The Nordic Africa Institute

Christer Johansson

Practical Solidarity

While working for solidarity with the FNL in Vietnam in 1968 in Lund Johansson came in contact with the local Africa Groups. In 1970 he became a member of Emmaus Björkå (part of the international Emmaus movement) and started actively working for the solidarity movement with southern Africa. It started out as a practically oriented organisation collecting clothes and other items but soon, as they studied the conflicts more closely, becoming more politicised leaning heavily to the left. Zanu and Zimbabwe were the main receivers of support in the 1970’s and ANC and Swapo in the 1980’s. The organisation was a large collective and everyone worked without a salary. In Africa, they are still supporting Polisario with clothes and funds, being the only liberation movement.

Bertil Högberg: This is 20 May 2005 and we are here to interview Christer Johansson. How and when did you become involved in support to the struggle for the independence of southern Africa?

Christer Johansson: It was in 1968 and I was living in Malmö in the southern part of Sweden and at that time I was involved with the solidarity work in favour of FNL in Vietnam. But I came in contact with some people who were organised in the Africa Groups.

Bertil Högberg: Was that the Africa Group in Lund?

Christer Johansson: It was the Africa Group in Lund and I took a subscription to The Africa Bulletin, the Africa Group's magazine. Later on I moved to an organisation which was called Emmaus Björkå and there we also took up the solidarity work for the liberation movements in southern Africa.

Bertil Högberg: Which year did you start in Björkå?

Christer Johansson: In 1970.

Bertil Högberg: Did they have any work with southern Africa before you came?

Christer Johansson: No, they had just taken up the discussion that maybe they should start to support the liberation movements and as I was in favour of that of course I was supporting this line inside the organisation.

Bertil Högberg: How old were you when you started that in 1970?

Christer Johansson: In 1970 I was 24.

Bertil Högberg: Can you describe what this organisation did? What was their way of operation?

Christer Johansson: At that time Björkå was collecting clothes in the southern part of Sweden and before we supported liberation movements we were just – it was a kind of humanitarian aid to the Third World but then we took up studies in Emmaus Björkå and we became more politicised.
We sent one of our fellow workers or members to southern Africa to make contact with the different liberation movements such as ANC and SWAPO and Frelimo and MPLA and ZANU in 1971. When he returned we had also made all the contacts we needed to start the shipment of these clothes, second-hand clothes to the refugee camps which were organised by the liberation movements.

Bertil Högberg: Did you send anything other than clothes at that stage?

Christer Johansson: Different kinds of equipment, kitchen utensils, sewing machines and tents and a lot of things.

Bertil Högberg: So which then were the organisations that you supported in the first instance?

Christer Johansson: The first shipment, if I remember right now, was to ANC and it was just a small, very small, shipment, maybe one tonne or something like that.

BH: But it was also you said Frelimo, MPLA?

Christer Johansson: Yes, Frelimo, MPLA, PAIGC in Guinea Bissau. So we were supporting all of them one can say, all of the liberation movements.

Bertil Högberg: Could you describe how this changed, if you talk about the 1970s now what was the main thing that happened in the 1970s?

Christer Johansson: After some years ZANU in Zimbabwe became our main receiver organisation and we were sending a lot of stuff to them and we also asked them if they could send some of their members or comrades to work with us at our place in Björkå. They were sending two officers from the liberation army, ZANLA, who were working together with us collecting clothes, sorting clothes, and that was in 1974. We also had a lot of visitors from ZANU at that time, Herbert Chitepo, Simon Musenda, Didymus Mutasa a lot of them who became the leadership or became the government in Zimbabwe later on.

Bertil Högberg: So basically at the end of the 1970s ZANU was the most important?

Christer Johansson: ZANU was the most important and the main receiver one can say.

Bertil Högberg: And what changed then in the 1980s?

Christer Johansson: In the 1980s when Zimbabwe had got its independence we continued with the shipments to Zimbabwe but the leadership of ZANU said that they expected us to send the clothes to our comrades in South Africa and Namibia.

Bertil Högberg: Which organisation became the main recipient in the 1980s?

Christer Johansson: I think it was divided between ANC and SWAPO.

Bertil Högberg: Where did you get this, all the clothes and the equipment? Who donated it? How did it arrive?

Christer Johansson: Yes, we were collecting clothes from all the Swedish community, among ordinary people, and first we were going to different towns distributing leaflets “we are now coming on this specific day, please put out your things you would like to donate, clothes or other things”, and we also wrote on the leaflet “this is for support of the liberation movement in southern Africa”. And we collected a lot of things in that way, but particularly clothes of course.

