“The only people in the world, it seems, who believe in the conspiracy theory of history, are those of us who have studied it.” – F. Tupper Saussy
Last week April 5, marked the fifth year since President Bingu wa Mutharika unexpectedly died while he enjoyed robust health as confirmed even by the Commission of Inquiry Report that was sanctioned by his successor, former President Joyce Banda. Five years is a period long enough to grieve, forget and move on to vest my confidence and embrace hope of still a great future for my country in current leaders and leaders yet to come.
Therefore, allow my last tear-drop for Bingu to be the ink, with which I write this confession that shall stand the test of legitimate conspiracy theory, critical analysis, logic, and history, that from the minute I heard that Bingu had died on April 5 2012, I have never stopped to strongly suspect that he was assassinated in a plot of regime change.
Plots of regime-change: Historical overview
Before we critically analyze circumstances that surrounded the period, and actual death of Bingu, which indisputably supports a case of western-backed regime-change attempts, let me give you a relevant contemporary historical overview of the game of regime-change.
I am calling it contemporary, because plots of regime change are as old as heaven, when we consider that even God, once survived a plot of regime-change, right in paradise, according to the Bible books of Genesis and Revelation, whereby His own aide pushed for a change of the celestial regime. And as long as empires, political, and military powers emerged on earth, there have always been series of plots of regime-changes through assassinations, coups, and military invasions.
Post -World War II World Order
But the contemporary incidences of regime-change and what the world is today, in terms of geopolitics and overall global political landscape, is largely a product of the post-World War II world order. The end of the War in 1945, plunged the world into a bipolar world, which was dominated by the USA and Soviet Union (I will simply be calling it Russia), as the global military and political superpowers.
European imperial powers had collapsed due to costs of the six-year War. Europe lost economic, political and military dominion, and influence across the world which they for centuries had enjoyed. The collapse of the European imperial powers, also resulted in the de-colonization of Africa, through nationalist movements that begun in less than a decade after the war. As a result, for the first time African political leaders, emerged on the global political arena, and half a century later, Bingu would be one of them.
Implications of post-World War II Bipolar World
I am sure some of you are wondering how all this history connects to current events, and fits in my final eulogy over the great Bingu. But here is what happened after the USA and Russia became superpowers, and African leaders redeemed, or begun to redeem the continent from western interests. The USA embarked on the rebuilding the campaign of European nations by giving them political and economic support.
As a result, European countries became puppets of the USA, since they relied on its military, political, and economic muscle; also the Europeans and the USA, found a common enemy in Russia and its communism and socialism. This led to what President Kwame Nkrumah called, “collective imperialism,” whereby, unlike in the past where individual European countries like Britain, Germany, and France, had imperial control on most parts of the world, there was now a single imperial power of many European countries, led by one country, the USA. As a matter of fact, it was the fear of Russia, and the desire to enhance the consolidation of a single collective western imperial force, that NATO was formed soon after the War.
Now the main battlefield where the USA, and its European allies and Russia were fighting for control of the world, was mainly Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. It is in this geopolitical struggle, that the game of western-backed regime-changes, where presidents and prime ministers in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East, were overthrown, or assassinated begun, and caught-up with Bingu, more than half a century later. And the game continues after him.
Circumstances of Regime-Change Plots
When Africa became independent, just like the Middle East, and Latin America, which had been under the control of European powers, the expectation of the people and the desire of the new crop of nationalistic leaders, was the pursuit of indigenous social, economic, and political policies and reforms that would seek after the welfare and interests of indigenous people, not European colonialists that had been presumably defeated.
Unfortunately, western powers, this time around, being led by the USA, still longed for political and economic control of the new independent nations, to further their interests and also to avoid the spread of Russian communism and Russian political hegemony. So just like Europeans did during colonialism, the collective western imperial system, begun to impose systems and policies on the new leaders and coaxed them with economic aid, to espouse western interests. But some leaders were revolutionary, and hated the west and its ideologies including capitalism. As a result, they would stand against the west or relate with Russia, and pursued socialism, and similar anti-western policies.
As a result, any leader who refused to comply with the USA and its western allies, and instead sought assistance and relations with Russia, was overthrown or assassinated. And if he proves to be tough, the USA would invade his country with military operations. If they succeed, they would replace him with a new leader, who would comply with USA and western interests.
