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An Open Letter to Mugabe, Museveni and Gaddaffi


Tuesday, August 19, 2008
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Dear Respectable Brothers, Your Excellencies,
Allow me to use my column as a committed son of the soil who sees Africa’s future success emerging only from the formation of continental unity and economic integration; to sound a clarion call to you three in a timely manner.

I have great respect for the roles that each of you have played in steering the continent away from the clutches of ultra-modern imperialism whose bottom line agenda is to rob the continent of its vast riches and transfer it to benefit other people elsewhere.

I have watched you over the years assert the greatness of our people, their self-determination in doing something about poverty eradication and how we as Africans can have a fair deal in the international trade that has been crafted to benefit the rich North at the expense of the poor South, and more so – Africa

You will recall how Tony Blair, then the powerful British Prime Minister talked sense into the minds of the G-8 economic giants, a couple of years ago, on what they could do to alleviate Africa’s burden of poverty. They agreed unanimously that they would each contribute 0.07 percent of their annual GDP towards funding Africa’s poverty alleviation basket

This promise is now gathering dust on paper and it only gave a momentary upsurge of false hope for the struggling masses of the continent – a people who have now learnt the hard way – that there are no uncles out there who can help Africa solve its problems of poverty.

Our success will only come through unity, inter-territorial trade among our countries, creating free market zones across our borders and scrapping off the 1884 Berlin Conference’s artificial borders imposed by the West colonial powers to divide our people.

Cecil Rhodes, the British Maverick politician was the architect of this infamous policy of “divide and rule” who planted this curse on us and as long as we continue to embrace it, Africans will never walk out of abject poverty as our hands are tied to the intrigues of the Breton Woods institutions and unfavorable orders are daily coming to us from Washington, London, Paris and Brussels

More so, we cannot hope to get anything from the World Trade Organization (WTO) whose desire to shut out China from the rest of the trading world and making us believe that Taiwan was the real China for so-long until Africa spoke for China asserting that they represented 20 percent of humanity – then and only then did the WTO reluctantly open doors for communist China to join WTO.

Today, China is the most aggressive global trading entity with a double digit annual growth rate making a mockery of the former great economic powers of the dollar and the euro empires  Walk into any supermarket in the USA and see the number of items with the label “Made In China”, it is simply amazing 

Africa has succumbed to the age-old artificial boundaries that have spilt our continent into 53 non-viable states with some countries like Oromo seeking to break away from Ethiopia to further “divide” our people and weaken us 

We are giving off our mineral riches in the form of diamonds, gold, copper, coal, gas, uranium, Tanzanite, rubies, oil, and hard timber as mahogany and ebony in exchange for firearms? Firearms with which we can defend our “colonial masters’ drawn borders”?

Wars in Chad, Somalia, Sierra Leone, the Congo, Sudan, Northern Uganda and the notorious genocide of Rwanda and endless squabbles in Burundi, military coups in Nigeria, and corruption everywhere … Africans, what are we doing to our great continent?

The British allowed Ian Smith to unilaterally declare independence in Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe – leaving the land question unattended. Worse, Ian Smith was bent on replicating the apartheid system in South Africa. President Robert Mugabe and other militants in Zimbabwe fought a long guerilla war to free their country and redistribute the land to the landless indigenous people.

The enemies of Africa both from within and outside the continent, want to turn the clock back and bring back “white settle farmers” to retake the land from their rightful owners. President Mugabe, please do not allow this to happen.

Museveni, you have done a lot to bring democracy to Uganda and you are still fighting to ensure that Uganda can march forward in freedom, dignity and prosperity. You have challenges in the North, and we see no end in sight for peace in that area. We see your desire to succeed, but it is not working. How about paving the way for a successor so that you retire honorably from office of President and join the ranks of other respectable African leaders like Nyerere, Mandela, Masire and Chissano?

And for Colonel Gaddaffi, I salute you for the great strides of economic development that you have achieved for your people in education, healthcare, infrastructure development and poverty alleviation. You have created the largest man-made river in the world to turn desert country into arable land and your country is now exporting surplus grain to food-deficit parts of the world.

You have spoken unequivocally about African Unity in word and in deed have demonstrated your desire to see the formation of the United States of Africa in which we can have one continental government and one common market for our one billion people in the continent.

History will not forget you for this effort. Your Green Book policies, and peoples’ assemblies are certainly more democratic that those of the West. We salute you, but please do not hang on in power for too long until people begin gossiping of a return of the monarchy though the back-door. Prepare a successor and retire honorably to pursue the bigger picture of working for a United States of Africa

And as for Jongwe Robert Mugabe, Africa respects you. You have played your rightful role in shaping the destiny of your country. Please prepare a successor who will not betray the revolution and move on into the role of “wise elder statesman” to work on continental unity. We do not want you to wait until people “are tired of you and sweep you out of power in disgrace.” You could be another Nelson Mandela if you do so sooner rather than later

To my great friends and respectable leaders of Africa: Mugabe, Gaddaffi and Museveni, we love you so much that we think it is time you thought about taking “a respectable bowing out” and join the ranks of great African heroes like Mandela, Nyerere, Kaunda, Masire and Chissano 

We pray for you to enjoy a long healthy life and avail your wisdom to the next generation as retirees as we are on the road to create unity for our continent so that we can speak with one voice for our own advancement and acquire a permanent seat in the Security Council of the United Nations. Help give Africa the VETO power please, you can do it 

Please help Africa unite, grow stronger and achieve economic prosperity as we have been blessed with incomparable vast resources which can be harnessed to benefit all our people. The need for African Unity is a greater goal and ideal for all of you now if you want your legacies to live for ever among coming generations.

Please do not misuse this great opportunity now in your hands and take the right decision for Africa’s sake  God Bless Africa

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About Swallehe Msuya

Swallehe Msuya was a senior staff writer at Mshale with extensive media experience in his native Tanzania. He was a general assignments writer. Investigative stories that Mshale undertook were normally his responsibility. Swallehe passed away in Sept. 2009 at the age of 61. Mshale will forever miss his tenacity and wisdom.

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