Kwame Nkrumah once said “Africa must unite or perish!” Indeed, without genuine African unity, our continent continues being at the mercy of imperialist domination and exploitation.
Three developments that happened in the past weeks must surely make every African conscious of the urgent need for Africans to unite.
First, we had our very own Chief Fortune Charumbira making history by becoming the first Southern African citizen to take over the reins of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP).
PAP is an African Union baby, which is expected to spearhead continental unity, economic integration and advance the African cause at international forums.
While Africans were still celebrating the triumph of a democratic process, which elected Chief Charumbira without any glitches, others were already expressing disgruntlement because the respectable chief happens to be from Zimbabwe.
Reports were that the European Union was threatening to withdraw funding because of Chief Charumbira’s victory.
What kind of chicanery is this? Same people who claim to be paragons of virtue were busy cajoling Africans to vote for their own preferred candidates.
If there was anyone who ever doubted that colonialism still persists, then the actions by the EU must put such doubts to rest.
EFF leader Julius Malema was categorical in his denunciation of the EU’s beguiling, saying: “They can withhold it. We are not going to be told by the people giving us money how to think, how to act. If they want to withdraw their money, they can withdraw it . . . They can actually go to hell with their money.”
It is clear that Chief Charumbira won’t have an easy ride, but we are confident that the unity of Africans will prevail against Western machinations, which want to control the very institutions that define our whole existence as Africans.
The second issue that took place this past week was the return of Patrice Lumumba’s tooth, the only part of his remains after being murdered by Belgians in cahoots with the CIA.
His body was dissolved in acid as a way to obliterate his memory, his whole existence from the Congolese and Africans in general.
Lumumba was the first democratically elected Prime Minister of independent Democratic Republic of Congo.
A Belgian policeman who oversaw the disposal took the tooth as a trophy. What a dastardly act! It was returned to the family last week and toured several parts of DR Congo in a coffin.
In his eulogy, DR Congo President Felix Tshisekedi said: “May the land of our ancestors be sweet and mild to you.”
What a sad chapter to Africa’s promising son!
We have been reduced to paying homage to a mere tooth by people who today want to lecture us about human rights.
There can be no justification that 62 years later, Africa has to contend with a mere tooth.
Lumumba’s crime was that he wanted a fair, just, genuine independence of the Congolese.
This sad development helps us appreciate the fact that history is not a distant past. We are products of history. In Shona they say, “usakanganwe chezuro nehope.”
The third incident that took place last week that puts the issue of unity into perspective is the death of Africans as they attempted to cross into Spain from Morocco.
At least 23 African men died at the Melilla-Morocco border as they attempted to enter Spain on June 24, 2022. Multinational media organisation are still not treating this incident as news.
It appears deaths of Africans is routine and a norm than that of other nationals. In fact, independent observers suspect Moroccan officials downplayed the total figure of those who died.
The deaths occurred during an attempt by as many as 2 000 people to enter Spain by climbing the high chain-link fences surrounding Melilla, one of two Spanish enclaves in North Africa.
Video and photographs show bodies strewn on the ground in pools of blood, Moroccan security forces beating people, and Spanish Guardia Civil launching teargas at men clinging fences.
African Union chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, called for “an immediate investigation” and recalled obligations under international law “to treat all migrants with dignity and to prioritise their safety and human rights, while refraining from the use of excessive force.”
Our hope is that the AU chairperson will make a visit to Morocco and Spain to reinforce the need for an impartial investigation to bring the culprits to justice.
We are talking about the loss of lives, lives of human beings whose only difference is the colour of their skin.
The three incidents in South Africa, DR Congo and Morocco bring to the fore the urgent need for real unity among Africans. It’s only when we speak with one voice that the world listens.
We already have the power. Africa is the wealthiest land mass on the face of the earth in terms of its natural resources.
And on arable land, Africa has an estimated 632 million hectares, but only 179 million hectares is currently being utilised.
Africa must pool resources together to have enough capital to invest in large-scale production of industrial and agricultural goods and services.
Africa does not need to beg the World Bank, IMF and various donors for loans that are tied with very high interests rates and exploitative conditions designed to keep Africa impoverished and dependent.