Obi Egbuna Jnr Simunye
While the last numerical year marked the 50th anniversary of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah and the Convention People’s Party ouster from power by US-EU imperialism, all Mother Africa’s children at home and abroad who are guided by patriotism, were presented with a golden opportunity for a deeper-than-usual ideological reflection.
When it comes to the political arena Africans everywhere have witnessed, quoting the Osagyefo by his enemies has not only become an exercise in futility and intellectually fashionable, but a method to justify promoting values and activities that are in diametrical opposition to the goals and objectives he spent his entire life aggressively pursuing.
This is why his quote from the book “Dark Days in Ghana”, “in a revolutionary situation it is a crime against the people to forgive those who have betrayed them”, echoes in our hearts and minds with the aftershocks of vibrations that occur during an earthquake or the eruption of a volcano.
When African people are in this frame of mind they can begin to understand how President Mugabe and ZANU-PF view their kith and kin who have decided to aid US-EU imperialism in their quest to bring about regime change in Zimbabwe, even though this agenda does not represent the legitimate aspirations of the people.
We put emphasis on our extended biological family because when the dust clears those external to our culture and bloodline, who work for our destruction have never surprised or discouraged us, but on the contrary will always serve as a vital source of energy when circumstances demand that our resolve and convictions carry our most committed fighters without exception to the finish line on the battlefield.
What the Third Chimurenga has provided President Mugabe and zanu-pf are historical parallels that provide logical explanations and further insight concerning how their detractors, external and internal, continue to frame their baseless arguments.
We can go as far back as the deportation of the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey and the infamous “Garvey Must Go” campaign and the opportunistic petition sent to Harry Daugherty who at the time was the US Attorney- General.
The petition was signed by the following so-called prominent African Americans: Harry Pace, Robert Abbott, John Nail, Julia Coleman, William Pickens, Chandler Owen, Robert W. Bagnall and George Harris.
Mr Pace was the founder of Black Swan Records but is best known for helping Dr WEB DuBois create the magazine “The Moon” and co-founding the Pace and Handy Music company with the Father of the Blues, W. C. Handy.
Mr Abbott was the founder and editor of the Chicago Defender which emerged as the newspaper most widely circulated amongst our people.
Mr Nail was the co-founder of the Nail and Parker Real Estate Company that purchased 50 apartment buildings renting to Africans who migrated to Harlem from the South.
Mr Pickens was a Field Secretary of the NAACP and Mr Bagnall was director of branches for the NAACP.
Mr Owen was co-editor of the Messenger newspaper alongside civil/human rights icon, A. Phillip Randolph.
Dr Coleman, the only woman to sign this petition, was the first so-called African American woman pharmacist to own and operate her own drug store and also the first so-called African American woman to run for office in the State of New York.
Dr Coleman was also a member of the National Medical Association, NAACP, National Urban League, and National Council of Negro Women.
Mr Harris was the first so-called African American Alderman in New York City and editor of the New York News.
This provides Zimbabweans in particular and Africans in general with a historical backdrop that clearly illustrates US-EU imperialism getting high-profile political figures in our community to serve as their extended mouthpieces is hardly a new strategy.
In June of 2003 President Mugabe and zanu-pf received an open letter signed by the following individuals: William Lucy, president of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists; Willie Baker, executive VP Coalition of Black Trade Unionists; Salih Booker, executive director Africa Action; Bill Fletcher Jnr, president TransAfrica Forum; Horace Dawson Jnr, Director Ralph J. Bunche, International Affairs Centre, Howard University; Patricia Ann Ford, Executive VP Service Employees’ International Union; Dr Julianne Malveaux, Trans Africa Forum board member; Reverend Justus Reeves, executive director Missions Ministry, Progressive National Baptists Convention Coordinating Committee Black Radical Con- gress.
These are two excerpts from this letter: “We are writing you today to implore you to seek a peaceful and just solution to your country’s escalating national crisis” and “We are part of an honourable tradition of progressive solidarity with the struggles for decolonisation and apartheid and imperialism in Africa.”
Before dealing with the accusatory and condescending nature of this letter, what is glaringly obvious was there was no mention of US-EU sanctions on Zimbabwe, which suggests the signatories of this letter believe that Zimbabwe under President Mugabe is worse than Southern Rhodesia under Ian Smith.
It is also noted that none of the signatories ever wrote the US government to honour the commitment that the Carter Administration made to ZANU and ZAPU during the Lancaster House negotiations in 1979. If this is an example of an honourable tradition of progressive solidarity, let this be one of those rare exceptions when we throw the baby out with the bathwater.
We must also be careful how we approach the condemnation of US-EU sanctions on Zimbabwe. Some genuine forces are on record stating the sanctions aren’t hurting President Mugabe and zanu-pf but everyday citizens. While there is certainly some merit to that statement, it is in the final analysis counter-productive, especially when you are dealing with a head of state who has been incarcerated, isolated and demonised for ensuring that his people and country not only have complete control of their material resources, but owe our former colonisers and enslavers no explanation whatsoever concerning how they are utilised.
After enduring the hardships that come with sanctions, it is safe to say that the burden of explanations lies at the feet of US-EU imperialism, not President Mugabe and zanu-pf.
This is why the Honourable Minister Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, reminds us all that he takes full responsibility for making statements that created the climate for Brother Malcolm’s assassination, meaning the atmosphere became conducive for the FBI and CIA to carry out their marching orders.
The Reverend Jesse Jackson can explain why during his 1984 and 1988 campaigns for the US presidency, he called for the ending of apartheid in South Africa and not the honouring of the Lancaster House agreement. Reverend Jackson can also explain what motivated him to introduce President Mugabe to the sleazy and undesirable former US Congressman, Mel Reynolds.
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We yearn for the day that Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover and Randall Robinson, the three most visible figures involved in the now defunct Trans- Africa Forum (TAF) inform Africans everywhere who made the decision for TAF to get in bed with the National Endowment for Democracy and work for the demise of President Mugabe and ZANU-PF.
Mr Belafonte can continue by discussing the decision to attack Ahmed Seku Ture, Kwame Ture and Miriam Makeba in his book titled “My Song: A Memoir of Art, Race and Defiance”, and why he loves the Zionist State of Israel as much as Bill Cosby loves Jello Pudding Pops.
At some point the hip-hop icon Nas and Damien Jnr Gong Marley, son of reggae pioneer Robert Nesta Marley who performed at Zimbabwe’s Independence celebration, attacked President Mugabe and ZANU-PF in the song “Road to Zion”. In his album titled “Nigger”, Nas has a song called “Sly Fox” condemning the billionaire mogul Rupert Murdoch. We wonder if Nas knows that the former prime minister of Britain, Tony Blair, is godfather to Mr Murdoch’s daughter Grace, which gives the impression Nas and Jnr Gong’s interpretation of developments in Zimbabwe is more in sync with Mr Murdoch and Mr Blair than he could ever realise.
We know apologising for fatal mistakes is no walk in the park. However, the unnecessary suffering of a people whose crime is fighting to control what inherently belongs to them should simplify the process.
Obi Egbuna Jnr is the US correspondent to The Herald and External Relations Officer of the Zimbabwe Cuba Friendship Association (ZICUFA). His email is email@example.com