Lessons from Mugabe’s AU address

One may not agree with everything President Robert Mugabe says or stands for. However, foe and ally will both agree that the man is a good orator, discharges assignments with dexterity, is a fighter, a fearless champion for a cause of his liking. He is a strategist par excellence.

Below are paraphrases of his farewell address to the just ended 26th Ordinary Assembly of the African Union.

Enough is enough, this was a shot at the Security Council. What is the world doing about Palestine atrocities, Morocco’s colonisation of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic and the continued marginalisation of the African continent at the United Nations Security Council.

Mugabe AU address

Lessons to be deduced from this fired up address

●When marginalised you either quit or fight for your space

●Balancing a fierce attack with humour (vicious attack on UN and praise for Ban Ki Moon)

●Need to fight for one’s identity and respond accordingly to injustices and inequalities and operations that bedevil people of this world.

●Refusing to be window dressers or artificial members in any institution

●Need to reform institutions, so as to make them accommodative of various interests

●Supremacy must not be determined by one’s race, tribe or language

●Need for equality within races and tribes

●Need to understand, respect and honour each other

●Fighting for the abolishment of veto powers- dictatorial decrees

●Fighting for permanent representation at corridors of power

●Decentralisation or devolution of power and institutions

●We all belong to this planet

●No to slavery or denial of one’s rights

●Voices that speak like master when not the master

●Different forms of regime change strategies

Going through the President’s address, as read with lessons deduced therefrom, gives the impression that the President is coming from “utopia” a land of peace and tranquillity, that flows with milk and honey, a land of equal opportunities.

Given such brilliant and democratic ideals, one wonders where we are going wrong as a nation, and as a people?

One cannot help concluding that the President has painstakingly given Zimbabwe and indeed the world a clue on dealing with excesses, injustices and outright oppression.

The clarion call is on reforming the Security Council, so as to make it more responsive to the African situation. The President is actually saying when toiling under a yoke of bondage, discrimination or injustice, there is need to stand up and declare enough is enough.

Let the marginalised lot, be it in Zimbabwe or elsewhere in the world stand up and demand their denied space. Window dressing must come to an end. Institutions need to be reformed, so as to be home to everyone, regardless of political party affiliation, race, tribe or language. Supremacy or superiority must not be based on one’s language, tribe or political party affiliation.

God made all nations of one blood and delimited boundaries for races, nations and tribes. In the circumstances, decentralisation and devolution of power is in tandem with God’s original plan for settling nations. In God’s ideal, no nation, tribe or institution should lord itself over other people. The same goes with slavery, denial of rights and selective distribution of the nations’ resources to the chosen few.

Voices that speak like the master, yet not the master, at times do it, not because they love the master, but because they pander for the master’s patronage pavilion. There is no bigger truth than that this world of country is for us all as a collective. No one can claim superior tenancy — God gave it to us all. The primitive Red Indians knew it all : “No taxation without representation”, where does my tax, toll gate fee go to, who is the beneficiary? Who is my banker, who is teaching my child.

A media publication based in Bulawayo on February 1, 2016 carried an article Non Ndebele Headmistress Out Of School. This article was out of context, as it gave the impression that Lupane villagers are tribalists, when in fact they are not. Another newspaper referred to this event as a tribal storm brewing.

Section 6(3) (a-b) as read with Section 63(a-b) provide: The State and all its institutions and agencies of government at every level must:

●Ensure that all officially recognised languages are treated equitably and

●Take into account the language preference of all people affected by governmental measures and communications

Every person has the right:

●To use the language of his/her choice and

●To participate in the cultural life of his/her choice

In the case of the Lupane school fiasco, education authorities should have considered this right to one’s preferred language, not only to Lupane, but to all other provincial language choices. This matter was recently debated in Parliament and the responsible minister concurred that there was need for children in their formative years to be taught in their mother tongue. In the circumstances, the publication’s reporter was talking the master’s language, when he/she is not the master and so was the education official concerned, when she suggested that Lupane parents needed to be educated to understand the system and the importance of such a policy. Which policy? Is it that of destroying other people’s identity and values.

Formative years are critical for both the child and the parent. This is the time to instill values and polish the child’s language as a way of preparing the child for the hostile world.

One church once said: “Give me a child between zero and seven years” allow us to teach him/her our doctrine and he/she shall never depart therefrom. As such any attempt to deny parents their god given right to teach values and norms to their children must be fought from all angles.

Back to our main discourse — veto power is not only at the Security Council it is prevailing everywhere. There are people supposedly above the law, the untouchables and those whose word is law.

Regime change is anathema, so I choose not to comment on it for now.

It was once argued that the late Prime Minister of the then Rhodesia, Ian Douglas Smith talked in opposites. When he said his army killed “terrorists”, he actually meant his soldiers had been killed. When he quipped, not in a thousand years will the blacks rule this country, he meant he was about to surrender.

Let those that have ears hear what the President said at the 26th Ordinary Summit of the Africa Union and respond accordingly to injustices and inequalities and all kinds of operations, that bedevil the people of this world.

Thanks to President Mugabe’s eye opening address to the just ended 26th Ordinary Summit of the Africa Union held in Addis Ababa

“We Shall Overcome” it becomes darkest at dawn.

●Moses Tsimukeni Mahlangu writes in his own capacity and can be reached on zucwuhq@gmail.com for comments.

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