Elections are everywhere this time of the year – a fact brought home to my television set today as I watched the first U.S. presidential Democratic primary ads tailored specifically to my state. But, this is not the election I’m talking about. I’m talking about the general elections being held tomorrow (Saturday) in Zimbabwe, where perhaps for the first time Robert Mugabe has a serious opponent for the presidency.
In one of my previous posts, I wrote how I admired Mr. Mugabe for his refusal to sell out to the West and taking back the lands that the colonial invaders took from the people of Zimbabwe through massacre. I also noted in that piece that he is a dictator but what I agreed with him was bigger (at least philosophically) than what I disagreed with him – especially his insatiable appetite for power even as he is looking at death right in the eyes. The guy is 84 and still wants to be president. You get the picture. Moving on…
Now, Mugabe’s opponents for tomorrow’s elections are Simba Makoni, his former finance minister, and Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition leader of the Movement for Democratic Change. Both competitors are definitely better option than Mr. Mugabe’s increasingly totalitarian rule. However, I don’t find Mr. Tsvangirai trustworthy due to his “intimate” relationship with the British. So that leaves only one person: Mr. Makoni. Ladies and gentlemen, the East African Philosopher is officially endorsing Simba Makoni for the presidency of Zimbabwe. He is clean and independent. He is running on a platform of fixing the Zimbabwean economy, which used to be one of the best economies in Africa, if not the best.
Also, Simba (meaning ‘lion’ in Swahili, by the way) is a highly respected man who left Mr. Mugabe’s administration because he did not want to serve as Mugabe’s yes-man on his increasingly crazy economic reforms, as well as his authoritarian rule. Although he could’ve joined the MDC and run on their ticket, he chose to stay independent and run as independent. Perhaps Mugabe will once again manage to rig the election to stay in power but at least this time Zimbabweans will get a good option to voice their frustrations and despair against Robert Mugabe by voting for Simba Makoni.