Attempts Or Successful Regime-Changes Between 1945 And 1991
There are several leaders that were overthrown or assassinated by the USA and its western allies especially in African, Latin America, and the Middle East, just because they chose to stand against the collective imperial system and/or allied themselves with Russia. The list is long, but it includes Jaime Roldos, president of Ecuador, Omar Torrijos, president of Panama who died in a mysterious plane crash for refusing to serve American interests. And to this list we can add the famous Fidel Castro, President of Cuba who was very much liked by the USA government when he became leader of Cuba and received a heroic welcome in the USA in 1959 , but was later hated for choosing Russia and socialism. And the USA attempted to kill him more than 600 times.
Another victim in Latin America was General Manuel Noriega, who was deposed when the USA invaded Panama in December 1989 until January 1990 after he had stopped being a puppet of the west. Other victims, now in the Middle East, include the Iranian leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini. Iran enjoyed great relations with the USA and the west.
And together, the USA and Iran were the first two nations to openly recognize the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. But the USA and the west turned against Iran and have always hated the regime since the overthrow of their puppet regime of the Shah who was deposed by Iranians in the 1979 revolution.
In Africa, other political leaders like Prime Minister of Congo, Patrice Lumumba, was assassinated in 1961, President of Burkina Faso, Thomas Sankara was assassinated in 1987, and Kwame Nkrumah was deposed through a coup in 1966, having survived earlier assassination attempts. All these leaders rejected to serve the interests of the west, or allied themselves with socialist interests, and Russia.
Western-backed regime-changes beyond 1991
My earlier brief list about leaders that were successfully assassinated or survived related attempts of regime-change, reflected incidences between 1945 until 1991, because from the latter year, the world order switched into a unipolar order. Russia or the Soviet Union collapsed, and the USA remained the only superpower still advancing its imperialistic agenda with the support of its European allies.
And now that communism was out of the way, the west begun a well-decorated democratization campaign, and a human rights movement. With this movement, the USA and its allies overthrew several dictators in Africa by freezing aid and funding pro-democracy and human rights campaigns.
They have continued to change regimes or attempt to change them in the past 20 years, under the guise of a democracy and human rights movement.
African and Middle Eastern leaders that have been overthrown, assassinated or survived such attempts in the epoch, include Saddam Hussien of Iraq, Muammmar Gaddafi of Libya, Hosni Mubaraka of Egypt and his successor Muhammad Morsi, and others still holding office after abortive regime-change attempts include Syria’s Bashar Al Assad and Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe among many others. And revelations from 2013 shows that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who accompanied President George Bush to invade Iraq, had also planned a military invasion of Zimbabwe to overthrow Mugabe, and had requested South Africa’s former President Thambo Mbeki, to be part of the deal.
Plot of regime-change against Bingu
Now, let us come to Bingu. Having gone through some well-known and confirmed regime-change plots with the backing of the USA, and its western allies, it is very easy to see that Bingu too, was a victim of a regime-change plot in Malawi, backed by western powers. The following reasons and circumstances surrounding the last couple of years of his regime, show the exact characteristics of a regime being toppled:
- An Emerging Anti-Western Dictator
When the west wants to change the regime of another country since 1991, they accuse the leader of being a dictator, who is abusing his own people and other human rights violations. You can look for example, the case of Gaddafi, Al Assad, Mugabe, and Hussien. And this is exactly what they said about Bingu. From 2010, Bingu was increasingly accused of becoming a dictator who was abusing human rights in Malawi.
Western governments took this matter too seriously as evidenced by the fact that it was over the same issue, that Bingu expelled a British diplomat, Fergus Cochrane-Dyet, in May 2011, who was reporting his alleged dictatorship to the British government. Bingu’s dictatorship was also one of the issues that were presented in the Commission of Inquiry Report of the July 2011 protests during which about 20 civilians were shot dead by the police.
Infact, Bingu had really taken a strong stand against western governments, and their economic fighting machines, like the IMF and World Bank. He had clearly resolved to fight against western imperialism; this was probably the reason he had visited Fidel Castro in Cuba as explained last year by Bingu’s friend, who accompanied Bingu on the Cuban trip.
In 2011, Bingu was even the first leader to openly move against the injustice of the International Criminal Court at the African Union when he resisted western coercion that he should arrest Sudanese President, Al Bashir. Bingu also publicly shouted during a political rally that western donors must “go to hell” if they do not appreciate the great job he was doing in Malawi.
Unfortunately, all anti-western dictators across the world, are assassinated, overthrown through revolutions, and coup d’états, or survive attempts of the same. All these are always masterminded and funded, and in some serious cases, even executed by western governments or their agents.
