Monday, July 28, 2008



July 25 2008
Daily Nation

Robert Mugabe ran an election against himself and won
Tsvangirai has embraced Mugabe and termed his agreement to begin peace talks with Mugabe as “historic”

There is a saying among my kinsmen to the effect that “what it sires is what it breastfeeds”. The reference in this case is to animals and they seem to have no choice. Thus should a cow give birth to a hen, then it will breast feed it. But we humans have a choice and if, for instance, a woman heavy with child, knew that she would give birth to Lucifer himself, she can terminate the pregnancy.

Zimbabweans have followed suit after Robert Mugabe ran an election against himself and won. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has embraced Mugabe and termed his agreement to begin peace talks with Mugabe as “historic”. What a misuse of a good word. He sees it as a great opportunity for peace and possible continuance of governance in Zimbabwe.

Grace continent

Unfortunately democracy or the delusion that passed for it in Africa has finally been mutilated, and may never again be allowed to grace this continent. It has inhaled its last breath of life through the suffocation of the people’s will by the powerful clench of electoral fraud witnessed in Kenya and Zimbabwe.

Kenya had offered to help Zimbabwe in settling the impasse by prescribing solutions or suggestions. It seems like the Zimbabweans took the offer and most likely Tsvangirai will be bequeathed premiership and half of the cabinet like his friend Raila Odinga. Ask Tsvangirai why he is negotiating and he will tell you that he does not want to see more blood being spilt. But is there an alternative?

Just powers

I submit that there is, but the alternative never seems to work in Africa. Even though the flame inside us has died and has been replaced by a dark bottomless void, a small ember must remain, refuse to die and grow. According to the American Declaration of Independence a government derives its just powers from the governed in guaranteeing their liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Where it fails, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and institute a new one that guarantees safety and happiness. Thus on February 26, 1986, for instance, Corazon Aquino became the President of Philippines. An almost bloodless revolution known as ‘Peoples Power’ had brought Aquino into office.

When one looks at the crisis in Zimbabwe and recently in Kenya, there are almost similar events that had built up to that day 22 years ago. However, while the Philippines crisis resulted into a revolution by the people, the same did not happen in Kenya and with Tsvangirai having thrown in the towel, it won’t happen in Zimbabwe. Why? Because revolutions are waged by people seeking to regain their identity from repressive regimes or foreign domination.

Philippines was under President Ferdinand Marcos, one of the world’s most powerful dictators. First elected President in 1965, he became a master of manipulating public opinion, stealing elections and bribery.

In November 1985, Marcos in an American talkshow, This Week with David Brinkley, announced his decision to hold a snap presidential election to appease the Americans and legitimise his control over the country, a monumental blunder. The elections were held on February 7, 1986, and were marred by violence and alleged electoral fraud from both sides of the political divide.

According to official election canvasser, the Commission on Elections, Marcos won with 10,807,197 votes against Aquino’s 9,291,761. National Movement for Free Elections had Aquino winning with 7,835,070 votes against Marcos’ 7,053,068. Marcos was proclaimed the winner but the Filipinos rejected the results asserting that Aquino was the real victor.

Both “winners” held separate inaugurations with Marcos’ attended by family members and a few paid guests.

Why haven’t we seen such a scenario in Africa? It’s because most African countries lack a middle class and a cultural–spiritual battlefront necessary for a people’s revolution.