Monday, July 28, 2008

Zuma For Democracy

Too many commentators in Africa the battle between Zuma and the incumbent in South Africa Jacob Zuma was a battle between democracy and a shift towards one man rule. The support for Zuma within the ANC was too many strictly about that, follow the rest of Africa or have a vibrant democracy, by choosing Zuma, South Africa chose democracy, ten years is enough, a new face is needed. That new face of course is represented by Jacob Zuma.
Jacob Zuma has in an interview with Moshoeshoe Monare has declared that serving one term is enough for him to get the job done. Most important a man who before assuming power declares one term is enough has a mission, that mission to clean up and make sure the government functions adequately. This would be a first in Africa, but the cynicism in many is that this is a ploy and Zuma like others before him will declare that the people want him to stay for maybe three terms because he would have done such a fantastic job. But cynicism is just that cynicism, let us take Jacob Zuma at his words, he wants one term.

He wants to clean up the government, make sure of proper delivery of government services, most important is the decentralization of power. What he meant by this is not yet clear, but giving provinces more power is the way forward, this will effectively destroy the ethnicism so prevalent in most African countries, including South Africa, remember many felt the battle in the ANC was between Xhosas and the rest of the country, many felt that the cabinet was full of only Xhosas as if they are the only ones who fought for South Africa, those are just sentiments that somebody hears and takes note.

Ethnicism has become so destructive in Africa because African leaders lied, they said it does not exist it is a white mens invention to divide Africans, as if Tswanas where created by whites or Hausas and Tutsis. Ethnic groups and nations existed thousands of years before the arrival of colonisers, Zuma would do well to understand that. A less powerful central presidency would mean more power to the provinces, they must collect some of the taxes, there is no point if the central government in Pretoria remains the organization that distributes resources to the provinces, this destroys the whole purpose of centralization.

Zuma seems to be demanding performance criteria for ministers where all sit down in the cabinet and ask each other if they have delivered. This has two purposes, first of all the process is out in the open, there would be no backstabbing so to say, importantly it reduces the ‘jealousies’ that exist as Zuma clearly pointed out. If there is no peer review a cabinet member can argue that they are being picked on because of this or that.

In truth if one has a mission, one term is more than enough, a second term would be just a wind down. One term is enough to place the necessary legislation, a proper functioning state would then need to look at foreign policy and constant monitoring of the economy, targeting the future and that future can only be more securely established by Jacob Zuma respecting the power of knowledge.

Having said this one would hope that South Africa’s neighbour to the North people are listening to these comments from Jacob Zuma, obviously Mugabe things that is just nonsense, he thinks democracy means no change at the top, Mugabe is stale, Mbeki wanted to become stale also, what for.

Having said all this, it must be remembered that land properly utilized is an asset, blacks have no assets and must always be begging whites, and whites want a yes man, not somebody who thinks, they want to teach, not somebody who says but here you did not consider this in your analysis it must be taken into account, without assets, it means one must be mediocre, Zuma would do well to remember that, those who want to control will always fight against the free spirit, they want those who conform, conform to the idea that only a white can produce theory, if a black does, close it down, and the better if assets are lacking, that way they can choose the people who can think. Zuma will be sitting on a time bomb, poverty, that there is no doubt. If everybody works for the good it will be overcome, unfortunately this will not be the case, like the whites before, Zuma if he fears blacks with intellectual capacity then that is it, frustrations will lead to anger and the collapse of the Republic of South Africa.

By declaring that one term is enough, South Africa will continue to lead Africa in how democracy should work, have a plan, then do A, B, and C, the get out. Do not start formulizing plans when you run out of ideas, those plans are not likely to be well thought out.

Bhekuzulu Khumalo

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Bhekuzulu Khumalo

I write about knowledge economics, information, liberty, and freedom