SPECIAL ISSUE: Pan-Africanist perspectives on Mugabe

Zimbabweans have struggled for years to replace Mugabe with a democratically elected leader. These efforts were dashed by the military. But now that the citizens have given the palace coup far more legitimacy than it deserves, it is even more vital for progressives committed to social justice to redouble grassroots organising and generate clear demands for a democratic post-Mugabe era.

Frequent closure of universities in Kenya reflects poor management of the institutions. The culture of democracy is non-existent. Careerist managers treat students and staff shabbily. There are no mechanisms for addressing grievances, except through threats and violence. This must change.

Tagged under: 846, Education, Maurice N. Amutabi

ZANU-PF will use the current massive popular goodwill to rejuvenate its fortunes. The fragmented opposition has been further weakened. As a carefully choreographed scheme, the military intervention could prove a masterstroke by Emmerson Mnangagwa and his supporters. But all this will be at a high cost for future democratic alternatives in Zimbabwe.

1.    The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Court), under the aegis of the African Union, in collaboration with the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, the German Development Cooperation (GiZ), European Union, and World Bank organized the Third African Judicial Dialogue on the theme “Improving Judicial Efficiency in Africa”, from 9-11 November, 2017, in Arusha, Tanzania.

Tagged under: 846, African Court, Pan-Africanism

Like Uganda’s Amin – but unlike South Africa’s Mandela – Robert Mugabe fully understood that national liberation meant little if it was not underpinned by popular economic emancipation. That is why Amin and Mugabe became enemies of the west, but Mandela was embraced as an icon. The people celebrating Mugabe’s fall do not understand imperialism. Mugabe’s true legacy will be appreciated in the coming days.

The ordinary people of Zimbabwe, who have experienced decades of repression and hardship, are rejoicing and are optimistic following the dramatic removal of Robert Mugabe from power. But very soon there will be a renewed struggle for the future of Zimbabwe. And the outlook remains very uncertain.

As the African Union troops prepare to leave Somalia, the Al Shabaab militants will likely rebuild their capacities and intensify attacks. Already recent mass bombings in Mogadishu are a worrying sign. The Somali national security services, despite receiving some international support, remain weak. The extremist organization is still a serious threat in Somalia and the region.

Robert Mugabe belongs to the generation of Africans who fought for Africa’s self-determination only to finally succumb to the selfish pursuit of power that has left a country with tremendous opportunity on its knees.But he is not the only big man who has betrayed the aspirations of African peoples for authentic peace, prosperity, unity and healing.

What happens in the period after Mugabe? Deep down the key issue is whether ZANU-PF will go down with him or it will try to re-align itself in the post-Mugabe political dispensation. There are many people who are suspicious of the role of the army and war veterans in Zimbabwean politics.  Certainly, Robert Mugabe did not ruin Zimbabwe alone.

The departure of Mugabe represents neither the end of an era nor the birth of a new one. The ruling party and military will emerge stronger, taking the credit for Mugabe’s exit. The opposition’s change mantra will fade away. ZANU-PF will bring about cosmetic changes to endear itself to the people and the world. But the elite, predatory politics of Zimbabwe will largely remain. The struggle continues.

Haiti, the first black republic, is owed billions of dollars by France that could turn around the lives of its people. After independence in 1804, following the first successful slave revolt in history, France demanded compensation for loss of slaves and its plantations. That ransom has crippled Haiti ever since.

As Frantz Fanon had prophesied, President Mugabe was impelled by his associates to become chairman of the business entity known as Zimbabwe. There were super-shareholders in that enterprise. In-fighting between the various groups with bank notes hidden in their revolutionary berets led to disillusionment and even rebellion.

Horace G. Campbell is Professor of Political Science and African American Studies at Syracuse University, New York, and is currently Kwame Nkrumah Chair of African Studies at the University of Ghana. His books include, 'Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya,' and 'Reclaiming Zimbabwe: The Exhaustion of the Patriarchal Model of Liberation.' In this  interview with The Real News Network, Prof Campbell offers critical insights into the political situation in Zimbabwe.

Burundi formally withdrew from the International Criminal Court. But the ICC has announced an investigation into alleged crimes in the country. Burundi has stated that it will neither cooperate nor allow in ICC investigators. What the ICC is doing is an ugly and dangerous attempt to destabilize and destroy the government of Burundi.

