Monthly Archives: April 2016

Typologies of Black Sports Figures in the Western World and its Applicability to Other Relationships.

By Dr. Munyonzwe Hamalengwa

April 11, 2016

When the Manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers Baseball team drafted Jackie Robinson to be the first Black Baseball player in Major League Sports (MLS) in the US, he said that he wanted ” a ball player who had guts enough not to fight back” at racist taunts and racial discrimination.  He wanted a passive Black Player who was equivalent to a “house nigger” or an Uncle Tom. The white man to this day does not relate well, in fact gets all riled up, when he encounters what he calls an “uppity nigger”, or a self respecting and intelligent Black man.

There have been very severe negative consequences for a Black man in the United States and in the colonies who did not have “guts enough not to fight back”. They fought back.  Think of Steve Biko in Apartheid South Africa, Malcolm X in the United States and elsewhere.

But the Black athlete who did not have guts not to fight back was most feared because he was present and visible and kids looked up to him. He was a hero.bThe true paradigm of a Black man who did not have guts enough  not to resist fighting racism and unequal treatment was Jack Johnson, the first Black heavy weight champion of the world. Johnson was a true original, all the future athletes like Muhammad Ali and Floyd Mayweather Jr. were simply imitators.  Johnson asserted an individualism so extreme but it fitted the American assertion of the pursuit of happiness and living the American Dream whatever that is. To that end, Johnson asserted an actually affable albeit extreme demand for equal treatment and to be left alone to enjoy his success. He publicly flaunted his wealth  just like Mayweather did in the last decade going backwards from 2016.

The white man schemed to make Johnson pay for his display of Black uppityness  and demand for equal treatment under the law. He was set up and wrongfully convicted. The white man will always try to humiliate an intelligent Black man who is self- aware. The white man wants a dumb Black man to this day.

> One of President Obama ‘s failures as a President was his failure to take up Senator McCain’s bill to have Jack Johnson’s criminal conviction erased and pardoned posthumously. Obama hopefully may yet do it.

When Joe Louis came along as a most devastating next Black Heavy Champion of the World, the white world did not want another Jack Johnson. They humbled him to the extent that when you see Louis’s old pictures and demeanour, he looked lifeless. It was like he had no spirit. Johnson used to taunt his opponents, glare at them and talk to people around the ring while fighting in the ring and used to dance around happily after demolishing a white opponent. Joe Louis was made to be an obedient servant, he was made to show no emotion at all, no personal or racial pride. He looked like a caricature.

Despite Joe Louis’s obedience, Uncle Sam still humiliated him by sending him into the arm to shadow-box in a segregated platoon during the Second World War and to demand that Joe Louis pay income tax that he reportedly did not owe. Joe Louis was never protected by the system that he had served so well but that had used him so much until he died as a poor man.

The system then began to work on Jackie Robinson. 0ne could only detect the success of the white man’s work on Robinson if you listen to his criticism of Muhammad Ali’s refusal to fight in Vietnam. Robinson was incensed that Ali did not want to fight  for the system that allegedly served Ali so well. Not the other way round. Ali brought pride to the US by winning a Gold medal in the 1960 Rome Olympics.

> We all know how the system went out of it’s way to try to destroy the uppity Nigger in Muhammad Ali, the heir to the spirit of Jack Johnson. The system saddled Muhammad Ali with a criminal conviction. Like Johnson, Ali was a fighter both in and outside the ring and in the court of public opinion.

The system failed to tame Ali the way they tamed Joe  Louis and Jesse Owens, an icon of the 1936 Nuremberg Olympics where he won four Olympic Gold medals in front of racist Adolph Hitler. Owens gave the US pride despite their humiliating him when he came back home with the medals. Down the road, Uncle Sam started demanding that Owens pay income taxes, a humiliation. He died a pauper, without the cares of the system. Jack Robinson died very young at 53 so  we don’t know what would have happened to him if he had lived long enough.

Muhammad Ali presented the greatest shock to the white system by his braggadocio. He dethroned another Uncle Tom named Sonny Liston. The white man wanted Sonny Liston to wipe out this talkative and proud Blackman from the face of the earth.

> When the White system temporarily silenced Ali, they created Joe Frazier and later George Foreman. But Ali came back to haunt them in the seventies.  He now belongs to the ages, the greatest sports hero to the entire world, a sports icon.

There was silence in the boxing world in relation to an uppity Black champion until Mayweather came along in the late 2000s to resurrect the spirit of Jack Johnson and Muhammad Ali. Mayweather became the most hated Black athlete in white America in decades. He wanted to do things his way and live life his way. But you cannot suppress what is universally good and Mayweather like Johnson and Ali before him, survived intact.

