By Dr Tafataona Mahoso
Cherechedza, Ah, Jehovha, nhamo dzatisvikira; karakadza, uone kushoorwa kwerudzi rwedu. Nhaka yedu yave yevapara; nemisoro yemba dzedu yave kudheererwa.Tave nherera dzisina Baba kana mutungamiri; madzimai edu vaita seshirikadzi. Tomwa mvura yokutenga; huni dzemiti yedu toita dzekutengeserwa. Takapemha kuva Egipite nekuva Asiria kuti tipiwe zvokudya. Madzibaba edu vakashaisha, asi havasisipo kutigadzirisa. Nesu takakura matambudziko ekutadza kwavo.Vaive varanda vavekutonga pamusoro pedu.Hapana anotinunura kubva kwavari. Tave kupona ngekudya zvinengozi ngendaa yehondo yevauyi. (Jeremiah 5: 1-9)
WHEN this column started, I pointed out that the linear civilisation of the white imperialists who colonised Africa and still dominate the world promotes runaways and marauders as heroes who in turn cultivate in their colonial victims the philosophy of escape as progress and development: Christopher Columbus, Vasco Da Gama, Jan Van Riebeeck, Cecil John Rhodes, Alexander the Great, Americus Vespucius are heroes of Euro-centric civilisation.
In simple terms, imperialist domination relies on a nexus, that is, a series of disguised connections, in which terror is usually the initiating method; scarcity is the apparent or actual result; and escape is offered to the victim of terror as the only way out, the only path to development, the only path to growth or progress.
It was the terror and holocaust of slavery which set off a series of events and epochs in which white media joyfully portray Africa to this day as a continent of terror, hunger, starvation, disease, unemployment and poverty; Africa as a place associated with people who must now imitate Jan Van Riebeek and Cecil John Rhodes in reverse, as escapees called illegal aliens, border jumpers, boat people, externally displaced persons (EDPS), economic refugees and undocumented workers.
The sole function of Western media and their gospel of ‘free-flow of information, access to information, and media freedom’ is to mystify, to confuse this historical nexus connecting terror, scarcity and escape.
When the white empire’s media speak of ‘world leaders’ meeting to discuss the Palestinian holocaust in Gaza or the Ebola epidemic in West Africa or the civil war in Ukraine — they portray a world in which for some reason leadership appears to be scarce everywhere else except in Washington DC, London, Bonn and Paris.
We are pictured as people cursed by scarcity of leadership and therefore thankful to receive donated stooges for our leaders.
Slavery was the first white programme of illegal regime change in Africa; and today world history outside the West is full of martyred leaders of the people:
Salvador Allende, Samora Machel, Patrice Lumumba, Chris Hani, Thomas Sankara, Yassar Arafat, Saddam Hussein.
Those who resisted and survived illegal regime change were destroyed through media demonisation, put under illegal sanctions, terrorised, intimidated and otherwise silenced.
Without breaking through this diabolic nexus of terror, scarcity and escape, Africans cannot come home to their genius, their autonomy, their independence, their leadership, their originality.
My last instalment ended after I had quoted an appeal letter by Rhodesian Foreign Minister P. K. van der Byl to the United States of America to intervene on behalf of white settlers and against the Africa majority and their liberation movement dated January 12 1979.
Exactly 20 years after P. K. van der Byl’s appeal to the USA, the Rhodesian rump in Zimbabwe set up a puppet party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in September 1999, which proceeded to renew P.K. van der Byl’s appeal to the same USA on behalf of the very same white Rhodesians.
That appeal set in motion all over again, through media propaganda, the same nexus of terror, scarcity and escape.
Zimbabwe was subjected to ferocious demonisation, illegal sanctions and financial warfare; Zimbabwe was portrayed as a land where leadership, good governance, rule of law, human rights and freedom were scarce; Zimbabwe was attacked and tarnished as a place from which all freedom-loving people, especially young people, should escape.
The illegal sanctions created real and imagined scarcities which persist to this day. Inflation due to financial warfare and sanctions led to the abandonment of the Zimbabwean currency which is now worse than scarce.
The West, having abolished, banished or assassinated Zimbabwe’s real leaders through sanctions and propaganda, proceeded to make Morgan Tsvangirai and his clans of sell-outs appear to be our only escape, our only way out.
And we are told we have no option, but to use the US Dollar as our currency indefinitely.
Many young people especially professionals and technicians, indeed took the escape route.
And the UK benefitted immensely especially from the exodus of our medical doctors and other health professionals.
The nexus of terror, scarcity and escape became a vicious self-fulfilling prophesy.
Here is Ivan Illich’s description of the way a dominant nexus disempowers people.
The book, Towards a History of Needs:
“The product of the (monopoly) transport system is the habitual passenger.
“The habitual passenger is conscious of the exasperating time scarcity that results from daily recourse to cars, trains, buses, subways, and elevators that force him to cover an average of 20 miles each day, frequently criss-crossing his path within a radius of less than five miles. “He has been lifted off his feet. No matter if he goes by subway or jet plane, he feels slower and poorer than someone else and resents the shortcuts taken by the privileged few who can escape the frustrations of traffic.
“If he is cramped by the timetable of his commuter train, he dreams of a car.
“If he arrives, exhausted by the rush hour, he envies the speed capitalist who drives against the traffic… That habitual passenger is caught at the wrong end of growing inequality, time scarcity, and personal impotence, but he can see no way out of this bind except to demand more of the same.”
Unlike this habitual passenger, Africans have their own land, their own history, their own culture, and their own living laws.
They can develop and promote their own leaders and their own economies.
But in order to recognise home and come home, they must recognise the historical nexus of terror, scarcity and escape which now mesmerises and entraps them.