Unity: Best enemy repellent
Robert Mugabe in 1979 outside the Zimbabwe African National Union-PF headquarters in Mozambique. Mugabe has led the his nation since independence in 1980.
Originally uploaded by Pan-African News Wire File Photos
Robert Mugabe in 1979 outside the Zimbabwe African National Union-PF headquarters in Mozambique. Mugabe has led the his nation since independence in 1980.
Originally uploaded by Pan-African News Wire File Photos
By Reason Wafawarova in SYDNEY, Australia
AS we come to the end of 2009, it is important for all Zimbabweans to once more be reminded of the need to appreciate the importance of oneness and the inviolability of patriotism.
The callous attitude towards the inclusive Government by Western governments and their representatives and agents is not surprising at all.
It must be understood in the context that whatever conflict we had among ourselves as Zimbabweans from 1999 — that conflict was a fight to repel an external enemy.
It was never a conflict to express a quest for tyranny or the love for self-inflicted suffering. That is the propaganda we have heard from the enemy and it is time we earnestly engaged ourselves in the national healing process that will help us rebuild a country we helped shatter by allowing ourselves to collaborate with those external forces that sought to strangulate our economy.
The denunciation of President Mugabe has become a secular doctrine in the West, and that fulmination is all rooted in the imperial commitment to world domination and the establishment of client states in place of the fallen colonies.
The cranky obsession with President Mugabe that we saw in the Western media after he joined 134 world leaders at a dinner hosted by the Queen of Denmark recently just goes to show that the enemy is not going to retreat just because we have decided to rebuild our shattered country as one family.
It was commendable that Mr Gordon Brown decided not be exiled in his own continent this time around and he attended the Copenhagen Summit without throwing the childish tantrums the way he did with the 2007 Lisbon EU-Africa Summit, which he boycotted by fleeing his own continent for Iraq.
As if it was of any necessity or relevance the handlers of the British Premier needlessly told Danish function organisers that Brown had no intention to speak to President Mugabe. It was all the now too familiar snivelling rhetoric that Britain is dead worried about human rights in Zimbabwe, and that its Premier is too holy to be in the same place with the President of Zimbabwe.
In 1999, the British government decided to invest in an illicit regime change agenda in Zimbabwe. This was a snorting effort at halting what Tony Blair saw as Mugabe’s “land invasion policy”.
The rascality of the regime change project became apparent when the United States weighed in with a sanctions law, ZDERA, and Australia’s John Howard came in with his rancorous campaign for the expulsion of Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth.
In 2000, as we prepared for a parliamentary general election, our country was hit by a disastrous sabotage campaign targeted at basic commodities like sugar, fuel, salt and cooking oil. The calculation was to create conditions for a protest vote against Zanu PF and in favour of the British sponsored MDC. We fought back as a country. We confronted the enemy’s material superiority and abundant supplies with a collective political and revolutionary determination.
The vanguard of our national revolution — the war veterans, the Defence Forces, the youth and the masses decided against fighting from the same corner with the imperial aggressors.
It was a time to unleash a collective sense of genius, and the strategies adopted have written heroic deeds into the pages of African anti-imperialism history — albeit with a sad and dear price on the welfare side of our country.
This is how the revolution was protected. It was protected because it was under attack, and we as Zimbabweans owe our country protection day and night.
We defended the country not as a duty to protect Zanu-PF, but as a duty to defend the revolution.
The economic war that we saw against Zimbabwe in the last 10 years was just like any other war, which is nothing but an extension of politics.
The enemy’s politics were extended and became a sanctions war. Our politics were extended and became a generalised popular defence of the revolution and the country.
Two political lines confronted each other and the end result so far has been the GPA and the inclusive Government led by the West’s number one enemy, President Mugabe, and which includes arguably their number one favourite African politician, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
Now it is time to think about all those who succumbed to death as the economy of the country was shattered by the ruinous Western sanctions onslaught. To us these people should be viewed as having fallen on the field of honour.
