I was invited to participate in BBCWorld Service ‘Africa have your say‘ call-in programme to discuss Zuma’s request to Gordon Brown that sanctions be lifted. I was given 30 seconds very near the end of the programme, and I handled it poorly. This post is to make up for it :) Africa have your say I have blogged about Zimbabwe here before. the bbc programme was prompted by Jacob Zuma’s official visit to the UK, and his request for the lifting of Zimbabwe’s sanctions.
- The Ministry of Home Affairs, Zimbabwe is position in the Zimbabwean government is currently subject to a tussle of control between Zanu-PF and MDC. However it is overshadowed by the Provincial administration in the communal areas, which largely controls food distribution. The Ministry of Home Affairs controls, among others, :- Zimbabwe Republic Police (responsible for internal security) Registrar General (Electoral roll) Immigration Board of Censors (Newspapers, TV, Radio) Lotteries and Gaming Board (Income in tourist areas) Especially because it controls the Police Force, it is a powerful ministry.
- Since the election itself, we have watched, in slow motion, the frantic backpedalling of ZanuPF to steal the elections after the fact. We have all watched Zimbabwe’s slide from prosperous neighbour to failed state in the past 8 years. There was much wringing of hands by western countries - watching another African basket case grow from what was a functioning economy with educated populous. Granted - there was a lot of unfinished business from independence -particularly about transfer of ownership of land to black Zimbabweans.
- Zimbabwe went to elections last weekend. The Movement for Democratic Change use the open hand as a symbol, ZanuPF the cockerel. ZanuPF were so bereft ofideas that their slogan was “Get behind the fist” - a clear counterpoint to MDC’s open hand. That makes international opinion the Scissors - unable to conquer the Rock. I have watched, aghast, Zimbabwe’s economic slide for 6 years. My first visit to Southern Africa was in 1999 - and I decided against visiting Zimbabwe then because my trip would have been too short.
- Nigeria - A big turn-around - elections this weekend. The front-runner is an ex-military ruler - there is no other kind in Nigeria. The good news is that he is the only military ruler to have voluntarily handed over to a civilian government in the past. He is running for president this time. The bad news - Nigeria has institutionalised corruption - it is normality. It is a long road back - this weekends elections are the first step.