Zimbabwe-:To contest or not to contest is the question the MDC, Zimbabwe's main opposition party, is struggling to answer as the senate elections draw nearer. With no clear consensus emerging both sides of the argument within the MDC articulated their perspectives all through last week and these are reflected in discussions by bloggers.
Opponents of the MDC's participation cite perennial election fraud by ZANU-PF. Participating in the elections would be nothing short of endorsing the flawed electoral system. According to, Captain Marlow,
“What I have doubts about is this: is it worth splitting the opposition for the doubtful prospect of being able to express yourselves and be heard (and if you read the comments linked above, it seems very doubtful)? Is it worth to legitimize another Mugabe-rigged election and therefore validate an inevitably flawed institution? Isn't the price to high?”
This camp also argues that participating will not do anything to alleviate the nation's problems; the lack of fuel, energy, food, jobs, and foreign currency. This from Green Leader,
“If change is to actualize, it is not through having a senator or two from the MDC. Parliament shows this. There will be no difference in the senate. hange will happen in the streets. We have seen throughout Eastern Europe that the power of non-violent protests to remove regimes. This is what Zim needs to have democracy. Spending billions of dollars on a senate campaign won't fix the wrongs of Mugabe's rule. Only removing Mugabe from power and trying him will.
Arguing the contrary, is the camp that holds that any progress, however small it might be, garnered at the polls is good for the nation particularly those who have maligned by Robert Mugabe's predominantly Shona government.
“The Ndebele haven't had leaders who are “our leaders” to them. Mugabe and his mostly Shona allies (and even some Ndebele stooges) remain to these people “their leaders.” I'm not trying to stoke the tribal tensions here. I'm exposing the deep seated, justified excitement that (mainly the Ndebele in the MDC) have in the opportunities of the senate. The senate presents an opportunity to gain lost ground for some however flawed it may seem.”
Burundi-:Agathon Rwasa Highlights Paul Rusesabagina's calls for the American public to encourage their leaders to take a more active role in response to the atrocities on the African continent including places like Burundi. Rusesabagina, the hero whose life story inspired the harrowing movie Hotel Rwanda, was speaking in Iowa on his US tour.
“By the amount of food that is rushed into our faces, I realize that, if Congolese people are starving somewhere out there, it’s not for lack of food—which makes me very sad that basic lack of infrastructure seems to be the main reason for people dying here.”
Sahara Sarah takes time to correct some the stereotypes that people often hold about Africa and what it is like to work there.
Malawi-:After a recent theft from an expat in Malawi, bloggers Geeta and Mike of Hacktivate ponder how much of a crime the perpertrators committed. Geeta is frustrated by the fact that,
“In some cases, the very agencies on the front lines of mitigating the food crisis in Malawi have contracts with companies that do not pay their employees enough to manage this crisis without external support.”
Mike demonstrates the disparity between what the guards are paid and what their monthly expenses are.
He is also startled to find that Mexican Mariachi music has penerated the Malawian market thanks to cellphone ringtones.
Rwanda-:George Conard is excted about the prospects that the yagi or directional antenna have of improving communications in rural Rwanda.