Yesteryear the country’s gross domestic products(GDP) was growing at 7% and everybody in wall-street and 10 downing street was very happy that there is emerging economic tiger in sub – Sahara countries, but today it is masturbating at 2% a clear indication that the country’s GDP as whole was not growing at that 7% something which leave any upright layman with a little hint of economic development to conclude that the 7% growth was having its reflection in Kenyatta avenues,Moi venues, Ngala street and Uhuru highway, but it was missing in Kibera slums, Korokocho slums, Mathare slums and the entire rural villages across the country. Can anybody out there explain to me how this economy sunk like a titanic ?
While someone is thinking about it……I hope there are some appropriate measure which can be used to diagnose this sick economy from its symptoms .To begin with, Higher investment is only one of the pre-conditions for realizing a high rate of economic growth in any country. Other factors that influence the growth rate of any country are health and healthcare.
Educated and healthy population can make a lot of difference to the economic growth,. as it helps them rise the social and economic ladder. More people that are added to the prosperous middle class more economy develops faster. This is amply borne out by the experience of many developed countries, which have witnessed, over the years, relatively higher rate of growth by adding more people into the middle class. Thus when we say that vast majority of the people in developed countries belong to middle class we mean that they have not only relatively higher level of income which provides them comfortable level of living beyond bare substance but a level of income which also provides access to good education and good healthcare.
The economic evidence in the developed countries shows that relatively high income and comfortable level of living is dependant upon access to good execution of education and health care coupled with highly developed infrastructure.Knowlege of better job opportunities and ease of mobility makes a significance difference in improving the living standards. Unfortunately, in Kenya adequate attention has not been paid to provide universal education and heath care to all. After more than four decade since independence vast majority of the people are illiterate and have no access to even primary medical facilities.
This is a sharp contrast to westerners-while socialist countries where the goal of universal education and heath care for all was achieved within one decade of the revolution. And we even after 46years of independence ,have yet to ensure universal education and primary health care for all. The available data on Kenya show that though the government is willing to give subsides on no-merit goods, the expenditure of education and health care has almost remained stagnant or gone down in certain individual years. The expenditure on education hovering in single digit and health care share the same single digit numbers, on the gross domestic products(Gdp) for many decades.
As against this the subsidiary paid by government is on food fertilizers and export and import promotions. This is in sharp contrast to other countries where social expenditure as percentage of GDP is much higher compared to Kenya. Many countries in Asia relatively spend more of their Gdp on health care. México and S.Korea spend more than 5% of their on health care. Based on human development Report, more than double digits of our population has no access to health care services. In the same figure has no access to save drinking water while almost half of the adult population are illiterate .
The contribution of education to the economic growth at the macro level and in improving the living standards of the families at the macro level cannot be underrated. According to American scholars, the investment in education contributed 23% or more of the growth of real income and 42% and the growth of real income per person employed in the USA during 1929-57.Therefore to ensure high economic growth the state will have to make serious efforts to provide education and health care to all and make conscious to bring bulk of the population above the poverty line.
The educated labour force can raise its productivity manifold as also its earnings. The time has come to challenge the argument that cheap labour provides comparative advantage to Kenya in the international market. But cheap labour also means low earnings. The labour should be cheap in the sense that that it is more productive. This can come through education only. We should make conscious efforts to move absolute cheap labour to relatively cheap labour . The productivity of skilled labour is much higher.
Today societies are going to be knowledge driven and Kenya cannot afford to be left behind in the race simply because a substantial population of its population is illiterate. Apart from education and health care, an efficient infrastructure which includes good roads and rail network, efficient transports system and up date communication facilities so that people especially at the lower rung of the society can move easily and quickly from one place to another in such of better opportunities. But the infrastructure as it exists today in this country is one of the biggest stumbling blocks for achieving higher growth rates. Except, for the national highways, development of modern airports, harbors, communication systems and railway is very slow.
The facilities available in Jomo Kenyatta International Airport do not march the facilities available in let say in Frankfurt Airport or Singapore Airport. Frankfurt Airport and Singapore Airports handle thirty to forty times more flights than Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. The government has yet to make a major move on the various recommendations presented before them on the development and the infrastructure in the country. In fact, the country should stop talking about eradicating poverty and bringing people above the poverty line but start working to uplift vast majority of the people of the margin to the lower middle class level; the country must get out of poverty syndrome. That 25% of the population which lies below the poverty line , needs to be brought to the lower middle class level.
