By Obi Egbuna Jnr Simunye
After learning that President Mnangagwa survived a recent assassination attempt, daughters and sons of Africa at home and abroad heaved a collective sigh of relief. Our extended family in Ethiopia shares this sentiment, primarily because of the botched attempt on the life of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali that occurred on the same day.
Because these attempts on the lives of President Mnangagwa and Prime Minister Ali occurred at rallies, Africans with a sense of appreciation for history and the lessons it imparts, turned the pages back to October 26 1954, when a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mahmoud Abdel- Latif, fired eight shots at the revolutionary icon and president of Egypt Gamal Abdel Nasser who was in the process of giving his historic speech in Alexandria to celebrate British military withdrawal.
History and its vast and extensive annals shows that rallies and appearances on podiums have always been a place where they are rather comfortable launching strikes and attacks, aimed at silencing voices that make their blood boil like an erupted volcano.
Let us not forget that Brother Malcolm was gunned down by the FBI and CIA on February 21 1965 at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem, before a rally where he was going to discuss at length, who he thought was planning to bring his life to an abrupt end.
The calm exhibited by President Mnangagwa when he simply stated to local and foreign media “it isn’t my time”, reminded the African world of the cool President Nasser displayed, when he shared these words with the audience who minutes before watched a gunman attempt to slay him in cold blood.
“My countrymen, my blood spills for you and for Egypt. I will live for your sake and die for the sake of your freedom and honour. Let them kill me; it does not concern me as long I have instilled pride, honour, and freedom in you. If Gamal Abdel Nasser should die, each of you shall be Gamal Abdel Nasser . . . Gamal Abdel Nasser is for you and from you and he is willing to sacrifice his life for the nation.”
Our Zimbabwean sisters and brothers remember like it was yesterday, the security detail of former president Robert Gabriel Mugabe discovering explosives on his way to Rufaro Stadium to launch the nation’s flag for the very first time.
If the aim and objective was to either undermine the elections or reignite opposition to President Mnangagwa and ZANU-PF in Bulawayo, the mission blew up in the faces of the culprits whoever they are.
Depending on where one’s political outlook can be identified on Mother Africa’s ideological spectrum, same may make the case that this number confirms ZANU-PF as a revolutionary party has failed its people, or completely shatters the argument by pro-regime change Zimbabweans in the Diaspora that democracy in non-existent until they can vote in elections.
What must not be lost or overlooked, is every time this particular complaint is launched by Zimbabweans based in the United States or in a country that is part and parcel of the European Union, it is an emotional plea to tighten the screws on US-EU sanctions on Zimbabwe.
Because US-EU sanctions on Zimbabwe presents a slew of political and economic challenges for the ruling party and people on a daily basis, the indigenous regime change agents too often have received a pass, and never had to answer for their decision to openly work for the demise of their nation.
One of Zimbabwe’s strongest attributes is since independence the ruling party has taken security matters very seriously.
However, the time has come to openly discuss the degree of latitude their fellow countrywomen and countrymen should receive, pertaining to openly and unapologetically working with our former colonial and slave masters to bring about regime change on foreign shores.
If Zimbabweans in the Diaspora are granted the right to cast their votes while living abroad, for the sake of patriotism and transparency with no boundaries and parameters, are they willing to come home and participate in a tribunal sharing their activities in the United States and European Union?
Let us say hypothetically that the first group called to testify were every Zimbabwean-born journalist who has worked for the Voice of America since the creation of Studio 7 in 2003.
The series of questions can range from what US-EU politicians have they sought and received audience with? What was the purpose of these meetings and what information was exchanged? Were there questions and discussions concerning funding political opposition and civil society groups?
Are they encouraged to openly advocate for the maintenance of sanctions even at the expense of compromising the stability of their own families?
Another key group will be students who are in the US and EU nations pursuing degrees in higher education. They can share if their visas and scholarships were granted on the condition that once arriving in the belly of the beast attacks on their Government must begin almost immediately.
We are sure that President Mnangagwa and ZANU-PF will permit their citizens to testify from the Diaspora, for the purpose of ensuring that the justification some of them would give for shooting down this idea, is the possibility of persecution and imprisonment if they return to Zimbabwe and testify for the tribunal.
When we examine the movement and activity of Zimbabweans in the US, UK, Australia and Canada, it is no coincidence that they have never openly advocated for the lifting of US-EU sanctions on Zimbabwe. You discover organised formations like Zimbabweans in Diaspora Organisation (ZIDO), whose theme is creating visions through wealth. The membership criterion for ZIDO is open to Zimbabwean in the Diaspora, non-Zimbabweans and organisations who have a special interest in Zimbabwe.
ZIDO has an initiative called the Diaspora Credit Union that is described as an association of like-minded people who agree to join hands in creating available savings pool through which funds are mobilised and members given access to competitive credit or loans to carry out projects or meet family needs in Zimbabwe.
Shouldn’t ZIDO be willing to share with its fellow citizens if this initiative is not a front to funnel money to MDC or others committed to US-EU imperialist pro-regime change agenda.
The Zimbabwean communities in Dallas, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Houston, Atlanta, Detroit could be very helpful in this process, by highlighting the conversations held with Pastor Evan Mawarire when he visited the US and was ferried around by the pro-regime change married couple of Rhodesian Douglas Coltart and Chloe McGrath.
Is the good pastor open to sharing his activity with his fellow citizens and let them judge if these were acts appropriate for a man of God?
Would the civil society groups who are on the payroll of George Soros, Madeline Albright and Carl Gershman consider it uncivilised to share all of their activities up to the political dispensation last November in the spirit of moving forward?
Would former US president Jimmy Carter be willing to make a guest appearance to apologise to the people of Zimbabwe for not pushing his successors to honour the Lancaster House Agreement and attempting, under the banner of the Elders Group, to force his way into Zimbabwe 10 years ago?
Would former ANC Youth league leader and current EFF chairman Julius Malema be willing to make a special usual appearance and reveal if his relationship to the former British diplomat and parliamentarian Baron Robin Renwick, who directed the Rhodesian Department of Britain’s Foreign Commonwealth Office, the reason he turned his back on Zimbabwe?
Would Botswana’s former president Ian Seretse Khama be willing to appear and apologise to the Government and people of Zimbabwe for publicly volunteering his nation’s airspace if US-EU imperialism wanted to militarily invade Zimbabwe? Mr Khama’s testimony must include if there were any discussions with US-EU imperialism.
Would Archbishop Desmond Tutu be willing to appear and publicly apologise for echoing Mr Khama’s sentiment and urge churches throughout Mother Africa and in the Diaspora to call for the lifting of US-EU sanctions on Zimbabwe, which is more befitting for a man of the cloth?
Based on what has transpired in Zimbabwe since the imposition of US-EU sanctions 17 years ago, Zimbabweans in the Diaspora must understand that demanding the right to vote abroad, without revealing if they have aided and abetted our former colonial and slave masters in imposing the will on their people and Government, is truly putting the cart before the horse.
Obi Egbuna Jnr is the US correspondent to The Herald and External Relations Officer of the Zimbabwe Cuba Friendship Association (ZICUFA). He can be contacted on: [email protected]