Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Zuma-Thabo Vuta Ni Kuvute Symbolizes Intra-ANC Ideological Rift...

Onyango Oloo Goes Behind The Headlines to Examine the Power Struggles Within the ANC

When President Thabo Mbeki announced that he had fired his deputy Jacob Zuma after the former Deputy President had been implicated by his financial advisor Schabir Shaik in a notorious fraud case, many people around the world hailed the move as courageous, commendable and timely- a decisive blow against corruption and a bench-mark for good governance, transparency and accountability.

In South Africa, the news was music to the ears of the country's business community and was enthusiastically cheered by the leaders of the opposition parties like Tony Leon, Mangosuthu Buthelezi and Patricia de Lille.

In Canada, our largest daily newspaper, the Toronto Star was delirious in its praise for the Mbeki decision.

On Mashada, one of the Kenyan online forums there were similar vigelegele and ululations as Kenyans saw this as an example for the corruption ridden Kibaki regime to follow.

Unfortunately, there is a far bigger story away from those headlines.

The sacking of Jacob Zuma has revealed a deep fissure within the ranks of the ruling African National Congress of South Africa.

Allies of the former deputy President-and they are in their millions- believe that Jacob Zuma was unfairly tried through the media and therefore see the move by Thabo Mbeki as a blatant attempt to remove comrade Zuma from the 2009 Presidential contest. This is hardly the first time that Mbeki is facing accusations of sidelining his rivals. In the early 1990s, the legendary trade unionist(and contemporary multi-millionaire)

Cyril Ramaphosa who was then the ANC Secretary General lost out to Mbeki in an internal power struggle to identify Madiba's successor.

Today, many supporters of Zuma see the vindictive hands of former prosecutor,

Bulelani Ngcuka who some have fingered as an apartheid era spy who infiltrated the national liberation movement as being behind Zuma's woes. The spy allegations have been dismissed as a convenient smear by corrupt ANC figures on Ngcuka.

Guess who has just succeeded Jacob Zuma as the new deputy President of South Africa?

Ngcuka's wife, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka!

Here is the reaction of the South African Communist Party on the day Mbeki announced that he was "releasing" Zuma.

How about "Mzee Yakubu"(my nickname for J.Z) himself? What did he have say about all this?

Well, as luck would have it, I managed to trace an exclusive interview that Jacob Zuma had with South Africa's Mail & Guardian. Here it is, in full:

Exclusive: Zuma on his future
Vicki Robinson
17 June 2005 07:16
"Ambitious men get sick if they think their chances are ruined, I’m telling you, I’m not ambitious," an apparently relaxed Jacob Zuma told the Mail & Guardian this week. In the first full interview he has given since his dismissal as deputy president, Zuma spoke about the Schabir Shaik judgement, the divided state of the African National Congress and his new job as a full-time ANC official.

MG:If the people want you, will you make yourself available for the leadership of the African National Congress in 2007?
J.Z.:As I have always said, it is not my choice. When the ANC has given me a task, whatever task, I have never refused. So any task, I will be ready for it.

MG:<Do you still feel confident of your support?
JZ:<It’s not about me feeling confident; I think people are sympathising with me being victimised. I think they are definitely correct, I mean the whole thing has been so one-sided.

MG:<What will your work as the ANC deputy president involve?
J.Z.:<There isn’t necessarily a job description; it’s a flexible position. There are routine things that I will be doing like meetings of the officials, being a member of the national working committee and so on. Working on the ground is what I’ve always loved, and I would imagine that with me no longer in government, and given the need for political development, I will be doing more of that.

MG:<The Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party are worried that with your dismissal the voice of the left in government will be lost...
J.Z:What is important, and people do say it from time to time, is that I come from a trade union movement background and it is that thinking and approach that I bring to my work. I think in that context it should be a natural [concern] from the trade union movement.

MG:<Will President Thabo Mbeki consider affinity with the left when he appoints your successor?
J.Z:I can’t guess who the president will appoint and what considerations he is going to give. I don’t know if this informed the president’s decision to appoint me in 1999 so really I wouldn’t want to speculate.

MG:<Mbeki said he had decided to relieve you of your duties because of considerations relating to the constraints within which government operates. What did he mean?
J.Z:I think the president explained in the speech — the institutions of democracy, and the upholding of the Constitution. But I think the president is better placed to explain.

