"one of the saddest incident in the history of Africa’s struggles" Kwanisai Mafa

Comrades and friends, I bring you revolutionary greetings from the landed people of Zimbabwe, north of the great Limpopo River. By landed people, I mean the people who are now sovereign, who now exercise total control and ownership of their land and the vast natural resources endowed to them by God.

Forget about all the lies peddled by the global corporate capitalist media that the land redistribution and economic empowerment in Zimbabwe are meant to benefit Mugabe cronies and Mugabe is using the issue as a political gimmick to seek more votes. This is a serious and sincere program for the benefit of the people of Zimbabwe.

Comrades and friends, the common history of our struggles for self determination makes us friends with the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania and the geographical relationship of our two countries makes us neighbours, but the unfortunate reality that sets us apart is that Zimbabweans have liberated their land while Azania has not done the same.

Unless and until Azanians liberate their land and every mineral resources buried under it, freedom is neigh. Last month I listened to the state of the nation address by the President of the Republic of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, when he said that “The triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality persists, despite the progress made. Africans, women and the youth continue to suffer from this challenge “

The truth of the matter comrades is that these statements are mere political rhetoric; all these problems cannot be addressed when our erstwhile colonizers are still in control of the means of production. What hope can we have in capitalism, when it’s now crumbling in the countries where it is derived? Capitalism is in crisis globally, I think you have all witnessed on television the demonstrations dubbed occupy Wall Street.

Land ownership and control of mineral wealth are at the heart of Africa’s struggle for self determination. Land ownership and control of mineral wealth aptly justify the theme of today’s engagement. LAND IS AN ECONOMIC POWER.

In Zimbabwe, we have a similar slogan, Land is the economy and Economy is the Land. This wave of land reform programmes is known as the Third Chimurenga.

The land reform programmes have been conclude and the government of Zimbabwe is moving into companies and mines , a war cry which got our Cde Julius Malema in hot soup by the current ANC leadership in South Africa. Maybe Malema could be wrong or Malema is right, but only time shall tell.

Foreign companies in Zimbabwe have been asked by the government to cede 51 % shareholding to the local people as part of the indigenization drive by the government of Zimbabwe. Some major companies have already complied and recently Unki and Zimplats have complied and more are willing to do so.

The Almighty and our ancestors are smiling on Zimbabwe now .We are now discovering more minerals which we didn’t even know exist in Zimbabwe. Vast diamond resources have been discovered which constitutes 25% of the world reserves, we have also discovered platinum and uranium. Right now Zimbabwe is sitting on one of the biggest natural gas reserves south of the Sahara.

We are being punished for land and now they continue punishing us for discovering diamonds, there is now a heated international lobby led by US and its allies to discredit our diamonds on the world market by calling them blood diamonds through the Kimberly Process and there is also complicity with your capitalist De Beers here in South Africa, which has a monopoly over diamonds for years.

Yes and contrary to the British and US sponsored misinformation , Zimbabwe is a leading nation in the struggle for continental unity and black empowerment .Zimbabwe was born out of a bitter armed struggle against British settler colonialism. What led to the waging of this struggle was land. At the end of the colonial period in 1980, the minority of white farmers owned 75% of the best arable land, while millions of black people were rendered landless.

Thus, the historical injustices of colonialism and racial privileges ignited and fueled the wars of liberation known as First (1876), Second (1966 -79), and the Third Chimurenga (2000 to date). Britain and the US responded to the Third Chimurenga immediately by initiating an international campaign to demonise and vilify President Mugabe and the peoples movement. And furthermore, the cowardly, yet consistent use of economic sanctions was imposed on Zimbabwe by the US, Britain and the EU and persists to this day.

Nowhere is Pan Africanists being severely tested in Africa than in Zimbabwe. The current tidal wave of global pessimism and sanction against the people of Zimbabwe has made life excruciatingly challenging for the common folk. The government of Zimbabwe sought to unlock the value of its people through the Third Chimurenga.

