Black masks, white skins
IRARELY write anything about the opposition MDC-T these days. There is nothing to say. It’s largely been captured and surrendered its fate to Nera and demonstrations. I rarely read its spokesman Obert Gutu (pictured right). I don’t think he can help his party where the private media have exhausted themselves with fruitless exertion.
But don’t they say curiosity killed the cat! I saw an article in Newsday yesterday titled “Rebrand Africa as continent of hope, development, vibrancy”. It was written by none other than Obert Gutu himself. In “his personal capacity”. And I was curious.
In that article, one needs only to take out the usual Western-inspired rant about power retention and a predatory state political repression. What emerges is what Gutu calls the “new African” required to spearhead Mbeki’s African Renaissance.
After pointing out the pervasive Afro-pessimism in Western media reportage on Africa, Gutu asks, “On our part, what have we done as Africans to rebrand our continent? To paint a picture of hope where there is despair, to portray an image of unity and joy where there is human suffering, war and disease? The future of Africa is in our hands.”
I don’t know if this epiphany has anything to do with Donald Trump’s victory in the US election and an emerging inward looking America, a realisation that there won’t be a Libyan-style “salvation” in Zimbabwe led by America, that Zimbabwe is for Zimbabweans and that its us who should determine the destiny of our country, not outsiders, not ZDERA or IMF.
I, therefore, couldn’t resist the temptation to compliment Gutu. He must have been reading some good literature on self-interest and how every nation strives to put its own interests first and take advantage of those who want outside help.
To me the problem of Africa’s lack of development or its regression during independence is not entirely one of leadership. There are instances, true. But much of the blame goes to coloniality, the damaging kind of education we received and continue to indulge. Our leaders were too late to realise we were being educated to become slaves wearing suits and neckties in a very hot continent. The purpose of our education was to reproduce black whitemen in aspirations and tastes and to shun everything African, starting with our “uneducated” mothers and mother tongue. We have been educated to glamourise everything European and to believe only European prescriptions can move our continent or countries forward.
Gutu’s party, the MDC-T is a classic example. I don’t need to repeat who formed and funded it for what objectives. It is a public scandal. Suffice to say that party has remained faithful to its founding agenda — oppose the land reform and fight to make Zimbabwe a little England for Europe. It has not deviated from that path of treachery, which might explain why Gutu is writing “in his personal capacity” when he should be speaking for his party.
Africa’s tragedy therefore lies in the slave mind of its educated class, the ultimate warriors in treachery and imitation. Zimbabweans are in demand the world over not because of innovativeness but because they are good servants who will not serve or save their own nation.
The people who championed the cause of African independence from the 1950s were more African than the beneficiaries of those sacrifices. They faced more odds than we do. But they were prepared to be pioneers, to explore uncharted paths.
Those born into free Africa live in Hollywood via remote control. When they get out of the house they are shocked by the reality of their surroundings. They are ashamed. The next thing they want is a plane ticket to run away from a reality they should help to transform.
To answer Gutu in an oblique manner, the issue is not about cheap rebranding of the African continent — giving the continent a cheap lick of paint. The issue is about the educated African finding himself, forsaking the illusion that the same Europe which underdeveloped Africa can be the instrument of its regeneration and development today. The rebranding should begin with his party re-examining the reasons for its being. Its mission and agenda.
Whose cause has the MDC-T been fighting for the past 17 years? Who has been funding it, for whose benefit? Put simply, why has or is the MDC-T opposed to land redistribution to poor blacks? Why is the MDC-T opposed to black economic empowerment programmes? Why is the MDC-T working in league with those opposed to Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 which in less than six months of implementation has seen capacity utilisation in some industries rising to 64 percent and 100 percent in others? Why is the MDCT, as the official opposition, working in cahoots with those against the introduction of bond notes to ease cash shortages for the poor?
Today the MDC-T is part of Nera. What is the amount of local content in its demands? Why has Nera never organised a demonstration against sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe or just ZDERA? But are always ready to demonstrate against everything that seeks to restore the dignity of the Africa.
These are important questions to the rebranding of the African continent. Until the educated and alienated African finds himself, the masses of the African people with no resources to escape to Europe will continue to suffer. (Incidentally, that might be just one big positive about Trump: every one back to their native land.)
Every day media waste space writing stories of petty corruption yet the truth is that the biggest corruption in Africa is perpetrated by the educated African in aid of multinational corporations through tax evasion, under-invoicing of exports and misprision. Illicit financial outflows from Africa are estimated at $50 billion annually. Opposition parties then go begging for assistance to remove legitimate but inconvenient governments on the continent, and celebrate when they are given a paltry $200 000 change from the billions looted through the pen by our educated Africans.
Gutu and his party must acknowledge that they were or are still being used. The MDC-T was formed to set Africans in Zimbabwe against each other. From 1999 this nation has never known peace.
Europe never runs out of phoney causes for Africans to fight each other. Few countries in Europe, let alone Africa, could be described as developed as Libya in 2011. Then our educated Africans were told by Europe you don’t need development. You need democracy. They have it aplenty now, to kill each other.
The same result was intended for Zimbabwe. We are in this mess because we are fighting each other for a cause that is not ours, a cause that undermines the whole idea of an African Renaissance. If we were united, outsiders would listen to us, respect us. We are not, and are good at mocking ourselves, clowning at our own expense for the pleasure of those who remind us daily that we are not human beings.
There are many sickening jokes about Zim-Asset. Yet that should be a blueprint for any political party which wants to develop the country.
When President Mugabe talks about the need for beneficiation and value-addition to our resources, this is met with sneers. When he says companies must indigenise, he is accused of chasing away “investors”. When Zanu-PF says we require a new school curriculum which will inculcate in our children the spirit of the “new African”, it is accused of indoctrination. We prefer our white slave education where our children are more acceptable as servants abroad because they are not equipped to produce anything at home. If the white master says it can’t then it can’t be good for the new African. So, Africa’s opposition parties need to rebrand their politics. Africa is tired of the politics of treachery.
No Mr Gutu, the rebranding Africa needs is more than “painting”. We need exorcism and a new brain to fully appreciate that our people must own and benefit from their resources. On this political parties must speak with one voice. Together let’s fight American and European brand of democracy which thrives on looting the resources of our continent.
Despite clever adaptation, black mudfish are particularly vulnerable to habitat loss, pest fish and water quality decline. They become an easy catch during the rainy season. Ms Sehlile Ncube shows off two mudfish weighing almost 3kg each that she bought for a dollar each at a dam in Mbembesi recently (Picture by Eliah Saushoma)