more Quotes
Connect with us

Politics

Pivoting away from one person shows – Daily News

Politics cannot be separated from personalities. This was apparently the lesson imparted to Sri Lankans last year after the Gotabaya Rajapaksa Presidency turned out to be an unmitigated disaster.

Before anything else happened, that presidency had to end. Similar issues crop up all the time in other countries and these days they want the Peruvian President to relinquish her post. People are prepared to die to achieve that end.

In Zimbabwe they say that Emerson Managaguwa has to go before the country thinks about democracy and decency seriously. In New Zealand Jacinda Arden resigned.

That’s interesting. She is deified in most parts of the world as a sensitive voice that speaks on behalf of the underprivileged. But yet in New Zealand her popularity plummeted and it became increasingly clear that she would probably lose the general elections scheduled for October this year.

Does that mean that the major issues in New Zealand are all tied to Jacinda Arden? In the few countries mentioned above, do politics revolve around one person, and if so what good does democracy do in a country that is so dependent on one person’s exit to change course?

ENTHUSIASM

But yet, we have been here before. Sri Lanka, warts and all has been a functioning democracy for a long time. But the crisis last year was precipitated due to a president who did not know politics.

He was clearly out of his depth and was flailing. The Gota-go-home campaign was the rallying cry for protests that were generated primarily because of an unprecedented economic meltdown.

Ergo the question arises, was there no way of addressing tense issues without making Gotabaya Rajapaksa the primary target? Everybody had decided that he must go first.

Demonstrators pull down a fence while trying to enter Peru’s Arequipa’s Airport.

It’s the same dynamic that operates today in Peru, in New Zealand and Zimbabwe. One person is deemed to be an incubus, and in New Zealand at least in the eyes of some, this was Arden. Others may say that this is unfair by her. She was extremely popular around the globe as a leader who showed a shining path for everyone that believes in liberal values, so why would she be bad for New Zealand?

The problem was that the people of New Zealand did not seem to show the same amount of enthusiasm for her as the rest of the world did.

When her popularity ratings plummeted, she seemed to have had second thoughts about running again for the job of prime minister. She said in a somewhat tearful farewell speech that she does not have enough energy in the tank, and that’s why she thinks it is not fair for her to keep the job she had been doing with great dedication for such a long time.

But the right-wing in New Zealand were not convinced. They are of the view that she was a tyrant who became so unpopular that she had to quit before the people gave her marching orders when they voted. So, can it be argued that there are similarities between Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Jacinda Arden? Most would say that it would be a contrast between chalk and cheese.

REFERENDUM

Gotabaya Rajapaksa did not win many friends in his brief tenure either here or abroad. He resigned after a protest campaign acquired considerable momentum, and had turned somewhat violent. No similarities with Arden, but the fact remains that both leaders resigned before their tenure was done.

Of course Arden had won two elections and had proved that she had political savvy because winning a second term is never easy. Gotabaya Rajapaksa never won a second term though under his leadership his party won a General Election not very long after he had been elected president.

Though certainly they are chalk and cheese, both of them are proof that leaders who enjoy some measure of popularity at a given time may become such contentious figures that any future political exercise involving them becomes a referendum on them.

Peru’s problem today is that there are widespread protests demanding that the president leave office. In Zimbabwe the Opposition has appealed to the international community to focus on the country, because the incumbent president they say has given the Opposition no fair opportunity to compete for power.

In any number of countries in which a single personality becomes the central figure attracting adulation or hate, the other issues are subsumed until there is a decision on the one person who is deemed to be the important public figure on whom a decision ought to be taken first before any other issue is addressed.

Does that mean that the real issues are secondary in such countries and that it’s the leadership figure that’s the single political bone of contention? Hardly.

Though Gotabaya Rajapaksa is no longer the president, the issues that came to the fore during his brief but troubled tenure have not vanished or become irrelevant in any way shape or form. The issues of debt and the paucity of foreign currency reserves still remain.

