Letter from America:with KENNETH MUFUKA
My dear brother Fabian Mabaya, I have examined with some thoroughness the story of Arikana Chihombori, former African Union (AU) ambassador to the United States.
Before I enter into the controversial issues, which the supreme sister holds dear to her heart, I must mention that on first approaching her presence, one is struck by her overwhelming beauty.
As you know, my studies at the feet of the great masters Aeneas Chigwedere, Solomon Mutsvairo and Aaron Hodza led me to the unshakable belief that such beauty is commonly found among the Rain Bird people (the Hungwe-Shiri-Nyoni) whose girls are unsurpassed among the Bantu for their beauty.
In this regard, she joins the long list of beautiful African women, such as Queen Nzinga waBakongo and Queen Asantewa of the Ashanti, who led their people forcefully by a judicious mixture of beauty and character.
When Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was chairperson of the African Union, she nominated Arikana to be the spokesperson of the AU in the United States, the home and mother of all imperialists.
Africa must speak with one voice
Arikana is a medical doctor by training. A graduate of Meharry Medical College in Tennessee, the premier medical college in the African world, she spent 27 years nurturing her Bell Medical Clinics, which have a branch in Harare. She was reluctant to leave her profession, but after the position was kept open for a year by Dlamini-Zuma, she decided to give it a try.
With amazing speed, she grasped the issues at hand and with clarity of mind and expression, a powerful and passionate voice, she went about challenging the very foundations of imperialism.
She traced Africa’s weakness to the Berlin Conference of 1885. Africa was carved up into small units like Eswathini (1,6 million), Gambia (one million) and some large countries like Tanzania and Kenya with 30 million people each.
The issue here was that at the negotiating table for trade and resources, Eswathini is supposed to negotiate terms with China (1.8 billion people). At this point she becomes passionate and uncompromising.
“This is insanity of the highest order,” she raises her voice in utter disgust. This is rank madness, she continues. This assures a status of permanent defeat and exploitation. “Unless Africa speaks with one voice, it will forever be defeated and exploited.” Now she calms down. Her audience in New York consists of students and international apparatchiks from the United Nations.
Her most passionate attack is reserved for France. France, like all colonial powers, taught Africans that everything that is African is bad and not worth holding on to. “This we call the legacy of colonisation.” She is now getting worked up. It does not take much to rouse her to anger.
Just as in the US, Africans were taught that they were lucky to have been plucked out of Africa, and that they should be thankful. “This we call the legacy of slavery.”
But, it appears, in her mind, France was the worst of all colonisers. France did not leave Africa. It forced all Francophone Africans to sign a document entitled; “Document for the continued colonisation of Africa”.
This document says that Africans are incapable of managing their money. Therefore, 85% of all revenues must be forwarded to France. France then invests this money on the stock market. For every $14 billion taken from Africa, France realises $500 billion which remains in France.
As an insurance policy, France placed the French Foreign Legion to support puppet governments there as well as puppet Reserve Bank officials, who received their instructions from France.
Though this knowledge has been around since Sekou Toure refused puppet independence for Guinea in 1960, the information is now widely acknowledged. It is damaging to the reputation of France. When Francophone African countries write their budgets, and need to spend their money, they borrow it from France at the market rates (13%).
Arikana became fixated on this French exploitation. The new AU chairperson, Muhammad Faku, a French protégée, was instructed to recall her.
Her career as “permanent ambassador” to the US ended in less than two years.
Zimbabwean white farmers
An Asian student asked why Robert Mugabe had not compensated white farmers for “their land” on compassionate grounds.
Arikana says when she was growing up, her uncle’s mud huts were burnt by the native commissioner and his posse. Their land had been designated in favour of a white farmer. The farmer rode on a horse, placing markers and wherever he went, the natives were told to move to Gokwe and other tsetse-infested areas.
I have a first-hand experience of this. Sometime about 1955, a white man by the name of MaKaya (Major McKay) fenced off our grazing land as well as our sacred forest reserved for its mazhanje trees and other wild fruits.
Surprisingly, Major McKay had served in the Second World War as the same time as did my grandfather, Kandege. Kandege served with General Smuts in East Africa. Kandege’s reward was a rifle and an overcoat. McKay’s reward was my grandfather’s land.
Chief Chikanga’s people were removed from the Christmas Pass valley because Chief Chikanga had not given way to a white girl when they met on a path. Burma valley was named after British war veterans, who served with Lord Mountbatten in Burma as the natives were moved.
Arikana turns around at her audience and asks the question: “Do you still want to ask the question as to who deserved compensation?” The student deferred his question for another day.
Arikana does not pretend to have answers to all the questions. She confesses that the decision to defenestrate Muammar Gaddafi was made by the US and the European powers.
That, of course, shows how powerless the African Union is. Arikana is a breath of fresh air. She does not avoid the issue that Africans are worse off now than they were 40 years ago. Admittedly the French were the worst colonisers in Africa (though Belgium is a competitor), but by whose permission was China allowed to loot Zimbabwe’s sovereign diamonds?