Resistance to this exercise has been fierce as both former colonial settlers (who happen to be white) and their sympathizers sought to discredit it as, illegal and not consistent with human rights. Ironically, where were these human rights watchdogs when our forefathers were butchered and dispossessed of their land. Where are these human rights watchdogs when Israel is daily making the lives of Palestinian a living hell? Where were they when NATO attacked a sovereign nation like Libya in violation of international law?

The United Nations has become a tool of US imperialism to recolonize nations especially through the United Nations Security Council .There is selective application of law. Our leaders are being dragged to the International Criminal Court of Justice, yet western nations who are killing innocent people in Iraq, Palestine, Libya and elsewhere go with scot free. This is hypocritical.

Yes, African people must not allow imperialism to hypocritically dictate how and with whom we engage with in Africa. Our people’s movement must be supported and spread throughout Africa.

Today, 21st of March 2012, we are once more reminded of one of the saddest incident in the history of Africa’s struggles to free self from colonial bondage, to define its own humanity and to take charge of its own destiny.

The Sharpeville-Langa massacre, in South Africa, of innocent people who represented and reflected the conscience of all oppressed black people by the Apartheid settler regime remains an indelible reminder, permanently engraved in the minds of all progressive citizens of the African continent and beyond, today and forever.

It is thus an obligation of international magnitude, particularly incumbent upon the close neighboring countries, in a show of solidarity and renewed revolutionary vigor, that various amplified voices be directed towards the world audience in commemorating Africa sacrifices in the struggle for liberation.

This is an ideal international declarative platform for pan Africanists to chant and reassert African humanity and their undying quest for freedom and equality of all global citizens regardless of race and creed. In the case of Zimbabwe, our involvement here today has special significance.

Comrades and friends, the levels of mediocrity in African leadership has risen to sanctity. The revolution is now eating its own children. Surely this cannot continue unabated, battle lines must be drawn, be drawn clearly and conspicuously.

Our African leaders are sacrificing our continent and our founding values and aspirations on the altar of narrow, parochial, self serving, personal and selfish interests. Stooges and imperialist lapdogs in the form of opposition parties and democracy are being bankrolled by western intelligence organizations to extinguish, purge and obliterate all liberation movements and replace them with their puppets that are prepared to surrender our God given Africa to global imperialism for thirty pieces of silver.

Our African leaders have become our contemporary Judas Iscariot .Col Muammar Gaddaffi who gave sanctuary and military assistance to African liberation movements especially to South Africa was sold out by those whom he supported.

Who is Judas Iscariot? I don’t need your answer now South Africans?The late legendary Reggae superstar Bob Marley, who I love so much (peace be upon him), in his song Redemption Song, he asked for how long should we stand aside while our prophets are being killed. No leader said a word against the bombardment of Libya by NATO not even the African Union yet the author and founder of the African Union was Gaddaffi. The biggest question we should ask ourselves is who is next?

In Uganda, oil has been recently discovered in abundance, look what’s going to happen there. The rapacious blue eyed imperialist dogs are already sharpening their swords to destabilize Uganda. As you can see comrades there is a calculated, coordinated and systematic attack on Pan Africanism, it’s high time that all progressive revolutionary forces of this world form one formidable and monolithic front and advance Pan Africanism and reclaim our rightful place in the world.

Where is the spirit of 1940, 50s and 60s gone comrades? Where is the spirit of Nehanda, Sobukwe, Biko, Hani, Nkrumah, and Lumumba?

History is going to judge us harshly if we betray the principles and aspirations of our heroes. In Zimbabwe, President Mugabe is on record as saying Zimbabwe will never be a colony again, but he is a lone voice in the wilderness. We must deepen and strengthen our ties in this face of this onslaught.

I want to thank you comrades and friends for listening to me .Aluta continua!

By Kwanisai Mafa
(The address was delivered on the 21 March 2012, Langa, Cape Town, on the occasion of the Sharpeville/Langa Massacre commemoration. The writer is the President of Zimbawe Pan African Youth Agenda (ZIPAYA). Contact: cdemafa@yahoo.com)