Tuesday, July 04, 2006


A little bird whispered it in my ear recently but I shooed it off because I was not in the mood for gossip. Besides, I could not imagine a world diplomat of Kofi Annan's caliber thinking, let alone applying, to become a member of the Bad Boys of Africa Gang (BBAG).

BBAG is the grouping of Africa's leaders who get into power on a popular ticket and then refuse to go - read Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe and Uganda's Yoweri Museveni among others.

My rumour-mongering little bird swears on everything in the world that it heard that Annan, who is due to leave the United Nations in December, is eyeing the presidency in his native Ghana and he knows that to get that post, he will need the full support of the BBAG, so he will do anything to please them.

Boy, how I wish I had not shooed off that rumor-mongering bird. It could have warned me of what happened in Banjul, The Gambia on Saturday, July 1st, 2006. On that day, when all of Zimbabwe's suffering 13 million citizens and our worldwide sympathizers were pinning hopes on "level headed" Annan to rescue us from the Tyrant of Harare, Baba VaChatunga, what does the world's top diplomat do; he fakes a meeting with Bob (all of 30 minutes) and comes out to announce that he won't mediate in Zimbabwe's problems. He is leaving that to former Tanzanian president, Benjamin Mkapa.

Mkapa, honestly Annan? With due respect to a fellow journalist (Mkapa is a journalist actually), this is the same guy who recently wrote an article declaring his unwavering support for Mugabe.

Mkapa, drew parallels between Mugabe and Tanzania's first president, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere neglecting to mention that Nyerere is still revered, years after he died, because he owned up for making a mistake with his ill-conceived brand of socialism that left his country on the verge of starvation. After apologizing publicly, Nyerere gave up power voluntarily. Mugabe is refusing to do that.

Mkapa extols Mugabe's struggle against colonialism. Well, nobody disputes that. It is the present that he is messing and whatever good he did in the past is now being erased by his wayward leadership. Now for Annan to come to Banjul (where another dictator, Yayah Jameh is refusing to go) and tell the world that Mkapa will mediate between Mugabe and the opposition - that’s really a joke in very bad taste.

TO READ MORE OF MY WRITING, PLEASE VISIT; www.torontosun.ca/News/Columnists/Madawo_Innocent/

No comments: