The Happiness of Being…Wrong (on Zimbabwean Political Analysis)

So anyone who knows me and has known me for some time knows that for years I have analysed the situation in my home country (Zimbabwe), I have been skeptical of every situation and whenever I have analysed a situation it has come true. Over time I have self-styled myself as an independent researcher (for think tank purposes) and a political analyst, due to the fact that I have, most of the time analysed the situation in Zim, correctly. A friend of mine in Zimbabwe, a political analyst by the name of Allan Wenyika and I were talking once and we both came to the conclusion that analysing situations rightly was a bit depressing. Its not a nice feeling when you analyse something of that magnitude and the analysis becomes right. Its always a kick in the gut to be honest, being an analyst can come with cost.

On the 15th of November the Army took unprecedented action and placed Robert Mugabe under arrest and took over the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation. My analysis was that this was going to turn into a civil war and that Robert and Grace Mugabe’s allies would come to their assistance and there would be an ensuing upheaval. I was however, and rather pleasantly surprised and extremely excited when the ZNA and the people of Zimbabwe, regardless of race, creed, religion took to the streets in what was dubbed a solidarity march. For once in Zimbabwean history, the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) and the people stood shoulder to shoulder to demand Robert Mugabe’s resignation, which, at the time he said he would after being sacked by his party, ZANU PF, later that evening he unfortunately, and at the surprise of not only the people but also the Army, Mugabe refused to resign. His party then gave him an ultimatum, resign or be impeached. His deadline to walk out was yesterday. And so today the process to impeach him has begun where the Army has vowed to unseat him by force, should he not go. Of course, the Army thus far have been patient and generally professional and peaceful and there has only been one casualty throughout this whole process where a security guard, loyal to one of Mugabe’s cronies open fired on the Army who returned fire, killing the security guard in the exchange, whether this is true or not I am not sure but was part of the military brief I received from a trusted source.

What is my opinion on how it will go?

One thing I have come to realise is that we, as a country cannot afford to be fussy, we cannot get rid of Mugabe and then say its time for ZANU PF to go, which is what I have been seeing people saying. Let me just get things straight here before I start being accused of things. I have never been a ZANU PF supporter, I have never tolerated Mugabe. However, one thing I am thinking is that perhaps, for now we need to hold onto ZANU – it just requires new management, it requires management with maturity, the country needs a leader who can lead us back to prosperity, we need a leader who has charisma, we need a leader who has the people of Zimbabwe at heart. We need a leader who is energetic and wants a way forward. We want a leader who accepts that Zimbabwe’s unity stretches beyond tribes – Zimbabwe’s unity stretches across the divide to all those born and bred in Zimbabwe, no matter your creed, race, religion. I have, in another post posted Emmerson Mnangagwa’s latest press statement.

It needs to be mindful that we cannot start thinking about other things, we cannot afford to be distracted and we need to accept that this IS the way forward. The way forward is NOT the Movement for Democratic Change (not under its current administration anyway) or Morgan Tsvangirai. This is change that the country needs now.

I would like to wish every Zimbabwean the very best of luck, lets remain hopeful.

Cheers.

 

 

Zimbabwe: The Audacity of Hope.

When I created this blog it was a reformation from my previous blog which I had originally created as a hobby blog but unfortunately over time I corrupted it with political debate and opinion, and although politics is not who I am and what I created it for, the blog itself gained over a thousand followers so essentially a blog which did extremely well in terms of followers and popularity. It however came to a point one day where I became uncomfortable with who I was becoming, my political opinion was becoming one sided (my side) and I was becoming highly self opinionated, a trait that I do not like much in other people, so all in all I was letting myself down; and so when I stepped down and closed that blog I vowed to step away from politics for good as it is not who I am. However, the accounts in the following week in Zimbabwe and yesterday have been extraordinary and provided a basis of hope. And so it is these accounts in which this piece is attributed to and, in a way dedicated to not only my fellow countrymen and women but also to the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, and to the soldiers of the Zimbabwe National Army who made this fresh start possible for all Zimbabweans, regardless of creed, race, religion – whatever our station in life, wherever we are. This is a fresh start for Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans worldwide.

