Robert Mugabe and His Contribution to Africa

Robert Mugabe Ave in Namibia_3
Robert Mugabe Avenue, next to the Parliament, in Windhoek, Namibia

Namibia’s Founding President Sam Nujoma has described the late Zimbabwean President Robert Gabriel Mugabe as one of the continent’s most iconic leaders who fought for the liberation of his country and that of Africa at large. “He will be remembered as one who stood firm when others wavered. He was an iconic Pan-Africanist,” Nujoma said.

Robert Mugabe_7
Zimababwe’s President Robert Mugabe chants Zanu PF slogans with supporters gathered at the Harare International Conference Centre in Harare, Wednesday May 3, 2000. Mugabe launched the Zanu PF’s election manifesto which bears the slogan “Land is the Economy and the Economy is Land”. (AP Photo/Christine Nesbitt)

Robert Mugabe’s contribution to the freedom of Namibia, and all of Southern Africa and Central Africa is so immense that there are streets named after him throughout the region; for instance, an avenue bears his name in downtown Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. He worked tirelessly for the liberation of most of Southern Africa, including his very own country of Zimbabwe. Many countries such as Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa (with the fall of the Apartheid regime), Angola, owe their freedom to his unwavering support. Even in the  Democratic Republic of the Congo, (DRC), his support, sending troops there, helped avert total chaos. Joseph Kabila, former president of the DRC said, “We will forever remember the worthy son of Africa, who came to our rescue when our country was victim of a foreign aggressor. The continent has lost one of its pan-African leaders, a hero of independence.

Don’t agree with everything you read online, in the Western newspapers. When an African leader stands for his people and is fighting for their freedom, the western press calls him a dictator, a heretic: Laurent Gbagbo, Muammar KadhafiKwame Nkrumah at the end of his life, Sekou TouréPatrice Lumumba, … When he serves western interests in pillaging his country, he is a democrat and a friend: Paul Biya, Omar BongoAlassane Ouattara,  Mobutu Sese Seko, and countless others. Pay attention and you will see… and since the media are controlled by the west, we get a different version, very far from reality.

Robert Mugabe - Fidel Castro in Namibia1
Map of Windhoek’s city center on the plate of the National Museum of Namibia, showing the Robert Mugabe Ave and the Fidel Castro St., as well as the Sam Nujoma Ave.

Everybody is stricken by some amnesia and forgets that the economic problems of Zimbabwe stemmed from economic sanctions imposed on them by Western powers such as the UK, US, and Europe. Before Mugabe fought for land restoration, he was knighted by the Queen of England, when he asked for the land of his forefathers to be returned to their rightful owners, he became a dictator. Go figure!

No wonder, Julius Malema of the EFF said “We must not allow our enemies to tell us how to remember [Robert Mugabe]; we know our heroes.”

 

Libya and Slavery: Sheep without a Shepherd

Slavery_capture
Slave capture

For several weeks now, we have seen many people scream loud about the enslavement of Black people in Libya. I have seen Claudy Siar, whom I love, stand up outraged about the treatment of Black people in Libya, yet, I did not see him outraged when Libya was being bombed by NATO; I did not see him this outraged when migrants drowned in the Mediterranean Sea; I have not seen him outraged because MartiniqueGuadeloupe (where his family is from), and French Guiana, have been deprived of independence and are still Overseas territories of France today. I saw Samuel Eto’o and other footballers come out outraged, yet… I never saw Eto’o outraged that there are no roads to go to his village in Cameroon, I never saw him outraged that international companies exploit huge plantations in Cameroon without paying taxes (was he outraged when Lapiro de Mbanga was imprisoned for asking those companies to pay some little taxes?). I never saw these big footballers outraged that African youths are unemployed largely due to their presidents working hand-in-hand with European interests. Faure Gnassingbé, president of Togo even raised his voice against the enslavement of Africans in Libya, and was outraged! Are you serious, when he inherited the throne, presidency of Togo, after 38 years of Gnassingbé Eyadéma, his father’s reign? Alpha Blondy never said a word when Côte d’Ivoire was being bombed by France in 2011, yet today he opens his mouth for Libya, and wants the migrants to take up arms! Seriously?

Libya, the Prey of the West
Libya, the Prey of the West

I do not understand why we always act like sheep without a shepherd! Back in the middle of the 2000s, we were served with the genocide in Darfur, when Hollywood stars such as George Clooney came out in numbers claiming to care about the plight of the Black man, and saying that the Black people of Darfur Sudan were enslaved by their lighter skinned Sudanese brothers. This led to the creation of South Sudan, and Darfur, well… nothing happened in Darfur… so it had all been a scheme to split Sudan into 2, and take away its rich southern oil fields from the nation itself!