The key to economic growth lies in universal education, health care to all and easy mobility. It should be our vision of 2030 memo that people below poverty line should be brought to the level of middle class and once that is achieved the social mobility towards middle class and upper class will gain its own momentum. The term ‘middle class’ should not be understood in derogatory sense as it is more often used but as an economic category which shows the absence of both absolute and relative poverty. Middle class in developed countries is the engine of the economic growth and development; it is in this class, which sustain the domestic market. This becomes quite obvious when one travel in Europe or Japan or for that matter in South East Asia countries like Singapore and Malaysia.
Leadership is a very commonly used word, but also one which has many meanings that depend on the context and type of leadership. Leadership in our society, especially in modern times, is generally understood as ‘political leadership’. Thus, leadership is almost invariably as political leadership.
Leadership is a widely prevalent phenomenon in the political process in today’s Kenya. However, it is quite different from other types of leadership. The latter connotes a combination of positive attributes such as vision, determination, and ability to accomplish a formidable task by mobilising a community of supporters.
In contrast, the common perception of leadership, which obtains in the public mind, is not a very positive one. At the same time, political leaders in Kenya get far more attention and importance than they intrinsically deserve. The disproportionately high attention and importance that political leaders get is, in fact, at the cost what is due to leaders in other fields of national life.
Leadership is a general concept, which is not specific to politics, and that leadership is needed in practically every sphere of human endeavour to achieve social progress, nation-building and welfare of the human race.
Kenya needs good leaders – and good followers — in every sphere
Today Kenya needs good leaders in education, administration, business, culture and arts, media, diplomacy, research institutions, voluntary organisations, and even in religious and spiritual spheres. Good leadership is needed, and is often present, even in those areas where its necessity is least recognised and its presence least noticed. I am referring to the family sphere. Our women may not be highly educated in the formal sense of the term, some of them may even be illiterate, but the astute manner in which they manage the affairs of their households and provide leadership to their families is truly remarkable.
Similarly, there are people who are active in their neighbourhoods – in the resident welfare association, or the parent-teacher association in a school, or some organisation that is working for the welfare of senior citizens or for women and children in distress. Many of them take leadership responsibilities, they mobilise volunteers, they mobilise resources, they agitate against injustice and they inspire others with their selfless service. Most of them go unsung by the media and unhonoured by any governmental or non-governmental organisation. Yet, they continue in their mission, self first, party next ,tribe third,country last, with work itself as their reward.
It is this kind of leadership that is the true backbone of any orgnisation and the most reliable sustainer of any social good.
Attributes of good leaders
How are such good leaders made? These days, organisation-building and leadership development have become serious subjects of study, research and training. These are taught in management institutes and seminars and workshops that are tailored for specific categories of business executives and professionals.
It is my belief that good leaders are made not born. And they certainly do not become eligible to be leaders simply because they are born into a particular family. In democracy, all are born with an equal right to lead, provided they have the merit, ability and people’s support to assume the leadership responsibility. The concept of dynastic leadership, which we unfortunately are seeing in certain political parties in our country, is, therefore, deeply violative of both the democratic ideal and the spirit of the modern times.
If good leaders are made and not born, it implies that good leadership – in politics or in other sphere of society – entails certain basic qualities. Only those who have gone through the grind of life; experienced the rough and tumble of their professions; faced the ups and downs with fortitude; felt the pain and suffering of fellow human beings; taken life-defining decisions at critical junctures; made sacrifices whenever the situation demanded; made a good study of the problems in their chosen domain; demonstrated their capacity to effectively deal with the challenges before their organizations; learnt to make one’s self subservient to the larger goal that one is trying to pursue; developed the ability to motivate others with their character and not merely with their words; and remained true to their core beliefs and principles – only such persons emerge as true leaders in society.
True leadership is earned, not commanded
It should be obvious from this that true leadership is earned, and not commanded or demanded. History is replete with examples that show that great leaders, who gained the respect of people not only during but also beyond their lifetime, were least self-conscious about the leadership role they were playing. Humility, respect for small and big people alike, encouraging the followers to take initiatives (and even to make mistakes in the process), giving the credit of success to others and taking the blame of failure upon oneself – these have always been the characteristics of good leaders.
