Tuesday, February 24, 2009
One place the SAA could take you to is Zimbabwe, and it is the biggest story in Africa. Everyone is involved from the AU to the EU. Everyone has an opinion. On the 30th of January, Tsvangirai acquiesced and agreed to join a unity government without achieving any of the conditions for which he was waiting. He did it in the name of diplomacy, perhaps that something would come out of it.
He was sworn in on February 13th and started working that week as prime minister. Still many are dubious as none of the agreements for which he fought were attained. Mugabe still controls the police (part of the Ministry of the Home Affairs), and political detainees are still being detained. And of course the central bank needs reform. I last heard the inflation was in the quadrillion percentage. Is that even possible? In Zim, they take American dollars (USD) and South African Rand (ZAR).
At the public ceremony on the 13th, Mugabe brought 22 ministers when the agreement was for his party to have 15 of the cabinet ministries (and the MDC would have 13 while a small opposition led by Mutambara would get 3). All the leaders of the security force were absent that day of the ceremony and Mugabe said nothing about it.
Rumors abound about regular meetings outside Harare of the leaders of the army, police, prison and intelligence services, and groups responsible for seizing white farms. Some people believe they are planning an attack, a coup, a revolt against the new unity government. Some say Mugabe doesn't have control of them while others believe he does. No one knows what's going on.
The EU and the U.S. are maintaining their sanctions which are against specific people (not the country as a whole)--Mugabe and some of his senior political officials. Humanitarian aid still goes into the country. But development aid is not entering the country though Tsvangirai has asked for $50 million a month. He has asked for his countrymen to forgive, that without forgiveness there will be no healing. It reminds me of Mandela.
Equatorial Guinea's capital was attacked by men in gunboats, but it was unsuccessful. I have no idea why they chose that country or where the men were from.
In other news, they have made a new formulation of the same malaria medicine to make it more palatable for children. The new formulation dissolves both in water and milk. And it has a fruit juice taste. Developers believe it will impact the fight against malaria in a big way.