Recent media reports have projected that because of drought, millions of Africans will suffer and many will starve to death. Since this info is public, what is the African Union going to do before the starvation is activated. A few years ago, thousands in parts of Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea starved to death. Why in 2016 is this human and ecological tragedy allowed to unfold?

African leaders spend billions on weapons from the west but are not held liable when Africans starve to death. Should Europeans or other nations starve it would create a total crises, when Africans starve it is simply a human interest story that may captures global attention for 3 minutes on the 7pm news.

In contrast “the American dream” that is often evoked in the media is usually defined as “if you work hard you can expect a family home and regular holidays”. Cars and attending college are implied.

The ordinary African prays that war or famine does not obliterate that society as upheaval is possible at any time since most African leaders will do anything to retain power.

Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is a classic example. For the initial twenty years while he reigned supremely, everything was ok. Zimbabwe even remained a “bread basket” of the region regarding food production. When Mugabe’s rule was threatened he unleashed a tyranny onto his people that resulted in thousands of businesses closing, millions unemployed and millions more migrating.

His pyric victory against his former British colonial masters exposed a leader without a conscious that history will remember primarily because of his ability to spread chaos and misfortune.

While nationalists and pseudo revolutionaries enjoyed Mugabe’s rhetoric spewed against white people, what are the overall outcomes? Zimbabwe currently requires R 241 billion in foreign aid to prevent mass starvation. Had Mugabe and his ilk been able to farm the land retaken or rebuild the industries seized, perhaps the self-inflicted misery could be understood. Since this did not ensue, skilled Zimbabweans and those able to migrate are now refugees and cheap labor in nearby states.

What was the benefit of Mugabe’s pyric victory and who benefited from his rhetoric? So Mugabe gave the white British colonialist the middle finger and then what? While African Union leaders clap loudly at Mugabe’s verbose pomposity, ordinary Zimbabweans are actually going to starve to death. Who in the global community is going to lend Mugabe R241 billion and at what cost to regular Zimbabweans?

What Africans leaders must learn from Mugabe is that rhetoric cannot solve problems that require education and skills. Also to own a farm does not make you a farmer. With the regular farm murders, the drought and governments inept land claims restitution program, local food prices are increasing.

Soon words and political bravado will be futile in contrast with the cost of bread, milk and potatoes.

Yes, many farmers are cruel and underpay workers these issues must be resolved but cordially. Those who threaten farmers but cannot farm themselves have no value when food costs increase. Already potatoes cost R13 per kg in Cape Town and in Gauteng potatoes cost R15 per kg.

In the words of the wise, you cannot eat philosophy and rhetoric. Giving arable farming land to those that cannot farm is stupid. Restitution and talk of forcibly taking back food producing farms is futile when ordinary Africans starve as a result.

We need African leaders that can think long term.

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress

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