By Dr Irene Mahamba
THE murder of Mbuya Nehanda, Sekuru Kaguvi, Chiefs Mashayamombe, Mashonganyika, Mutekedza and many others was a dastardly act to institute and perpetrate on our people.
They had broken no law.
Instead, they had insisted on the law of the land; that their land and all its wealth were a sacred gift from Musikavanhu and it was their duty and honour to protect it.
The murders of thousands during the First and Second Chimurenga were carried out to protect Rhodes’s capitalist project on behalf of the British Crown.
Zimbabwe is still embroiled in a life and death struggle with the West, though we defeated the West through a bitter armed struggle. Because of their covetousness of our wealth, they will not stop fighting us and because we have named and shamed them, they have sentenced us to destruction.
On August 23 2013, former South African President Thabo Mbeki said: “As you can see, I get very, very agitated about Zimbabwe, because it’s very, very clear that the offensive against Zimbabwe is an offensive against the rest of the continent….”
He was referring to Zimbabwe’s taking back of its land from the white minority.
The ruthlessness of the West is not only manifest in Zimbabwe but all over the continent of Africa and beyond.
President Charles Taylor of Liberia would not accept five cents in every dollar offered by an American oil giant.
In retaliation, the oil company, with strong ties to George Bush, engineered a trial and a conviction against Liberia’s President for allegedly aiding rebels in Sierra Leone.
This is the message they gave him: “If you give us the rights to exploit Liberia’s oil, we shall protect you from standing trial.”
When Taylor put his country above personal safety the oil giant told him: “Then we can’t help you, Mr President, we can’t protect you.” (Ankommah:2014)
He was tried and sentenced to 50 years imprisonment for aiding and abetting rebels in Sierra Leone.
In 1974, President Amani Diori of the Niger was deposed by the French for insisting on a better deal for the country’s Uranium.
Having thus succeeded, the French continue to loot the country’s uranium for peanuts and the country remains one of the poorest, though so richly endowed.
And in 1997, President Pascal Lissouba of Congo Brazaville met a similar fate.
He was overthrown by the French for raising royalties for his country’s oil from 15 to 33 percent.
A French oil giant engaged its government to intervene and this culminated in President Jacques Chirac ordering President Lissouba to appoint a certain individual who was friendly to French interests as his Vice-President and when Lissouba told Chirac that this was against the country’s constitution, Chirac responded (over the phone):“Chuck your bloody constitution in the dustbin!” (Ankoma:2014)
In a few weeks, the French deposed him in a coup and the ‘certain individual’ was appointed President while the royalties were reduced from 33 percent to 20 percent.
This is the battle for Africa; Africa is most richly endowed. Africans are owners of such vast riches, but they remain poor because there is no acknowledgement and acceptance that all this is hers.
As Chinua Achebe (2009) aptly explained: “If there are valuable things like gold or diamonds you are carting away from his territory, you prove that he (the African) does not own them in the real sense of the word — that he and they just happened to be lying around the same place when you arrived.”
Africans just happened to be there, where the minerals are, where the oil is, the same way game can be found anywhere near gold or diamonds or oil, it does not mean it is theirs, this way the capitalist justifies killing, maiming, destroying whole countries and condemning millions of Africans to abject poverty.
West Europeans are content to siphon our riches to their countries, to enrich their own people, to afford them the highest standard of living while Africans wallow in manmade disease and starvation. At the heart of it all is racist greed, for we can never go to an ‘oil producing country in Europe’ and offer it five cents in a dollar for exploiting their oil.
“So, they expect me to have diamonds in The Gambia and I go to my people and tell them, ‘Oh don’t worry, we are getting only five percent of what God has given us, and a Western company is getting 95 percent.’
No, I can’t say that. And so, this is the crime I am supposed to have committed. It’s not only the minerals but also oil.” said Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh (Ankomah:2014).
Because of racist capitalist greed, Africans are not even allowed to procreate as they will. The Henry Kissinger-inspired American national security memorandum NSSM 200, of 1974 aimed to check a so-called “…uncontrollable growth of the world population from four billion to 13 billion by 2000, clearly states that as the West lives off the resources of Africa and other developing countries, a large population in Africa would lead to the Africans controlling their natural resources, and this would have implications for American national interest in the form of the Africans asking for better terms of trade for their resources or using them for themselves. And, this had to be fought!”
The battle lines are drawn.
At least we know that there is some capital in the ground to be inherited by our sons and daughters who will some day be able to exploit them.