The inspiring legacy of the Freedom Movement
If we look back to our own country’s history, we see that the leadership, belonging to several successive generations, which emerged during the Freedom Movement had these noble qualities in great abundance in political struggle. And those who did not participate in the political struggle directly but nevertheless exerted an enormous influence in arousing nationalist consciousness each one of them was an exemplary leader in his own right.
These great names may be the most widely recognized and respected representatives of the leadership of the Freedom Movement. But if we look closely, we see that there were tens of thousands of lesser known individuals who discharged leadership roles during those days – by setting up educational institutions, establishing nationalist newspapers, launching social reform movements and laying the foundation for us and our future generation.
Erosion of idealism of governance
What saddens me is that, in the post-1963 period, there has been progressive erosion in the political culture in the country. Lust for power, misuse of power for personal ends, corruption, emasculation of institutions, factionalism and indiscipline in political parties, apathy towards people’s welfare – these replaced, substantially though not fully, the high ideals that once inspired people to enter the political profession.
When idealism gets eroded in the political leadership, it has a rapid cascading effect in other spheres of life. Which is what we are seeing in Kenya today.
Task before us: Develop leaders with the nationalist spirit , responsibility ,accountability and transparency
But I do not wish to paint a picture that is only gloomy, bleak and hopeless. Because that is far from the reality. In practically every sphere – indeed, more in other spheres than in politics – we see individuals who are providing excellent leadership. Without them, Kenya could not have achieved the kind of remarkable success that we see in many fields today.
It is our duty to recognize them, and to support them wherever they are. It is equally our duty to nurture and develop a new generation of leaders from among the youth who constitute the overwhelming majority in Kenya’s population. The new generation of leaders should be more broad-based, representing every section of our diverse society. This is needed both to strengthen our democracy and to promote greater social harmony.
And our leaders in every sphere must set big tasks before them. We should not be satisfied with accomplishing small successes. Those days when we could pat ourselves on our backs for small achievements are gone. The world is racing ahead. This is an era of breathtaking changes. Kenya has the potential to more than match this pace of change and development, and thereby improve the living conditions of all its teeming millions. Some of this potential is already being realized, and the whole world is taking note of what Kenya is capable of. But we need to move faster and we need to perform better than ever before. For this, as I said before, we need to develop good leadership and good fellowship at every level.
If I were to sum up my assessment about the quality of leadership Kenya needs at present to ensure that the country really reaches the pinnacle of glory that it rightly deserves. I would say that the three most essential attributes of a leader ought to be: firstly, patriotism, secondly, character, and above all, commitment to some mission which for him is over and above everything relating to his personal self.
My fellow Citizen Let us stand as united Kenyans and as one one nation!
Look at the globe or the world atlas. If it is not in Somalia then it is in Swaziland. If it is not in Swaziland it was in Sudan. One by one, or even at the same times, several 3rd world nations are undergoing agonies and there appear to be no respite for the people.
It is now the turn of Sudan . A big powerful African nation ,Sudan had been gripped by civil war for long years. Today under the active encouragement of an unfeeling government well armed Arab gangs are wrecking havoc on sections of African tribes. The death toll is fearsome .Thousands of people are of disease malnutrition and neglected. The refugee camps are overflowing but there are adequate food or medicine supplies. The suffering of the children, in particular, are horrible. And the rest of the world are doing very little.
That is because Sudan has the government, a president, Its legitimacy can be questioned but the government exists on papers. But the military dictatorship which rules over Sudan was interested solely in perpetuating its rules, filling its own pockets and siphoning off money to safe heavens of Switzerland .The rulers did not bother whether the dead toll is rising to hundreds or thousands. Huge caches of arms were being diverted to the Arab gangs who were fishing off the inconvenient Muslims tribal.
Added to this, is the never ending drought in most parts of Sudan. Simply put the parched of land and the absence of rain meant there was no food for the people. Supplies did not come from abroad, but seldom reached the needs, being unsurped by the soldiers or sold in black markets. The BBC or CNN news clips on television were worse than any horror movie and made one wonder how man can be so inconsiderate to his fellow human beings.