Children begging
Children begging

Do you think that African youths, if they had jobs in their countries, will not stay home? Do you think that if the FCFA was not this tax imposed on African countries (The 11 Components of the French Colonial Tax in Africa), they will not be developed? This outrage I hear should not be taken out on Libyans who had no say when their country was bombed by the Coalition that is NATO, but rather against our presidents who continue to stay in the FCFA zone (FCFA: France’s Colonial Tax on Africa), who continue to give at least 50% of our economies to France! France gets $500 Billions every year from 14 countries in Africa just from the currency, plus of course the free uranium of Niger, the free gold of Mali, the free plantations of Cameroon, the free cocoa of Côte d’Ivoire, etc. This has to stop! Our outrage cannot be taken out on Libyans, but rather on NATO, and now more than ever on those puppets that we call our presidents, who serve the interests of the Hexagon. Get out of the FCFA zone, and create jobs! Stop importing pencils, pens, and food, when you can grow and make your own and become sustainable economies to serve your youths! Africa is the continent with the youngest population, and with so many resources, and thus so much to develop! Africa is the future!

500 Fcfa_BEAO
500 Fcfa_BEAO

Yesterday, I heard a talk by Robert Bourgi who was the adviser to so many African presidents, good servants of Imperialist forces: MobutuOmar Bongo, etc; and he said that, what Africans were asking for was governmental alternance, i.e. election of new presidents. NO, we do not need new presidents who are just puppets of the West like Macky Sall or Alassane Ouattara who will sign off our future to the IMF and World Bank. We need a definite change, we want to be in charge of our economic destiny; we want to have our own currency, we do not want to pay a colonial tax when our forefathers died in WWI and WWII to liberate the French and the whole of Europe, when our ancestors were taken into slavery by Europeans to the Americas where their sweat was used to build Western economies. We want economic freedom to decide on our own terms whether we live or die. We will rather be poor with our own currency, than be a happy slave with a fake currency pegged to the Bank of Paris, which used to take 85% of our revenues and now takes 50%. All the same, We have had enough! So our outrage should not be at our Libyan brothers, because we do know that our true Libyan brothers will never do that, Khadafi fought for us Africans to be free from imperialist forces, but to our presidents, to our elites, who refuse to free us, who refuse to stand up and seize the moment! We, the people, want freedom, economic freedom! No More FCFA!

Why the name: Tripoli?

Tripoli, capital of Libya (Source: scoopempire.com)
Tripoli, capital of Libya (Source: scoopempire.com)

I always wondered why the capital of Libya was named Tripoli.  The name did not sound so ‘Arabic’ or ‘Berber’ to me… and I always thought that maybe the name had some Italian origin, since Libya was once part of the Roman empire, and later in the 19th/20th centuries an Italian colony.

Tripoli, or Tarabulus in Arabic, is known as Tripoli-of-the-West, to distinguish it from its ancient Phoenician sister city of Tripoli in Lebanon which means Levantine Tripoli or Tripoli of the East.  Tripoli, Libya, is affectionately called the Mermaid of the Mediterranean (arusat-el-bahr: bride of the sea) describing its turquoise waters and its whitewashed buildings.  In reality, Tripoli is a Greek name which means “Three Cities(Tria for three, Polis for city) in reference to the Libyan province of Tripolitaine encompassing the three cities of Oea (modern-day Tripoli), Leptis Magna, and Sabratha.

Map of Tripoli
Map of Tripoli

Tripoli is located in the north west of the country.  It extends to the edges of the desert, on a rocky piece of land jutting out into the Mediterranean sea, forming a bay.  Tripoli was founded in the 7th century BC, by the Phoenicians, who gave it the Libyco-Berber name Oea (or Wy’t), probably built upon a native Berber town.  The Phoenicians were probably attracted to the site by its natural harbor, flanked on the western shore by the small, easily defensible peninsula, on which they established their colony.  The city was then taken by the rulers of Cyrenaica (a Greek colony on the North African shore, east of Tripoli, halfway to Egypt), although the Carthaginians later wrested it from the Greeks.  Around the 2nd century BC, Tripoli belonged to the Romans, who included it in their province of Africa, and gave it the name of Regio Syrtica.  Around the beginning of the 3rd century AD, it became known as the Regio Tripolitana, meaning “region of the three cities“, namely Oea, Sabratha and Leptis Magna.  It was later raised to the rank of a separate province by Septimius Severus, who was a native of Leptis Magna. Tripoli was later conquered by Muslim dynasties around the 8th century AD; it was temporarily part of the Berber Almohad empire and of the Hafsids kingdom.  Tripoli was included in the Ottoman Empire between the 16th and 19th centuries AD.

