Category Archives: Politics

I’m back!

Hi everyone. I’m sorry I dissappeared for a while. Where was I?

 

I dropped off the radar just before Zimbabwe’s elections. A lot has happened personally since then, but like most other Zimbos, I got a little depressed. I got so caught up in the country’s politics I couldn’t focus on much else. At the same time, I got was getting a bit of radio time because of articles I had written on both Zimbabwe and other issues.

 

I have pretty much come to terms with the fact that change in Zimbabwe is not going to come about through a political process but a social movement. There will come a time when people just decide that enough is enough and we want to build something better. That may happen before or after Bob (Mugabe) goes, but the truth is tht he is just part of the problem.

 

The biggest issue in Zimbabwe is the same one that gets in the way of progress in Ireland, in the United States, in China,… everywhere. Self interest. And not just the self interest of the ruling classes. All of us. We are all so consumed with getting an iPhone or a Macbook (I’m an Apple fan), or a new car or house or just protecting our persona space and security. We are all so concerned with our own issues that we don’t fight for others. So much so that we allow injustice to reign.

 

In the words of Matin Niemoller:

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out

 

I think that when people start sacrificing heir personal interests for the sake of the general good, then things will really start to change. Otherwise, the changes will only be superficial.

Mugabe and Zimbabwe’s elections

Today, Zimbabweans are voting in presidential and parliamentary elections. It is true that the country is now on its knees and few would disagree that a radical change of direction is one of the few things that can turn things around. Withought a very significant change in government, I don’t see how that can happen.

Again, given the reality of Zimbabwe’s current political climate, there is no way this can be called a fair election. So far it is more fair than previous ones, but that’s not saying much. I don’t know… I hope it all goes well and there isn’t any violence.

At the end of the day, the Mugabe regime has shamed the entire continent. They have come to represent the very worst of Zimbabwe and Africa. Shame on you

A different form of activism

I love The Onion. It’s their creativity that does it for me. Why rant and rave and get all hot and bothered when you can just joke about an issue? Nice one guys.

You, me and Obama’s Speech on Race

More and more, I am confounded by the human race. We are all so similar and yet find it so hard to see the world through each others’ eyes. I wonder why that is. I don’t know. I have a lot of ideas and theories, but the truth is, I don’t really know.

What I do know is that Barack took the more difficult path in trying to help his complicated world see things from different perspectives. It was a very honest, courageous speech. If nothing else, it will hopefully lead to a little more honest dialogue. I hope it does a little more. I hope it helps us all at least try to imagine being in another’s shoes. I respect the fact that Obama behaved like a human being with a heart rather than a politician bent on getting elected.

On days like this, I hate politics. The world and all our issues are so much simpler than many politicians make them seem. The solutions to our issues are simpler than they would have us believe.

Leadership, Globilization and Hypocrisy

Few people understand why most African leaders stand by the despots on the continent. Although there are a few reasons, one of the biggest ones I the hypocrisy of their Western counterparts. It’s like having a thief preach at you on the value of morality. The result is that ordinary people everywhere suffer in one way or another.

 

I could list example after example of this, but Chris Rodrigues does a much better job of it than I could. Please read this.

Hope hurts

A few years ago, I remember inviting my cousin David over to watch a soccer match at my place. I was a bit surprised by his response. He told me that he had quit sport because his heart couldn’t handle it. The disappointment was just too much.

At first I thought he was joking, but true to his word, David just doesn’t watch any sport, at all. Because he is wholehearted in everything he does, his decision is his chosen form of self preservation. And though it might be a little extreme, there are times I think he’s onto something.

I stayed up until 2 in the morning following how things were going in Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont. There have been so many twists and turns to this race, I was hoping that Obama would just win the thing outright and give my frayed nerves a rest. As I’m sure you all know by now, it didn’t happen.

Although I don’t like how she did it, you’ve got to give it to Hillary. Her ability to roll up her sleeves and just street fight is amazing. She isn’t shy to get in there and get nasty if need be. I guess that’s her appeal – she’ll do what it takes to get the job done. You have to be impressed by her.

On the other hand, Barack Hussein Obama has come a long way. The fact that he leads in the pledged delegates count is incredible given the obstacles and set backs he has faced. And he can still pull it off. Having read Dreams from My Father, I don’t think long drawn out fights are new to him.

Truth is, most of my disappointment is about me, not Obama. It’s just another thing that I want that I have to wait for. I think that’s what’s really getting to me. This is another emotional rollercoaster for me. Worse still, I have no influence over it. All I can do is wait and hope. I’ve been doing more of both lately than I would prefer.

Oh well. At least Arsenal beat AC Milan in the Champions League last night. Like Barack, they’re one step closer to the title.

Suppoting Obama or Clinton as opposed to Makoni or Tsvangirai

I don’t know about you, but I love politics, and even more than that, I love watching elections. The best elections are close ones and they don’t come much closer than this year’s Democratic race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Baratunde Thurston has been involved in Obama’s campaign for a while now and I got this video off his website. It made me a little sad and a little jealous.

Zimbabwe has its very flawed presidential elections later on this month with Simba Makoni and Morgan Tsvangirai taking on Robert Mugabe. You won’t find many people wearing opposition nominees’ t-shirts or openly campaigning for them. There’s a sad lack of tolerance for different political views and very little respect for people’s right to choose their leaders. It’s such a pity. Things could, and should be so different.

Still, I look forward to the day that I can be involved in an election back home and not worry about who hears me supporting the candidate of my choice. One day…