Isdore Guvamombe Reflections
Back in the village, in the land of milk, honey and dust or Guruve, the emergence of organised popular liberation movements throughout Africa following the end of the Second World War was a crucial factor in achieving independence for many African countries.
White settler regimes had for long put a knife across the things that held us together: defecating on our wealth value system, our African humanism, our culture and indeed everything else that made us a people.
The key factors that led to the African uprising and subsequent formation of liberation movements were land repossessions, human rights abuses, a buffet of laws and rules that effectively oppressed and stripped Africans of their respect, wealth and dignity.
Many young men and girls left their homes to join the liberation movements. Some died and were never buried. Some were buried in shallow graves. Some came back with scars and they still bear the scars of the struggle. A few lucky ones came back unscathed. This was because the liberation movements were packaging messages that spoke to the people’s needs. To this day, liberation movements should therefore, remain relevant to the people.
For the purposes of this instalment, this villager will zero in on the liberation movements of Southern Africa.
These are Zanu-PF of Zimbabwe; African National Congress of South Africa (ANC), Chama Cha Mapinduzi of Tanzania (CCM); Movement for the Liberation of the People of Angola (MPLA); South West Africa People’s Organisation of Namibia (SWAPO) and Revolutionary Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO).
These are the last movements standing. They are, therefore, a big threat to Western imperialist interests, that of plundering Africa’s resources.
They should therefore protect Southern Africa’s people, their gold, their diamonds, their platinum and everything.
That brings into the fore the need for liberation movements to huddle together and fight against a more subtle strategy to get rid of all of them.
Now the five liberation movements have come together under the banner of Former Liberation Movements for Southern Africa, to work against their extinction.
In most cases liberation movements have been lauded for adopting good policies, but often criticised for lack of implementation.
It is high time liberation movements adapt to world socio-economic order, it’s high time liberation movements improve on their ideology, it’s high time liberation movements improve on their service delivery and remain relevant to the people they soughtto liberate.
Like Amilcar Cabral would say: “The ideological deficiency, not to say the total lack of ideology, within the national liberation movements – which is basically due to ignorance of the historical reality which these movements claim to transform – constitutes one of the greatest weaknesses of our struggle against imperialism, if not the greatest weakness of all.”
Liberation movements are now riddled with factions and factionalism. The divisions are too much and Western Europe and its allies find those cracks and crevices and streams of penetration and ways of bringing down liberation move- ments.
George Charamba, President Mugabe’s spokesperson, puts it more aptly: “We are talking about a stratum that has fought a war here. Not a brawl among civilians. On the ground, it has severed the much-needed sequential, socialising link between the veterans and emerging party youths, thus harming replicability of the ethos of militant resistance and struggle against imperialism.
‘‘The fact of a youth movement which cannot repeat a single song from the struggle is telling enough.
“The fact of inventing new songs, new idioms, new slogans for present times, is telling. Even new enemies from generations attached through filially, both biologically and metaphorically. There has been a very bad disjuncture, a real fracture, in the party.’’
This is capturing the changes in the political parties and that should make sure that they remain relevant and they must deliver to the people while at the same time watching out to the United States of America and its allies who have no other agenda than destroy all liberation movements and gain access to the vast untapped natural resources by hook or crook.
Liberation movements should sleep with one eye open because sleeping with all eyes closed makes them vulnerable to regime change.