MG:<You claim to have been treated extremely unfairly over the past five years. You also complain that you’ve not been given an opportunity to defend yourself. How will you tell your side of the story?
J.Z:I can’t decide which mechanisms should be created for me to do so. The National Prosecuting Authority found a prima facie case against me, which means I was never charged and was therefore never given a chance to tell my side of the story. Judge [Hillary] Squires also reiterated at the beginning of the judgement that I was not on trial, but in the end he made certain determinations about me. Maybe bright, legal people understand why this happened, maybe the judge also thinks it is fair to say the things he did about me, but I don’t understand it. Reading the Constitution, not from a legal background, but as an ordinary man like myself, it says that you are presumed innocent until proven guilty and that you need a chance to respond to any allegations put against you. I have never been given this opportunity, but everybody says that we are running a constitutional state and we must respect the Constitution.

MG:<If the Scorpions charge you, will that enable you to tell your side of the story?
J.Z:I don’t even want to think about that, it’s not my business at this stage.

MG:<Some in the ANC hold that the Schabir Shaik trial and your dismissal were orchestrated by political conspirators. Who are they and what is their agenda?
J.Z:This suspicion has been fed by a comment that the old head of the National Prosecuting Authority [Bulelani Ngcuka] made: that he would try Zuma through the media. One of the things he did in order to do this was to have an off-the-record briefing with selected editors where he character-assassinated a number of us. Where are the constitutional rights of these individuals if somebody in charge of such a sensitive organ finds it within his routine to conduct such meetings? Once you have got this unclear process you can’t help but say that there is some political agenda of some kind towards specific individuals.

MG:<Have you ever confronted Mbeki about this conspiracy?
J.Z:I doubt we need to answer that question [laughs]. I don’t think I am ready to answer that one.

By refusing to resign last week, did you force Mbeki to dismiss you?

J.Z:I’m not sure I want to discuss that either [laughs].

MG:<How is your relationship with Mbeki now, and will it be difficult to work as his deputy in the ANC?
J.Z:I accept and respect his decision; I have got an obligation to respect the decision. We’ll work together. He is the president of the ANC, I am the deputy president, we’ll work together.

MG:<How do you plan to support yourself financially now? What is the size of your government pension?
J.Z:I can’t discuss that, absolutely not [laughs]. I know exactly what my pension is, but I can’t discuss it.

MG:<Many in the ANC believe you’ve been unfairly treated. Surely this feeds divisions?
J.Z:It does, unfortunately it does. In 1963 I was sentenced to 10 years in prison by Justice Steyn here in Pretoria. It was a political trial. I listened to Judge Squires and there was nothing different to what I heard 42 years ago in terms of the political judgement. This judge [Squires] is a politician who served in his country at one point in two capacities: as a judge and a minister. So we are not talking about someone innocent who has simply studied law.

MG:<How are these divisions being managed both in the ANC and the state?
J.Z:If you handle a person who is supposed to be deputy president of the country in an unclear manner you are brewing [divisions]. For example, the media was asked not to be in court during the trial but it was invited when the judgement was to be given. I’m not sure that that isn’t political. The judgement was really a rehash of the prosecution without any of the background. I’m not criticising this but there are too many coincidences that feed into the notion that the case was politically driven.

MG:<Have you spoken to Schabir Shaik since your dismissal?
J.Z: I haven’t spoken to him, I was going to talk to him today [Wednesday] but I have been in Cape Town.

Ladies and gentlemen, comrades and friends, what we are looking at is a power struggle within the ANC.

Now this is NOT a personal power struggle between Mbeki and Zuma. It is between different IDEOLOGICAL tendencies within the leadership of the South African government.

One wing, led by Thabo Mbeki seems to be veering towards a rightist, social democratic path that seeks accomodation with imperialism and the neo-liberal globalization project that seeks to jettison the ANC's proud legacy as a national liberation movement with a socialist orientation in which Marxism-Leninism played a very influential role in shaping the strategies and tactics of the ANC. Very few Kenyans know that Thabo Mbeki himself was a member of the Central Committee of the South African Communist Party until 1989 when he quietly resigned-his own father, Govan Mbeki, died as a Communist Senator. The influence of the SACP in the ANC has never been such a big secret- many of the leading ANC members like Chris Hani, Joe Slovo,Geraldine Moleketi-Fraser, Frene Ginwala, Baleka Kgosistile Ronnie Kasrils- and as it turned out, the late Walter Sisulu were all card carrying Communists. I came across this anti-ANC rant from way back in 1999 complaining about the Communist influence in the ANC.