When I thought about this this morning, fighting back tears of relief I thought of one of my favourite reads by one of my most favourite people in the world, Barrack Obama and his book, The Audacity of Hope:

 

“Hope – Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope”. Barrack Obama

When I think about that quote I not only think about my personal circumstances and for how long I have been down and without, or low on hope but I am now also spurred to think about how Zimbabweans have kept going and how yesterday Zimbabweans took to the streets in their thousands to demand Robert Mugabe’s resignation from 37 year rule. All of this made possible by a very special group of people who stood on the side lines and remained patient. A group who quite honestly could have been an enemy of the people. However, their actions have proven me wrong this past week they have been strongly allied to the people of Zimbabwe and in the quest for freedom and independence eventually stood their ground and practiced their oath of allegiance to Zimbabwe, to the people of Zimbabwe and rightfully stood for what they are meant to stand for. Peace, equality, justice, unity. They have stood for the motto of Zimbabwe: “Unity, Freedom, Work”. Through the actions of General Chiwenga and his subordinates all that was not possible to be attained has finally been attained. A huge debt of gratitude should be given to the Zimbabwe National Army should granted for they have made the impossible possible. What I deemed impossible, possible. For what I deemed a recipe for civil war done in peace with a professionalism that I didn’t think existed. Today marks a day where my analysis has been wrong, for once in my life a situation has proven me wrong on every level and this I am extremely happy about.  The same oath of allegiance I swore in June 1998 was adhered to by the soldiers and officers of the Zimbabwe National Army and I could not be more proud and grateful. But my pride does not stop there. Well done to the people back home for sticking to it, well done for remaining hopeful and peaceful. Well done to all of those who have attended the Zimvigil outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London since October 2002 – you have all made this possible. Also to those who have carried on the fight despite all against them, risking their lives, those such as Acie Lumumba of Viva Zimbabwe, Evan Mawarire and Patson Dzamara. You are heroes, never forget that. Through adversity you led all Zimbabweans to this point. My thanks and deepest respect also go to those who fell in this quest for freedom, those such as Itai Dzamara who single handedly started the movement for freedom. We will never forget!

A big salute to the people of Zimbabwe, and a big salute to the ZDF  “2, 3 up – 2, 3 down” – thank you Sirs. You have made history, you have brought Zimbabwe together in one big, peaceful, final stand.

 

 

 

 

Kis For Your Dog

*MWAH* – who doesn’t fancy a good ol’ snog, though I have not had one in a very long time and do not see me doing so anytime in the foreseeable future due to decisions I have made, but even though romance is a big thing this post is not what that is about – so I have deliberately missed out the double “s” due to a concept I have come up with on basic training of your furry companion. K I S for your dog, “keep it simple”…in that I refer to training your best K9 companion, but not the more complicated ideal such as protection training…the simple little things like stop, heel, sit, stay, lie down, kennel and the ever important “come here” and no. Obedience training is inherently important. Like teaching your kid…unless you are unfortunately one of those kind of parents who believes in letting your child get away with blue murder??? Not literally.

Although the above photo is of an MWD (military working dog) and is either about to commence or has just completed his/her “Hot Sauce” (basically attack training for the unaware civi) training but that is for the more advanced training and for the dog owner/handler who wants to put their dog through protection training. Which, in this day in age is important, especially for a wife who is at home with kids and with the amount of…well, (how to keep this as entirely politically correct as possible without upsetting the insanely political correct?) crazies out there…how politically correct is that not? Anyway, protection training for your dog IS important and it should be considered by any husband who is at work or away from home a lot and his wife and kids are on their own, or even for a woman who is single. Take it under consideration. I know if I wanted to go down that route I would. Short of that buy your wife (or yourself if you’re a woman on your own) a small handgun and buy her (yourself) skill at arms training (provided you live in a country that allows you to own a personal firearm and have a carry concealed permit). Damn, I have gone off on a tangent on protection training…right, back on track…

Anyway, I am avoiding the more advanced training and sticking to the basic dog training. I do not consider myself a qualified dog handler or trainer but I have enough experience with dogs to know what I am doing when  it comes to basic dog training and this is important for anyone wanting to invest in their K9 buddy because that K9 buddy will turn out to be more loyal than most humans are.

