I watched the address of the holy father Pope Francis to the government officials, Civil society officials and the diplomatic corps that was given at the presidential palace in Kinshasa DRC. The commentator who was translating the speech into English said it was one of the most lengthy speeches that the pontiff has ever made. The pope spoke after the speech President Felix Tshisekedi the President of DRC who in his remarks said their country was facing alot of security challenges and which has lasted for about three decades and most most of which he attributed to the interference by the neighboring countries into the internal affairs of their country. President Tshisekedi also reported that the international community is watching as a genocide is being planned and implemented in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He said that as this continue to happen the international community is watching on and keeping a deaf ear as if it’s none of their business. He however assured the people of Congo and the Pope that the DRC will continue to do anything possible and within their means to protect and secure their country’s territory and I believe that’s the mandate of every government in the world.
Pope Francis in his speech shown alot of empathy, passion and love for the people of Democratic Republic of Congo, His speech yesterday made our belief of pan Africanism come to life and realization. He said that the rich countries in Europe are plundering the minerals and the resources of Congo yet the Congolese people are not benefiting from them. This is a broad day theft that we have been rejecting for Many years. The pope also mentioned something about Making Africans countries be slaves of aid and the neocolonialism that has these days turned into an insult to the independence and the sovereignty of almost all African Countries. These days giving you aid means accepting all other beliefs of the foreign countries and not being allowed to have an independent view about them. In Uganda today we are battling with homosexuality which has infiltrated our schools but any person who comes up openly to fight this vice is seen as an enemy and the Europeans fight him. For me I has thought independence means allowing someone to have freedom and also be free to make decisions of what he thinks is right for his community or himself but I think I was wrong. If someone forces something on you and doesn’t allow you to give your view, will it still be freedom or something else? Will independence, freedom and human rights still make sense?
The women who have been raped and the children who are homeless in different villages because of the conflict in the DRC should be a shame to all of us who are living today. But however the people who have been benefiting from the rich resources of the Democratic Republic of Congo should be ashamed the more. They’ve made abnormal riches over the tears, the pain and the death of the innocent people of Congo. What do they lose if they come up to support and join the struggle of keeping DRC safe for it’s citizens? How come it is easier for them to enter Congo for those minerals but it’s not easy for them to enter Congo for peace missions? That’s the betrayal and the hypocrisy that our fore fathers rejected during the days of colonialism and slave trade. We have been told and we have read that Energetic Africans were forced to do labour for people who had no single sympathy for them and to continent which was backward but developing to realize the future of it’s children. Slave trade was not only a shame but an abuse and a crime to the human kind but this wasn’t enough, the guys went on and colonized all African countries and forcefully put them under their rule without any approval of the people who were living in Africa then. As if that was not enough after the African countries have fought for independence and got it they’ve now introduced neocolonialism. The economic independence of African countries will always be sabotaged got the reasons well known to them.
Pope Francis ‘s speech in DRC was a seed of hope to the few pan Africanists and the few patriots who have a spirit of love for their countries of origin. It should inspire all of us to stand tall and fight for what belongs to us. The religious leaders of Africa, instead of getting involved in the local politics and confusing the young people to cause conflicts in African countries should be preach what the pope preached. They should use the pulpit to instil the spirit of patriotism and pan Africanism to all the people of Africa. They should teach them to guard jealously what God has given Africa and reject the arrogance of foreigners who only focus on what they can grab and not what Africa can gain as a continent. I hope the Pope will one time speak against the European countries that have always interfered with the internal politics of African countries and forcefully remove governments. His direction now can surely show us that he is against those selfish activities that have always crumbled the developing and growing economies of African countries.
Sadly and most unfortunate is that the spirit of patriotism and pan Africanism is always betrayed by the Africans themselves. From the time of the traditional chiefs the small goodies were used by foreigners to compromise the minds of our leaders who in turn sold their subjects. Even today, money is used and given to upcoming politicians to cause chaos and confusion in the politics of African countries and that is why we have had governments removed by uprisings and the events that follow are always painful leading to the death of so many people. The civil society has always been used as an agent of the those evil activities. It is where Money is channeled. Interestingly all those civil society organisations are funded by foreigners. Whereas I agree that some civil society organisations have surely done something in as far developing some communities is concerned but it is also true that these ones have frequently been used as agents of confusion and playing around with the sovereignty of African countries.
President Museveni has always been clear on pan Africanism, He says every black person is his brother, if we took this serious then some of our problems would be history. However this is difficult because during colonialism the colonialists divided us by creating boundaries and boarders. We then got so confused when we started the politics of identity. Actually during liberation day, President Museveni said that the courts of judicature should start prosecuting the people who use sectarianism as a way of getting into leadership. These have always been used as a tool to keep us backward as Africans. That’s the same reason as to why most African countries have been very difficult to govern and it might not be easier soon. President Museveni told us that it was the same story in the past where the UPC, DP and Kabaka Yeeka were all built on the foundation of sectarianism but they would all fail to get the required percentage needed to win elections.
The writer is a deputy RDC Sheema District.
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