Bertil Högberg: Was it also so that people could phone you?

Christer Johansson: Yes, that’s right. Many people were calling and we wrote their addresses and we were going to their houses to collect the things.

Bertil Högberg: And where was this organisation situated?

Christer Johansson: In the middle of a forest. But there were nearby towns, in fact several towns, five or six towns, around Björkå in the middle of the forest. It was about 70 km to several towns around so it was not far away.

Bertil Högberg: What kind of premises did you have? Were you renting something?

Christer Johansson: In 1965 when we were created we bought a former glass factory which had been closed down. We bought the whole village one could say. We brought the clothes here and we used the factory building for the sorting and packing. The houses around were used as living quarters and we were working collectively one can say. We didn’t have salaries as such, we were working for pocket money, and at that time when I started in 1970 we had 20 Kronor a week as pocket money. At that time we had everything free, housing and clothes and food.

Bertil Högberg: How many were you that belonged to this group?

Christer Johansson: At that time we were about 30 to 35 people.

Bertil Högberg: 35 people working plus children and so on?

Christer Johansson: Yes, working.

Bertil Högberg: You then also started some branches in other places, when did they -?

Christer Johansson: We started branches in 1970, 1971, in Gothenburg and in the south of Sweden.

Bertil Högberg: Where did you get the money from to support you all?

Christer Johansson: We had flea markets, that was our main income source at that time. So a lot of people were coming to our flea markets and buying things. It was open during the weekends. So during the week we were collecting clothes and things and sorting them and pressing the clothes into bales and during the weekends we were working at the flea market.

Bertil Högberg: But the flea market that you opened in Malmö, for example, later that became open more during normal business hours?

Christer Johansson: Yes, later on but that was in the 1980s. In the 1980s we expanded the opening times to be almost every day.

Bertil Högberg: So the money was enough for you to support the group, the people that were working, and all operating expenses. Did you get any more money?

Christer Johansson: At the beginning we didn’t get anything but later on we had, for example, a cooperation with the Africa Groups. The Africa Groups paid some of the freight costs at the beginning of the 1970s. Later on we started to get support from SIDA but that was on a very small scale in the beginning. We just collected more during the end of the 1980s.

Bertil Högberg: But when did you start to also give cash contributions to the liberation movement? Do you remember that?

Christer Johansson: All the time we gave a small amount of cash but not so much, and actually during the years it hasn’t been so much cash because we needed all the cash for freight costs and other things.

Bertil Högberg: The money that you gave was that which was given to the offices here in Sweden?

Christer Johansson: That’s right. For example, we are still supporting the Polisario office here in Stockholm with cash.

Bertil Högberg: Are you also sending clothes to them?

Christer Johansson: Yes. One can say it is still a liberation movement so we are sending a lot of clothes to them in their camps in Algeria.

Bertil Högberg: Can you describe what your roles have been within the organisation?

Christer Johansson: When I arrived at Björkå and the organisation I was, like everyone else, working with collecting and pressing and all that but after some years I became a member of the Board and I was the Secretary of the Board for several years, for ten years, and I was also organising the daily work deciding who was going to work with different things and so on. Nowadays, since the nine years ago, I am the Chairman of the organisation.

Bertil Högberg: How many people are working now within the organisation?

Christer Johansson: Nowadays we are about 85 employees.

Bertil Högberg: But now you have you to say employees, is it a different set up now than it was in the 1970s and 1980s?

Christer Johansson: It’s quite a different set up now. We have organised salaries and living in towns and so on, we don’t have them working collectivly any more.

Bertil Högberg: And what are the main recipients? You mentioned Polisario was still receiving but where are the rest of the clothes going nowadays?

Christer Johansson: During the last ten years the main receiver has been Mozambique, up to two years ago, and nowadays it’s Angola. We have been supporting Angola all the time but now they are the main receiver. But we are also supporting an organisation in Nicaragua and also in Palestine. We have also been supporting the Palestine Liberation Movement since the 1970s. Mostly we have been in contact with PFLP over the years but now we are working together with the local organisations in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.

Bertil Högberg: Also in the Palestinian territories or only outside?

Christer Johansson: No, in Lebanon, but we are also supporting Palestinian hospitals on the West Bank and in Gaza and so forth.