It is time to spare a thought for all those who were injured in political conflict, about the tearful families, our people from across the political divide who were touched by this confrontation. Each of us Zimbabweans must make an effort to surmount all feelings of hate, rejection, bitterness and hostility towards our fellow citizens.
It is time to repel the enemy — the real enemy behind this confrontation. We can all now see clearly that it is only the Western community that stands opposed to the inclusive Government and our efforts to rebuild our nation. We have the blessing and good will of all members of the family of nations but the West.
Each of us Zimbabweans must win the ultimate victory by killing all seeds of hostility and enmity within us towards fellow citizens.
This is an important victory to win — bigger than any election victory that anyone can ever dream of.
It is time to plant seeds of genuine love and oneness in our hearts — a love capable of withstanding the murderous assault of ruinous sanctions and isolation.
This kind of oneness and patriotism can only be built on the revolutionary bedrock of sincere love for our country and heritage.
This writer is convinced that each Zanu-PF member and supporter is capable of this kind of love for the MDC members and supporters, and likewise each MDC member and supporter is capable of this kind of love for those from Zanu-PF.
The principals presiding over the GPA have expressed a willingness to work together, and their respective parties have been doing more negotiations than fighting of late. All Zimbabweans should chant yes, to this. That chanting must then be put into practice.
We should all remember that there has never been anything but unity and oneness among Zimbabweans. Our confrontation has been in the context of the presence of an unwanted external enemy.
Our people — the real guardians of power in Zimbabwe — must speak loud and clear that in Zimbabwe we are one and our heritage and future is one. This is the cheapest and easiest way of repelling the enemy.
Those sheepish smiles from the faces of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora whenever they are confronted with patronising statements like “you poor thing”, or “aren’t you lucky to be here?” must be translated into bold declarations that we are neither poor nor lucky to be away from home.
On behalf of our country we must boldly tell the world that there are no more problems in our country and none of us should ever gain posture as an asylum seeker of any kind.
We must make it clear that we can return to Zimbabwe when and as we wish, in total freedom and pride.
We did not fight against the imperial onslaught in order to create refugees and economic prisoners. We fought to repel the enemy and we are happy that the objective of the enemy was thwarted.
Now that the enemy can be fully repelled by our one voice, it is time we realise that we are one family as Zimbabweans. We are our own liberators and together we will always triumph.
It is time to avoid being dragged and diverted into fights that are not for the benefit of our country and our people.
It is time to avoid being involved in concerns that are not concerns of our people in this mad race toward aid money and all manner of sponsored campaigns.
It is understandable that the pressures of want create this great temptation and pressure on some of our people to keep pace with welfare needs by stepping up to the dictates and requirements of the Western donor.
That only gives justification for the bellicose actions of such aid providers as the USAid and Endowment for Democracy, together with Britain’s Westminster Foundation.
When we do their bidding to dupe them into releasing those much wanted US dollars, all we are doing is providing them with a pretext for holding our country for ransom.
When we think we are duping those gullible immigration officials by dramatising false stories so we can be granted asylum, all we are doing is giving the enemy the pretext he needs to portray our country as having a terrible human rights record.
It is when we stop all this self-defeating behaviour that we can successfully repel the enemy.
The Western media, in reality the imperialist Press, has often said of Zimbabwe that recovery of the economy would take decades.
Now the same media has passed a sentence on itself by reversing its opinion — albeit in an attempt to create an economic wizard out of our Finance Minister.
Whichever way, the economic reality on the ground clearly shows that most of what they wrote about the state of Zimbabwe’s economy in the last five or so years was a slander. We can rebuild our country so fast if we stand as one and the enemy will be forced to come face-to-face-with his own slander.
We can live freely and happily as a family and the enemy who wrote that we were a pariah state will have to come face to face with his own slander.
Iraq, Guantanamo, Palestine and Afghanistan have shown the world who the real human rights abusers are. It is all now too clear.
