Thursday, June 24, 2010

End Chattel Slavery in Zimbabwe

We seriously need to re-think our whole system of agriculture. Having huge land-holdings of commercial farms that are dependent on cheap, exploitable labour is regressive and counter-productive. An egregious mistake was made by the ruling govt when it allowed the system of commercial farming to continue, albeit under black ownership.

The liberation struggle was over land, and nothing else! The colonial regime of Ian Smith was buttressed and fortified by the white, commercial-farming sector. And these commercial farms could not exist without the masses of (mostly) foreign-origin African labourers working in conditions approaching chattel slavery. The Land reform program was a glorious chance to smash this inglorious system and make sure -- once and for all -- that it NEVER reared its ugly head again. But, alas, that opportunity was wasted.

We now have an agricultural-system where Africans have replaced Europeans as the main beneficiaries of an exploitive commercial-farming system. These new commercial farmers think that "paying workers" is a foreign concept. All the dead bodies of freedom fighters lying unmarked in Chimoio and Nyadzonia must indeed be spinning in their shallow graves. Is this what the Liberation Struggle was fought for?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ghana Must! Go! All the way!

What a cracker of a game today. Assamoah Gyan could have scored three goals, and Andre Ayew could also have netted at least two. Ghana lost, but they were, by far, the better team. Kevin Prince Boateng was outstanding. Sloppy defending at the back allowed the Germans to score the lone goal.

Ghanaian defenders should have charged at Ozil when he took that shot at goal. I aged ten years watching the last five minutes. The mathematical possibilities of who would go ahead in this group (vis-a-vis the other group game) were all too real.

Now for the finals: Sule Muntari must be played from the onset, and Ghana must continue with their attacking football. Maybe they could pair another striker with Assamoah Gyan in the attack. All of Africa will be supporting the Black Stars. We owe it to ourselves to have at least one African team in the Semi-Finals.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mo Ibrahim's Prize

The problem with Mo Ibrahim's prize is that it rewards ex-leaders. But few of Africa's leaders want to be LIVING ex-leaders. Museveni, RGM, Biya, Mubarak etc, all want to be Presidents-for-life, and DIE IN OFFICE. They do not want to be living ex-leaders -- perish the thought! Furthermore, the prize amount (US$5m) is an amount that most African leaders would sniff at. I can almost see Pres Biya asking his secretary if the amount he was reading was not a typo..... "Are you sure that's not $500 million, ma cherie?"

Kudos to Mo Ibrahim for at least trying and putting his heart into it, but our present crop of African leaders, and ex-leaders do not share his righteousness. Thabo Mbeki, John Kuffour, Quett Masire, Albert Rene - don't know if he's still alive - and probably Godfrey Binaisa are the ex-leaders who are worthy of the prize.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ghana V Nigeria: A Tale Of Two Countries

Ghana were well composed, tactically disciplined, and well-drilled.....they played as a team and not as 11 disparate individuals....the coach brought in four of Ghana's players from the Under 20 team....There was never a doubt in my mind that Ghana would emerge victorious versus Serbia.
On the other hand, Nigeria were tactless, often looked lethargic, and played not as a team, but as 11 different individuals....were it not for keeper Onyeama, the score would have been embarrassing....they let the whole of the Continent down, in their game against Argentina.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Churchill and The White African

There is a documentary called "Mugabe and The White African" that is being reviewed to death right now in the blogosphere and in the press. This documentary omits any background information, and then jumps right into the fray to discuss the travails of Zimbabwe's white farming community. Many people watching the documentary, and unfamiliar with colonial African history, will view the white farmers as victims of barbarism, if not outright savagery. Pity the white farmers! They would say.

Well, let me give you a historical analogy so as to show you that Zimbabwe is not what some documentary-makers make it out to be. What if a documentary-maker was to show a documentary on the (1945) Allied bombing of Dresden, Germany, to a group of Native-Americans. What if these Native-Americans had never been exposed to German or European history, and knew nothing of WW1 and WW2. What then would the Native-Americans make of President Truman, and Prime Minister Churchill? And what would they make of the Russian Red Army, fast advancing on Berlin? Well, they'd probably think that Russians were a warmongering race of barbaric brutes out to ruin the harmony of the peace-loving Germans. And they'd probably think that both President Truman & Prime Minister Churchill were cruel savages, intent on bombing the innocent Germans into oblivion.

Anyone who is even vaguely familiar with European/Western history will know that it was the Germans who were the aggressors and not the other way around. The Brits, Americans & Russians were fighting for dear life against a ruthless, German war-machine. A background study of this era would have begun with the Franco-Prussian war of 1870; followed by the horrors of WW1; and then moved onto The Treaty of Versailles and the rise of Hitler & The Nazis. Without this background info, any film, documentary, or book about WW2 is meaningless.

The same is true of the land situation in Zimbabwe. Any movie, documentary, book or magazine article that ignores the events of the previous 150 years, and just focuses on the present is especially meaningless to a public that has never been exposed to colonial African history. Any background info on the land issue in Zimbabwe will start with missionaries like David Livingstone; proceed to adventurers like Speke, Morton & Stanley; and then be followed by the biggest plunderer of them all, Cecil Rhodes. Then it would move to The Pioneer Column of 1890 (that planted the British flag on Zimbabwean soil); and then (most importantly) the hut and poll taxes that sucked the indigenous black Africans of Zimbabwe into the wage economy.

Following these hideous hut and poll taxes, were a series of Land Apportionment Acts that forced black Africans from the fertile highveld area of Zimbabwe. This area was (and still is) the area of greatest population density, and had been settled by a Bantu-speaking population since around 900AD. After the land Apportionment Act (of 1930) Africans were systematically shoved into overcrowded and barren "Native Reserves". It was the cruel land policy of the colonial Rhodesians that sparked the Chimurenga War for Independence from 1966-1979. The background information that I've just supplied is crucial to any understanding of the tumultuous land situation inn Zimbabwe. Any filmmaker, writer or thinker who omits such background information is really just waffling about nothing.

The so-called "land invasions" that are shown in the documentary, "Mugabe & The White African" are really the actions of a wronged people, taking back the land of their ancestors, which they (rightly) believe to be theirs, through historical precedence.