ZIMBABWE Millennials have been betrayed by Rhodesian black youth

If one were to start from the assumption that the current state of affairs in Zimbabwe is as dire as the environment in Second Chimurenga Rhodesia it becomes easier to compare and comprehend the virtues and strengths of the hugely disadvantaged black Rhodesians in the 70’s as compared to the equally disadvantaged youths living in modern Zimbabwe. The youth of the former have become the fathers and mothers of the youth of the latter. It is natural for parents to compare their own youth with that of their children and at some point the children will also compare their young selves with their parents’ younger selves.

A convincing argument can be made that the odds the modern day parents had to fight against in their younger selves (70’s teens and young adults) are far much fewer than the hurdles of the present day teen and young adult. In the 1970’s there was a clearer political objective; defeat the whites. In the 2010’s the political objectives are more confusing and outright psychotic; the enemy has no direction. The pre-independence economy was far much more stable and comfortable than the 21st Century Zimbabwe economy. They were even more jobs per capita in Rhodesia than they are in black Zimbabwe. In hindsight, considering all the above, it seems the 70’s youths (who are now the millennials’ parents) were spoiled as compared to their children. They had the chance to succeed if only they worked hard enough. Today’s youths do not have that pleasure. Even if they work hard they will not succeed. There is no hope for their future because the older generations have stolen their past.

A plea from the 70’s youth can be tabled to the effect that they had to fight very hard to gain their independence and today’s youth should do the same if they are also to attain their own independence. Of course this is a credible argument but it is insufficient to offer a solution to a problem without working out the formula. In fact the formula to be employed in solving the myriad perils bedevilling the contemporary youths can never be the same as that invoked in the form of a civil war. A civil war in modern Zimbabwe is not an option. Not even close.

Young Zimbabweans crawling in the dusty streets of the ghettos do not have any other choice but to run away from the fight. Their only source of solace is in the arms of foreign aides since their own kith and kin have taken up arms and tortured democracy into submission. They have been silenced even before they speak. They have been made the enemy by their own parents. No heritage has been set aside for them. Everything has been plundered by those who have unilaterally assumed the throne of  ‘custodians of Zimbabwe’ and protectors of the land. Where then can their drive and hope come from? They were born with nothing and do not even know what they do not have. There is no hope for them because they were and will continue to be betrayed by those to took arms and never let those guns go.

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ON STRIKING DOCTORS: In Defence of the Hippocratic Oath

Doctors are a fraternity. Let us agree on that at once. Common folklore and popular press have long painted a romantic portrait of the typical doctor; a secretive, money-hungry quack protected by his own. In all fairness the Hippocratic Oath does weigh heavily on that. It bestows on the art of medicine an oath of brotherhood ordained by the Greek gods themselves. Apollo, Aesculapius and Hygeia were among the gods all doctors swore on. I find it interesting that doctors made oaths TO gods and not to fellow men. In essence the oath was not meant for patients but for gods who were thought to be the ultimate protectors of mortals’ health and well-being.

A naughty argument can be proposed here that by virtue of the Hippocratic Oath being based on long-debunked Greek mythology, its merits are thus annulled by the shear force of overwhelming spiritual allegiance viz Christianity, Islam, Judaism et cetera which in turn translates to swearing an oath to these ‘false gods’ as blasphemy in itself. As a Christian doctor myself I never took the Hippocratic Oath. I refused to swear upon gods whom I do not know. It follows that any true Christian who believes in the same God I believe in will not bring up and throw the Hippocratic Oath in my face when I withdraw my services in protest against personal injustice. The same applies for my fellow Muslim and Jewish doctors. Religion in itself nullifies the Hippocratic Oath as a hard and fast rule of how the rights and commitments of a doctor should be viewed.

The second part of the Hippocratic Oath basically seals the fraternity paradox. It defines the profession as a family; – “I will pay the same respect to my master in the science (arts) as I do to my parents, and share my life with him and pay all my debts to him. I will regard his sons as my brothers and teach them the science, if they desire to learn it, without fee or contract.” Of cause this is way way outdated!! If this does not nullify the Hippocratic Oath as an outdated piece of literature that should be studied more by Greek History graduates than by medical students then I honestly do not know what will.

