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Regime Change

By Asser Ntinda

The “regime change” doctrine in Africa and elsewhere in the developing countries engineered and sponsored by the European Union, EU, and the United States, US, is fast gaining momentum. The time to speak out is now. We should say no to this obnoxious strategy whose overriding objective is to remove governments, led by former liberation movements, from power and replace them with satellite ones led by their stooges and handpicked puppets currently already on their strings.

A common thread running through this doctrine is for these former colonial powers to have access to Africa’s abundant natural resources. But with former liberation movements still in power and, out of principle, unwilling to do what the West wants, that access is difficult to come by. Whereas in the past, it was easy for these Western countries to engineer coups from within targeted countries, today the world has drastically changed. Africa is no longer ready to entertain coup d’états. African countries have, collectively and individually, put mechanisms in place to deal with such covert and overt operations. The West has found itself in a cul-de-sac – hopelessly unable to access and control those resources.

The regime change doctrine was devised to address that hopelessness, with menacing consequences. Zimbabwe and Iran are cases in point. They have been slapped with severe and biting economic sanctions for keeping a firm grip on their natural resources. In Zimbabwe, it was land seizures that had annoyed Britain and its EU partners. In Iran, it was the “scramble for oil,” coupled with that country’s sovereign decision to produce nuclear weapons, which had annoyed the West. No elections would ever be free and fair in those countries unless won by surrogates backed by the West.

Last Tuesday, the EU extended its sanctions against Zimbabwe for another 12 months, citing “lack of progress” in implementing the power— sharing agreement, which Zanu-PF and two opposition parties entered into more than a year ago. The real reason is not “lack of progress” but a failure by one of their stooges in the unity government to effect “regime change” from within. Having failed earlier to oust President Robert Mugabe from power using Morgan Tsvangirai as a pawn on their political chess board, the EU member states pressurized Zimbabweans into a power-sharing agreement that saw Tsvangirai being appointed as Prime Minister. They thought he would be “trouble some” from within, thus bringing about an “ungovernable situation,” which the EU would capitalize on and, in the process, fast-track the “regime change” doctrine.

It did not work and left them frustrated, once again. When the EU talked about “lack of progress” last Tuesday to justify the extension of the sanctions for another year, it was “lack of progress in fast-tracking and effecting” regime change in Zimbabwe. One of the undertakings in the power-sharing accord, was that since the sanctions were imposed on Zimbabwe at the vehement request of Tsvangirai, he should be instrumental in having them lifted, now that he is part of the unity government. He has done little to that effect.

The EU’s double standard is also mindboggling. It should have honoured the unity government by lifting the sanctions and easing the burden on the people of Zimbabwe. This could also have helped the three parties to work together and see through the unity government. The EU does not really want the unity government to work. It has also never hidden its desire to get rid of President Mugabe. They want fresh elections – to oust President Mugabe, that is. The extension of the sanctions must be seen in that context. The extension, however, did not surprise Zimbabweans.

“We know their attitude,” said President Mugabe. “They don’t want anyone, any country in the developing world to make any meaningful developmental strides. That attitude is more pronounced even in regard to Zimbabwe. We have resources which they envy, natural resources that belong to us. There is the issue of land here. When they make those noises it is because they have lost that which they occupied illegally, which is now in our possession.”

I have dwelled at length on the Zimbabwe case to draw your attention to what will most likely happen here sooner rather than later, unless our government takes stern corrective measures before it is too late. We see signs here which Zimbabweans saw ten years in their own country. We have several local and international non-governmental organizations, NGOs, in the country, which, to all intents and purposes, have become very subversive. They are undermining governance here, and Prime Minister Nahas Angula was right when cited two NGOs that were working to effect “regime change” here, saying that their presence was a “threat to Namibia’s political stability.” These are the Deutschen Afrika Stiftung, DAS, and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Kas. We should not be caught napping on duty.

Already, KAS has been in the news for the past few months, sparked by its decision to organize a conference in Brussels, which was attended by the President of the Rally for Democracy and Progress, RDP, Hidipo Hamutenya. The meeting was also attended by former rebel movements, UNITA and RENAMO, from Angola and Mozambique respectively. Hidipo told that conference that elections in Namibia were “rigged” because when SWAPO Party found out that “it was losing, election officials were replaced by intelligence officials.” It was craps.

The two German NGOs secretly registered journalists and publishers with the Electoral Commission of Namibia, ECN, to “monitor” last year’s National Assembly and Presidential elections, disguising them as observers. They were never introduced as such and never revealed their findings to anyone after the elections. Last month, DAS published a damning report on last year’s elections on its website, saying that it “would not be long before the era” of SWAPO as a ruling party “came to an end.” The report went on to say that RDP was “gaining more credibility” and it could become a “strong factor in Namibia’s political arena.”

“I condemn in the strongest terms the abuse of Namibian hospitality by both the KAS and the so-called DAS,” said Prime Minister Nahas Angula. “If Deutschen Africa Stiftung was a genuine and natural organization, why should its observers hide behind the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung? It was discovered that some observers from DAS were in fact journalists and publishers. Why did these observers have to use dubious means to hide their intentions? Why did they conceal their identity?”

The answer is simple — to accelerate “regime change” in Namibia. What is happening in Zimbabwe started exactly like what DAS and KAS are doing here. All what the West governments needs is a nasty report from one of their NGOs here and a willing local puppet to dance to their tune. And “regime change” process will be put in motion. This should serve as a wake-up call.


SWAPO Headquarters Mandume Strt
Windhoek, Katutura