In Zimbabwe my mother had a black Labrador puppy, an adorable chap known as Nero and because I had experience from teaching myself my own very basic methods to my own dogs in the past (a Great Dane and a German Shepherd cross…I have NO idea) she asked me to train him. Knowing that training also breeds loyalty I advised her that she train him with me so there was no confusion for him as to who he belonged to but she refused and because I had already fallen in love with Nero I took to training him knowing how it would turn out, it was inevitable and so I went around teaching him the basics…simply and sure enough, he became mine…and so, here I was. I had a dog called Nero, a cat that I got when I was nine years old that I named Bagheera, after the black panther in Jungle Book and a horse which I inherited called Beauty (a dark bay named by his previous owner and mentioned in this piece).

What I have noticed is the amount of people who invest in their trusty, adorable K9 buddy…that investment is however monetary but not time and then they have a hard time controlling their dog in later years when it is grown up. Sure, as it grows up it is super friendly, which kinda goes along with the territory but with that friendliness comes everything that it should not be doing which is jumping, not coming to you on command, humping every other dog it comes across, whether male or bitch. This though is not the dogs fault, it is the owners for not taking time to give their buddy time and I don’t say buddy lightly…I say it earnestly because that guy/gal will be one of the family and so deserves that time. As time will go on with training the dog will become even more loyal and adoring because they love that quality time. And for a lesson in that all you need to do is look at wolves with their pups in or outside a den, or any bitch or dog with their pups to see how that works. Training is good for the dogs future and your companionship…and of course passers by or other people with dogs. There is nothing worse than walking through a field with your best K9 companion when there is someone coming in the opposite direction with their dog which is out of control and starts jumping all over you and your dog and does not listen to their owner.

My Message to Dog Walkers.

This applies to dog walkers too though and in some aspects is a lot more important, especially for your safety and the dogs. If you cannot get a handle on your charge which you are entirely responsible for the moment you pick he/she up from your client then you either need training yourself or should pick another line of work, once it is another life it ceases to become more than your wallet or bank account – have confidence in your abilities and knowledge in your inabilities too, if that sounds unkind I am sorry but you are being entirely trusted with that dog which is a member of your client (s) family and so you should create a rapport with not only the dog but also with the family. And with that rapport you should find out what they do and don’t do with the dog so as to not upset the apple cart and confuse the living day light out of the dog and so you should identify which areas (if any) the dog needs training in and what really helps is having a charge which is already extremely obedient and easy to get along with but as a dog walker and being responsible for someone else family member it is inherently important that you know what you are doing. Also, the dog will pick up on your lack of confidence and knowledge and play on it. So you really do need to know what you are doing from the offset. So please, identify with your responsibilities there.

Training.

So at the end of the day vet bills, pet insurance, food and love are great investments but the greatest is time so if you don’t know what you are doing take a little time to look in book shops or on Amazon for dog training books, watch videos on YouTube, try and develop your own methods but which are kind and thoughtful for the dog. DO NOT use fear tactics to make the dog obedient. Take some time to train your dog, take some time to learn how to train your dog, watch your dog and learn from it. If you train your dog the companionship will be even greater.

Take time to KIS for your dog because at the end of it you will get a big kiss from them and you will be the greatest thing on its heart.

Interview Etiquette and Being Fired Before You’re Hired!

