Trump impeachment, quest for decoloniality

The Sunday Mail

Writing Back
Ranga Mataire

It is easy to lose one’s self in the frenzy of social media titbits.

You have on one end an impeachment inquiry against the United States President Donald Trump while on the other end (in the immediate locality) there are ardent attempts by some among us to devalue Zimbabwe’s foundational history of the liberation struggle.

If not cautious, one is bound to be lost in the maze of perpetual virtual reality and never getting the gist of what’s going on around. One’s perspective on issues, if not well grounded, is shaped by how others frame that reality. This is the most dangerous aspect of social media particularly on people who are highly impressionable.

One needs to step back and even undertake some research to come up with a well-grounded perspective on issues otherwise there is danger of ending up living other people’s dreams and gory nightmares.

Let’s start with President Trump’s impeachment inquiry. What exactly is at the core of the process and why is it of interest to Africa?

Trump’s inquiry makes the world chuckle a bit at the hypocrisy of America’s foreign policy. The same foreign interference it despises is the praxis that governs its foreign policy towards other countries.

The impeachment inquiry has exposed America’s duplicity and the lack of moral uprightness when dealing with weaker nations.

Allegations are that on July 25 2019, President Trump coerced or tried to extort favours from Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky in exchange for a state visit. Yes, a state visit.

It is alleged President Trump wanted President Zelensky to dig dirt on Joe Biden’s son Hunter, who had business dealings in Ukraine. Biden is former vice president of America under the Obama administration and is Trump’s leading opponent in next year’s presidential election.

The whole inquiry episode is an embarrassment in that it exposes the dirty application of the quid pro quo. A quid pro quo is when a country demands a favour or advantage in return for something. This is precisely what strings-attached aid is all about. In the case of Africa, its so rampant given the vulnerabilities of most countries on the continent.

A second allegation against President Trump is on whether a freeze of Congress-approved military aid package to Ukraine could have been motivated by a personal political agenda. In other words, President Trump is accused of wanting to acquire advantage by illegal means.

Although it is early to predict how the impeachment inquiry will pan out, the obvious truth is that the Emperor is under spotlight.

Events in America and including the duplicity of its leaders is reason enough for call to Africans to realise that they have more to gain from valorising their heritage than parroting the West’s whims.

It is just three decades after Zimbabwe got independence and yet that foundational struggle appears to some like a mirage.

Where else is this amnesia apparent than on social media. There was a mixed reaction when I posted a Rhodesian pictorial advert promising a reward for anyone with information on magandanga.

One Gerald Maguranyanga responded: “I can’t even read that. Stirs up powerful, ‘unwanted’ emotions in me”.

Another twitterati, Jamwanda believes, that: “One narrative (peddled by) apologists of settler colonialism is to suggest continuity between Rhodesia and Zimbabwe, the idea being to repudiate the Liberation Struggle and the successor Majority African State, whatever its limitations. The narrative avers liberation as unnecessary.”

Then, there was Rashweat Mkundu’s reaction which sort of attempted to apportion the wane in attachment to the liberation struggle to the current leadership saying: “Contrary to a repudiation of what happened in 1980, I am actually reaffirming it and saying you have moved away from that watershed moment. If you had stuck to the 1980 agenda even at 40 percent of success, Zimbabwe will be ahead of South Africa, Malaysia and Singapore.”

One Kuda Marazanye then shot back saying those thrashing the liberation struggle were attempting to “delegitimise the liberation struggle, foist a new struggle narrative which really starts with the MDC’s fight against Mugabe regime, complete with new heroes. Sanitise Rhodesian soldiers as latter day human rights activists. Demonise Chimurenga 2 war-vets”.

The varying impressions testify to something seriously maladjusted in our appreciation of national ethos. Ordinarily, the liberation struggle must be viewed as the only defining process of our history that gave birth to black majority rule.

All over the world, nations gather to reflect about those who sacrificed their lives for the liberation of the majority. They celebrate the values and principles that made men and women to leave their homes into battle.

The absence of shared common attachment to that defining process reminds everyone of the need to fervently reconstruct the country’s historiography that transcends political affinities and identities.

Beyond political preferences, the valiant struggle for independence must, of necessity, unite us as Zimbabweans and must instil a sense of belonging and shared identity.

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