|President Jakaya Kikwete|
The recent power sharing in Zimbabwe is something that other countries facing the same debacle should emulate. Among these countries is Tanzania whose Zanzibar’s imbroglio, has already taken toll on the development of this rich but poorly managed country. Tanzania played a great role in brokering peace in Kenya and Zimbabwe. Why does she seem to love others more than she loves herself?
Zimbabwe, once Africa’s food basket has turned into a begging basket. What happened in Zimbabwe is not new in Africa. It is going on in Zanzibar where Opposition Party, Civic United Front (CUF) still stays put to recapture its oft-robbed win. Unfortunately, Zanzibar being a junior partner in the Union of Tanzania has been eclipsed by the giant and given a raw deal. For how long will we play double standards?
Sages have it that " a doctor can not cure himself." Tanzania, whose diplomacy paid dividends in Kenya and Zimbabwe, has failed squarely when it comes to assuage -let alone solving- the same in Zanzibar.It is indeed the right time to remind the players to arrest this imbroglio.
No country can be run and excel without peace and tranquility. Zimbabwe’s saga must act as an eye opener.Though the high and mighty in the upper echelons of power do not subscribe to this, the truth is, they can not hoodwink and toy the hoi polloi for ever. Indeed, their time buying and bigotry are the cause of poverty.They sing development whilst they dance underdevelopment. They preach water and drink wine. This is hypocrisy will do us no good.We can not live on fibs anymore. In Togo, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi and Cameroon to mention but a few, the ruling parties are bulldozing and intimidating the majority.
One thing however receives accolades and kudos. At least Africa is coming of age. Though at a tortoise speed, Africa, has proved it can solve its problems shall the brain be used. This should not let us languish in chest beating as we let other crises in Africa slip by and go under.
Mugabe was hell bent not to talk to the opposition just like Amani Karume in Zanzibar. Why then has he swallowed his pride? Is it because his protector, South African President, Thabo Mbeki is standing down soon and Jacob Zuma who does not see eyes with Mugabe comes in?
African morose potentates have something in common. They behave like babies. The baby wets his or her bed; then starts crying with all tantrums as if somebody else has done so! What a shame!
By coming of age and facing the reality for Africa, maybe, we’ll soon see Ugandan strong man Yoweri Museveni and Kiiza Besigye; and Amani Karume and Seif Sharrif Hamad in Zanzibar on the round table talking sense and peace. In many African countries, opposition still badly needs to do what happened in Kenya and Zimbabwe.
Before winding up, let me congratulate Tanzania for her initiatives in the Comoros, Kenya and now Zimbabwe. What remains to be seen is how Tanzania will come clean on Zanzibar as she faces and takes up this challenge.
Dictators have conned the world by organizing fake elections and using the army to silence the hoi polloi. Tanzania, as a leader in peace initiatives in the region, must avoid the 'do as I tell you but not as I do' mentality. She must lead by example.Tanzanian authorities must put their house in order before going to help their neighbours. The time for solving Zanzibar’s imbroglio and others in Africa is now .
Source: The African Executive Magazine September 24, 2008.