How easy it is to analyse the general political climate in Africa. Our African politics are a case of a one shoe size fits all.

The mudslinging, promises which are never fulfilled, and general lying to the electorate seems to be the norm in African politics. Morgan Tsvangirai’s At the Deep End, offers the dynamics of the Zimbabwean struggle before and after Independence.

The book starts with an interesting history of young Tsvangirai, herding cattle like most African youth and walking long distances in a quest of an education. It ends with the tragic death of his wife as well as how the government of National Unity (GNU) proved to be of disunity.

Tsvangirai analyses neighbouring countries’ regime change and how the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) watched and learnt from these experiences. He laments the MDC’s struggle to fight the ruling Zanu PF and the atrocities at the hands of Robert Mugabe and his government.

The book is an eye-opener and a must read for our own politicians. It was surreal to read about  party defections, politics of the stomach, greed, corruption and self serving politics not prepared to accommodate the plight and welfare of the people etc., etc.
Mugabe cheated and refused to step down after the March 29, 2008 elections which ultimately culminated in the GNU, the sharing of Zimbabwe’s rule with Tsvangirai as the Prime Minister and Mugabe as the President.

déjà vu

But the internal fighting within the MDC is nothing new and many an African country can borrow a chapter from At the Deep End.The déjà vu was more pronounced in the continuous fights for positions within the MDC. Exactly what is happening in our own opposition and in the ruling party too.

It was a breath of fresh air to read how President Seretse Khama Ian Khama took a lonely stand and assisted Tsvangirai during his time of need.  Africa needs more decisive leaders not a group of statesmen who live in abundance and make a collective decision to turn a deaf ear to cries from their neighbours.

At the Deep End depicts a burning Zimbabwe.  A lot of Botswana would identify with the food shortages, brain drain mentioned as we  witnessed at first hand,the suffering of the Zimbabwean people.
There are more questions than answers about Tsvangirai’s meetings with shady characters who swindled both the MDC and Zanu PF. The book can be cut down to 300 pages and still make a good read. But it is refreshing to read  about  Zimbabwe’s challenges and opportunities.

It can help many Botswana politicians to redefine their own policies and see how others have dealt with political issues. How people died for their political beliefs, killed by their own black fellow citizens, not colonialists. A real insight into African politics.

Politics of greed

WHEN I ASKED one political leader why the Umbrella did not unite and become one party, he vehementlysaid: “that is impossible”.
Why? I asked, “We have different and diverse policies so we can only form a pact.”
That the Umbrella wouldn’t work was inevitable.  Botswana politics is not about the welfare of the electorate but of the stomach.
The ruling and opposition parties are birds of the same feather. They are greedy politicians who lie to the electorate to gain their vote so that they drive their greed and corruption agendas.
What makes politicians think we are stupid?

Our politicians are chameleons who change their colours in a whim.
How do you spent your whole political life insulting opponents and without shame join them?
Who is the villain here? Is it the ‘Afro Man’ who shames them in public after they crawl in their knees to beg to join his camp?
Or is the power hungry politicians who say one thing and do the other? One day they are green, black, yellow, orange and then red.
We are not amused by aspiring ‘future leaders’ who take us for granted with their blatant greed with a sole mission to fill their stomachs at the expense of our vote.
Enough is enough… Batswana should demand concrete,  practical and transparent party policies from politicians.
We are sick and tired of empty promises, smear campaigns and  childish antics of using the media as a forum for discussing internal issues by Botswana politicians.

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