AU: Revival of founding fathers’ values

Kuda Bwititi – Senior Reporter

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President Mugabe’s ascension to the African Union Chairmanship is widely expected to see the continental body returning to its founding principles.

\n\nDr Kenneth Kaunda\nMwalimu Julius Nyerere\nDr Kwame Nkrumah\nPatrice Lumumba\n\n

The President is one of the senior Heads of State among the present crop of African leaders.

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He attended the Organisation of African Unity’s first Summit on May 25, 1963 and interacted with Africa’s founding fathers in the mould of Kwame Nkrumah, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Kenneth Kaunda, Patrice Lumumba and Sekou Toure, among others.

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In addition, he was OAU Chair from 1997 to 1998.

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Analysts believe his association with both the architects of Africa’s independence and post-colonial leaders makes him a bridge between the two groups.

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On several occasions, the President has described how the new generation of leaders appears to have deviated from the OAU’s original values.

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Such values, he says, would have seen African countries unifying to help each other stave off neo-colonialism and standing on principle.

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In his inauguration speech after the 2013 Presidential elections, President Mugabe gave a synopsis of the principles espoused by the founding fathers.

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“They were anti-colonialists. You do not get anything that helps you from the former colonialists. That was their stance and (Kwame) Nkrumah used to say, ‘A good imperialist is only a dead one.’

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‘‘When now we look at what is happening in Africa, our people easily lend themselves to control by Western powers. We lament what has gone by. We begin to wish that the past should come back.

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“We are no longer strong. We sit with Westerners in their fora to decide on action against other African countries. We should never ever do that. But that happened.

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“When we had an attack on Libya, we had three countries in the (United Nations) Security Council which agreed with Western countries that there should be action taken against Libya under Chapter 7 of the United Nations Charter which allowed now Nato to come in and we know what has happened. The situation there is in turmoil.”