Plot to divide Africa

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By Special Matarirano

THE US President, Joseph Biden, has invited 16 African countries to attend the Summit for Democracy amid a gathering of more than 100 countries across the globe. 

The Summit will be conducted virtually from December 9 to10 2021. 

Of the 16 African countries invited to attend, nine are Southern African countries, and this leaves the rest of the continent to share the seven slots left. 

Among those invited from Southern Africa are Angola, Botswana, DRC, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa and Zambia. 

Zimbabwe is not part of the invited and this article shall analyse why and question President Biden’s preponderant democratic attitude on Southern Africa? 

Concomitantly, this revelation saw some political misfits in Zimbabwe who, unfortunately, think the exclusion of Zimbabwe from the Summit is a show of the alleged ‘undemocratic’ political system in the country. 

This is far from the real issues at play.  

That’s a great lack of analysis and that myopic and colonial-oriented thinking retains place in those whose politically existence is financially and ‘umbilically’ corded and connected to Washington and Western capitals. 

Within the scope of the perceived reason Zimbabwe was excluded and Southern Africa made to dominate this Summit is the sheer realisation of the continued existence of determinant nationalistic spirits in Zimbabwe and the region as a direct political fermentation and influence of history.

To begin with, Zimbabwe has been classified as an African ‘guerilla intellectual’ since the year 2000. 

The country has found an alternative political theory that defines its peculiar history and people; meaning she has the potential to be a political theory education freedom fighter for the region in the eyes of the US and her allies. 

The ‘guerilla intellectual’ uses and adapts the enduring spirits of the land, enact methodologies, philosophies, ideas and episteme to deconstruct the invented structures, false knowledge and cultural myths that perpetuate the social domination, economic exploitation and cultural dehumanisation of African peoples. 

The US knows it cannot tell or impose its Western capital-based democracy on the country.

Much as the country is not a fanatic of the Western type of democracy that the US is ‘reviving’, the country has managed to survive the most undemocratic and illegal coercive measures imposed on her people by the same US which is guilty of a ‘one dimensional’ or linear definition of democracy. 

If democracy is ‘an allowance’ of letting a people have the freedom towards creed, opinion, speech and choices, why then is the world being canalised and continue to agree on the ‘ethnocentric’ definition of democracy by the US and the West? 

Zimbabwe is a victim of this US worldview and Zimbabwe has refused to agree to be ‘imprisoned’ on the altar of avoiding being labelled ‘undemocratic’. 

Those who have found it exciting to laugh at the exclusion of Zimbabwe from such a summit suffer the ‘irreconcilable calamity’ of an identity crisis. 

As a country, Zimbabwe has developed a critical pedagogy as a means to facilitate an intellectual and epistemological liberated zone wherein authentic cognitive interests of her peoples has the space to generate a new social political discourse and a new knowledge devoid of the impoverished and dehumanised one created by the Euro-American imperialist confluence. 

After all, who said democracy lessons should be taught to only those who are democratic. 

Where is the world going if differences in political theories are the basis for division? 

Are we not back to the Cold War?

To understand why President Biden and the US are reconstructing the discourse around democracy as a ‘battlefield of political knowledge’, one needs to look at world political theories and ideologies that landmarked and changed the course of relations that existed between the First and Third worlds. 

The theory of democracy, as one political pathway, came with a lot of the inherent prejudices that were equal to slave trade and imperialistic colonialism for Africa. 

The US has never seen and considered Zimbabwe and Africa as equal partners. 

So the question remains: Why is Southern Africa having a larger number of countries invited to the summit? 

First: “The US’ democracy summit remains an attempt to ‘revive’ Western democracy amid mounting democratic problems in their countries and is a huge irony as its purpose is simply to suppress other countries and divide the world into different camps,” senior Chinese officials said.

So, basically what we have got now is a ‘go-back’ to history to recreate a world order and state of affairs of the global African family geared towards not fulfilling the needs of African peoples but to be informed and in adherence to the US dictated ‘international political best practices’. 

Second; Southern Africa has a long history of unity. With the exception of disturbances in Mozambique and the DRC in recent years, the region has had an impressive conflict management system as compared to other five regions in Africa. 

This has seen the region steadily increasing its integration of resources, manpower and equipment for the betterment of the region. 

Southern Africa is steadily increasing its integration of natural resources.

This integration ensured that the region work together on numerous trouble areas without necessarily sourcing external or Western assistance. 

The democratic discourse from an American perspective cannot support such an intergration.

From the Frontline States era, the region maintained a strong stance that worked to convey the message that ‘Southern African states would only be free if all are free’. 

In other words, pan-African ideas, as preached by Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere and others, first found meaning in Southern Africa. 

And with such depth on common development and ideological impudence, the ‘revival’ of Western democracy would obviously align itself in the destruction of strong and growing regional links.

Third; the region is the only one still with more nationalistic and liberation political parties in power. 

Of the 16 countries in the region, only two have had liberation political parties removed from office. These liberation war parties have been, and continue to be, seen and perceived by the US as political ‘hot hubs’ whose resistance to neo-colonialism is not a matter of diplomacy but ‘straight jacket’.  

They must be divided on political theoretical lines. 

This is unlike other regions in Africa. 

Many of these other regions are considered to be having numerous conflicts as a natural consequence of their colonial past. 

Consequently, and in line with Okoyo (1977),: “Africa’s post-colonial present can be said to have been fashioned or is set to be refashioned for Africa by Africa’s colonial past.”

Further, given the recent developments in the global economy and the rise of China as a superpower with an economic projection that has gained competitiveness and even threatened to surpass the US’ by 2030, the China-in-Africa story has also increasingly gained complexity which the US cannot continue to underrate. Thus, the summit would try to create and dissuade Southern Africa from developing and pursuing that option.

Lest we forget, African consensus-style democracy is back-tracked to the pre-colonial ‘communocracy’ system where governance was cemented in the ubuntu/hunhu communal pan-African philosophy. 

This clearly stipulates that the alleged lack of democratic traditions is a misconception. 

True efforts to implement democracy in Africa should factor the role of indigenous democratic systems and institutions in the states’ political systems where this type of authentic connection to governance structures is the only basis for democratic legitimacy.

So, for those who may harbour the notion that the summit is really for democracy, much as it is not for ‘reviving’ the US’ hegemony on the world, why is the US inviting Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, who has, in the past, stated he does not ‘care about human rights’, and Indian President Narendra Modi, who is widely reported by an advocacy group, Freedom House, that he is driving India toward authoritarianism?

“Clearly, strategic considerations about countering China are at play in inviting very troubled, backsliding democracies like India and the Philippines that are in China’s geopolitical sphere of influence. The same might be true for inviting deeply flawed democratic Iraq, the neighbour of US adversary, the Iranian theocracy,” said Amy Hawthorne, research director at the Project on Middle East Democracy, an advocacy group.

Sociological studies scholars contend democracy is not a patent of the West, nor can it be defined by the West. 

Western democracy is a democracy dominated by capital, a democracy of the rich, not true democracy.

Hence it is pertinent for Zimbabwe and Africa to find and define true democracy.

We all await a situation in our lifetime that Africa shall call the US and its Western allies to a summit on African democracy, African rights and freedoms as part of its united foreign policy. 

For views and comments, email: specialmatarirano39@gmail.com

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