Opitato Guvamombe first published in The Herald
An unprecedented economic crisis has been tearing the Euro to pieces, forcing European countries – the self-acclaimed proponents of democracy – to look east and take their well-polished begging bowel to China. China has bragged that is has the money, US$3 billion lying idle in its strategic reserves – but does not want to appear as if the money is there just to dump into anyone’s hands. There must be conditions attached and once those are met, China can easily rescue Europe from its biting economic crisis.
But China is no democracy according to the Europeans yet its economy is tip top, ticking and moving fast to overtake even the United States of America by 2014 according to World Economic Forum predictions. The point is Europe with all its five-year-election term democracy, platitudes about good governance, accountability and human rights has an economy teetering on the brink of collapse and is looking for an emergency rescue package from an undemocratic country.
One person having the last laugh is President Mugabe whose visionary leadership saw him pioneer the Look East Policy, when others, including Europe were still sleeping, only to wake up and take their begging bowl to China in a desperate attempt to save the Euro from imminent collapse.
The paradox of it all is that, while Europe has had its plebiscites as per schedule, the ordinary Chinese person has never cast a ballot and might die without casting a ballot, yet the Chinese economy is getting stronger and so is the growth per capita.
With all its electioneering methods that it has tried to export to the world in general and Africa in particular, Europe has failed to run its economy effectively and is deep in a crisis that has shredded the Euro to pieces.
One wonders how the self-acclaimed proponents of democracy, good governance and human rights have been entrapped in such an economic mess that has reduced Europe to beggars. At that rate, according to the World Economic Forum, China will have overtaken US as the world’s best economy by 2014 and by 2040, an ordinary Chinese will be living three times better than an ordinary American.
China has had its own system of replacing its top five leaders or Presidium without the input of the ordinary citizenry. But China has known how to play its economic games, without firing a gun in foreign countries.
Reading into this means that at times elections and electoral democracy as per European political bible are no panacea to economic stability. The wars that Europe has sponsored and even fought in the name of democracy and human rights do no necessarily bring economic stability and good life to the people.
The regime change that Europe has sponsored and effected or tried to effect in many countries is no guarantee for economic stability.
The change of leadership every 10 years through closed presidential terms does not necessarily bring economic stability, good governance and accountability. Neither is regime change a guarantee for respect of human rights.
Suffice to say, democracy, good governance and accountability cannot be divorced from national vision, national ethos, national values. Democracy and human rights cannot be divorced from nationalism and hence should not be defined by imperialists, who have always been enemies of nationalists.
Democracy must be defined by the needs, opportunities, values, problems and solutions as required by local people, because the destiny of their country should be in their own hands. Imported democracy or democracy as seen through the spectacles of the former colonisers is not only dangerous to social cohesion but destroys the fabric that holds a nation together.
For instance, democracy and human rights which promotes gays and lesbians rights in a conservative society is counter-productive and causes instability more than its brings stability. One of the basic ingredients of the Chinese success story is that the Chinese have done things their own way.
They are confident of who they are, they are confident of holding their own and doing things exactly the way they want them done. The Chinese have their own values, they love their own food – Chinese tea, Chinese medicine, Chinese Karooke, Chinese this and that and they move in one direction.
When Europe thinks of invading countries considered rogue, the Chinese explore business and investment opportunities. When Europe looks for cash upfront in business or even plunder through sponsored wars, the Chinese look at what resources you have and exchange with them or barter trade.
In that way the Chinese business model grows fast hence the Chinese have this big business network the world over. China has turned out to be an uncompromising world economic giant and so, why should a broke Europe try to lecture to the world about accountability, economic stability, electioneering and governance when its has failed itself.
It sounds like a fly lecturing to a bee on how to make honey. Europe should let all countries, especially Africa to try and spell its democratic practices.
Fact and not fiction has seen it that many African economies face problems not because of undemocratic practices and bad governance but because of interference by Europe and America, who even impose sanctions as a way of bringing down governments through man-made economic crises.