By Terence Rusirevi
Emmerson Mnangagwa, Energy Mutodi and all the knuckle draggers in Zanu should spare us the moral grandstanding when it comes to the xenophobia in South Africa.
I saw a video clip of the hip thrusting rhumba crooner turned Zanu goebbelsian loudmouth making threats to South Africa in light of the violence against Zimbabweans there.
All of a sudden Zanu knuckle draggers like him are pro Zimbabwean when our people are being attacked or killed on foreign land, but when they brutalize or kill them in Zimbabwe, they dress it up as law and order.
Regarding the violence against foreigners in South Africa, I hate to sound like a jeremiad on this, but the concept of ‘fellow African’ in 2019 smacks of misplaced optimism.
Bear with me, here. We shouldn’t seek solidarity on the basis of our black ethnicity but on our working class common interests. But are there currently any massive cross country African solidarity movements which are led by ordinary working class people?
I don’t know any to be honest. The only cross country African clubs which enjoy a degree of solidarity are the elites in the SADC and AU and organisations like that. By elites I mean the thieves and crooks who lead African countries.
Ordinary working class Africans shouldn’t assume that just because the other people are also black like us, then we have solidarity them, it’s not as simple as that.
Historically, African solidarity, as far as I remember, has been one, established against a common enemy – an easily identifiable and ubiquitous enemy.
During the cold war there was African solidarity against colonialism and liberation movements led by ordinary Africans enjoyed solidarity. However, after liberation from colonialism, the leaders of those movements became the elite and part of the problem.
Actually, since the end of colonialism and apartheid, there hasn’t really been an African cross country movement led by ordinary working class people against a common enemy because the enemy is now a two headed monster.
One of the heads, as I have already indicated refers to the brazenly corrupt African governments while the other head is neoliberalism. Neoliberalism is more prevalent in South Africa for obvious reasons – South Africa is not owned or run like the other countries in the region, and the country’s history with violence is a lot different from the others.
In South Africa, neoliberalism has cause a rapid deterioration in the living standards of working class black natives who have become an underclass reeking of ignorance and brutishness towards foreigners, a stance, by the way, inculcated into them by right wing media and dog whistle politics in the country.
To cut the long story short, labour movements are a tried and tested way of establishing solidarity among ordinary people regardless of race. Right now there aren’t any significant ones in Africa.
The reasons for the violence against ethnic foreigners in SA is a result of convoluted combination of inherent racial sadomasochism among the elites in the country who enjoy watching the humiliation of black people, diversionary tactics of ‘blaming the foreigners but not us’ by those responsible for the deterioration of living standards of black natives and a lack of solidarity within working class Africans in the country and within the region.
Nonetheless, the violence in the country should be condemned and the perpetrators arrested as soon as possible. The South African government has the power to stop these attacks immediately in the short term, and the elites in the country have the power to stop spreading lies about foreigners and in the long term, and have the resources to improve living standards for black natives. Why are they not doing that? I’ve already indicated why.
But from a Zimbabwean perspective, people like Mnangagwa and Mutodi are the reason why Zimbabweans have had to leave the country and for them to come out as if they give a damn about the welfare of Zimbabweans is shameless opportunism.
It’s a crazy logic, similar to the one used by murderers in prison when they attack and ostracize paedophiles believing the latter are worse human beings.
Terence Rusirevi, MDC UK