Jamahiriya Museum in Tripoli (Source: Tripadvisor.com)
Jamahiriya Museum in Tripoli (Source: Tripadvisor.com)

With a population over 1.68 million (census before the 2011 NATO attacks on Libya) Tripoli is the largest city, the principal port, and the biggest industrial and commercial city of Libya.  It is the heart of government and that of the prestigious university of Tripoli.  Due to its long historical importance, Tripoli has a lot of archaelogical sites.  Many of these sites (which were already derelict) were bombed by the NATO forces during their intervention in Libya 2011 against the government of Muammar Gaddafi.

True, the city today is very far from its splendid and beautiful self.  Tripoli is healing its wounds today, which may take years or decades to heal, but I thought you would enjoy watching this 2010 video of Tripoli, the Mermaid of the Mediterranean! 

NATO’s debacle in Libya

Libyan flag
Libyan flag

This article by Alexander Cockburn is on the Pambazuka website.

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After three and a half months of bombing and arms supply to various rebel factions, NATO’s (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) failure in its efforts to promote ‘regime change’ in Libya is now glaring. Obviously NATO’s commanders are still hoping that a lucky bomb may kill Gaddafi, but to date the staying power has been with the Libyan leader, whereas it is the relevant NATO powers who are fighting among themselves.

The reports from Istanbul of the deliberations of NATO’s contact group have a surreal quality as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and British Foreign Minister William Hague gravely re-emphasise their commitment to regime change and the strengthening of ties to the Transitional Council in Benghazi, while the humiliation of the entire NATO expedition is entering the history books as an advertisement of the dangers of political fantasy in the service of ‘humanitarian interventionism’, appalling intelligence work, illusions about bombing and air power and some of the worst press coverage in living memory.

[….] Cameron, like Sarkozy, Clinton and Barack Obama presumably had intelligence assessments of the situation in Libya. Did any of them say that Gaddafi might be a tougher nut to crack than the presidents of Tunisia or Egypt, might even command some popular support in Tripoli and western Libya, historically at odds with Benghazi and the eastern region? If they did, did they pay any attention?

The Western press, along with al-Jazeera, was no help. The early charges of Gaddafi committing ‘genocide’ against his own people or ordering mass rapes were based on unverified rumour or propaganda bulletins from Benghazi and have now been decisively discredited by reputable organisations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Any pretensions the International Criminal Court (ICC) might have had to judicial impartiality have been undermined by the ICC’s role as NATO’s creature, rushing out indictments of Gaddafi and his closest associates whenever NATO’s propaganda agenda has demanded it. […]

All history shows that the dropping of thousands of bombs and missiles, with whatever supposed standards of ‘pin point accuracy’, never elicits the enthusiastic support of civilians on the receiving end, even if a certificate of humanitarian assistance and merciful intent is stamped on every projectile. Recent pro-government rallies in Tripoli have been vast. Libya has a population of about 6 million, with 4 million in Tripoli. Gaddafi barrels around the city in an open jeep. Large amounts of AK-47s have been distributed to civilian defence committees. Were they all compelled to demonstrate by Gaddafi’s enforcers? It seems unlikely. […]

In early March, Sarkozy, languishing in the polls, believed the counsel of ‘new philosopher’ Bernard-Henri Lévy, after the latter’s 6 March excursion to Benghazi, that Libya and its oil were up for grabs. On 11 March Sarkozy took the precipitate step of recognising the Benghazi gang as the legitimate government of Libya and awaited Gaddafi’s collapse with a confident heart. In a hilarious inside account of the NATO debacle, Vincent Jauvert of Le Nouvel Observateur has recently disclosed that French intelligence services assured Sarkozy and Foreign Minister Alain Juppé ‘from the first [air] strike, thousands of soldiers would defect from Gaddafi’. They also predicted that the rebels would move quickly to Sirte, the hometown of Gaddafi and force him to flee the country. This was triumphantly and erroneously trumpeted by the NATO powers, which even proclaimed that he had flown to Venezuela. By all means opt for the ‘big lie’ as a propaganda ploy, but not if it is inevitably going to be discredited 24 hours later.