Tagged under: 846, Ann Garisson, Human Security

President Mugabe blundered in not arranging an orderly transition to a successor while he was in a stronger political position. That failure left the door open for schemers like Emerson Mnangagwa and General Chiwenga. The coup was organized over many months to establish a transitional government that would include the opposition.

Despite its apparently new interest in preserving democracy, for 37 years the military was an indispensable part of a fossilized oligarchy which betrayed the “revolution” and bankrupted Zimbabwe. Sadly, any post-Mugabe civilian government could only exist if it makes a Faustian bargain with the military.

Pambazuka News 845: Real revolutionaries vs populist fakes

In the world we’re living in, it’s not enough to solve the tension between capital and work. The ongoing crisis of civilization urgently demands that we address the tension between capital and nature, which is currently compromising the existence of life in our planet.

Tagged under: 845, Global South, Jorge Falcone

The last two weeks of October 1962, 55 years ago, was the closest the world has come so far to a widespread nuclear exchange in what has become known as the “Cuban Missile Crisis.” 

Tagged under: 845, Ike Nahem, Pan-Africanism

The draft protocol on the free movement of persons in Africa, once adopted by the Assembly of the Union in January 2018, will be a powerful tool in the hands of Africans to accelerate the integration process of the continent as reflected in Aspiration 2 of the African Union Agenda 2063.

Tagged under: 845, Ibrahima Kane, Pan-Africanism

More than a hundred civil society organizations have urged Robert Mugabe to resign as president of Zimbabwe following military intervention in the country’s politics. The organizations have also asked the military to ensure restoration of the constitutional order and an inclusive process to resolve Zimbabwe’s political and socio-economic problems.

All over Africa the conditions exist for revolution. But there is urgency to clarify the ideas, organization and leadership necessary for the African Revolution. The Russian Revolution of 100 years ago provides important lessons for African Revolutionaries in their quest to dismantle oppression and build just societies today.

Deloitte says it wants to fight tax evasion, and yet they give advice on how to divert money. The audit firm has been trying to woo investors to use its services, with the promise of multiple tax advantages for their projects in Africa, thus each year depriving the poorest states of the world of hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue.

Tagged under: 845, Economics, Jérôme Duval

The Global Pan African Movement condemns the military intervention in Zimbabwe in no uncertain terms. The generals of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces have been part of the repressive government. The huge problems of Zimbabwe cannot be resolved by the same soldiers who have been partners with Mugabe in the past 37 years.

Operations in Niger are part of a broader strategic plan to further dominate Africa military and economically. The Sahel is a treasure trove of valuable minerals and other natural resources. U.S. military occupations, although said to be based on cooperative efforts between the host governments and Washington, clearly represent the interests of international finance capital based on Wall Street.

The political crisis offers citizens an opportunity to examine the path Zimbabwe has traveled since independence. Zimbabwe needs to build a new democracy. Citizens must ask themselves whether they want to join the rat race towards self-enrichment of a few or work towards solutions that benefit all. That requires a new leadership that is totally accountable and dedicated to the people.

Food sovereignty and peasant agroecology – which should be understood in the context of national sovereignty - are the true solutions to build resilience and resistance.

Pambazuka News 844: The right to self-determination

Self-determination is becoming a potent national quest born out of the need to be free. Given the growing number of groups who are sworn to achieve self-determination, it is likely an additional 10-15 new countries will declare independence by the year 2030.

Tagged under: 844, Alon Ben Meir, Governance

Burundi has become the first African nation to withdraw from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, which has prosecuted Africans almost exclusively. Western powers, NGOs and media accuse Burundi of human rights abuses within its own borders but say nothing about aggression by neighbouring Rwanda. Canadian lawyer David Paul Jacobs, an expert in international law, shares his thoughts.

Rwandan prisoner of conscience Victoire Ingabire has appealed at the African Court. But the court faces challenges. Despite criticising the International Criminal Court, African nations have shown only lukewarm support for their own court as an alternative. Only 30 of the 54 member states of the AU recognize the African Court. And of these just eight support the hearing of cases brought by citizens.

Mechanisation and automation have been called the Fourth Industrial Revolution. But these are not inevitable or neutral economic realities. They are political weapons of oppression under capitalism. It is a war against the working classes to increase profits. It is no an accident that bosses choose to mechanise and automate in the context of the massive crisis of capitalism.

