YES WE LET AFRICA DOWN BIG TIME
By Dr. Kassala, C.D.N and Dr. Shoo,G (Courtesy of Dr Massawe, A)
I have watched both the video (Hyena Square) and the photo gallery (Maweni Farm Lodges). They have one thing in common: the violation of Africa's innocence (in the video it is the raping of the youth innocence, both male and female), and in the photo gallery it is the raping of the beautiful natural environment of Africa exploited selfishly by the Western guzzling economic appetite! Imagine: how much money has the video made for the producer?
How much were the youths in the video paid by the maker? What has the Swedish done to transform the life of the local community in Maweni and in DSM for a more dignified human life? That is where liberation is required: the poor and marginalized should be liberated from a false consciousness; and the rich should be liberated from the evil spirit of greed and exploitation. This type of liberation can only be exercised by those who have committed themselves to the five criteria of socioeconomic transformation.
The African youth have now to be initiated into the movement for critical liberation education. We need to revive the spirit of Paul Frerre by whom Mwalimu Nyerere was inspired. His book (Paul's) by the name of "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" is now more than ever relevant for educating African young people so that they are liberated intellectually, and develop a critical consciousness.
Young people have to be taught to question the status quo! University students have to be taught to critically analyze the prevailing dehumanizing system!!
The time is ripe now in Africa for an ethic-intellectual revolution! A revolution in terms of critiquing the obsolete and irrelevant models and paradigms of socioeconomic development.
These paradigms and models have created the monsters we call 'global warming', 'anthropological poverty', 'resources greed', 'economic meltdown', 'capital flight', 'grand corruption', 'moral decadence', 'weapons of mass destruction', 'cultural commodification', 'neo-colonial democracy', and 'creepy globalization'. All these monsters are now pestering the continent of Africa because of our continent's virgin richness of its natural resources, and the African peoples' generous but naive simplicity!
This ethic-intellectual revolution should begin among us intellectuals with a vowed commitment. A commitment which is characterized by the spirit of the African Independence Founding Fathers, namely Kaunda, Kenyatta, Nyerere, Nkrumah, Mandela, Nasser, Selassie, Mugabe, Obote, Lumumba; together with the ancestral heroes of the kind of Mkwawa, Shaka, Milambo, Mangi Sina, Luthuli, and the rest. Such a spirit was founded on resistance: to resist any kind or form of degrading, exploiting and raping the African humanity and its geo-ecological haven on the continent.
The intellectuals in Africa should revive the African critical spirit that was incarnated by the founding fathers and ancestral heroes through the struggle for the liberation of Africa. Today, all intellectuals are called upon to make use of their critical conscientiousness and ethical drive to resist the various manifestations of the monsters mentioned before. Resistance of these manifestations means committing oneself and together as a clan of revolutionaries and shout out the following whenever we are given the opportunity to speak:
1. We resist the abusive exercise authority that monopolizes power and prohibits transformation.
2. We resist the forces that create and perpetuate poverty, ignorance, disease, corruption and greed or accept these as inevitable or ineradicable.
3. We resist the denial of rights to any racial, ethnic, caste or indigenous groups, and the exploitation of women, youth and children.
4. We resist the structures of patriarchy that perpetuate violence against women and girls; which exclude their full participation in family and society.
5. We resist policies that deny freedom of expression; that concentrate the communication power in the hands of a few.
6. We resist doctrines of national security based on the use of weapons of mass destruction, military or biochemical, and self-justified interventions and occupations.
7. We resist the attitude to nature and creation which treats them only as resources for greedy economic exploitation.
8. We resist all human greed that makes land a commodity, which denies the bonds between land, ancestors and people, which devastates the earth for profit.
9. We resist authority that abuses, violates or exploits children and young people.
10. We resist all systems and structures that violate sacred human dignity and rights; that tolerate torture, disappearances, extra-judicial executions and the death penalty.
Any African intellectual who wants to join this ethical and intellectual resistance movement must use the following life-centred criteria to evaluate, critique and reconstruct the social and institutional arrangements at all levels of decision making and policy formulation:
1. Equity as basic fairness that also extends to other forms of life.
2. Accountability as the structuring of responsibility towards one another and the natural creation (=earth) itself.
3. Participation as the optimal inclusion of all involved.
4. Sufficiency as a commitment to meet the basic needs of all life.
5. Subsidiarity as determining the most appropriate level for decision making while supporting downward distribution of power relations.
