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Archive for May, 2013

Zimbabwean elections by end of July

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Friday, May 31st, 2013 by Bev Clark

The Guardian reports

A Zimbabwean court has ordered Robert Mugabe to hold elections before the end of July, adding to a political dispute over the timing and funding of the vote in the country. “The elections should take place no later than 31 July 2013,” said the chief justice of the constitutional court, Godfrey Chidyausiku. More

The playground of language

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Friday, May 31st, 2013 by Bev Clark



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Friday, May 31st, 2013 by Bev Clark

And if you think that achieving something, if you think that solving something, if you think a career or a relationship will quiet that voice, it will not. If you think that happiness means total peace, you will never be happy. Peace comes from the acceptance of the part of you that can never be at peace. It will always be in conflict. If you accept that, everything gets a lot better. – Joss Whedon

Time to question AU’s commitment to good governance, transparency and rule of law

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Friday, May 31st, 2013 by Bev Clark

Obert Hodzi thinks that the African Union @ 50 is a dream deferred and that the ‘old boys club’ needs a serious overhaul. Here you go:

The African Union has long been accused of being an ‘Old Boys Club’ with neither political will nor a genuine drive to see a reformed Africa. With virtually all African countries being members one would expect nothing short of a vibrant organization capable of stamping its authority when it comes to promoting good governance principles, human rights obligations and purging the scourge of impunity across the continent. 50 years on, Africa stills gruels under various forms of oppression and lack of accountability.

The recent stampede by African leaders to condemn the International Criminal Court (ICC) for ‘race hunting’ in Africa and the clamor to let go Kenyatta, Ruto and Al Bashir is just but one of the many barometers to gauge African Union’s commitment to good governance, transparency and rule of law. It is not just, Al Bashir and Kenyatta but also its response to the Zimbabwean, Swazi, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and Madagascan crises of governance and general disregard to good governance and human rights obligations that worries many. Mugabe, the President of Zimbabwe, after the much condemned June, 28, 2008 election in his country is on record for saying of African Union members: “We have never interfered in their domestic affairs. Never ever. And now we want a country which wants to point a finger at us and say ‘you have done wrong’. I want to see that finger and see whether it’s clean or dirty”. With the exception of a few leaders like Ian Khama of Botswana no one responded to Mugabe’s challenge. Who then can respond to Al Bashir or Kenyatta? Who among African leaders is clean enough to lay a finger on the two and many others, let alone execute the International Criminal Court’s warrant of arrest against them?

Truth be told, there seem to be no ‘African solution to African problems’ nor is the ‘African Renaissance’ rhetoric anything more than a dream. History proves it. Over a decade after its inception, the African Court on People’s and Human Rights has heard only a few cases; the African Peer Review Mechanism has only had a few volunteers while the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, which aimed at fostering good governance principles and economic liberalization in Africa was dismissed by many as a western initiative. Today, the ICC faces the same old demon; the African Union continues to urge its member states not to cooperate with the ICC first on Al Bashir’s case and now on Kenyatta’s. The enthusiasm with which African countries like South Africa have heeded that call begs a lot of questions: To what extent are African leaders willing to overlook grave human rights atrocities to protect their fellows? Can the AU be trusted with the mandate of ensuring and enforcing accountability, good governance and human rights across the continent? Could Africans afford a good night’s sleep unless the AU is transformed by the renewal of its member states’ leaders? Are any of the African leaders’ conscience clean enough to formulate policies to purge impunity enjoyed by most of them, and are their hands clean enough to execute those policies without fear or favor?

It is this multitude of questions that confronts us today. Possibly it is high time that African leaders are taken to task, both on a national and continental level. It is imperative that the civil society and dreamers of a better governed Africa take their governments to task regarding some of the decisions they make at the AU. It is high time Civil Society Organizations start campaigning for reforms in the AU bearing in mind that unless the AU transforms from an ‘old Boys’ Club’, Africans will continue to suffer at the hands of oppressive leaders who enjoy unquestioned impunity and no reprimand from the continental body.

Zanu PF broke? That’s a joke

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Friday, May 31st, 2013 by Marko Phiri

A report today says Zanu PF “recently acquired 550 vehicles, – an assortment of single and double cab 4X4 vehicles Toyota Hilux, Nissan NP300, Ford Ranger and Mazda BT50s valued at USD14$million.” All this from a party supposedly broke? And was it not only this month that we read that cops had impounded MDC-T bikes on allegations that the motorbikes “were smuggled into the country?” SMH

Zimbabwean politicians must learn to take responsibility

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Friday, May 31st, 2013 by Fungayi Mukosera

Groupon Inc former CEO was fired on 1 March 2013 and he said, “After four and a half intense and wonderful years as CEO of Groupon, I’ve decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding – I was fired today. If you’re wondering why… you haven’t been paying attention, from controversial metrics in our S1 to our material weakness to two quarters of missing our own expectations and a stock price that’s hovering around one quarter of our listing price, the events of the last year and a half speak for themselves. As CEO, I am accountable.” This is what he wrote in a memo to the people of Groupon. What attracted me here is that he wrote in the most candid way that most of us struggle to do.

On 11 October 2010 Newsday published a story entitled ‘perpetrators apologise for political violence. In Matebeleland South, Zanu Pf member Makheyi Ncube lifted up his hands in front of the whole community and confessed his involvement in the 2008 election violence and the people were appeased by the humility he showed. Here is a man who did not choose the finger pointing solution but rather went head on with the problem in question. 2008 stands out as a very bad year in the history of Zimbabwe and I am surprised that there is no political party which has stood up to accept not even a single wrong.

Zimbabwe lost more than 300 hundred lives to political violence. Sometimes I get so angry to the extent that I feel that I have to be alone at a secluded place because some of the stories we had prior to the June 27 elections were so painful. Zimbabwean politics has in the past three decades lacked men of valour who not only think of today but uphold a quality of forecast and goal. If an honourable man apologises, he will only look stupid today but he knows the value of time and process of healing. In five years time when he starts preaching peace and campaigning again for re-election, it is easy for the people to see the sincerity in his talk because he is a man who sets a precedent of standing for the truth rather than justifying evil behaviour.

I am not a politician by profession myself but the bible that I read in John 8 vs 32 says to both me and the politicians that, ‘And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free’. If a politician knows the overwhelming evidence that his supporter killed someone (truth), what more soothing (free) would he need in his campaign camp than this?

I think a man who does not accept his own failures is just but an ignorant liar and should never be taken seriously because if he falters, the next thing is that he wants to craft a patch to make it an excuse to cover his own junk. Only noble and patient men do the honourable thing to accept their flaws. In Shona people say, ‘munhu anomira patsvina dzake’ (a man stands with his own dirt). The moment you try to justify your wrong doings, you will force other innocent people to step in and deal with your dirt.