Obi Egbuna Jnr Simunye
Because President Mugabe’s birthday happens to be the same day Malcolm X was assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem, Mother Africa’s children at home and abroad have always considered this day both bitter and sweet.
While we are more determined than ever to force US imperialism to publicly provide full disclosure on the role they played in sending Brother Malcolm to an early grave at the tender age of 39 (the same age as Dr King and the revolutionary warrior and former Prime Minister of Grenada Maurice Bishop), Africans everywhere must understand why Zimbabweans offer no apologies whatsoever for celebrating how President Mugabe has outlasted half a dozen US presidents and British prime ministers.
The African world thanks President Mugabe for his recent comments on US President Donald Trump which we consider, without question, food for thought, especially since these words of wisdom are coming from an African head of state who has been at the forefront of pushing our people to intensify our struggle to complete the decolonisation process once and for all.
While our memories of Brother Malcolm are treasured and countless, we are constantly reminded of his warning about the dangers of propagating the narrative that portrays Democrats as our guardian angels and Republicans as the Grim Reaper. He described the Democrats as foxes and Republicans as wolves who both belong to the canine family.
For President Mugabe and ZANU-PF the logic and pragmatism in adopting a wait-and-see attitude towards President Trump have both political and historical merit when you thoroughly examine their engagement with those who have resided at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and 10 Downing Street for nearly 40 years.
When pounding the pavement and reminding the African world that not one member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) had the courage, vision or integrity to vote against the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 (ZDERA), all we are doing is embracing our historical responsibility, plain and simple.
However, the time has come for a strategic and tactical departure that will help President Mugabe and ZANU-PF immensely.
Every supporter and defender of President Mugabe and ZANU-PF must share the following names with everyone you know and organise with Robert Berry, Gene Taylor, Bob Schaffer, Mac Collins, Nathan Peal, John Hostettler, Todd Akin, Howard Cobie, Ron Paul, and James Sensenbrenner and finally Virgil Goode.
These gentlemen of European ancestry were the only members of the US Congress who voted against ZDERA. Mr Goode is an Independent and Mr Berry and Mr Taylor are Democrats, meaning the others who make up the list belong to the party of Abraham Lincoln who we are still teaching African children in the 21st century freed our ancestors from chattel slavery.
The time has come for President Mugabe and ZANU-PF to invite these gentlemen to Zimbabwe, which should provide them a platform to share with the entire world what motivated them to vote against ZDERA.
This will also expose how even though the CBC came five votes short of voting unanimously in favour of ZDERA, what was arguably even worse was their turning down an invitation by President Mugabe and ZANU-PF to come home and observe the 2002 Presidential elections. We are not accustomed to watching the CBC turning down free trips and photo-ops.
President Mugabe and ZANU-PF are under no illusions concerning the political make-up of President Trump, but felt it was of paramount importance to remind so-called African Americans that former US Secretary of State and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, along with former US Vice President Joseph Biden, are co-sponsors of ZDERA, which explains why former US president Barack Obama appeared to have a pathological hatred for a man who, like his own biological father, grew up under the yoke of British colonialism and imperialism.
The biggest mistake so-called African Americans make when dealing with the Zimbabwean question is underestimating President Mugabe and ZANU-PF’s understanding of their one-sided love affair with the Democratic Party, which at crucial moments in history made them apologists for US-EU imperialism.
What would be rather embarrassing is if President Trump decides it hurts nothing to have a meeting of the minds with President Mugabe which results in an Executive Order that both the US Senate and Congress lift ZDERA immediately and compensate Zimbabwe for the economic and social hardship that US-EU sanctions have cost the ordinary people.
Certain organisers amongst our ranks have revealed President Trump’s father’s ties to the Ku Klux Klan, hiding his German ancestral ties for the purpose of keeping Jewish tenants as customers that rented the apartments that he owned and being investigated in 1954 for war profiteering and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice in 1973 for violating Fair Housing Laws.
President Trump’s father is also said to have made friends with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Nethanyahu when he worked for the UN.
This means if a sit-down between President Mugabe and President Trump occurred, our Palestinian sisters and brothers know that their cause will be raised and defended, which will be no different than what President Mugabe has done like clockwork every time he addresses the UN General Assembly.
When it comes to President Mugabe and ZANU-PF sitting across from wolves like former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher and the son- in-law of Sir Winston Churchill, the Governor of Southern Rhodesia Lord Soames, is not only a walk in the park, but putting opportunist political converts like former US president Ronald Reagan in his place when he was advised not to honour the Lancaster House Agreement that was negotiated by his predecessor, former US president Jimmy Carter.
Those of us who view the world through the narrow lenses of the Democratic and Republican parties must acknowledge that when engaging President Mugabe, President Reagan appeared to have a flashback to the Black Panther Party of Self-Defense which he worked tirelessly to destroy when he was the Governor of California and a proud Democrat.
Our so-called African American sisters and brothers must not be confused by media accounts that ran with the overture by President Mugabe, “America for the Americans, Zimbabwe for the Zimbabweans”. Let the historical record show this is a recipient of Cuba, Venezuela and Jamaica’s highest political honours, which when we reject the Democrat and Republican definition of America, puts our people in harmony with the additional 150 million Africans who are in the Americas courtesy of the first form of public transportation that were none other than slave ships.
We can best help President Mugabe and ZANU-PF by utilising our time and energy wisely. What is needed is an African in Congress who will go against the grain like the legendary Adam Clayton Powell when he decided to endorse former US Republican president Dwight Eisenhower instead of the Democratic presidential hopeful Adlai Stevenson.
Congressman Powell said Eisenhower had a better civil rights record than Stevenson. President Trump is open to revisit ZDERA because he realises that President Bush and President Obama had fallen victim to a pro-colonialist and imperialist narrative.
Because President Mugabe and ZANU-PF have always engaged our enemies from a position of strength, Africans everywhere who stand by their side need not show weakness at this historical moment.
Obi Egbuna Jnr is the US correspondent to The Herald and External Relations Officer of ZICUFA (Zimbabwe Cuba Friendship Association). His email is [email protected]