The proceeding paragraphs moderate the tone by their pragmatic sound; primum non nocere. Simple translation: first of all do no harm….even to an unborn fetus. Oh yes, that’s right. The Hippocratic Oath EXPLICITLY  forbade doctors from performing abortions. If you believe in the right to choice and favour abortions then again you do not have the right to throw the Hippocratic Oath into a doctor’s face. The simple logic is either you take all of it or none of it. The rest of the Hippocratic Oath delineates the fundamental ethics of the profession; ‘know your limit’, ‘know when to refer’, confidentiality and integrity. It is unfortunate that every critic of the profession chooses to restrict his arguments to these later passages without taking the whole document in its entirety.

This Oath has become a heavy load on the modern doctor. His actions are judged according to a mythical oration’s interpretation of the code of ethics which should govern how ‘physicians’ drilled holes into the skulls of patients who were ‘hysterical’ to let the bad spirits out of their minds. The document is as old as the ‘medicine’ it pays reverence to. It simply does not have a place in modern society. Its significance is as hallowed as the Magna Carter but that does not mean the Queen of England lies between the Bishop and God Himself.

 

 

 

 

WHY MUGABE WILL WIN IN 2018: A Prophecy by History.

At the base of the continent of Africa is a little tea pot-shaped country that goes by the name Zimbabwe. She was born on a Friday, the exact date being the 18th day of the month of April approximately three decades ago, in the year 1980. The same geographical tract of land was previously known as Rhodesia, a country run by imperialistic and racist Caucasians who broke away from Great Britain in 1965 after unilaterally declaring independence from the clutches of the Queen of England. Zimbabwe’s independence (the second independence of 1980) brought to a halt a protracted war between the white Rhodesians and the black guerillas. A ceasefire was agreed upon by both parties and an election was called for and conducted with Robert Gabriel Mugabe emerging as the outright winner to assume the office of Prime Minister.

What eludes the minds of many is that Mugabe was not the first president of Zimbabwe. It was a homosexual clergyman by the name of the Reverend Canaan Sodindo Banana whose only memorable act was to introduce Zimbabweans to the world of alternative lifestyle. Naturally this was his downfall. Prime Minister Mugabe, who was in reality the true ruler, exposed Banana’s closet sexual deviations until the latter was officially thrown out through the State House window on the 31st of December 1987. While Mugabe was busy shooting down the President, a civil war was raging on in the south-western provinces of the young nation. This dichotomy of attack revealed Mugabe’s true nature; that of a man hell-bent on assuming power at all costs. The world largely ignored these early acts of truancy since they were still mesmerized by the erudition of the relatively young demagogue. The Queen of England even went as far as calling him a fine African gentleman! Perhaps she was right. A gentleman can still be a despot as much as a wolf can be considered as a type of dog.

The end of 1987 ushered in the black version of Dr Frankenstein’s monster. Unlike the literary monster who had no name, this black monster had a name; ZANU-PF, with Mugabe being Dr Frankenstein of course. 1987 was the year that Mugabe finally got what he had been fighting for since the 60’s – absolute power. The ceremonial President was deposed of with the help of the Intelligence Organisation, the only serious contender to the throne – Dr Joshua Nkomo (leader of the equally powerful ZAPU) – was forcibly assimilated into the communist matrix with the help of the Fifth Brigade and a one-party state was enforced on the 22nd of December 1987. The golden rule of Zimbabwean politics was written in stone on that day; if you dare touch Mugabe’s iron fist you’ll be crushed to death. A long list of names can be drawn from the pages of history of people who lost their lives for breaking this golden rule.

A brief perusal of the course of elections held in this tiny country right from its inception till date reveals a very consistent pattern which everyone can see but none can correct – the trail of violence. The man himself confirmed this at the turn of the millennium when he boasted that he had a PhD in Violence. All elections from 1980 right up to 2013 have been a farce. The people of Zimbabwe have never had a ‘free and fair’ election which is exactly how Mugabe wants it. He has always fed on fear and worship like a mythical Greek god. That is how he got to be where he is and that is also the reason why he can never be dethroned by anything less than a revolution. He actually has a lot of people who love him and worship him as much as he has people who hate him and fear him. All these people vote for him despite the reasons being disparate; whether it is out of fear or out of love and everything in between he will always win any election.

