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[LISTEN] The Africa Report: “Africa Needs People with a Heart for it”

Jun 22, 2022

Umm Muhammed Umar

On the Africa Report, Radio Islam spoke to Dr Mustafa Mehta about why the United States was so keen on setting up a base in Africa, and why African countries were resistant towards it. Dr Mehta said that every country had its own army, which was there to defend its territorial integrity, and protect its citizens from any invading forces. It therefore has to be based in its territory. He said, “So, when you do see an army wanting to set up bases in another country elsewhere, then we have a problem with that army.” Dr Mehta said, “our countries have been mapped, our countries have borders, and you protect, what is within your jurisdiction.”

According to Dr Mehta, past African leaders and many current ones, stood firm against allowing US military bases in their countries. He said, “America should not have put boots on our continent, because it’s got nothing to do with America. This is Africa.” Dr Meta reiterated, “They (the US) should go back to their borders that they protect – America. We have not seen any African country that has deployed troops in America or in Britain.”

Zambian President, Hakainde Hichilema’s, warming up to AFRICOM (United States Africa Command) was placed under scrutiny. Dr Mehta said that the news last month that President Hichilema was cosying up to AFRICOM had been met with shock. The commander in chief of AFRICOM, General Stephen J. Townsend, had been to Zambia where he had been promised space for a base in Lusaka. Dr Mehta, “That is a very problematic, especially for us in SADC, where much of the liberation struggle – bloody liberation struggles – happened.” He questioned the purpose of US soldiers in a country belonging to SADC: “So, for us in southern Africa to have American boots on the ground – really to do what?” Former President Kenneth Kaunda, the founding president of the Republic of Zambia, was one of those in the forefront of opposition to American fighters on African soil. Dr Mehta said that back then, Americans would arrive on the continent as mercenaries, fighting on behalf of apartheid South Africa and what was known as (racist) Rhodesia, and fighting on behalf of the Portuguese in Mozambique and Angola. He said, “we have a problem in our opposition leadership now; they disregard the founding principles of our nations, they disregard the principles laid down by our founding fathers.” He added, “And there was a lot of wisdom in what they did, because they knew these imperialists (for) who they really are.”

Separately, Moussa Faki Mahamat has been labelled corrupt. There is an AU conference, on the Pan African Parliament hosted by South Africa, in Midrand. Dr Mehta said that Moussa Faki Mahamat was attending. He added, “this man is a disgrace. I wonder how he was even elected, but we know that behind such kind of people in our midst in Africa, there is always an invisible hand that promotes them, using money, bribing their way to get to a position.” He said, “they would have identified him – the imperialists forces – they would have identified him as a better person through they can work.” He said that it was Faki Mahamet who had struck the deal to give Israel AU observer status, despite opposition by other African countries, but that the move was eventually suspended.  He accused Faki Mahamat of having been ‘bought’ by Israel.  Dr Mehta said that Faki Mahamat had, “amassed a lot of wealth, properties across many countries like Dubai and the likes.” He asked, “And where is he getting that money from?”, adding “They are corrupt people and we don’t need such corrupt people at the helm of institutions, multilateral institutions like the African Union, we need people with a heart for Africa.”

 

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