Meanwhile, such cruelty and killings have become the hallmark of a number of African nations. Ethiopia and Somalia, if not engaged in border skirmishes, continued to decimate their local populations. Kenya is having its own internal civil war regarding rigging of the votes and many are killing each other, not forgetting that down under Zimbabwe the same crisis is building up, and cholera taking up the emaciated ones. The savage tribal wars in the tiny states of Rwanda and Burundi had killed the millions of people.
Why all this are happening?? These nations simply followed the survival for the fittest theory. The tribe which was stronger did not hastate to slaughter every member of the members to the weaker/weakest tribes not spearing women and children. The weaker tribes awaited their turn to become stronger and then took equally blood revenge .So the blood bath went on.
So despite of so many years of independence, Africa continue to remain the ‘dark continent’ not just people from the continent are black but also their brains, and hearts are too black too.Nowander they look black!!. Destiny saved me, but our blood sucking political vampires killed the rest! The huge natural resources were seldom exploited to the fullest extent, Education, heal and sanitation went unheeded.
While most of the nations were under the military dictatorship, some did boast of a kind of ‘democracy’ token elections which were neither free or fair.The corrupt rulers were only interested to remain in power and looting the nation.
Formerly, the 3rd world nations could blame their former colonial rulers for their troubles. To a certain extent, this was true. But it does not hold any water at all now, instead the black or the African rulers are now swapping the positions or even better they are now the real ‘white colonial’ in the name of democracy and they are revenging and terrorizing their fellow black, accomplishing unfinished business from the white colonialism Empire regime.
When colonial Belgium quit Congo during the 1950’s,it left the poor nation with no proper infrastructure ,healthcare and educational facilities. There was just one doctor in the country. Congo rich in minerals and diamonds, had been reluctantly given up by the Belgians who were ready to send mercenaries to fight and protect their business and mining interests. The US then took a hand. In street the CIA working hard they left leaning prime minister Patrice Lumumba assassinated. Congo had never been free of civil strife since then.
Today there is no colonialism to interfere and create problems. But the current rulers of most 3rd world nations appear to be a group of blood thirsty tyrants. The most appalling aspect of their attitude was the utter disregard for human life. With the backing of the armed forces which are kept in good humour they launched ferocious attacks of any dissent movement.Internatianal outcry left them cold.
The world was full of such dictators of 3rd world nations who found acceptance in the West. They spent millions of dollars in purchasing arms from the West and become good friends of the so called ‘real’ democracies. The rulers allow their raw materials to be pillaged by West, demanding and getting handsome commissions in the arms deals.
Benefiting from such transactions, the west seldom act against such ‘rogue’ states in the 3rd world nations whose leaders were welcome in white house and 19 Downing Street. The few dictators who got into trouble with the West were those who refused to toe their line, like Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. Looking around the world ,one sees several other dictators worse than Saddam who were thriving with the help of the west democracies.
It is said that the 3rd world nations whose emergence from the shadows of colonialism had not been able to play its destined role in a free word. To do this they must put their houses in order and learn to protect their people instead of massacring them in civil wars.
They can do this in their own ways, without following the dictates of the western democracy system. Such changes can be brought about by monarchies and even the military generals who respected individual freedom. By adopting such reforms, nations of the 3rd world can stop the western powers from interfering with their internal affairs. They can play a more effective role in international affairs, play a positive role in the UN and act independently against illegal and hostile moves all over the world. But the basic requirement is the internal reforms. It is a question of Physical Heals thyself.
Other nations may come in to assist them by leading the helping hand to them in achieving such changes which will help their prestige in the world scene. He contemptuous reference to Tin pot dictators to the 3rd word leaders should become a thing of the past.
The cause of Kenya’s evolution since independence has been one of the remarkable success combined with almost unforgettable failures. The most spectacular success has been our political system.—a functioning democracy in a poor country of enormous diversity in terms of language, religion and the ethnicity. This is probably unparalleled in political history.
Our unforgivable failure is the persistence of acute poverty and destitution. It is a matter of utter shame that nearly fourth years rather four decades after independence, we have any where between one-third and one-fourth of our people desperately poor and denied the minimum of human existence ,large number of illiterates millions of malnourished children and many crippled or blinded.