We underestimated al-Gaddafi,’ one French officer told Jauvert. ‘He was preparing for forty-one years for an invasion. We did not imagine he would adapt as quickly. No one expects, for example, to transport its troops and missile batteries, Gaddafi will go out and buy hundreds of Toyota pick-up in Niger and Mali. It is a stroke of genius: the trucks are identical to those used by the rebels. NATO is paralysed. It delays its strikes. Before bombing the vehicles, drivers need to be sure they are whose forces are Gaddafi’s. “We asked the rebels to a particular signal on the roof of their pick-up truck,” said a soldier, “but we were never sure. They are so disorganised…?”’

Read the rest here → Pambazuka: Nato’s debacle in Libya

Truth Dispatch: Update on Libya

Flag of Libya
Flag of Libya

This article is by Cynthia McKinney on Pambazuka’s website.  You can read the full article there or watch videos.

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DAY ONE: On Libyan–Tunisian border, it’s back to the future with refugees
3–4 June 2011 – Djerba, Tunisia

During the last air sanctions against Libya, imposed by the United Nations in 1992 over alleged Libyan involvement in the bombings of PanAm 103 and UTA 772, many Libyans travelling to and from Tripoli were forced to fly through Tunisia, travelling overland to and from the Tunisian border to their homes in Libya. With European Union sanctions now imposed on Libya, the old travel regime is back in force.

However, there is a new dimension to the air embargo on Libya. Attracted to the Libyan–Tunisian border by refugees, most African guest workers from sub-Sahara and pan-Sahel African nations, fleeing the fighting in their country, find that scores of international aid workers now occupy the tourist hotels of Djerba, the once popular Tunisian resort that has fallen on hard times after tour operators cancelled excursions following the Tunisian revolution earlier this year.

Today, prior to crossing into Libya, this reporter is witnessing representatives of the ‘misery industry’, young international aid workers with groups like the International Committee of the Red Cross, EU and International Organisation for Migration, lounging around the tourist hotels mingling with German and French pensioners eager to take advantage of the special travel packages being offered by a depressed Tunisian tourist industry.

Not only is war good for the weapons industry but refugee crises brought about by Western-implemented wars, fattening the wallets of NGOs anxious to cash in on the human misery created by Pentagon and NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) overt and covert military operations. Meanwhile, here in Djerba, near the Libyan frontier, it’s pool-side and cold Heinekens for the NGO community here to ‘save’ the Libyan refugees.

DAY TWO: Western Libya portrait is not what is being painted by the Western media
4–5 June 2011 – Tripoli, Libya

Western media reports continue to indicate that Libyan rebels trying to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi from power, backed by daily NATO airstrikes, are gaining ground in western Libya. During a six-hour drive from the Tunisian border to Tripoli, the Libyan capital, this reporter saw no signs of Libyan rebel successes in western Libya. In fact, I witnessed a spontaneous pro-Gaddafi demonstration on the main Tunisia–Tripoli highway in a town about one and a half hours west of Tripoli.

The green flag of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya not only adorn flag poles in towns from Tripoli to the Tunisian border, but a number of private residences are flying the green flag from their rooftops, on flag poles and even from outside of top-floor windows in medium-size and small towns alike along the main highway.

There are some telltale signs of previous fighting in the western part of the country – bullet holes in the walls of some buildings and even some more extensive structural damage – but there are no signs that the rebels, backed by the United States, NATO and the European Union, have any substantial support in western Libya.  …..

To read more go to Pambazuka

Message du Guide Libyen/ Message from the Libyan Guide

Traduit de l’arabe en anglais par le professeur Sam Hamod. English version sur The African Independent. Faites un tour sur le site Mathaba pour avoir la version libyenne des faits!

Au nom d’Allah, le Clément, le Miséricordieux… Depuis 40 ans, à moins que ce ne soit plus, je ne me souviens pas, j’ai fait tout mon possible pour donner aux gens des maisons, des hôpitaux, des écoles, et, quand ils avaient faim, je leur ai donné à manger. À Benghazi, j’ai même transformé le désert en terres arables, j’ai tenu tête aux attaques de ce cow-boy, Reagan, quand il a tué ma fille adoptive orpheline. Essayant de me tuer, il a tué à la place cette pauvre enfant innocente. Ensuite, j’ai épaulé mes frères et sœurs d’Afrique avec de l’argent pour l’Union africaine.

