Here's proof that Barack Obama's internet skills were not just an election gimmick. He now has a blog! It has a countdown to the day he will be inaugurated, a section where ordinary Americans can apply for a job in his new administration, an announcements section and then, what I think is the niftiest feature: a section where ordinary Americans can write in with suggestions about what needs to be done and even just bringing their own personal and community problems to his attention.
The man is clearly an avid techie and truly believes in the power of the Internet to help him connect with the American masses.
Here in Zim, of course, we are not at that level yet. Our Internet is dominated by the intellectuals and 99% of our voting public have no interface with this medium. It is a useless tool when it comes to mobilising votes. However, most leaders (community and national) do have access and if they did not abuse the Internet to push their own views at the expense of the views of their constituency, then this would be a good medium for taking the pulse of the nation.
The only problem here is that, as things stand right now, the debate on the Internet when it comes to Zimbabwe bears no relation to the reality on the ground. I will give the example of the Inclusive Government. The overwhelming majority want that government formed. A vast majority think that sharing Home Affairs with Mugabe is enough for Tsvangirai to agree to join government. I am particularly happy that Tsvangirai seems to be wiser than all his Internet supporters and is moving slowly towards forming a government with Mugabe because this is what the people want. I am beginning to think that, left to his own devices, this man is probably more compassionate than Mugabe and would sacrifice his own ambition, short-term party advantage and the ambitions of some of his more selfish advisers to ensure that the people of Zimbabwe at least get temporary relief. He knows the best way to do this is to work with Mugabe, because there simply is no other workable and realistic solution on the table that would save Zimbabwean lives.
Wanna see Obama's blog? Click here