Bertil Högberg: When you set up this support to the liberation of southern Africa what was the main motivation for that?

Christer Johansson: The main motivation was to fight against imperialism. It was a political reason and we still have the same view, we are still an anti-imperialist organisation.

Bertil Högberg: And the motivation for yourself when you joined it?

Christer Johansson: Yes, that was the same.

Bertil Högberg: Were you also a part of transforming the organisation to that perspective?

Christer Johansson: Yes, when I arrived there were discussions on political lines, should the organisation remain just a pure humanitarian organisation or should the organisation turn into a political organisation one can say, and I was in favour of it turning into a political organisation and an anti-imperialistic organisation.

Bertil Högberg: Emmaus Björkå is part of the big Emmaus movement and can you say something about both what the Emmaus movement is and your relationship with that movement?

Christer Johansson: The Emmaus movement was created in France in 1949 by a French priest who was called Abbé Pierre and he was working together with the homeless people in Paris and together with them he created the first Emmaus group in Paris and over the years the Emmaus movement was growing all over the world, they are now about 400 groups in about 40 countries all over the world. And there is an organisation which is called Emmaus International and we are also a member of Emmaus International but we are not working so much together with them but we are members of the international movement.

Bertil Högberg: How have your relations been to that movement?

Christer Johansson: Well, as we were – the Emmaus movement one can say is not a political organisation, it’s a humanitarian organisation, but as we later on also became Marxist/Leninist, or let me say a more socialist organisation, some of the member groups, some of the leaders one can say, in Emmaus International were not so very fond of that. But they respected us very much because we made a lot of contributions to liberation movements and with mainly – it was political reasons but it was also humanitarian so in that way Emmaus International accepted us as a member group. But we were not so interested in working together with them at that time but there were different groups who had the same political view as we had, mainly in Latin America, so in the 1970s we were also sending clothes to those Emmaus groups in Chile and Peru and they asked us to stay within the movement. We are still members and the founder of Emmaus has been visiting us three or four times over the years.

Bertil Högberg: So he liked Björkå?

Christer Johansson: Yes, he did.

Bertil Högberg: Did you have any allies in the Nordic countries?

Christer Johansson: Not so many actually. Not so many. We have been having some contact with Emmaus groups in Denmark, for example, but not so much with other organisations.

Bertil Högberg: And what about Sweden?

Christer Johansson: In Sweden we have been working together through the years in different ways with the Africa Groups but also with the Marxist/Leninist party one can say. We have been working together with them.

Bertil Högberg: But other similar groups, Emmaus groups, in Sweden?

Christer Johansson: There were other Emmaus groups in Sweden and some of them we have been working very close together with, like Emmaus Stockholm, but we have also been working very close together with other groups which are collecting clothes and had the same recipient organisations as we, such as Bread and Fishes for example and Gävleborgs Biståndsgrupp (Gävleborg county´s aid group). We have had, together with Emmaus Stockholm, Bread and Fishes and Gävleborgs Biståndsgrupp, an umbrella organisation which was called Praktisk Solidaritet.

Bertil Högberg: Practical Solidarity.

Christer Johansson: Yes.

Bertil Högberg: When was that created?

Christer Johansson: 1989.

Bertil Högberg: Can you mention a few highlights and important memories that you have?

Christer Johansson: I think one of the highlights I remember was when ZANU-PF won the elections in 1980 because we had been supporting them so many years so it was something special at that time.

Bertil Högberg: You were there around the elections?

Christer Johansson: I was at the Independence celebrations. There were three organisations invited to Zimbabwe by the ZANU-PF, it was the Social Democratic Party, it was Emmaus Björkå and it was the Marxist/Leninist Party in Sweden. I don’t think the Africa Groups were invited. As I remember.

Bertil Högberg: I think we were and there were people from both the Africa Groups and also from Bread and Fishes there, but maybe not on the same official level.

Christer Johansson: Oh, maybe.

Bertil Högberg: Okay. Can you point to some controversies that there have been over the years, either within the organisation or outside around certain issues?

Christer Johansson: I would not call it controversies but we had some heavy contradictions inside Emmaus Björkå concerning our political views, things like that, or which organisation we should work together with. Also the Marxist/Leninist line which we had for many years we were, for example, studying Marxist/Leninism, everyone was studying it, we don’t do it any more but we did, and there were also always discussions about those matters.
Another thing which we had, for example, some discussions with the Africa Groups about was concerning the support to Zimbabwe. Should we support ZAPU or ZANU and the Africa Groups were, at some time anyhow, in favour of ZAPU and we were in favour of ZANU and we were discussing this matter. Later on the Africa Groups were supporting both ZANU and ZAPU but we have never been supporting ZAPU.