Business-oriented analysis of the middle class in Africa is superficial, preoccupied purely with number crunching in terms of income and expenditure. In contrast, new scholarly interest in the African middle class offers a deeper analysis of cultural factors and identities, consciousness, social positioning and relations to other groups as well as institutions and the state.

Tagged under: 844, Economics, Henning Melber

There is abundant research on the multiple forms of oppression that queer/LGBTIA+ people suffer from straight society. It’s time to acknowledge the oppression experienced within the movement itself.

By 1965, Soviet aid to emerging countries surpassed $9 billion. This allowed these countries to carry out somewhat independent developmental policies that wouldn't have been possible under capitalism. For the first time, they could trade on more equitable terms with the Soviet Union which was not subject to the boom-and-bust cycles of the capitalist system.

Tagged under: 844, Global South, Rebeca Toledo

The much sought after foreign direct investment is more about political control of the developing world than economics. Playing with fire is an apt description of the risk that the developing countries take in inviting foreign investments. This is not to say that FDI should be barred by Africa, but it is to underscore the point that policy-makers must be wary of the ghosts lurking behind its mask.

Tagged under: 844, Economics, Yash Tandon

The World Bank, EU, OECD and IMF are institutional partners of the Global Poverty Project. Would the project’s Annual Global Citizen’s Festival in N.Y. tell Jay Z to sing his hit songs from behind the curtains because of his race and have a white performer lip-sync his hits on the festival stage? This is what the World Bank did to Dr. Yonas Biru to spare Europeans the indignities of seeing a black man in a position of power.

Tagged under: 844, E. Faye Williams, Esq., Governance

Somaliland’s presidential elections next week offer the self-declared Horn of Africa nation an opportunity to re-examine its foreign policy. Until now, it has sought to engage all its neighbours – except Somalia. But the nation seems keen to take sides in conflicts in the Middle East. Somaliland needs to engage, but not to create opponents in, the international system.

Tagged under: 844, Governance, Yacqub Ismail

President Robert Mugabe’s firing of his deputy, accusing him of disloyalty, surprised many people. One of Zimbabwe’s liberation heroes, Manangagwa a.k.a the Crocodile was assumed to be well-placed to succeed his 93-year-old boss. But a closer look at the Crocodile reveals a man with little strategic grasp of Zimbabwe’s political chessboard controlled by the grandmaster Robert and his wife Grace.

Tagged under: 844, Governance, Moses Tofa

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir seems to have failed to hold together Africa’s newest nation. The citizens are under attack by rebel groups and undisciplined government soldiers. How long will this go on? When is the government of Salva Kiir going to create an environment of peace especially for the young people to realize their dreams?

The Young African Leaders Forum (YALF) invites interested Africans to submit research articles for publication in the second edition of its Young African Leaders Journal of Development (YALJOD). The journal is aimed at fostering the collective progress and development of the African people, and it provides the blueprint for the development mission of the leading pan-African movement, Young African Leaders Forum, as well as many other organisations.

“We urge the Department of Higher Education and Training to work towards improving conditions of service for educators, believing that as long as conditions of service for educators are not improved, addressing quality, just and equal education will remain a dream.”

The new McCarthyism in America is being led by centrist and liberal Democrats utilizing the almost comical notion that Russia possesses the power and influence to not only impact elections but also create racial tensions. And once again, Black opposition is being cast as somehow foreign influenced and, therefore, a security threat that justifies special targeted repression.

Tagged under: 844, Ajamu Baraka, Governance

Pambazuka News 843: Calling the African guerilla-intellectual

An official of the Trump Administration has written to the US President urging him to act swiftly to end institutionalized racism targeting black staff at the World Bank. “I write this open letter with confidence and high hopes that your administration will repeal the legalized discriminatory act and hold the Kim administration accountable.”

Tagged under: 843, Pan-Africanism, Steve Parson

What kind of a moron appoints Robert Mugabe as goodwill ambassador for health? That is what the new Ethiopian-born Director General of the World Health Organization did – sparking global consternation. The appointment, now reversed, underlines one fact: Tedros Adhanom lacks what it takes to head even a village clinic.

British colonialists profiled the people of northern Ghana as fit only to be hewers of wood and drawers of water for their brothers in the colony. Sixty years after independence, this attitude propagated by the British persists not just in the minds of Ghanaians but also in government service delivery policies.