Can he be removed then? Most certainly!! The answer is very clear and even he has given us the answer over and over and over again. Only the people can remove him. This is where the problem lies. Who exactly are these ‘people’? They are not the voters of course because their vote have never amounted to anything. The ‘people’ are those who are ready to die for a cause. Those are the only ‘people’ Mugabe respects and fears – warriors. This explains why every dissenting voice is crushed even before they say what they are thinking. He knows what it takes to unite a people for a common cause. After all that is how he rose to power. Until these warriors organise themselves into a ‘people’ Mugabe will always be Mugabe. The 2018 elections are no different; there are no ‘people’ who are loud enough for his senile ears to hear and with the look of things none will follow.

 

BOOK REVIEW: CAKES AND ALE (or The Skeleton in the Cupboard) by W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM

This book is a masterpiece. It is a short but powerful amalgamation of every literary technique all writers of great genius exploit to the maximum. Romance (both moral and immoral), humor (both satirical and plain) and tragedy (both ephemeral and evolving) are neatly blended into a fluid tale of what it really means to be an author.

The protagonist, Dr Ashenden, describes his transition from meek teenager to medical student to under-appreciated author. In fact it is difficult to pin-point who the protagonist is. An argument can be made that the narrator of the story (Ashenden) is not in real fact the protagonist but rather Rosie and Ted Driffield combined. Rosie is obviously the epicentre of the romantic aspect of the book – a role she played rather well – while Ted is the oasis of intellectualism which I always find refreshing in a proper book. Intellectualism is actually given in double measure, the other being the wild intellect of the young author Ashenden. Rosie somewhat comes in the middle; she is Ted’s promiscuous wife who Ashenden had an affair with – along with a whole train of other men of course.

Ted’s second wife only plays an auxiliary role in the story. Alroy Kear is a powerful character created by a sound mind fighting against vanity. He is a self-but well-groomed author who takes pains not to offend anyone and an embodiment of what the author obviously hates in other authors of similar nature. I found it interesting that the publication of the book raised a huge furore in the literary world as it was widely viewed as an attack of Thomas Hardy in the form of Ted Driffield. I think the critics were just intimidated by the wit and beauty of the book so much that they felt such a work of art would not come purely from an abstract mind without contemporary influence. I will come to a defense of the author at this point. It is a fact that no book has ever been written from an abstract mind. A story is built on a skeleton formed by experience and knowledge. The skeleton in this masterpiece happens to be that one woman every man has buried in the inner closets of his past and never wants to see. That skeleton is Rosie and she is hidden in a cupboard called Ashenden. Ted and the other authors were just the flesh that covered the beauty of this literary classic.

Cakes and Ale is by far the best literary work of fiction I have read this year. I highly recommend it.

BOOK REVIEW: NATURAL CAUSES by MICHAEL PALMER

If you have read any of Michael Palmer’s books and have an aversion to surprises then this book is perfect for you. Just like all the other works by the author the book follows the typical ‘hot-shot doctor who is framed for medical negligence and seeks revenge while falling unexpectedly in love’ plot.

The ‘hot shot’ doctor in this book is Sarah Baldwin a resident in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Medical Center of Boston who also has had impressive alternative medicine training. The hospital at which she works is ridiculed by a local newspaper columnist who has a vendetta against everything the hospital stands for; a blend of scientific and alternative medicine. Three patients die under exactly the same circumstances and the only connection among them is Sarah’s alternative medicine prescriptions. She seeks vengeance and pacification all the while falling in love with her attorney. The ending is as much surprising as it is heart-wrenching.

Michael Palmer, just like his rival Robin Cook, was an accomplished physician who blended his diverse medical knowledge with drama to produce multiple novels which have shaped the course of the medical thriller genre. It is difficult to analyse the author without comparing him with Cook just as it is exacting to review Isaac Asimov without collating his works with those of Arthur C. Clarke . All four however have oftentimes been caught up with the redundancy that bedevils serial writers.Natural Causes bares testimony to that. It is in itself a good thriller provided you have not read any of Palmer’s other books.

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