It is time for Zimbabweans to wash away our shame and to re-establish the truth about our country and its true revolution. Those who detest the revolution for various illicit reasons will not stop causing confusion.
Their manoeuvres will continue and so we must brace ourselves for the battles that await us as a nation.
This writer would like to wish every Zimbabwean a happy 2010 — happiness in keeping with our national goal of rebuilding our economy and with the collective efforts we are all ready to make.
In wishing the nation a good and happy 2010, this writer would also like to plead with every Zimbabwean to brace up and look on the experience of the last ten years. This must be viewed as an unfortunate episode — nevertheless very rich in lessons.
We all need to analyse the experience so that we can benefit our future and the future of our revolution.
We must always remember that “when people stand up, imperialism trembles” as Thomas Sankara said on March 26, 1983; when he launched the Burkinabe Revolution.
Zimbabwe we are one and together we will overcome. It is homeland or death!
--Reason Wafawarova is a political writer and can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or reason@rwafa warova.com or visit http://www.rwafawarova.com
Land: The sticking point
By David Martin and Phyllis Johnson
THE Lancaster House conference had opened on September 10 1979 and concluded after 47 plenary sessions with agreement on a new constitution, arrangements for the transitional period preceding independence, and a ceasefire agreement on December 15, with the formal agreements being signed by the leaders of the delegations on December 21 1979.
THIS is the eighth and final article in a series on the Lancaster House agreement of December 21 1979.
The conference was a tortuous finale to the Rhodesian saga. Lord Carrington, the British Foreign Secretary, had been under pressure to reach a swift agreement at Lancaster House, and he used a mixture of shrewd diplomacy mixed with blunt determination with those who crossed him.
Ian Smith, the erstwhile Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia, was to feel the sting of Carrington’s tongue when on one occasion he accused the Foreign Secretary of having blood on his hands.
“If there is blood on anyone’s hands, it is yours,” Carrington retorted angrily. During the Lancaster House conference, the Patriotic Front fought against constitutional provisions they regarded as racist (such as 20 seats in Parliament reserved for whites), against restrictions on constitutional changes, the retention of the Rhodesian forces, the restrictions placed on the ability of a new government to distribute land that had been taken from the Africans over the previous 90 years, the short length of time given for a ceasefire to take effect, the location of forces during the ceasefire, and many other issues.
The Prime Minister of the interim government of “Zimbabwe-Rhodesia”, Bishop Abel Muzorewa, fought to preserve his position as much as possible against constitutional changes that he felt would undermine it, for the retention of the Rhodesian forces, and any other item he felt he could turn to his advantage.
The Patriotic Front leaders faced pressures from two quarters: from their own guerrillas, many of whom viewed the unfolding events as an attempt to prevent them from gaining the military victory they believed was near; and from the Front Line States, who emphasised that the Patriotic Front could not be seen to be responsible for wrecking the conference and whose own economies were being wrecked by the war.
That they would have continued to support them had the conference collapsed is not in doubt, although they threatened otherwise, but, like Zimbabwe-Rhodesia and Britain, the Front Line States needed a settlement more than they needed a continuation of the war . . .
Throughout all the hot and cold flushes of hope and despondency, an air of inevitability hung over the Lancaster House conference, as indeed it had since that epic weekend in July in Lusaka when Commonwealth leaders met in summit and agreed on the holding of a conference.
No one could afford to be seen to be responsible for breaking the Lancaster House conference, and the guerrillas had brought Rhodesia to a point where it needed the end of the war even more than recognition and the lifting of sanctions.
There was only one way to end the war, and that was to agree to a new internationally acceptable constitution and to the holding of new British-supervised elections.
Once an independence constitution had been agreed, there was really no way out for either side.
The main principles of one-person-one-vote elections, majority rule and independence were all contained in it and even if the constitution was flawed on points of detail and obnoxious in some of its racial provisions, the fact remained that most of the main reasons for going to war had been removed — except for the issue of land reclamation.