But the fact that the former president resigned made sure that politics came back to an even keel. Or, it can be said, that steam was let off the pressure cooker’s escape valve.

The people of Zimbabwe and Peru it seems are yearning for such a release. They labour under no illusion that all their problems would be solved if their current leader is deposed.

How about Jacinda Arden? Some folk in the country still lament that she had to resign, which of course proves that there is nowhere near the universal resentment that seems to be associated with some leaders such as Sri Lanka’s recently vilified former president, and Peru’s current president, and perhaps Zimbabwe’s current president too.

OUTCOME

But ‘near universal vilification’ is not necessary. Jacinda Arden decided to resign despite the fact that there were no protest campaigns demanding her resignation. However, a lot of people refuse to believe her version of events about the resignation which is that she doesn’t have ‘enough in the tank’ or enough energy to face another grueling campaign and win a national election. This proves that the relative degree of unpopularity doesn’t matter. If a single leader becomes the central figure in a country to the extent that nothing can be done until a decision is taken on his or her mere presence, all other issues have to wait until that issue is addressed and resolved.

Is this a good way to proceed when a nation is in crisis? Shouldn’t the issues and not the leadership problem be addressed first, or at least shouldn’t equal importance be accorded to the issues of the day as are given the issues of leadership?

Theoretically that may make sense. But in reality politics never works that way. Some problems are identified with single leaders and most often that is entirely justified. In cases when such an assessment is not entirely justified, there is still enough reason to address the leadership problem before any other issue is deemed as important.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s tenure has ended. He will never be back in contention and that can safely be taken as a given. Can the same be said of Jacinda Arden? Even though she has resigned, a good proportion of New Zealanders are still nostalgic about her unique tenure, and consider her a good leader of the kind New Zealand never had.

That doesn’t mean that she didn’t become widely unpopular, perhaps among a clear majority of New Zealanders. But her abrupt resignation probably means that she considers herself damaged goods however great a leader the world considers her to be. She would very probably never run again for the top job in New Zealand and would probably retire from active politics altogether never to return again to that arena. Did her star burn out too soon? It’s merely a rhetorical question in the context of the fact that she became the central political issue in her country. When that happens to any leader in any country, generally only one outcome is possible, as any number of people in countries that saw the back of contentious leaders would testify to.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Politics

A new MDC variant emerges as Mudzuri splits from Mwonzora – The Zimbabwe Mail

MDC VP Engineer Elias Mudzuri & Sec General Douglas Mwonzora


MDC-T Break-away group, led by Elias Mudzuri and other suspended members, has said the party led by Senator Douglas Mwonzora currently does not have the capacity to rebuild Zimbabwe.

The group made the remarks during a press conference held in Harare on Thursday 02 February 2023. Said the group:

We do not think that we do have a party that can actually do the job for us to bring true liberation to Zimbabweans who are suffering, you know economic problems we are facing.

The group said there is a need for the opposition MDC-T to reorganise and restructure and put the right people for the right decisions to be made.

The break-away party consists of Mudzuri, Norest Marara, Gift Konjana, John Nyika, Den Moyo, Edwin Dzambara, and Edwin Kakora who were suspended from the MDC-T last month allegedly for breaking party rules, having illegal meetings, and undermining the democratic procedures of the organisation.


Following the suspension, Mudzuri vowed to resist expulsion saying Mwonzora can only expel him on paper.

There has been a leadership crisis in the MDC-T since the 26 March 2022 by-elections in which the party did not win a single seat.

Some members of the MDC-T blame leader Senator Douglas Mwonzora for the loss and they hoped he would be replaced during the party’s 5th Ordinary Congress held at the City Sports Centre in Harare on Sunday, 18 December 2022.

However, the MDC-T endorsed Mwonzora as the party’s sole presidential candidate for the 2023 general elections.

Mudzuri and colleagues say the congress must be declared null and void because Mwonzora did not follow due process.

