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WHERE IS MUTAMBARA?

FORMER deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara has made an unceremonious exit from the grand political stage. Mutambara went into political oblivion in the run-up to of the 31 July harmonised elections  and he is still hibernating from the political radar.

Ever since the expiry of the unity government last year, Mutambara has gone quiet. The robotics professor should never have been in politics in the first place if he did not have the stamina to last the distance.

Arthur Mutambara

Out of the game: Arthur Mutambara

Some people believe he was more of a political accident as he has the brains, but he was victim of irrelevance. Others say Mutambara was an “opportunist” and this has been exposed by his lack of relevance in the political scheme of things in the aftermath of last year’s elections.

Mutambara, a former student leader, stepped onto the political stage in the aftermath of the MDC’s split in 2005 and took up the leadership of the smaller formation of the labour-backed party, now led by Ncube.

Welshman Ncube and Arthur Mutambara

Welshman Ncube and Arthur Mutambara

Mutambara had to be headhunted to lead and “sanitise” the splinter group, which was being viewed suspiciously through tribal lenses. In 2009, he rose to take up the deputy premiership as one of the signatories to the power-sharing agreement that took the country to last year’s elections. His time in the inclusive government was however, punctuated by controversy.

After being ousted from the helm of the MDC at a party congress, Mutambara refused to recognise the outcome of the congress by taking his case to the courts. He remained in government after the court processes dragged on until the expiry of the inclusive government last year.

Throughout the lifespan of the unity government, President Robert Mugabe was accused of shielding Mutambara from being stripped of power.  The Zanu-PF leader continued to recognise him as a principal despite increased pressure from the courts and regional bodies to strip him of the position.

President Mugabe and Arthur Mutambara

President Mugabe and Arthur Mutambara

Mutambara also ga-ined the reputation of lending support to Zanu-PF’s positions in the unity government, fuelling speculation that he had become a reluctant ally of President Mugabe’s party. It was, however, clear during Mutambara’s time in the coalition that he was without any political party under his leadership.

Many people were expecting a robotics professor to be given a ministerial position in the Zanu PF-led government as a reward for being loyal to Mugabe during the tenure of the shaky coalition government during which Mutambara sided with Mugabe in times of disagreements with Tsvangirai.

Bulawayo residents in catch 22

Employment creation has  been a major problem that the government has failed to resolve. for Bulawayo, the situation is deemed as the city used to be the industrial hub but now it has to been relegated to a scrap yard, as the president once said.

In an interview with residents, they said they lost hope soon after the 2013 controversial July elections. Residents said they had hope but all their hope was washed away soon after hearing that Zan-PF has regained power.

Opposition fumes over the state of the economy

 

THE state of the economy in Zimbabwe has left everyone with more questions than answers. The opposition keeps on fuming and urge the government to address the issue as soon as possible.

 

2014: Battle lines drawn in Africa

THE political environment in a country is key to economic growth and development.

Generally, if a country must thrive, political stability is a pertinent ingredient. The situation is the same for business. Entrpreneurs who neglect politics, do this at their peril. According to an old saying, ‘Business is politics and politics is businesses. And in Africa the saying truly weighs more than gold.

African Map

African Map

Relative political stability in the past decade is one of the major factors attributed to Africa’s economic success.

This year, a few elections accordingly will have investors glued to the news, and could determine economic development in a handful of African countries.

Africa is usually regarded as a black continent and elections tend be tightly contested. Western countries have actually viewed Africa as a continent with full of troubles and whenever, she hold elections the end result is civil war.

For this year, 2014, many African countries are going for elections and many patriotic citizens are hoping that they will be held peaceful and the winner will shack hands with the winner so is the loser.

The year could be telling for the political and economic future of Africa, with the following  elections being the biggest ones to watch:

Egypt:

The road to a new constitution and presidential election has been anything but smooth. Persistent protesters, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood who supported former President Muhammad Morsi, are tired of the current happenings. A majority of the country likely supported the recent military leadership.

Egyptian President: Mohamed Morsie

Egyptian President: Muhammad Morsi

Recent news that a new presidential election could involve General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the army chief who led the coup, will only further boost concerns about any upcoming election.

The Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafist Nour party both suspect the military wants to assume the role (and accompanying dictatorial control) of former President Hosni Mubarak. While farfetched, there will be supporters and detractors both wondering the same thing.

Malawi:  

Joyce Banda may be in trouble. She is trailed be allegations of corruption. She flipped and flopped on the issue of gay rights, first embracing and then punting to a potentially inflamed popular will.

Banda took over office when Bingu wa Mutharika died unexpectedly in April 2012.

President of Malawi: Joyce Banda

President of Malawi: Joyce Banda

Mutharika won just a hair short of 66% of the vote in 2009, so there may be enough slack for Banda to eke out a win, especially if the opposition is unable to mobilize a viable challenger.

South Africa

Of the many elections this year, the most far-reaching could be in South Africa on May 7th. The African National Congress (ANC), led by Jacob Zuma, is arguably poised to win in an election that will mark 20 years of democracy for the country.

Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party could steal some ANC support. Africa’s largest economy has continued to witness repeated strikes in the mining sector, high unemployment, government corruption allegations and low economic growth.

The last three factors boost the EFF’s youth support, especially considering those born after the end of apartheid have less attachment to the ANC. Thus, Malema’s calls for nationalization attempt to capitalize on the palpable sentiments of inequality. But they do not bid well for attracting a winnable mass to defeat the ANC.