Apolitical democracy of one adult-one vote co-exist with a highly distorted economic democracy in which voting is the market takes place, according to the purchasing power to marginalize the poor .The tension thus generated is apparently in many distorted forms ,such as the play of religious or tribal identity or regional parochialism ,not to speak of corruption,partronage and nepotism in our politics. And ,despite the fact that the elections becoming freer and more representative ,the quality of democracy seems to be declining fast. We must find ways to correct this by bringing closer our political and economic democracy in more just a society.
Simple minded old answers are grossly inadequate for reducing this gap between our economy and political democracy. Economic ideologues on both sides of the barricade can continue to argue in favour of either state intervention or the magic of the market place through liberalization and globalization. But the former results in wistful and mindless bureaucracy and the latter widening the gap between the rich and the poor. It leaves the poor even marginalized.
This indeed was the main message of the last general election when the’ Kenya shining’ slogans crashed for the ODM and PNU-led coalition ,which took the great pride in liberalising the economy but they may not win the up coming general election. Some essential element is clearly missing in this ideologically coloured debate. And one tend to suspect that neither the pro-state or the pro market view wants to come clean, and place it at the center of the problem for improving the quality of democracy in its current phase. In a way most of us know the broad direction of the direction of the solution. The accountability of our democracy system should be increased but the issue is how to achieve it. It is not our democracy is devoid of accountability but it is largely negative in character. When people get dissatisfied with the government, they register their anger by voting negatively against it –the so called the ‘incumbency factors’. The result is well seldom vote with the hope for positive change this days. We can not trust the our politicians in general and do not “own” the government .This is the basis for development towards a more just society, irresponsible of whether we achieve high rate or low rate of economic growth.
The situation can begin can begin to change only when we recognize that accountability must be continuous ,and not at the time of the election. Accountability must be also be comprehensive to include not only politicians, but also the bureaucrats implementing the day to day decisions .
Right to information movement is the main instrument for moving towards this goal. It will gradually gather the momentum in different parts of country. If the movement for the Right To Information will be put in Act then the ODM-PNU led coalition government should be able to table a RTI Bill as soon as possible.
Then the common wananchi will hold the government resposible by questioning its failures and promise.While this remains an up-hill task remains to be seen.
Democratic In Kenya Is Nonesense:”Corruption Is As Rarely As Bad Under The New Democracy As It Was Even More Worse Under The Previous Dictatorship.”
We had thought that democracy will make leaders accountable to the people and lead to less corruption but the opposite is taking place.However we can not straightaway dismiss democracy of this count. Many studies indicates that there is less corruption in democratic regimes. Wyne Sandholtz and William Koetzle of Princeton University ,in a study of corruption in fifty countries found that levels of corruption are higher where democratic norms and institutions are weak. But this does not fit with our live experience hence there is a need to relook into such studies.
It is clear that the rich countries have low level of corruption today and many have also embraced democracy .There exist the correlation between prosperity and democracy. But this does not mean that democracy leads to prosperity .An example will clarify the issue.
A Statistical study of fair and dark persons in a village is likely to conclude that fair colour is cause of large land ownership. Landed persons generally have fair skin. But such conclusion is obviously untenable. The true explanation is that the skin of the land- owners is exposed less to the sun hence fairer. Distribution of land is the cause of colour of skin, not vice versa. But a statistical analysis would show that colour of the skin is the cause of prosperity.
The situation of democracy is similar. Let us dived the countries into two blocks or categories those having advanced technologies and those without.Technogically advanced countries are extracting the resources of the the backward courtiers Their companies are extracting resources from this poor nations by using their advanced cannons; the US did the same in Iraq by using advanced patriot missiles; and Microsoft is doing the same by selling Windows software at monopolistic prices.
The rich countries use part of this income to support democracy within their borders. They provide facilities to their people such as free healthcare and food stamps to the unemployed. The money for these expenditures is obtained, in parts from the taxes paid by Microsoft out of profits extracted from the poor countries. The American people ‘believes’ in democracy because such system is delivering comfort to them .
The same formula does not work in technologically backward countries like Kenya .They have to purchase Windows software at exorbitant prices. The government do not have the money to provide free healthcare and food stamps. The ordinary people have to pay the bribes to the government doctors for getting treatment because facilities available are limited. Ministers have to make the money from corruption because they have the fulfill peoples expectations of free packets of salts and liquor pouches and not forgetting real money. The same democracy produces opposite results in the poor countries. It appears that democracy is merely the flag post of prosperity. The same butter eaten by healthy person gives strength but when taken by a sick person creates indigestion; similarly the same democracy adopted in prosperous countries leads to less corruption but when adopted in poor countries leads to more corruption.
