Remembering Nkrumah’s overthrow, defending Zim

Obi Egbuna Jnr Simunye

This means when the Herbert Chitepo Ideological Institute begins to function in Zimbabwe, President Mugabe and ZANU-PF will ensure that the youth do not overindulge in theory, but emerge from that physical location more committed to the immediate execution of the ideas and values that are the cornerstone of the Third Chimurenga.

It is fair to say that all over the African continent and Diaspora, our people will spend this entire numerical year reflecting on one of the tragic moments in our modern history. This would be February 24 1966, the day Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah and the Convention People’s Party were removed from power at the hands of US-EU imperialism.

For so-called African Americans this date and historical moment is bittersweet because while we lost Africa’s first government to dispose of settler colonial rule, Dr Martin Luther King Jnr and his wife Coretta Scott King were dinner guests of the most Honourable Elijah Muhammad at his residence in Chicago, Illinois.

The irony of these events occurring on the same day is rather intriguing especially when we examine the political ramifications. During World War 2 the most Honourable Elijah Muhammad was imprisoned for refusing to enlist and fight in the name of the US government. As we know Dr King Jnr was assassinated exactly one year after his most publicised condemnation of the Vietnam War at Riverside Baptist Church on April 4, 1967.

What continues to be rather troubling is the how civil/human rights organisations and historians continue to put President Lyndon Baines Johnson on a pedestal for signing the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Bill, without mentioning the role of his administration in the overthrow of Osagyefo Nkrumah, who was en route to Vietnam for the purpose of mediating an end to that genocidal and white supremacist adventure that threatened global stability and world peace.

As Mother Africa’s children continue to gain both insight and inspiration from the work of Osagyefo Nkrumah let us digest both a statement and question raised by none other than the pan-African giant and revolutionary Amilcar Cabral when he paid homage to the Osagyefo.

Our great comrade and brother eloquently stated: “Let no one tell us Nkrumah died of a cancer to the throat or some other disease. No, Nkrumah has been killed by the cancer of betrayal that we should root out of Africa if we really want to crush the imperialist domination on this continent.”

The question Cabral goes on to pose is: “To what level we shall ask ourselves is betrayal’s success in Ghana linked to a correct definition of this historical entity and craftsman of history that is the people and their daily work defending its own independence conquests?”

While many African Americans have grown accustomed to expressing the sentiment that the most positive aspect of President Obama’s first victory in 2008 is our children can now one day visualise presiding over a nation that has ruthlessly exploited our labour and continues to ravage through Mother Africa’s sacred grounds for our most precious raw materials, our kith and kin on the home front realised nearly 60 years ago when the Osagyefo ascended to power that African people controlling outright what belonged to us was no longer a fantasy or impractical.

Amongst the millions of African youth whose minds and hearts were shaped by the triumph of the Osagyefo and the CPP over British colonialism, President Mugabe had the distinction of having the unique experience of living and working in Ghana at the height of Nkrumah’s power and influence.

For many years to come the people of Zimbabwe will find both refuge and tranquillity in the fact that President Mugabe found the ideological as well as the practical aspects of the Ghanaian revolution so irresistible that he opted to leave his teaching post at St Mary’s College in Takoradi, Ghana, to return to Zimbabwe and play a pivotal role in the Second Chimurenga.

Because Africans the world over are extremely proud of the rapid swing which resulted in 35 countries gaining their political independence between 1957 and 1960, we take great pride in denouncing the cowardly attempts of US-EU imperialism to portray what was labelled the Arab Spring early this millennium as a political development never witnessed in world history.

Since the Osagyefo himself taught us all, “Practice without thought is blind, thought without action is empty”, history obligates Mother Africa’s dispersed and courageous children to ensure that moving forward, we will not allow the practical contributions of our most invaluable fighters to be either ignored or overshadowed by their ideological conviction.

We can see in hindsight how the Osagyefo’s most hateful detractors, African and non-African alike, were very successful in diverting attention away from the Akosombo Dam project and, according to the New African magazine, created approximately 68 factories in a nine-year period.

In Chapter 1 of “Neo-Colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism”, the Osagyefo highlights the fact that Africa as a continent possesses 40 percent of the world’s potential water power yet 5 percent of this volume is being utilised.

The Osagyefo goes on to discuss how Africa has more arable and pasture land than the US, Soviet Union or Asia and also our forest areas are twice as great as those of the US. This also alerts the people of Zimbabwe and Burkina Faso why President Mugabe and the late Thomas Sankara were adamant about millions of trees being planted for various methods of utilisation.

Both the Osagyefo and President Mugabe are mocked by US imperialism for a lack of commitment to transparent democracy, in the case of Osagyefo Nkrumah they say he declared himself president for life. Each and every time the Bush and Obama administrations mention President Mugabe’s tenure their commentaries seethe with hatred and anger.

After all this time our former colonial and slave masters should realise in modern day African politics the capacity of the president is more strategic than political. This explains why Africa’s enemies only raise this point when they are discussing leaders in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America whom they are not able to overthrow or assassinate with arrogance and impunity.

If it was up to US-EU imperialism not only would leaders like Mobutu, Houphouet Boigny, Bokassa, Somoza, Pinochet, Papa and Baby Doc be cloned, but their reigns of terror would last longer than the eternal flame over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery in Virginia.

Through many years of study, Africans understand that the Osagyefo was the bridge between the Honourable Marcus Mosiah Garvey and WEB DuBois as well as Dr King and Malcolm X. We also see his influence on the Black Power movement in the US as well as Britain first starting with the book written by Richard Wright in 1954 dedicated to Osagyefo personally.

We as Africans also must realise that President Mugabe is the bridge between the Osagyefo and Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Tanzania’s first president, who followed Nkrumah’s lead on providing military training and assistance to liberation movements involved in the protracted armed struggle.

Those amongst us who feel the overthrow of Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah’s government could have been prevented, let us do all in our power to ensure a US-EU-driven regime change never prevails in Zimbabwe.

Obi Egbuna Jnr is the US correspondent to The Herald and the External Relations Officer of the Zimbabwe-Cuba Friendship Association. His email is [email protected]

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