Both Jacob Zuma and his ex-wife, South African Foreign Minister

Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma are prominent and long time members of the South African Communist Party. That should clear up any lingering mysteries as to why the SACP and its affiliate, the Young Communist League of South Africa should jump to the defence of Comrade Zuma.

How is the power struggle playing itself out?

Just this last weekend the ANC concluded a very important meeting of its National Governing Council where the two visions of the movement and ruling party went head to head.

One of the key results was the unanimous decision of the delegates to retain Jacob Zuma as the deputy President of the ANC.

Another one was a firm rebuff to the technocratic and wishy washy position papers that some observers felt were geared towards pushing the ANC to the neo-colonial right. Here is how

Blade Nzimande, the General Secretary of the South African Communist Party summed it all up.

You can read the full text of the official ANC declaration by clicking on this link.

This is what President Thabo Mbeki said in his closing address.

Already the voice of British Big Business, the Financial Times of London are citing the rift within the ANC as a factor styming business friendly "labour reforms" in South Africa.

In South Africa itself, Thabo Mbeki has quickly downplayed any suggestions of a confrontation with his former deputy who is being urged to gun for the ANC Presidency come 2007 and the Presidency of the country come 2009.

A further indicator of the different perspectives within the ANC can be seen in this May 2005 paper on Black Economic Empowerment.

These rumbles of discontent have not been confined to the SACP. COSATU- the huge federation of trade unions which is part of the Tripartite Alliance that brings together the ANC, the SACP and COSATU recently organized a massive stay away from work to protest job losses and poverty in South Africa as you can see from this message posted on the COSATU website.

And here is the speech that COSATU's head honcho,

Comrade Zwelinzima Vavi delivered last week on June 27, 2005.

This debate has been taken to the pages of the ANC's discussion journal Umrabulo. Recently,

Sydney Mufamadi, a member of the ANC's National Executive Committee (and a leading Communist as well) had this piece published in the above named journal.

So how is it going to play out in the end?

It is difficult to say anything definitive.

Even to his detractors Thabo Mbeki is acknowledged as a highly intelligent political schemer with a very long experience of intra-party factional wrangling. Apart from his position at the head of both the South African state and the ruling party, he does have a following across South Africa within sections of the ANC; obviously the parties and institutions of Big Business within South Africa, the rest of the continent and abroad see him as a strategic partner for their neo-liberal designs and will do everything to bolster his positions within the ANC and in government(even though a legal constitutional limit expressly bars him from seeking a third Presidential term).

A lot can happen on the South African political landscape between now and the next ANC elections two years hence. The fortunes of Jacob Zuma seem to be bouyant at the moment, but you never know...

Meanwhile, pro-Mbeki insiders are reeling and chaffing at the unprecedented anti-Mbeki protests within South Africa which saw a flag with his image on it set ablaze recently...

In any case, what do I know?

I am just a Kenyan leftist loudmouth living in Canada, right?

Onyango Oloo

Feedback from the Mashada (Politics) Forum:

Forum name Politics
Topic subject RE: On the Zuma-Thabo Vuta Ni Kuvute...
Topic URL
68444, RE: On the Zuma-Thabo Vuta Ni Kuvute...

Posted by dubois1, Wed Jul-06-05 09:11 AM

South Africans should consider themselves lucky to have mainstream political leaders with leftist leanings. Is it possible, in Kenya, to even come close to power if you dont belong to the rightwing? For example when Ngilu proposed the health scheme,(or like Oloo mentioned)when the government sacked it's workers all the mainstream leaders went quiet indicating approval. it's a damn shame.

Forum name Politics
Topic subject RE: On the Zuma-Thabo Vuta Ni Kuvute...
Topic URL
68446, RE: On the Zuma-Thabo Vuta Ni Kuvute...

Posted by enlightened, Wed Jul-06-05 10:11 AM

The growing surge in fiscal conservatives and pro-business/free enterprise opinion shapers is a boon for Africa. More importantly it shows the maturity and strength of growing democracies when a real ideological difference can emerge within a society. For once we're having a competition between ideas and view points, not the parochialism and primitivity that has dogged our political and social discourse for so long. The evolution of the ANC should be a must read case study for all African patriots, it is the natural progression of freedom, self determination and independent thought.

Forum name Politics
Topic subject to enlightened...
Topic URL
68449, to enlightened...

