@Jamwanda2 on Saturday: Africa: No one’s backyard anymore

@Jamwanda2 on Saturday

Upsetting Uncle Sam big time

ON February 17 and 27, the South African National Defence Force, SANDF, joins units of Russian and Chinese Defence Forces in tripartite exercises off South Africa’s Indian Coast. Dubbed Exercise Mosi II, this tri-national military exercise comes hard on the heels of a working visit to South Africa by Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov.

The Americans are livid, incensed both by Lavrov’s visit and the forthcoming military exercises.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov, (left)with South African Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Naledi Pandor in Pretoria.

The exercises especially, which America thinks are monstrous in that they coincide with the first Anniversary of Russia’s Special Operations in Ukraine.

It is an operation against which America is pitted, and which she expects us of the lesser world to censoriously call Russian invasion of Ukraine.

But the lesser opinion is not about to abide, much to her chagrin.

Only good for America….

Americans are unhappy with South Africa, in fact fiercely protesting.

But South Africa is adamantly firm, and will none of America’s frets. 

It is going ahead with the military exercise which it snootily says brings together armies of three friends! America feels poked in the eye. 

This double abomination by South Africa comes at a time when a western think-tank has just confirmed American-led NATO is losing the propaganda war on Ukraine to Russia. 

But the objective facts stand out.

Between 2011 and now, South Africa has conducted joint military drills with the US four times, most recently in July 2022 when the SANDF and US Army Southern European Task Force Africa (SETAF-AF) of the US Armed Forces held month-long drills around Richard Bay in KwaZulu-Natal.

Neither Russia nor China censored South Africa.

 Blinken, not Lavrov!

Barely a month after these exercises, in August 2022, US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, visited South Africa.

South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor (right) advised United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken to treat Africa with respect.

Again no murmurs from both China and Russia, whether singly or jointly. 

So both diplomatically and militarily, South Africa’s slate looks decidedly even. She has played with US and the Russian Federation in equal measure. 

One thus wonders why the Americans cry foul, or, why South Africa should mind their copious tears! 

As for anniversaries, well, any day in any year is some anniversary to something, which means such considerations cannot stop joint activities between and among partnering Nations. 

South Africa greatly represents an emerging Africa, asserting her place amidst big power rivalry.

 You owe America its worldview, orthodoxy!

Looking at the larger picture, there is a way America selfishly thinks the lesser world that of Africa especially owes it a worldview and an orthodoxy it has kneaded and fashioned for over a century of its dominance. 

Having held sway to the point of getting habituated to its uncontested hegemony, it cannot countenance any other worldview, any other global power relations matrix, except one in which the rest kowtow to it. 

Drunk with its own unchallenged supremacy, it barely saw a new world order forming, a new orthodoxy emerging which de-centre it.

Yet this is what is now upon us: a new global ethos in which American hegemony ceases to matter or to condition global affairs.

Even by force of arms

The ongoing conflict in Eastern Europe, and the threat of potential conflict in Southeast Asia, both underline this, including how nations countervailing America’s traditional hegemony and arbitrary orthodoxy are now ready to challenge America and her partners-in-hegemony, including militarily.

Even harder for America to digest is how lesser nations, among them several smaller ones in Africa, simply will not fear or mind her, her whims and inveterate impulse for dominance.

America under the hoary Biden might have to learn to get used to this, going into the future.

Throwing away all nobility

But America will not relent trying to shore up her pretended hold in global affairs, however challenged or declining. Such is the nature of dominance reflex: to regard itself as naturally ordained, nay, to elevate itself to a natural global norm and right, never mind that it requires and employs force of arms and blatant aggression. 

What one finds rather ridiculous is how far and absurd America is ready to go to do so, including taking remarkably churlish positions which strip it of any pretences to dignity or nobility.

One Janet Yellen

Take the latest development again in our Southern Africa Region. I am referring to the recent visit to Zambia by the US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen. 

Whether by chance or by coercion, Yellen’s visit coincided with that of Head of IMF, Kristalina Georgieva.

Head of IMF Kristalina Georgieva

Both characters found themselves in the same capital and country, in the same week, and engaging the same subject, namely Zambia’s defaulted debt to China. 

Even with one’s senseless willingness to suspend disbelief, one is stretched to dispel connotations of US coercive direction on IMF, itself supposedly a global Fund running on fair and impartial rules drawn up by all its member states, Zimbabwe included. 

Why would US be so brazen about imposing its whims and interest on the Fund? 

And why would the head fall in so meekly, in such a Fund-demeaning way? 

Simply, something looked so unseemly: that a defaulting Nation would ever deserve such a double-barrelled visit from so high and mighty a duo?

Forcing China to cancel Debt

It turns out the Fund, directed by the US, has formulated a strategy seemingly for debt relief targeting some five highly indebted and defaulting countries, among them Zambia and Pakistan. 

