Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

Sue China for Covid-19, I dare you!

10 May 2020 at 07:25hrs | Views
No one felt quite pepped up as Bishop Lazarus when he heard news that some European countries and the United States of America were planning to sue China for the fallout caused by the coronavirus.

We hear that a civil society group in Texas (US) intends to file a US$20 trillion lawsuit.

And the Henry Jackson Society, a UK neo-conservative foreign policy thinktank, recently proposed that the G7 Western powers needed to file a US$6,5 trillion lawsuit against China for pandemic-related losses.

Quite noticeably, advocacy for the crusade has been insidiously pushed in some mainstream Western media because it is more of a kite-flying event tailored to gauge public sentiment against the Chinese.

For the Bishop, it is not so much about the vexatious and frivolous legal basis for the charges than it is about the thought.

But, while they are at it, can they also tell us who to sue for the 1918 Spanish Flu, which claimed between 50 million and 100 million souls around the world.

Argh! Well, to this day they tell us that no one knows where it originated.

However, we do know that the swine flu pandemic of 2009 originated in Mexico, while the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) of 2012 was first detected in Saudi Arabia.

So are we also going to be suing Mexico and Saudi Arabia?

Of course, it is quite apparent that claims of an ostensible cover-up by China during the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak will be the stilts on which the legal cornerstones of the purported lawsuits — if ever they materialise — will stand.

A gargantuan lawsuit

Such lawsuits, driven by contempt and a heavy dose of Sinophobia — itself a variant of racism — will always be robustly contested, but they will ultimately provide a pleasant legal precedent for Africa.

Africa is a big crime scene.

From the 15th century slave trade to 19th century colonialism, including everything in-between, there is incontestable mountain-sized evidence of the most egregious crimes committed on the continent.

A Canadian economist and professor of economics at Harvard, Nathan Nunn, has already put in unbelievable work to establish the human toll caused by the slave trade by examining data from more than 34 584 slave ships.

Conservative estimates suggest that more than 12 million Africans were kidnapped and sold to the Caribbean, Americas and the Middle East to supply unpaid labour that helped build Western capital.

And, yup, the figure includes 1 089 of Bishop Lazi's forefathers who were frogmarched from Zimbabwe.

Hell, black slave labour was used to build the US' White House — capitalism's symbolic seat of power.

Not only did capitalism loot people, it also pillaged mineral resources and swathes of productive land.

All this was not bloodless.

Almost all communities in Africa lost a loved one to these overweening greedy designs by the West.

Some of the bloodletting was particularly remarkable, especially the genocide of the Herero and Nama people in Namibia, the Mau Mau in Kenya and the killings in Zimbabwe, among others.

While students of history know that almost all the bloody conflicts in Europe throughout the ages unfailingly ended with reparations of one kind or the other, it is still surprising that Africa, which is arguably the continent that suffered unimaginable historical prejudice and losses, hasn't forcefully pushed for compensation.

The continent has not received even an apology for these evil injustices.

If some European think tanks are floating the idea of an eye-popping US$6,5 trillion Covid-19 lawsuit on China over contestable facts, how much compensation might Africa possibly get for these incontestable crimes?

I would imagine the compensation would run into quintillion or sextillion of US dollars. Kikikiki.

This is why the Bishop was so excitable when he heard the subject of reparations being mentioned, especially from those that have sinned against us.

What we really have here are unashamed hypocrites.

Matthew 23: 27-28 tells us: "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.

"In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness."

Luke 20: 46-47 also weighs in: "Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at banquets. They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely."

Sinophobia is racism

You see, even before the outbreak of the coronavirus, the world was already in the throes of a festering global crisis spawned by the abrasive tussle for political and economic supremacy between Washington and Beijing.

What the pandemic actually did was to widen the existing chasm, and Covid-19 has simply been weaponised to further besmirch China in the hope of weakening its incredible four-decade economic rise.

It is a fact that US president Donald Trump has mentioned far too often.

In March last year, he told Fox News: "Our economy has been fantastic. Because they were catching us, they were going to be bigger than us. If Hillary Clinton became president, China would have been a much bigger economy than us by the end of her term. And now it's not even going to be close."

America's fears are well founded.

A study published by UK-based lender HSBC in September 2018 predicted that China was on course to eclipse the US as the world's biggest economy by 2030.

This view had been similarly shared by the International Monetary Fund two months earlier.

By the way, both Democrats and the Republicans are agreed that the rise of China would ultimately lead to the end of the American era.

It is as it was during the time of the Cold War era, which was characterised by an abrasive clash of ideology between communism and capitalism.

Clearly, China currently presents a much viable ideological alternative to the US.

Nothing persuasively demonstrates the efficacy and effectiveness of Beijing's political and economic system than the recent showcase of their sheer ability to marshal both financial and human resources in fighting the coronavirus.

As the global ground zero of the pandemic, China has had 4 633 deaths from 82 855 cases, while conversely, the US has an incredible 75 000 deaths — the highest in the world — from more than 1,3 million confirmed cases.

Of course, the glaring absurdity is that the number of fatalities in the US is about to exceed the total infections in China.

So, for Washington, crashing Beijing also means putting pressure on countries such as Zimbabwe that are perceived to be aligning their interests with the Chinese, as they "present an extraordinary threat" to American interests.


Thus far, globalisation, which has been a handy walking stick for capitalism, has been serving the American era well.

It has provided a skewed global architecture that enriched the Global North — Europe and America — and impoverished the Global South (developing countries).

Even in the Global North, the riches have effortlessly flowed to white communities and eluded men and women of colour.

This is why it is unsurprising that blacks, even in developed countries, are being disproportionately affected more than their white counterparts by Covid-19.

As Africans, we need to deconstruct and understand the real inner workings of the world and come up with a viable plan for our development.

Unfortunately, a sizeable chunk of our intelligentsia is made of 'coconuts' — those brothers and sisters of colour who would rather have been born Caucasian. Kikiki.

They might either be as pitch black as the moonless night or sveltely brown but are thoroughly white inside.

Their ideas, values and aspirations are obviously foreign.

Without a renaissance in Pan-Africanism and focus on indigenous knowledge systems as a springboard for future development, Africa is doomed.

You see, civilisation, which describes the way societies evolve, is like a tree: the longer and deeper the roots, the more rooted it will be; and the shorter it runs, the more likely it will be uprooted.

We have the power to shape what we will become.

Bishop out!

Source - sundaymail
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.