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Monday, March 23, 2015

dynastic politics ...... .. .. in Zimbabwe !!!

World Cup is heading for the grand finale ~ the top 4 teams are in the Semis.  In Match no. 30 of the WC [ODI 3627] between Ireland and Zimbabwe played at Hobart.  332 was the target, which Zimbabwe chased almost successfully.  At death, it was ‘7 to win off 6 balls – 2 wickets in hand’.  Much controversy was stoked  by that catch of John Mooney.  Had the umpires called it a six, Williams would have had a hundred, and Zimbabwe would have been favourites to win.  Against India at Eden Park,  Zimbabwe batted -  Brendan Taylor played a great knock.  There have been retirements of top players – some went over the hill and people started asking why still – very retired at peak.  Taylor turned 29 last month. He is at the peak of his quite considerable batting prowess, and after 11 years retired due to that Kolpak deal ! ~ and that has a lot to do with the political situation prevailing there too. 

Robert Mugabe, who has been globe-trotting almost weekly since December last year, is reportedly set to leave for Algeria on a State visit this week before flying to Ethiopia on African Union business. “I want to thank you all for coming I was disjointed, we came back at midnight so I had two hours of sleep and naturally, I have the habit that if I have something that worries my mind, my mind sleeps on it and I constantly jump out of sleep and say is it not time, is it not time. That is why we were a bit late,” Mugabe said. The President’s admission of fatigue came as speculation was rife last week that his ailing wife, First Lady Grace had also reportedly slipped out of the country to seek medical attention.

Robert Gabriel Mugabe (1924) is the current President of Zimbabwe, serving since  Dec  1987. As one of the leaders of the rebel groups against white minority rule, he was elected as Prime Minister, head of government, in 1980, and served in that office until 1987, when he became the country's first executive head of state. He has led the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front  since 1975. Mugabe rose to prominence in the 1960s as the leader of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) during the conflict against the conservative white-minority government of Rhodesia. Mugabe was a political prisoner in Rhodesia for more than 10 years between 1964 and 1974.

Soon after independence Mugabe set about creating a ZANU–PF-run one-party state, establishing a North Korean-trained security force, the Fifth Brigade, in August 1981 to deal with internal dissidents. Between 1982 and 1985 at least 20,000 people died in ethnic cleansing and were buried in mass graves.  Mugabe consolidated his power in December 1987, when he was declared executive president by parliament, combining the roles of head of state, head of government, and commander-in-chief of the armed forces, with powers to dissolve parliament and declare martial law.

An article says that political families are not a new concept in the United States and that people are used to seeing the children and relatives of leaders  as perspective heirs since the founding of the country. From the expectations held by John Adams’ son John Quincy Adams to giant political families like the Tafts, Roosevelts, and Kennedys, throughout their history, people have  held high political expectations for the children of  political elites.  The heirs have been seen as obvious successors in the world of politics; thinking that they will be able to make the same level of impact as their relatives solely because of who this next generation is related to.  

It does not need any articulation to say of India.  Since Independence of the Nation in 1947, the Gandhi family [actually that of Nehru] has been in power for the major portion.   The Congress may have lost the recent election, but dynasties are alive and well in Indian politics. A Times of India article immediately after the General elections stated that in  the current Lok Sabha, 22% of MPs and 24% of cabinet ministers have had family precede them in politics. The leaders of 13 of the 35 parties in this Parliament were preceded by a family member; the leaders of another 10 have family following them into politics, bringing the total of family-based political parties to a whopping 66%.  It is true that with the majority of seats won by BJP, dynastic representation in parliament has declined. Nevertheless,  there is significant presence in BJP too.  48% of the 44 Congress MPs in parliament have a dynastic background, …… and there needs to be no comment on the heirdom of Tamil Nadu or the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.

Away in Zimbabwe, news is rife that Robert Mugabe is planning to name his daughter as his successor; especially due to the illhealth of his wife.  24-year-old Bona Mugabe-Chikore was born to president's first wife Sally; she has accompanied Mugabe on recent diplomatic trip to meet Japan's prime minister.  Pictures of Mugabe and Bona in meetings with Abe, on the sidelines of the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction being held in Japan, have been splashed around the world over the past few days, raising eyebrows back home about whether the 91-year-old was turning Zimbabwe into a monarchy.

MailOnline reports that there are fears inside Zimbabwe's that president Robert Mugabe wants to turn his dictatorial rule over the country into a monarchy - by getting his daughter to succeed him. He originally planned for his wife to assume the position of president after him but her worsening health has forced Mugabe to turn to his 24-year-old daughter Bona, according to the Times.  Last year, Mugabe promoted his wife Grace to a senior position within his ruling ZANU-PF party where she led a vicious campaign to remove former vice-president Joice Mujuru from office.  But the 49-year-old has fallen severely ill in recent months and she has been taking regular trips to Singapore for medical treatment.

In her absence, their daughter Bona has taken a more prominent role at the Zimbabwean president's side at official events and trips.  The recent travel of Bona with Mugabe sparked furious criticism from opposition parties and political analysts but a ZANU-PF spokesman insisted the move was not politically motivated.  In an interview with Nehanda Radio, Psychology Mazivisa said: 'Madam Bona Mugabe has not done anything nearly as much. 'We refuse to buy into the narrative that for as long as it's President Mugabe doing it, no matter how perfectly lawful it is, it's wrong... It's a barbaric way of doing politics.'

Bona gained a master's degree in banking and finance at the Management Development Institute in Zimbabwe two years later. Last year, she married an Emirates airline pilot Simba Chikore in a luxurious wedding ceremony in Zimbabwe. Her inclusion in the diplomatic mission to Tokyo also sparked widespread condemnation because many civil servants in the country have worked for months without pay.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
23rd Mar 2015.


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