Saturday, July 19, 2008

Now What?

Ah, those were the days! Below is a photo from a frontline summit of '85, with Presidents Kaunda, Mugabe, Machel & Nujoma. If only we could get back to those days. President Yar'Adua - as the President of the "Giant of Africa" - should take the initiative and call for a special Africa summit on Zimbabwe. That way, some basic principles can be laid down for "talks about talks". I'm not naive: there is no way that Zanu-pf will ever unite with Tsvangirai's MDC. However, interested parties, influential outsiders and progressives from all the political sides must be given a platform to express their wishes for a future Zimbabwe.

If such a platform is not available then Zimbabwe will just lurch from problem to problem, with no end in sight. The mindless clashes produced by such a stalemate can only be harmful, and yet meaningless at the same time. In Shona we say, "Kutungana kwe-mbudzi!" ; that is the futile clashing of goats. That's precisely what is happening when Zanu-pf's hardliners in the J.O.C and the MDC's camp are each trying to seize the high ground. Let's call a time-out to this nonsense.

The photo is below
James Chikonamombe

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Not Invited To A Banquet In Our Honour!

We cannot even get invited to a banquet in our honour. They probably discussed Africa between the 6th and 7th courses (between the white asparagus and the truffle soup), and yet the Presidents of Senegal, Tanzania and Ethiopia were not even invited to the epic, 8-course meal being served to other dignitaries. Maybe they thought that President Zenawi would slurp in his soup, and President Kikwete would not know how to handle a knife-and-fork. Why do African Presidents even bother showing up to these meetings? It's embarrassing. Two days ago, they had the Presidents of six African leaders lined up in Hokkaido -like clowns - ostensibly to talk about aid; and yet the "aid" once pledged, never actually arrives. If it does come it's in dribs-and-drabs, and with horrendous strings attached. At the most, the African nations should let either Nigeria or South Africa represent the continent at these meetings. At least they have enough clout to be respected.

James Chikonamombe