DOES Africa have artificial human lions? If so, would you agree that President Mugabe and Hon. Malema are the true lions or warriors of Africa? If not, what would your reaction be when you hear them being described as the true lions of Africa? How best can economic justice, freedom and prosperity bee secured?
When one looks back at this month of November in this year of the Lord, 2015, it will have dawned that 50 years ago on 11 November 1965, some hustlers in the then territory named South Rhodesia, declared that henceforth they would dissolve the bonds that had connected them with the United Kingdom, the country that is currently hosting the Commander-in-Chief (CIC”) of the Economic Freedom Fighters (“EFF”), Hon. Julius Malema, who addressed the Oxford Union on Wednesday, 26 November 2015.
Hon. Malema’s title, CIC, is instructive for it certainly must have been a product of a great idea that what was about to unfold from the operation of the idea informed the formation of the EFF as a political formation in South Africa, the most diversified and developed African economy, was an imagined battle to do what the late President Mandela and others are daily accused of failing to deliver and realize.
The choice of an adversary in the imagined war as the “white monopoly capital” was not an accident but reflected the understanding of the authors of this kind of narrative of what the people of South Africa needed to do to best secure true independence and self-determination.
Hon. Malema, having been dismissed from the African National Congress, the ruling party currently led by President Zuma, assumed the role of a leader of a struggle that, in his worldview, was a continuation of the anti-apartheid struggle and, therefore, needed to be waged in the quest to reduce the frontiers of inequality, poverty and unemployment.
Indeed, Hon. Malema regards himself as a “New Lion” of Africa clothed with sufficient wisdom to attack the role played by the late Nelson Mandela, a man the world has recognised as a critical actor in building the foundation of South Africa as a constitutional democracy, as an active protagonist for a forward leaning post-apartheid state.
This month also saw President Mugabe, the current Chairperson of the African Union (“AU”), attending on behalf of the AU the G20 summit held in Antalya on 15-16 November 2015.Advertisement
President Mugabe has convinced himself, and the people around him are also convinced, that he is the Lion of Africa or the Authentic Champion of the Poor and, therefore, the mere fact that he shared the same room with the leaders of the most developed nations at the summit, elevated in the minds of his ardent followers, the political, economic and social significance of the event.
President Mugabe must have taken himself seriously to encourage the Sunday Mail to publish an opinion piece titled: “When Obama, Cameron met the real lion of Africa” http://www.sundaymail.co.zw/comment-when-obama-cameroon-met-real-lion-of-africa/ and an editorial titled: “The Real Lion of Africa is not Cecil” http://www.sundaymail.co.zw/editorial-comment-5/ to drive home a self-evident point of his perceived pioneering role and place in the African renaissance and transformation narrative.
This is an extract of what was reported in the said editorial: “It’s not every day that one finds the US President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameroon, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other little puppies from countries such as Canada, Italy and Australia in one room.”
It was predictably further boldly asserted that: “The blood-sucking imperialists were gathered in Antalya, Turkey last week for the G20 Summit and President Mugabe seized the opportunity to shove the truth down the throats of the stunned western leaders.”
In addition, it was asserted that: “Obama sat there looking straight into the eyes of President Mugabe. This disappointing brother from Kenya must have been wondering why Turkish President Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan had invited this lion of Africa to the summit.”
It is significant that this routine but important meeting of world leaders of with the Right Honourable Cameron, the British Prime Minister, is an important member of, was characterized as follows:
“British PM Cameron sat there with his big eyes dotting from one end to the other, clearly hoping that President Mugabe would not take it personal. As the lion roared, Cameroon kept on shifting in his seat as if his chair was trying to swallow him.”
Notwithstanding the fact that Zimbabwe’s economy is in the intensive care and no bigger in financial terms that a medium-sized German firm, it was also asserted in relation to the Chancellor of Germany as follows: “German Chancellor Merkel sat there fidgeting and twiddling with her artificial nails, a sign that she was not sure what to expect. As for the puppies from Canada, Italy and Australia, this was time to learn.”
The fact that in the worldview of critical state actors in Zimbabwe and perhaps a majority of African state actors, the true purpose of President Mugabe’s attendance at this august meeting was to teach, when lecturers were not called for, the leaders of the world’s leading nations is exposed by this statement: “The speech by President Mugabe was just too good and yet the honesty was too painful to swallow.”
Apart from delivering a great speech, it would appear that Africa had no business sending President Mugabe to the meeting as he could have easily delivered such a speech by video. The point that leaders meet regularly to resolve real life challenges can easily be lost to people who have no idea what the true purpose of such gatherings is all about.
Is it not ironic that the editor of the Sunday Mail, a state controlled publication, in a country that has yet to deliver the true promise of independence in a sustainable manner, had this to say: “Just the sitting arrangement was enough to unsettle the imperialists. Delegates to the summit sat in a circle formation during the main session with the G20 leaders sitting in the inner circle together with President Mugabe representing Africa and Senegalese leader Mr Macky Sall, representing Nepad. This meant Obama, Cameroon and Merkel, probably for the first time came face-to-face with President Mugabe. The lion of Africa and the imperialists were a few metres away from each other. There was no way they could avoid each other?”
The so-called imperialists are the very nation-states that President Mugabe on behalf of economically challenged Zimbabweans expects to provide financial assistance in order for the country to deliver the promise of independence. In other words, one needs the so-called enemies to move his or her agenda forward.
