Thursday, 5 July 2007

Africans telling the west what they would rather not hear.

This is an excerpt from Will Ross' diary, a BBC journalist interviewing Ghanaians about how they view Robert Mugabe and Zimbabwe. These Africans sentiments are crystal clear. What is amazing is that these Africans have resisted a barrage of western sponsored anti-mugabe, anti-zimbabwe MDC blessed propaganda. They have absolutely no illusions about what is at stark in Zimbabwe.

I have headed to a church hall in Osu where President Robert Mugabe is due to speak a little later on at an event organised by a pan-Africanist Movement.

On the way along the narrow streets, men are pushing around wooden carts laden with water drums.

Access to clean water is a real problem in the Ghanaian capital and many people have to pay more than 10 US cents a bucketful.

Outside the church hall reggae music is playing and there are a few men and one woman wearing orange T-shirts with pictures of Robert Mugabe and Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's independence leader and pan-Africanist. They tell me the BBC's coverage of Zimbabwe is biased but agree to talk.

"Robert Mugabe represents freedom for Africa. You can't have a very small percentage of white people, westerners, owning 90% of the land - that's not on. Africa is for the Africans.

"White people are always welcome here, don't get me wrong. We don't hate anybody but the percentage of our land has to belong to us."

Robert Mugabe has had close ties with Ghana - his late first wife was Ghanaian.

A woman at the church hall is from the same town, Sekondi, and tells me she got to know the Zimbabwean president as he visited the area every year.

"The world is misrepresenting him. We need a leader like Mugabe to lead Africa because Africa is for Africans.

"The land belongs to us. He is the right man to fight for us. We need Mugabe, we need him forever."


Another man tells me he has been living in Ghana since 1999 and before that lived in the UK for 38 years so he tells me he knows and understands British behaviour very well.

"Whenever Europeans give praise to a black leader then we realise that black man is not doing his job concerning his people. The very fact that the white world is against Mr Mugabe is a plus for us.

"AU is a good thing but I have one concern. Will Africa be united as a neo-colonialist block or will it be united as a free Africa."

"No African owns vast amounts of farmland in Europe or America. No African can, so I don't see why Europeans should come and take our gold, our bauxite, our rubber, our timber, our oil."

After he tells me the sanctions against Mugabe should be lifted, I mention that on the car radio I had just heard an interview with a Zimbabwean man saying he was trained by the security forces in Zimbabwe to torture people including locking somebody in a truck and dumping the truck in a lake.

"Mr Mugabe is fighting for his people - therefore the white world will concoct any kind of story. I would not believe that Mr Mugabe himself sanctioned it."

We wait to see if Robert Mugabe attends the meeting. He has already spoken here of the need for better African unity, stating that aid will never allow Africa to prosper.

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