Human Rights: A weapon of choice for the West — Part One

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WHILE Happison Muchechetere’s salary scandal at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has been hogging the limelight for obvious reasons, something positive and exciting has been taking place at Spot FM (SFM).
It is steadily becoming a veritable talk station often coming up with challenging topics and asking invited studio guests to address them at length after which the general public is requested to phone in and make their live contributions.
It is in the same spirit that the British Ambassador to Zimbabwe Deborah Bronnert, and one of Zimbabwe’s youths, Abisha Ushewokunze, were grilled on Zimbabwe-British relations on April 25 2014.
Bronnert spoke feelingly and at length about the importance of human rights and how Britain has never missed a chance to promote these rights not only in Zimbabwe but also elsewhere in the world. The fine lady waxed lyrical about how Britain has always sought to promote such rights as part of its engagement with the rest of the modern world.
Anyone who listened to her impassioned presentation on the virtues of human rights would be forgiven for mistaking her voice for that of a latter day missionary delivering the proverbial sermon to African multitudes steeped in heathen cultural practices!
Judging from the tone of her voice and the impassioned manner of her style, she came across as a persuasive and committed individual.
Many listeners must have felt for a moment that she was sincere and well meaning that is, until Ushewokunze made a rejoinder by framing all her infectious comments in an historical context!
From the sometimes tense and biting exchanges between the two studio guests a number of observations are in order for the sake of our beloved African continent.
First: Had Ushewokunze not read history well and from an African point of view, many listeners would have easily come to the conclusion which Bronnert had intended that Britain was a well meaning country dedicated to philanthropic causes such as the promotion and protection of human rights at home and abroad!
Ushewokunze made it clear Britain had been in the forefront of enslaving Africans for centuries and that wealth generated from that sustained abuse of African human rights made it possible for Britain to launch the industrial revolution of the 1760s.
Second: If indeed Britain cares so much about human rights in Africa as Bronnert wanted all of us to believe, why does it not start off by apologising for all the crimes it committed during slavery and by paying compensation to all Diaspora Africans whose ancestors it exploited left right and centre until they dropped dead?
Such a gesture would send a powerful signal to all the children of Africa that Britain has repented from its evil ways and would like to start relating to Africans on a clean slate.
Its own historical records make it clear that when slavery ended in the 1850s Britain compensated all its white slave owners but did not pay a single penny to those hundreds of thousands of Africans it enslaved for so long.
Slaves were never compensated because the British of that time believed that Africans were no better than apes and not worth much.
Why has modern Britain failed to distance itself from such shameful views and do the honourable thing pay for horrible crimes committed by its forebears?
Third: The reason often cited for non compensation by Britain and other European nations whose ill-begotten wealth came from slavery is that it happened a long time ago, so long that one does not know where to begin and to cut off.
Well, all blacks who found themselves in the Americas and the Caribbeans went there as abductees, courtesy of European slave traders. Now that Europe has formed a Union of sorts it should take responsibility for what it did on a collective basis and pay compensation practically to all the descendants of African slaves.
After all we know from history that the impressive dockyards of London were built on proceeds from slavery; we know too that the current insurance giant, Lloyds of London, and the banking behemoth, Barclays Bank-all started and prospered on the back of African slavery and continue to prosper even today because of it.
Cities such as London, Bristol, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Manchester and Birmingham rapidly graduated from the status of village hamlets into vast urban conurbations that they are today because of wealth generated from slavery.
We also know that the ancestors of the current British Prime Minister, David Cameron, made fortunes from enslavement of Africans and that the family fortune which indirectly catapulted him into power principally comes from the same tainted source.
It is also on record that the current Codrington Library at All Souls College, Oxford, was donated by a slave master who owned vast sugar plantations in Barbados which thrived on slave labour.
In other words, wealth generated from slavery did not just vanish into thin air as soon as slavery ended; that wealth continues to benefit current European generations but not descendants of slaves.
Accordingly, unless and until Britain pays compensation for its sordid deeds it has no moral basis to preach to anyone at all about human rights.
It has to pay its moral debts first and foremost, including one for the genocidal wars of conquest it carried out in Africa after the slave trade.
Fourth: It is significant that during exchanges with Ushewokunze, Bronnert studiously avoided making meaningful references to slavery; she also did not want to dwell on the colonisation of Africa by Britain as well as on the numerous atrocities Britain committed not only in Africa but also recently in Iraq.
Britain and its allies invaded Iraq on the pretext that it had weapons of mass destruction which were never found.
Together they slaughtered nearly a million Iraqis; the same applies to Afghanistan and Libya where innocent people have again been killed by Britain and its allies.
Notwithstanding the overwhelming evidence of atrocities carried out by Britain across centuries, Bronnert has the temerity to preach the gospel of human rights to those very people who have always been victimised by Britain and expects us to take her seriously.
If she is normal and intelligent as we all assume she must be, how come she does not sense the biting irony of her situation?
She should stop insulting listeners who had to fight hard to dislodge a parasitical British population which denied blacks basic human rights for almost a century in Zimbabwe.
For Bronnert to preach the gospel of human rights, it is like having the devil preach about the virtues of Christian redemption.
She is using the human rights discourse as a weapon of choice to justify the regime change agenda earmarked for all those countries which do not succumb to the dictates of Western imperialism.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Well well, slavery exited through the history of mankind. The Faro’s in Egypt had slaves, the Arabs have been taken slaves out of black Africa long before the Europeans came. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_Africa
    And the Africans themselves had slaves. The slaves that were sold in Ghana were captured by Africans and the Africans sold their own slaves to the slave-traders. The Ghanians were very upset when Britain stopped the trade in 1806 as they lost their income. In 1860 Dr Livingstone stopped the slavery in what is no called Zambia. And still today one can buy slaves in countries like Sudan and Mauritania and Nigeria.

    And countries didn’t do that but private inter price so It is ridiculous to demand money from the British, Spanish, Portuguese or Dutch people today for money…..their ancestors also could have been slaves.How far back do you want to go? The Roman times??
    What about demanding money from Ghana? Zimbabwe had no white slave traders….in 1890 slavery was abolish.
    And the western world has been pouring in billions of dollars since 1960 into Africa as foreign aid. They could start demanding this wasted money back. Which is often sitting in banks because it is well known that African leaders are big thieves of their own people.

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