Jun 27 2008

Mugabe’s end game

Category: Uncategorized<ADMINNICENAME> @ 8:31 AM

The impasse in Zimbabwe is unfolding under the glare of global media. The big outlets — the CNNs, the BBCs and the world’s major newspapers — are all looking for a dramatic resolution to Africa’s latest leadership drama. An aged Robert Mugabe, one a liberator of a long-oppressed people, today stands discredited around the world, having wrecked his legacy and the lives of millions of people. He refuses to leave office, insists on maintaining power by any means. His hold power stems not merely from the imposition of harsh rule; he also exploits powerful psychological symbols, which are newly described by my friend Daniel Morris in the Globe & Mail of Toronto.

That Mugabe deserves to be replaced by his chief domestic opponent is without doubt. More likely, he will be replaced by a leader of the military junta that actually runs Zimbabwe. Mugabe is too old and feeble to hold his shattered state together, even in its current dismal form. The Zimbabwean regime depends on a cabal of Mugabe loyalists operating in the shadows. One of them is likely, before long, to seize power, declare Mugabe history — and appeal for recognition and assistance from the international community.
Zimbabwe’s next strong man will do what others in African have long done: say they need time to stage legitimate elections. Perhaps they will need 18 months or even two years to prepare the way for real democracy in Zimbabwe. Faced with a Hobson’s Choice, the international community will go along, satisfied that at least Mugabe is off the stage.

The aid money will pour into Harare, so will the tecnical experts. Improvements in the material life of the people will come quickly, though more educated Zimbabweans — those few who remain — will leave the country. Then about a year from now, the regime’s leader will declare that he is decided, after much anguished reflection, that he will stand as a candidate for president in the “free and fair” elections to come. The international community will moan and groan, diplomats will say they’ve been cheated, the opposition will cry foul. But after a week or two, the decision will come to be accepted.
Is this Mugabism without Mugabe? Is this Zimbabwe’s future? To go from one dictator to another?


Jun 18 2008

Category: Uncategorized<ADMINNICENAME> @ 10:48 AM

“The effect has been to set up a conflict between the global forces of conservation and those local and international interests that are pushing for the exploitation of natural resources as an engine for development. Both sides in this struggle over Africa’s rural resources have engaged in the manipulation of narratives of degradation either to blame local people’s mismanagement or to see rural people as passive victims.” — James McCann


Jun 18 2008

Nairobi

Category: Uncategorized<ADMINNICENAME> @ 7:01 AM

I got a chilly welcome when I arrived in Nairobi this morning on a Virgin flight from London. June is perhaps the coldest month of the year here, and many wore jackets on the ground. We hit a big traffic jam on the way to my hotel, near the Israeli embassy. Wi-fi worked immediately, and the hotel’s staff were excellent — ending immediately any concerns I might have that Kenyans are back to work after the post-election troubles. They are.
My arrival coincides with Odinga’s appearance in Washington, where he is talking about his important reconciliation agenda. The Nation newspaper had a good, if brief, account of the new Prime Minister’s speech before a DC think-tank.


Jun 10 2008

Naming the problem In Zimbabwe

Category: Uncategorized<ADMINNICENAME> @ 4:58 PM

Let’s hope Morgan Tsvangirai has not only now realized that Robert Mugabe is merely the old worn-out front-man for the corrupt clique that runs Zimbabwe. In any case, his days of calling Mugabe a political opponent are over. Taking a lesson from Orwell, Tsvagirai, the best hope to spare Zimbabwe’s people even further distress and anguish, has started speaking truth to power, insisting that Zimbabwe’s government is essentially a “military junta.”

Even these two words are polite.


Jun 07 2008

Category: Uncategorized<ADMINNICENAME> @ 3:49 AM

“Zimbabwe has become a lawless country. It doesn’t obey its own laws, or international laws.” — James McGee, U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe, June 2008


Jun 01 2008

Category: Uncategorized<ADMINNICENAME> @ 8:10 PM

“If we are able to utilize Africa’s plentiful resources more fully by harnessing Japan’s technologies, this will surely be a major trigger for growth and without a doubt benefit Africa.” — Yasuo Fukuda, prime minister of Japan