by Obi Egbuna Jr. Simunye
Because of the rapid political transition that has recently taken place in Zimbabwe, this 37-year-old nation’s most ardent supporters and defenders, along with its most hateful detractors helped make the resignation of former President and revolutionary icon Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe and the installation of the current President Comrade E.D. Mnangagwa not only Africa’s top story, but the primary focus of the entire planet.
During the 2000 OCLAE (Organization of Caribbean and Latin American Youth) Congress that took place in Cuba, which will never be forgotten primarily because this was where Commandante Fidel Castro made his first public remarks concerning the Elian Gonzalez situation, the audience representing student- and youth-organized formations all over the world erupted when the commandante emphatically let it be known due to the premature decision U.S. imperialism made to make a global spectacle concerning the custody of a child, the average U.S. citizen learned more about Cuba in four months than in 41 years.
This same exact logic applies to the Zimbabwean question simply because US-EU imperialism is strategically obligated to paint the picture that President Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF are now more dangerous and unpredictable, and based on this reality, re-establishing the GPA/Inclusive Government which would resuscitate US-EU imperialism’s neo-colonialist pet project Movement for Democratic Change and its cancer riddled leader former Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, shows a lack of commitment to democracy and human rights.
The highlight of Malcolm X’s most well known “Message to the Grass Roots,” delivered on Nov. 10, 1963, was the following statement: “Instead of airing our differences in public, we have to realize we’re all the same family. And when you have a family squabble, you don’t get out on the sidewalk.
“If you do, everybody calls you uncouth, unrefined, uncivilized, savage. If you don’t make it at home, you settle it at home; you get in the closet – argue it out behind closed doors. And when you come out on the street, you pose a common front, a united front.”
Since we now know in hindsight that the Nation of Islam’s National Secretary John Ali was an FBI agent who infiltrated the organization for the sole purpose of driving a rift between Brother Malcolm the NOI’s national spokesperson and its leader, the most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, it is fair to say Brother Malcolm saw the writing on the wall.
What Zimbabwe’s most loyal defenders and supporters both in Mother Africa and in the Diaspora have willingly accepted is that the two headed monster of Zanu-PF factionalism and US-EU sanctions led to the resignation of former President Mugabe; due to the countless lessons Mother Africa’s children stand to learn from this experience, as the age old adage goes, what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.
Embracing this point of view puts us on an inevitable collision course, with each and every investigative journalist, political organizer, human rights advocate, political pundit, be they African or external to our community, who are willing to swear on a stack of Bibles, Qurans, Torahs and Metu Neters that Zimbabwe was recently subjected to a military coup.
The arrogance and dogmatism of the White Liberal pendulum that seems to always swing to the right when addressing Zimbabwe, is the reason that Amy Goodman the host and producer of Democracy Now is hellbent on peddling this notion, and Gregory Elich, author of “Strange Liberators,” who is usually favorable, penned his recent article, “What is Behind the Military Coup in Zimbabwe.”
What Zimbabwe’s most loyal defenders and supporters have willingly accepted is that the two headed monster of Zanu-PF factionalism and US-EU sanctions led to the resignation of former President Mugabe; as the age old adage goes, what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.
From the moment Gen. Constantino Chiwenga and Major-Gen. Moyo made it abundantly clear what had transpired in Zimbabwe was not a military takeover, Ms. Goodman took it upon herself to use the Democracy Now platform, which is broadcast on 1,400 television and radio stations worldwide to declare the transition as a coup, which in the final analysis not only discredits the Zimbabwe Defense Forces, but portrays President E.D. Mnangagwa as a blood thirsty attack dog who turned on his master, former President Mugabe.
The mouthpieces Ms. Goodman used to declare ZDF guilty of a coup were a Caucasian professor from Oxford University, Jocelyn Alexander, who wrote a book called “The Unsettled Land: State Making and the Politics of Land in Zimbabwe, 1893-2003,” and Nnimmo Bassey, a Nigerian who is the director of the Health of Mother Earth Foundation.
