I’ve always said that you don’t need to exaggerate when it comes to reporting Angola. Less than three weeks before the country holds its second legislative elections ever, that old MPLA stalwart, Paulo Jorge, has gone and said what I’ve been raving and ranting about for months: that party political campaigning for the ruling party started at least 18 months ago. In fact, according to Jorge – the darling of what’s left of the myopic European Left (and that doesn’t mean all of us, so calm down; just those fools who still believe in the MPLA as a party that seeks liberation, justice and equality for the povo) – it began way, way before!
He told the Angola Peace Monitor (produced by ACTSA, once better known for its anti-apartheid work) that: the MPLA has been preparing for these elections since 2005, and its leadership has developed “a massive mobilisation effort of its militants, sympathisers and friends”.
He also describes the MPLA as “a national party, independent, progressive and modern, ideologically based on democratic socialism which congregates in its ranks Angolan citizens without distinction of social group, sex, skin colour, ethnic origin, religious beliefs, or place of birth”.
He forgot to tell us about the mobilisation of its enemies and victims and all those people who fear the party. And what about those who’ve been killed in, er, mysterious circumstances? Well I’ve done something on that here, for those who are interested in the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
You will note, in that story, the poster on the right. I took that photo in April 2007. It’s a photograph of President José Eduardo dos Santos (who next year will celebrate 30 years in power, hurrah) and, I was pretty sure, Rainha Nzinga (sometimes spelt Nzingha or Ginga). The words read, Honour and glory to our heroes. In fact, I am told by an Angolan on Mars (see below) that it is not the Rainha at all (Queen of Mbundu in Angola in the 17th century) but the late first president of Angola, Agostinho Neto, who died in 1979. Which makes the picture even more loaded, in my humble opinion: that the only glorious heroes of Angola are the two men who have led the country since 1975. Make of that, querido leitor, what you will.