President Mokgweetsi Masisi, an avowed ally and unrepentant supporter of Western Sahara’s independence, must tactically withdraw his participation from the planned US-Africa Business Summit scheduled for July 19-22, 2022 in Marrakech, Morocco.
Here is why.
Morocco, just like Israel, is an occupying force. It has flouted with blatant disregard and impunity the ideals and tenets of the Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU), to which shockingly, it has been admitted as a member, by daring to suppress the inalienable right of the Sahrawis to self-determination!
President Masisi must read between the lines and see the bait that the United States of America - a country that has already recognized the disputed territory of Western Sahara as belonging to Morocco - has set for him and his country, Botswana!
But worst of all, I advise my President to dissociate himself from this summit on the basis of the atrocities committed on the 24th of June 2022 by Morocco and its allies on the African peoples, that are deemed as migrants.
Masisi and his friend and President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi are touted as ‘headline speakers’ at this conference. These two presidents represent the Southern African Development Community (SADC) – which is to all intents and purposes one of the last frontiers against settler colonialism!
Botswana represents something of a beacon for the Third World – shining light of democracy, rule of law, and a guide and light of what constitutional democracy, its imperfections notwithstanding, must be! And the President is the country’s Number One spokesperson.
We must therefore not allow President Masisi to kowtow to Morocco’s whims when it is clear to all and sundry that this North African country whose leaders do not see themselves as Africans, is clearly an imperialist, an invader, and occupier all rolled into one!
Just this past week Masisi presided over a conference co-hosted by Botswana and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in partnership with the Open Society Foundations-Africa, Kofi Anan Foundation, Katiba Institute, Afrobarometer, Toumos la Page, Afrctivistes, African Network of Constitutional Lawyers, Presidential Precinct, and the University of Botswana at the Avani Hotel whose main purpose was to consolidate constitutionalism and democracy in Africa.
Botswana was lauded for her sterling commitment to these ideals while other African nations were called out for sliding back to autocracy, which eventually leads to military takeovers, and for eroding constitutionalism! We hope Masisi will live by the creed for which his country is renowned and shun with absolute contempt, any association with people that flout these ideals.
We have recently seen what the mass of people can achieve when they stand up and demand justice! Sri Lanka is a perfect example of people's power. And Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa can attest to the might of people's power! Their fates signal a warning bell to all leaders across the world that it is the people that wield real power!
I must also pay homage to the former President of Angola, Jose Eduardo dos Santos who died on Friday 8th July in a Barcelona hospital in Spain. The 79-year-old who ruled the former Portuguese colony for 38 years, was in a self-imposed exile.
Now, this thing of former Presidents dying in exile is worrying. In fact, for us Africans it is unAfrican, it must not be allowed to fester. I say this because we also have a former President who is in a self-imposed exile.
The death of a leader in exile poses immense difficulties for his birth country including for the government of the day. Should such a president be accorded the respects that go with burying a former president, or should this be the burden for his family to carry?
But the fact that Jose dos Santos belongs to the SADC region as does Lt. Gen. Ian Khama shows that the region still has a long way to go to consolidate constitutionalism and democracy among member states.
There was also another scare in yet another Asian nation, Japan, when its former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who also sits on the country’s House of Representatives was assassinated on the 8th of July while addressing a political rally in Nara.
For me, Abe’s assassination at the hands of the self-confessed killer, Tetsuya Yamagami was foreboding for a bigger evil that is stalking the world’s geopolitics. I say this because Abe had carved a legacy for himself using Japan’s flagship development programme for Africa – TICAD – where there existed an initiative bearing his name – ABE – the Africa Business Education (ABE) initiative for the youth
Sadly, Abe’s demise came at a time when Japan and Africa are holding TICAD 8 next month in Tunisia. The grave part is that the host government is against civil society attendance physically at this summit! Obviously, this has led Tunisia and the civil society organisations both in Africa and Japan on a collision course!
There is also a sustained campaign in Cuba by the State Department of the USA government to destabilise the Revolution through geeks and so-called social media influencers. The US State Department has since funded a programme designed ostensibly to ‘restore democracy to the tune of $20 million, which the Cuban government says is nothing else but a grand ploy to create conditions for regime change in Cuba.
Thankfully, the Cuban people know who the counter-revolutionaries are; they don’t need any lecturing from anyone. They have suffered the worst persecution under the yoke of the Economic and Financial Embargo, which enjoys congressional backing via the Helms-Burton Act.
Funding dissenters to post lies and distorted comments about the situation in Cuba with the aim of inciting riots and mayhem shows the lowest of extremes to which the Empire can go in its quest to overthrow the indefatigable Cuban Revolution!
Long live Cuba, long live the Revolutionary spirit of the Cuban people!