Monday, June 30, 2008

Africa and Zimbabwe- Quiet Diplomacy

Today, president Mugabe is in Egypt for a key African Union (AU) summit. He is going to look for support and for a man so convinced that the situation in Zimbabwe is "fine", he is going to deny what happened...what is happening.

After a long war with the Rhodesian government in the 1970's, Mugabe emerged as a national hero in 1980. Currently, he is an internationally-disrespected thug. Zimbabwe, the breadbasket of Southern Africa and one of the best economies in Africa went down the drain.

In an interview with Heidi Holland, the author of "dinner with Mugabe", he said "what country is [as good as] Zimbabwe?...What is lacking now are goods on the shelves - that is all."

Obviously, Mugabe doesn't live in the Zimbabwe we know. Mugabe is as insecure as an overweight high school girl, he surrounds himself with family and friends,his only supporters. His supporters keep giving him what he wants all the time, reassurance.

African leaders need to speak up and the African Union needs to impose severe sanctions on Mugabe and his cronies. Quiet diplomacy doesn't work all the time.

The Southern African community needs to take some serious action, last time I checked South Africa was losing millions of dollars because of Zimbabwe ( mainly foreign investment).

Thursday, June 26, 2008

South Africa- a note

South Africa's transition to democracy is often cited as a peaceful one, but South Africa's transition to democracy was not very peaceful.

One of the most pressing issues in post-apartheid SA is crime. The crime rates are numbing and it seems that more and more people are gun-holders. After the anti-immigrants protest a few

weeks ago, one thing was certain, South Africa is not at war, but it is also not at peace with itself.

After apartheid, there was alot of apologizing. Alot of "we are sorry for the atrocities committed during apartheid". I'm not South African and all I know about apartheid is what I read, but honestly, sorry is sometimes not good enough. Sorry doesn't put food on the table. We have the recognize that people suffered during apartheid, but we also need to remember that many people in post-apartheid South Africa are living in worse conditions. The slums keep expanding and crime and rape is rife there.

Isn't this most important than apologizing to each other?

Improving the living conditions of the majority of the citizens should be the number one priority. It would lead to racial harmony in the sense that many people feel that "white south africans" are still the richest of the rich. Many hold a grudge towards them and this is not going to go away if whites apologized.

The problem is many non-whites believed that apartheid is their only problem, after apartheid is gone, their living conditions still didn't improve. Yes, people had alot of expectations and aspirations, but the goverment should be blamed instead of blaming white south-africans for their economic power. The government has failed its people. Yes, apartheid ended only 14 years ago,but 14 years ago is not a short time. Alot of things could have been accompolished. Give your citizens the necessities before anything else. Running water, shelter ( not a shack) , free or affordable education and so on.

South Africa is not a poor country, it's one of the most visited countries in the world and they are well-endowed with natural resources.

The fact that SA is the largest economy in Africa should not make the govt of SA feel good . it should not be taken for granted. Regional powerhouses appear and disappear.

Ban Ki Mon said something interesting last month, hungry people are angry people.
A few weeks ago, the immigrants were attacked, it wasn't black on black violence, it was broke on broke violence.
Next time, another group is going to be attacked, you always need a scapegoat for your problems.

Is the SA government incompetent?