Bertil Högberg: And why?

Christer Johansson: It was political reasons, we regarded ZANU as a more left wing organisation than ZAPU and we have always tried to support left wing organisations.
But another thing was in relation to South Africa concerning ANC and the PAC. Because at some time we were supporting both ANC and PAC and we had discussions about that with the Africa Groups who were not supporting PAC. After we found out that there were too many relations between the PAC and Pol Pot in Campuchea we decided to quit our relations with PAC and only support the ANC.

Bertil Högberg: And when was that about, what time?

Christer Johansson: Around 1980 or so I think.

Bertil Högberg: You were on a trip also?

Christer Johansson: Yes, I was in Tanzania. I was visiting the PAC camps in Tanzania and I – well, after that trip I recommended that we should quit our support and so on and our relations with PAC.

Bertil Högberg: You did occasionally visit these countries but how did you operate the contacts with the liberation movements?

Christer Johansson: It was mainly by correspondence.

Bertil Högberg: And did you correspond directly with head offices in those countries or via the office in Stockholm?

Christer Johansson: No, directly with the offices in Lusaka or Dar Es Salaam.

Bertil Högberg: And you mentioned that some of the leadership in ZANU had been visiting you in the deep forest in Björkå. Were there other leaders also visiting you?

Christer Johansson: Yes, they did but it was mainly the liberation movement’s representatives in Sweden who came to Björkå actually.

Bertil Högberg: Because the top leadership was very often in Sweden but this was too far away for them.

Christer Johansson: Yes, that’s right. So it was mainly the really top leadership from ZANU who was visiting us at our base in Björkå.

Bertil Högberg: You mentioned other organisations that you were cooperating with, some of the Emmaus or similar groups are in cooperation with the Africa Groups and some political grouping, were the other organisations also involved that you cooperated with?

Christer Johansson: You mean other Swedish organisations?

Bertil Högberg: Yes.

Christer Johansson: No, I don’t think so. As I remember, no.

Bertil Högberg: For example, the cooperation with the Africa Groups what type of cooperation was that?

Christer Johansson: We had had contact with the Africa Groups over the years but really practical cooperation was in the 1970s, at the beginning of the 1970s one can say. But there were also an organisation called Frelimo-Sweden which we also had some cooperation with in the 1970s.

Bertil Högberg: Did any of the local Africa Groups collect things and send to you or did they come here and help you pack?

Christer Johansson: Yes, later on in the 1980s it was ARO.

Bertil Högberg: The Africa Group Recruitment Organisation?

Christer Johansson: Yes, that’s right. And it was mainly the dentists within ARO whom we had cooperation with and they were – I think they were collecting dentist equipment and things like that to send to Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau. They were using our facilities in Björkå to pack things.

Bertil Högberg: And then you sent it or did they?

Christer Johansson: Yes, we sent it together.

Unidentified female voice: I have two questions, the one is you mentioned earlier that before you started supporting southern Africa you studied, what was it that you studied? Do you remember?

Christer Johansson: We were studying of course the different liberation movements, the history of the different liberation movements. There was not a particular book. I don’t remember actually now how we came to get our information or our study material. I think some of it came from the Africa Groups, some of it came from other organisations, and we were also studying, as I mentioned before, Marxist/Leninism.

Bertil Högberg: And these studies, that was something that went on continuously? You spent working time every week on it?

Christer Johansson: It was a set study time, four hours a week for everyone, during working time.

Bertil Högberg: And we talked about the relationship with the liberation movements, were there any problems in developing those relationships, hiccups or such like in contacts and so on?

Christer Johansson: No, there wasn’t anything which I recall as a problem.

Bertil Högberg: What was the most joyful thing you remember in this relationship with the movements? A joyous moment or something like that.

Christer Johansson: Well it was also political matters, I think political things which happened when the liberation movements defeated our common enemy, one can say. That was joyful.

Bertil Högberg: You said that you had ZANU send you some people, officers, to work with you?

Christer Johansson: Yes.

Bertil Högberg: Did you also have people from the other liberation movements to work with you?

Christer Johansson: We asked the others. None of the others was interested to send any of their comrades. It was a pity because that was very, very good when we had those comrades from some of them.