On closer examination, the strategy is not about debt relief or the five targeted countries. 

Rather, it is about forcing one common creditor Nation China to unilaterally cancel its debts, and all that as a precursor to the same action worldwide, only against this one creditor Nation against whose debt recovery America itself a foremost creditor country across history has unilaterally decided to demand and impose debt forgiveness! 

Or should China reject this American-imposed and demanded debt forgiveness, that all countries holding Chinese debts be mobilised by goodly America to rebel against Chinese debt repayment terms!

America can borrow up to zenith

Meanwhile, the US will not itself cancel any debts owed it by many nations of the world! 

And back home, the US, which has exceeded its borrowing cap of $31,4 trillion, seeks to have that cap raised, with disastrous destabilising impact on global financial stability. 

Much of US debt is owed to the same China the US is seeking to stampede into arbitrary debt-cancellation, which the US itself will not do for its own debtors! 

This is the World order America wishes the world to acquiesce to, at its behest!

Gods don’t forgive

Narrowing the focus to defaulting Zambia, Zambia owes China US$6 billion, out of its national debt of $17 billion!

America will not coerce the rest of creditors who account for the other US$11 billion which burdens Zambia to forgive in the same spirit! 

No, this is only a prerogative of China whose challenge to American dominance must be warded off, including through lost debts! 

Meanwhile, America used its recent Summit with Africa to mortgage mineral resources of both Zambia and DRC to itself, thus doing exactly what it accuses China of doing on the African Continent, indeed what US has always done from prehistory!

 Proudly Zimbabwean

This is one despairing backdrop which makes one feel elated and proud to be Zimbabwean.

On two counts. First, Zimbabwe has adopted a recovery and growth model which relies on its own resources, thus escaping any further debt burden. 

Second, Zimbabwe is reasserting its full sovereignty over its finite mineral resources by banning exportation of all unprocessed ore, and by ensuring mining royalties by anyone exploiting its mineral resources are paid for in actual mineral commodities! 

We continue to show the way! Thank you Zimbabwe; thank you President ED Mnangagwa!

 Food Security or Sovereignty?

I am just from Senegal where a Summit dubbed FeedAfrica concluded only yesterday. 

Again what stood out was a new spirit of assertive sovereignty which seems now to pervade Africa. As with foreign policy, the Summit showed a Continent determined to secure its own food needs without recourse to inputs or food imports from outside of itself.

The discourse at this Summit proudly burst the neo-colonial integument by insisting on continental food security within parameters of collective national and continental sovereignty.

It is no long enough just to be food-secure; what Africa needs is to generate that food security from own production and internal trade!

This is a first since the 1960s when the Continent shook itself free of colonial shackles!

Again, Zimbabwe led in this new, iconoclastic discourse, including insisting that Africa must look inward, both for inputs for her agriculture and for the development of food production systems for itself.

 The beast is back in heat

The beast is in heat again. The season for propaganda lies is already upon us. First, we had fictive drama on political violence in Murehwa.

As with all opposition lies, that drama of false pathos has now been shown for what it is: a case of politically-motivated mendacious dramaturgy.

Next came claims around some cub lawyer called Kudzai Kadzere whom the same vendors of political lies sought to sell to the gullible world as a victim of police brutality.

Kudzai Kadzere

A broken and sutured hand on a bandage sling was circulated on global social media platforms to prop a lie.

For a while, the lie circulated seemingly triumphant, even attracting a luridly repeat tall tales from a British Birmingham Professor, one Nic Cheeseman.

Until the Zimbabwe Republic Police, ZRP, decided enough of the false cheese from this baking professor!

It turns out the cub officer of the court met his comeuppance while in awkward flight from lawful arrest!

 A law which is yet to be!

But the real trophy went to Chamisa’s fibbing brigade, led by the habitually colourful Hopewell Chin’ono.

The crackdown on civil society had now begun, opined the brigade, citing the de-registration of more than 200 NGOs under “a new” Act called PVO!

Among those de-registered was a compassionate NGO founded by the late national humanitarian legend, Jairos Jiri, who passed on soon after our Independence. 

Hearts wept; tongues lashed against “the heartless Mnangagwa dictatorship”, with one member of this fibbing brigade suggesting all disabled children in the country – and he had miraculously pressed them into fitting in one small picture snap – had to be dumped at State House in protest!

 Insured by the departed good

It turns out the de-registered NGOs had offended against the law in many obvious ways hardly too recondite to escape even the most languid or drunken gaze of our Hopewell. 

It turned out, too, that those who now run the late Jairos Jiri’s legendary outfit think the late founder’s innate goodness puts them above compliance rules lawfully demanded of them. 

Much more, it turns out the PVO Bill against which all blame had been heaped, is yet to become law! 

The beast is in heat yet again! Still I ask: does all this not justify a good, effective law against such errant conduct, committed in the name of Zimbabwe’s poor!

Maybe that’s not for donkeys to say.

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