Thursday, April 3, 2008
Worst Look of The Day - African Elections
This changing of the guard thing always seems to be difficult in Africa.
Resultantly, there is always at least one African crisis garnering media attention. Regrettably, these crises tend to be related to the seeming inability of an African nation to have an undisputed, incident free election. More often than not blood is shed. Losers claim to be winners while winners devilishly work to tighten their grip on the "throne" in these nations that would like to be viewed by the international community as democracies. Yet, the problems plaguing Africa seem to be repeatedly suggesting that while remnants of democracy are there, democracy itself has failed to consolidate fully across the entire African continent. A few weeks back this was made evident by the chaos in Kenya. Now Zimbabwe is a prime example of some of the issues plaguing Africa.
The recent turmoil in Zimbabwe is a classic example of an ineffective, yet widely revered, leader seeking to maintain his power. The moment that the freedom of press is suppressed it becomes clear that democracy is either on the brink of failing or in critical danger. Hearing news of paramilitary police surrounding a hotel housing foreign journalists troubled me. Later hearing that journalists were apprehended reaffirmed my fears. When the mass public is unable to access the truth, they acquiesce to a system of lies and falsehoods. Unfortunately, ignorance is not bliss. Instead, ignorance and selfish rule has resulted in rampant inflation and a downward spiraling economy. There are few bright spots coloring the present landscape and there is no clear path paved that leads to economic and social recovery and/or stability.
It looks like Zimbabwe may be forced to wait things out. The country may be forced to grimly wait for Mugabe's death. Natural causes loosened Fidel Castro's rule in Cuba and the winds of change are already sweeping over the island nation. Residents of Zimbabwe can only pray for the same. They can only hope that Mugabe's death will be as important of a historical occurrence as his rise to power and to the status of a national hero in the struggling African nation.
Given the track record of the West and its allies, it appears that we'll just sit back and wait. Wait carelessly for the next African tragedy to come to a head.