Dancing to Chinese tune

AFRICA is a continent with 30% of the world’s natural resources. Yet it only contributes 3% of the world’s gross output. It follows that Africa has great potential for growth.



, sans-serif”>The USA as the strongest economy in the world and China as the fastest growing are both in a position to exploit this vulnerable situation. The lives of Zimbabweans, indeed all Africans, are manipulated by the strategic thinking of both these powers.


The USA has developed Nepad as a suitable tool for promoting development and influence in Africa. Nepad links good governance with sound economic development. It demands political transparency, thereby limiting corruption in the economy.


South African President Thabo Mbeki and his Nigerian counterpart Olusegun Obasanjo are the pointmen for this programme in Africa. This has caused jealousy among certain African leaders led by President Robert Mugabe.


They use outdated nationalist thinking to portray Mbeki and his counterpart as puppets of the West. Mugabe, with the support of China, is bent on undermining Nepad because he will not benefit from it.


China appears to have no political conditions attached to its trade policy. Yet in Zimbabwe we are witnessing something very sinister.


The recent forced eviction of over one million poor urban Zimbabweans in mid-winter appears to be beyond explanation. When a similar number of rural people were displaced during the farm invasions which lasted from 1998 to 2004, an historical imbalance veiled the true political agenda.


These methods of enforcing political control are Communist Chinese in origin. Consider now the timing of these recent gross violations of human rights in urban Zimbabwe. It comes immediately before the G8 summit, where for Africa Nepad is the significant item on the agenda.


The African Union’s refusal to condemn the Zimbabwean excesses are going to lead to a diminished role for Nepad and therefore it dances once again beautifully to the Chinese tune.


Four questions arise with regard to Zimbabwe:


*Whose agenda drives the current human rights abuses?


*Who can stop it?


*Is it “sovereignty” which has silenced African leaders in the face of this

tragedy or is it fear?


*Is there still space for an African choice which is neither Chinese nor

American?


Ant Lion & Dragon Fly,

Harare.

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