Bertil Högberg: Do you remember the names of them?

Christer Johansson: Yes. They had what was called their Chimurenga (combat) names, Jairos Ruretso and George Rutanhire that later became Deputy Minister of Youth and Sport in Zimbabwe and Jairos later on became Military Attaché in London.

Bertil Högberg: Do you still have contact with them?

Christer Johansson: I haven’t met them since 1985.

Bertil Högberg: But I remember other people working but were they students that came for a shorter period?

Christer Johansson: No, when you mention it, we had some SWAPO students who were studying in Sweden but during the summer holidays they were coming to our working collective in Björkå and they were working together with us. That’s right.

Bertil Högberg: Do you remember any names?

Christer Johansson: I remember Selma.

Bertil Högberg: Ndeutala, is the name she uses now. She’s been the Secretary to President Sam Nujoma for many, many years.

Christer Johansson: Yes, that’s right.

Bertil Högberg: Were there any ANC people working here?

Christer Johansson: No.

Bertil Högberg: Wasn’t Jimmy something?

Christer Johansson: Yes, Jimmy Jonas. That’s right. He was working together with us but he was a member of the ANC but when he was working with us he was just as an ordinary fellow worker here.

Bertil Högberg: He was not sent by the organisation?

Christer Johansson: No, he wasn’t sent by the organisation.

Bertil Högberg: You can have a relationship that’s built on that you have a common cause and so on, but did it mean, for example, that you really met the people, you met the leadership, visits here or visits to the head office or refugee settlements? Did these things play any role at all?

Christer Johansson: Yes, they did play a role. I think it’s also because of that we had tighter relations with ZANU because they were together with us, working together with us in another way, and we would have liked, as I mentioned before, to have had the same kind of relations we had with the other liberation movements but we hadn’t. It was more by letters and so on and as I said that one was very important and we were very happy when they won over the imperialists.

Bertil Högberg: You mentioned there was a visit from the organisation in 1970 to southern Africa, were representatives going on many such trips?

Christer Johansson: From us?

Bertil Högberg: Yes.

Christer Johansson: We didn’t send anyone to Africa before 1979. We had, as I mentioned before, in 1971 when we started to take up relations with the liberation movements, but during all the time to 1979 we didn’t send any representative. Why should we spend money on that because we trusted the liberation movements which were grateful to cooperate with us, so there was no reason to spend money on travelling. But in 1979 myself and another comrade were sent by the organisation to visit ZANU in Maputo.

Bertil Högberg: And after that you started to be more regular with your visits?

Christer Johansson: Yes, we did. We found that we had to have some more inside information and to see with our own eyes what was going on.

Bertil Högberg: What your things were used for or what they needed or what – or on the political level?

Christer Johansson: It was both, but also that we found out that we should – for example, when we were visiting SOMAFCO in 1983 and we found out that there was a lot of equipment standing there.

Bertil Högberg: Not used?

Christer Johansson: Not used, yes. But we understood of course the reasons but it was a little bit sad to see.

Bertil Högberg: And the consequence then was that you sent less of that type of thing then?

Christer Johansson: Yes.

Bertil Högberg: You’re saying now that basically they seemed to have received more than they could handle or make good use of. Was it the same with clothes, that you sent more clothes to the liberation movement than they could have use for in the refugee settlements?

Christer Johansson: Maybe it was like that at, for example, the end of the liberation struggle for South Africa. They had a lot of clothes in the camps and they asked for more even if they already had full up.

Bertil Högberg: What did they do with those clothes?

Christer Johansson: I don’t know.

Bertil Högberg: And no one asked you whether they could – they didn’t ask you if they could sell some of the clothes?

Christer Johansson: They didn’t ask because they didn’t understand that if they had asked we would have said “of course you can do what you like with the clothes, there're yours. If you can transform the clothes into money instead it’s good”, but they didn’t ask but we understood anyhow that they were doing it and it was okay for us.

Bertil Högberg:I was asked that (for Bread and Fishes) in 1983 by ANC and gave them this answer.

Christer Johansson: I don’t know why they didn’t ask because we would have said “it’s quite okay”.

Bertil Högberg: I think they did anyway.

Christer Johansson: Yes, they did anyway. It would have been better if they had asked, we would have given the okay from us as well.

Bertil Högberg: What was the most important personal relationship that you developed over these years? Are there people that you still maintain contact with?

