Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Real Issues Behind the Confusion Over Civil Servants Bonuses

Brief Remarks to the Media Center Zimbabwe Roundtable Discussion

Tuesday 28 April 2015.

By Takura Zhangazha*

The issue of cabinet discordance over civil service bonuses is one that should correctly raise eyebrows as to what exactly government’s actual intentions are.  When President Mugabe, at the 35th independence day celebrations, called an announcement by his Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, to cancel this year’s civil service bonuses ‘disgusting’ it made for a somewhat disjointed government.

 Naturally some pundits were quick to point out that either the president had forgotten a cabinet decision or he was really ‘disgusted’ with his subordinate’s announcement.

The damage control that followed thereafter with the Minister in question apologizing and another saying (almost biblically) that ‘it’s final’ in relation to the the President’s announcement, I am sure a number of public servants were relieved. This despite the fact that these bonuses are eight months or so away.

There are however other factors at play in what some media have referred to as the ‘bonus conundrum’. These include but are not limited to issues to do with the ability of cabinet ministers to either understand the political importance of the civil service to electoral outcomes or even implement policies without bland and unpopular public pronouncements.

The most important factor is that the government, in initially announcing this bonus cancellation, was following the dictates of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Staff Monitored Programme (SMP) which it is currently implementing in order to alleviate Zimbabwe’s debt.  The SMP requires that government trim its salary bill and its own public expenditure greatly  among other key austerity measures.  The expectation is that once this is done, there will be further reduction in government external and domestic debt.  So government probably intended to begin by cutting bonuses as a show of good measure to the IMF.

In the second instance, this measure should not be viewed in isolation.  While the IMF generally pushes neoliberal economic policies predicated on the principle of an unfettered free market, our government has found this model to fit into its own undeclared state capitalism economic policy framework.

 The government wants to be a key material beneficiary , ala carte China, Angola, Ethiopia, of this neo liberal economic paradigm through creating its own businesses and projects. Not necessarily for the direct benefit of the majority poor but in order to distribute the material largesse deriving from public private partnerships among the connected political elite.  Ditto the tragic outcome that is the Chiadzwa diamond extraction and now even the ’mega’ Darwendale Russian mining project.

So essentially there were no noble intentions either on the part of the Finance Minister or the President. In both instances our political leaders were exhibiting a political pragmatism that can only be described as a demonstration of opportunism. That is to say, they wanted to please both the IMF and the civil service with policy pronouncements that in the end are still a long way from becoming a reality.

This leads to my analysis of the civil service response to the announcements.  The initial outcry was almost to be expected together with the political gladiators that immediately pointed to the inefficiency of government. The unions, largely representing the teachers were correct to demand fair play in relation to their members contracts with the Public Service Commission (PSC).

The other important point however is that the civil service now has to take this initial government ambiguity to mean that the months ahead are going to be extremely difficult, with or without bonuses.

 Announcements by the state that they have increased rentals of public servants, the diminishing value of the Premier  (formerly public) Services Medical Aid Society (PSMAS), delays in salary payments, low pensions and the general high cost of living are issues that the civil service must begin to address holistically in the interests of its members and of Zimbabwean society.

 Furthermore there is need for public servants to also measure their own value to the national political economy and leverage it against government’s publicly intended austerity measures.  If there was ever a time for civil servants to be united in negotiating with the government, this would be the best possible time.

It is however critical that in considering further debate on this matter, we do not lose cite of the bigger picture of the national political economy.  This includes placing the plight of civil servants into the context of the economic plight of all Zimbabweans.

We must challenge the pretext of state capitalism as is exhibited and practiced by government through either ZimAsset or ‘mega deals’. This would mean outlining a broader alternative ideological narrative to that of the current government.  This alternative narrative would take into greater account the livelihoods of the country’s citizens and juxtaposes this with an economic framework that discards the neo-liberalism of the IMF and embraces instead a social democratic ideological pretext.

