Sunday, 25 May 2008

Tsvangirai’s aid hoax must be totally avoided

Tsvangirai’s aid hoax must be totally avoided

AFRICAN FOCUS By Tafataona P. Mahoso

ACCORDING to Frantz Fanon, the only way colonial and neo-colonial African elites can lead their peoples to full independence is if they give up bourgeois privileges and join the masses from whom they must also learn how to be truly African.

For Zimbabwe, those elites who led the liberation movement now represented by President Mugabe did give up their privileged positions in colonial society in order to create and lead the people’s movement.

This legacy is being reversed by the post-independence elites who got free education from the new Government of independent Zimbabwe. These are the new petty bourgeois elite who have joined white Rhodesians in the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Yet according to Fanon:

"(The) historical vocation of an authentic national middle class in an underdeveloped country is to repudiate its own (neo-colonial) nature insofar as it is (petty) bourgeois, that is to say insofar as it is the tool of capitalism, and to make itself the willing slave of that revolutionary capital which is the people.

"In an underdeveloped country an authentic national middle class ought to consider as its bounden duty to betray the calling (which) fate has marked out for it, and to put itself to school with the people: in other words to put at the people’s disposal the intellectual and technical capital that is has snatched when going through the colonial (and neo-colonial) university.

"But unhappily we . . . see . . . that very often the (derivative) middle class does not follow this heroic, positive, fruitful, and just path; rather, it disappears with its soul . . . into the shocking ways of a (derivative) bourgeoisie which is stupidly, contemptibly, cynically (petty) bourgeois."

(Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth)

Any Zimbabwean who doubts that the government of national unity (GNU) proposal for Zimbabwe coming from certain media is the latest imperialist and neo-colonial trap put in the path of the Third Chimurenga should ask to watch a repeat of ZTV’s Zimbabwe Today programme aired on May 21 2008.

The programme featured the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Cde Patrick Chinamasa (representing Zanu-PF); Dr Joseph Kurebwa of the University of Zimbabwe; and the MP-elect for Kuwadzana Mr Nelson Chamisa (representing MDC-Tsvangirai).

Apart from demonstrating on national television that the MDC-T routinely tells lies to the whole world (including lies about election results), the most shocking revelation from the panel programme was that a party which openly praises illegal, white racist sanctions against its own people wants to form a government of national unity with a liberation movement seeking to indigenise the very same economy being sanctioned by the white racist countries. And the purpose of the sanctions is to stop real indigenisation in the name of curbing what Chamisa called "misbehaviour" by the Government of Zimbabwe.

MDC-T represents that fraction of the derivative and aspiring African middle class described by Fanon, which sees development as the flaunting and celebration of a white middle-class lifestyle based on consumption patterns created through the sponsored neo-liberal NGO culture of the last 15 years. That is why the most important election message from MDC-T and its NGO cohorts is that the very same countries squeezing the people through sanctions will resume fully sponsored aid and relief programmes as soon as the people agree to be coerced into electing Morgan Tsvangirai.

Euro-American sponsorship and aid constitute the sole purpose for the existence of the MDC-T and the antithesis of indigenisation.

In his Revolutionary Pressures in Africa (1978), the late Claude Ake defined the problem which Zimbabwe faces in the MDC-T and its Western-woven trap called government of national unity:

"The priority for the indigenisation of African economies is the liberation of Africa from the (derivative) African (petty) bourgeoisie, since African societies cannot fight imperialism under the leadership of agents of imperialism . . . The indigenisation of African economies must entail their disengagement from exploitive relations with international (Western) capitalism; this indeed is why indigenisation is important. Therefore, if indigenisation is to be anything more than a token gesture, it will jeopardise the interests of international capitalism. This means that indigenisation must come down to a battle against international capitalism . . . (But) any attempt to disengage African economies from their crippling dependence will create grave economic hardships in the short run as the economies readjust and absorb the sanctions which the Western powers are bound to invoke."

In other words, a government of national unity between those who want African empowerment through indigenisation and those who praise the sanctions meant to stop indigenisation could be entered into only as a temporary, tactical move backwards, in the belief that the indigenising forces would survive and dilute the anti-indigenising sanctions party in the process and move forward later. That would be falling into a trap.

