Pan African Parliament members sit inside the house following its postponement. The house was adjourned following chaotic and violent scenes that played out during the leadership rotation elections. Picture: Phill Magakoe/AFP
Pan African Parliament members sit inside the house following its postponement. The house was adjourned following chaotic and violent scenes that played out during the leadership rotation elections. Picture: Phill Magakoe/AFP

Mayhem at Pan African Parliament exposed a divided Africa that has been falsely preaching unity

By Editorial Time of article published Jun 3, 2021

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The opening stanza of William Butler

Yeats’s poem The Second Coming reads: Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity. Renowned author Chinua Achebe borrowed Yeats’s wording in his critically acclaimed book Things fall apart, hinting at the chaos that arises when a system collapses.

The mayhem that played out at the recent sitting of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) in Midrand reflected a collapse in the system and exposed a deeply divided African continent that for the longest time falsely preached the gospel of unity. At the centre of the chaos are the West and East African countries that are said to be using their numbers to bully the southern African region into doing away with the AU resolution that states that there should be a rotation of the continental grouping’s presidency.

Whichever way one wishes to explain the matter of unity and a borderless continent, what transpired during the sitting is enough to show that Africa is not ready, as the rest of the continent is pressed under the legacy and iron thumb of colonisation.

The precedent set by some African leaders who are hell-bent on clinging to power has had a direct impact on the development of Africa as a whole. Now, more than ever, it is evident that some African leaders, fuelled by greed, are their own worst enemies.

The circus at the PAP has shown us that they are in fact to blame for the poor economic and political progress of the continent. A united Africa needs leaders who are driven by the principles of democratic processes aimed at developing and empowering the women and children of the continent.

We cannot defeat our enemies of progress when our own houses cannot even share a table. We cannot talk about unity when we refuse to embrace the very principles that can unite us. Cry our beloved Africa, for the falcon cannot hear the falconer.

The Star

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