This would mean we would value the work of the public service in a much more symbiotic way with the public work that is to be done to lift the country from its current phase of austerity caused poverty.

With such a framework in place, the civil servants that would be in the health, teaching, immigration, security and administrative services of our society would know that their work is valued beyond their ability to up the numbers in an election contest. Their work would be part of a broader and national people centered plan to uplift the livelihoods of suffering Zimbabweans.

*Takura Zhangazha writes here in his personal capacity (takura-zhangazha.blogpsot.com)

Friday, 24 April 2015

Mediterranean African Migrant Crisis: Ceding Africa’s Humanity to European Protectionism?

By Takura Zhangazha*

European Union (EU)  leaders this week held a meeting to urgently discuss the influx of refugees trying to illegally reach their continent via the Mediterranean Sea. Despite the fact that a majority of these emigrants are African, there are no reports of the African Union’s (AU) Council of Foreign Ministers doing the same, though there are some comments attributed to the AU commission.  Sadly so, the problem therefore appears to be more urgent for Europe than for Africa. 

The reasons for the differences in urgency between the two continental bodies probably relate to the fact that we, as Africans, are not treating this as an urgent humanitarian crises or those seeking to emigrate as people that have lost confidence in their respective African governments, economies and the entirety of the continent in serving their interests. 

European governments, wary of their citizens’ anti-immigrant sentiments and how it affects electoral outcomes want to be seen to be acting to fortify Europe from us, African ‘others’.  So their intentions are not about the Africna continent, but ensuring that they stem the 'African tide.'

This is not the same for African governments that  in most cases will not identify the problem as stemming from their bad economic and political policies at home and abroad.  In other instances, some African leaders attribute this to the NATO intervention in Libya, an intervention which has left that country with porous borders and no clear central government. 

The overall muted AU current response is however a cause for concern and has been noted in some sections of the media.  Not that the AU has not made some efforts to deal with migrant routes and the affected countries.  It has done so but is unable to respond as a continental body to this current and urgent crisis probably for lack of funding or lack of further prodding by affected member states.

The elephant in the room however is to be found in the reasons as to  why people from  African countries such as Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, the Gambia and Libya itself are really trying so hard to leave. And that even if their first attempts fail, they will try again and again, barring death on the sea. 

Some of  the reasons our African brother and sister give for doing so are given as either war, unemployment, political repression, Ebola outbreaks and the general impression of Europe as being a place where everything is good or works. 

These same reasons are cited not only by those that decide to undertake the perilous journey across the Mediterranean in crowded boats (a journey that also includes being trafficked across the Sahel and Sahara deserts).  Even those few well off Africans that manage to purchase air tickets or official ship rides to get to mainland Europe also claim to do so for the same reasons. 

So in both cases it is therefore the reasons for this stubborn and perennial intention to emigrate that are of paramount importance for for Africa to address much more concertedly.  This may seem a token point given the fact that there is already  the AU's strategic plan, Agenda 2063. It however becomes even more important where one takes into account the maxim, ‘African solutions for African problems.’  At the moment there is no sign of any urgency in finding solutions to this specifically African problem of people risking their lives to get to what in any event is ‘fortress Europe’.

Apart from giving the impression that those fleeing the continent are confirming the myth of the ‘dark continent’ where life is ‘nasty, brutish and short’, the current lack of coherent messages and action from the AU creates the impression that this particular challenge can only be solved by those that in any event prefer that Africans don’t burden their political economies.

It is not only tragic but dehumanizing for many an African  to see and know that an increasing number of us are willing to die rather than live here. It is even more distressing to know that our elected or appointed representatives do not take this issue as seriously as they should.

Even if  some African leaders wanted to blame NATO and its liberal interventionism in Libya, the fact of the matter is that it is our continent's inhabitants that are dying watery deaths. Or, even if they survive these perilous journeys, will inevitably be sent back to the continent, only to try and leave again. 

The point is not that we must hide our continent’s problems. It is however imperative that those that are elected to lead or represent the concerns of the continent need to act upon these problems with the greatest of urgency and at the highest possible level.