Posted by Onyango Oloo, Wed Jul-06-05 11:16 AM

>The growing surge in fiscal conservatives and
>pro-business/free enterprise opinion shapers is a boon for
>Africa. More importantly it shows the maturity and strength of
>growing democracies when a real ideological difference can
>emerge within a society. For once we're having a competition
>between ideas and view points, not the parochialism and
>primitivity that has dogged our political and social discourse
>for so long. The evolution of the ANC should be a must read
>case study for all African patriots, it is the natural
>progression of freedom, self determination and independent


thanks for your feedback. i am not sure whether i agree with your first sentence-pro-business/free enterprise opinion shapers have been around in africa for a long time and i am not convinced that they have been a boon for our continent.

however i agree with you that we as kenyans have a lot to learn from the growth of a true national democratic culture in south africa- where you can have communists, capitalists and all ideological hues in between claiming their place in the sun without expecting a secret police knock on their doors at midnight.

in a sense i think places like mashada, mambogani and other kenyan forums are providing a preview of that national democratic culture because here we are- to take just yourself and myself as an example- coming from different sections of the ideological spectrum but still engaging in constructive and meaningful colloquy.

Onyango Oloo

Forum name Politics
Topic subject to dubois
Topic URL
68450, to dubois

Posted by Onyango Oloo, Wed Jul-06-05 11:22 AM

>South Africans should consider themselves lucky to have
>mainstream political leaders with leftist leanings. Is it
>possible, in Kenya, to even come close to power if you dont
>belong to the rightwing? For example when Ngilu proposed the
>health scheme,(or like Oloo mentioned)when the government
>sacked it's workers all the mainstream leaders went quiet
>indicating approval. it's a damn shame.

greetings to you dubois:

i think what we see in south africa is NOT accidental and "luck" has very little to do with it. remember: the anc was founded in 1912 and the communist party in 1921 and of course the other mainstream bourgeois parties have been around for decades in one guise or another.

what we need to do in kenya is to fight for the expansion of similar democratic spaces. that is why you see on these forums i make a point of calling myself a COMMUNIST(a Marxist-Leninist if you prefer) because i sincerely and seriously believe that for democracy to mushroom in our country, all voices- those of the right, the centre, the left etc- should be and must be heard.

personally i am glad that i have helped to mainstream socialist perspectives in these online discussions to the point that NO ONE is "shocked" when they read something from Onyango Oloo, Mwandawiro Mghanga, Ngugi wa Thiongo, Okoth Osewe or any other Kenyan "Leftist."

Onyango Oloo

Forum name Politics
Topic subject RE: to enlightened...
Topic URL
68452, RE: to enlightened...

Posted by enlightened, Wed Jul-06-05 12:04 PM

I guess what I mean is indigenous capitalists who are self made and independent of political and social patronage. Not those employed by World Bank, IMF and other multi-nationals to parrot a specific agenda. I believe there is a vast difference between wealth creators and those who are merely beneficiaries of wealth, and I agree with you on one point, we have had an over-supply of beneficiaries of wealth with no consequence.

Forum name Politics
Topic subject to njamba
Topic URL
68482, to njamba

Posted by Onyango Oloo, Thu Jul-07-05 02:26 PM

>Double OO,
>Yes when I first heard the word communism marxism the buzz
>words had me scared stiff as a kid I grew up in free
>enterprise from my own 4ks club (sugura business) could not
>understand why I needed to give my way of life of free
>enterprise to Ujamaa. But due to you and Ngugi books I am
>reading and trying to understand why Left leaning policies are
>better than my Rightwing ones.
>I think what YOU as person has not told me is what different
>agenda would your left comrades bring. Different from the one
>of the dragons we see now in narc and other outfits? Until you
>give a specific and show me what Marxism is give a 101 on
>Marxism my FEAR due to ignorance won't go away.
>SO the ball is on your court give me something to work with.
>That is educate me on your agenda a little bit. I have read
>most of your digitals but they have not answered my
>What I want you to do is tell me why you ideology wont result
>in the mess we see in Russia etc.
>Back to SA I have talked to a few Kenyans working there but I
>think most of them look at the country from the prism of
>multinationals mentality thus I would say their biased opinion
>on the leadership there.
>But what happened in Kenya to the Left. The KPU guys were left
>leaning but how comes until the mwakenya 1980s days the left
>just died off apart from the few diehards like
>I agree with you next parliament should have everyone even the
>demagogues like me? But will they represent their respective
>ideologies or they will be like your buddy now I cann't tell
>where he stands and ever flip flopping Koigi


Greetings. Thanks for your input. Intriguing questions you pose above.

First of all, you should know that I am NOT a guru of some new age cult and i am NOT recruiting new believers for an esoteric faith.

