It’s time for non-racist Africans to lead

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IOL  Mazibuko DONE

Matthew Jordaan

DA MP Lindiwe Mazibuko

Harare - Africans are now sick and tired of liberation political parties who can only boast about the past.

I read last week that a prominent woman ANC leader in South Africa has accused the DA of being neocolonialists who want to take South Africa backwards. Next to that article was a report that South African ministers had spent about R65 million on renovations to their residences. Below that was an article about how a President Jacob Zuma supporter surreptitiously landed a R1.25 billion contract for smart meters for electricity.

The same day, it was also reported that South African state enterprises spent R25m in funding ANC/New Age breakfast sessions on SABC 2. And so it went on.

Now I ask you, who is taking South Africa backwards?

Of course, this also happens here in Zimbabwe. Neocolonialists are blamed for everything that is wrong in Zimbabwe, including the potholes we see everywhere. This is so, while we see the plundering of our national resources by a power cabal made up of Zanu-PF and the Chinese.

I have no doubt that we are going to see more rhetoric and colonialist nonsense this year, as we move towards elections. Our socio-economic problems will, once more, be blamed on those who have absolutely nothing to do with the incompetence of our political leadership.

In my opinion, a lot of black South Africans are in denial about what is coming around the corner, but let me warn you: as long as you accept mediocre political leadership that has been earned through participation in the armed Struggle, and as long as the one party remains the majority party in the government, you are going to create a leadership that feels entitled to power, regardless of how they perform in the eradication of poverty.

It is also likely that a significant number of skills will go elsewhere and your economy is going to suffer. Meanwhile, ANC cronies will get wealthier while blaming the whites for lack of economic transformation. Unfortunately, this old formula, where politicians continually shift the burden of social problems to the “enemy”, always works to pacify the masses, especially during election campaigns.

In fact, thank goodness you have the DA because without it, South Africa would be a one-party state. Believe me, you don’t want that to happen.

I sincerely hope some sort of multiracial progressive opposition party will also emerge in Zimbabwe... after we get rid of Zanu-PF.

Africans are now sick and tired of liberation political parties who can only boast about the past, but who have become irrelevant in creating the Africa that most of us middle-aged blacks who did not participate in the armed struggle desire.

This is likely to continue because progressive blacks are not taking on the responsibility of becoming engaged in politics and being the change they want to see. In addition, white Africans continue to be labelled as racist or neocolonialist, alienating their valuable contribution to Africa’s development.

As far as I am concerned, whites in South Africa, and in Zimbabwe, continue to contribute significantly to developing the economy, more so in South Africa. It is time we rejected racial classification as a measure of political legitimacy.

Zimbabwe’s economy collapsed because we ignored the reality that whites were a critical economic factor, especially in agriculture. We certainly need their expertise and competence in management, and so does South Africa. This does not imply they should continue to dominate us as they did, but we must work in partnership with them for the sake of economic development. They are Africans, too.

Too many African politicians, once they get into power, have nothing to offer except the selfish accumulation of material wealth and racist rhetoric against the West and an enemy that does not exist. They continue to divert our attention to race simply because it creates a false sense of victimisation and identity with the poor masses.

I think it is time we saw a different breed of African emerging into power. For me, the DA offers that platform for articulate and intelligent black South Africans to outshine some cadres. Focus on what they stand for and not the colour of their leader.

We must now see non-racist Africans, who are unencumbered by the liberation Struggle rhetoric of the past, taking leadership positions.

It is now time for Africans who understand that their economies can develop only through harnessing the talents and ideas of all Africans, black and white. Although our fathers were discriminated against because of their race, we cannot continue to focus on that past if we are to move forward and create a better future.

The race card has been abused for just too long and is serving no one at all except politicians who don’t have a better plan for Africa. Let us all reject that. The time has now come for us progressive Africans to come forward to take over.

Call me what you want, but Africa will never evolve from being a victim of the past as long as this neocolonialist rhetoric continues.

* Vince Musewe is an economic analyst based in Harare. This article was first published on Politicsweb.

Cape Argus


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