For Europe, the Africans emigrating from our continent may be a burden they must stem, but we are the ones who must treat it more as a continental emergency.  We must work concertedly toward a better Africa, not only via strategic reports and plans or at AU summits but in our ability to respond to the challenges the people of the mother continent are facing.  We must return to the Pan African path not only in words and meaning but  moreso in action.
*Takura Zhangazha writes here in his personal capacity (takura-zhangazha.blogspot.com)

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Zim's 5 Grim Realities: Optmism is Not Only Key, It is Fundamental.

 *By Takura Zhangazha

In the last three months  there have been at least two articles by renowned academics outlining how Zimbabwe is either undergoing the ‘politics of despair’ or alternatively  how our ‘darkest hour is not before dawn.’  These articles were penned by renowned academics Brian Raftopoulos and Joost Fontein respectively. This article is however not a riposte to their arguments despite the pessimistic tones they infer. 

Indeed there are things that all Zimbabweans have to now think about. Even if they do not or did not want to.  And they should do so by way of at least three criteria.  By way of their age (generation), station in life (rich, poor, unemployed, ) and the future they envision as part of a struggling, fragmented but still somewhat holistic society. 

Yes, the lived reality of many Zimbabweans is bleak. But in these hard times of unemployment, further economic hardships for both urban and rural based families, expensive social services, political uncertainty laced with the real and continued threat of repression,  and difficult but regular emigration, our only option remains that of being optimistic.  It is an optimism that however cannot be premised on desperate  'pie in sky' wishful thinking. 

Instead it must be based on a contextual understanding of our realities together with the knowledge that despite the challenges we face, this country remains our home.  Such an understanding would help us come to terms with the historical truth that it is again only ourselves that can lead the country out of its present predicament.

In this vein there are fife realities that we have to come to terms with beyond the everyday politics of division and personalities of the ruling and myriad opposition parties, or the general haplessness of a greater majority of civil society organizations (including business concerns). These can be identified as follows:

Reality Number One: The division, purges and attempts at reinvention of leadership in Zanu PF are not going to address national questions but internal party ones.  These fights are essentially those for the country’s political throne and do not bode any meaningful potential for changes to our current political and economic system as we are experiencing it.  Accusations and counter-accusations of betrayal, assassination plots and allegations of impropriety have been the main course of ruling party politics since our national independence.  They tend to distract focus on structural questions as to the performance legitimacy or the fulfillment of the  constitutional mandates of incumbent leaders. 

Reality Number 2: The opposition in its experienced (MDC-T et al) and yet to be launched  (Zanu-People First) formats have been mimicking their rivals to the extent of losing focus on the broader picture of what one hopes they view as their historical tasks. Even if the electoral system has remained in favour of the ruling party, the fact that in between general elections the opposition has tended to split, for reasons more personal than they are principled, points to not only disorganization but a patent lack of seriousness and commitment to their own cause. Let alone the people and supporters that have placed hope in them as democratic alternatives. Furthermore, it is also unfortunate that their divisions are beginning to take on a slight tone of ethnocentrism in allocation of posts and pursuit of state power. 

Reality Number 3:  The national economy, which must be read as the political economy due to the direct linkage of our politics to the manner in which our economy functions, is not set to improve in the short term.  Not only because of the usual predetermined factors that make an African economy falter such as lack of Foreign Direct Investment, lack of fiscal discipline, corruption and poor infrastructure but also because government does not have a workable economic plan/blueprint.  ZimAsset, by now is no longer in vogue with a number of intended targets already having been missed and we are almost halfway through the term of this current government.  

The only thing that will be accelerated is that those that are politically connected will continue to accrue wealth not only at the expense of the majority but with impunity.  They will share state tenders, partake in the privatization of social services (in return for poor services) and distribute patronage to those they think will maintain the status quo.  In the process unemployment and lack of access to affordable social services will continue to bedevil Zimbabweans of all ages with the young and old being the most vulnerable.

