In Zimbabwe today, authorities again banned opposition rallies and detained the leader of the opposition party. With the election just three weeks away, how is unrest in Zimbabwe affecting the region? Meanwhile in South Africa, violence against foreigners is part of a rising crime rate that has made the country the most dangerous place in the world to live, outside of a war zone. Is the region becoming unstable? How should the West respond? Also, a weak job market wobbles an already anemic economy, and he galvanized a generation of voters, and was on the verge of winning his party's nomination for president – before he was assassinated after a campaign rally. Forty years on, what is the legacy of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.? Sara Terry guest hosts.
FROM THIS EPISODE
The nation's unemployment rate jumped to 5.5% last month, posting its sharpest one-month increase in twenty-two years. A weak housing market and soaring gasoline prices are adding to consumer pressures. Sudeep Reddy reports on economics for the Wall Street Journal.
With just a few weeks to go before a presidential run-off election, Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe continues to crack down on his opponents and has banned aid groups from getting food to the hungry. And in neighboring South Africa, despite a strong economy, unemployment is rising and so is crime. A recent wave of violence directed at foreigners has shocked the nation. As Nelson Mandela turns ninety, what are the prospects for peace and democracy in the region? Should African and Western leaders put more pressure on Mugabe to hold fair elections? Have post-apartheid policies failed to create a new South Africa?
Celia Duger, South African Co-Bureau Chief, New York Times
Annah Moyo, Human Rights Lawyer, Zimbabwe Exiles Forum
Nicole Lee, Executive Director, TransAfrica Forum
Vincent Williams, Analyst, Southern African Migration Project
Zakes Mda, South African novelist and playwright (@ZakesMda)
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not." That George Bernard Shaw quote has become identified with Robert F. Kennedy, who died 40 years ago today, killed by an assassin after a campaign rally in Los Angeles that brought him to the verge of winning the Democratic Party's nomination for president. For many people, RFK's vision still rings true, particularly in this election season. Former California State Senator Tom Hayden was a founder of the 1960's activist group, SDS, Students for a Democratic Society.
Tom Hayden, veteran political activist