J’ai fait tout mon possible pour aider les gens à comprendre le vrai concept de démocratie, qui consiste en des comités populaires dirigeant leur pays. Mais ce n’était jamais assez, comme me l’ont dit certains. Même ceux qui possédaient une maison de 10 chambres, des costumes et du mobilier neufs, n’étaient jamais satisfaits. Ils étaient si égoïstes qu’ils en voulaient toujours plus. Ils ont dit aux Zuniens et aux autres visiteurs qu’ils avaient besoin de « liberté » de « démocratie » et n’ont jamais réalisé qu’il s’agit d’un système de panier de crabes, où le plus gros bouffe les autres. Ils étaient seulement ensorcelés par ces mots, sans réaliser jamais qu’en Zunie, il n’y a pas de médicaments gratuits, ni d’hôpitaux gratuits, ni de logement gratuit, ni d’enseignement gratuit, ni non plus de nourriture gratuite, sauf quand les gens sont obligés de mendier ou de faire longtemps la queue pour avoir de la soupe.

Non, peu importe ce que j’ai réalisé ! Pour certains ce n’était jamais assez. Mais les autres savaient que j’étais le fils de Gamal Abdel Nasser, le seul vrai leader musulman arabe que nous avons eu depuis Salah-al-Din. Nasser était sur ses traces quand il a exigé le canal de Suez pour son peuple, tout comme j’ai réclamé la Libye pour mon peuple. J’ai essayé de l’imiter pour garder mon peuple libre de la domination coloniale, des voleurs qui nous détroussent.

Maintenant, je suis attaqué par la plus grande force de l’histoire militaire. Obama, mon petit-fils africain, veut me tuer, priver notre pays de liberté, nous priver de la gratuité de nos biens : logements, médecine, éducation, nourriture, et remplacer tout ça par la grivèlerie à la zunienne appelée « capitalisme. » Or, nous tous, dans le tiers monde, savons ce que cela veut dire. Cela signifie que les multinationales dirigeront le pays, dirigeront le monde, et le peuple souffrira. Voilà pourquoi il n’y a pas d’autre solution pour moi, je dois prendre mes dispositions. Et si Allah le veut, je mourrai en suivant Sa Voie, la voie qui a rendu notre pays riche en terres arables, avec de quoi manger et la santé, et nous a même permis d’aider nos frères et sœurs africains et arabes en les faisant travailler ici avec nous, dans le Jamahiriya libyen.

Je ne désire pas mourir, mais si cela devait advenir, pour sauver cette terre, mon peuple, tous ces milliers de gens qui sont tous mes enfants, alors qu’il en soit ainsi.

Que ce testament soit ma voix dans le monde. J’ai tenu tête à l’agression des croisés de l’OTAN, résisté à la cruauté, contrecarré la trahison ; je me suis élevé contre l’Occident et ses ambitions colonialistes, et, avec mes frères africains, mes vrais frères arabes et musulmans, je suis dressé comme un phare de lumière. Quand d’autres construisaient des châteaux, je vivais dans une maison modeste et dans une tente. Je n’ai jamais oublié ma jeunesse à Syrte, je n’ai pas stupidement dépensé notre trésor national, et comme Salah-al-Din, notre grand leader musulman qui sauva Jérusalem pour l’Islam, je n’ai guère pris pour moi-même… En Occident, sachant pourtant la vérité, certains me qualifient de «fou» de «bizarre», ils continuent de mentir, ils savent que notre pays est indépendant et libre, et non pas sous emprise coloniale, que ma vision, ma conduite, est et a été sincère et pour mon peuple, et que je me battrai jusqu’à mon dernier souffle pour garder notre liberté.

Puisse Allah Tout-Puissant nous aider à rester fidèles et libres.

Colonel Kadhafi Mouammar, Guide de la Révolution, 5 avril 2011

Original : mathaba.net/news/?x=626396

Traduction copyleft de Pétrus Lombard

Traduit de l’arabe en anglais par le professeur Sam Hamod.

Note du traducteur : Les dirigeants occidentaux savent la valeur humaine de Kadhafi, et le danger d’éveil de conscience du public qu’elle représente. Voilà pourquoi elle est soigneusement cachée et pourquoi tous les grands médias diabolisent Kadhafi. On peut constater en creusant un peu que pratiquement tout ce dont la Libye a été accusée a été soigneusement tramé en Occident ou en Israël. Comme d’habitude, il s’agissait de coups montés. Comme l’ont démontré les pièces à conviction pipées dans les procès, il est très improbable que les attentats contre des avions de ligne étaient des complots libyens.