Obi Egbuna Jnr Simunye
Because Mother Africa’s children at home and abroad recently mourned the loss of the pan-African and revolutionary icon Mama Zondeni Veronica Sobukwe, the wife of the first leader of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania, Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe, we are guided by our cultural maternal instincts and our collective political vigilance to ensure the work both Mangaliso and Mama Sobukwe left behind is fully completed.
Those who accept this responsibility must prepare to do battle with neo-colonialist forces both on our beloved mother continent and in the Diaspora, who take pleasure in doing a hatchet job on our illustrious history and the revolutionary narrative which celebrates our indomitable African fighting spirit.
From the shores of foreign territories, many of us who either write or verbally articulate and discuss the collective African experience, are compromised by both a lack of intimate knowledge of crucial historical figures, movements and organised formations, and even worse a tendency to accept that the accounts of our plight need the blessing and endorsement of US- EU imperialism before they can be publicly shared.
Since Mama Sobukwe was called home by the ancestors, we can pose the question, why the majority of so-called African American organisations and media outlets chose not to use the platforms at their disposal to give a warrior affectionately called the Mother of Azania a proper send-off?
On the surface it is expected that many will initially and innocently respond that they had no idea who Mama Sobukwe was. However, the more devious groupings in our midst made a calculated decision that celebrating Mama Sobukwe would have perhaps ruffled the feathers of the ANC.
This explains why those involved in the calculated outpour of affection for the recently deceased freedom fighter Mama Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, orchestrated by the so-called African American democratic machine also known as the Civil Rights Movement, failed to even mention Mama Sobukwe’s passing or at bare minimum, send heartfelt condolences to her loving family.
At the height of the anti-apartheid movement inside US borders, it became abundantly clear that these reformist groupings arrived at the conclusion that celebrating and parading the ANC, while just diplomatically tolerating the PAC and AZAPO, was either a choice or a direct order from their masters above.
This helps give clarity and perspective when coming to understand why the so-called African American Democratic Party machine never demanded that US-EU imperialism remove Madiba Nelson Mandela from the US government’s list of terrorists.
As time has gone on, these groupings have accepted the submissive political posture of placing absolutely no meaningful demands on the master, just occasional complaints aimed at garnering sympathy and guilt.
If the reason for this biased approach to cementing relationships with our comrades in what is called South Africa was made strictly due to ideological compatibility, that is fine, especially since we know that the parallels between the ANC and the NAACP, National Council of Negro Women, SCLC, CORE, The Rainbow Coalition, National Action Network are undeniable.
This goes back to the exact second that Chief Albert Luthuli organised a bus boycott in what is called South Africa, after watching the impact of the Montgomery bus boycott in the pro-segregationist southern part of the United States.
Based on this political realty, we must commend our grassroots organisations inside Babylonian parameters like the All African People’s Revolutionary Party, Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika, New Afrikan People’s Organisation, African Peoples Socialist Party, The Nation of Islam who refused to isolate PAC and AZAPO when confronting US-EU imperialism and Zionist Israel’s obsession to maintain apartheid at all costs.
We lay Mama Sobukwe to rest at a moment in history, when the ideological clarion call of the PAC “Izwe Lethu iAfrika” (which means the land is ours) is reverberating through the streets of what is called South Africa louder than ever before.
The major difference is now her beloved comrades who took to the streets of Sharpeville and Kwa Langa 58 years ago and were met with the naked terrorism of the apartheid security apparatus, are today a divided house of esteemed elders and isolated youths, desperately seeking to consolidate their ranks and break up the monotony around the land question being exploited by power-hungry opportunists who could be their great- and great-grand-children.
Mama Sobukwe bids us farewell when her comrades and neighbours on the other side of the Limpopo River in Zimbabwe are responsible for taking the questions of land reclamation and revolutionary indigenisation to unprecedented heights, and have been more than equipped to deal with the backlash that stemmed from the incurred wrath of US-EU imperialism.