- Attempts To Overthrow Bingu In 2011-2012
There are several ways through which western government effect regime-change plots against those governments presumed or are real anti-western dictators. The methods include, economic sanctions, and political isolation and freezing of aid to induce an economic crisis that would create unrest, and discontent among citizens of the country, so they can blame their own leader of failing to govern, and rise against him.
They also fund CSOs and human rights activists to hold protests and campaign against the regime to invoke anger of the public against the regime, and in extreme cases where there is too much resistance and the stakes are high enough, they invade the country whether through a unilateral military action, as in Panama, or with allies as in the case of Libya and Iraq and with NATO as was the case in Afiganstan after the September 11 2001 terrorist attack.
When you look at what Bingu’s administration endured especially between 2011 and April 2012, you will notice that all methods of regime-change were employed to overthrow Bingu. As a matter of fact, Bingu himself repeatedly said during public rallies and on television that there were some people that were trying to overthrow his government.
And I recall during the interviews of investigations of the July 2011 bloody protests, one high-profile official of a very significant parastatal and a member of the DPP, declared on camera that government was in possession of documented information that showed that the July 2011 protests, were an attempt to overthrow Bingu, and there already was a preferred government in waiting.
And after the July 2011 protests and the failure of other protests which CSO leaders threatened to continue to hold, PAC held an indaba in March 2012, in collaboration with leaders of the CSO, and the opposition, where they finally declared that Mutharika had two months to step down. But before the indaba, government intelligence had already released information through the media that the purpose of the indaba was to push for Bingu’s resignation. This vindicated every statement that government released about attempts to oust Bingu.
III. Suspicious Death
Bingu’s death was suspicious, because the president just collapsed while on duty. This is not how a president dies. A president is strictly protected and even his health is of priority to the regime, and it is constantly checked even through periodic medical checkups and control of diet. As a result, it is very suspicion that a president in a medically confirmed strong health, can just collapse and die.
But it is very important to consider that the unusual death occurred under circumstances that were questionable. This gives us a good hint to explain the death. First, Bingu had been warned to step down voluntarily on March 14 and 15 by PAC. A week later after ignoring the ultimatum threat, he responded with a strong and arrogant rejection claiming that he does not “abandon duty even when it gets tough.” Then he died mysteriously the following week on April 05, after rejecting to step down.
But such is the manner in which anti-western leaders that have been targets of regime-change, have always died leaving behind rumors of assassination. Some of these leaders, include, as mentioned before, are Jaime Roldos, president of Ecuador, and Omar Torrijos, president of Panama who died in mysterious plane crashes. These leaders were assassinated in such a manner that their death must look as natural as possible.
- A Pro-Western Government Succeeds Bingu
Another very easy way to tell that a leader has been overthrown through a western-backed plot of regime-change is to simply look at the leadership that succeeds him. When Bingu died, his former Vice President, Joyce Banda succeeded him. She had fallen out of favor with his his Party, and leadership. Joyce Banda immediately declared that she was a puppet of the west, and repeatedly said publicly in Malawi and abroad where she traveled, that she was going to do “everything western donors would tell her to do.”
She really meant it, because for instance, unlike Bingu who called homosexuals “mad people,” Banda called for urgent repeal of anti-sodomy laws, right in Parliament in her very first State of the Nation Address, in May 2012. She always told Malawians that “Azungu andituma akuti…” (Donors have told me to…) and IMF this IMF that. She over-exhibited her puppetry to western governments so much that in one interview on BBC, a journalist asked President Banda, “is it you or the IMF calling the shots in Malawi?”
But the truth is that every time an anti-western government falls and a pro-western government replaces it, then you must know that the fall of the previous regime was actually planned; examples include, the case of Ukraine, Libya, Iraq etc, And when some mysterious death of a former leader was involved, then you can bet that even the death was part of the regime-change plan.
Just like all great leaders before him, Bingu was not a perfect man. He had personal faults and oversights, and as his own brother, President Peter Mutharika said during the burial ceremony, that Bingu did make “errors of judgement,” but he was not an evil man. It is my conviction that Malawians failed Bingu not the other way round. Malawians betrayed Bingu not the other way round.
We, the Malawian people made Bingu a victim of a foreign-backed regime-change plot, in which we took the active role to bring down a great, smart, and visionary leader who proved only in less than eight years that his leadership has no match since the founding of our nation. Even the international community agreed in less than 5 years, that Bingu was a great president.
Bingu was a great man, when shall come another?
The views expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the Publisher or Editor of The Maravi Post.