Fair?

Fair?

Stipulated that much of politics is symbolic. Why else would a high court judge come to work in a burkha and often cover his head with a white mop tying it all up with a Christmas bow? But in this revolution dedicated to stamping out untruth, symbols slip.

Whether Kenya, South Africa or the U.S., if the tables were turned, I’d push through Amy to the court. It’s the law.

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Not So Remote

Not So Remote

Climate change is a silent slow motion video that with a touch on your remote bursts out of your TV with the cacophony of earthquakes and volcanic thunder. You reach for the remote. Mute the volume again. Change the channel.

Half of Zimbabwe’s population is starving. Today. Right now. Kenya’s oil that had been saving its government from default has come to an abrupt halt. “Unprecedented numbers” are starving and sick in southern Africa.

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Doesn’t Falls

Doesn’t Falls

Victoria Falls without falls is disturbing enough but there are even more disturbing aspects to the viral dissemination of the falls turned off.

More than several times I’ve seen the falls this way. It reflects a severe drought to the west. But right now really destructive torrential rains are destroying large towns and major agricultural areas to the west as the drought breaks. In several months the falls will be running wild. No one seems to mention that… this time.

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Trade Wars Hurt

Trade Wars Hurt

Yes, it’s terrifying Russia’s disruption of elections. But they’ve got a bigger fish in the pond: they’re destroying the world capitalistic order. The global recession is slowly, methodically seeping over the planet like a spilled jar of syrup. By the first of the year every privileged westerner will feel it.

Trade wars started by America will be understood by everyone to be the cause. But the viscous nature of a global recession isn’t easily reversed, particularly when Russian-supported governments are precisely the ones supposedly responsible for getting us out of the goop.

In Africa as I presume everywhere, the squabbles and bureaucracy strangling intra-African trade is linked directly to America’s initial actions… You don’t reap what you don’t sow.

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Elephant Controversies

Elephant Controversies

When I defend zoos to my clients on safari I point out the structural shift zoos began three or four decades ago away from public entertainment. Most zoos have shrunk in physical size. Most now have fewer animals on display and most spend increasing amounts of their revenue on field conservation and scientific research.

I enjoy telling safari visitors that almost all animals born today in zoos come from parents that were born in zoos. There is an exception, elephants, and that’s erupted into a major controversy.

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Culling Politicians

Culling Politicians

Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe claim to have 250,000 elephants – which is a bit high – and their Heads of State met yesterday to decide how to handle “too many elephants.”

Botswana has a hotly contested election in five months. Elephants are a hot button issue in that election with the president decrying “too many elephants” and offering absolutely useless but provocative methods to reduce them. He hopes this glitzy gathering of mostly unpopular Heads of State will help his cause.

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Revolutionary Times

Revolutionary Times

In the British Parliament a prominent Lord urges the government to recolonize Zimbabwe. Russia’s methodical promotion of oligarchy finds purchase in the Central African Republic, where it’s close to controlling the government. In the U.S. religious groups blossom in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

Like any revolutionary period, politics becomes so upset that old ideas resurface and new ones fashioned of opposite extremes develop as well. That’s happening today in Africa as in the U.S.

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Zim Dangers Again

Zim Dangers Again

To those of you have been insisting Zimbabwe is just fine for tourism, please explain your position to the tourists currently hunkered down in the hotels in Zimbabwe unable to go or come.

Airlines canceled flights, taxis and other transport wouldn’t move tourists from hotels anywhere, and visitors could do nothing but hunker down. No tourists appeared in danger, but this certainly wasn’t the vacation they’d been sold.

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#2 Cold Wind Blows

#2 Cold Wind Blows

Many Africans view 2018 positively, a time when autocratic leaders solidified power and stability increased. For many African conservatives it was a good year.

It was not a good year for African liberals, human rights activists, members of the LGBT community, women or those who champion democracy. Rightists celebrated; leftists wept.

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Extreme Responsibility

Extreme Responsibility

A Florida woman canoeing down the Zambezi nearly lost her leg after being attacked by a hippo and undergoing hours of surgery in Johannesburg earlier this week.

Kristen and Ryan Yaldor were celebrating Kristen’s 37th birthday on one of my most favorite trips when I was younger. The guide noticed something unusual to the right, told the couple to paddle to the left, and moments later Kristen was in the mouth of an angry mother hippo.

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No New Zim

No New Zim

“Worse than under Mugabe,” the principle opposition spokesman told London’s Guardian newspaper this morning.

Four days after a hopeful election that inspired the world, Zimbabwe has returned to its dark cave. Masked groups move through the country abducting known opposition supporters.

Persons on the streets are tortured and beaten. There’s not much more to report. Zimbabwe has retreated from the outside world. Outsiders dare not visit.

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Democracy Sucks

Democracy Sucks

Crocodile Mnangagwa was declared president of Zimbabwe with 50.8% to his nearest challenger, charismatic Chamisa’s 44.3%.

Slightly fewer votes for Mnangagwa putting him below 50% would have triggered a run-off with Chamisa. There were 23 candidates in the race; Chamisa’s chances in a run-off were very good, and that had been his party’s strategy from the beginning. With grave concerns expressed by international observers on the election’s authenticity, Mnangagwa’s presidency is now as legitimate as Donald Trump’s.

And that’s my point. These days’ democracy sucks.

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Zimbabwe Dirge

Zimbabwe Dirge

Real hopes that I had yesterday of bringing visitors back to Zimbabwe are now exactly like the three innocent, unarmed young people shot by soldiers on the streets of Harare yesterday afternoon: dead.

Final election results have yet to be announced at the time of this writing, but they don’t matter. How someone becomes a Zimbabwean soldier, I don’t know, but that is the only hope to power left to any Zimbabwean.

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Unmasked or New?

Unmasked or New?

One week from today thirty years of Zimbabwe could be discarded and a new age for this beautiful, resource-rich country could begin. Or not.

A week from today is the first election in more than thirty years with a serious potential of being free and fair. Even so, the brainwashed generation-plus of Zimbabweans who have never enjoyed being free might be too scared to try it, now. And then there’s the army. Will they allow free results that diminish their power?

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