Miles from Home

China Commentary– Youthful Musings on the Environment, Culture & Development

Zimbos Taking the Lead?

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Zimbabwe has been voted to chair the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, according to the BBC. The rotating chair position was granted after a 26-21 vote. Wow.

In February, I posted a rough draft of a memoir written by my good friend, and Zimbabwean, Simbarashe. I left the paper unedited to highlight the emotional rawness, the free flow of thought in Simba’s discussion of personal “quandaries” between hope and disillusionment. I thought of him, and my other Zim friends, again today.

I thought, how does a country teetering on collapse come to chair an organization preaching sustainability? The only thing sustained in Zimbabwe since the ’80s has been Mugabe’s hand squeezed around the throat of a once-prosperous nation. Zimbabwe has been exhausted to the point where citizens (if applicable) are only granted four hours of electricity per day from 5-9pm.

Less than a three years ago, I was in Mutare, Zimbabwe, in a kind old woman’s guesthouse watching satellite cable tv. A few nights later, my friends and I were under the lights of a Harare hoops court watching a few hopeful teenagers try to gain a spot on a national team roster. It has and is getting worse; the situation is grim.

In light of Zim taking control of the CSD, I cannot help thinking that (a) the strength of a progressive, independent African leadership is still nascent; (b) perhaps only those who bear the heaviest burden will be inclined to act drastically in promoting new, progressive sustainable policy; and (c) a developed world sustained by the insustainable policies it enacts on African and periphereal nations is no longer a viable option for intergovernmental leadership.

I certainly hope there is some gray area in these initial observations, and that the day I return to Zimbabwe will not be so black and white.


Written by Miles

May 12, 2007 at 3:13 pm

One Response

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  1. The Zimbabwe Matrix

    The Matrix in a world that was brought to life by two film makers called the Wajowski Brothers. These two men wrote and directed a trilogy of motion pictures that left their mark on motion picture history in the late 90s and the early millennium. What they may have not intended to do was to write a story about the Zimbabwean world of illusions and lies. This is the world in which the people of Zimbabwe live in. In this tale the Agents are members of the ruling elite who refuse to tell the truth about their monumental human failure in leading the country. It is under this guise that Zimbabwe’s leadership and not the Zimbabwean people can even dare put Zimbabwe’s name forward for consideration when it comes to matters of Sustainable Development. For the Zimbabwean who takes his blue pill everyday to get away from the madness of the Zimbabwean Matrix, he would rather have food, electricity, consistent water supply, affordable food and health services and not some meaningless figurehead position at the organisation that let Rwanda butcher its self and to this day allows Darfur to burn. For the Zimbabwean sustainable development would be a normal life, nothing fancy, just food, electricity, water, healthcare and respect. Are they asking for too much?!?


    May 14, 2007 at 1:49 pm

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