The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Sonny Ramphal, had convened a secret meeting on this subject midway through the conference, in November 1979, at his official residence in the exclusive west end of London.
Initially only three people were present: Ramphal, Robert Mugabe and Joshua
Nkomo, as the political leaders of the Patriotic Front. The US Ambassador was later invited to join the meeting.
“The meeting concluded that the constitutional provisions proposed by the British would have to be accepted, but these would only be accepted alongside the resources necessary to pay for the land.
“It was decided that the US would make a gesture by starting such a fund, the stipulation was that it be referred to as an ‘Agricultural Development Fund’ and not as money to buy out the white farmers. We thought this would encourage the British. But this never happened.”
Ramphal blames Thatcher for not instituting the fund.
“In those first 10 years after independence, all of this should have been worked out in London. But it was not,” he said, adding that, “Robert was interested in the details as well as the principle regarding land at Lancaster House.”
--D. Martin and P. Johnson, The Struggle for Zimbabwe: The Chimurenga War, Faber/ZPH, 1981.
Land audit not a witch-hunt
IT is a fact that people always develop resistance to things that are not explained to them and this is why many farmers have been questioning Government’s motive for undertaking another land audit.
We thus commend the Government for spelling out the purpose of conducting yet another land audit and allaying fears of displacement.
The Government has done exceptionally well to define the terms of reference of the land audit amid growing fears among many farmers that it was designed to displace them from their pieces of land.
We are told the latest round of land audit seeks to help the Government come up with initiatives to empower farmers for sustainable food production.
New farmers will need a lot of persuasion to believe that this is indeed the motive.
They can’t quite trust the inclusive Government given tendencies by certain sections and elements of that Government to dine with our erstwhile colonisers.
We have always said that now is not the time to cause uncertainty on the farms but to come up with schemes that promote effective land use and productivity.
Schemes that ensure farmers are able to get back to the land, replenish the Grain Marketing Board’s strategic grain reserve, make a profit and help the nation attain food security really excite farmers and spur them to work hard.
Indeed, the focus has shifted from land redistribution to land use and if the envisaged land audit will help the nation achieve high productivity levels, then it is precisely what the doctor has ordered.
Let us come with policies that ensure that farmers are capacitated to productively use the land they were allocated. We strongly support the direction the land audit has taken.
It was quite refreshing to hear Minister of Lands and Land Resettlement Herbert Murerwa dispelling rumours that farmers would lose their land as a result of the audit.
Some farmers have done exceptionally well on the farms while others have struggled owing to various reasons and so we believe that before any displacement takes place Government needs such an audit to establish the reasons for the success and failure registered by farmers.
It would be unfair to conduct an audit largely designed to remove resettled farmers from their pieces of land without establishing the cause of failure.
We are told that the audit would assess activities on the ground, land uptake, production levels and availability of water sources.
These are the issues that should really concern not only farmers but the Government as well.
Anything that helps farmers to fully use the land allocated to them should get the support of everyone.
Once we achieve the production levels this country is renowned for, then a lot of money we have previously spent on imports can be channelled towards other sectors directly or indirectly involved with agriculture, such as seed houses and fertilizer firms to produce inputs to feed agriculture. Let not the land audit be used as a witch-hunt but as a correctional tool in cases were things were not done properly.
We want to encourage farmers to continue their cropping programmes without any fear, and trust that the audit will be conducted to their advantage.
2010: Africa, arise and shine!
THE countdown to 2010 is finally over. Tomorrow heralds an historic year, which is not just another New Year.
2010 is the year that will mark the end of the first decade of the 21st century — a century whose beginning was marked with so much hype.
The Arena salutes 2010 with hope and confidence that everyone will realise their dreams, and for those that religiously do New Year resolutions, may 2010 be different from the other years where you never went beyond the first one. This is the year when all resolutions should be realised.