More Pindula News


Continue Reading

Politics

Switching Ukraine’s Mines to Vines | Wine-Searcher News & Features – Wine-Searcher

As Ukraine continues to reel from war, brave organizations are sweeping in to clear mines and grow vines.

Despite various efforts to ban landmines, they remain a persistent sinister threat in various countries around the world.
© Shutterstock | Despite various efforts to ban landmines, they remain a persistent sinister threat in various countries around the world.

The 4th century BCE was a busy time around the globe: Plato and Aristotle hung around, sharing their thoughts; Carthaginians invented the first donkey-powered mill; Romans built the first aqueduct; and winemaking emerged in Ukraine.

Monks really got the winemaking ball rolling in Ukraine in the 11th century, cultivating, growing and producing wine with intention in the northern part of the country. Under Soviet rule, Ukraine was one of the main sources of wine for the USSR, but the roughly 370,000 acres in vines were primarily used to produce industrial plonk.

In recent decades, winemaking in Ukraine has returned to its terroir-driven roots, but Russia, once again, is threatening not only the country’s wine culture but the country’s ability to function and exist as a civilized society.

The first hit came in 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea – the biggest seizure of land in Europe since World War II. The illegal land grab immediately threatened the world’s post-Cold War order, and initiated a series of political chess moves that are still playing out today. It also resulted in the loss of about one-third of Ukraine’s vineyard space – much of it considered to be the best.

That annexation coincided with – or perhaps partially inspired – a doubling down on Ukraine’s production of Western-style dry wines, especially in the southern regions of Odessa and Kherson. Since the annexation, production of dry wines increased by 7-9 percent annually, according to Wines of Ukraine. In 2021, 100 million liters plus of wine were produced from almost 100,000 acres of vineyards, where 180 primarily indigenous grape varieties thrived.

Then the second hit came in February of 2022, when Russia invaded the country, actively destroying civilian infrastructure across the country, killing tens of thousands of civilians and soldiers, plunging the economy into freefall (unemployment is at 30 percent, inflation is hovering around 28 percent and hundreds of businesses and industries have been decimated) and turning an estimated 10 million people into refugees. Sales of many locally produced goods are down, but alcohol has been particularly hard-hit. Alcohol has been banned entirely during certain periods and restricted across the board. Year-over-year, sales of domestic wine are down by an estimated two-thirds.

Impact of war

Russia has staged a multi-pronged assault against Ukraine, sending rockets overhead, and, consequently, also sowing hidden, unexploded mines into the land. While rockets have immediate, devastating consequences, the unseen mines dotting the landscape threaten civilians and the many agricultural workers who make their living tending to that land. At this point, an estimated 30 percent of Ukraine’s farmland is riddled with mines.

“Landmines are hidden killers waiting for the foot of a child or farmer,” says Heidi Kuhn, who founded Roots of Peace, a nonprofit dedicated to the removal of landmines, in 1997. That same year, she witnessed the signing of the Ottawa Treaty that banned anti-personnel mines that same year. Ukraine is among the 164 signatories. Russia is not. (While the US supported, the treaty, it has also not signed it).

During the invasion, several wineries have been destroyed, vineyards have been mercilessly shelled and major wine-producing regions – including Kherson, Mykoliav and Zaoprizhzhia – have had to essentially stop production. 

Before the invasion, there were about 180 wineries in Ukraine. Some have still managed to carry on. Svetlana Tsybak, the chief executive of Beykush Winery, and president of the Ukrainian association of craft winemakers, accepted a gold award from Decanter World Wines in recognition of its bravery and continued operation even as war wages just beyond the borders of its vineyards.

But the unexploded mines must be dealt with immediately if the heroic work of Beykush and other wineries are to continue safely, and, indeed, if more than a handful of those 180 wineries are to have any future at all.

Roots of Peace is preparing to head in.

Organizations like Roots of Peace are actively trying to replace minefields with fields of flowers, vines, fruit trees and other crops.
© Shutterstock | Organizations like Roots of Peace are actively trying to replace minefields with fields of flowers, vines, fruit trees and other crops.

