Slowly, Africans are beginning to wake up to the fact that whether they be Chinese, Americans or Europeans who come to visit, as friends, a little prick under the surface will reveal that their intention is not to be friends at all, but to be masters not only over the Africans themselves, but over the resources of the continent as well.
The various threats uttered recently by US officials are by no means idle threats.
January 27: US treasury secretary, Janice Yellen, is talking to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in what was supposed to have been a friendly conversation.
However, just to make it clear, what the purpose of her visit was, she deliberately bares her teeth and goes slowly over her script.
“We take very seriously the sanctions that we have placed on Russia.
“And violation of those sanctions by local businesses or governments, we would respond to it quickly and harshly.”
In another speech, she emphasises the US commitment to “clean energy” and in that regard, the US government has set aside US$40 million to help South Africans retrain, retool, and wean themselves from their coal-fired energy stations.
She was talking at a coal mining town.
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The inhabitants of that town were to be “disemployed” because the US says so.
South Africa is awash with coal. It has not yet mastered the coal -fired power stations and suffers from daily power outages.
If they follow US energy policies, they will follow California’s footsteps. California precipitately discontinued nuclear and coal-powered energy stations before it had mastered the new technologies.
In any case, the windmills and solar panels are manufactured in China and the supply chain has weakened.
December 30: US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas Greenfield spelt out to African countries what they can and cannot do.
She told Ugandans that: “They could buy agricultural products, including fertiliser and wheat, (but) if a country decides to engage with Russia, where there are sanctions, then they are breaking those sanctions. We caution those countries…because they stand a chance of having actions taken against them.”
Buying Russian oil is forbidden even though European countries are still buying oil from Russia.
After some resolutions at the United Nations, the European Union, using a US frigate in the Mediterranean fired shots at Libya, destroying the Libyan leader’s palace, creating collateral damage. On October 20, 2011, a mission to kill the Libyan leader Muammar Khaddafi was accomplished and US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton was elated.
Russian leader Vladmir Putin was not. Speaking at a Swedish forum, he asked several questions. “Who gave you the right to kill Khaddafi? Did the United Nations authorise the termination of Khaddafi’s life? In any case, who authorized the Nato allies to wage war against Libya?”
Africa must unite
The threats and demands made by the US to African countries are not empty threats.
The US boasts that it has many instruments in its arsenal to destroy the economy of any African country.
At the same time, the US has not been friendly towards African needs. The main problem is that it ran with the dogs while apartheid was raging, then turned around and ran with Nelson Mandela after a 27 year stint at Robbin Island prison.
US economic polices towards Africa are equally confusing. African countries have an abundance of coal and are just beginning to master coal power stations. To demand that they transition now, when the US itself is having difficulties transitioning throws development plans backwards.
Africa and the Middle East are awash with oil reserves and these will last for three of more generations to come. Again, to demand that African countries transition from oil powered automobiles at this time is to create new problems before old ones are solved.
But American threats are not idle threats. In the last resort, they killed Patrice Lumumba.
They directed the murder of Muammar Khaddafi. They hanged Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein by the neck after he had outrun his usefulness.
They overthrew Ghana’s Kwame Nkurumah at a cost of US$100 000 and laughed at how little it cost to pay Colonel Afrifa to do the dirty deed. And of course, they murdered Congo’s Patrice Lumumba and kept his tooth in Belgium as proof.
To be excluded from the SWIFT banking system and all its benefits, the credit cards, money transfers, and payments can sink a small country in no time at all and get its leaders hanged by its inhabitants.
Russia has been a friend in need and through difficult times in the liberation wars.
The war in the Ukraine has nothing to do with Africans.
Unless Africans speak with one voice, through the African Union, they will be plucked from their stools one by one until there is no one left seating.
The policy towards Ukraine is the easiest for Africans to tackle. The Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) or the African Union can simply issue a resolution to say that the Russia-Ukraine war is a European war. It has nothing to do with Africans. But for one little country like Eswatini to issue such a protocol may be suicidal when half its starving population depend on food aid from USAID.
To dismantle coal powered stations before solar-generated technology has been mastered is sheer madness. The first electric car was invented in 1846 and General Motors produced a proto-type in 1932.
They were not mass produced because they were less loyal to the motorist than petrol guzzling cars.
Again, Africans must make their own decisions, to suit African conditions, and not be rushed into zombie followership by western powers that are anxious to sell new technologies.
- Ken Mufuka is a Zimbabwean patriot. He writes from the US.