An elementary knowledge of the genesis and growth of apartheid in South Africa, and the subsequent trans-border expansion and entrenchment of white settler colonial interests in the rest of Southern Africa towards the close of the 19′ Century, will help our region understand and situate an emerging, trans-border opposition narrative vainly agitating for “a post-liberation era” in Southern Africa. Largely white sponsored and driven, this brand of politics founds and fronts black opposition figures in the region, preferably those with previous association with liberation movements, with trade union credentials or from religious movements, to fawn native legitimacy and to inveigle voters who must be persuaded to view them as well-intentioned and home-grown, or better still, as a natural and necessary development from politics and struggles of national independence waged in our region. In reality they are not, tracing their origins as they do from entrenched but challenged white interests that seek to perpetuate their control and dominance of key assets of national economies, principally land, minerals, industry and finance. This political development whose endgame scenarios are the founding of black-led, neo-colonial client states, constitutes a threat to liberation movements and their governments in the region, and amount to a direct challenge to the bid to transform regional national economies towards a new era of black economic empowerment and social justice. It thus comes as no surprise to the Government of Zimbabwe that President Robert Gabriel Mugabe, himself a leading proponent of region-wide black economic empowerment, should be the natural target for the white-driven Democratic Alliance, DA, and the white-adopted Economic Freedom Fighters, EFF, both of South Africa, and jointly agitating for “a post-liberation era” in Southern Africa. As a rule, neo-colonialism requires black political fronts who are relied upon to implement foreign/alien indigenous majority. Examples abound in our region and on the continent. Thus, it was necessary for the original Leons and the Zilles of the white DA to morph into a black Maimane, the same way that a seemingly radical Malema needed to be tempered by a growing white membership in the EFF into the political retrograde whose spectacle we continue to watch in the South African Parliament. Looking at the whole political situation from this side of the Limpopo, the Government of Zimbabwe is not at all surprised by the now open political collaboration, amity and alliance between the two quislings and the parties they purport to lead. If anything, this white-chaperoned alliance consummated in local government elections held recently in South Africa should be understood as a new subterfuge of a dying settlerism and apartheid, indeed as an early warning to all progressive political forces of our region that the struggle for economic emancipation is far from easy or over. The DA/EFF alliance is neither democratic not about economic freedom. Rather, it is an act of political beguilement calculated to protect a white-led economic status quo targeting those threatening it. For how else does a young, landless and economically marginalized black politician abhor the empowerment programme championed by leaders of liberation movements and governments of the region, while wishing for a neo-colonial “post-liberation era” in which he remains an economic minor?
Thankfully, the consciousness wrought by politics of national liberation remains formidably strong and unstoppable in the region, making counterrevolutionaries like out of place ins Malema and Maimane both irrelevant and attempts pite of fluke gains they by the same f may enjoy now and then. Even forces to infiltrate and destabilize liberation movements in our region through the so-calle succession fail, more so in respect of as solid a Partyd as Zanu-PF wquestion here such attempts have been made through the likes of Julius Malema, and through roundly rejected factional politics. To the contrary, all governments run by former liberation movements in Southern Africa are democratically elected by citizens of their respective countries. They do not derive their legitimacy from the say-so of serial electoral losers in the opposition, much less from the unsettled, historically-derived white interests which vainly think they can push the clock back. Today a liberated, post-apartheid and democratic Southern Africa is an irreversible fact, and no amount of reading tired and retrogressive scripts from the Tony Leons of this world, or from re-made New National Parties, will challenge the new economic normal in Zimbabwe, or defeat the push towards the eventual goal of an economically liberated Southern Africa.
Dr. Christopher C. Mushohwe
Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Zimbabwe
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