Sunday, April 20, 2008

Africa has to get over colonialism

At last the Sunday Times reports that the African Union has called for some action over Zimbabwe, if only for the election results to be released. It has been the depressing legacy that those who govern Africa have not wanted to be accountable to the world, or each other, or even their own populations. Thabo Mbeki's disgraceful legacy is one of death and complicity with murder in Zimbabwe. Fortunately both a trade union and the South Africa court system have some sense of right and wrong. In what seems to be the most moral action by any waterfront union I've ever known, South Africa's watersiders refused to unload the Chinese ship of arms destined for Zimbabwe, and a court ordered the ship to leave South African waters. I needn't mention how China continues to act internationally to provide sustenance and the means to murder to murderers - that is worth protesting more than Tibet, but I digress.
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Colonialism was the first and perhaps one of the only major movements that the UN advocated in its early history - colonialism was a "bad" through and through, so colonial regimes were deemed bad and post-colonial ones "good". Sadly far too many of Africa's post colonial governments have been any advance over their predecessors. The legacy of Idi Amin, Bokassa, Mobutu and Nyerere range from murderous to simply incompetent. Mugabe has followed the spectrum starting with incompetence and moving to the murderous.
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However he is seen by African leaders for being a hero, for fighting the racist Ian Smith regime. This neglects that even South Africa's racist apartheid regime stop providing support to Rhodesia in the latter years - something South Africa's government wont do now for Zimbabwe. However colonialism is over. Long over. Africans are not let down by the West half as much as they are let down by their own governments - government which, in many cases, are simply legalised gangs of kleptocrats who barely maintain a semblance of authority.
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Zimbabwe's coming weeks could cover Africa with glory in how it responds or show it to be impotent in the face of murder and tyranny - Africa has managed Kenya with some success from the brink of disaster, it is time to exit Mugabe and his Zanu-PF Mafia immediately. They disgrace Africa and Africans. So much is happening in Zimbabwe, with people killed, and Times correspondent Jonathan Clayton tells of his ordeal in Zimbabwe.
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Is the 21st century going to be characterised by acquiescence in the face of tyranny that could so easly be defeated?

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