Why is it that, despite its notorious legacy of mismanaging the country and an atrocious human rights record, Zimbabwe’s ruling party ZANU-PF still wins elections? It is not only by rigging; the party knows well the character of its core support base of mostly irrational voters. The opposition should not only go into next year’s election as a united front; in addition they must craft strategies to raid ZANU-PF’s support base.

As the Catalans have shown, the state is not a gift from the gods. It is a transient relationship constructed by groups of human beings to pursue their aspirations and interests. Surely, the 50 million Biafrans, in their own referendum soon, will join the Catalans in the march of freedom.

Qaddafi was leading a world revolution. The revolution would challenge every aspect of Eurocentric epistemology and its inherent racism. It was more than a social, political and economic revolution; it was nothing short of a spiritual and cultural revolution. This confounded not only the imperialist powers but also their reactionary Arab satraps.

Revolutionary intellectuals led our liberation movements. They initiated and organised the left and democratic formations. Thugs and mercenaries of imperialism and their hirelings have tortured and murdered revolutionary intellectuals all over the continent. But with Thomas Sankara they continue chanting: “While revolutionaries as individuals can be murdered, you cannot kill ideas.”

A review of ‘Twilight of the Money Gods: Economics as a religion and how it all went wrong’ by John Rapley. London; New York; Sydney; Toronto; New Delhi:  Simon and Schuster. 2017.

Tagged under: 843, Economics, Roger Southall

The US is preparing to inflict upon Africa the levels of carnage that it has already wrought upon the Middle East, where the dead and wounded number in the millions and those driven from their homes in the tens of millions, while entire societies have been shattered.

In January 2018, the Democratic Republic of Congo takes up its seat in the UN Human Rights Council despite its widely documented abysmal human rights record. DRC’s election, despite spirited opposition by activists, elicited international criticism. Yet sanctimonious Western nations like Britain and the US have absolutely no moral standing to castigate the DRC.

The whole point of the America-led war on terror in Africa is to keep the continent in a state of permanent war. For not only does it force African countries, finally freeing themselves from Western dependence, into dependence on AFRICOM; it also undermines China’s blossoming relationship with Africa.

Malema is threatened by the image of a Black woman who will execute everything he can only “implement” in rhetoric because he lacks her competence, qualifications and, most importantly, her courage. So in typical misogynist fashion, Malema retaliates by consistently focusing on Dlamini-Zuma’s personal life.

An African centered critical pedagogy is required in order to create the cadre of the men and women capable of making the analysis as well as developing the policies, structures and systems for the realization of Pan African objectives. Deconstruction of the imperial power of Euro-America global white supremacy will come about only by African governments and peoples mobilizing and creating a Pan African political culture and an All African Union Government.

China is fast growing as a leading global power, as the Euro-American-Japanese empire is on decline. The implications for Africa are huge. Ultimately, it is up to African governments to shape China’s power in ways that will benefit their people.

Tagged under: 843, Global South, Yash Tandon

A time when the armed forces in Africa were infamous for their penchant to interfere in politics, Malu distinguished himself as a professional icon. He led the 10-nation-strong force that liberated Liberia from the throes of a bloody civil war.

Tagged under: 843, Human Security, Paul Ejime

Pambazuka News 842: Kenya on the brink

Thomas Isidore Noël Sankara (1949-1987) was assassinated 30 years ago, on 15 October 1987. He was one of the most confident and outspoken anti-imperialist leaders of the late 20th century. Sankara’s life and political praxis continue to be significant in shaping and inspiring anti-imperial and Pan-African youth activism and resistance across the African continent and beyond.

The terrorist attack in Mozambique early this month is the first incident of violent extermism in the southern African nation. The attack appears to have been carried out by a group of local young Muslims who formed a sect in 2014  and have told their followers to stop sending their children to secular institutions such as state schools and hospitals. The group wants Sharia law applied in their area.

 

Ngugi wa Thiong’o holds two teaching positions at the University of California, Irvine, as Distinguished Professor in Comparative Literature and Distinguished Professor of English. He does not have an earned masters or PhD degree, only a bachelor’s degree. And he is not the only one.

Tagged under: 842, Education, Maurice N. Amutabi

It has been said that it is insane to do the same thing again and again and expect a different result. The present world system is not sustainable for the majority of the people or the Planet. What is urgently needed is transformation at the levels of the individual and society.

Eighty-four percent of the population of Uganda are rural subsistence farmers. They are resisting both rampant land grabbing and US ally General Yoweri Museveni’s attempt to rule for life. Ann Garrison spoke to Phil Wilmot, an American-born activist who now lives in rural Uganda.

