Kudos to President Magufuli

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Handshakes, trash-talking, sexual scandals and ‘denuclearisation’

          It started in Kenya with the two nemeses, Raila Odinga’s and Uhuru Kenyatta’s handshake. Thereafter, there followed the same between Kim Jong Un, DPRK president and his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in that led to Kim’s and his American counterpart, Donald Trump’s meeting and handshake. 
               Currently, the world is abuzz with the breakthrough as far as peace in the Korea Peninsula is concerned. However, there are those who doubt the so-called deal making between the US and the DPRK. What the world must expect is the matter of time to tell.
                 Before this steppingstone, or rather a milestone, there were backstabbing, grandstanding, horse-trading revolving around trade tiff not to forget trash-talking between Trump, on the one hand, and Canada and the G 7 that recently congregated in the city of Quebec Canada, on the other hand. Before the last handshake, it started with the big guys and ladies if not plaster saints during the Quebec summit. It was during this very summit that ended becoming G 6+1 namely the rest of the industrialised countries against the US. The driving force was the reciprocal tariffimposition on each other. The rain started to beat the G-7 when Trump–under his ‘America First’ mantra–decided to impose 25% of tariffs on aluminum and steel which would badly affect Canada and the EU. Such a move tingled Canada so as to openly engage in trading barbs with its southern neighbour and biggest trade partner. Things went out of control after Trump’s trade adviser, Peter Navarro, said that Canada backstabbed Trump and the Canadian premier Justin Trudeau has a special place in hell (Daily Post, June 10, 2018).
               So, when the richest leaders of the world congregated in Canada, many thought they would iron out their differences in order to avoid setting a bad precedent of how disorganised and selfish they might be. Instead avoiding to put their dirty linens on the agora, the biggies of the world exacerbated the problem so as to evidence a cutthroat competition of the titans. Due to their failure to iron out their difference, Trump went ahead by even recanting to be part of the communique the Quebec summit issued. So, too, Trump left his colleagues and world baffled. For, he was the last to arrive and the first to depart heading for Singapore where he met with Kim at the island resort Capella promising the world to make a deal that ended up becoming vague and more of a Photoshop.
                 Along with the Quebec summit, there was an antithetical summit in Qingdao, China under the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) that brought together ten mainly Asian countries plus Russia. In attendance were the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan, the members and the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan that attended as observers.
                  Apart from summits and handshakes, there was another ugly face of the high and the mighty mainly the sacred cows who faced a shame of it all. This is after the South Carolina-based members of a Baptist church in Red Bank in Lexington decided to move the statue of Jesus simply because it was too catholic (Christian Post, May 30, 2018). Good for the statue, it later got accommodation at one church just 32 kilometres west of Columbia. In the same breath, the Catholic Church had to bite the bullet by coming clean about sexual scandals it has recently faced globally. It came to light that some Catholic clergy violated their flocks for many years in different parts of the world; and their bosses turned a blind eye or participated in the commission of the crime. For example, in Chile, for the first time in the history of the Catholic Church, all bishops offered to resign after they were water-tightly implicated in the cover-up of sexual scandals that, for many years, dogged their parishes. In a collective admission, they said “we want to ask forgiveness for the pain we caused victims, the Pope, the people of God and our country for the grave errors and omissions that we committed” (CBC, May 18, 2018). How many are still out there globally? Time will tell.
                To mollify the situation, the Pope had to ask for forgiveness on their behalf and the church. The Washington Post (January 16, 2018) quoted the holy father as saying “here I feel bound to express my pain and shame at the irreparable damage caused to children by some ministers of the church.”
                 Now that the dust has settled, what should the world expect from the above happenings? Will Trump give in and remove the tariffs he imposed on others or stay put? Will the SCO dethrone the shambolic G-7? Will the implicated bishops get their comeuppance or get away with murder? Will Korea peninsula be denuclearised? What does Africa learn from all the above world episodes? Indeed, time will time.
Source: Citizen, June 27, 2018.

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