Friday, October 31, 2008

The Zambian Elections: nothing to worry about

As you're all trasfixed by Obama's million dollar ads I'm watching the Zambian chief of police on state television warning the electorate not to riot while images of policemen doing kung fu appear on screen and creepy music plays.

I attended a massive Patriotic Front rally on Wednesday which despite the warnings all that happened to me was having shake-shake spilled on my camera bag and later having my phone pick pocketed. Through the wonders of technology I'm going to get my old number back but for the time being you can find my temporary number on "friendster." The good news is I got some rather hilarious pictures which I'll post when my internet is up and running at midnight tonight.

They're currently counting the ballots and everything is peaceful as can be. I went to a polling station yesterday afternoon and there were no voters; only a fifty percent turnout overall. That means since voter lists weren't updated since 2006 and 3 million were registered, only about 1.5 million people voted in total for a country of about twelve million people. Nobody under the age of twenty was allowed to vote yet out of the ten thousand inspired young men at the rally wednesday I'd say most of them were in their late teens. Sata is already declaring the election void. We're all waiting to see if there'll be any unrest in the coming days. Most people think it will be well contained. It's certainly never been more peacful as it is right this minute.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rhino Attacks Man

The perils of Zambian press junkets.

Monday, October 27, 2008

October Links

So yeah, I read Stephanie Nolan's blog. She's the Globe and Mail's Africa correspondent.

The mainstream press considers this guy a nut for his claim that 50,000 native children were murdered under the residential school system. IMHO that makes him worth checking out. With all the news about mass graves and church complicity lately Hidden From History is a pretty good starting point for information about the Canadian genocide.

Masthead Magazine, the magazine about magazines is folding. Sorry Marco! There's a decent blog post about the implications for the Canadian Magazine industry on the Canadian Magazines blog.

End of the World

Did you know it hails in Zambia?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Awkward close up of Zambian opposition leaders

Michael Sata of the Patriotic Front is incredibly funny in person. He kept riffing on the idea of MMD members handing out condoms to their own kids. I understand why everyone on my corner loves him so much.

Hakainde Hichilema of the UPND party has a real burdened superhero look about him. If he wasn't so subdued all the time I could really see him wining.

I got caught in a press scrum outside the electoral commission with just my tiny point and shoot. They were there arguing against the printing of 600 000 extra ballot paper which the ECZ argues is needed for spoiled ballots and everyone else thinks is just an example of the MMD rigging the elections again.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Nothing new

nope nothing here

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Micro-light over Victoria Falls

I really enjoyed this and I'm not usually into these things. Thank you Zambian ministry of tourism.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Zambezi

I've had some trouble uploading photos lately. Hopefully this makes up for it. I just returned from a weekend in Livingstone sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism. I'm pretty impressed with the place and was surprised how non-touristy this supposed tourist-town felt. That might have something to do with the dry season state of Victoria Falls or the general lack of development in Zambia overall. The paradox of neo-liberalism/public corruption (depending on your ideological perspective) is having brand-new private coaches driving down impossibly rutted public roads, and luxury lodges completely detached from public utilities.

This photo is of a team of hotel employees practicing for the Livingstone Boat Club's October 25 regatta, where they will compete against other service industry teams rowing inflatable rafts around a course on the Zambezi.