The Sunday News
Richard Runyararo Mahomva
In his latest instalment in last week’s volume of The Patriot newspaper, Tafataona Mahoso — a giant philosophical voice of reason writes: “The . . . US deployment of troops to Gabon in the case of escalating post-election violence in the DRC should have provoked objections from both the AU and Sadc on account of the evil legacy of US interventions especially in Libya (2011) and Congo in 1960-1997”.
Dr Mahoso further notes that: “The pretext given, that the US wishes to re-assure its citizens and diplomatic staff that they will be protected and rescued in case of escalating post-election violence, is not adequate as re-assurance to millions of the Congolese and their African brothers and sisters that the US itself has not already taken sides in internal disputes and does not already have special forces embedded within clandestine forces already in the DRC and already feeding the violence.
This has been the practice of the US for a long time, worldwide, and in the cases of the Congo in the 1960s and Libya from 2011 to-date”.
Here, the godfather of letters and the doyen of African philosophy locates the recently witnessed trail of events in history.
Mahoso is fervidly positing that the US’ diplomatic postures with regards to the case of Congo, (the land of Lumumba — one who was shredded to death in the hands of the West after the plunder blessing of Leopold II) are a gesture of the asymmetrical global (dis) order hypocrisy.
While much of our existential break-away from colonial domination has been characterised by internal conflicts, the struggle to amass power and resource control at the centre of our entrapment to be colonial or to reform there is always that White bug.
This White bug that has popularised the religion of burying history if it exposes the grotesque facets of the “Western civilising mission” and the expedient exhumation of history if it presents legacies of the post-colonial state’s corruption and bad governance.
History is only good when it depicts how African ethnic groups have murdered and hated one another. History is only good when some few Western educated fundis establish Civic-Society Organisations (CSOs) and university institutions of Peace Studies, Transitional Justice and Reconciliation.
There history must be exhausted especially if it gives an ill-projection of a notorious incumbent before the eyes of the empire.
These are the sophisticated “clandestine forces” sustaining polemic and punitive rhetoric that has reduced African politics to the savagery politics of ethnic hate and Western stooge democracy.
While Joseph Kabila might have had his inadequacies which attracted the electorate aversion of his rule, there is no lie in noting the West’s meddling in the DRC politics.
It’s a known fact that the US’ interest in Congo was based on preserving sectorial interests. The underpinning motive of the US intervention in Congo is not so different from its decade-long stewardship of opposition interests in Zimbabwe through a plethora of regime change funding initiatives.
However, in the case of Congo one should remember that there is oil and any superficial benevolent intervention by the US would have privileged America to set the negotiation terms with a self-reward to siphon the minerals under the silent nod of a new puppet.
The US intervention in Congo is as old as the rise of puppet leadership imposition dating back to the installing of Mobuto Sese Seko.
Mobuto’s rule collapsed owing to the rise of the intuitive military uprising which gave power to Laurent-Desire Kabila.
If Kabila removed a Western puppet from power what would have redeemed him from being hated by the same West that massacred Lumumba for not falling prey to the deodorised curse of neo-colonialism and being a darling of the West?
This is why part of the justification for West’s sanctions on Zimbabwe was of deployment of peace-keepers in the DRC.
We just had to pay the price of aligning our military support to a “junta” that had removed Mobutu — the puppet who took up the urgency of Western interests after the gruesome elimination of Lumumba.
Clearly, if Laurent-Desire Kabila was not a mercenary of the West’s interests, his son was their new target. As expected, his rule did not receive validation from Brussels, London and Washington and automatically he was christened a dictator.
This is why during this election the Catholic Church was visibly at the centre of the observation process. After all that the opposed of the expected happened, Felix Tshisekedi emerged as the winner of the election. Martin Fayulu — the Kinshasa darling lost the election.
The Kinshasa dismissal of the results as an “electoral coup” was not so different from the Emmerson Mnangagwa illegitimacy crusade being paddled in Harare in a bid to make the country ungovernable.
But not only that, the course of the DRC election is interjected by violent street clashes which claimed four lives and yet in Harare there was a synonymous procession of the on-course election violence which claimed six lives.
One wonders if this could be a coincidence. Why this trail of coincidences of negotiating anti-Western backed opposition parties’ election outcomes.
From Raila Odinga to the Nelson Chamisa’s mock swearing-in; could this be an advent of new anti-nationalist fanaticism?
In the same week of the DRC drama South-Africa’s ANC celebrated its 107 Anniversary.
The ANC memorial is a stout reminder of African nationalism’s force of endurance, resistance and continuity.
In its more than a century of life, the toddler called ANC has reaffirmed reliving history courtesy of the land expropriation without compensation trajectory.
This is why it was only befitting that for the ANC birthday to be celebrated in KwaZulu — the land of the gallant warriors who wrecked colonial military power at the battle of Sandlwana.
It was from the Zulu people and their language that the ANC military wing was given a name — uMkhonto weSizwe (The Spear of the Nation).
When the ANC camped in KwaZulu, it is reminiscing itself back to the source where the defence of the land as a birth-right was and is still deemed sacred.
The feeling would have not been the same had the commemoration been held in Cape-Town.
And verily, it is in KwaZulu where the election agenda of the coming South-African election will be framed.
Certainly the upcoming South-African election presents a new challenge to the forces of the empire as the mother nationalist movement and its legitimate indigenous opposition will be united on the realignment of property rights.
Land appropriation without compensation is South-Africa’s next wave of challenging coloniality head-on. Definitely, it will be nasty.
Also pleasing to note is the centrifugal role of Jacob Zuma in the power consolidation process of the ANC, not to mention how he was badly tainted for his tilting to the Russo-Indian and Chinese forces considering their demonised framing in South-Africa’s problematic xenophobic culture.
To this day, South-Africa remains besieged by a unique anti-foreigner overdrive which is defensive to the Dutch and British political-economy interests and yet having adopted a religious abhorrence of the African migrant worker.
It is Africa’s quandary and one which is characterised by an immense hate of the “indigenous other” in selective affection and penchant of the “foreign other”.
This is why the ideas of the most endeared colonial foreign other shape the anti-nationalist rhetoric which must be down-trodden to advance the supremacy of liberalism.
The voice of America and that of Britain is legitimately echoed in our political discourse.
Today, in Congo the Son of Laurent-Desire Kabila in DRC is accused of brokering a power-sharing deal with the Son of Étienne Tshisekedi wa Mulumba. And so what if these two have found the common ground that their fathers could not find in their lifetime?
It’s a stubborn fact, Étienne was a leading opposition figure during Mobutu and Laurent-Desire’s successive Presidency. His proposition was largely on the side of Congo’s reconstruction.
Today one wonders why it is wrong for the children of erstwhile indigenous inclined political ideological formation leaders to negotiate power transition.
Those who hold that view, consider it a virtue for opposition parties especially those with Western backing to have election convenient coalitions and alliances?
Then when Joseph Kabila and Felix Tshisekei negotiate a power transition deal to preserve local traditions of power interest preservation it becomes a pagan rite.
Likewise, when South-African political parties agree on the land expropriation without compensation what would that mean to parties opposed to the full economic liberation of the indigenes?
Should we not be optimistic that the developments in Congo and Azania will help in reorganising what was planned and envisaged in Berlin as a plan for structural and intergenerational disconnect to recovering the centuries of lost power and being?
– Richard Runyararo Mahomva is an independent researcher and a literature aficionado interested in the architecture of governance in Africa and political theory.