Planting Roots of Peace

“I’m a fifth-generation descendent of pioneers, and their respect for the land is in my DNA,” Kuhn says, adding that she grew up in the peace movement, attending University of California, Berkeley in the 1970s, and then going on to cover international politics for CNN as a reporter and producer.

“That all changed when I was diagnosed with stage 4 malignant cancer when I was 30 years old,” she says. “I had a 1, 3 and 5-year-old. My days of running around the globe were over I thought. It was a defining moment. I said, ‘Dear God, grant me the gift of life, and I will do something with it.'”

Kuhn emerged from cancer with a sense of purpose, and a passion for peace, and life. After managing to have another child, “without a cervix,” she turned toward the nonprofit sector.

“I remember watching [Princess] Diana walk through the minefields of Angola just a few weeks before she died, and it was such a profound experience for me,” she says. A few weeks after that, Kuhn was asked to host a reception to benefit, of all things, the removal of landmines.

“I made an impromptu toast at the reception, and out of nowhere, said ‘May the world go from mines to vines,'” she recalls. “That was it. I realized this was what I had to do.”

And she has, ever since.

“Land mines are an abomination, a cancer waiting in the earth,” Kuhn says. “The only solution is removal. And from there, if we want a country’s economy to grow, we have to replace those mines with things that will grow. Vineyards, fruit trees and crops that will help rebuild the economy.”

She began, in reporter form, “knocking on the doors of legends and hoping they’d answer.”

Thankfully, they did: Robert Mondavi, the Wentes, Tor Kenwood, et all, agreed to donate, get involved and share their knowledge and insights in lands that had been decimated by war.

“They responded as farmers,” she says. “I have been gratified by the response of not just vintners, but also politicians like Nancy Pelosi who saw the potential impact of the devastation of the mines across the world in war-torn regions, and the potential positive impact of replacing those mines with working farmland.”

In 2000, she teamed up with Miljenko “Mike” Grgich (of Judgment of Paris, and then Grgich Hills Estate fame) to transform Croatia‘s minefields into vineyards, and since then, they have worked together to facilitate the removal of landmines over 500,000 square meters of land, helping to reestablish vineyards in eight wine regions. Today, Croatia is one of the world’s top tourist destinations, due, in part, to their initiative.

Roots of Peace has also gone into Cambodia, Angola, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Iraq, Israel and Zimbabwe and other countries, replacing minefields with farmland.

“We work on raising funds and awareness,” Kuhn explains of Roots of Peace’s role in the demining process. “We then partner with mine-removal organizations, NGOs and governmental organizations that do the work of demining and replanting.”

So far, Roots of Peace has – with the help of $85 million in grants and donations – facilitated the removal of more than 100,000 landmines, and the replanting of 7 million fruit, vines and trees that provide food security and economic sustenance to war-ravaged countries.

In December, Roots of Peace, in partnership with longtime partner Grgich and the Rotary E-Club of Ukraine, announced a plan to go into the Mykolaiv region of Ukraine and initiate demining. Yes, even as the war wages on.

“We need to get in there now and help farmers,” says Sally Camm, who handles communication for Grgich Hills Estate. “That region has been peppered with mines, but right now it is removed from the front lines. We can go in there safely and ensure that farmers can safely return to the land and resume farming and winemaking. We, and Mike in particular, who turns 100 years old in April, sees this as essential to the future of the country, and its economy.”

The war in Ukraine has consequences well beyond its borders. Russia’s war has created economic effects across the globe, from soaring energy costs, spiking inflation to the threat of a worldwide recession.

Will turning mines into vines change that overnight?

Of course not. But it is a positive step in the right direction: one that will not only ensure the wine growers and their children can safely resume walking their land without fear of death or maiming, and one that will fuel the country’s economic engine, giving essential jobs to growers and vintners – and the people who bottle, label, sell and transport their wines. It’s about building an economic framework for a nation’s recovery.

