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Opinions of Sunday, 25 March 2007

Columnist: Mornah, Anbataayela Bernard

The Charade- Zimbabwe And President Kufour

Cry over the world is a call by citizens irrespective of their colour, race, creed or history to the adherence to the rule of law, respect for freedoms and the enjoyment of fundamental human rights. Cry over the world is that these freedoms and rights are enjoyed in ever increasing proportions.

Through the days of medieval forms of governance to the present Hi-Tech democracies, citizens the world over has struggled in an unprecedented manner against the might of either alien (colonial) governments or indigenous governments that have exhibited calamitous consequences on the ruled. In all these struggles for greater freedoms, respect for human rights, rejection of opulent and pompous officialdom, corruption, demagoguery, citizens are essentially brutalized, beaten, maimed and sometimes die yet the resolve and determination of citizens triumphs in the medium to long term.

Cleverly, the first president of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah persuades me to quote a portion of his ‘motion of destiny’ speech to the Legislative Assemble on July 10, 1953 “ man’s greatest possession is life and since it is given to live but once, he must so live as not to be besmeared with the shame of cowardly existence of trivial past, so live that in dying he might say; all my life and all my strength were given to the finest cause in the world, the liberation of mankind”.

Inspirational is this statement to all those who genuinely apply themselves to the liberation of mankind from the debauchery of governments or their agents despite the invidious consequences.

Just last week, the world witnessed the display of muscle by the Zimbabwean security personnel against citizens. All including the current chairman of the African Union (AU) has roundly condemned the brutal beatings that were meted out on leaders, members and sympathizers of the Zimbabwean opposition. Rightly so, no amount of brutalities visited on unarmed citizens who intended to carry out their natural and inalienable right to free expression is justifiable.

The use of state security to torment, brutalise and wallop citizens is unacceptable. The feeble claim by comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe that the beatings are justified on the mere suspicion that opposition members were been sponsored by the US and UK governments to undermine his regime is at best frivolous.

Contrariwise, if the claim is that the US and UK governments are directly or remotely connected to the unrest in Zimbabwe, then it is the US and UK governments that must be told in the face that their interventions will rather escalate events and not ameliorate the already precarious and volatile circumstances of ordinary Zimbabweans.

Africa has been the loser any time UK and US interferes with domestic politics. The US sponsorship of elements within the opposition has left cankerous debris in Africa as occurred in the Congo. The murder of Patrice Lumumba of the Congo and the installation of Mobutu Seseku has been a trembling disaster to the continent. The overt sponsorship of opposition elements like Joseph Boakye Danquah (CIA agent) that led to the eventual overthrow of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and his citizen’s government ensured that the Pan-African movement was permanently fractured. The difficulties in Liberia, Sierra Leone and all, have the tacit support of the US. To this extent any government that have wing of the US sponsorship must be disturbed about the reversals that await the progress of her people as is the case in Iraq, DR Congo, Liberia etc. All opposition in Africa must be reminded by history that the US and UK will willingly give with the right hand and unremorselessly take with the left as happened to Mobutu and the then Zaire.

By the way, did President JA Kufour describe the situation in Zimbabwe as “embarrassing”? If yes, then I couldn’t agree with him more. The beatings to Senior Morgan Tsangarai and his colleagues is truly distasteful and an affront to the emerging dignity of Africa. But probably senior Tsangarai and his colleagues in Zimbabwe are only “privileged” to have international media giants report their woes for the world to see hence the resounding condemnation of comrade Mugabe.

The international community through the media would have been aware that on the 21st of February 2006 that the Ghana police brutalise citizens who had gone on street protestation to the seat of government after presenting a petition to the Presidency. The beatings were unprovoked but were described by the regional police commander as “application of minimum force”

In Ghana, a law-abiding citizen who upon hearing that he was wanted at the police station, on his own volition reported, was said to be arrested and detained at the kamina barracks in Tamale. This law abiding and obedient Regional Chairman of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) was later pronounced dead after his was rushed to the hospital because he collapsed after extreme torture in the hands of military officers. An autopsy report reveals that his rips were punctured with bayonets about nine times as he was hanged upside down-cruelty.

The murder of Issah Mobla and the fact the perpetrators of this heinous, barbaric and atrocious event especially in a military barracks have not been apprehended, tried and or charged, must be of awesome concern to not only Ghanaians, Africans but more so the UN and the rest of the world. Yet when opposition members in other countries suffer beatings and not murder, the hypocrites in this world hop over one another to unleash resounding condemnations, the murder of Issah Mobla, the Ya-na and forty others in his palace after three days of continues assault by rival factions with inertia on governments’ part to avert the calamity, the undue arrest and detention of Emmanuel kusi in Kumasi are among the many human rights abuses and surely should have been described as “embarrassing”

The world must be told that what is good for the goose and equally good for the gander. Our President John Agyekum Kufour must be admonished by the biblical wisdom as in Luke 6:42 “or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother let me remove the speck that is in your eye; when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank in your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your bothers eye”. Did President JAK describe the police brutalization of unarmed civilians protesting against “ROPAB” on 21st February 2006 as embarrassment to Africa? Did President JAK describe the murder of Issah Mobla in Military custody under civilian rule as a dent on democracy and a dark event in the continent?

Let me end by suggesting to the President and Chairman of the AU that his utterances can make or unmake the situation in Zimbabwe. His denunciation of events in Zimbabwe at the time he was in the bosom of Britain, perceived as anti Mugabe, may compromise his genuine desire to see a free and better democracy in that country and Africa.

To comrade RG Mugabe, to ask those who disagree with him on this score to “go and hang” is regrettable because not all who condemned the police brutalities on senior Tsangarai and others are agents of Prime minister Blair and President Bush.

Let us all speak and act in a manner that will restore confidence and pride amongst our people for after all ‘righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is reproach to any people’

In all our doings, let us individually and collectively ask whether our actions are righteous or sinful.

By the way, President John Agyekum Kufour, the dream of Nkrumah for Africa was in effect to see a United States of Africa, could this also be your vision as you head the covetous AU?


Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.