It is indeed encouraging to read Prof.George N.Ayittey’s An Open Letter to Africa and Dr Kasalla’s rejoinder. Both pieces have triggered some dormant faculties in our brains to start working. Yes, Africa has been terribly betrayed by none else but us African intellectuals.
If in most of the African countries the betrayal was somehow hidden because there was no open pro people agenda which was set from the very first days of fighting for Uhuru, in Tanzania the situation is completely the opposite.
Tanzania, after independence, as opposed to most African countries for example had come up with a pro people policy in the Arusha Declaration.
Instead of embarking on a policy of Africanisation which literally meant kicking out whites and instead replacing them with blacks, which would have meant maintaining the status quo, the Arusha Declaration sought to make a total overhaul of the socio-economic-political fabric and strive to create a society which every human being would enjoy the fruits of liberation.
The Arusha Declaration aimed at creating a country where all human beings enjoyed the basic rights unimpeded. The right to education, shelter and education, the right to protection by the public etc. Land was declared public property and whoever owned it did that on behalf of others in the society.
The major means of production were put under the custody of the government on behalf of the public.
In the Arusha Declaration there was a very clear ethical code for leaders. It was stipulated very clearly that every government or party leader should be either a worker or a peasant and must in no way be connected with capitalism or feudalism, they must not have more than one job, or earn more than one salary. It went on to say that leaders in the party or government must not own shares in companies or own houses for rent out.
During those years after the Arusha Declaration people could judge theirs leaders and know who adheres to the basic code of ethics laid down in the book and who did not.
The Arusha Declaration paved the way for mass mobilization of youth in different directions to create the much needed personnel to manage the post independence economy. It was a gargantuan task and it was during this period that the current ruling class of Tanzania, and indeed most African countries, was created.
This was the youth who used to ‘breath fire’ in anti-imperialist rallies and symposia all over the world.
Professor Ayittey is actually talking of the product of the Arusha Declaration. These are people who took to the streets and marched kilometres to support the Arusha Declaration. They are the ones who stood vigilant against reactionaries who came open and opposed the Arusha Declaration in public.
Is it not true that the current rulers of Tanzania are a product of the goodies of the Arusha Declaration?
How many of us would have had education at all leave alone higher and specialized education if the Nyereres, Nkrumahs and Kaundas did not nationalize schools in one way or the other? If education was not part of their wider programmes of the emancipation of the newly liberated peoples it is obvious that most of us would not have been what we are now that is the intellectuals of Africa.
What happened in Tanzania is very clear. The new ruling class which took over from the likes of Nyerere came up with a hidden agenda. After so many years of undercover stealing through kickbacks and misuse of public funds through different loopholes such as awarding tenders to relatives and friends who later on hid the proceeds to be enjoyed later by the sponsors, or overpaying suppliers of goods and services as a way of stashing away public monies for private use now or later, so called perestroika came as a blessing to them.
To them perestroika was the right time to come out of their cuckoos and legalize what they had been stealing and stashing under the bed all along.
They managed to manoeuvre their agenda through and persuaded the then Chair of the ruling Party, Ali Hassan Mwinyi who agreed with them that the leadership code of ethics in the Arusha Declaration was outdated and indeed very undemocratic so there was no reason why it should not be deleted from the Arusha Declaration! Talk of the great betrayal and here it is.
People who took to the streets to support the Arusha Declaration, people who indeed were up in arms and very vocal both locally and internationally in defense of peoples power and against all forms of oppression and imperialism have all of a sudden just when the Arusha declaration was 25 years old decided to do away with it. Indeed what they did was to do away with the masses. They all of a sudden decided to be the selected few, they came up with their style of leadership which was and is until today anti-people.
In order to achieve their goal of stealing and amassing wealth they shout democracy and practice autocracy. They do not want to listen to their people and they come up with all stupid and demonic laws and orders to silence the people. In order to make sure that the masses never demonstrate against them they create barriers by passing laws demanding that they be respected by the public because they represent the public meaning they more important and special than the normal citizen.
In-fact in Tanzania they demand to be called excellencies, to be saluted by the police and military, to be escorted by sirens and sweep cars, to be accorded special reception wherever they go and to be allowed to raise their own salaries, per diems etc at will and the public does not have the right to question them because they are toiling for the well being of the public!
All of a sudden the stalwarts of the Arusha Declaration have become the stalwarts of international capital. What a betrayal. From staunch supporters of socialist ideals to staunch supporters of looting and oppression. Yes we have betrayed our people.