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Saturday, September 10, 2005


This was what I heard with a lot of uncertainity on that day when Bush was about to beggin his crusade for Democracy: “America sees you for who you are: the future leaders of your free country”. He even mentioned countries like North Korea, Burma, Iran and Zimbabwe that they need freedom from America. These were some of many sentences I found remained in my mind following inauguration speech on 20th of January by US president Bush. His speech was full of statements that signalled a fundamental change in US foreign policy.As an African, staunch support of democracy, I heard him say that the United States under Bush would be actively engaged in Africa’s struggle for democracy. I heard him say that the US—Africa relations under his second term would not be business as usual. Happily I thought, really, if carried through, the Bush Doctrine should have a seismic effect on African politics and government.However, my delight with Bush’s speech was tempered by a scepticism born of disappointment. I decided to surf on American history a bit and I discovered: this is not the first time American President to commit himself to the struggle for freedom. Others were President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 and Truman in 1947. For example, Truman addressing Congress said: “It must be the policy of US to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures” But funny enough US supported Apartheid in South Africa for many years. It supported dictators: Mobutu, Banda, Mubarak and even currently Musharaf for serving their interests. What a cynical America politics.For opposition activists in Zimbabwe the speech was good news. But my fear is: if Mugabe is out of politics of Zimbabwe and opposition—MDC took over; will it serve Zimbabweans or Americans who seems ready to do whatever possible to ensure Mzee Bob is out. I think, obviously we should not expect Bush and America to deliver democracy in Africa. It is the African people who must accomplish the goal of successful democratisation. Africa must peacefully organize themselves into very active, brave and focused political organizations that transcend petty cleavages.Here I mean: We must not underestimate the role of a country such as US in sustaining dictatorships and pseudo-democracies through diplomatic cover, financial and material support. As we—Tanzanians—are heading for the election later this year, we should not just vote blindly. Are we really asking where do political parties get their funds? I know Conservative Party of Britain somehow funds one party. Another one is from various powerful communist states like China and Korea. Knowing source of fund can help us to identify to whom a certain party will serve: either for us citizen or to the colonialists.So when we see Bush is promising the opposition politician as future leaders of their country, do not think America is Messiah. Neo—Colonialism will finish us-Africans-as we shall continue to rely on the Western world for the improvement of our democracy.

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