Of Dangote, People First, Syrian migrants

WHEN BROTHER TURNS AGAINST BROTHER . . . Hungarian policemen pull a family of Syrian migrants from a railway line at a station in the town of Bicske, Hungary, on September 3 2015. — Reuters

WHEN BROTHER TURNS AGAINST BROTHER . . . Hungarian policemen pull a family of Syrian migrants from a railway line at a station in the town of Bicske, Hungary, on September 3 2015. — Reuters

The Arena with Hildegarde
“AND, this week’s winner is Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote-e-e!” This son of Africa and his money bags has mesmerised all and sundry in Zimbabwe, and the media can never tire of the billionaire or maybe his billions? In less than a fortnight, the Nigerian mogul has been the talk of town — in pubs, kombis, social and

mainstream media. Everywhere, it’s Dangote, Dangote, and Dangote! Money speaks!

When it was not clear whether his technical team had come to Harare on Monday, as Alhaji Dangote had reassured the people of Zimbabwe, by noon there were murmurs of: maybe he, like most of them was just calling our bluff; while others bemoaned that let it not turn out to be a follow-up visit that never was.

That’s how highly regarded, this enigmatic brother from Africa’s economic powerhouse is. For when you are in dire need of cash, anything that looks promising is welcome news.

The excitement was driven in part by the fact that in the past, the people put their hearts and souls into something, only to see it fizzle out.

It has happened far too often and the coming on board of the Dangote Group has instilled hope, for as the saying goes, “It is often through the most challenging circumstances where people experience real transformation, and that it is during a recession where new innovation occurs, and after major life changes where people find previously unseen opportunities.” (shakeoffthegrind.com)

So, Dangote will probably help us remove that veil that has covered us for too long, and we start looking on the Zimbabwean soil and get interested in what the belly of this tea-pot shaped country contains, and whether we are a people that should grouch and grumble about handouts with strings attached. When Alhaji Dangote is done, we will realise the boundless opportunities that Zimbabwe offers.

You also feel the positive vibes as regional and international visitors head to Zimbabwe. Of course they are not coming with sackfuls of cash, which is everyone’s desire, but the mere fact that you have visitors coming is a positive sign for a better tomorrow.

And now to the spoilers!

In the milieu, you never run short of spoilers who have nothing else to do, but attempt to throw spanners in the works. Dr Joice Teurai Ropa Mujuru waited for that perfect moment to throw spanners in the works. Simply put, it was meant to distract attention. Then I wondered what the so-called People First really stands for.

But you cannot blame them. The other hands in the project can be seen throughout the manifesto. The development-speak language gives it away. After 34 years in Government, and even more years as Zanu-PF cadres, those who have always wanted to lead Zimbabwe from behind had a hand in that manifesto, and cash of course.

They also pushed the manifesto to be released the very day that the Dangote Group came to Zimbabwe to talk about doing serious business, instead of giving out handouts. All the best on the arduous road to “State House!”

Stupid, stupid, stupid war!

After Dangote and People First, let’s have a peak view of the mess we are witnessing in Europe. Before expressing that opinion, could someone tell me whether those thousands of people streaming into Europe from Syria and other war zones that started after the Arab Spring in 2011, are migrants or refugees or the terms are interchangeably used depending on the country you are in?

If you have watched the footage on the migrants packed like sardines in dinghy boats, and the most recent scenarios where thousands walked for hundreds of kilometres in order to enter Europe, then you conclude that nothing is forever, and Europe has lost its soul, for this could not be Europe treating its own kith and kin the way they have been doing in the past week, especially Hungary.

What has happened to their moral conscience if women, children, the elderly and people with disabilities have to go through such levels of rejection, hate and inhuman treatment? Even criminals are not treated like this.

But the most striking aspect was how these migrant incidents have coincided with the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. For some strange reason Germany is central to the issue, in a humane manner this time than during Adolf Hitler’s time. It is also coinciding with the founding of the United Nations, and Queen Elizabeth’s 63rd anniversary as Britain’s longest reigning monarch. She was seven years old when World War II ended.

The irony in the saga is that the war in Syria and other parts of the Middle East and North Africa did not start from nowhere.

Europe and the United States of America are behind all these wars, but they seem unwilling to take full responsibility for their actions.

Tomorrow, the US commemorates 14 years since the bombing of the Twin Towers in New York by alleged Al-Qaeda terrorists. This led to the declaration of the war on terror by the US president George W. Bush.

Since then, militancy or terrorism has been growing by the day, but the US has only taken in less than 1 500 Syrian refugees, despite their big hand in the war against terror. A typical People First attitude.

Is it a wonder then that the Boy George-led group, Culture Club sang the 1984 hit “The War Song” where they say war is stupid? We see that stupidity wherever war breaks out:

Lyrics
War war is stupid and people are stupid

And love means nothing in some strange quarters

War war is stupid and people are stupid

And I heard them banging on hearts and fingers

War!

People fill the world with narrow confidence

Like a child at birth, a man with no defence

What’s mine’s my own, I won’t give it to you

No matter what you say, no matter what you do

Now we’re fighting in our hearts

Fighting in the streets

Won’t somebody help me?

War war is stupid and people are stupid

And love means nothing in some strange quarters

War war is stupid and people are stupid

And I heard them banging on hearts and fingers

War!

Man is far behind in the search of something new

Like a Philistine, we’re burning witches too

This world of hate must be designed for you

It matters what you say, it matters what you do

Now we’re fighting in our hearts

Fighting in the streets

Won’t somebody help me?

War war is stupid and people are stupid

And love means nothing in some strange quarters

War war is stupid and people are stupid

And I heard them banging on hearts and fingers

War! War! War!

No more war

say no more war

say war

Say no more war.

Pin It