Reality Number 4: Because of the lack of improvement in the national economy, politics will become an expensive business. The poor in such circumstances become more vulnerable to patronage and materialistic considerations in who they vote for.  They will accept maize and financial donations,  flea market  and vending permits, farm inputs, urban or peri-urban residential stands in return for the vote.  The economic realities and these consequences will be further augmented by a media that is struggling to stay afloat let alone protect its editorial independence especially where it seeks a mass market reach.  This will create a false reality of the impossibility of seeking change by any other means and will serve the ruling party well in 2018.

Reality Number 5: The new constitution of Zimbabwe will show its true character as one that protects more those that either yield or are close to political power.  Especially as the country approaches the 2018 general elections.  It will also be emblematic of a political incrementalism that is neither understood nor organically appreciated by many Zimbabweans.  It also definitely does not signify any form of democratic arrival both in legal terms or in popular perception.

Optimism is not Only Key, It is Fundamental: These five realities are however not albatrosses that the country cannot unchain. Especially  if it seeks to solve them with thought processes and actions that demonstrate that optimism is not only key, it is now fundamental. And that to do so will require at least the following three interlinked and holistic action frameworks:

 The first being that there is need to balance national anticipation/expectations  of populism in our politics with democratic values and principles.  Indeed we can be caught up in the factionalism of political parties, but it is our lives that are ebbing away without any guarantees of a better and sustainable democratic future for generations that will follow.  If this is kept in mind, and we try to think beyond the 'now' in order to articulate a workable vision for the future  then we will be able to galvanize enough momentum to bring any government of the day to social democratic account.

Secondly, political leaders, civil society activists and ordinary citizens can no longer engage the state in isolated, haphazard or unstructured ways.  The state only responds seriously to those that are organized both in thought and in action with a holistic understanding of the placement of issues within the country. The economy affects the politics just as much as the media and entertainment industry manage or create retrogressive or democratic perceptions of reality in our society. As a result, we must function as a symbiotic whole that links generations and critical policy issues in order to seek and find a social democratic way forward.    Isolating issues such as the new constitution from the economy or general unemployment from what government refers to as 'mega-deals' from Russia or China. 

The third framework is for us to re-examine our national political and economic policies in relation to regional and global trends.  Not only to attract FDI or chair the African Union or SADC, but to contextually learn from other experiences.  We must  pay attention to detail where we juxtapose our domestic political economy with global trends and new inventions in order to understand what the future holds for the country.  In the age of the 'internet of things' we will most certainly be inundated with global models of lifetsyles and economic programmes that if we are not careful will cripple the country as was the case with the World Bank's Structural Adjustment Programmes. We must therefore no longer be in awe of the West or the East and the attendant baggage they carry with them.  Instead we must learn to negotiate better and within our own defined social democratic contexts. 

To conclude, the plight of Zimbabwe and its citizens is largely bleak in outlook. Especially if one projects their potential station in life 10-15 years from now.  For the youth, they are not sure if they will have  an education, jobs let alone a decent entry into adulthood. For the middle aged they are not sure they will have pensions, affordable health care or if their offspring will even be in the country to look after them.  For those approaching retirement age, they are aware of the sad reality that they will have to continue to find means of earning a living if they are to stay alive, even if they should be enjoying their pensions.

But if all of these demographic groups, civil society organisations and social movements put their ideas together with optimism, then thinking, acting and leading together, there is always hope for Zimbabwe. 
*Takura Zhangazha writes here in his personal capacity (takura-zhangazha.blogspot.com)

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Are African Governments Serious About the Inevitable 'Internet of Things'?

 By Takura Zhangazha*

There are at least five African government ministers that are present at the Global Conference on Cyberspace (GCCS2015) in the Hague, Netherlands.  These ministers are from Ghana, Senegal, Tunisia, Egypt and Uganda. In their ministerial statements to the conference they all made ​​mention of the importance of cyber-security for their respective countries. 

