It is interesting how unfailingly the lens of marxism is able to interpret failure as success and to project residual antipathy as enlightened objectivity. In that respect, Imraan Buccus’s opinion piece (Mercury, May 18) is a success.
Buccus writes nostalgically about former president Kenneth Kaunda and “the journey Zambians have travelled in locating their country as one of the most respected political players on the African continent.” He also discloses his private joy of cycling along the arterial road in Durban North that now bears the name of Kenneth Kaunda.
Unfortunately, Zambia’s history under Kaunda was not so endearing. Although Buccus says he is teaching democracy to young Zambian activists, his admired figure, Kaunda, was not so inclined. In 1966 Kaunda banned all opposition and declared Zambia a one-party state.
He then nationalised all industries and businesses and set Zambia on a downward trajectory to impoverishment. Twice, in 1985 and in 1989, Zambia required IMF bail-outs, as a result of the dire straits into which Kaunda’s socialism had plunged Zambia’s economy. How that squares with Buccus’s claim that Zambia is an “a respected political player,” only a Marxist can fathom.
In rejoicing that NMR Ave is now named after ANC stalwart MB Yengwa, Buccus derides the repressive role of the Natal Mounted Rifles in earlier times. But he omits to credit the NMR for its role against Nazi oppression in World War 2.
Brutality is abhorrent, irrespective of who perpetrates it. Undoubtedly, the NMR and Koevoet bear the blame for instances of brutality. But if Buccus seeks credibility, he should also indict the SACP for its association with and perpetuation of brutality. Instead, he waxes nostalgically about the SACP which took its orders from the communist regime in Moscow that subjected Russia to 73 years of tyranny.
Possibly Buccus finds it cathartic to “sneer at the ugliness of the NMR building” each time he passes it. But in harbouring such residual hostility, he prejudices not only his ability to reflect objectively but also his credibility as a director of so-called political transformation.
Sent into The Mercury and published, 21 May 2018.