“We aren’t just turning mines into vines,” Kuhn says. “We are providing a business model for peace. Peace is the hardest aspiration, but it’s also the most rewarding. We cannot give up.”

To donate to the mission, go here.

To join the conversation, comment on our social media channels.

Continue Reading

Politics

Former Senior MDC Alliance legislator says Grace Mugabe funded … – The Zimbabwe Mail

Chamisa Consoles Robert Mugabe’s Widow, Grace


ECONOMIST and former opposition legislator Eddie Cross has claimed that former First Lady Grace Mugabe bankrolled opposition leader Nelson Chamisa’s 2018 presidential bid.

During the 2018 harmonised elections, Chamisa contested under the MDC Alliance ticket, but now leads the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party, an outfit he created in January last year after being elbowed out of MDC Alliance by Douglas Mwonzora.

The 2018 elections were held after the removal from power of the late former President Robert Mugabe by President Emmerson Mnangagwa through a military-assisted coup.

Addressing a Chief Executive Officers Roundtable meeting in Harare last week, Cross, who is also former MDC opposition legislator (Bulawayo South) said in 2018 Mnangagwa faced opposition from everybody.

“Mrs Mugabe financed Chamisa so that he defeats Emmerson and eventually Emmerson abandoned everything and concentrated on winning the elections, and thank God he did because if he hadn’t spent the next four or five months fighting the elections, he could have lost the election. As it is, he won it by 300 000 votes, and when he won that election, he then sorted the problems inside his government — all 20 ministers were Emmerson’s people,” Cross said.

But CCC deputy spokesperson Gift “Ostallos” Siziba said: “Eddie is trying by all means to be more Zanu than Zanu-PF people themselves. He is a delusional man who will do anything to get a seat in the gravy train.”


Added Cross: “It was all in that meeting with Members of Parliament (to impeach Mugabe in 2017) and in 15 minutes we couldn’t get out of the hotel. There were a quarter of a million people outside that hotel. I couldn’t push the door to find my way out. It was the response of the people that legitimised the change of government. I tried to go to the rally in Highfields that day, but we could not get within three miles, it was just packed with millions of people.

“Sadc [Southern African Development Community] observers came and flew around in a helicopter and they saw what was going on the ground and went back to the State House and they said to Mugabe, it’s over, the people have spoken and it was the people’s response to the coup which legitimised the change of government.”

Cross said the country incurred a huge deficit during Mugabe’s reign, and money was printed to cover the deficit.

He said Zimbabwe’s fiscal deficit was 40% of the budget which prompted Mugabe’s administration to continue printing money.

Cross said after winning the 2013 elections against MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai at the end of the four-year inclusive government, Mugabe re-assumed full control of government and accrued a debilitating fiscal deficit.

“By 2017, the fiscal deficit was 40% of the budget, how do you run a country like that? We had US$23 million in our bank accounts which we called United States dollars but it wasn’t United States dollars. It was there because Mugabe was printing money to cover the deficit. We were headed for the rocks again and that was when Mnangagwa decided the change of government was necessary, and on the 17th of November, the transition took place. I was actually still in Parliament. I sat at the Harare International Conference Centre waiting to impeach the old man, and then in walked a messenger with Mugabe’s letter of resignation,” Cross said.

Source – Newsday


Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2021 ZimFocus.

www.luzroyale.ky/

www.1africafocus.com

www.zimfocus.co.zw

www.classifieds.com/

One Zimbabwe Classifieds | ZimMarket

www.classifiedszim.com

www.1zimbabweclassifieds.co.zw

www.1southafricaclassifieds.com

www.1africaclassifieds.com

www.1usaclassifieds.com

www.computertraining.co.zw/

www.1itonlinetraining.com/

www.bbs-bitsbytesandstem.com/

Zimbabwe Market Classifieds | ZimMarket

1 Zimbabwe Market Classifieds | ZimMarket

www.1zimlegends.com

Linking Buyers To Sellers Is Our Business Tradition