It is good to say you can take care of the downpressed's needs; but how? Since; the neocolonial state which you intend to administrate is further along in the aforesaid experience; as the following article illustrates.Where is your position paper?
having read Basildon Peta's call to arms against the "despot" Mugabe,
one is tempted to ask for a deeper analysis of the problems of Zimbabwe
and facing most of the post colonial Africa. i will not say anything
about how Basildon seem oblivious of the danger of "recolonisation" or
the "Zambianisation" of Zimbabwe. i find his reference to the utterances
of Prof Moyo on Blaire rather suprising. i see nothing undemocratic in
saying Blaire is boyish and stupid. i hope this does not betray his
political loyalties. below is my take ( the piece is a rough draft) on
the situation and my own country South Africa.
Just before the last elections we visited Zimbabwe to understand the
land "crisis@ a little better, we asked a representative of a human
rights NGO (Zim Rights) whether it was true that the land occupations
where inspired by Mugabe=s desire to stay in power. His response was
crisp, AMugabe was never in power, he has always been in office and
taking instruction from elsewhere. Now, alienated from his people and
corrupted by office, he wants real power, its going to very difficult@.
This statement in many ways tells the story of post colonial Africa.
The neo-colonial state in words of Nkrumah was by definition beholden to
the former colonial master. In the era globalisation this means that the
gods of international finance capital calls the shorts. If you don=t
dance to their music they raid your currency and doom your economy
basically. Who can deny that President Mbeki was pressured to assure
white property holders that no land occupations will happen in South
Africa when the rand was said to have been weakened by the Zimbabwe
Acrisis@? Mbeki=s assurance, indeed did see an improved rand. Those who
control the globe had reminded us all who runs the show around here.
Typically the neo-colonial state and South Africa is one, is that they
under go three critical stages. Firstly, they come to office through a
process negotiations at times even stopping the war of liberation at its
final stages where victory is almost certain. This creates the
conditions for the former colonisers/oppressors space to influence the
agenda of the post colonial state.
In this first stage the ruling elites are generally serious about
transformation, they invest in education, health and at times some real
land reform happens. But with the going of time it becomes clear that
they can not go very far due to mainly the restriction of the negotiated
settlement and the interest of their masters. The good progress made by
Zimbabwe on education, health, industrialisation land reforms can not be
denied immediately after indecence. Unfortunately one can not say the
same with SA and Namibia. Some of the economic hardships which where to
follow in Zimbabwe can be accounted for the huge social expenditure
incurred in the post independence period.
The first stage also sees the initiation of "Africanisation" of the
economy or Black Economic Empowerment, but this benefit the new
political elite and its economic friends, deals and interlocking
business interests become the order of the day. The new state concern
itself with accumulation for the new elite. This leads to the second
period punctuated by of moral decay and beginning of repression.
Repression is necessitated by the excluded majority questioning the
accumulating and corrupt ruling elites.
The South African moral decay was adequately described by the
President of the Constitutional Court recently as lack in Athe energy,
the commitment and sense of community that were harnessed in the
struggle for freedom@. The Zimbabweans responded with a leadership code
in 1984, according to which, the Zanu-Pf leadership could not own
property, businesses, or be directors and could not earn two salaries.
But this did not stop the rot from setting in. Later Mugabe seem to have
either joined the looters or condoned the looting. Judging from level of
corruption and the morality of Acreating a black bourgeoisie@, which
came underlie the transformation agenda. South Africa is on the same.
Key to all these shifts towards the right of the political spectrum is
the adoption of the neo-liberal policies. Mugabe turned to the IMF World
Bank inspired Structural Adjustment Programed around 1992, since then
its have been a slippery slope to the current abyss. South Africa has
its own home grown structural Adjustment programed name the Growth
Employment and Redistribution strategy. They are all founded on the
"Washington Consensus" model. These adjustment, create pockets of wealth
and further impoverishes the working classes and the peasantry. The real
beneficiaries out of the debt that follows are the western money lenders
and the US treasury which owns 51% of the World Bank. The story of how
national sovereignty of indebted countries is lost on the alter of these
Adjustments is well documented.
The second stage is characterized by raising alternative voices who
question the status quo from the impoverished and neglected populace.
The reaction from the now corrupted and dictatorial political elite is
often state repression and the rhetoric of "counter revolution" is used
to discredit the new voice. Under these conditions the puppet masters
begin to look for alternative leadership and take advantage of the power
struggle between the old and new. As the struggle intensify the new
credible leadership form "tactical alliances@ with elements of
We are then told by these people that the aid they receive from the
international capital is Awith no strings attached". The Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) of Zimbabwe is a good example of this phenomenon
Professor Masipula Sithole of Zimbabwe, in his interesting book STRUGGLE
WITHIN A STRUGGLE reminds us that such talk is based on the assumption
that the listener is foolish or the speaker is prone to foolish jokes.
We know he who pays the piper calls the tune. To date the MDC has done
everything to ingratiate itself to Westerns interests so much that they
are in alliance with farmers against the ruling party.
Under conditions of heightened opposition voices and mobilisation,
there are basically three options opened to ruling political elite,
either cut loose from its masters ( the Mugabe option), leave office (
the Kaunda option) or stay in office through increased repression ( the
Mobutu option). There is nothing stopping the ruling elites to taking
some elements from another option. But in the main the option remains.
It would seem that Mugabe has chosen the first option. This occurs in
an environment of political violence of course. This option creates a
dilemma for both the ruling political elite and the former colonial
masters. A situation of crisis is created, and neither can proceed as
before. The political elite awaked to the reality of its neglect of the
people and its gluttony, may split or could reinvent itself as a true
party of the oppressed, this will come at a huge expense economically as
the international capitalist forces connive with sections of local
agents to sabotage the new revolution. The question here is how long
will the ruling elite sustain the new route in the face of international
condemnation and isolation.
The west also does not what this recalcitrant behavior to go too far
since others may emulate it. Imagine South Africa, Namibia, Angola,
Mozambique joining forces with Zimbabwe? At least on the issue of land
redistribution and economic independence including refusal to pay the
odious debts to the multilateral institutions.
To restore Aorder@ or the "rule of law@ is in the interest of
international capital and its local brethren, it would appear that given
the balance of forces support may be given even to the recalcitrant
elite if it becomes clear that its likely to retain power. But this
support comes at a price, mostly likely a commitment to the Structural
Adjustment Programed all over again. The Mugabe option does allow for a
refusal to engage the west on unfavorable terms though.
The Kaunda option, sees the old elites leaving office, a Anew dynamic@
political formation taking office through the ballot. In fact defeats
the old ruling party in elections. The election campaign of the "new
party" bought and paid for by the masters. The victory is hailed by the
west as an example of maturation of Ademocracy@ in Africa.
The expectant poor and brutalized populace is give another hope. But
soon the poor realizes that their new party is no different at times
worse that the old, where they have planted maize grew stones. The cycle
is likely to repeat itself thereafter.
So what=s to be done? The rural and urban poor must not relax and hope
for goods to be delivered in an orderly fashion by a new establishment.
The political elites and its western educated bureaucracy will only
throw legal jargon at them, and tell them Rome was not built in one day.
They will be called to tighten their belts as the leadership get fat.
Their leaders now in office will fly to the capitals of the metropolises
every week to encourage 'Foreign investments@, they may even set up an
international group of known plunders of the developed world to lend a
hand. From there on its business as usual.
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