The Critical Eye

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Barack's Assignment

God’s Assignment

Maybe it’s our casual disdain
For the epic battles fought for our pain
The simple places we could not go
Or the fountains from whence water would not flow
Perhaps it’s that we have fought, now so much
For a prize that lost its glow

Perhaps it’s that in this infinite story
Our mangled past
Has become what we now want to be cast
For how do we re-write our history?
Or forget the list of atrocities?
For we feel the pain of lashes?
Encumbered by what we so often remember
Of the voyages that ended off-shore
In the bowels of ships, never told

Is this what has left us encumbered?
To roam the land; as if handicapped and hindered?
Perhaps it’s that while we would suffer
We were left lying asunder
Our wilderness has held like a tether
A constant and non gentle reminder
That God’s love had not escaped our encounter

Perhaps we should now simply acknowledge
That there rises a man full of robust regal splendor
Whose words do not fall like gentle raindrops
But beat like the steady drum of thunder
His eyes the vision of fire, his voice committed desire
To make promises of changes from yonder
Where only pain and suffering once held us in corners

Perhaps it time to accept that forever
Will not be a reflection of never
Perhaps we should weep with excitement
That our children will now know power as an enticement
Perhaps even as we cry with excitement
We should revel in God’s prophetic development
That Barack is his chosen assignment

© Soneka K. Kamuhuza 11-5-08

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Grave Robber Elections

I have been asked my opinion about another election that matters to me. One that is almost eight thousand miles away in a country in the south of Africa. As I describe it, South Central Africa. You see while everyone here is on eggshells, the Presidential results in Zambia are in.

The new Zambian President is Rupiah Banda of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) an old political ally of the past few presidents, Chiluba and Mwanawasa. Wait one minute, if my memory serves me correct, he may have even played a role in Kaunda's government. There seems to be a theme here. In with the old.

What's crazy is that his opponent is a former Kaunda and MMD crony himself. Now a member of the opposition. These guys are both fossils who somehow continue to be able to stoke the flames of pre-independence rhetoric gurgling from their mouths to entice Zambians. So what in essence were our choices? What makes these guys different from say a Chiluba?

What may be different is that during their lives they have both lived way above the average Zambian's means. They have been able to afford nice homes in our most affluent neighbourhoods, luxury cars and sustained the ability to send their children -sizable families- to schools in England and America. They've both had successes as businessmen and political henchmen, enough to load up on the political vitriol over years. So they, unlike Chiluba may be less inclined to make -as their first act of Presidency- a get rich scheme part of their repertoire. Do not bet money on this last inference.

I have heard the lament of continued MMD rule and how some wished Michael Sata had won. Let me remind you that this is the same guy who as a Kaunda front man, closed the entrance to a government building off a major throughfare and used it as a private entrance, got into numerous verbal and physical altercations with other politicians, openly bribed poor people with gifts at election time, threatened to bulldoze whole neighbourhoods (compounds) and was quite unapologetic of his effusive manner and impolite bluntness. There is a breath of fresh air in such a straight forward man, but there is a man just like that, running Zimbabwe.

Now the chosen man, Rupiah Banda, is an enigma. I believe this is more like the Sarah Palin thing. No one really expected -when he was made Vice President- that he would be called on to be President. Extraordinary circumstances require some extraordinary decisions. This is the first time in Zambian history that a sitting President has died and the constitution has had to be followed as it was written.

The rumblings of Mr. Banda's suitability for the job will not cease. This is a man who is still surrounded by the ghosts that his predecessor tried to exorcise. People like Vernon Mwaanga, waiting to grab another opportunity to rob the people. What makes MMD irritating is their parties colluded incapability to close in on itself and root out filth and corruption. Chiluba is still in legal limbo, we know he stole, now then what? Are we just expected to let time go by and forget that he was broke prior to becoming President and then all of a sudden became rich? Well if we are, then it's the very same guys in power now (MMD), trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

There will be no Jedi mind tricks here. No telling us, "MMD is good!", expecting us to repeat it. We are the next generation of leaders, poised and ready to take what is rightfully our inheritance. For too long, we have allowed these old foggies to tell us we were too young, too immature to understand. They have used cultural discrimination to polarize us. "Tawakwata Mushinshi" (You have no respect) is used on us when we question their logic.

Zambia is way past the point where we can allow guys without college degrees and marginal educational backgrounds to run our country. They cannot compete in post-colonial economic and political stages. A good businessman doesn't necessarily make a good President. We are sitting at the cusp of a new millennium looking at the same faces -in positions of power- we saw when we were kids. "Where is our Obama? Where is that fresh face with innovative ideas? Where is that person who does not allow cultural myopia to define the decision making process? Where is that maverick willing to go against the grain? Where is the war cry, It's time for change?"

Until such a time, you may continue to ask my opinion about our current choice for President and his former competition. It will remain the same. They were both unsuitable and I guess people chose the less of two evils. The political zombies who seem to never die haunt both of their pasts and future. We need some refreshment, and it's not from their fountain. So now, Sata threatens unrest because of the results and the army and police remain poised. I can say only this; I know both of these men's children and as the saying goes, "The apple don't fall far from the tree". Good luck to us all, we're gonna need it.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Last Days

Okay, it's three days till the Presidential election and we're all on edge. We expect Barack Obama to win but down inside, we're all just a little apprehensive about what tricks 'these folks' will try to pull. Please plug whatever name you want into the place of 'these folks'. It's really weird to have this secure insecurity, quite the oxymoron. However, stranger things have happened like George Bush beating Al Gore on votes counted in all places, Florida, where his brother happened to be Governor.

The reason we are wary is simply because we have recently seen exactly how much power the Republicans wield. For what feels like an eternity now we have had to choose between food and gas, or if we wanted both; getting an extra job. We have been forced to choose between activities for our kids and putting gas in the car to go to work. Many of us have limited our social activities, with no long drives to clubs or parties. If the train isn't running, then we're not coming. Our spiritual lives have suffered, having to choose not going to church over burning gas. God forgive us.

I am coming to the realization that we have been bamboozled, bushwacked, led astray by the Republicans. They are in a a panic right now, completely thrown off their game plan. Their Palin gambit back-fired. McCain now sounds pathetic, crying over campaign financing, Barack's tactics, and his credentials. So his friends have stepped in, yes, the Republican gas company owning folks have decided to play their card. I filled my tank up with $20.00 in gas today, gas is almost a $2.00 a gallon. I had to catch my breath.

The Arabs didn't start pumping more gas all of a sudden. Neither did demand didn't suddenly go down. The true players stepped up and decided to manipulate the market. How can the stock exchange go crazy and gas go down? Ask the Republicans. How can the cost of goods still be high and yet gas is down? Ask the Republicans. They have played an integral role in every messed up thing that has happened in the economy. What is their last play before they kiss the White House goodbye? The big gas push.

I would respect their move far more if they were just as blatant as we are in Africa. Just plain buy your way to the Presidency. This subtle Jedi mind trick thing iritates the heck out of me.
Too little, too late guys, "Obama for President! Bye-bye, so long, ..............."