Africa Day: Reflections on Past and Future Freedoms
Honorable Monica Mutsvangwa
Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services
IIn 1963 on this day in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the doyens of African liberation passed the lifelong resolution that gave birth to the multilateral institutionalization of African independence under the banner of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). Today, the OAU has metamorphosed into the African Union (AU) formed 21 years ago. Together, the existence of the OAU and the AU gives us a half-hearted anti-colonial solidarity of African nations that goes back six decades. The intensification of this solidarity continues to be influenced by the changing character of colonialism.
From the outset, the OAU as a strategic diplomatic alliance for African independence was formed to collectively enforce the downfall of the colonial empire.
To this day, the OAU is hailed for its role in re-humanizing politics following the curse of imperialism that escaped reason from our institutions of power in pre-colonial Africa.
The rehumanization of power is best explained by the philosophy’s fundamental theme of decolonization as a means of humanizing the dehumanized. Initially, colonialism turned Africa into a zone of non-being and the reversal of this process had a rehumanizing effect on all institutions and facets of African society.
Therefore, it cannot be overemphasized that the formation of the OAU coincided with Zimbabwe’s struggle for independence. And it marked a crucial phase in the rehumanization of the disenfranchised colonial majority.
To this end, history reminds us all that the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) was formed in 1963. Previously, the Zimbabwe People’s Union (ZAPU) played a crucial role in radicalizing the movement anticolonial since the end of 50 years.
This experience was not unique to Zimbabwe given the rapid spiraling effects of anti-colonial resistance across Africa. Clearly, the birth of the OAU was prompted by a continental demand for freedom and the restoration of the human dignity of the African people.
African nationalism has become the agent of transformation from the politics of plunder and exploitation to the aspirational politics of implementing pro-people policies. It is these ideas that make Africa Day commemorations important to us as a people.
May 25 awakens this self-awareness of a people born of the dehumanizing consequence of colonialism towards total emancipation.
Therefore, Africa Day is a celebration of a people’s victory over the toxic legacy of imperialism. Africa Day collectively pushes us towards the goal of unity in the face of modern manifestations of colonialism.
On this day, we are reminded that decolonization was and still is not a done deal. Aluta Continued!
On this important day, the organizations that delivered independence to the rest of Africa should be celebrated. ZANU PF is one such organization alongside its revolutionary sister parties across the African continent.
At the same time, we must be able to take stock of the gains from the sacrifices of all our named and unnamed heroes of African liberation. Instructively, we stand bold on the shoulders of the lifelong sacrifices of these luminaries from Cape Town to Cairo.
On this note, it should be emphasized that the independence of Zimbabwe could not have been achieved without the support of the nations that had achieved their independence before us.
For those of us who were in the trenches in the fight for Zimbabwe, it is hard to forget the role played by the late General Hashim Mbita of Tanzania in organizing support for the guerrillas who then folded the enemy to our demands for independence. In 1972, General Mbita was appointed executive secretary of the OAU Liberation Committee. He focused on accelerating support for the armed struggle, which led to cracks appearing in Lisbon, which would eventually see a coup against the fascist regime of Caetano leading to the liberation of Mozambique, Angola, Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde in 1975.
Mbita retired as executive secretary of the continental unitary body in 1994 when the liberation of the subcontinent was completed with democratic elections in South Africa leading to majority rule.
General Mbita’s cross-cutting multilateral task in delivering the unification and decolonization agenda embodies the defining hallmark of Pan-Africanism as the cause of integration and cohesion of Africans at home and abroad.
My contemporaries and I would not have dared to forget the training we received in Zambia, Angola and Tanzania – not to mention the collaboration of the courageous ZIPRA and the Umkhonto weSizwe of South Africa in the collapse of the rogue forces Rhodesians to go to the battles of Wankie and Sipolilo respectively.
It was the power of neighborly collaboration and brotherly determination for shared freedom on both sides of the Limpopo.
Therefore, the celebration of Africa Day deeply articulates how previous independent African states sacrificed their sovereign autonomy to accommodate the interests of other African movements that struggled against colonialism in their respective jurisdictions.
One example is the material and ideological support that our then ZANU and PF-ZAPU received from the front line states.
Through this anti-colonial diplomatic pact of the former liberation movements, our liberation struggle was waged from Zambia, Tanzania, Angola and Mozambique among many other nations that supported our anti-colonial cause.
As a nation, we are grateful that our independence is the product of the collective sacrifice of many other nations in the region and the continent as a whole.
Based on this deep historical bond that we share with our neighbours, Africa Day is an essential occasion to cherish the importance of solidarity, unity and ideological clarity that characterized the early struggles of liberation that framed the continent’s redemptive discourse and propelled the class struggles of the African peasantry and proletariat ultimately leading to the downfall of colonialism.
In the modern world, the continent finds itself subject to neo-colonial domination in all its aspects.
This has resulted in illegal sanctions, illicit financial flows and many forms of organized crime through multinational corporations.
Meanwhile, preferential trade treatment terms have led to the undervaluation of the continent’s intellectual property, goods and services.
Meanwhile, Africa is currently threatened by the decline of solidarity and unity as defined by Haille Selasie, Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere and other African leaders who bequeathed the OAU, replacing it with the xenophobia, wars and hostile intra-African competition to be the best cheap satellite peripheries. work and resources.
Accordingly, Africa Day should provide a launching pad for patriotic Africans and African movements to introspect themselves with the aim of producing genuine class consciousness, social patriotism and prosperity.
Africa’s continental leadership today has the competence to deliver the Africa we all want.
That said, it is important to stress that the Second Republic under President Mnangagwa played a crucial role in consolidating African liberation values.
Born out of a people-centered transition in November 2017, the new dispensation was designed to reclaim the legacy of democracy, constitutionalism, investment attraction, and many other defining principles of a modern state whose trajectory of development had collapsed due to the incompetence of the G40 factions. elements in ZANU PF.
Therefore, the implementation of Operation Restore Legacy emerged as an important panacea to deliver Zimbabwe from an impending political and economic explosion.
It is therefore not surprising that the recalibration of constitutionalism since November 2017 has resulted in a plethora of media freedoms.
The Second Republic under His Excellency, President Mnangagwa rolled out pragmatic measures to implement media reforms that resulted in the acceleration of licensing of new media, integration of broadcast services to communities once marginalized, to the ease of accreditation for Zimbabwean and visiting media.
President ED Mnangagwa’s passion for an open society has allowed journalism to flourish in a free space, as mandated by the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
This broadly encapsulates this fundamental spirit of liberation as espoused by these key values that define our being as Africans on this important day, when we cherish the freedom of the continent.