There are clear historical reasons why this trap should be avoided altogether and the vast majority warned against it.

The issues of Euro-American sanctions and Tsvangirai’s instant aid hoax through a GNU has to be put into context. Both the current Euro-American sanctions against Zimbabwe and the US$10 billion or more promised to Tsvangirai by Euro-American forces depend on the use and control of the World Bank and the IMF by the very same forces. The Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of the US makes that clear.

So the question which arises is why would the same international financial institutions co-ordinating and enforcing illegal sanctions against Zimbabwe today suddenly give US$10 billion to Zimbabwe when they failed to deliver just US$2 billion promised by the US and UK at Lancaster House in the UK in 1979?

The US$10 billion means loans spread over 10 years from the day of the setting up of the trap called GNU. The loans would be partially granted only if the GNU fulfils the "recovery" requirements of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act, that is, only if the GNU becomes a new resettlement scheme for former Rhodesian settler farmers to recover the land which our Third Chimurenga has reclaimed for the indigenous population.

How do we know this? We know this because there is a historical record which explains it.

The US reconstructed Europe after the devastation of the Hitler wars through a programme called the Marshall Plan.

The European countries being reconstructed paid back the US with foreign currency earned by the colonies of those European powers. Zimbabwe was one such colony used by the US and the World Bank to pay for the reconstruction of Britain.

But that was not the only way in which Africans in Zimbabwe paid for the reconstruction of Britain. The US, through the World Bank, helped to pay for the creation and implementation of the white Rhodesian programme of African dispossession called the African Land Husbandry Act in 1951. This involved paying demobilised British war veterans to migrate to Zimbabwe; worsening the unequal and discriminatory land tenure introduced through Land Apportionment Act in 1930 by putting specific limits on how much land each African could have in the so-called Tribal Trust Lands (TTLs); limiting those Africans who owned cattle to a maximum of six head of cattle per household; and creating a large class of totally landless Africans in the TTLs who also could not own any cattle.

Not only were the African majority pushed into dry and barren reserves while the white minority monopolised prime farmland. By the beginning of the Second Chimurenga white farmers averaged 1 200 acres per farmer on the best soils while Africans averaged 14 acres on the poorest soils.

In short, the US through the World Bank and the Marshall Plan financed the African Land Husbandry Act of 1951 because the racist Act helped to resettle and rehabilitate white war veterans of the Hitler wars at the expense of the African majority. The same US with Britain and Europe are promising Tsvangirai US$10 billion because Tsvangirai, like the colonial regime of Rhodesia in 1951, has promised to resettle those white farmers who ran away from the African land reclamation movement of 1992-2000. The illegal sanctions are the blunt instrument with which to force the majority and their government to resettle the former Rhodesians yet again.

But there is more to the story. When it became clear that the white Rhodesian regime and its Zimbabwe-Rhodesia arrangement with Muzorewa were going to be defeated by the liberation movement, to whose aid the Rhodesians appeal? They appealed to the same US which had financed their resettlement here through the African Land Husbandry Act.

On January 12 1979, white Rhodesia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs P. K. van der Byl wrote to US senators Jesse Helms and Roger W. Jepsen who, in turn, wrote to white conservative Christians all over the US, to ask them to rally the white people of the US and their government in support of white Rhodesia. Senator Jesse Helms was the chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

As a result of those appeals, Ian Smith, Bishop Abel Muzorewa and Rev Ndabaningi Sithole were invited by the senators to tour the US and promote the Internal Settlement in October 1979.

But what was the message from P. K. van der Byl to senators Jesse Helms and Roger W. Jepsen? P. K. van der Byl wrote:

"Attacks which are presently mounted on Rhodesia, a Christian nation, are by terrorists trained and supported by anti-Christian communists (meaning Zanu and Zapu) . . .

The future of Christianity in Rhodesia will largely be influenced by the actions of the United States government in support of the majority rule government of Rhodesia (meaning Smith and Muzorewa.)

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