bmtv90 Zimbabwe: Progress or Collaboration?

After many weeks without a vlog entry, this one was recorded today as I floated through the Oud West. Its short and addresses the recent changes in Zimbabwe where opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has now joined in the government of Robert Mugabe as prime minister.  Which begs the question, is this good news? Oh and yes the video at the end comes from the fine people at the guardian.co.uk.

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Radio NL On Zimbabwe

Much like I do on a daily basis in Amsterdam, this morning I hopped on my bike and rode into town here in Caldas da Rainha, Portugal. And much like I do in Amsterdam, I’m sure to load up my mp3 player with recent podcasts so that I can learn about the state of the world while weaving past crazy drivers… crazy being the operative word for Portuguese drivers.

The one recent podcast that I soaked up today was from the program Amsterdam Forum, focusing on the Zimbabwean crisis. While I’ve spoken about and spend a good amount of time learning about conditions and developments in that country, I still seek more and more explanations to understand not only how this happened but creative and potentially effective solutions. In this program Amsterdam Forum, yet another great production from Radio Netherlands, brings in alot of interesting voices who managed to teach me more and give me even more facts and history regarding why and how Zimbabwe got to where it is. There are even some interesting theories which I had never heard about why Mugabe has allowed the country to slip into such a terrible situation.

To hear the whole thing, and I do highly recommend it, go to the Amsterdam Forum website. You can either read or listen.. me I love to listen.

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Engagement Over Isolation

Well my dear Portugal has taken over the EU presidency, and there is quite a buzz about their inviting Zimbabwe’s elected dictator Robert Mugabe to the upcoming Africa summit.

The UK and associated countries are upset, since there has been an ongoing travel ban on him and members of his government. Portugal is reportedly doing this because the African Union insists that every country be treated equally. But really this comes back to a classic debate in life, politics, you name it.

Isolation or engagement? Do you try to engage in dialogue with those you disagree with or those that have done something terrible? Or do you try to shut them out and find ways to punish or limit their capacity to act. And if you do either of these, what are the risks?

One of the common reference points is always the late Saddam and sanctions against Iraq. Then again there was also Qaddafi in Libya, which turned out quite differently.

At this point, taking into account this travel ban and the tactics adopted by governments critical of Mugabe, there doesn’t seem to be much change in terms of suffering Zimbabweans. He still does as he wishes and uses his office to carry out destructive policies and practices.

Fisting

So maybe this is more than just pressure from the African Union. Maybe it’s time to try something else, including inviting the dictator you don’t like to some meetings; engaging in dialog. After all, he certainly wouldn’t be the only tyrant from Africa attending the meeting, and if you invite him, he has one less excuse during the next speech about how the “whole world wants to destroy him and the country”.

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bm198 Zimbabwe Students Movement

Like much of the population in Zimbabwe, students are suffering a great deal at the hands of the government. Their struggle for human rights, academic freedom, justice, and representation is reaching out across borders and continents. In this podcast I sit down with Tendayi Lynnet Mudehwe, information and publicity secretary of ZINASU, the Zimbabwean National Students Union.

We Discuss:
– The circumstances for students in Zimbabwe
– Healthcare, Student Fee’s, and Rights
– Mugabe, who supports him?
– The goal of travelling to Europe
– The role of outside countries
– How close is change?
– The dangers that activists face

ZINASU Website
Clips used from SW Radio Africa

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