Worse ,democracy becomes a cause of poverty of technologically backward countries.Carloss A Ball, Editor of AIPE, a Spanish-language news organization based in Florida, says in article titled “Dictator or Democracy?” and I quote: “Most Latin American says in all sorts of corruption of my generation were born under non democratic regimes. In the 60s and 70s new democratic regimes surged all over the continent .The real outcome of democratic wave was that the people had the chance to elect virtual dictators to rule for the period of four, five or even six years.Strengly enough ,the dictators of the past ,despite of their usual personal corruption, in many cases showed far more respect for rule of law and sound currencies than their successors, the democratically elected Presidents.
“Latin politicians soon learned that the easiest way to steal is by inflating the currency and the poor suffered the most since what little they have is in cash or savings accounts, not in real estate or Swiss Bank accounts. On December 3,2001,the Argentine ‘democratic’ government of president Fenando de Rua confiscated the bank accounts of all the Argentines, perhaps the largest bureaucratic robbery in modern times. Under the law people were allowed to withdraw only 250 pesos per week from their accounts, and their dollar deposits were converted into devalued pesos. No military dictators of 30sor 40s or 50s managed to do so much harm to so many of their own with one stroke of the pen. Perhaps they couldn’t do it because they did not have the protection of ‘democratic’ mantles. Latin democracies have sadly turn out to be much worse than the old dictatorships.”
Kenya’s experience is somewhat similar. The former Rain Ball Alliance government pursued faceless economic growth under the slogans of BANANAS and ORANGES while the current ODM-PNU- lead coalition has replaced it with welfare a programme that benefits the bureaucracy more than the people. Issues such as creation of employment and land reforms are missing from their agenda of both parties.
One argument in favour of democracy is that it provides an opportunity to resist corruption. In an article titled ‘The Flip side’ Robert A Paster defends democracy saying that “corruption is as rarely as bad under the new democracy as it was under the previous dictatorship. The big difference is that the old dictatorship controlled the press and concealed its corruption, and the new democracy allows the press free reins.”
The point is well taken. But such freedom may not lead to less corruption. The reason as Carlos A Ball pointed out ,is that the commitment of the elected leaders to the people is limited to a few years .They have the tendency of fulfill their personal interests in the shortest time possible available. People do get an opportunity to resist this corruption but there is a higher incentive to corruption among the elected leaders .
There is less corruption in a dictatorial system because the leaders have the long term commitment towards the people ;it is less in democratic system because people are free to resist the high lever of corruption .In the end democracy does not beget less corruption. Corruptions of the current ruling ODM-PNU-lead coalition government will continue to occur till we sit smugly assuming that democracy is the guarantee to good governance. Democracy encourages leaders to become corrupt especially in poor country like ours. We need to give more attention to the motivation of the leaders than to preventing their higher level of corruption.
What day in Zimbambwe!!! On 11 February, in Harare, Morgan Tsvangirai drank the poison chalice ,knowing that it was poisoned .He was sworn in as a Prime minister of Zimbabwe in a government that still controlled by his deadly enemy ,president Robert Mugabe.He must know that his chances of success even of political survival ,are close to nil. “We are not joining Mugabe,” he said bravely. “This is part of part of transitional relationship, negotiated.Mr Mugabe has executive authority. I have executive authority.”
But Mugabe has exclusive control over the army and the police, which are regularly used to harass, imprison, torture and kill Tsvangirai’s supporters. He also controls the courts through the justice ministry. What Tsvangirai got was the finance ministry, although Mugabe’s men control the Central bank and the various social affair ministries. In effect he can go looking for foreign aid, try to fix the broken economy ,and bring suffering Zimbabweans what help he can, but mugabe’s people run the key ministries that have real power over people’s lives.
Few Zimbabweans foresaw this outcome when the movement for democratic change (MDC) unexpectedly won a majority in parliament and Tsvangirai won more votes than Mugabe in the election last march. It was an accident that only happen because ZANU,the overconfident ruling part was less thorough than unusual in intimidating the voters and rigging the count, but the apparent defeat of Mugabe’s 30 years of ruling rather regime awakened hope in the hearts of despairing Zimbabweans.
