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Sunday, November 9, 2008

The African country...So they say Palin says!

The state of limbo Africa is in at this time- or particularly, South Africa and Zimbabwe- is something we have to monitor as one, we do not want the seeds of democracy in one to be wasted and eaten up by the vultures and two, we don't want for a growing emerging market, to be dashed away within another.

And, no, I'm not going to make fun of Sarah Palin and what they said she said, that Africa is a "country". But, it seemed to fit the title and make it a little more provocative, all at the same time--- a little tricky, I know. But, its worth a read, anyways!

But, back to the topic. South Africa and Zimbabwe, the two countries at the center of 'most' of the African news and issues nowadays, barring The Sudan, are going through some really challenging political times. For one, in South Africa, a little while back they asked for Thabo Mbeki, the second South African President after the great Nelson Mandela, to step down amidst growing popularity of his heir apparent, Jacob Zuma, and, simultaneously, the corruption investigations that Mr. Mbeki was 'reportedly' spearheading in regards to Mr. Zuma himself. Mr. Zuma, has been a very bad, bad, man, so they say. He has had to answer allegations of raping the daughter of a political ally, who he had known to have AIDS, triggering off scores of reporters who scorned the idea and his excuse, lampooned by others, with his statement that; "I took a shower afterwards, to protect myself from the possibility of contracting the AIDS virus from my 'partner'. " At the time, Mr. Zuma stood as chair of the council that is national agency for AIDS awareness and protection. That's Africa, for ya!

So, now, the way is paved for Mr. Zuma in the next South African general elections, with a weakened Mr. Mbeki, who was, by all accounts, increasingly unpopular in South Africa, for having not re-distributed enough to the poorer and middle classes. Mr. Zuma, is the "opposite" and is a populist, who promises, at least, more re-distribution to the poorer classes-- even though, the other half of corruption charges he has been forced to answer to, albeit informally, were lucrative arms deals to a close South African ally and arms dealer, when he was Vice President under Mr. Mbeki. So, our little socialist, is a capitalist for himself, at least!

But, there is a bigger issue in play. And, it involves their neighbor and a really bad man, President Robert Mugabe. If it ever was a time where I wished someone removed from power, by any means necessary, it is now with Mr. Mugabe.
1. A country where leaders oppress and kill persons of differing parties, is not welcomed
2. A country, with the racist rhetoric, in today's world the way a Mugabe chants death to the Western system, is not welcomed
3. A country who's leader, has steered them into hundreds fold inflation and, a misuse of its natural resources, is unwelcome.

Mugabe has been all wrong, all around. He has not caught up with the 21st century, and maybe not even the 19th century. He has to go. And, Mr. Mbeki, while he stood as a negotiator, stuck his neck on the line for his opponent, Mr. Tsvangirai and the political process in Zimbabwe ultimately, to make sure we had a system that was palatable and workable, even by Mugabe's and Zimbawe's standard and need. Time will tell if his mediation, especially this power sharing plan, will work. A consideration which has not been fleshed out, and, which may turn deadly, is this power share between the military, controlled by Mugabe and, the police force, controlled by Mr. Tsvangirai---the possibilities for armed militia fighting, intensified by jealousies and exacerbated by cronyism for political factions and pro leadership ethnicity's, to infiltrate and dominate on or the other, is something we would have to be at a headway to pre-empt. Or, else, we will have another Rwanda on our hands. We should not want that, at all.

But, and this is only my feelings, what if this latest diplomatic push from Mbeki, is what has broken the straw on the camel's back for South Africans. And, Zuma and his allies, saw it as an opportunity to seal the door on Mbeki, without it causing too much social and political backlash!?!? Could be! But, whatever, Mbeki is out. And, now, folks who were once within his stable, most notably Mosiuoa (“Terror”) Lekota, a former ANC chairman, and Mbhazima Shilowa, until recently the premier of Gauteng province, have now aligned themselves with the main opposition party (The Democratic Alliance, led by Helen Zille)--who are, the former people and current descendants, of the racist Apartheid rule elites, who people, like them, worked hard to get rid of!!!!

We will have to wait and see how it all pans out. I will be following this issue and much more updates and analysis to come.

Youri
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