With Mayweather’s retirement from boxing undefeated, I will personally miss a Black man who did not have guts enough not to fight the white man. In my view Johnson, Ali and Mayweather will go down in history as having pushed boxing to the stratosphere because they had guts enough to resist the white man and to insist that the constitution which promises equal application and equal benefit, and the pursuit of happiness, applies to all without discrimination based on race.

Dr. Munyonzwe Hamalengwa is a great fan of boxing and track and field  sports.

My Heart is with Hillary but my Brain is with Sanders. His about you?

By Dr. Munyonzwe Hamalengwa

April 10th, 2016

The race between Clinton and Sanders is heating up. Poor Hillary, even when her path seems clear at the beginning, an Obama and a Sanders comes along to disrupt her. If she looses this time, I fear for her consequential sanity. Many of my friends are predicting that Sanders will emerge victorious. I haven’t thrown in the towel yet. New York I suppose will send clear signals as to where Hillary will end up.

My heart and muscles want Hillary to win, this is a century of the woman, the woman deserves it, she is a fighter albeit totally opportunistic like her husband and the Kennedys. But my brains and conscience support Sanders 100 per cent. His pro-poor and working class message resonates with me. He is speaking to me directly. No one had given him a chance, just like no one had given Obama a chance.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, no one thought anybody would be using the term ‘political revolution”, this term is supposed to scare people off. But there is Sanders using that term and getting a string of victories over Goliath. The young and the white working class are largely with him. The young are the face of the future.

On the other hand, if Hillary doesn’t win now, when will a seasoned woman ever come along? And a democrat? A woman ruling the United States of America and therefore whether we like it or not, the world, is the ultimate in the exercise of feminist power for a change, it will engender for better or worse, gender equality calculus. It will settle once and for all, the perennial question as to whether or not, “women can make a difference” or will she be merely a woman in male pants and making no difference or making it worse.

Whoever wins the democratic nomination will become President of the United States of America. He or she will protect the Obama legacy in many respects. Hillary will protect it, Sanders will advance and build much more on it.  I am struggling between my heart for Hillary and my brains for Sanders. I am sure I Am not alone.

Dr. Munyonzwe Hamalengwa teaches law and is the author of The Politics of Judicial Diversity and Transformation.

Panama Papers Are Much Ado About Nothing.

By Dr. Munyonzwe Hamalengwa
April 7, 2016

My opinion is that the “Panama Papers” are much ado about nothing. These are tax papers that were leaked from a Panama law firm that contains millions of pieces of information about the tax behaviour of the rich and famous who transfer their wealth principally in currency form to tax havens including Panama. The reaction of the world to these documents is what is most surprising and distressing and not the existence of these documents.

Firstly, not one journalist or government has reported that these tax havens in which the rich and famous from the US, UK, France, Russia, China etc sock their money are criminal enterprises though they should be so labelled. Neither has there been any reference to the rich and famous who stash their money in these tax havens as engaging in tax evasion, (a criminal offence) and therefore committing organized criminality, though they should be called organized criminals.  They have merely been referred to as participating in tax avoidance, a perfectly legal scheme precisely created by governments of the entire world for the benefit of the rich and famous and their descendants and vehicles like multinational corporations.

> It is so hypocritical for world governments and media to pontificate and brow-beat themselves to a pulp, like a wronged King Kong,  mourning about the “Panama Papers” and the rich and famous taking advantage of these specially government-created tax loopholes! What a comical show were it not so serious. In most tax codes of the world, there are all types of exceptions permitting people to organize their affairs so as to defer or minimize or avoid taxation at all. The wealthy including legislators, movie actors, entrepreneurs like Trump etc hire expensive tax lawyers and accountants to arrange their affairs so as to defer or avoid or minimize tax obligations. Western tax codes created tax havens. Swiss legislation permitted bank secrecy laws which allowed African, Latin American, Asian, etc dictators to steal money and stash it in Swiss banks. Thousands of US wealthy businessmen held secret accounts in Swiss and other banks. It was mostly legal, of course some in the process of tax avoidance engaged in tax evasion. But governments were all aware if these shenanigans. They created it through legislation in the first place. Has any government in the west been prosecuted for permitting Mobutu, Abacha, Marcos, Noriega, shansonga, Bokassa, Museveni etc to steal money and deposit it in Swiss banks or Panama banks etc provided for in western legislation? When these dictators die, trillions of dollars repose to the benefit of Swiss banks and people or US and other western governments as the case may be. Do they raise any noise equivalent to the crescendo accompanying the so called “Panama Papers”? Not in your bank.

