Horrible Harare

We said our farewells at Brisbane airport and then it was a long flight back to the Dark Continent. One of the two good things that have emerged as a result of last year’s coup, is that customs and immigration officials are far friendlier than they were previously. The other, even greater benefit has been the removal of the ubiquitous highway bandits, purporting to be police officers who in the name of road safety made it their business to extract every cent they possibly could from the largely innocent driving public. The guilty ones got fleeced as well, but were allowed to continue their journeys in their totally un-roadworthy vehicles. Continue reading “Horrible Harare”

A home girt by sea… and one that is not.

Well, it has to be done. On Tuesday, next week, I will be flying out to Awestruck-and-failure for a 3 week stint. My junior attachment will be participating in something called World Scholars, an academic forum involving children from 50 countries. The event is being held in the Melbourne Convention Centre form the 18th to 21st of August. Continue reading “A home girt by sea… and one that is not.”

Politicisation of Crime

There is an article in today’s Business Day informing us that South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority plans to investigate historical allegations of mass rape by members of ZANU-PF during the build up tp Zimbabwe’s 2008 elections. Although Zimbabwe has not done so, South Africa has ratified the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court. As such, the NPA has been ordered by a high court here in SA to investigate what amounts to ‘crimes against humanity’. Continue reading “Politicisation of Crime”

I am no lawyer but….

I have just been sent a copy of Zimbabwe’s new constitution which is due to go before a referendum sometime next month. I have not read more than a small part of it, but one element caught my eye, that which relates to ‘War Veterans’ and the ‘Liberation Struggle’. It seems that anybody who fought in the Liberation Struggle must be honoured and protected and receive some sort of pension. (The fact that it was the awarding of vast ad-hoc pensions in 1999 which precipitated the collapse of the local currency and brought about the country’s economic ruin, seems to have been overlooked.) What my quick perusal has not uncovered, though it may be there, is that there does not seem to be any distinction with regards to the opposing factions of the war. I fought in the Liberation Struggle, albeit on the losing side, and am therefore a War Veteran. Is there any reason why I should not be awarded the same benefits that those against whom I fought? Would a constitutional lawyer be able to make a case?

It does seem to me to be very ill-thought out document. I note that women must be afforded equal rights and that all government commissions etc. must comprise at least 50% women. Thus technically, there can be more women than men on a commission, though not the other way round. Not exactly equal. Of course, I don’t suppose any of that really matters. The purpose of this, as with so many African constitutions, is to determine the powers of the President and the number of terms he can serve and the protection from prosecution he can expect.

Here is a site from which the Constitution can be downloaded.


The President and I

I have been to San Clemente. It is a few miles north of San Diego in Southern California. An old school friend of mine has a beautiful house overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I mention the fact because just the other night I watched the film ‘Frost and Nixon’, well, all bar the first 10 minutes. When President Nixon fled the Whitehouse in August 1974 he retired to his home, La Casa Pacifica, in San Clemente and it was there that the famous interviews with David Frost took place. Continue reading “The President and I”