Make that commitment that it is too special a year to leave things undone or unfinished, for you are part of the outfit that will make Africa arise and shine.
We reminisce not only the passage of an eventful year, 2009, but go down memory lane remembering many unforgettable moments of the past decade from a global perspective, simply because Zimbabwe is not an island.
We remember those moments that defined you and me; defined history; defined the future - events that cannot simply be ignored.
They are too many, so we do so randomly, and in some cases haphazardly. Leaving out some does not in any way diminish their relevance in shaping this decade.
We also go global because Zimbabwe will soon join other global citizens in celebrating 2010’s crowning moment, that moment when the beautiful game of soccer comes to Africa and lights up the continent. As the football fraternity descends on host nation South Africa in their thousands for the showcasing of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the whole of Africa will be with them.
Time will tell whether this soccer extravaganza will be the raison d’être in Africa’s reawakening.
Will the Fifa World Cup prove that Africa is the world’s last sleeping giant? Will other members of the international community learn a thing or two from the so-called “dark continent”?
Lest we forget, this first decade of the 21st century was marked initially by the Y2K (year 2000 compliancy) bug that obsessed many.
Most of you readers remember the scare – computers, banking or airline systems just coming to a standstill, after failing the compliancy tests and crash landing everything in the process.
But nothing of the sort happened. Life went on almost normally, although it became increasingly obvious that the 21st century was being reconfigured, by the very element feared by many – ICTs!
Apart from compliancy of electronic gizmos, it emerged that even people were supposed to be Y2K compliant. This meant a total overhaul in the way we view or do things in order to be fully operational in the new millennium.
Entering the 21st century was a milestone, but the transition from one hundred years to another century was a major challenge that has been felt in all spheres.
A decade later, as The Arena reminisces it does so with more questions than answers. Have we achieved compliancy not only for 2010, but for the next decade and beyond? How do we deal with future challenges? Is the global village now a reality and how can you and me be better citizens in that village?
Will it also take that village to raise the global citizen, and who decides on the modus operandi?
In Zimbabwe, it is not possible to talk about 2009 (milestones and failures alike), without looking at the year 2000, when the most revolutionary programmes initiated by Government kicked off in earnest — the land reform programme.
It was a programme that put Zimbabwe on a collision with its former colonial master Britain and its Western allies.
This single factor defined the Zimbabwe of the 21st century - politically, economically, culturally, socially and religiously. The major spin off was the imposition of illegal economic sanctions by the United States and other Western nations in 2001.
So much happened between then and now, but Zimbabwe has stood firm on its principles although the punishment was unbearable. It is also a matter of interpretation on how you and I understand the sum total of the countless events in the past decade.
Despite the relative peace and tranquility achieved after the formation of the inclusive Government early this year, sanctions remain a destablising factor on the Zimbabwean landscape.
The partial dollarisation and use of multiple hard currencies introduced at the beginning of the year also stabilised the economy slightly improving people’s living standards.
However, more tangible effects of this policy move still have to be realised, especially the revival of industrial and commercial sectors.
The Arena also hopes that everybody will throw their weight behind efforts by various sectors to depolarise our society and create an atmosphere of tolerance where everybody will fully utilise their potential to the maximum, and make Zimbabwe prosper.
The Arena also wonders whether the Fifa World Cup tournament will kick-start under the hostile sanctions regime, since Zimbabwe hopes to fulfill the mandate it made to South Africa – assist as best as possible so that the tournament is a successful African story.
The dawn of the century also saw Zimbabwe holding a referendum on a people driven constitution. When the “No” vote prevailed, Zimbabwe went back to the Lancaster House constitution, but with 2010 only hours away, it is hoped that current initiatives to come up with a home grown constitution will succeed, despite constraints.
Zimbabwe also celebrated its silver jubilee in 2005, and at one of the gatherings, music maestro Dorothy Masuka announced how happy she was to be finally back home.
