GUEST COLUMNIST: Samora Machel: the failed vision of a united Africa

Wednesday April 17 2019


By Dr Peter Kafumu

This is the last part of the accounts on Samora Moisés Marchel legacy as a Pan-African, freedom fighter and first leader of independent Mozambique. In the proceeding paragraphs, we celebrate the legacy of one of Africa’s founding heroes and remember the words he left us with in his quest to see the liberation, development and unity of the African continent.

Machel was a visionary leader who looked beyond the suffering of the day; who saw the opportunity for the future of a free Africa, with a new mentality.

At one time he said: “…When we took up arms to defeat the older order, we felt the obscure need to create a new society: strong, healthy and prosperous, in which people free from all exploitation would co-operate for the progress of all…. In the course of our struggle we came to understand our objectives more clearly; we felt especially that the struggle to create new structures would fail without the creation of a new mentality…”

He was against neo-colonialism, and he vowed to continue fighting it in independent Mozambique to ensure complete freedom and equality for all. He said: “…Colonialism is a crime against humanity; there is no humane colonialism; there is no democratic colonialism; there is no non-exploitative colonialism… Aluta Continua!! Aluta Continua against what must the struggle continue? Against tribalism; against ignorance; against illiteracy; against exploitation; against superstition; against misery and against lack of closing… Some day we will be all equal...”

Samora fought racism head-on as is elucidated in the speech he gave on the 14th of June 1975 in Beira. He said: “…There is no place for white racism, as there is no place for black racism, because racism, is racism, in its essence racism is an organized attitude, a reactionary attitude… All races, all peoples in the world want liberty, want independence…”

To Samora, the victory of the liberation struggle was to transform the armed struggle into a revolution that would build a new, free society. He said: “…Our final aim in the struggle is not to hoist a flag different from the Portuguese, or to hold more or less honest elections in which blacks and whites are elected, or to put a black president into the Ponta Vermelha Palace in Lourenco Marques instead of a white governor.

We say our aim is to win complete independence, establish people’s power, and build a new society without exploitation, for the benefit of all those who identify themselves as Mozambicans…” After independence, Samora Machel wanted the total liberation of his country and his people.

He continued to say: “…After independence, we went on with our fight for liberation: the fight to restore dignity, identity and the Mozambican culture; the fight to build a new society, a new outlook, a New Man; the fight to destroy exploitation; the fight to build socialism. We freed the land…”

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, at the 30th Anniversary of Samora’s death at the Mbuzini crash site on the 19th of October 2016 aired Samora’s eminence in the African revolution and pan-Africanism, when he said: “…From President Samora Machel we learnt that the task of the African revolution is to invent a new society whose cornerstone is the welfare of all, not the exploitation of one by another.

He unconditionally welcomed liberation fighters in Mozambique and dedicated his life to the complete emancipation of Southern Africa… He continues to inspire us to build a society free of prejudice, racism, patriarchy and exploitation…”

Samora Moisés Machel often referred to as the Son of Africa dedicated his life to attaining independence, African unity, peace and economic freedom.

The life of this revolutionary and pan-African leader was curtailed by imperialism and Africa once again lost an opportunity for the emancipation of the African Continent from economic bondage.

Africa will live to mourn and remember this anti-imperialist and revolutionist as one of the great Pan-African leader.

Dr Kafumu is the Member of Parliament for Igunga Constituency