By Wisdom Mumera
Harare 19 December 2013 –Over time the media has downgraded political debates into simple battles of binary poles to an extent where logic has been foiled by false zeal. This has all been under the guise of a blanket of patriotism for both sides.
However with the fibrous nature of the globalised world, always insisting that eco-social and political limbs merge, this has resulted in false janus-es being seen everywhere.
I for one don’t have any special cove of hate or love for any politician. I don’t hate Professor Ncube or Job Sikhala much as I don’t really drool over Tendai Savanhu or Jonathan Moyo. I just take them as they come, pick the objective from what they politically produce and trash the rest.
That way balance above the tides of political turbulence is maintained.
Now that is politically incorrect for some.
Kenya is an apt example.
Concerning Kenyatta and the condescending way the International Criminal Court (ICC) is handling his case with Vice President Ruto, I’m supposed to go frothing at the mouth. More so I have the backing of the African Union giving out … was that an ultimatum to the world?
It seems as if the silent agreement of Pan Africanists is that everything is balderdash and the focus should be on the two being Africans. And that is damagingly wrong for any progressive discourse. I’m not questioning the illegitimacy of the two’s haul to Hague but the side-sweeping of the debate about the cause.
How beyond the Kenyan borders no one has sought to in-depthly look at the other human side of the issue not these political puzzles.
Present day patriotism has straight-jacketed everyone into a stiff posture where one has to say one thing and one thing only if his legitimacy as a true African is to be accepted. The end results are paper thin debates on issues which are not so obvious. Seldom has politics or economics been a linear matter dealing with you-are-with-us or against us.
Recently China created an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea. The area includes islands whose ownership is a matter of dispute between China, Taiwan and Japan. The action did not go down well with America either. It immediately sent two bomber jets to fly past the area as a sign that it’s not going to go along with Chinese plans of being notified by any passing plane.
The irony about this tussle is that China and America are two of the greatest trading partners. According to the Trade Representative figures from the White House, China is currently the 2nd largest goods trading partner with America with figures standing at $503 billion.
For all their political differences and ongoing frictions and show of power they remain the greatest of economic partners. One facet of the relationship isn’t equal to the sum total of how they should behave towards each other. That’s the truth of a globalised world concerning politics.
Where political inclinations have clashed economic standards still require that countries cooperate for the mutual benefit of both. That’s the reason why for all our anger at the unjustified sanctions the West has imposed on us, we still find it necessary to have Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa going over there to seek for some appeasement or crumbs. That doesn’t in any way diminish the stature of his patriotism.
However some sections still carry the Iron Age quantifiers that restrict the whole essence of patriotism to a strict binary line. The line streaks straight from Sekou Toure, down Kwame Nkrumah along Lumumba, the boulevards of Mandela until the lone battles of President Mugabe. Any diversion from that line in thought is taken for un-patriotism.
The fact that Toure himself fluctuated between Western canoodling with Soviet brotherhood is forgotten.
President Mugabe himself revealed the intricate nature of politics when he joined together with the MDC’s of Morgan Tsvangirai and Professor Welshman Ncube to form a Government of National Unity on 13 February 2009. It was the aimed for agenda that justified his patriotism.
During a workshop on the media earlier this year, the Zimbabwean Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information George Charamba scoffed at the media’s paranoia with binary opposites during elections.
“During the time when you were inflaming emotions between parties, the two principals to the Government of National Unity were having tea”, he said.
All he meant was that, beyond the two contesting parties or individuals exists a more permanent factor to which true patriotism should be tagged.
Patriotism doesn’t streak in a match head-flame that ends where it started venerating leaders at the expense of the greater being of the state. Patriotism should be an objective awareness going beyond the transient.
It’s that awareness that cultures published debates, creating a vibrant platform in newspapers where editorials and analysis are not slapstick salads, one dimensional in taste. -News Of The South
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