In this manifesto for Pan-African futures, Namata Serumaga-Musisi shares with us the spirit of her activist engagement, in particular as Commander of Creative Arts & Advocacy for the Ghana-based organization Fighters and as Diaspora Coordinator for People Power, the Ugandan liberation movement.
Article published in The Funambulist 32 (November-December 2020) Pan-Africanism. Click here to access the rest of the issue.
“So many blessings must flow from our unity; so many disasters must follow on our continued disunity, that our failure to unite today will not be attributed by posterity only to faulty reasoning and lack of courage, but to our capitulation before the forces of imperialism.” (Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, Inaugural ceremony of the OAU Conference in Addis Ababa, 1963.)
We must start this text and we must end this text by saying:
Africa Must Unite. Now.
And when we say “Africa Must Unite,” we speak of the People, not the “leaders,” never these leaders. How could puppets ever speak for us on the rights of Black People? And when we are targeted in the Mediterranean, in Minneapolis, in Kuwait, who among them can cast the first stone?
The dictator Museveni has been torturing and murdering Ugandans since the 1970s. Not even his ascension to the presidency was enough to stop him from killing us.
The day before the murder of Lonmin employees at Marikana, non-executive Director (and now South African President) Cyril Ramaphosa wrote, “They are plainly dastardly criminals and must be characterised as such. […] In line with this […] there needs to be ‘concomitant action to address this situation’.”
In August 2019, Muhammadu Buhari’s Nigerian State Security Service arrested human rights activist, pro-democracy campaigner, former presidential candidate Omoyele Sowore for alleged treason after he called for #RevolutionNow. He was held for months.
Alpha Conde’s military brutalized and murdered anti-referendum protestors in Guinea, as the People fought the adoption of a new Constitution which would allow him to extend his rule.
There is Gnassingbe in Togo.
Nguema in Equatorial-Guinea.
Biya in Cameroon.
The list goes on.
Who among them can possibly speak?
When we say “Africa Must Unite,” we speak of the People. The People of Africa Must Unite!
Comrade Kyagulanyi ‘Bobi Wine’ Ssentamu and the Comrades of the People Power Movement of Uganda, we will be free.
Comrade Farida Nabourema and the Togolese Civil League fighting oppression in Togo, Comrade Martial Pa’Nucci and Ras le Bol in Congo Brazzaville, the Comrades of Y’en a Marre in Senegal, Comrade Alice Ilunga and LUCHA in the DRC, and of course my Pan Africanist Comrades of the Economic Fighters League, fighting for economic democracy, challenging the minority elite, and working to dismantle systems of oppression in the land of Osagyefo’s birth, and beyond.
Africa Must Unite. We will be free.