Friday, November 25, 2011

The Merry Wives Of Morgan Tsvangirai

Will the real wife of Morgan Tsvangirai please stand up! In early 2008 I was informed by a relative, who works in the "President's Office" of Zimbabwe, that opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai had three wives. Initially, I waived this off as Zanu-pf  rumor-mongering, but now I'm beginning to see where my relative was coming from. The love-life of our ne'er-do-well Prime Minister is complicated, to say the least. There is the comely matron, Amai Chihombori and there is Ambassador Zwambila, who is rumored to be an old-flame. There is also the Ndebele beauty, Loreta Nyathi, whom Tsvangirai impregnated and had to pay damages to her family. Her family insists -- rightly so -- that she's not some fling, but is part of the Tsvangirai household.

Now we have Locadia Karimatsenga Tembo, a businesswoman with deep Zanu roots. It had been initially reported that Tsvangirai had paid damages and dowry to the lady's family. However, the part about paying dowry and getting betrothed has now been denied by Tsvangirai's inner circle. And moving on, we have yet another lady, whom we only know as "Elizabeth" and whom is also supposed to be in love with our PM, with a marriage in the works. One wonders: where does our Prime Minister ever get the time to carry out his Govt duties, with all this extra-curricular activity? He does have a very complicated love-life, and not even Agatha Christie's super-sleuth, Hercule Poirot, could untangle the many twists and turns of his love-life!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Morgan Tsvangirai: Nuptials Of An Area Boy

These nuptials of Morgan Tsvangirai to Mai Tembo are intriguing, to say the least. Mai Tembo is the daughter of a Zanla war veteran, and the sister of a Zanu-PF MP. On top of that, she's a successful businesswoman in her own right, having exclusive contracts to provide provisions to several Zimbabwean companies. So in other words, she's Zanu-pf through and through, since (unless you're in the Zanu mix) you can never avail yourself to any of these exclusive deals that are available to Zimbabwe's politically well-connected. Now, this leads me to ask the simple question: what is such a well-connected insider with ZPF genes flowing through her veins doing getting betrothed to the leader of Zimbabwe's main opposition party, Morgan Tsvangirai himself? Wonders never cease to amaze me!

The apt saying here would be the Shona saying, "chakapfukidza dzimba matenga", which means that "no one really knows what goes on behind closed doors". If only I could get ahold of the "transcripts" of the pillow-talk between the two said individuals! Now that would make for some interesting reading! What games are my party, Zanu-pf, playing at here? Is this really a love-match or are there more sinister motives at work? They are quite capable of anything, you know, these ZPF fellows. We've been able to read Jacqueline Kennedy's innermost thoughts courtesy of C.I.A leaks and similarly it would be fun if RGM's spooks could furnish us with the inner-workings of the Tsvangirai household. The man is now literally sleeping with the enemy. Wonders never cease to amaze me.

James Chikonamombe

Friday, November 18, 2011

Zimbabwe: Someting Is Afoot

Something is afoot in my beloved Zimbabwe. I see it, I can see all the jigsaw-puzzle pieces on the table, but I just can't see exactly how they are going to be put together. We've just had our Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, travelling to Morocco. Now: what is a Zimbabwean doing in Morocco? I doubt our PM had even heard of Morocco, say, five years ago. Our President is 87 and ailing. He only recently visited China and pleaded with the Chinese and Russians to "stop Zimbabwe from being attacked". What does he know that we don't know. Why the urgency to plead for cover from attack from the Chinese and Russians? What exactly is going on?

Right now, the Western nations are lying flat on their backs, with overbearing debt-burdens and double-digit unemployment figures. They've had a three-pronged attack for economic growth for the past thirty years based on (1) Financial de-regulation (2) easily available credit for housing and (3) internet technologies. All three of these ballasts no longer provide the blast needed to keep the boom going. This takes us back to the old way of making money: through (1) making "stuff" and (2) extracting and refining the "stuff" needed to make "stuff". Which in turn closes the circle and brings us back to Africa.

With a growing Chinese presence on the African Continent, the West cannot afford to be complacent. They will go for broke and insert themselves aggressively into Africa's realities. Either through direct military force or through proxies, one way or the other, the West will try to "grow" its way out of economic malaise by forcing Africa into a new "partnership of unequals". With Libya in the bag, something tells me that something is afoot in Zimbabwe, but helplessly, I just can't map out the likely scenario. Lord save my beloved Zimbabwe.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Is Greece an "African" country.

Am I the only one who has noticed the uncanny and eerie similarity between the economic woes of Greece and the precarious financial positions of African States like Zimbabwe and Uganda in the late 80s. Is Greece now an "African" country ~  an economic ward-of-state that must be told what to do as if it were a child? The similarities between, say, the Greek financial condition and that of Zimbabwe in 1989 are frighteningly similar: Greece has a service-economy dependent on shipping and tourism; by virtue of it being in the EuroZone, Greece is burdened with an overvalued currency that plays havoc with its economic strengths; and Greece is technically insolvent, unable to pay its bills. Furthermore -- like a real African country -- there has been rumblings in the barracks with the Prime Minister being forced to replace the military service chiefs with his "own men".

Zimbabwe in 1989 had an overvalued currency (the old Zim Dollar) that was playing havoc with its economic strengths. Forced to fund  a progressive health and education program, the Zimbabwe Govt found itself in a precarious situation, but what really keeled the fiscus over was the cost of a debilitating war in neighbouring Mozambique that had sucked in 10 000 troops. Unable to pay its bills, the Zim Govt was forced to call in the IMF. The medicine they prescribed is well-known to most Africans over 35 (and too scary to repeat here).

Eerily the Greeks are being served the same rat-poison of massive cuts in Govt-spending and social-service that we Zimbabweans were forced to swallow from 1989-1991 (the dreaded E.S.A.P reforms). As in Zimbabwe, there has been massive emigration of the best and brightest Greeks to wealthier shores and better opportunities abroad. The only solution for the Greeks is to exit the EuroZone, re-introduce the Drachma, and craft their own economic policies. After that I'm sure Greece will rebound in the long-run, but in the short-term there will be immense economic-pain.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Just got back from one hell-of-a-concert in Santa Cruz, featuring the Saharan group, Tinariwen.  I still can't sleep and so I had to type this blogpost. Well, first of all, the concert fell on Monday 31st, on Halloween, and there's nothing like attending a function in the Bay Area on Halloween. The venue was full of "Bay Area Types" ~ shabby-looking millionaires, ageing hippies, tree-huggers and pony-tailed College-Professors, the kind of people that just make this region so unique. Add to that, folks were decked out in Halloween costume, some dressed as Dracula, some dressed as witches, but all swaying to the African sound of Tinariwen. The only minus, was that the group's line-up had none of the female singers that have always given Tinariwen a pulse. Maybe next time. But nevertheless, a thoroughly good show!