Christer Johansson: No. I am not so good at keeping contact with people but I regret now that I haven’t kept up the contacts with the comrades in Zimbabwe. I regret that very much, but as I said I haven’t – I actually haven’t had any contact with Zimbabwe since 85.

Bertil Högberg: You worked there for a couple of years?

Christer Johansson: I was working there, 2 ½ years in the middle of the 1980s.

Bertil Högberg: If we look back we can see there are certain years with big changes, I mean 1974/1975 when the Portuguese colonies became liberated and 1980 for Zimbabwe and 1994, what happened after these years to relations with the movement and so on? What did you do?

Christer Johansson: Well, for example, in Mozambique at the beginning after the liberation we kept the contact with Frelimo for a while but later on it was more that we had contact with the Ministry of Social Affairs and things like that and we were also sending a lot of clothes after independence to Mozambique, but we didn’t have the contact with Frelimo any more.

Bertil Högberg: Angola, what happened to those contacts?

Christer Johansson: We still have those.

Bertil Högberg: But not through the party MPLA?

Christer Johansson: No. It was the same development in Angola as in Mozambique, that in the beginning we still had relations with the MPLA and later on we had contact and relations with the Ministry of Social Affairs there and other organisations in Angola as well.

Bertil Högberg: And Zimbabwe?

Christer Johansson: In Zimbabwe as I said before ZANU told us “you should support the others” and so nothing was sent there.

Bertil Högberg: Namibia?

Christer Johansson: It was also the same in Namibia and South Africa. South Africa, ANC wanted us to also send clothes after independence, one can say, after the creation of a new South Africa, but the textile workers union opposed that, which I personally think was a big mistake because the poorest people in South Africa didn’t get any clothes at all. But both ourselves and the ANC respected the wishes of the textile workers union so we stopped the cooperation, which I regret very much.

Bertil Högberg: But there was also at that time some discussion about helping the ANC set up similar operations as you did here in Sweden, collecting things and everything – what happened to that idea?

Christer Johansson: Nothing happened at all to that idea.

Bertil Högberg: What do you think that the support that you provided meant for the liberation movements?

Christer Johansson: I think it meant quite a lot and according to what they have told us themselves it meant quite a lot because during the liberation struggle the refugees in the refugee camps were the best equipped and dressed people in southern Africa. [laughs] That’s what they said anyhow. And I think it was important for the liberation movements that they could assist their people in that way, to give them clothing and so on.
Also from a political point of view it was very meaningful because we took part and weakened one can say the imperialists. We had, for a time we won victories over the imperialists, they are now coming back and they are now taking over the initiative again, the imperialists, but during those years, during the liberation struggle, it was very important for people all over the world that we could show that it was possible to defeat the imperialists, which we will do again in the future.

Bertil Högberg: Is there any documentation available in English for those that are interested in knowing more about your organisation?

Christer Johansson: We don’t have much documentation in English actually.

Bertil Högberg: But your archives have been structured and sorted and listed and so on now, there should at least be some material there.

Christer Johansson: There’s a lot of letters and correspondence between myself, as I was writing a lot of those letters, and, for example – well, the leadership in ZANU, Tekere, Mugabe, Simon Muzenda, all of them.

Bertil Högberg: Kangai?

Christer Johansson: That’s right, there’s a lot of correspondence between Kangai and myself, for example. And also there is the correspondence with all the other liberation movements, and all that correspondence is in English of course.

Bertil Högberg: Did you also correspond in English with Frelimo and the MPLA?

Christer Johansson: Yes, we corresponded in English because we couldn’t speak Portuguese. There is also an article from 1979 which I wrote, at that time my English was much better than today, I wrote an article together with a comrade for the ZANU magazine and that article is there. That’s an article about Emmaus Björkå to present it to the readers of the magazine at that time.

Bertil Högberg: Is there anything more you think that you would like to include here which we have forgotten to touch on?

Christer Johansson: One can say that personally I regret that the liberation movements which we were supporting couldn’t stand against the neo-liberalism and the attacks from the imperialists later on after independence because they were cooperating with the World Bank and IMF. It’s really, really sad for the people in the countries which we have been supporting.

Bertil Högberg: But does that mean that you regret at all that you supported the movements?

Christer Johansson: No, not at all. Not at all. Of course not because it would have been worse if we hadn’t defeated colonialism and imperialism and there are also different steps in the development. And the next step is to win once more over the imperialists and over the World Bank and over the IMF and US imperialism.