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Its not the politics, stupid, its the mindsets that need changing

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by Mtoboasiri, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. Mtoboasiri

    Mtoboasiri JF-Expert Member

    Mar 22, 2011
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    Its not the politics, stupid, its the mindsets that need changing


    The East African Standard: Posted Monday, March 21 2011

    My favourite photograph since this century began is of a street junction in Lusaka with the traffic lights showing both green and red at the same time.

    It is not a Zambian thing; typical African cities have public clocks whose four faces each tell different times.

    And my best story last year was of Rottina Mavhunga, the Zimbabwean woman who was paid handsomely by President Robert Mugabe’s government for finding a solution to the country’s economic problems when she allegedly discovered a stone that could produce refined diesel in a small forest.

    It is not a Zimbabwean thing; tell me one African president who has not given hours of audience to conmen purporting to be investors.

    At least Comrade Bob later had the woman arrested, charged and sent to prison for 27 months.

    I remembered the Zambian traffic lights recently when Ugandan critic Timothy Kalyegira noted that the most famous Zambian is Kenneth Kaunda while South Africa’s is Nelson Mandela and Ghana’s to date is Kwame Nkrumah, just like Uganda’s is Idi Amin and Zimbabwe’s is Robert Mugabe etc….

    After five decades of independence, the continent is still more preoccupied with politics than economics and science a la Nkrumah’s seeking first the political kingdom. But the “rest” is taking forever to be added to it!

    And finally, Mr Kalyegira appears to be losing interest in pursuing intense criticism of President Yoweri Museveni and Uganda’s contemporary politics.

    He is not the first. Kalyegira is joining the growing list of Ugandan commentators who are realising that it is not the politics which is the problem.

    Earlier it was Dr Munini Mulera, the Canada-based doctor who had spent years drilling holes in Museveni’s policies and practices.

    Last year, the good doctor declared that his days of criticising the government were over. He had realised the futility of commenting on African politics.

    Then there is the loudest East African journalist of our time, Andrew Mwenda, actually a public intellectual in his own right.

    He had built a solid career shredding the Ugandan political establishment through his investigative researches.

    He too recently apparently threw in the towel, saying the problem is much bigger than today’s leaders and that it needs to be addressed starting with the peoples’ mindset.

    Endorsing all these critics’ apparent change of heart was the public reaction, or lack of it, at the recent election results.
    There was a general “so what?” in the air. As the opposition was crying foul at the incumbent’s victory, the public yawned.

    The government gloated over its victory and the people went to sleep. They had just voted to maintain the status quo, seeing no viable alternative.

    Like other Africans, Ugandans have put too much thought and emotion into politics, instead of other useful fields.

    Fortunately, they seem now to be getting ready to invest their passion elsewhere.

    Hopefully, not all of it will go to the English Premier League, as it is now.

    That way, even as politicians bombard us with fantastic GDP growth statistics we shall find our own ways to save our people from dying of jigger bites, wearing second hand underwear and staring at traffic lights that show green and red at the same time.

    Joachim Buwembo is a Knight International fellow for development journalism; jbuwembo
  2. POMPO

    POMPO JF-Expert Member

    Mar 22, 2011
    Joined: Mar 12, 2011
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    Its sound true... Mindset mindset mindse Mkuu and case study TZ.