16 Friday , June
|Don't turn tail, turn out and cast your vital vote|
6/16/00 11:18:28 AM (GMT +2)
Bulawayo Whiteman, Hillside Bulawayo
I AM a Zimbabwean and I
love this country.
Both my wife and I are
registered to vote in the election although I was registered in the wrong
constituency and my wife was omitted from the roll.
We will be in Zimbabwe over the election period and will most definitely vote.
The Mole has questioned the position of those whites who intend to leave the country over this period. I agree 100 percent with him that we need to be here and we need to show that we are also fighting the cause whatever that may be.
I have heard that there are several blacks also high tailing it out of Zimbabwe over the election period and perhaps The Mole should check this out.
Fear is an understandable emotion that easily leads to over-reaction.
I appeal to all those citizens, white and black, who are eligible to vote to turn out on the day and not to sit on the fence.
Our country is on the brink and needs you to be strong now.
|LEADER PAGE||15 Thursday , June|
|Please, debate the real issues: jobs, corruption|
6/15/00 9:34:02 AM (GMT +2)
STAN Mudenge, the
Minister of Foreign Affairs, once bored an audience of mostly old rural women in
Masvingo into a collective stupor with a long, rambling speech on the origins of
the civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Some of the women were
shown on television yawning without restraint as the learned diplomat dissected
the DRC imbroglio in language fit for a Master's thesis.
It is quite possible that a few people in the audience appreciated why Mudenge found it necessary to torture them with his theories on what, for most, is about death in a foreign land.
It is probable, though, that most of his audience were convinced Mudenge could not speak of the real problems facing them jobs for their children, health, education, the spiralling prices of essential commodities, corruption in high and low places, and the price of their farm produce.
Mudenge is nobody's fool. He knew he would most likely have been booed if he had said something like: "Your party has tackled corruption in the country head-on."
Or: "Your party has created many jobs for young people because it has attracted many foreign investors with its liberal foreign investment policies."
Those would have been such blatant lies even the old women would have collapsed in fits of laughter.
Mudenge was more comfortable haranguing them on the DRC. Most of his audience probably related to that war only in terms of how many of their relatives had died there and how many were still alive for that moment.
Last week, Mudenge was again re-inventing the Cold War. The United States and Britain, he told an election rally, were plotting to remove from power all the leaders of southern Africa, from Mugabe to Sam Nujoma, and including Thabo Mbeki, who returned only a few weeks ago from very successful visits to both countries.
Again, Mudenge was at his eloquent best delivering this lecture on the Cold War to an audience which would most likely have been keen to know when the troops would be back from that stupid war in the DRC, when the fuel crisis would end, or when Hunzvi and his hoods would be removed from the farms.
Many scholars of the Cold War era must have expected to hear him say: "socialism will triumph!"
The issues in this election have more to do with the economic and political development of Zimbabwe than with any plot by the US and the UK to destabilise southern Africa.
Land may be an issue, but not to the extent that it can justify the cold-blooded murder of farmers and their workers, or the rape of women on the farms.
Why don't the Zanu PF leaders, including President Mugabe, address grassroots issues at their rallies? How, after 20 years, are they planning to create more jobs when the likelihood is that more potential investors have given up Zimbabwe as a basket case?
How ironic this is for a country once touted as the bread basket of southern Africa!
Talking of the region as a whole, what must concern most of the other leaders although they dare not say it publicly for fear of provoking the volatile Mr Mugabe are the effects of the killings and beatings of opposition members on the investment climate in the region.
The South Africans are right to be very worried that the effect on foreign direct investment in the region could be crucial. It is doubtful that the leadership in Zimbabwe has paid much attention to that eventuality so wrapped up are they in winning the election.
Yet they too ought to worry about the effects of recent events on the future economic prosperity of this country. It is all very well to retort with "Go to hell!" to all who enquire about the country's future efforts to restore investor confidence, but this is patently unhelpful.
There is life after the elections on 24-25 June. Whoever ends up as the winner will have an enormous job on their hands to repair the economic and political damage wreaked by the farm invasions and the murder of opposition members and the country's tattered international reputation.
Stan Mudenge may not be the man for that job now.