Let’s guard against forces of disunity

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AS Zimbabwe joins the rest of Africa in celebrating the 56th anniversary of the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now African Unity (AU), on May 25 1963, it is imperative to reflect on the aspirations of the founding fathers.

At this Addis Ababa Summit in Ethiopia, the African leaders resolved to promote unity and rid the continent of colonial rule.

And this unity was quite evident as Africa joined hands in assisting liberation movements attain their independence from colonial rule.

The presence of Amilcar Cabral and Sam Nujoma, as guerilla leaders, was therefore significant. In this part of the world, it is a day to reflect on the sacrifices by countries like Tanzania and Zambia to ensure that the rest of Southern Africa was freed.

We must also appreciate the sacrifices of our heroes and heroines who acknowledged the support from Africa by paying for the liberation of their countries with their blood.

The founding fathers can look back with some satisfaction when they realise that, apart from Western Sahara, the rest of the continent has achieved political independence.

But is that all? 

It has always been argued political freedom alone, without economic independence, is not enough.

Africa’s independence is severely hamstrung by dependence on its erstwhile colonisers on the economic front.

The OAU successor, the AU, was meant to tackle this problem by speeding up the socio-economic integration of the continent, now that political independence had been achieved.

Since our economies are controlled by our former colonisers, the adage that, he who pays the piper calls the tune, holds true.

Agenda 2063, crafted by African Heads of State and Government at the Summit in Addis Ababa in 2015 was, on paper, a worthy cause.

We have to extricate ourselves from this grip.

The programme calls on Africa, as an entity, to exploit its natural resources through beneficiation and value addition without waiting for former colonisers to do it. 

But our former colonisers would never allow us to reach that level of sovereignty.

At every level, any attempt to achieve unity of purpose is rendered useless.

Countries find themselves in disagreement on the basis of who their former colonial master was, rather than on the basis of what Africa needs.

Francophone countries, in particular, don’t feel comfortable going against the wishes of Paris.

Artificial boundaries created by European powers in Berlin years back have seen brother fight brother as is evident in the animosity between Rwanda and Burundi. 

This divide-and-rule tactic by our colonisers is also prevalent within countries.

We don’t have to go far.

Our lead story tells of a meeting, chaired by an American assisted by two other whites, where black Zimbabweans were trained on how to overthrow their own Government. 

We should be shortly seeing NGOs and political parties, like the MDC Alliance, calling for protests to remove a constitutionally elected Government.

These are mere surrogates with black faces masking their white masters’ interests.

We are glad our security forces have been forewarned. 

Thus we are going to celebrate our Africa Day going beyond, assured that would-be mischief-makers won’t succeed.

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