Hon. Malema’s message in the United Kingdom is no different from the message delivered by President Mugabe. These two lions of Africa when they look at themselves in their respective mirrors, see themselves as animals that are anointed by God to liberate the suffering masses from poverty.
It is not strange that people who regard themselves as the most lethal and strong animals in the animal kingdom are quick to expose their cowardice and inadequacies by playing the victim card. Hon. Malema blames the so-called “white monopoly capitalists” and, of late, the beneficiaries of the black economic policies and initiatives and the lack of vision of founding fathers like the late Mandela for the current economic condition that the majority of South Africans find themselves in.
I attended a meeting hosted by the Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry held in Johannesburg on Friday, 20 November 2015 at which Hon. Malema delivered the same message he delivered in the United Kingdom https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=813659382075885&id=299337980174697.
Of significance in President Mugabe’s message to the world’s most powerful men and women was what was reported in the media as follows: “The President underscored the fact that Africa was well endowed with natural resources but it had suffered under colonialism where Africa’s resources were siphoned mainly to Europe.”
It would have escaped the drafters of President Mugabe’s speech that the resources in question were created and endowed by the same creator who must also have created all humans in their diversity to allow anyone to claim injury from the extraction of such acts of grace by a third party.
Africa could not conceivably have suffered any prejudice from the exploitation of resources that exist in hidden form yet it has now become traditional and habitual for African state actors to assume the role of the creator by asserting the tired argument that exploitation of someone else’s value add to humanity causes financial injury to spectators.
Africa cannot claim any prejudice caused by humans in respect of resources that the continent itself is conceptually incapable of having brought into existence. Africa is a given name to the territory that we reside in and, therefore, it is also incapable to assume the personality and character of humans.
Even President Mugabe and Hon. Malema should and ought to know that they have no business playing God in relation to his grace. Humans are entitled to claim injury from the theft of things that they would have caused to come into existence. There can be no doubt that when an Emperor is intellectually naked, the audience may appear to be attentively absorbing a message when this may not be the case especially when the message does not speak to real life issues.
It is significant that it was also reported in the Sunday Mail in relation to President Mugabe’s speech that: “Now these former colonial powers even after political independence have not allowed African countries to determine how their resources are to be used for the benefit of the African people. They have continued to exploit the resources of Africa for their benefit.”
However, it is also President Mugabe who holds the strong view that he has been the lion of Zimbabwe and, therefore, it is not conceivable to identify in specific and concrete terms the instances in which he was personally prevented from thinking let alone acting in a manner that advances or advanced the interests of his fellow citizens by the so-called colonialists.
With respect to the allegation that the act of extracting and processing minerals is ostensibly for self-benefit, it is important to underscore that no human being would solely prosecute the enterprise of life to assert or advance the interests of others.
There can be no doubt that President Mugabe’s thirst, for example, would never be quenched by another person drinking water on his behalf. When he is hungry, he must get food in his stomach and that is the way it is for all of humans. The attempt to speak on behalf of other sovereign persons should really be prescribed as there is nothing a leader can do to assume the hunger and poverty of other independent, sovereign and random individual actors.
The business of life on earth is too hard on its own to allow any rational person to delude himself or herself into believing that speeches by self-promoting and egotistical leaders can cure poverty. In a veiled threat to captains of industry, Hon. Malema urged them to donate shares (controlling stakes to workers) in order to avoid a war that his party intends to launch to make the business of government and business ungovernable and untenable.
In the same vein it was reported in relation to President Mugabe’s so-called masterpiece speech at the summit that: “The President called on the G20 countries, since they are the most industrialised and richest countries on the globe, to work closely with Africa in order to get Africa to also industrialise and develop so that Africa would not attend meetings like the G20 in an observer capacity but to become full members due to industrialisation and value addition of Africa’s products.”
The governments of the most developed nations belong to the governed and it is the governed that generate income that in turn is collected as taxes. No President in the West can personally claim credit for the fortunes that visit citizens who choose to add value to problem solving that benefits humanity yet it is not the case in Africa where one lion can claim to be more important than other lions and in so doing crowd out any creative and alternative thinking.
Human civilization is a product of diverse acts by the living to make a difference to life and, therefore, any attempt to reduce life and business to some kind of charity is ill-conceived and counter-productive. In this vein, the bankruptcy of the following statement attributed to President Mugabe becomes self-evident:
“That Africa should not continue to be viewed as a source of raw materials by the countries of the G20 but to be a partner in industrialisation so that Africa too can sit at the same table on equal terms.”
It is the case that the resources in question are extracted by licenced operators in the host countries. The decisions to grant prospecting and mining permits are and continue to be made by actors in the host countries with no input from state actors in the countries where shareholders of the relevant firms incorporated and operating in terms of domestic laws; may be domiciled.
Africa has no identifiable physical body that requires a seat but its inhabitants do have bodies. A person who adds no value to the supply value chain has no business claiming any credit from a harvest caused by others. The sooner we learn that Africa is an artificial persona and it is the individual actors who have a life to live that we must invest in knowing so that they can be allowed to do for themselves what no government can ever do for humanity, the better for all.
We have no choice to learn not from the great textbooks or the genius of formal instructors but about the true nature of the human spirit and what can happen if attempts are made to transform institutions into human actors.
The human mind is too special and sophisticated to allow a third party to penetrate it and substitute the aspirations of an individual with some convoluted aggregated aspirations intermediated through the state and its pretentious enlightened actors.