But, the biggest surprise of the first decade was the discovery of diamonds at Chiadzwa in Marange after which the daring descended on the diamonds fields: panners, “buyers” and many more, until efforts were made to create order out of the chaos. The past decade also saw Zanu-PF nominating for the first time since independence a woman to its presidium, Cde Joice Teurai Ropa Mujuru, who proceeded to become the first woman Vice President.
When MDC-T became part of the inclusive Government it also followed suit and elected Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe.
However, these high powered appointments have not seen women participating fully in major decision-making bodies. Like Shylock who demanded his pound of flesh, women want proportional representation in all key positions.
In the past decade, we have also celebrated exploits made by the likes of. Kirsty Coventry, Cara Black, Kevin Ulyett, Benjani Mwaruwari among others, who have done the nation proud on the international sporting arena.
Musicians like Oliver Mtukudzi have also been Zimbabwe’s true ambassadors, taking our songs in otherwise unfriendly arenas and in the process mellowing them.
This in no way diminishes achievements by everyone who played their part in positively telling the Zimbabwean story.
During the first half of the decade, Zimbabwean security forces foiled an attempt by mercenaries led by Simon Mann, to topple the government of Equatorial Guinea.
The past decade has also seen Zimbabwe losing some of its founding fathers and mothers. Among them were Vice Presidents Simon Muzenda and Joseph Msika; Mama MaFuyana, late Vice President Joshua Nkomo’s wife; and many more war of liberation heroes and heroines.
Zimbabwe also lost many notable personalities including Mrs Susan Tsvangirai, PM Tsvangirai’s wife, who died in a tragic car accident, barely three months after the formation of the inclusive Government.
We also lost many sporting and entertainment personalities; professionals in various disciplines and the rank and file of Zimbabweans.
The HIV and Aids pandemic has continued to claim more lives despite the awareness campaigns and the availability of anti-retroviral drugs, resulting in more children being orphaned and having more vulnerable people in our midst.
As the economic challenges worsened, many service delivery sectors were adversely affected, especially water and sanitation, resulting in thousands of deaths due to the cholera epidemic. Cholera and other diseases continue to pose serious threats countrywide.
The past decade also saw a sharp increase in cases of domestic violence and cases of child abuse, especially rape of minors. It is hoped that the new constitution will adequately protect all citizens from such people, especially sexual predators.
However, one of the major causes of untimely deaths in the past decade are the countless traffic accidents that continue to claim hundreds of lives, whose causes are numerous, including drunken driving, unroadworthy vehicles and pot holed roads.
The poor state of the nation’s road network is a major cause for concern. Together with power and energy supply, this is an area The Arena hopes will be prioritised in the reconstruction programme, since Zimbabwe is a major gateway to other regional trading destinations.
Zimbabwe has also not been spared by the climate change phenomenon, and the past decade has seen the nation experiencing one drought situation after another, a situation that has seriously affected the agricultural sector, which is supposed to be the backbone of the economy.
This has exacerbated poverty among various classes of people with vulnerable groups mostly affected. The net effect has been a heavy dependency on humanitarian assistance.
After three decades of investment in education and skills training, Zimbabwe lost a large majority of these skilled people to the Diaspora that continues to offer better remunerations.
Every sector has been seriously affected by the brain drain, especially the education sector which is the foundation of a well trained skills base.
Despite the closure of most companies where thousands lost jobs, schools continue to churn out youths whose chances of securing viable employment is bleak, unless Government and key stakeholders make deliberate efforts to resuscitate the industrial and commercial sectors.
From an international perspective, the single most important event that has defined this first decade is the September 11 2001 terror attacks in the United States. It is an event that is increasingly becoming a threat to international peace and security.
After the 9/11 attacks, the US redefined its relations with the rest of the world, as President George W Bush openly declared a “war on terror”, and put new meaning on “them” and “us”, a policy that has polarised nations in this post-Cold War era.
This was followed by the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan and the execution of Saddam Hussein for allegedly possessing weapons of mass destruction.