Tunisia and Egypt emphasized security in cyberspace in relation to national and international counter-terrorism strategies. 

Ghana, Uganda and Senegal spoke more broadly about capacity building and commercial cyber security.

Of these specific themes around security it is capacity building that's Africa's likely priority. 

For the majority of African countries this will involve the further development and modernization of telecommunications infrastructure.   

Because most African governments claim to be poor or do not prioritise cyberspace or telecommunications as key strategic human development  areas.  Until the technology comes to them by default, they will not invest state resources into this key development area. They will seek to outsource this task through either asking for  bilateral aid to build/improve the infrastructure or pursue the path of 'smart partnerships' with private corporations (aka Public/Private Partnerships PPPs).  Most times without trying to address the challenge in an organic or democratic manner domestically 

In both cases they are keen on using global ‘counter terrorism’ as the main reason why they need this assistance. Rarely will they talk directly to the need to expand innovation, freedom of expression, rights to privacy as reasons.

The PPPs or bilateral agreements tend to favour host governments because the latter position their populations as markets in order to  impose rather high taxes on potential investors in cyberspace.

These engaged international entities, in their scramble for what still remains of the African market,  will pursue more the profit on their investment minus concern for the status of human rights or development in the host country. 

Such dynamics tend to lead to inefficient, high cost infrastructural development in which the ultimate beneficiaries become the governments and private players at the quite literal expense of the consumer. 

Where these and other factors are taken into account, there are some realities that remain important.

The first being the truth that the internet and cyberspace are here to stay and will affect perceptions of reality on the continent.  As speakers have pronounced at this GCCS2015, what is virtual is increasingly also translating into reality. 

Moroever, cyberspace experts such as Paul Nicholas of Microsoft, speaking at the Hague Talks  are predicting that in the next ten years (2025) there will be rapid increase in the numbers of connected citizens of the Global South.  This will not only reshape the world but will change perceptions and realities  of how states are governed, including the rise of what he referred to as 'mega cities'. 

I am yet to know whether an African government that has made this point to citizens in direct relation to the impact of cyberspace on livelihoods. Not only in the positive or negative but with the intention of harnessing the internet to improve the democratic and economic values of their societies. 

If there are Governments that have seen beyond the issue of security alone and taken on the other two themes of this conference, namely freedom and growth, it would be a pleasant surprise. 

The fact that there are at least five African governments that are represented at  cabinet level is a good start.  Especially if they take these issues up at the African Union and other regional bodies to discuss the inevitable arrival of the 'internet of things' on the shores of the continent.  

Such an arrival, should be harnessed with a firm grasp of the import of the new and continuously improving technology, democratic values, preservation of local cultures  and the pursuit of a people centered development paradigm.  

Where this occurs, then we can say that African governments are conversant with the serious political and economic import that is cyberspace.   
 *Takura Zhangazha writes here in his personal capacity (takura-zhangazha.blogspot.com).  He is currently attending the GCCS2015 on a Dutch government scholarship. 

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Africa and Cyber-Security: Following Democratic Global Footsteps, Avoiding Repression.

By Takura Zhangazha*

This week in the Hague, Netherlands, government representatives, global corporations, internet activists/expersts and civil society organizations are gathered for the GlobalConference on Cyber-Space (GCCS2015). The three priority themes for the conference are given as freedom, security and growth. 

Freedom in relation to protecting the right to privacy at individual, national and international levels. Security by implication refers to cyber security (privacy, counter-terrorism, financial transactions). Growth is with reference  to how the internet has contributed significantly to economic growth and innovation. 

It is as broad a global issue as any. Especially in the wake of not only the Snowden revelations but also because some parts of the world are now entering a phase that has been called the ‘internet of things’.

In some of the preliminary meetings there are issues that are pretty apparent. The most evident being that the internet is largely the preserve of private companies and therefore governments have limited control over its technicalities. Hence there are increases in collaborative public private partnerships in pursuit of cyber-security.  