The hope was premature. The regime declared that Tsvangirai’s majority was not big enough to avoid the second round of voting ,and then launched a campaign of violence against the MDC officials and supporters that killed over two hundred people and injured thousands. Shortly before the second vote, Tsvangirai withdrew from the race to save the MDC voters from a bloodbath on election day, and Mugabe was ‘re-elected’ without opposition as the president of Zimbambwe.
That was not the end of it, because mugabe’s brutal ,corrupt regime has not just ruled the Zimbabwean economy; it is dragging the whole of South Africa region down. Un employment in Zimbabwe is 94 per cent the currency is so worthless that even street traders will only accept foreign currency, cholera is raging across the country, and average life expectance is now the lowest in the world. About one-third of Zimbabwe’s twelve million people have fled to South Africa in search of works and dozens were murdered there last year by resentful South Africans who believed that they were taking South African jobs.
In a region that is prosperous and well-governed by African standards, Zimbabwe sticks out like a sore thumb and that is a problem of for the neighbours.Foreign investors are famously ignorant about the distant places they can invest in, and easily panic if something bad seems to be happening in the vicinity. The other members of the southern African development community, the nine country regional organizational, had to do something about the catastrophe of Zimbabwe because they were all at risk of being tarred with the same brush by choice ignorant foreigners.
So the SADC intervened sort of. The intention was to force some sort of deal that ended the mess in Zimbabwe but they had no real plan and they were in awe of Mugabe’s history as one of main heroes in the liberation struggle a generation ago. South Africa ‘s then president Thabo Mbeki was particularly determined to ensure that the old man Mugabe turning 85 years old be treated with respect ,even though he is murderous tyrant. So the SADC rather than supporting Tsvangirai’s complaint that Mugabe had stolen the election ,forced him last August to accept a ‘national unity’ Government in which he would inevitably be the junior partner.
Tsvangirai’s did not even get an agreement on which ministries the MDC would receive ,although it was obvious that Mugabe would never willingly surrender control of his main instruments of repression the army and the police. The last six months have been filled with futile wrangling as Tsvangirai tried to wrest those ministries away from Mugabe ,while the country sank ever deeper into poverty ,hunger and disease. Now he has joined the Government anyway, though Mugabe’s thugs were still arresting and torturing senior MDC members even up to day.
Tsvangirai’s vision for how this might succeed ,in so far as he has one ,seems to be that his presence in the Government will unleash a flood of foreign aid that will rescue Zimbabweans from their desperate plight. Then his grateful fellow citizens will vote for him in such overwhelming numbers in the election that the SADC has mandated for two years hence that even Mugabe ‘s vote-counters cannot invalidate it. It isn’t going to happen.
Western aid donors have been giving Zimbabwe nothing except food relief where by two thirds of the population depends on foreign food aid because they assume that Mugabe ‘s cronies will steal anything else and they see no reason to change their minds. As Tsvangirai was been sworn in, Britain took the highly unusual step of placing and ad in the Zimbabwe press spelling out the fact .”It is unlikely that any Government involving Mugabe will inspire donor confidence and attract the support it so badly needs.” But if the aid doesn’t flow , Tsvangirai will have nothing to show for his despite gamble.Game,set and match to Mugabe .Pity about Zimbabwe.
US president George W Bush has said his belief that God created the world is not incompatible with scientific prove of evolution. The Bible is “probably not” literally true and that a belief that God created the world incompatible with the theory of evolution. In an interview with ABC’s “Nightline”, the president also said he probably is not a literalist when reading the Bible although an individual can learn a great deal from it, including the New Testament teaching That God sent his only son.” Evolution is an interesting subject. I happen to believe that evolution doesn’t fully explain the mystery of life,” said Bush. “I think the creation of the world is so mysterious it requires as something as large as almighty and I don’t thinks it’s incompatible with the scientific proof that there is evolution,” The Telegraphic quoted him ,as saying .Asked whether the Bible was literally true, Bush replied : “Probably not.No,I’m not a literalist ,but I think you can learn a lot from it.”Courtesy of Ap and DNA.