A Strange World!

I was flipping through the channels last night when I came across the Breaking News that Jacob Zuma had beaten Thabo Mbeki in the race for the ANC Presidency by a landslide. I had of course been aware of the controversy behind Zuma that resulted in him being sacked as the South African Deputy President, the corruption allegations and of course that HIV and rape (with shower afterwards) saga. I personally thought that his reputation had been sufficiently tarnished by all that and that he didn’t stand a chance of winning but obviously politics in Africa works on a different wavelength.

The fact that the South African Economy has grown steadily under Thabo Mbeki evidently did not resonate with the masses of African poor who still suffer under exploitation by rich employers enjoying the economic boom. This should be a lesson to leaders here in Kenya that bigger economic growth figures means nothing if it does not result in better living conditions for the poor infact it just creates bigger expectations among the people.

That said I still feel sad when I compare the character of Zuma with Mandela (although it is unfair to compare anyone with Mandela – I don’t think there are many leaders who can measure up) I feel that frustatration with the slow pace of change may have clouded the obvious flaws in Zuma. I find it hard to forgive the ‘rape’ allegations and remarks he has made in the past regarding women. But then again that is Democracy in its raw form – The people have made their choice and it is their burden to carry, I wish them the best however.

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7 Responses

  1. Interesting that i wanted to do a post on this matter. I was in SA last week and talking to cab drivers, waiters and porters made me realize that Mbeki was in for a hiding. The similarity with how the poor view Mbeki with how they do view Kibaki here in Kenya was really an eye opener.

    surprising thing is, the black South African wishes we could vote Kibaki back in.

    I cant help and feel bad that Zuma will lead that county coz to me he is a buffoon who will brings back the caricature of a bungling African leader. The western media will be having a field day now. The rape saga and his comments on women should have resigned him to the political cold!!

    Oh..seems I did my post here after all.

    GREAT POST

  2. like you said this is Africa, politics here works on different rules. i was also amused when i watched that pice of news. and couldn’t help but think of our situation back here…man, things will be interesting!

    and have a merry flowery christmas and a blessed new year buddy. hata ukiwa kazini!

  3. I will agree with Modo; african politics works on different rules. Zuma has never stepped into any classroom. Ofcourse we will all agree that he deserves a clap for teaching himself to read and write. I am trying to picture him attending a G8 summit with other world leaders…I am sure such a day will never dawn.

    Still, I believe there is more coming…I doubt he will make it to the throne. But yeah, if Macro economics does not translate to better living standards for the masses, the likes of Mbeki, kibaki et al will see dust.

  4. Kwanza, Seasons you shuda said you were in SA, we cuda met in a ka mini-meet-up.

    Anyway, I watched the elections and the result announcements live on Telly and I knew he was going to win. The voting was tribal. It was all about Zulus vs Xhosa’s and only three thousand people actually made the big decision on behalf of the whole country.

    I hope you guys back home do better next week, but by better I’m not saying it has to be Kibaki. Vote wisely Kirish, Modo and Seasons. Mwari how are things huko Ulaya? What happened to your blog?

    End of post.

  5. haiya! ati zuma didnt go to school? ave googled him and still cant see why he was elected. how could people vote in a man who washed himself to reduce the risk of getting HIv?
    it trully is a strange world!

  6. as is said..only God can save African politics..

    woi..i seriously pray for that country..Zuma as the leader?..when did the voters go blind and deaf?

  7. golly! me in my little cave here…clearly they see what we cannot?

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