When news broke that Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe was chosen a head of African Unity (AU), tongue wagged especially in the west. Mugabe has no good rapport in the west. Western media started to ‘remind’ the world how dangerous Mugabe is. They forgot that the same Mugabe once stole the show especially during the liberation struggle when he well and skilfully articulated the vision of Zimbabwe better than Ian Smith.
For those who support African renaissance, the election of Mugabe was blow to the west especially after it branded Mugabe all bad names just because he wanted to redistribute land in Zimbabwe. Now that AU seems to have started deviating from their former colonial masters, maybe, this will send the message to western countries whose grand narrative's tried consistently to define everything even if their definitions are always wrong. When he took a podium to talk Mugabe didn't mince his words and his vengeance against west. For he was quoted as saying that Africa wanted relationship with friends but not with colonialists and imperialists he said have no place in Africa. To show how unputdownable Mugabe is, po-faced he took a swipe on Morocco saying, “As long as our brothers in Western Sahara are under Moroccan occupation we are not totally free.”
Is AU starting a new phase of rebellion against her nexus with colonial masters? Does it know the consequence of its actions?
It is obvious that Africa is trying to show western countries that she has her way of doing things especially after China proved another fresh air to African economies. The west used to use economic clout to bully Africa. Again, after the world prediction of the economies of the world prove that Africa will do better than many western countries, maybe, just maybe, African leaders have gotten a hunch of trying to reorganize their alliance with the outside world.
By electing Mugabe AU chair, African countries apart from sending the message, are trying to warn western countries that the status quo doesn't hold water anymore especially at the time there is a new kid on the block. After Africa being ‘maltreated’ by the International Criminal Court (ICC) methinks it is time for Africa to hit back hard especially where it hurts, under the belt. Appointing Mugabe the chair of AU is a sacrilege before western countries which we are waiting to see what they will do.
Electing Mugabe head of AU is obviously a tactical move of testing water. AU leaders are not only dismayed by western clientele economic relationship but also they are annoyed by way it robbed them some of their dear ones such as Muamar Qaddafi who used to financially support AU. They can feel the gap that China is trying to fill in. remember, Mugabe, a good friend of China was elected Chair of AU in the hall China that built and gifted to AU. By electing Mugabe AU Chair, African leaders are trying to dispel the myth that if one doesn't agree with what western countries want he will be in trouble. Mugabe has weathered all storms from west and he is still going from strength to strength in the politics of the continent.
Now that Africa has clearly and loudly made her statement, what will west do to show its interpretation of the statement? Will it put up and give in and start to lick the wounds or reciprocate by reducing the aid it extends to African countries? Again, shall west try to punish Africa for electing Mugabe; will China stay side and look or come even more forcefully? By the look of things, shall west act unwisely in this zero-sum game, two winners are easy to predict, Africa and China will carry the day. It is obvious that Mugabe has no financial muscle like Qaddafi. He’s the gift of the gab on top of strong and sound friendship with China which has become the life line of Mugabe’s government. Remember. Zimbabwe and Tanzania have a lot of ivory in their store as they agitate that they should be allowed to sell them. Another factor that helps Mugabe to triumph is the fact that many African countries are facing land issue thanks to surging the landless population. Maybe, they will take a leaf from him. The neighbouring South Africa even Namibia still faces the same. Who knows? Will this new awakening Africa is making awaken western countries to stop treating her like a baby that has no brain? On the flip side, does AU expect anything new from Mugabe? Does AU want to use Mugabe to voice its anger against west? Is Mugabe using AU to intimidate his enemies? Who's using whom in this game of treacherous nature?
Source:The A E Magazine Feb,. 4, 2015.