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View Diary: Elections in Zimbabwe (80 comments)

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  •  I hear you . . . (0+ / 0-)

    I'm half American, half British, my wife is Zulu with some Indian blood and my work allows me to travel throughout east Africa, but I don't know anything, really, either . . . :)

    I've spent a couple of weeks in Zim, lots of that time locked up in cars moving from one town to another, and I can't remember talking to one white Zimbabwean during my visit there -- everything I learned comes from an African perspective.  

    I totally understand the blight that colonialism has left behind in Southern Africa, and like I say, I was pretty sure I knew what the real issues were in Zim and I was pretty sure that the west was either to blame or a huge contributing factor.  What I wasn't prepared for was to find how much of what is wrong there now is self-inflicted; I passed mile after mile of abandoned, looted farms in what looked like the San Joaquin Valley in California where the only activity was subsistence farming done with methods that can only be called biblical in their lack of sophistication.  

    I'm a big believer in the notion of solutions that are appropriates in the African context for African problems and I don't have an automatically pro-Western world view, but what I saw there shocked me.  I contrast that with South Africa; our democracy here is imperfect, but I admire the way that the government leveraged the existing infrastructure to create more wealth rather than to let it fall to pieces as a way of supporting cronyisim and corruption to achieve political objectives.

    You say you are half Zimbabwean; do you live there now?  What does your family there think of the current situation?

    ~j

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