Chika Ezeanya-Esiobu, PhD, wants to see Africans unleash their suppressed creative and innovative energies by acknowledging the significance of their indigenous, authentic knowledge. In this powerful talk, she shares examples of untapped, traditional African knowledge in agriculture and policy-making, calling on Africans to make progress by validating and dignifying their reality.

Nikanori Apita used the classroom to shape the minds of generations, weaning them out of racist ideology of Empire that cramped their mental growth. Empire’s ideology was ingrained in the colonial texts it was his duty to teach. Apita decided his task was to subvert the texts.

Tagged under: 842, John Otim, Pan-Africanism

Between 2006 and 2010 the deployment of US special forces troops in Africa increased by 300 per cent. From 2010 to 2017 the numbers of deployed troops exploded by nearly 2000 per cent, occupying more than 60 outposts tasked with carrying out over 100 missions at any given moment across the continent.

Tagged under: 842, Eddie Haywood, Human Security

Less than a week to the repeat presidential poll, the country is dangerously polarized. The leading opposition candidate has withdrawn. A senior official of the electoral body quit and fled the country, saying conditions for a credible poll have not been met. The elections chief has said the same thing.

The ruling Jubilee coalition insists repeat presidential elections must go on next Thursday. The opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) has called for a boycott and nationwide protests on that date. Unless the election is called off now, and efforts made to cool off tempers, Kenya could implode.

The 3rd People’s Triangular Conference of Mozambique, Brazil and Japan organized by the No to ProSavana campaign will take place at the Kaya-Kwanga Conference Centre in Maputo on 24 and 25 October, 2017. This conference aims to reflect the development models in Mozambique, with emphasis on the ProSavana Program, through a deep and democratic debate.

Washington and London’s support for Paul Kagame’s more than two-decade long control of Kigali explains the dominance of a highly simplistic account of Rwanda’s genocide. But a tertiary reason for the strength of the fairy tale is it aligns with the nationalist mythology of another G7 state: Canada.

Tagged under: 842, Human Security, Yves Engler

I have argued consistently for many years that trade is war contrary to Kamidza’s view that it is benign and developmental.  I do not believe there is any “developmental” potential in EU’s aid or trade policy towards Africa. Indeed, I contend that all development is resistance against imperialism.

Tagged under: 842, Economics, Yash Tandon

It will be a source of embarrassment to the United States Department of State to discover that while it is spending billions of tax-dollars in promoting democracy, human rights and the Justice Law and Order Sector in developing countries, justice, law and order are crumbling in, of all enlightened places, New York State.

Tagged under: 842, Human Security, Mary Serumaga

Pambazuka News 841: Che and social justice today

It is hard to make a case for continued support of the World Bank. Serving America’s national security and diplomatic interest is not persuasive for the remaining 189 member countries of the Bank. It is not even persuasive for Americans.

Tagged under: 841, Economics, Jonathan Mensah

The funny thing about the G20 Compact with Africa is that it is formulated by the same institutions that perpetuate underdevelopment in the continent. One cannot go to a doctor who repeatedly prescribes the wrong medication to his patients, worsening their illness instead of curing them. Global capitalism is the main cause of African underdevelopment. If Africa wants genuine development, it must reject advice from the so-called international community and its institutions.

Tagged under: 841, Economics, Fekadu Bekele

In a letter to his five children written en route to Bolivia, Ernesto Che Guevara said: “Always be able to feel deep within your being all the injustices committed against anyone, anywhere in the world. This is the most beautiful quality a revolutionary can have.” Che’s legacy remains a doctor’s love for humanity.

Tagged under: 841, Global South, Vijay Prashad

Ethiopia would be a tough place to govern even for the most talented and well-intentioned daughters and sons of the land. It is a complex country of over 80 ethnic groups and 100 million people. After years of internal turmoil under a vicious and corrupt dictatorship, Ethiopia seems to be heading to the tipping point. Only internal structural change will save the country.

Canada doesn't want Guinean asylum seekers in its territory. It is not that thousands of Guineans are flocking the North American nation. Only a few applicants are seeking refuge. Yet Guinea is a mineral-rich country. In a number of ways, Canada has since the colonial days contributed to the impoverishment that drives Guineans to seek a better life elsewhere.

Tagged under: 841, Economics, Yves Engler

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