defeat the liberation movement in Zanu-PF in Zimbabwe and install a post-racial and post-national capitalist system which would then reverse Zimbabwe’s land revolution, stop economic indigenisation and scuttle African majority empowerment.

* That the infusion of Euro-American capital, media and culture into the region would mould a new post-racial and post-national political economy: with the new Constitution of Zimbabwe incorporating many features from the rainbow constitution of South Africa; with Ian Khama of Botswana, the MDC formations and some elements in the ANC of South Africa declaring that Sadc is no longer the frontline states or that we are no longer in the bush war; with gay policies being promoted through new media and constitutional provisions; and with Rhodesian whites, Anglo-South African whites and Boers melting into one neoliberal bloc; and with some “new” African leaders in the region helping to condemn the Zimbabwe revolution in the hope that their own people won’t notice the real difference that Third Chimurenga has made in the lives of Madzimbahwe. That was the imperialist dream driving the Obama mission; and it was a tall order!

Obama, Ian Khama, the MDCs and Ngozi

Ngozi as an African philosophical concept concerns protection of the human bloodline, the protection of inheritance, of heritage, dignity and memory against imperialist terror by forgetting. Ngozi is the antithesis of amnesia.

Colonialism, apartheid and slavery produced generations of Africans who could no longer bequeath any meaningful material inheritance to their children and children’s children. Without land, without an economy to bequeath, African elders also found themselves with little memory to bequeath.

The African liberation movement in Zimbabwe is the first in our time to craft and enforce a deliberate policy to reverse that colonial reality by empowering a whole race of mothers and fathers so that they can again possess land and other resources to bequeath to their children and children’s children. It is scary to reverse a white racist practice dating back more than 300 years. Even more scary is the long memory which that Third Chimurenga is going to bequeath to the region and continent.

That is why all the children of terror by forgetting, all the children of white amnesia, all the modern-day Oedipus characters, would want to destroy, to wipe out, this African liberation movement and its long and deep memory, because it reminds them of a great crime that won’t go away, a crime which even digital lights cannot remove unless it is requited in terms of unhu.

But who are these children of terror by forgetting? Obama is one. Ian Khama is another. There are many.

Ian Khama spoke at the Maputo Sadc summit in June 2013 about the need to remove the liberation war heroes from our security sector and from Zimbabwe’s public life because we are no longer in the bush war which ended 34 years ago: But as he was speaking in Maputo, Mozambique, as Sadc was being influenced by the Rhodies and the white West to see Zimbabwe as a country in crisis because of its proud and living war heroes - Alfonso Dhlakama’s Mozambican Resistance Army (Renamo) was moving back into the bush, attacking military bases and armouries and stealing weapons, ambushing soldiers and civilians and blocking some transport corridors vital for Mozambique’s and Sadc’s economic revival. And who had helped to stop Renamo in 1991-1992? It was the very same proud and living war heroes of Zimbabwe which Ian Khama condemned as stuck in the stone age! Imperialist terror by forgetting is on the rampage via sponsored media.

NewsDay for June 17 2013 made the Khama remark a front page story: “Generals under Sadc fire” which headline went way overboard by making the remark appear to be a Sadc summit position. The paper went on to say:

“Sources revealed that Botswana’s President Ian Khama … was taken aback by the statement from securocrats that they would not salute anyone without liberation war credentials. ‘Khama asked why people were still talking about a bush war that ended 33 years ago’. He pointed out that when the liberation war was fought it was not against the MDCs…”

Yet that was precisely the generals’ point. First, Zimbabwe’s war vets are not opposed to all those who were not in the war for not being in the war. They have said they will not salute any traitor.

That is all. Secondly the MDCs hate liberation war heroes precisely for defeating UDI and apartheid. They do so on behalf of white settlers and their Anglo-Saxon sponsors whom they asked for illegal sanctions to be imposed upon the entire population of Zimbabwe. Now, that MDC posture means far more than not having fought in the war of liberation.

The same can be said about the spectacle at Rudhaka Stadium in Marondera on July 7 2013, where the MDC (a whole conference dressed in red) displayed its Youth Assembly leader Solomon Madzore and cheered him as he attacked and insulted not only the proud and living liberation heroes of Zimbabwe but also their mothers and grandmothers in a manner far worse than what Ian Khama had said in Maputo on June 16 2013.