You read my contributions on Kenyan politics on this forum almost every day. Are they valid observations? Are they factual? Can they be verified independently?

As a Kenyan socialist, I worry less about what happened to the Russians in Russia, the Chinese in China and the Cubans in Cuba when it comes to applying Marxism to the Kenyan context.

All I know is that for 68 years Kenya was under the yoke of orthodox colonialism and for the last 42 years or so has been under the sway of neo-colonialism- meaning that we have been firmly in the capitalist vortex. Our country is often touted by the West as an "example" that other countries in the region can follow. We are today up to our gills trying to implement the diktat of the IMF, the World Bank, the WTO and the overall neo-liberal globalization agenda.

What are the concrete results on the ground?

Have we solved the problem of unemployment? Have we solved the problem of HIV/AIDS? Have we solved the problem of rampant crime? of rape and sexualized violence against women and children? Do we have equality when it comes to Christians and Muslims? Are all our respective provinces developing at the same pace? Are we independent when it comes to foreign policy?

What is YOUR answer Njamba to these questions?

In my own quest I have turned to Marxism-Leninism as a GUIDE, not a dogma. I have applied the theory of historical and dialectical materialism in understanding our history and the nature of the conflicts and aspirations in Kenyan society; I have studied the precepts and suggestions on how we can revive and build an independent, integrated, self-sustaining economy along non-capitalist lines. Every day I find out that it is CAPITALISM that has FAILED, not SOCIALISM.

Bringing up the caricatures of "existing socialism" in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe to recycle ancient anti-communist arguments is by now a very tired exercise.

My suggestion to you is a very simple one. Embark on your own journey of self-discovery. Here is an outline of how you can go about it.

1. The history of Kenya:

(a) pre-colonial history: Who are the Kenyan people and where did they come from?
(b) the history of our people's resistance against foreign domination before colonialism: the struggle against Portuguese intrusion; the fightback against the Arab slave traders...

(c) the imposition of colonial rule

(d) resistance against colonial rule 1888 to 1963:familiarize yourself with these names and what they symbolized- Mbaruk al Amin Mazrui; Mwangeka; Me Katilili; Koitalel arap Samoei; Waiyaki wa Hinga; Moraa; Syotuna;Mary Nyanjiru, Harry Thuku; James Beuttah, Jomo Kenyatta; the Kikuyu Central Association; the Ukambani Members Association; The Kavirondo Taxpayers Association; the Taita Hills Association; Makhan Singh; Chege Kibacia; the Labour Trade Union of Kenya, the African Workers Federation; Anake a 40; Bildad Kaggia, Mwigithania, The Luo Thrift Trading Company; Elijah Masinde and Dini ya Msambwa; KAU; Pio Gama Pinto, Jeevanjee; Pranlal Seth; Oginga Odinga; Ronald Ngala; Jean-Marie Seroney; Joseph Murumbi; JD Kali; Okello Odongo; Dennis Akumu; Martin Shikuku, Taita Toweett; Ngugi wa Thiongo, Micere Mugo, Alamin Mazrui, Willy Mutunga, Wanjiru Kihoro, Edward Oyugi, Kamonji Wachiira, Maina wa Kinyatti, Raila Odinga, Kangethe Mungai, Gitobu Imanyara, Adongo Ogony, Mwandawiro Mghanga, Njeri Kabeberi, Charles Rubia, Kenneth Matiba, Chelagat Mutai, James Orengo, George Anyona, Lawrence Sifuna, Chitechi Osundwa, Oyangi Mbajah, Peter Young Kihara, Kamonye Manje, Nganga Thiongo, Oduor Ongwen, Odindo Opiata, Karimi Nduthu.....and 10,000 other names I could rattle off.

2. Study the history and character of capitalism- from its primitive accumulation stages to its present world monopoly globalized character ;

3. Study the history of Russian, Chinese, Vietnamese and Cuban revolutions. Why did the people in those countries rise up against their rulers? What did they do with the state after taking over? What were their successes? What were their failures?

4. Study Walter Rodney's "How Europe Underdeveloped Africa" and Abdul Rahman Mohamed Babu's "African Socialism or a Socialist Africa?"

5. Find out about the struggles going on in Argentina, Venezuala,Bolivia, India, the Philippines, South Korea and Brazil against neo-liberalism and globalization.

6. Draw a list of 15 things that you want to see in a New Kenya.

Please do NOT talk to me BEFORE you have completed this homework.

Onyango Oloo

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