Just this week, Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio condemned France for its continuous colonisation of Africa. In the British House of Lords, the crisis in Zimbabwe came up, and the suggested solution was shocking. Lord Adrian Palmer asked the Minister of State for the Commonwealth and United Nations Tariq Mahmood Ahmad if he had “considered the idea of recolonizing Zimbabwe. It’s tragic to see what’s going on.” The question was welcomed with laughter by those in the House of Lords. In response Lord Ahmad said, “I have to be very honest as I always am, that is not an option I have personally considered.”
There is nothing funny about colonisation; not even the idea or thought of recolonizing another country should be tolerated. While colonisation totally changed the lives of Africans drastically for the negative, the British and other European powers gained from it. Their economies were founded on slave trade and colonialism. Africans had their lands snatched, resources plundered, their women raped, their children killed, their languages erased, their culture distorted or expunged, their skin colour demonised and their religion declared inferior. Colonisation, more than 100 years later has its tentacles sprouting all over the continent.
While the Zimbabwean situation is of grave concern, it is equally important to remind those with hidden motives that the crisis has to be addressed by Africans. The time for foreign intervention and solutions is long gone, the results of foreign intervention are there for all to see in Libya. The time for internal reflection and strong African brotherhood is now. Zimbabwe’s crisis is not restricted to Zimbabwe, and if a British Lord, in 2019, can suggest recolonisation to solve the crisis in Zimbabwe, then then whole of Europe can equally propose recolonisation to solve Africa’s problems. The same tactic Lord Palmer’s father and grandfather made, of seemingly helping with giving a solution is being repeated here.
While the House of Lords in the United Kingdom can make light of colonialism, we on the continent know how much the fabric of our society has been destroyed. While laughter fills their chambers with the idea of recolonizing another African country, it is a statement that African presidents must consider as an attack on their sovereignty. It is from laughter and jokes that truths are gotten.
The role of the African Union is needed more than ever on the continent. It is unfortunate that the calibre of African leaders that would have stamped their foot down against neo-colonialism in all its forms were assassinated. While This Is Africa strongly condemns the statement of Lord Palmer, we call on the African Union to play its leading role on the continent and in solving the crises on the continent.