By Udo W. Froese
Who really benefited from Namibia and South Africa’s constitutions and who will finally benefit from the current draft constitution in Zimbabwe? It is important to know and understand the architects of the constitutions as well as the lobby groups behind them. That is part of the reality of weakened ruling parties and their governments. It is real history.
Local and foreign interests in the establishment of a neo-liberal constitution, in a new ruling party that is hopelessly compromised and in a broad civil society, are a given.
Democratically elected people’s representatives in governments, replaced, or re-elected every few years and a neo-liberal constitution give the corporate world huge control advantages. They own the economy, agriculture and land, mining, the education systems, banks and industries as well as the media.
It would therefore, also mean that those owners control whom the people elect into government, as they own the money and the media. Arrogant and uninformed journalists have become political players, manipulating public opinion.
The owners of the media would popularise their chosen politician(s) by increasing the flow of supportive reports. The newfound media popularity would contribute to the successful promotion of the chosen politician(s) and undermine all opponents and those perceived to be in the way.
The aforementioned could only be achieved, if foreign interests and their lobbies were part and parcel of the writing of a constitution. This applies to all former colonies. Those new, neo-liberal constitutions are then praised as the ”best in the world, something of national pride”. The power is shifted from the executive presidency to parliament and then to the judiciary.
In the meantime, “former” skilled enemy agents and even members of organised crime cartels have been deployed and infiltrated into the new, popular ruling parties, their governments, parastatals and the private sector. They too enjoy the vague protection of the new, neo-liberal constitutions. In fact, they hide behind the constitutions.
The ruling party leadership is now firmly infiltrated and compromised. At the same time, civil society has surrounded the government with “alternative government structures”. The vice grip on governments’ throats, particularly those, who have grown out of former liberation movements such as SWAPO, ANC, ZANU-PF, MPLA and Frelimo is almost complete.
In addition, common greed is instilled. Bribes accompany almost every new deal on the tables of governments. Corruption becomes the order of the day.
Agents’ provocateurs and a new, young and educated elite placed into the former liberation movements follow this up. The perpetrators of these destructive covert and overt ways serve their long-standing masters, playing to the public gallery, enjoying their benefits.
Hooligan armchair academics and the lowly paid hit-men and hit-women of the media, otherwise known as journalists, analyse and comment from their institutional offices and newsrooms, adding more meat to their unproven and unsubstantiated “news coverage”, which should in actual fact be defined as propaganda. When exposed and confronted with their cooked reports, they hide behind “democracy”, “freedom of association”, “freedom of speech”, “freedom of movement”, “freedom of the media” and the neo-liberal constitution.
A few years down the road ruling parties find themselves undermined, on the brink of disintegration with hardly any power to govern. Local and international media and their “expert analysts” comment, “We told you so. Blacks are unfit to govern.”
Finally, the architects of colonial-apartheid and their league of agents have gone unscathed and had their cartels successfully exploded into continental empires. The neo-liberal constitution and the judiciary, civil society and the soft power of the media have won the day.
They motivate their actions by claiming it is their vision for “peace and security”.
• Udo Froese is an independent political and socio-economic analyst and columnist, based in Johannesburg, South Africa.