Peace and security have remained fragile in the Middle East, even after the death of Chairman Yasser Arafat. There is also instability in most parts of the world, especially after the global economic meltdown of 2008.
After the arrest last Friday of the 23-year old Nigerian on terrorism charges, it now remains to be seen whether US President Barack Obama’s talk on terrorism will take a different tone from that of his predecessor.
Although terror attacks have occurred on African soil, with some of the perpetrators having lived in Africa, it is the first time that an African has made such a daring move.
The decade also witnessed one of the most catastrophic natural disasters, the December 2004 tsunami that left more than 250 000 people dead and millions more homeless. More devastating national disasters followed, and climate change has continued to be blamed.
In 2008, the Sadc region also mourned the loss of Zambian President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa. And, that voice that entertained thousands for decades and campaigned against the evil apartheid system also fell silent in 2008.
Miriam Makeba or Mama Africa who could probably have been a major attraction at the soccer tournament suffered a heart attack while performing in France, and died shortly after.
But it was the death of pop icon Michael Jackson in 2009 that topped the bill. Single-handedly, MJ almost caused the collapse of the Internet, and this just goes to show how “bad” he really was. The best entertainer Hildegarde has ever known.
Changes in governments — in some cases through violent means took place in various parts of the world, with Africa remaining in the spotlight because of armed conflicts.
This decade also saw former Cuban President, Commandant Fidel Castro stepping down from office due to ill health. President Vladmir Putin did the same, but has remained in the Russian government as Prime Minister.
Four hundred years after black people landed in the United States as slaves, in 2008 the US finally elected Barack Obama as its first black president — and, he completes his first year in office in a few days time, under the shadow of terrorist threats.
Two decades ago they celebrated the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union which also ended the Cold War.
Two decades later, there has been a shift with the emergence of new economic and political power houses — Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC), minus the ‘-isms’. The power shift has been felt more this decade.
In golf, as the Tiger entered the Woods, dogged by sexual scandals, Usain Bolt continued to rule the roost in the athletic arena, while the Maputo Express, Maria Mutola, has slowed down.
The decade had also many weirdos. Before leaving office, President Bush had some nasty experiences with some members of the public, with one of them throwing a shoe at him.
But maybe Italy comes tops. Barely a month after Prime Minister Silvio Belusconi was seriously attacked by a member of the public believed to have psychological problems; then on Christmas Eve, a young woman attacked Pope Benedict XVI, while he was saying mass. And the initial claims were that she also had mental problems.
The 2008 financial meltdown is also one of the biggest events of the past decade, whose far-reaching impact is still being felt, and whose end seems to be nowhere near.
No one has been spared, and millions on all continents are jobless, and facing a bleak 2010.
However, even in my sleep, I would not hesitate to tell you that the Internet is the most revolutionary invention that has really shaped the first decade of the 21st century.
After getting acquainted to it in 1992, I never doubted that this was an invention that would reshape the 21st century in a manner that would defy odds.
The Internet hopes to be everywhere, used by all and sundry for all sorts of things: the good and the bad. It is creating virtual communities that act differently from the face-to-face communities we are used to.
Not only is it a computer mediated communication tool, but it is the world’s largest repository of information organised and stored in multi-media formats, and disseminated at great speed.
It defies, time, space and boundaries, and even legislations. It threatens all other technologies before it. It will continue to beat its own record, until another block buster invention comes up.
Indeed soccer is 2010’s major stimulant, but there is a lot more to this season of hope that is required in order to achieve the unrealised dreams of the past decade.
As The Arena looks forward to 2010, let’s not forget that the past decade was a decade of sorts: the beautiful and the ugly; the pleasant and the unpleasant.
It was a decade where Zimbabweans will remember pain and suffering, a decade characterised by lack of basics and one which some would love to describe as a lost decade.
But against all odds, they triumphed because of that intrinsic will power.
Woza 2010 and a happy New Year to you all!