The Speech by the British High Commission Fergus Cochrane – Dyet, on the commemoration of the Queen’s birthday in Lusaka two days ago, underscores why British foreign policy has been a disastrous misadventure in Africa.
The High commission revealed how vervet ‘monkeys’ at the Zambian State House, is much more interesting a subject to discuss with Mr Edgar Lungu than human rights. ‘Monkey’ or ‘boy’ were derogatory terms racist British colonialists often used to describe Africans.
He also incredulously talked about how he enjoys dancing with African women and gazing at raw emeralds at a Zambian jungle mine.
Unlike the French who have shown a human face to their former African colonies despite their imperialist and capitalistic agendas, the British have generally presented a very confused and abstract African foreign policy.
The British Government will come out with guns blazing if a same sex or homosexual couple is locked up in a Kampiri Mposhi jail for sodomy, than if an African opposition Party leader’s home is raided and his wife and children are teargassed the whole night.
Would it therefore surprise anyone if a word “monkey” is uttered by a British diplomat as being a favourite subject, during a bilateral discussion with an African leader in post colonial Africa?
One has to look at Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe to understand how successive British Governments have scandalised and dehumanised Africa, due to their signature bleeps and blunder foreign policy.
The Lancaster House talks, which brought the liberation movements and Ian Douglas Smith’s Rhodesian rebels to the negotiating table, essentially agreed on two points. That Smith who had pulled out his band of white settlers from British control in Rhodesia, by unilaterally declaring independence off the UK, would hand over power back to the British who would then give to the Africans.
It was thereafter agreed that after a specified period, the white settlers would then surrender the land in the hands of the Africans and would be compensated in that regard by the British Government.
As expected of British disastrous promises and policies in Africa, they failed to live up to the agreement of compensating their white settlers of what now became Zimbabwe. Mugabe then proceeded to forcibly grab the land from the whites prompting the British to cry foul. That’s the only time the British wrath is roused.
The Zimbabwe land question isn’t the fault of Mugabe only. It’s the fault of the British’s conspiracy of silence. As commonly known of their diplomatic character in Africa, they kept quiet hoping the problem will go away.
The comments of ‘provocative’ action by Dyet over what happened in Mongu are hollow dangerous and seriously interferes with ongoing judicial process in the courts of law. The High Commissioner is courting death and destruction in Zambia.
You will recall that prior to the night raid on opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema’s estate, PF surrogates chorused on how the so called provocation in Mongu would cause the opposition leader to be locked up for treason.
The British High Commissioner’s statement resonates very well and appears to seal the fate for Hakainde who the PF want to find guilty of treason as a result of “provocation”. Hakainde will not receive a free and fair trial after the Dyet’s disgraceful speech.
Perhaps the High Commissioner must adopt a vervet monkey sanctuary in Zambia, it looks like that is still a British favourite preoccupation in post colonial Africa.