Out Of Focus
Has anybody taken note of what's happening in our neighbor Zim-BOB-we lately? Not only did they refuse to include the human rights of their pink community in the negotiations for their country's new constitution - but they are now saying they will build criminalization and punishments for homosexuality into it as well.
Of course it will be very interesting to see how South Africa's govenrnment handles this, after the World Cup fuss dies down of course - and after the world's attention isn't on us anymore. Yes, then it may just be back to business as usual - ignoring, and in increasing cases, stepping on the human rights of the Pink Community - here, as well as in Zim and everywhere else in Africa.
Even Morgan Tsvangerai agrees with this utter disregard for the humanity of its pink citizens. My point is, that if neither the ruling party, nor its only opposition in that country demonstrate any concern for the human rights of its citizens, then Zimbabwe is in a very, very poor condition indeed.
Will any foreign countries demonstrate the courage to continue any blockades and bans imposed on Zim? Or will the human rights of the Pink Community once again just be allowed to slip away unnoticed, swept under the rug? Sure, all the people of Zim are suffering - they're suffering the consequences of their own actions - for supporting a corrupt and incompetent government, and for keeping a petty dictator and his cronies in power for thirty years.
There is something for the young democracy that is South Africa in all this - a lesson - a lesson about what happens when you stick to supporting a former liberation movement with delusions of being an actual political party that knows anything at all about actually governing a country properly. Are we learning yet, South Africa?
Why hasn't the populace of ZIm voted Bob and his brigands out of Salisbury House yet? Well there are numerous theories about that, the least of which is the last two elections. The first was fraught with intimidation and cries of "foul" as soon as it became clear that Bob was actually losing. The second, well, I doubt anyone would take the results of that one with anything less than another pinch of salt either. But I would like to suggest that the reason Bob wasn't voted out was because all the people who would have voted against him aren't in Zimbabwe anymore - they're dead, intimidated - or over here in South Africa, without visa's, passports or work-permits.
That's right, they have been wandering across our porous borders at their own discretion - except for the duration of the World Cup of course, because that is far too important to risk illegal entry for. But of course, we need to feel sorry for refugees who are too lazy to go back to their own country and actually sweat to make it work, so for them we just scrap all existing visa legislation that still applies to foreigners visiting from real countries.
Yes, a decade of foreign pressure on Zim has yielded nothing at all, except another broken African banana republic, down on its knees and trying to rebuild what its own leaders have destroyed and squandered away. And yet Mugabe is still smiling, he's still rich, he's still calling the shots - it is the people of that country who are suffering, it is they who hunger, it is they who thirst. And the sheer idiocy that abounds when the people of Zim blame not the pompous self-glorifying lunatic at the helm, but the rest of the world who has been trying unsuccessfully to warn them.
It is all their fault for colonizing Africa 200 years ago. Never mind the past three decades of independence and self-rule - it is all Britain's fault for coming here and running the show in the first place. See, what Mugabe is actually admitting here (if you read between the lines) is that the colonial powers did run things before - and they ran things so much better that things actually worked. Whereas today, we have been doing it by ourselves for the past 30 years - and look - a catastrophically devalued currency, a terminally ill economy, collapsed infrastructure, famine, disease and social turmoil - thank God we can still cling to power and blame everybody else for our own self-inflicted woes. Clearly the only thing still working in Zim today (aside from Mugabe's mouth) is the government propaganda machine - oh yes, and the state police.
Bob is 83 years old - why isn't he dead yet? Some people like to point to the 70-year mark as being the cut-off time for us mortals, with every year after that being viewed as a blessing from God. The irony is, that if Robert Mugabe at 83 is blessed with such long life for all the evil things he has wrought in the past three decades, and all the harm he has done to his country and his nation - then one has to wonder, does God have a sense of humor? Probably. A good look at a country like Uganda should answer that question.
I will be waiting to see what will happen in South Africa after the last football hooligan has packed off back overseas. It will be interesting to watch how Errol Naidoo and Mr Gigaba, the Vice-Minister of Home Affairs and the so-called "Justice Alliance of SA" start applying pressure to introduce their censorship bill under the guise of Christian fundamentalist "morality" and "protecting children" - and then turn their focus on gay rights and changing the Constitution.
While the rest of us are enjoying the World Cup, I will be waiting for the punchline. And you know what it is?
"I told you so."