> Regarding the creation of tax havens, of course I am aware that the road to hell can be paved with good intentions. Governments didn’t know that they were creating a monster. However, they were aware that these schemes were created for the benefit of the rich and famous. For themselves as well. And for their use. Conservatives still pine for low taxes for the wealthy. Trump and Cruz are talking about it right now. Low taxes for the wealthy is not any different from tax havens. The wealthy and multinational corporations benefit from tax subsidies in the trillions every year. Ever heard of the concept of “corporate welfare”. Who did the bailouts in the US in 2008 and 2009 mostly assist? Corporations! To the tune of trillions of dollars. Tax havens galore in the heart of the US. The poor continued to be on food stamps?

> Corporations  in so called developing countries are mostly tax exempt or openly avoid paying tax through government legislation or transfer pricing. These countries are tax havens for western multinational corporations as well. Do you hear western countries whining about this tax avoidance-cum-tax-evasion! Not in your books.

> Governments especially western governments go on pontificating and creating laws about money laundering by criminal gangs and terrorists when the biggest organized criminals are governments themselves and then fake surprise when the so-called “Panama Papers” are leaked! Get over it. This is much ado about nothing. You create a loophole, lawyers and accountants will be used to create vehicles for its exploitation by the rich, wealthy and famous. By government functionaries. By Senators. By British PM’s wealthy father, by Putin and Chinese leaders etc. Forget about Panama. Talk to Washington DC, London, Geneva, Zurich, Paris, Brussels, Beijing, New York. They have the answers to tax avoidance and evasion. They created the laws. They are the organized criminals along with terrorists and non-state organized criminals.

 

Dr. Munyonzwe Hamalengwa teaches law after practising law for 25 years. He can be reached at forthedefence@yahoo.ca

How to Win an Election

How to Win an Election

By Dr. Munyonzwe Hamalengwa
April 5, 2016

How to Win an Election is an actual title of a book written in 64 B.C by one Quintus Cicero as a campaign propaganda tract for his brother, Marcus Cicero who was running for the position of Consul in The Roman Empire. That position was equivalent to Ruler. Marcus Cicero is reported to have been a great orator, perhaps the greatest orator of all time.  Romans valued oratory and wisdom. As did the Greeks.
Because of his superior oratorical skills, Marcus Cicero could still have won the election without the help of his brother’ s propaganda manifesto whose aim was to propagate that the end of an election should result in victory and whatever means is used to achieve that end was justified. Hence the phrase the end justifies the means.
Hence Quintus wrote that his brother should promise everything to everybody and that he must uncover all scandals including inventing others pertaining to the opposition, especially sex scandals. Quintus advised that lying to win the vote is justified. Quintus abhorred honesty and principles. Nicola Machiavelli was not the originator of unprincipled political praxis.
It is not reported whether Marcus followed his brother’s advice. He however won the election. The book is translated into English. It is not a long book.
Knowledge without practical application is almost worthless. The question we face now in Zambia and elsewhere is, is there a Marcus Cicero in Zambia? How good an orator is that Zambian? How many Marcus Ciceros has Zambia ever had, people who mesmerize the audiences and keep them glued to their every word? People who were or are also wise! America has had Martin Luther King Jr.; Malcolm X,; Paul Robeson; Stockley Carmichael; John Kennedy; Barack Obama;  Johnnie Cochran; Clarence Darrow and many many others. Every reader can name a Marcus Cicero or two somewhere.
In Zambia I can name Frederick Chiluba, but I cannot think of others. In university, I could think of Sipula Kabanje (the guy could deliver a speech) and Guy Stokes. The reader can name perhaps a lot of Zambians.  I would like to know Zambian Marcus Ciceros. There is beauty in oratorical and rhetorical flamboyance in my humble opinion.
On the other hand, how many Quintus Ciceros are in Zambia? Political operatives whose raison d’être is to lie and lie and traffic in more lies and purvey false scandals! Political propagandists and political leaders who have no principles whatsoever but whose goal is to win an election using whatever the means. Quintus Cicero advised his brother to be like a chameleon, to change colours to suit the environment. We have plenty of these in Zambia and everywhere. Can you name any Zambian Quintus Ciceros?  Mitt Romney in the US was known for annoyingly being  like a Chameleon. Occasionally Chameleons do very well, they win elections and Chameleons are durable and fearsome creatures. Do not take them lightly. Constantly exposing their changing colours to suit the environment is the only way to defeat the Quintus Ciceros of this world.  They abhor exposure. That is how Romney lost to Barrack Obama in the USA.
In the next several months we will see a lot of Quintus Ciceros in Zambia. We may not see a Marcus Cicero who will dazzle us with his sweet oratory and rhetoric.  There is none in the US either but more Chameleons there as well. Quintus Cicero would declare victory that his philosophy governs the universe. But hope springs eternal. The beautiful ones are not yet born according to Ghanaian Ayi Kwei Armah. I believe that they are on the way just like they did under Fidel Castro in Cuba. Barrack Obama’s visit to Cuba in March 2016 rewrote the entire US history’s lies that Cuba was an evil empire. Cuba  is a perfect example that Quintus Cicero does not always have the last word in this world.

