“We Have No Business Joining The Commonwealth”
18 November 2022
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18 November 2022

By Linda Tsungirirai Masarira- 42 years after independence, my beloved Zimbabwe should be positioning itself for total sovereignty and protection of our territorial integrity.

Zimbabwe should be leading the way in nationalizing all economic sectors that have the potential to transform Zimbabwe into a first world continent.

We set the tone for Africa, when we took back our land from the white farmers who stole the land from our ancestors and pushed them into barren lands in region 5.

That move alone shook the white capital monopoly, Zimbabwe was isolated, we were booted out of the very commonwealth that the current government now seeks to rejoin and economic sanctions were imposed on Zimbabwe.

Fair and fine we have been intoxicated with a colonial hangover for the past 42 years and at what point are we going to sober up, rehabilitate ourselves as a people, as a nation and start constructing the Zimbabwe that we want which has real equal opportunities for all. We have to be able to interrogate ourselves and speak the uncomfortable truths of how leadership in the ruling party and the other two opposition parties mainly CCC and MDC have no drive at all to change the system of governance in this country which was inherited from the colonial regime of Ian Smith.

If there was any sincerity in transforming all the systems in this country, we would be at a higher stage socially, politically and economically.

Sadly the crop of politicians we have in these 3 political parties are mainly interested in power retention and primitive accumulation of wealth and not tangible development hinged on organic homegrown economic models that can make Zimbabwe a first world continent.

Commonwealth is a contemporary manifestation of the British empire, it is a vessel of former colonies with the former imperial master at the helm. British companies control more than $1 trillion worth of Africa’s key resources like gold, diamonds, gas and oil.

What have African countries ever benefited from being commonwealth members except being countries that are further exploited in the guise of a so called commonwealth? Whose commonwealth when there hasn’t been any significant transformation of the so called commonwealth member states beside perpetuation of unending foreign debt.

All countries use diplomacy to lobby in their own interests and I have always said that diplomacy is a farce. Until African countries realize that multilateralism is a creature that has been used to further exploit poor and vulnerable countries, Africa will remain running all over the globe with begging bowls. In Britain’s case, the Commonwealth has served very nicely to advocate its particular shopping list: liberalised, extractor-friendly regimes, low corporate tax rates, and a creative system of tax havens predominantly located in other Commonwealth countries.

As a result, Africa loses £30bn more each year than it receives in aid, loans and remittances.

In the Caribbean 14 nations including a good number of Commonwealth members are attempting to sue the British government for reparations for four centuries of slavery, and Britain is using jurisdiction issues arising from the Commonwealth to block the claim.

If Britain is blocking the claim of reparations from Caribbean countries using commonwealth membership as a scapegoat, it shows that the very commonwealth membership is a tool for repression and suppression.

The Great Britain was built by the sweat and blood of the Blackman, their economy was strengthened by stolen mineral resources from Africa which the whole of Africa should be demanding reparations for instead of being given these useless aid that keep us in servitude and debt.

My heart bleeds when I see the Zimbabwean government making efforts of rejoining this useless Commonwealth of nations which is just a mere post colonial club. The Commonwealth still serves only to bolster Britain’s sense of importance in the world and to make it appear that its outdated stiff upper lipped monarch still has a role in the modern world.

We should never be comfortable of joining groupings that have no tangible benefit to the people of Zimbabwe.

The Commonwealth is not a free trade body like, the EU, or a unified defence group like NATO, or even an international quasi-legal body like the UN. It does not seek to do anything much, other than vaguely demand that members be at least nod towards democracy.

The nod of democracy which is defined in British terms which I find quite absurd.

My conclusion therefore is that we have no business joining the commonwealth.

Zimbabwe should be focusing on entrenching Pan Afrikan values, interests and principles which will enable native Zimbabweans to own and control all the means of production in our quest to make Zimbabwe an economic powerhouse.

Zimbabwe will never be an economic giant using foreign currency and allocating key critical mining concessions to foreign investors. We need to be able to encourage more Local Investment, champion wealth creation within native Zimbabweans and strengthening of the Zimbabwe dollar which again should be renamed to a wholly Zimbabwean name, rebranded and given a strong lease of life.

The economic stability strategies which should be implored should start by dumping all the eurocentric economic models that we are using which destroyed our economy.

We should define our own economic models and start doing things the Zimbabwean way to benefit Zimbabwean people. Where there is a will there is always a way.