Sunday, 7 June 2009

The ripple effect

Mac Maharaj believes the instability radiating from Kenya and Zimbabwe will affect neighbouring countries.

The immediate and pressing matter, however, is what should be done about Kenya and Zimbabwe.
In the Kenyan crisis, Kibaki may have appeared reluctant about entering a deal. But it was Odinga who, if he stayed out, would have been seen as the spoiler.
In the case of Zimbabwe, SADC painted Morgan Tsvangirai as the impediment to peace. Mugabe was not put under pressure to make real concessions.
In both instances, the incumbent leaders who were determined to cling to power, retained their seats.
What we are seeing is how both presidents are using their positions to pare down the effects of the deal on their powers and diminish the powers of their coalition partners.
The instability radiating from Kenya and Zimbabwe is going to ripple through their neighbouring countries.
South Africa is in danger of being caught in the middle: on the one hand is the impact of the global economic crisis, and on the other the instability spilling out of Zimbabwe.
Leaving matters to drift along will only increase the instability in the present, and may well spell disaster in the future. It is time to put Kibaki and Mugabe under pressure.

I think of Gordon Brown and the pressure he is under and feel for him.

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