Dr. Munyonzwe Hamalengwa’s latest book is entitled, The Case Against Tribalism in Zambia (2016) which is available at Planet Books at Arcades and Bookworld in Lusaka.

THE CASE AGAINST TRIBALISM IN ZAMBIA-1

 

Is Zambia a One Party State Masquerading as a Democracy?

Is Zambia a One Party State Masquerading as a Democracy?

By Dr. Munyonzwe Hamalengwa

April 2, 2016

If one did not live in Zambia and just came to visit from a truly democratic country, if there be such, would they not ask this question after assessing the phenomena to be described shortly: Is Zambia a One Party State Masquerading as a Democracy? Wouldn’t the same question be asked by someone who lived under President Kenneth Kaunda’s One Party State dictatorship?

Zambia has the hall -marks of a One Party State dictatorship. There is a Public Order Act in which individuals and political parties that wish to exercise their constitutional rights to freedom of speech, association, assembly, gathering, politicking and so on have to seek a police permit while the governing party roams the country without such a requirement. The President and his wife are campaigning all over Zambia under all sorts of guises and politicking and the public order act does not apply and a different propaganda yardstick is applied! Opposition politicians are harassed at intervals while party cadres can carry pangas and guns to harass, maim, kill etc perceived opponents without let. Where on earth do you find this in democracies?

Can one point to any democracy where there is still a charge of defaming a President which leads to a prosecution? A president is a public figure and in any democracy, he or she is a recipient or repository of admiration or revulsion or a combination thereof and is not absolvable by the existence of libellous or defamatory laws.

Where on earth is there a democracy in which the public media is controlled by the party in power and panders to every whim and pleasure of the party government? Have you ever read anywhere in the Times of Zambia or Daily Mail of Zambia or heard on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation any criticism of the party government from Kaunda’s government to the present? Have these media outlets ever questioned whether any decision by the President or Government was wise? Have these media outlets ever praised any opposition pronouncements as wise or worthy listening to?

These and many others, are the earmarks of a One Party State masquerading as a democracy. There are many more, for example the violence in society whereby the government pins the blame on the opposition and then abdicates responsibility for this violence by involving religious figures to attempt to resolve this problem, as if this violence is other-worldly when it is perpetrated by the party government. Nazi propagandists  would be very proud of its progeny way down in post-colonial Africa. George Orwell would have a lot to write about.

There should be no double standards in Zambia. Any discriminatory practices must be subjected to political scrutiny and constitutional judicial review since we still have a semblance of a fair judicial system. That is what happens in a democracy guided by the rule of law. What is good for the goose must be good for the gander.

Dr. Munyonzwe Hamalengwa’s recent book is entitled, The Case Against Tribalism in Zambia and is available at Planet Books at Arcades in Lusaka. He teaches law in Zambia after practising law in Canada for 25 years.

Momentous Judicial Decisions in Africa on March 31, 2016

Two momentous  but diametrically opposite constitutional court decisions were released in Africa on March 31, 2016, one upholding the sham and globally condemned electoral decision in Uganda and the other one in South Africa which ruled that even a corrupt president like Jacob Zuma is not above the law.

The Ugandan Constitutional Court decision is one of the most rotten decisions that has ever been made since the demise of colonialism. It rejected the challenge to the election results that were clearly rigged amidst extreme political violence against the opposition. This election result of February 2016 was condemned by the opposition, the European Union, constitutional scholars including all the professors of law at Makerere university, many independent observers and most of the bloggers and social media commentators. The opposition produced the best evidence ever assembled in challenging an election result that I have ever studied and I have studied and written a lot of judicial challenges to election results around the globe. Almost all challenges to election results involving the presidency fail, at least they hang on some thread of justification. This one was the worst, it ignored all the evidence tendered and this evidence was in the public eye. Violence was open. The main opposition leader was in detention during the election period.

The Ugandan judicial decision is a disgrace. It lends imprimatur to the skeptics of the judiciary as a corrupt institution that does not care about justice. This decision will live into infamy and may engender a political or people’s revolution along the lines experienced elsewhere.

On the other hand, the Constitutional Court of South Africa in ruling that the President violated the constitution by refusing the remedies proposed by the Public Protector to repay the money improperly spent in renovating his residence, struck a blow for democracy, accountability,  rule of law and not men and against rotten and corrupt presidential practices. This is a courageous decision that must be copied by all constitutional courts of the world.

Dr. Munyonzwe Hamalengwa practised law in Canada for 25 years and now  teaches law in Africa. He is the compiler of The Case Against  Tribalism  in Zambia