Madzore is a classic case of the validity and effectiveness of ngozi. He raved about shedding blood while dressed in red in a conference where everyone was dressed in red. Yet he is out on bail on allegations of the brutal murder of Zimbabwe Republic Police Inspector Petros Mutedza.

He feels compelled to attack Zimbabwe’s liberation war heroes and their mothers precisely because our heroes came home and feel at home even after shedding blood in a war which was justified in terms of the ngozi concept. Madzore does not feel at home and accepted during or after what the MDC wants to elevate and legitimise as a struggle brought only through rhetoric to the same level as the Second Chimurenga. His own soul is not convinced that what the MDCs have done is equal to the Second Chimurenga.

Even the crowd at Rudhaka was not convinced. That is why MDC spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora is still rationalising the Madzore spectacle and rhetoric ad-nauseam. Ngozi is powerful, more powerful than all the judges and laws based on a Euro-centric constitution.

Madzore dressed in red, in a conference all dressed in red. Do MDC leaders know what red means in African symbolism?

Let me provide the reader with a picture of the situation in which a person believes he is free, innocent, uninvolved, clean and removed from ngozi when he is not.

The following passage depicts Oedipus, after he murdered his own father without knowing that Lauis was indeed his father and after Apollo said that all the murderers of Lauis should be identified and banished from the city of Thebes in order for the plague and famine to stop:

Creon: May I tell you what I heard from the god? Drive out and not leave uncured a pollution (crime) we have nourished in our land.
Oedipus: How?
Creon: Banish the killer or killers or have them executed.
Oedipus: Who was the victim of murder whom the god has revealed?
Creon: Lauis, my Lord, who used to rule this state
Oedipus: I know him by hearsay, but I never met him.
Where are they (his murderers) on this earth?
Creon: They are in this land, said Apollo.
Oedipus: Did Laius fall (die) at home on this bloody end or in the fields or in some foreign land? ... Was there no messenger, no fellow wayfarer who saw, from whom an inquirer might get aid?
Creon: They (those who were there) are all dead, save one, who fled in fear and he knows only one thing sure to tell.
Oedipus: What is that?
Further on, the murderer of his own father swears in front of the entire city to become the avenger, to become the human rights crusader, to become the equivalent of ICC against Laius’s murderers.
Oedipus: Not for the sake of some distant friend but for myself, I will uncover this evil. Whoever it was who killed the man (Laius), with the same hand may wish to do vengeance on me and so avenging Lauis’s death I avenge myself.

At the end, the ngozi is made clear and the one leading the crusade for hunting down the guilty murderers is confirmed as the murderer of King Laius who is also his own real father!

Oedipus can crusade against the abstract murderers of an abstract King Laius by turning his own history also into an abstraction. Obama can weep at Robben Island only by turning Guantanamo, Abu Graib, his drone war victims and Libya into abstractions.

The original African concept of ngozi

The original African meaning of ngozi is a conception of the relationship between the individual soul and its bloodline and heritage.

Its main operational mode is revelation, which is to say the soul of the departed relative recruits spirit possession, memory, telepathy, extrasensory perception, intuition, guilt and the confessional against erasure, against amnesia, against lies, against false alibis, against obsolescence. Oedipus says of his own father whom he murdered in broad daylight: I know him by hearsay, but I never met him.”

What the ngozi protects against erasure, against amnesia, against disappearance, against lies, against robbery and dispossession, against false alibis, against obsolescence and against obscurity are the circumstances in which the individual died or was killed; the bloodline (blood relations) of the individual; and all the possessions of the individual (nhaka) which belong to the bloodline and are the material basis for continuing the bloodline.

The key purpose of ngozi is the continuity and continuation of the interrupted bloodline of that deceased individual, especially if he or she dies without leaving behind children.

The African concept of ngozi teaches that every human being is a soul which lives after the body is no more. This spirit communicates with living communities of its descendants or relatives.

The spirit of Nehanda is celebrated in Zimbabwe because it is the spirit of a national ancestor taking the entire colonised Zimbabwe as its lost assets and therefore coming back to Zimbabwe both in the 1890s and 1970s and finally succeeding in mobilising the youths of Zimbabwe to join the armed struggle until liberation in 1980.

When Ian Khama says 33 years ago is too far back to matter, he is turning African living law and living history into an abstraction.

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