This has everything to do with the above image and the title and people who know me will tell you that I like to go through things the long way round. If I am asked a question I will answer with a prolonged response, I don’t like to keep things “short & sweet”. Perhaps this is because I already have a brief police background. No matter the reason or psychology of why, that is just a part of who I am as an individual but I can assure you that I even find it annoying when I think back.

So, why fired? The best way to consider an unsuccessful interview if you have not bothered to view simple interview etiquette is being fired before you are hired. The majority of us, when we go for a professional meeting or for a job interview, and the interview for the job of our dreams already know the simple etiquette – not only the background of the job we have applied for, but also the company we are applying to, it all helps. Turning up prior to the meeting, or interview – so being of a punctual disposition always helps. But not only this, well groomed. Well styled hair, cleaned and ironed shirts/blouses with all the right creases in the right places, polished shoes, brushed teeth, shaven and smelling right and not only that, but…well presented. by presented I mean not slouched, sitting up straight, maintaining eye contact, smiling and speaking clearly and concisely and being able to answer all questions and asking questions when asked if you have any.

I have office and people management experience and so am all too well aware what us “managers” look for whilst interviewing and while these are things we look for we will never say. You will never find us going “sorry, your shirt is unclean and un-ironed and boots unpolished” but believe you me, we take note of these details, but why? Why should it affect how you do the job that YOU are applying for? Well, it is these things that prove to us that not only do you care about your presentation but it shows us that you pay attention to detail and detail is everything. Personal grooming shows us what you will be like in your professional life and professionalism in the workplace is everything. It helps you create a rapport and work with your fellow employees and workplace staff better and if you deal with the public, on a one-to-one nature or telephonically this shines through how you present yourself. Personal grooming is everything when it comes to interviews, not only for the interviewee but also for the interviewer. A trained and well adapted, experienced manager or human resources member of staff will always view these things. It takes a few seconds to view what may be right or wrong in your appearance and grooming standards. If you are like me and you look someone in the eye when you go to shake their hand you will notice a quick twitch of their eye? Well, that is them checking your standards out, it is technique, as well as utter confidence in their ability.

A few weeks ago I saw a person I know where I live who is a qualified chartered accountant but has a few problems in as much that unfortunately and very sadly lives with a severe case of bipolar but always tries very hard to view things on the brighter side of life, so much so that he refuses to accept that he has a problem. And anyway, he was going for an interview at a small firm but his shirt was horribly un-ironed, shoes unpolished and he was slouched. I can tell you now, that as a manager if I did not know him that I would not have given him a position and when I advised him of the way he was presenting himself he told me it would not matter. The buzzer from x-factor sounds in my head, of course it matters, everything about etiquette and self presentation in an interview matters. If you do not view these simple rules you should not be surprised when you get rejected. Rejection is not nice, at all, in anything but one cannot afford to be surprised when the interview has been unsuccessful as it does play a part.

I guess this piece is not only for the types of people like the guy I know where I live but also for kids who have just finished school or college and are going for their first interview. I realise that the day of the tie is coming to an end, a well presented and pressed suit and well ironed shirt and polished shoes go a long way, personally I always don a suit and tie, for whatever engagement I turn up to, no matter my station in life – if it is important, it requires you to turn up well presented. Presentation is important and whether you believe it or not, or think you know better and do not think it will affect your interview – I am sorry, you don’t, you are wrong. Presentation is everything and is a factor behind being successful or being unsuccessful in a job interview.

So, please – remember that this is everything in a job interview – it requires you looking your best, attention to detail is of prime importance. Do not kill your chances by not giving or deserving yourself 100%. If you cannot iron, ask someone you know to help you, if you do not own an iron someone who you know will own one, if you cannot polish your shoes, ask someone who knows how to to do it for you. There is never an excuse to be poorly presented, no matter your station in life. It will also help you feel much better inside about yourself, at the very least. Are you not worth that?

You deserve to give yourself 100% satisfaction.