Of protests, puppets and parochialism
NEO-COLONIALISM has and continues to be a stealthy yet salient cancer on the African and in particular, the Zimbabwean political landscape. The West’s mantra of the ineptitude of African governments as the cause for the continent’s continued unrest has for decades been used to mask colonial pretence. As a result, Africa’s politics and governance is being subjected to global power matrices.
Even after 36 years of self-rule in the country, the West still finds it a bitter pill to swallow that it no longer has direct control of the nation’s economic, social and political happenings.
Recent revelations by the Government of the French and American embassies’ covert involvement in the failed “protests” and “stay-aways” is yet another telling sign of the West’s divisive and disdainful attitude towards attempts being made by the ruling party to bring economic empowerment to the Zimbabwean majority.
This has led Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Cde George Charamba to aptly advise the French and Americans to sort out their own mess as the two countries have been rocked by racial chaos and citizen unrest.
Glaring examples include the on-going #BlackLivesMatter campaign against America’s wanton violation of human rights due to police brutality as well as a series of terrorist attacks plaguing France.
It is thus not surprising at all that political puppets like Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T and Joice Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People’s First (ZimPF), which masquerade as opposition parties, have in the midst of confusion emerged from the ashes in a futile attempt at regaining political relevance, to “demonstrate” their neo-colonialist mandate as home-based agents of regime change.
The West has been dangling its capitalist carrot to African states while riding on opposition parties like one rides on a donkey in a stubborn bid to perpetuate its endeavours to suck Africa dry of its resources.
In Zimbabwe, however, the crushing defeat of the MDCs in the 2013 harmonised elections effectively heralded the end of an era for opposition parties in the country as the West has substantially reduced donor-funding after a fruitless 13-year regime change mission.
Neo-colonialism has recently been seeping into the Zimbabwean political landscape yet again through pseudocitizen innuendos now being fronted by yet another political puppet in the form of “Pastor” Evan Mawarire. It is a sad tale that Mawarire’s theatrics have unfortunately waylaid misguided and disgruntled Zimbabweans — mostly diasporans — through social media.
It must be noted that in as much as his emotional #ThisFlag plea has managed to convince some, his plea unfortunately begins and ends with emotion and euphoria but does not appeal to logic.
Just like Tsvangirai’s bootlicking spree of the West before him, who at the height of his political frenzy went globetrotting singing his regime-change song to please his Western sponsors, Mawarire has been gallivanting and finally found his 15 seconds of “fame” on anti-Zimbabwean news stations like Sky News.
Mawarire’s gimmicks have exposed yet again how the West’s hypocrisy and desperation for regime change knows no bounds as it is pulling the strings behind a man who even up to now has failed to provide alternative solutions for ordinary Zimbabweans’ problems through transformative dialogue.
With the advent of globalisation and particularly through social media, neo-colonialism has become much more sophisticated.
However, as much as things change, the more they stay the same and a look into the French and British policies of “assimilation” and “divide and conquer” respectively during the colonial era the more they give insight into the rationale of parochial political puppets and false prophets like Morgan Tsvangirai, Mawarire and Joice Mujuru and how they are being corrupted by the West’s imperial and self-serving nature.
A sad trait about political puppets is that they are unable to formulate any sound solutions to the country’s problems because they suffer from an ideological void as they look up to their colonial masters for guidance, like a child does to a parent.
Joice Mujuru, in her party’s first rally in Bulawayo exposed her inadequacies as a politician through her “begging bowl” mentality as she promised her flock that she would re-establish ties with the West.
This is despite the fact that the West itself is fretting over its own political and socioeconomic future due to its failed capitalist system. On the other hand, the ruling party has made strides in negotiating Zimbabwe’s debt management strategy as evidenced by France’s acceptance of the strategy last year in the International Monetary Fund meeting in Lima, Peru, including France’s continued support for re-engagement with the IMF.
Mujuru showcased her lack of tact and her regressive political nature because it is difficult to negotiate a good deal for your people when using a “begging bowl” mentality unless she indeed plans on simply assimilating the West’s political and socio-economic dogma. In Tsvangirai, groomed from his “activist” days as a trade unionist; we have a man who has matured from his puppy days to a full-grown puppet. And true to his nature, he has showcased the British colonial policy of divide and conquer by emerging from the doldrums of politics by joining Mawarire’s divisive antics. Tsvangirai is much like the “man of the cloth” as he and Mawarire are cut from the same tattered Western political cloth. The MDC is a spent force politically because of its divisive and confused grooming. This has led to its own demise as evidenced by its ideological colourblocking with motley formations of MDC “red”, “green” and “orange”. Zimbabweans must then ask themselves one important question. If a party cannot agree with itself to the extent of implosion, how then can it unite a people? Perhaps the MDCs with all its colours belongs in a British museum. The West has for decades covertly caused fissures within African politics and African people by exploiting tribal differences which have manifested into the African story being that of civil war and genocide. Thus it can be noted that Zimbabweans must be wary of characters like Mawarire and must ask themselves why he chose to cry on British television and not back home with ordinary Zimbabweans who are feeling the pinch of sanctions imposed by Britain along with its allies.
The sanctions on Zimbabwe were meant to do exactly as Mawarire is preaching. And just like what his #ShutdownZimbabwe campaign is advocating for, sanctions have and continue to be causing the shutdown of the country’s industries.
Libya and Iraq are also clear examples of how the West has been arm-twisting international bodies like the International Criminal Court (ICC) into colluding with their imperial ambitions of exploiting oil-rich states under the guise of humanitarian invasions against “dictators”.
It is a great travesty that any political system outside the confines of the West’s hypocritical understanding of politics and democracy is labelled as a dictatorship.
As a fate would have it, the much awaited Chilcot report has recently exposed the old British administration of Tony Blair of its exploitative nature as the findings on the war on Iraq reveal a mere ploy to syphon the Iraqi people of their oil resourses.
If there is one characteristic of great statesmen whose primary mandate is to bring real and sustained development to their people, the land as a primary source of wealth becomes the statesmen’s parties’ founding principle.
That is why despite their differences, his Excellency, President Robert Mugabe and Father Zimbabwe, the late Joshua Nkomo amalgamated Zanu-PF and Zapu in the 1987 Unity Accord for the benefit of all Zimbabweans, not the West.
Despite these disappointing examples of the West’s political hypocrisy, political irony continues to smile on African and Zimbabwean politics alike.
Like a ray of sunlight after the short and dark storm of “protests” and “stay-aways”, true African leaders like President Mugabe convened for the 27th Ordinary Session of the African Union General Assembly in Rwanda where continental leaders discussed the full integration of a Free Trade Area and the electronic African Union passport in a bid to pave a brighter future for Africans across the continent.
The West should take lessons in collaboration and respecting the sanctity of human life from the summit which ran under the theme “2016: Year of Human Rights with a particular focus on the Rights of Women”.
Mpumelelo Thembelani Nyoni is an independent researcher and a Midlands State University English and Communication graduate. The writer can be contacted on Cell: 0776 707 315, e-mail: Mpume.nyoni04@gmail. com.
Cde George Charamba