@JAMWANDA2 ON SATURDAY: The Gdansk Declaration and Zimbabwe II Nelson Chamisa


Going for the jugular

Tshabangu Cyclone continues to rag unabated, its spasmodic yet overwhelmingly buffeting landfalls looking endless. Before long, Tshabangu will strike vaster, leaving Triple C numb and in utter paralysis. Options for Chamisa continue to slim, until such time he has no choice but to wail hapless in the biblical wilderness, ever after to live a life of hermits of yore.

Now I notice Tshabangu is aiming for the Triple C purse, or the hope of it. He wants monies disbursed to political parties by the State to come his way, thanks to his truculently handy title of Interim Secretary General. Most probably the monies will come his way, meaning Chamisa will bow out of the political arena without ever receiving anything, in terms of Political Parties Finance Act.

Another Party or death?

His supporters are showing all signs of weariness; they cannot even muster any more indignation, resigned as they are now to the inevitable. So are we, too, in greater society. We thought we were done with elections and like a making god, take a deep rest and even slumber on the seventh day.

It doesn’t look so; Chamisa’s own ineptitude has killed our sleep, and we sleep no more. But it’s probably a small price to pay, as I will show shortly. Nations learn lasting lessons from bitter episodes, principally wars. Ours is a kinder fate. As for Chamisa, to form another party or to die, that seems the question.

Chamisa’s cost to Zimbabwe

I notice all his evicted men and women have been nominated for by-elections, in what his Party thinks is ring-fencing them for safety. I hope so. Methinks it matters not matter how well they fare in those by-elections. Should they prevail, as looks likely, the cyclone will hit yet again, leaving Triple C in greater turmoil, certainly in some perpetual state of perturbation.

Which is probably good enough for Triple C opponents, Zanu PF included. I have yet one more point to make, a point I make unsure whether or not it amounts to a plus for our body-politic. The first point I already made through my X handle. Which was that Chamisa’s costs to us, through his un-democratic conduct, is reckoned by way of what it costs us to fund resultant by-elections.

Mr Tshabangu

And opportunities traded in, worth the same amount. It is called opportunity cost. Of course we keep counting those costs, as Triple C Secretary General Tshabangu keeps swinging and bringing down his axe.

We averted a messy imbroglio

Except the cost could be or could have been worse. Imagine if Chamisa, by some strange electoral mathematics, had landed the Zimbabwe presidency, what cost this would have levied on all of us unfortunate enough to survive through his short, shabby, ill-gotten, infantile tenure! Strange electoral mathematics given that both the European Union and the Americans did their damndest in an effort to rig for him.

We have our security arms to thank for frustrating those Western subterfuges. We could have woken up to some messy imbroglio.

America is still fulminating, judging by the fierce reaction of one of their man, a man called Jim Risch, who is a ranking member of the US Foreign Relations Committee.

Equally, the EU is spoiling for a fight. It is making all sorts of provocative demands which “must” be met if its Observer Mission is to come back to present its “Final Report” which we all know was in reality a Final Pre-Election Report. It’s as if this EU useless post-election ritual holds key to the rains we all are waiting for.

SADC sutured

Both the Americans and the EU have dropped all pretences of venting their frustrations through the broken mouths of their proxies in Sadc. Especially after the Angola SADC Extraordinary Summit during which some straight talk settled matters once and for all. A plan had been hatched to send a three-nation team “to broker peace” between Zimbabwe and its northern neighbour.

Until a frank intervention by our President put paid to that mischief. The West would have been happier with some intra-Sadc fallout, with Zimbabwe reckoned as the evil part of the piece. Reason prevailed and the days ahead will see bilateral wounds getting sutured, all for a stronger, anti-imperialistic SADC.

Currently they are reorganising NGOs and the media for long term agitation. We are on the spoor.

Until the beauty-ful ones are born

The other point. With Douglas Mwonzora’s nominal party as good as dead, Zimbabwe’s body-politic now is in want of a half-way house. Zimbabwe now lacks a political ante-room in which to house people who are either too disgruntled to remain under the continued burdensome yoke of Chamisa, or simply seeking another home after realising verses might move the Word but never the opposition political World.

Too angry to join or re-join Zanu PF, but also too disenchanted to stay within the crumbling Chamisa laager, these souls feel they are in some limbo; they feel hemmed, entrapped, with fissure for release, or anywhere to go. Yet go somewhere they urgently feel they must.