Mama Sobukwe and the PAC’s enemies are President Mnangagwa and ZANU-PF’s enemies, and will work feverishly to sabotage both the political resurrection of the PAC and the cementing of ZANU-PF as the face of self-determination and empowerment in Mother Africa today.
The best case scenario is that ZANU-PF and PAC’s comrades in the Diaspora who are plagued by political weakness, disorganisation, and strategic and methodological bankruptcy, humble themselves to accept their current reality and begin to rebound from countless mistakes and errors.
One of the most overlooked aspects of ZANU-PF’s land reclamation and indigenisation programmes is how it has intensified the class struggle on sacred African soil, because in the final analysis any directive instructing Africans to reclaim our wealth that ignores the question of even distribution of resources is at best bogus, fraudulent and not genuine.
From the days that Mangaliso Sobukwe, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Zimbabwe nationalist hero Herbert Chitepo and former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe studied at Fort Hare University, we are grateful that after taking in more than their share of Gandhian philosophy, they arrived at the conclusion that if protracted armed struggle had to be waged to dismantle settler colonialism, they would not hesitate to embrace this approach.
Two other important links between ZANU-PF and PAC is the fact that former PAC chairman Cde Nyathi Pokela is buried in Zimbabwe, and President Mnangagwa personally trained members of APLA (Azanian People’s Liberation Army).
The people of Zimbabwe are grateful to former South African president Thabo Mbeki for his role in mediating the talks between ZANU-PF and both MDC factions that led to the Global Political Agreement.
In his autobiography entitled “An American Journey”, former US Secretary of State and chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Colin Powell openly discusses how on the way to Madiba Nelson Mandela’s inauguration, the late former US Congressman and chair of the House Armed Service Committee, Ron Dellums, approached him about switching parties from Democrat to Republican and running for the presidency of the United States. General Powell humbly declined due to his loyalty to the former US president and notorious war criminal Ronald Reagan.
Congressman Dellums in the eyes of many broke the mould of the typical so-called African American US Congressional Representative, and reminded many of the trailblazer Congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jnr.
Congressman Dellums gained international recognition when his Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act in 1986 survived an attempted veto by President Reagan who opted for what he defined as constructive engagement, making this the first time in US history that a presidential veto was overridden.
Congressman Dellums also supported Cuba’s courageous defence of MPLA and rebuked US-EU imperialism’s creation and support for UNITA in Angola, his next bold move was to call for cutting the purse strings to the butcher of that revolutionary African prince, Patrice Emory Lumumba.
In 2004 Congressman Dellums held a meeting with former Zimbabwean Ambassador to the United States Dr Simbi Veke Mubako exploring the possibility of being granted a consulting contract to lobby for the lifting of US-EU sanctions on Zimbabwe.
Congressman Dellums was immediately informed that he would have to lock horns with the now defunct Trans Africa Forum that was founded by his good friend Randall Robinson, who at the time was openly funneling National Endowment for Democracy money to 14 civil society groups in Zimbabwe.
Congressman Dellums also expressed deep regret when discussing how the Congressional Black Caucus that he helped bring into existence in 1972 was in bed with former president George W. Bush concerning his regime change plans and agenda in Zimbabwe.
Not too long after learning about the linkage with TAF and NED, Congressman Dellums politely opted not to pursue lending his name, contacts and expertise, for the purpose of lifting US-EU sanctions on Zimbabwe.
While he was willing to challenge his colleagues still in the US Congress who had opted to work for Zimbabwe’s demise, his partnership with Randall Robinson on the question of Haiti, obviously would have been looked at as a blatant conflict of interest.
In his classic book “Consciencism, Philosophy and Ideology for Decolonisation”, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah eloquently stated that: “A people’s history is too often written by its ruling class.”
This confirms and explains why Mama Sobukwe, her beloved husband, the PAC, along with President Mnangagwa and ZANU-PF should not expect kind words from those who have made a career along the path of capitulation and conformity.
Obi Egbuna Jnr is the US correspondent to The Herald and external relations officer of the Zimbabwe Cuban Friendship Association (ZICUFA). firstname.lastname@example.org