While we are not surprised by the angle propagated by Ms. Goodman, an investigative journalist with Mr. Elich’s credentials had no business citing the Zimbabwe Independent and bolstering the claim of Reuters that they have obtained CIO files from Zimbabwe validating his assertion.
Because the Zimbabwe Independent, The Standard and NewsDay are in the clutches of the neo-colonialist journalist darling of the West Trevor Ncube, the world has witnessed these publications along with the Financial Gazette demonize Zanu-PF by highlighting the power of the police and military, discredit the ZIMASSET program, and highlight what they deemed to be flaws of Zanu-PF politicians. Mr. Ncube was executive editor of the Financial Gazette as well.
The slant on criminalizing the ZDF happens to be in harmony and concert with the paper written by U.S. Ambassador to Botswana Michelle Gavin when she was a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations entitled “Planning for Post-Mugabe Zimbabwe in 2007,” which specifically targeted Zimbabwean Security Services, calling the military and police a powerful presence throughout the government and economy.
This theme was the underbelly of several U.S. Congressional hearings on Zimbabwe throughout the 21st century. The flaw in this argument is Zimbabwe’s guerrilla efforts at home and in Mozambique and the Congo exemplify patriotism of the highest order.
What Mr. Elich and Ms. Goodman, along with some who claim to be in solidarity with Zanu-PF must understand is accusing the ZDF of engineering a coup is helping to facilitate the U.S.-Africa Military Command (AFRICOM) agenda that sees the destabilizing of Zimbabwean, Angolan, Namibian and Mozambican Defense Forces along with the revolutionary fighting force of Eritrea as the key to having continent-wide control of Africa’s military infrastructure.
When all is said and done, accusing ZDF of a coup, as opposed to calling the transition factionalism that spiraled out of control, sells more newspapers for Mr. Ncube and helps Mr. Elich and Ms. Goodman with ratings and book sales.
When it comes to factionalism, so-called African Americans, who have seen everything from shoot-outs between the Black Panther Party and US (United Slaves), the forcing out of Dr. W.E.B. DuBois from the NAACP, the ousting of SNCC National Chairman John Lewis being replaced by Kwame Ture along with a variety of splits in grassroots organizations like the AAPRP, UNIA-ACL etc. as a normal part of political evolution and growth. Let no one self-righteously act like a virgin to bitter political infighting.
Accusing the ZDF of engineering a coup is helping to facilitate the U.S.-Africa Military Command (AFRICOM) agenda that sees the destabilizing of Zimbabwean, Angolan, Namibian and Mozambican Defense Forces along with the revolutionary fighting force of Eritrea as the key to having continent-wide control of Africa’s military infrastructure.
The allies of Zanu-PF based in the US and UK, along with other parts of the EU, were by capacity focused on the lifting of US-EU sanctions, because it was not our responsibility to talk out of turn concerning the internal divisions in the party.
Perhaps the most tragic aspect of the in-fighting was how the solidarity efforts were compromised, in particular the blockage of information to former President Mugabe, which as time went on resembled a clogged toilet. Members of the G-40 cabal inappropriately spread rumors that genuine solidarity workers coming out of the US and UK working on the ground in Zimbabwe were agents of the CIA. Others played favorites in the solidarity circles as opposed to looking scientifically at the concrete results of our organizational efforts
Lastly, we must not forget that in the past 17 years Zimbabwe has witnessed three vice presidents and over 40 national heroes transition to the ancestors.
This forces us to recognize that former President Mugabe at the age of 93 must be celebrated for overseeing arguably the African revolution’s most challenging juggling act, that included fighting off counter-revolutionary elements that surfaced in Zanu-PF, and building global support to lift US-EU sanctions and consolidating the party and government’s national gains.
Truthfully, those who have decided not to support President Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF going forward never really supported President Mugabe beyond rambling on social media in circles that in 37 years amounted to very little.
As President Mugabe will be remembered for opening up his speeches with the statement “Comrades and Friends,” President Mnangagwa can say, “With friends like you, who needs enemies.”
Obi Egbuna Jr. is the U.S. correspondent to The Herald and a U.S.-based member of the Zimbabwe-Cuba Friendship Association. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org. This story first appeared in The Herald.