by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – THE blocking of the Russia Today (RT) channel on a major satellite television service in Africa has brought to the fore the absence of unity in the continent.
This is the opinion of former Zimbabwe Deputy Prime Minister, Arthur Mutambara, as Multichoice discontinued RT on DStv, in the wake of sanctions against Russia over its conflict with Ukraine.
“It is the view of the company (Multichoice) that Africans must not listen to anything balanced or sympathetic to Russia. Very sad and shameful indeed,” Mutambara stated.
“Multichoice is an ‘African’ company switching off the entire continent from accessing balanced information about a war that has nothing to do with Africa,” he argued.
Mutambara said this demonstrated Africa’s lack of urgency and control on the continent.
“If we don’t control what information we have access to, what else don’t we control?” he quipped.
“If one white company on the continent can shut down access across the continent what does that say of us Africans?”
Mutambara argued Multichoice had more influence than all the African governments put together.
He suggested the setting up of an African company that black people can control, adding Africa has 55 governments and some billionaires.
“Why are we being totally undermined by one white company in our continent?” Mutambara asked further.
He highlighted the lack of unity as the United Nations General Assembly voted on Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.
Some African countries are among 35 that abstained. Some 141 nations voted in favour of denouncing the operation and five voted against. Zimbabwe was one of the abstainers.
“We (Africa) could not caucus and come up with a common position before voting?” he asked.
“Whatever the position, we should have taken the same position on this European War.”
Mutambara continued, “If as Africans we can’t agree on this invasion, what else can we agree on?”
He further queries: “Who owns the European company that distributes to Multichoice?
Why, as an entire continent, are we dependent on this European company? Why can’t we as Africans have our OWN distributors and our OWN satellites? Who owns Multichoice anyway? Can anyone vouch for the African-centeredness of MultiChoice’s owners and investors?,” he questioned.
“Why is the entire continent leaving its media fortunes in the hands of this one company- Multichoice which uses European distributors,” Mutambara challenged.’
He was Deputy Prime Minister during Zimbabwe’s inclusive government (2009-2013).
– CAJ News