Showing posts from July, 2013

What is Wrong with Zimbabaweans?

This is election time in Zimbabwe! This morning on news networks, I saw thousands of Zimbabweans running in the streets of Harare, chanting the name of President Robert Mugabe and singing songs of paise for the 89 year old political demagogue who has ruled the country since I was in Primary school in 1980s. The sight of the teeming massess of people, running behind a man old enough to be a museum artifact, who has taken their country from being a net exporter of food in Africa and one of the bright spots on the dark continent and single handedly transformed it into a financial basket case and a place of shortages, poverty, misery and deprivation, made me wonder whether Zimbabweans were the dumbest Africans in modern day Africa or they were just plain ignorant.

Why would anybody who grew up in Zimbabwe before 1980s want more of the mess the country is currently in. After years of failing to deliver on promises, Mugabe decided to hang on to power by injecting racism in Zimbabwean polit…

Appropriate Social Media Use by Public Functionaries

Social media will become the primary communication medium of the future, the main advantage being the ability of the users or consumers of information to interact directly and instantaneously with the providers.
Governments around the world are taking the cue from corporations and nonprofits and moving beyond static web pages to the more interactive domain of social media. Social media enables government officials to interact with citizens,  provide information,  receive immediate feedback and give continuous updates. Social media therefore provides enormous opportunity for governments around the world to engage their citizens and test the short term popularity of programs and policies.
An African leader who has become adept at the use of Social Media to engage the citizens of her country is President Joyce Banda of Malawi, the country's fourth president and first female leader. Mrs Banda  was Vice President in 2012 when she replaced President Bingu wa Mutharika, upon the sudden …

Sierra Leone Political Updates: The Maturation of Bribery and the Politics of Righteousness

Sierra Leone could be compared to a crazy drunk walking upstream through a river bed of thick mud. He takes three steps backward for each step forward. For those of us with keen eyes who have observed Sierra Leone over the years, we have seen a once beautiful and simple country, transformed from a beacon of hope in West Africa into a an epitome of all that is wrong with the African continent and the African condition.

Sierra Leone is a country with amazing paradoxes. A nation with more per capita natural wealth than most countries in the world, but with the majority of its citizens existing in poverty and squalor. A land full of pristine rivers and fertile agricultural lands where the vast majority of the people can barely afford a single meal a day. A country with the first University in English Speaking Africa with an educational system in rapid decline and most of the graduates ill prepared to cope with the technological advances of the 21st century. A land where every single agen…

Made In Africa (Nyabinghi Version)

Stuck in Time: Sierra Leoneans and Corporal Punishment.

Corporal punishment is simply defined as the infliction of physical pain as a retribution for an offense or to instill discipline in the recipient of the punishment. The hope or goal is that this physical infliction of pain will deter wrongdoing, encourage compliance and discourage unacceptable behavior.

During our school days in Sierra Leone, the use of corporal punishment was pervasive at all levels of education, as it was deeply rooted in the cultural mores of Sierra Leone society. All ethnic groups in Sierra Leone use corporal punishment as a way of installing discipline in children.  Children, it is assumed, would otherwise be wayward in the absence of this physical brutality. 
The use of corporal punishment was and is still part and parcel of Quranic education in our culture. We were expected to memorize entire Surahs of the Holy Quran, before even being allowed to know the meaning of the passages we were memorizing. Those who were not blessed with the gift of memorization only…

The African Union Suspends Egypt: Culled from The Voice of America

By Marthe Van Der Wolf-VOA
The African Union announced Friday that Egypt’s membership has been suspended due to the military action in Cairo that deposed President Mohamed Morsi and suspended the nation's constitution.
The secretary of the African Union Peace and Security Council, Admore Kambudzi, says Egypt is barred from participating in any AU activity. “The overthrow of the democratic elected president does not conform to the relevant provisions of the Egyptian constitution and is therefore false under the definition of an unconstitutional change of government. The council decides to suspend the participation of Egypt in AU activities until the restoration of constitutional order.” Kambudzi said. The military toppled the Morsi government and declared the constitution suspended on Wednesday, saying the president had failed to meet demands of the Egyptian people. Egypt’s top judge was sworn in as the country'sw temporary leader on Thursday. Egypt's ambassador to the African U…

A List of the Mistakes of Mohamed Morsi -Bloomberg Businessweek

By Sarah A Topol Bloomberg Businessweek July 2 2013Mohammed Morsi, a member the Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party, was sworn in as Egypt’s president on June 30, 2012. One year later, an unprecedented number of Egyptians have taken to the streets across the country to demand the resignation of the first democratically elected president Egypt has ever known. Morsi’s presidency has been beset by stumbles, mass protests, and missed opportunities. Here is a list of the top 10 blunders:1. Running for office in the first place: The Muslim Brotherhood promised not to field a candidate for presidential elections early on after Hosni Mubarak was toppled, but when the time came, Morsi’s name was on the ballot. The Brotherhood’s having gone back on its word so quickly was seen by its opponents as a harbinger of things to come.2. A complete inability—alternately seen as a lack of desire—to create an inclusive government: Morsi came to office on the narrowest of mar…

Will the African Union Condemn Egypt?

President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt was neither a despot, a tyrant or tin can dictator as his foes are trying to portray him. He was a democratically elected president of a country who received his mandate to govern at the ballot box with more than 51% of the votes cast in elections that were generally free and fair and conducted under the authority of the very military that has now used the excuse of demonstrations and civil unrest to oust him from power.

If this had happened in any Sub-Saharan country, the condemnations would have been pouring in thick and fast from; the United Nations, Western diplomatic missions and the African Union. But because Morsi is the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that is viewed with suspicion by many in the Western controlled international community, his ouster has not raised any ire in the West and the African Union countries are willing to turn a blind eye to a reversal of the democratic gains that have been made in Egypt.
I am neither a fa…

Democracy Reversed in Egypt: Morsi Ousted

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, has been ousted from power by the Egyptian military with the support of civil society groups, religious groups and an assortment of pro-revolutionary groups.

Afters days of demonstration by anti-Morsi forces, the Egyptian military had given President Morsi 48 hours to reach an agreement with opposition groups on a way out of the massive protests or risk military intervention. The military suggested some sort of power sharing arrangement with the opposition.

On Tuesday night President Morsi defiantly rejected the military ultimatum, angrily insisting that he was the legitimately elected President of the country and any move to remove him from power would only result in a chaotic situation in the populous African country. As he made his speech, thousands of his opponents milled in Cairo's Tahir Square, demanding his removal from office.
In a very defiant tone on Tuesday Mr. Morsi told the country that, "Legitimacy is the only way to protect ou…