Commonwealth: The Colonial Hangover


The British expansionist policies of the past centuries left indelible marks of anger, hatred, a sense of injustice and marginalisation whose legacy continues to prevail in a different fashion today. The Western world strategically set-up neocolonialist entities whose clandestine goal was to manipulate us cryptically for their own good.

Their prime aim is to stifle our focus, and subjugate the fundamental freedoms of Africans, and keep them in chains like we have endured in the recent years prior to our independence from the former colonial masters. The British attained the lion’s share when Europeans rushed in a scramble to occupy Africa and relegate its people to the status of commodities which dates back to slave trade era.

They traded Africans, moved and utilised them without room for personal input. In the post-independence period the British formed the Commonwealth which is a typical neo-colonialist organisation.

The Commonwealth refers to a global intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four (54) independent member states. All but two of these countries, that is, Mozambique and Rwanda, were formerly part of the British colonial empire which invaded and exploited numerous states across the globe over many centuries.

The member states co-exist within a framework of common values and goals as outlined in the Singapore Declaration. These include the promotion of democracy, human rights, good governance, and rule of law, individual liberty, egalitarianism, free trade, multilateralism, and world peace. The Commonwealth is not a political union, but an intergovernmental organisation through which countries with diverse social, political, and economic backgrounds are regarded as equal in status.

Activities of the Commonwealth are carried out through the permanent Commonwealth Secretariat, headed by the Secretary-General, and biennial meetings by Commonwealth Heads of Government.

The symbol of their free association is the Head of the Commonwealth, which is a ceremonial position currently held by Queen Elizabeth II.

The Commonwealth's objectives were first outlined in the 1971 Singapore Declaration, which committed the Commonwealth to the institution of world peace; promotion of representative democracy and individual liberty; the pursuit of equality and opposition to racism; the fight against poverty, ignorance, and disease; and free trade.

To these were added opposition to discrimination on the basis of gender by the Lusaka Declaration of 1979, and environmental sustainability by the Langkawi of 1989. These objectives were reinforced by the Harare Declaration in 1991.

The Commonwealth has long been distinctive as an international forum where developed economies, such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Singapore, and New Zealand and many of the world's poorer countries seek to reach agreement on all critical issues by consensus.

This aim has sometimes been difficult to achieve, as when disagreements over Rhodesia in the late 1960s and 1970s and over apartheid in South Africa in the 1980s led to a cooling of relations between the United Kingdom and African members.

The Abuja, Nigeria Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) was jolted on December 7, 2003 when Zimbabwe announced that it was pulling out of the 54-nation body after it banned President Robert Mugabe from its decision-making councils in 2002 for allegedly using massive force and fraud to win re-election at home.

In spite that several African and other developing nations had campaigned for Zimbabwe's reinstatement, saying dialogue, not isolation, was the way to bring change.

When the unilateral Commonwealth decision was taken to continue the suspension, in a protest statement, President Mugabe's government demanded that Zimbabwe be fully reinstated. He asserted that, “Anything you agree on Zimbabwe which is short of this position, no matter how sweetly worded, and means Zimbabwe is still a subject of the Commonwealth. This is unacceptable. It's quits, and quits it will be.”

President Robert Mugabe sounded his complaints of racism and said that the Commonwealth had been hijacked by Britain and the “white” Commonwealth countries with covert goals against Zimbabwe. But his call did not receive due attention from the callous masters.

Before Zimbabwe's final decision, Nigerian President Mr Obasanjo was given the crucial role of deciding whether Zimbabwe had progressed enough for it to return to the Commonwealth.

President Obasanjo had been charged with monitoring Zimbabwe's progress; He had predicted that Zimbabwe could probably have returned within “months rather than years”.

Commenting on Zimbabwe's suspension, and his lack of an invitation to the summit in Nigeria, President Mugabe likened the Commonwealth to characters in George Orwell's novel, Animal Farm, where some members are more equal than others. This was gross inequality!

In real terms, the former colonial masters and their Western allies were infuriated by President Mugabe’s firm stance in year 2000 to take-away land from white commercial farmers without compensation.

This prime land was redistributed to the local indigenous people who were dispossessed of their land for over a century by the selfish white minority government in the then Rhodesia. This move ruffled their feathers badly.

In the wake of Zimbabwe's pullout, Britain, Australia and New Zealand stood as advocates standing by the suspension and they insisted it was President Mugabe who chose to cut off his nation from the rest of the world.

President Mugabe’s cardinal sin against the West was his insatiable effort to correct colonial injustices and imbalances employed by the former colonisers.

The allegation of gross human rights abuse was a mere scapegoat which was well-crafted to punish Zimbabwe for claiming the natural heritage they duly deserve.

President Robert Mugabe preferred to stay clear of the body in protest of what he considered as humiliating continuation of his country's suspension from the Commonwealth.

He said he pulled his country out of the Commonwealth with immediate effect because he did not accept the decision by Commonwealth leaders at their summit in Abuja, to maintain Zimbabwe's suspension indefinitely.

The Commonwealth recently said Zimbabwe will be re-admitted into the group of former British colonies only after restoring “genuine” democracy and holding transparent elections.

At the time of writing, the Commonwealth was desperately seeking to smuggle themselves into Zimbabwe as election observers while they are not invited. It is clear that, their grand plan is to find crevices within the country that would assist them to perpetrate their devious grudges against us which in the first place instigated us to storm out of this neo-colonialist body.

We don’t have any obligation to dance according to the tune of the Commonwealth because we ceased our membership with it on December 7, 2003.

Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma said, “We are watching the situation very closely as well as their readiness to promote genuine democracy through a free, fair and transparent electoral process.

“When they restore democracy to their countries, the leaders will take the necessary decision on their return,” Sharma told journalists at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre recently in Australia.

Sharma's comments come amid criticism that the grouping was not doing enough to push suspended members to restore democracy. Some have even argued that the organisation needs a massive overhaul if it is to remain relevant. One wonders if Zimbabwe is on suspension or it pulled out of this shaky white-driven and selfish club out of its own accord.

Neither is the country begging for re-admission as they are peddling in a struggle to regain relevance on the world plenary. Zimbabwe has moved on well since its pull-out without any need to lean on the Commonwealth.

Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd recently said the Commonwealth had failed on Zimbabwe and Fiji. He said the group should continue to put pressure on them to reform, otherwise their suspension would have been meaningless.

Their undue pressure on Zimbabwe is outright meddling of foreigners on the country’s internal affairs without invitation. The Westerners are desperate to associate with us closely once again, so that they can deviously re-strategise to find criminal ways to rob us of our resources like they have done in the past.

They should get it in no uncertain terms that, gone are the days when they used to strip us mercilessly of our wealth while we watched. Kenya has always demanded vehemently that this archaic body require urgent reformation, and they described it as a “tea party” complaining over why it had to pay the US$500 000 a year membership fee if Kenyans don't see any benefits.

However, many countries have so far resisted some of the suggested reforms, saying they will interfere with their sovereignty. Leave us alone to work out what is best for us! Never shall we endure foreign domination once again! Enough is enough!Global Analysis



October 2013
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