Tag Archives: zimbabwe

Standing against the tide of years, sometimes we drown

The Economist has an obituary for Ian Smith, the leader of the fourteenth colony to declare independence from the United Kingdom. Smith’s rise a product of Britain’s fall: the bankruptcy of Her Majesty’s System Administration Force, necessitated by Britain’s disasterous entry into two disasterous World Wars. Pressured by the majority of the population below him, the Parliament above him, and anti-British Boers to his side, and his own mistakes, Smith’s Southern Rhodesia would fall. Because of his failure, Zimbabwe is now the nightmare it is today.

In a better world, that great war would not have been fought, the Core would have been able to afford a century of capital investment throughout sub-Saharan Africa, and men like Smith would have lived very different lives. But we don’t live in that better world.

At least, not yet.

People Power Coming to Zimbabwe?

Oust Mugabe peacefully: Archbishop,” Herald Sun, 29 March 2005, http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5478,12683192%255E663,00.html.

Democracy may be coming to Zimbabwe (old South Rhodesia), if Archbishop Ncube has his way

A Zimbabwean church leader has called for a Ukranian-style, peaceful, popular uprising against President Robert Mugabe.

Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube made his call less than a week from the national poll.

medium_archbishop_ncube.jpg
The Archbishop

Archbishop Ncube told The Sunday Independent he hoped for a mass uprising against Mugabe, his country’s controversial long-time leader who seems set to romp to victory in Thursday’s poll.

I hope that people get so disillusioned that they really organise against the government and kick him (Mugabe) out by a non-violent, popular, mass uprising,” the archbishop said.

Zimbabwe has a history of positive Church involvement in liberation. Bishop Muzorewa was a vital bridge between colonialism and local control. It looks like Archbishop Ncube is just as good.

Will the Big Bang echo in Harare? Let’s hope!

Don’t Worry About China

Finland most competitive economy,” by Samantha Tonkin, The World Economic Forum Weblog, http://www.forumblog.org/blog/2004/10/finland_most_co.html, 13 October 2004.

My Friend Detained in China,” by Rebecca MacKinnon, RConversation, http://rconversation.blogs.com/rconversation/2004/12/my_friend_arres.htm, 13 December 2004.

Wartime Chinese Sex Slaves Lose Compensation Fight,” The Guardian Unlimited, http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1374194,00.html, 15 December 2004 (from Democratic Underground)

China continues to develop. The three dissidents arrested earlier? All released after an overnight stay. Granted I’d rather not have intellectuals arrested at all, but the Chinese insist they are investigated a real crime. The PRC has a way to go, but its nowhere near the black hole that North Korea, Belarus, or Burma are. Probably even better than Zimbabwe.

However, these are poor peers. In a World Economic Forum report released in October, China’s economy ranked as the 46th most competitive. Yup, 46th. China has enormous potential, a growing middle class, and an incredible amount of cheap ex-farm labor. But she’s not going to devour the world anytime soon.

There are also hopeful signs that China is outgrowing her past. Three former harem girls lost a fight for back wages against Japan, and the article mentions no official word from Beijing. As the Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons of America harp of coerced labor from a century and a half ago, its a good sign if the PRC is shutting up about actions from a third of that time back.