Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Zimbabwe: Constructive Engagement

"What then did you expect when you unbound the gag that muted those black mouths? That they would chant your praises? Did you think that when those heads that our fathers had forcibly bowed down to the ground were raised again, you would find adoration in their eyes?" - Jean Paul Sartre

"We seriously hope that incoming US president (Barack) Obama and his new team will depart from this ignorant, ruinous and ineffective foreign policy that effectively undermines its intended beneficiaries, strengthens the targeted villains, while blighting the US standing in the world." — Professor Arthur Mutambara, Zimbabwean opposition leader, The Herald, January 05, 2009.

What exactly do you Africans want?

What type of question is that? Of course we want what every decent and normal human being wants. Food in our stomachs; a shelter over our heads; clothes on our bodies; love of our well-endowed women; a drink now and then...

Don't put your tongue in your cheek, my friend. That's not what I mean.

What do you mean, then?

We are damned if we do, and we are damned if we don't!

Obroni [ed. Obroni: a term use in Ghana for white people, not unlike Musungu in Eastern Africa or Oyinbo in Nigeria.], tell me what is agitating you?

It is about Zimbabwe. Why are you people not supporting us in finding a solution to the problems?

You people? And what problems?

Yes, you Africans! In one breath you're begging for our assistance in sustaining your nascent democracy and in another breath you're collaborating with ignoble and brutal dictators like Robert Mugabe.

Umh...

That's all you got to say, umh, that's all, ehn? The man has gone totally bonkers. He has ruined his country's economy and has reduced his people to eating grass, rodents, and things. The opposition is muzzled and the press is gagged. What more crimes do you want him to commit before you people start to take positive action against the monster? Former President Mbeki all but licks his ass, pardon my scatological term.

Obroni, the last time I checked the people of Zimbabwe were settling their problems. The opposition Movement for Democratic Change has joined the government. What more do you want?

Ha, you call that joining the government? The Southern African Development Community and your useless African Union blackmailed him. Why should he join a government headed by that ancient monster, tell me? Didn't you hear that Mugabe recently tried to kill the opposition leader in a so-called accident that claimed the man's wife?

Ah! I thought they said it was an accident. Accidents do happen everywhere, you know?

Accident! You called that an accident?

Obroni, you are really worked up! I don't know what else to call it, but is yours not the case of crying more than the bereaved? Maybe it's a philosophical thing?

Philosophical thing -- what philosophy are we talking about when a brutal dictator is messing up the lives of his own people?

Obroni, one of your Western thinkers opined that you have no permanent friends or permanent enemies, only permanent interests. We in Africa do not hold such cynical views about humans, or any relationship for that matter; hence our saying that a dog does not forget its benefactor. Maybe you should try to understand the African perspective on the issues of Zimbabwe, especially the South Africans' views.

Are we not getting into deep denial here now? Are you not playing the usual blame the foreigner on anything and everything that is going bad game?

I am playing no game. I'm just telling you some plain facts of life here in Africa. Has it occurred to you that we are simply tired of you people playing games with us and with your fiddling our intelligence?

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Wise saying:

" Never use both feet to test the depth of the sea." - African proverb