Changing the Game: Malawi’s First Vice-Presidential Debate

Photo by Tara Thindwa

Malawi's first ever presidential debates are a game changer in Malawian politics. On Saturday March 8th, millions of Malawians tuned in using multiple media platforms when the country held its  first political debates ahead of the May 20th polls. The debate included the Malawi Vice-Presidential candidates from the four most prominent parties. The presidential running mates who … [Read more...]

Zimbabwe: Salarygate, fear and bad politics

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This past Friday JP Morgan, America’s largest  bank announced that its CEO, Jamie Dimon would receive $18.5M worth of stock as bonus for the next 3 years on top of his $1.5M annual salary. This 74% salary increase is for a job well done in handling the legal problems surrounding the 2012 losses caused by the rogue trade known as the London Whale. You can imagine the outrage … [Read more...]

A female majority in Parliament – what’s the big deal?

Rwanda's female MPs in the Chamber of Deputies Photo: Urugwiro Village

  Recently, I had an interesting Twitter exchange with a journalist who said it’s good that Rwanda has a female majority in the lower house of Parliament but we need to check “quality”. Last week, Rwanda cemented its global number one spot with 51 out of 80 seats going to women - that’s 64%. In the last mandate, women were at 56%. This is cause for celebration, first … [Read more...]

Sanctions! What Sanctions?

Image courtesy of artur84  / FreeDigitalPhotos.net"

  This past weekend the SADC countries met in Malawi and one of the issues on the agenda   was that of sanctions against Zimbabwe.  Malawi’s President Joyce Banda urged the lifting of economic sanctions stating that Zimbabweans have suffered enough.   How did Zimbabwe get sanctioned in the first place?  In 2002 sanctions were imposed on the government of President … [Read more...]

Too late for Peace in Egypt?

Morsi 
Image from arabia.msn.com

As blood continues to soak the land of the Pharaohs, a path towards long term peace and stability appears to be getting narrower by the day. The situation has become abysmal that some are suggesting life would be better with Mubarak still in power. What many are forgetting is the notion that the current crisis in Egypt is a result of having an oppressive regime hold onto power … [Read more...]

Politics and Priorities

As Kenyans formally usher in a new government I can’t help but notice the confusion galore going on. A little background may be in order to set the stage. Kenyans voted in a new constitution in August 2010 which called for a devolved government with the intention of bringing the government closer to the people and decentralizing power from the city of Nairobi and purportedly … [Read more...]

#263Chat: The Indigenisation and Empowerment Programme in Zimbabwe

Nigel Mugamu

  In late September 2012, I started #263Chat primarily as a way of getting Zimbabweans on Twitter and others to join so we could all take part in a national discussion about our beloved, Zimbabwe. The original idea was to hold these Twitter-based chats every fortnight, discuss and answer 5 questions over an hour period. However the general consensus after the first … [Read more...]

Marikana: a lanced boil on the face of Democracy or evidence of deeper infection?

The Marikana Massacre, as it has been called by the press, has been at the forefront of news topics in South Africa and the world for some weeks. If you don’t know about this, in brief: the death of thirty four (34) striking South African miners at the hands of South African police on Saturday, August 25, 2012. The issue: this happened in a Democratic and free society! Not … [Read more...]

Africa: Ready for Female Leadership

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As Joyce Banda, Malawi’s First Female President and Head of State, was sworn in this month, many Malawians were ecstatic. During the spectacle that occurred after late President Bingu wa Mutharika’s heart attack which resulted in his death, foreign journalists debated whether Malawi was “ready” for a female president. Some Malawians asked the same question, speculating that a … [Read more...]

The “African Spring” of Summer 1990

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The BBC recently hosted a debate in Accra, Ghana, centering on the question, Is An African Spring Necessary? My opinion is that this question is obsolete for some of sub-Saharan Africa because those countries have already experienced the kind of revolution that has marked what is now known as "the Arab Spring." We are beyond "spring." In Kenya, the African Spring happened … [Read more...]