It would have helped them if Tendai Biti and/or Welshman Ncube had broken free to form another or other parties. Except the duo has vowed never to, preferring to keep buffeting young Chamisa by sniping beneath the parapet, until he is sufficiently harassed enough to abandon post and flee.

Their aim is to re-take Triple C, the same way Chamisa stayed to scheme to re-take MDC-T. Meanwhile Zimbabwe’s politics remain an either/or binary, until the beautiful ones are born in the opposition camp.

Decency for Dollar

Gdansk Declaration is important in many respects. It bears and delivers too many lessons for this short column to exhaust. First, its chairmanship by Olusegun Obasanjo raises one unfortunate fact about ex-Presidents on the African continent.

Bereft of real convictions, honour, principles, scruples and material retirement packages, most wind up mendicants on western doorsteps, real biblical Dives wielding begging bowels for all manner of coins and causes, all for a meagre, shameful living.

The western world is not too lazy or too slow to exploit this post-office indigence, and/or lack of political scruples.

Olusegun Obasanjo

West African sub-continent is the worst offender on this one, with Obasanjo and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf being part of this thing: directly so for Obasanjo, through an indirect Foundation for Sirleaf. Here in Southern Africa we have our Ian Khama of Botswana. Either way the West finds a way of harnessing the halo and institution of African elder statesman/woman for its own nefarious ends.

Quite easily for a Region like West Africa with no history of Armed Liberation struggles. For Obasanjo this is particularly bad; he continues to plumb to deeper depth by utterly failing to defend principles of a free and sovereign post-colonial Africa, by repeatedly trafficking with false neo-liberal models, both politically and economically.

No new destabilising initiative brewed by the West is ever launched without him.

Since the days of our Land Struggles when he amply demonstrated the Zimbabwe Restitution Revolution could be sold for a farthing. We need to sequester our elder Statesmen and women against post-office abuse and treachery, often forced on them by circumstances of meagre provisioning.

The Good Samaritan, Dickens long told us, was a bad economist: he swapped profit for pity. Decency for Dollar in this case and age.

Roelf and apartheid’s Armed renegades

Second, Gdansk corralled and collected all faces of renegade politics on our African continent, to burnish and reissue them as a brand new force for good for a “democratising” continent. UNITA was there; RENAMO was there; Uriah Simango’s son was there. So, too, was Roelf Meyer of apartheid-time notoriety, alongside John Steenhuisen, himself an apartheid figure spruced and dressed up as Democratic Alliance for post-apartheid rainbow political catwalk.

In Roelf and John, apartheid sloughs off all the garb of pretence. To imagine that the Oppenheimers, using their Brenthurst Foundation, simply summoned back all these destabilising black sheep of political Africa, scrubbed them squeaky clean for a new role in an unsettled global order in which Africa is the coveted trophy, simply boggles the mind.

It was Ngugi wa Thiongo who once reminded us that liberalism is the sugary side of capitalism and apartheid.

The Oppenheimers’ liberal scintilla has now worn out and they have become what they have always been beneath a beguiling guise: a destabilising, pro-apartheid and pro-proxy war force on the Continent!

Children of Langland

Linked to the preceding point is the collection of all Africa’s quisling parties and politicians at Gdansk. Mostly from Africa, itself a battleground in a new kind of war for global mastery. This is where our Tendai Biti comes in, with his Brenthurst accoutrements.

Tendai Biti

Whatever his role in the unfolding Tshabangu saga — and it is there — we must never lose sight of the fact that his made-in-America politics are baneful to the project of a free, sovereign, pan-Africanist continent. He is no ally, alongside his Chamisa.

In fact much brings them together, for all their mutual antipathy. Both lack basic rudiments of Pan-Africanism and are wards of Langland.

Old politics or new bottle-skins?

To Biti we add other renegades like Kizza Besigye and Robert Kyagulanyi, better known as “Bobi Wine”, both from Uganda. Besigye fought alongside Yoweri Museveni under the Uganda National Resistance Army, fought against various, successive dictatorships in Uganda. Bobi Wine, Chamisa’s soulmate, is an exemplar of made-in-the-West politics re-packaged as new wine, only in old bottle-skins. It is the same old politics, often finding residual halo in dead surnames. Like Anwar El-Sadat who represented Egypt at Gdansk. I do not need to tell you what Raila Odinga stands for in this whole witch brew.

