|MANHERU:-Rowan Williams: Between Lambeth and Harare|
|Friday, 14 October 2011 22:00|
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Mugabe and the White African" is in essence a David and Goliath story. Appalled by the state-orchestrated crimes against humanity on a massive scale countrywide, with horrific violence perpetrated against white commercial farmers, their farm workers and the rural population, a farming family takes on President Mugabe's government in a landmark court case heard by the Sadc Tribunal in Windhoek, Namibia. They know the risks, but they believe it is what God requires of them.
Set on Mount Carmel farm in the Chegutu district of Zimbabwe, this deeply moving book is the chronicle of a Christian family's struggle to survive, to protect the land it purchased legally from the government, and to protect the lives and livelihoods of all those working on the farm.
The British State in Devotion
The past week has been a significant one for the Anglican Church, itself a schismatic offshoot of the Catholic Church, and the official Church of the State in the United Kingdom.
The Anglican Church has evolved as the British State in worship or devotion. A cursory reading of the evolution of the British political and governmental system will clearly show its crucial near-ethereal role as the earthly agent for God's benediction on the British Monarch, the State, its apparatus and its minions.
The man who turned 80
The day Tibet divided South Africa
The Archbishop was furious, as was the Western world which has heavily invested in the spiritual leader to keep the sides of the rising dragon needled all the time by uncomfortable questions, uncomfortable situations. The script abroad was the Zuma Government had succumbed to pressure from the Chinese Government which would look dimly at any profile-raising concessions to it's spiritually suffused opponent.
This was condemnable in the extreme, went the Western script and its multiple echoes in our subcontinent. Zuma, added these magisterial voices, had yet again fumbled on foreign policy, with Zimbabwe, Libya and many other areas being cited in accusatory illustration.
Seeking an expensive Birthday gift
This attack on Zuma, much of it quite gratuitous, should be deposed of with the swiftness it deserves. From flashes of anger which the media recorded from Archbishop Tutu, it is clear the cleric expected an expensive gift from the South African government, all to mark the occasion. He expected the South African government to indulge him, all to the value of billion upon billions of dollars in Chinese trade which South Africa was sure to forego in consequence.
That was going to be the dollar value of the gift Tutu expected from the South African Government. Turn that into jobs, or some other welfare index, and you graphically quantify the sacrifice Tutu hoped from South Africa's poor, never mind that the link between trade with China and benefits to the poor should never be posited as obviously given.
I have not yet mentioned the fact that South Africa and China both belong to Brics, an alliance which we all hope can be nurtured into a meaningful counterpoise to arrogant American and European global dominance.
What was being asked of Zuma was that Tutu's birthday soar above the foreign policy of South Africa, indeed play first fiddle to South Africa's strategic interests in Asia. No one cared to explain how and why a matter between China and the West, a matter between China and her religiously recalcitrant citizen, should excise South Africa. Or why a citizen of South Africa, simply on the strength of worn-out Anglican robes, should found and consecrate friendship outside of, insensitive to, and defiant of the foreign policy concerns of his government and State. Or why he should piously remonstrate with that offended State for not bending low to wipe clean his dirty feet and sandals, so entangled in a worthless of ecumenical friendship.
Bad for the gander
However much their liberal media howled - and howl they did - all the leaders steered clean of any controversies, indeed punctiliously ensured great China was not, would not be, offended by extraneous issues, including human rights and the rights of the Tibetan people as led by their spiritual leader.
Above all, how come the Queen never invites the Dalai Lama on the occasion of her birthday? Or Robert Mugabe? Or wa Mutharika? Or Ahmadinejad? Or Chavez? Or Castro? Or better still the spiritual leader in Iran?