Obi Egbuna Jr Simunye
As animal lovers in every corner of the world are demanding that the US based dentist Walter Palmer, accused of murdering Cecil the Lion on Zimbabwean soil be brought to justice, Africans must accept the challenge of maintaining proper historical perspective and context.
While the lion is the undisputed king of the jungle, our ancestors and fallen heroes are calling on Mother Africa’s children, to remember that amongst animals the elephant has the greatest memory.
Because elephants are naturally blessed with this physical attribute, we remain politically and intellectually indebted to the Pan African giant Dr W.E.B Du Bois for exposing in his epic book, “The World and Africa”, that between 1788 and 1884, approximately 1595 tons of ivory were stolen from Africa.
This walking history book not only highlighted for our people, that during this horrific period 75 000 elephants were brutally murdered each year.
Dr Du Bois also revealed that the statue of Jupiter Olympus in Greece along, with the seats of the Roman Senators were made from the finest ivory, and that the war criminal Frederick C. Selous before annexing the people and minerals of Mashonaland, Zimbabwe, began as an elephant hunter.
Another vital point worth mention is how this barbaric and elitist pastime of our former colonial and slave masters, has diverted attention away from how indigenous Zimbabweans, have used cattle ranching to weather the storm against US-EU sanctions in the field of agriculture.
Some of the most ruthless agents of the Western imperialist media apparatus like Reuters and the New York Times, during a brief and infrequent moment of objectivity, felt the need to share the self determining aspect of cattle ranching has raised the profile of the Land Reclamation Programme.
When commenting on this matter the leader of the Nation of Islam the Honourable Minister Louis Farrakhan genuinely expressed his anger, concerning how Mr Palmer was in hiding while at the same time the police officers responsible for the deaths of Michael Brown and Oscar Grant were allowed to go free.
There is also a direct connection to how the US Government allowed anti Cuban mercenaries Luis Posada Carilles and Orlando “Dr Death” Bosch who were both extremely instrumental in several of the 635 assassination attempts on the life of Commandante Fidel Castro, walk the streets of Miami, Florida free as birds floating through the sky.
Both Posada Carrilles and Bosch were acquitted in US courts, for terrorist crimes that not only took the lives of innocent Cubans, but were aimed at dismantling the Cuban revolution itself.
Due to a tendency of our former colonial and slave masters to devalue human life at all costs, the sentiments by Minister Farrakhan must be properly understood, however President Mugabe’s constructive criticism of Zimbabweans for failing to protect a national resource from foreign vandals provides further insight and clarity.
From this vantage point that President Mugabe the current chair of the African Union, has put the world on notice that poaching in Africa not only encourages a culture of white privilege and barbarism, but has broader political and security ramifications.
If the Obama administration decides to ignore Zimbabwe’s appeal to extradite Mr Palmer, Africans have no choice, but to call this an act of outright provocation plain and simple.
This would imply that the US-EU alliances hatred for President Mugabe and ZANU-PF, will always cloud their better judgment, even if it could jeopardise the lives of their own citizens who consider poaching a pastime and hobby.
What the Obama administration has to recognise is that every day Zimbabweans displayed incredible restraint, and it is for this reason Mr Palmer is back in the United States safe and sound.
We can only imagine the show-boating and grandstanding by the US embassy in Zimbabwe, if Mr Palmer was physically assaulted on Zimbabwean soil, more than likely President Obama who has never turned away from the camera and the microphone would have followed suit.
It is also abundantly clear that the US-EU alliance never expected the backlash from animal rights advocacy groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, concerning this matter, since Mr Palmer’s reckless decision occurred in a country they take pride in demonising without shame or parameters.
The former James Bond, Sir Roger Moore a spokesperson for PETA described hunting as a coward’s pastime and demanded that Mr Palmer be brought to justice.
For the British to listen to a man who made his career portraying a fictional character, who champions and romanticises the imperialist exploits of British Secret Service, had to be the ultimate a slap in the face.
As we bring this development full circle Zimbabweans felt the same way when the former Judge of the High Court Benjamin Paradza, referred to this incident as an unnecessary sideshow.
In 2006 Mr Paradza fled Zimbabwe after attempting to incite fellow judges to release a passport belonging to his business partner in a safari-hunting venture, Russell Labuschagne, who was facing murder charges.
Mr Paradza is listed as the Vice President and Justice Policy coordinator of ZUNDE (Zimbabweans United for Democracy).
We cannot analyse this situation separately from Zimbabwe having the distinction of being the first African nation accused of blood diamonds, where no war or military conflict is taking place on the ground.
Since this notion was propagated by Global Witness who is on the payroll of the National Endowment for Democracy, we are extremely confident Africans will take the claim at face value.
This was a by-product of the fear and anxiety US-EU Imperialism suffered when they discovered Zimbabwe had 25 percent of the world’s diamond reserves, and this would become a weapon in the war to lift US-EU sanctions.
For so-called African-Americans it must be noted that when Zimbabweans speak of the lion, they first think of Comrade Leopold Takawira, who died in custody when Rhodesian prison guards refused to issue him his medicine to treat his diabetes.
This also shows so-called African-Americans that this fascist overture that cost Comrade Takawira his life, is directly connected to how correctional officers in the State of Pennsylvania, are seeking to make an example of the prisoner at war and hero Comrade Mumia Abu-Jamal.
It is in Comrade Takawira’s name along with the rest of Zimbabwe’s fallen heroes we protect our human and material resources at all costs.
- Obi Egbuna Jr is the US Correspondent to the Herald and a US based member of the Zimbabwe-Cuba Friendship Association his email is email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>