A continent under second siege

Gdansk was hemispheric. Apart from Africa, we had representatives from South America, former Soviet Union States and the Arab World. Interestingly Southeast Asia was not there, suggesting global imperialism is having difficulties in finding docking parties there.

Of course you had America, German Foundations and other Western countries superintending over the whole project. It is theirs anyway, much akin to the Cold War time Project in the 1950s and much of the 1960s whose tentacles reached Africa through the likes of Mazrui, Soyinka and Mpahlele.

But the preponderant players were from Africa, suggesting the continent which the whole gathering sought to target and influence through the institution of opposition.

Baltic States, West’s new tongs

Particularly noteworthy is the role of ex-Soviet Baltic States or ex-Warsaw Pact countries led by Poland. It helps to recall that a simple head count of EU Observers who came for Zimbabwe’s August Harmonised Elections reveals the preponderant presence of these tiny Baltic states and ex-Warsaw Pact Nations who are now firmly in the orbit of European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, NATO.

These states, historically associated with the decolonisation of the African Continent, and thus still carrying that residual halo as Friends of Africa, have now become tongs of Western foreign policy on the Continent. It is not fortuitous that the setting was Gdansk, in Poland, and that the main human symbolism was Lech Walesa, leader of the labour movement which brought down the curtain on old Soviet Communism. Today the West fears Communism is resurgent through Russia’s Putin.

A new Vienna Convention, a new Metternich

Everything about Gdansk aped the Solidarity Movement credited with ending an era in Eastern Europe in general, and in Poland specifically. The aping included Solidarity Movement’s 21-Points, only this time guiding on the expected conduct of opposition parties and personages in the forming global order in which EU/American dominance is being shaken.

The only difference is that now the West, itself the butt of menacing epochal changes, which now seeks to save itself through the reorganising of global forces of reaction. Much like the post-French Revolution European era shaped by the Vienna Convention of 1815, and by Austria’s Chancellor, Klemens von Metternich, thereafter.

The only additional aspect is the role of made-in-Africa filthy capital whose face is the Oppenheimers. It is Africa’s conglomerate capital which is underwriting this incipient age of reaction simply because the fight is over control of Africa’s mineral resources: lithium and diamonds in our case; copper, cobalt and uranium in central Africa.

Inorganic parties and movements

Lastly, Gdansk is a Manifesto for an epochal fight for the preservation of a Reaganite World Order, following the demise of the Soviet Union. As with the age of Ronald Reagan, the fight is transcontinental, meaning Africa is set for another 1989 World Bank-blest wave of conservative false revolutions which are inherently neo-colonial in import.

It is interesting that one foremost African personage to emerge out of this era was Frederick Chiluba, the diminutive President of our northern neighbour.

He did not live for too long politically, though. As always, such associational revolutions lack organic connection with the politics of the Continent.

They thus lack depth and a hold. Often, they do not even need organic parties, organic structures or constitutions. They are usually loose movements which prey on some evanescent sentiment of anti-establishment so normal in all politics and all ages. We are not short of examples in our region and here at home.

When foreign interference is not ours

The key thing to remember is that Gdansk’s 21-Point Manifesto is a license for worldwide intrusive politics through national oppositions. We saw this in Zimbabwe this last August. Significantly, the first of the Gdansk 21-Point Manifesto undertakes to “support democratic struggles materially and morally”, and seeks to “accentuate common interests between opposition groups and seek to find common ground over differences”.

Read together with the quest to “establish a region-wide Alliance of Democrats”, you are clearly in the era of Socialist International, only in reverse and parodied. Point 10 calls for the “development [of]a common funding platform” for opposition parties worldwide, while Point 15 calls for the exposing “foreign funding and malfeasance, including disinformation and vote manipulation” in support of ruling parties.

Clearly Gdansk Declaration excuses itself from the sin of “foreign funding and malfeasance”, even exonerating its quest for unified, pro-opposition narrative, including speaking “on each other’s party platforms” as not exactly meddling, disinformation and vote manipulation.

Rather, such gross interference in the internal political affairs of sovereign nations is defended as promoting “democratic values….at home and abroad”, in spite of laws of nation-states, including America itself and those in the West. Such is the world which Gdansk seeks to create, well away from us donkeys. Let me neigh no further. I leave it to humans!

You Might Also Like