The Common Good

Drama and Confusion in South Africa and Zimbabwe

This past week has been characterized by drama and confusion in South Africa and Zimbabwe. In South Africa the drama started on Sunday, Feb. 7, when newspapers reported the extra-marital affair of President Zuma (he has three wives and is engaged to another woman). The response from the president was that this was a private matter and he blamed the media for violating his privacy. He was unprepared for the backlash from all sectors of society -- there was anger and outrage. The president had to issue an apology to the nation asking for forgiveness for his behavior. The basic message that came through was that there is no one who is above morality and accountability. It was a defining moment that set parameters for leadership!

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In Zimbabwe the malfunctioning of the unity government continues to bring confusion and lack of progress in all aspects: economic, social, and political. It is not unusual to hear conflicting statements on issues or to have laws passed without responsible members being informed. It's confusing! There are calls being made for free and fair elections. What is happening can be summed up in an African Proverb from Zambia that says that 'teamwork without coordination or agreement brings confusion.' The way forward from this political impasse will prove to be a defining moment for Zimbabwe.

Nontando HadebeNontando Hadebe, a former Sojourners intern, is originally from Zimbabwe and is now pursuing graduate studies in theology in South Africa.

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