A glimmer of light or the more things change

15 02 2008

It’s been several weeks since I have been able to blog; it was a lightning strike on the UHF link next door that did it. I was in my kitchen at the time and with the flash and bang together I knew it had been close but as everything was working in my house I didn’t give it too much thought. Despite everything being off on the computer network it trashed all their network cards and the UHF power supply. Such is the situation in Zimbabwe right now (hey, at last count 150,000% inflation and growing) that nothing much gets done without having to cough up in real money (more on that one later).

It was last week, I think, when Austin asked me in the gym what I thought of the latest development in Zimbabwe politics. I was clueless so he enlightened me that Simba Makoni, an erstwhile minister of finance, was standing in the presidential (and parliamentary) elections next month. On the surface this is indeed positive news.  Simba resigned from his portfolio due to the impossibility of his position and that he stood up to Robert’s directive. He is indeed bright and a successful businessman (as are a lot of the ZANU-PF hierarchy – though for different reasons) and really is our only hope for any meaningful change. Whether being Zimbabwean president would be any easier than Minister of Finance under the current regime, remains to be seen.

There are those who see this as just another ruling party scam to give credibility to what will undoubtedly be a crooked election process. It goes like this; they persuade Simba to stand for the presidency and make a fuss and bother about him being within the ruling party (even more smoke and mirrors here as no-one seems to know if he has been expelled or not). They engineer Robert to win and say “Well, there you go, the people did not want Simba – it must have been a free and fair process”. Or, they let Simba win, control stays with ZANU-PF and nothing much changes. I should mention that the opposition, the MDC, are a spent force before they have even started. They are hopelessly split along tribal lines and have no credibility. The leader of the largely Shona faction, Morgan Tsvangirai is just not much of a leader either.

Whether this really is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel or a case of the more things change the more they stay the same is irrelevant. We have no choice, we have to try.



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