This is more apparent for African governments where and when they have to address issues to do with  'security' of cyberspace.  This is because some of these governments are still embracing and coming to terms with the full import of cyberspace expansion for their societies. 

And this, often time without organic guarantees  of freedom of expression as access to the internet implies or anticipates. 

Such a conflation will appear in keeping with international conventions as they emerge from summit resolutions  but the effects and usage in domestic environments will not have a democratic and 'security' necessity end effect.  Particularly in countries with a track record of repressing freedom of expression, negating the right to privacy  and limiting access to information. 

As is the case globally,  the rapid expansion of the internet and mobile telephony in Africa has also been motivated largely by private companies wishing to provide a profitable service in tandem with globally established formats and/or market trends. African governments have not been hostile to this expansion primarily because they also benefit from the taxes they impose on internet service providers and mobile telephone companies.

But the initial priority will be given as the protection of property and preventing economic subterfuge.  Moreso given the fact that many citizens are increasingly utilizing ‘mobile money’. Furthermore, private corporations have been involved in changing payment systems from traditional 'walk in' ones to money transfers and pre-paid metering systems. 

This not only necessitates the protection of the privacy of accounts but also the prevention of subversion of payment systems. Furthermore, because of the near inevitability of these technologies reaching a majority of the continent's people, the importance of these issues cannot be understated. 

It however remains imperative that there be a distinction between the direct commercial and privacy intentions of cyber security with political censorship or surveillance.  The latter point being even more important where it concerns the work of journalists, bloggers and human rights activists. 

Indeed, Africa is playing 'catch-up' with the rest of world where it concerns regulation of the internet and implementation of cyber-security frameworks.  This ‘catch-up’ game however should however remain cognisant of the organic value of the rights to freedom of expression and the right to privacy of the continent’s citizens. 

Sometimes citizens may not be aware of these issues until the occurrence of a broad breach of their rights. Or may not even understand what cyber security is until their mobile money transfers are lost. The fact that governments will follow global trends and best practices does not however negate the importance of citizen support and democratic understanding of the same.  Even in the most difficult of circumstances.

One can only hope that this is utmost in the plans of African governments that will be officially attending the GCCS2015. And others that will follow in globally agreed to footsteps.

*Takura Zhangazha writes here in his personal capacity (takura-zhangazha.blogspot.com).  He is currently attending the GCCS2015 on a Dutch government scholarship. 

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

IMPI's Final Report, Waiting on Benevolence of Government, 'Waiting for Godot'

By Takura Zhangazha*

Over a fortnight ago the Information and Media Panel of Inquiry (IMPI) presented  its report on the state of the media in Zimbabwe to the Ministry of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services.  The report is also available to the public.  It has however not been the subject of broader debate let alone serialized by the mainstream media whose key challenges it seeks to address.  

The reasons for this rather muted reception from the media is  a reflection of the possibility that the media probably does not feel it owns the report let alone regard it with what should be a requisite seriousness.  Or as the Chairman of IMPI, Mr. Geoffrey Nyarota implies  in the introductory statement of the report,  the initial disagreements of panelists and negative perceptions may have made its final product less popular with the media. 

It is however government that is now the key player in making the report important even though it has no legal obligation to accept the recommendations that are being proffered. 

What is also apparent is that the IMPI report is not groundbreaking.  The issues it identifies have been known for a while now by media stakeholders.  Other reports/surveys have also been conducted on the media on a nationwide scale. These would include  that done by the then Media and Information Commission at least a decade ago.  

The difference with this report is that it has an array of themes that are at times crosscutting but less about the state/government control of the media and more about the media itself.

There are seven thematic areas that were covered by IMPI.  These are, Media as Business (including new media); Information Platforms and Content  of Media Products; Polarisation, Perception and Interference; Media Training, Capacity and Ethics; Gender Advocacy and Marginalised Groups; Employment Opportunities and Conditions of Service; Media Law Reform and Access to Information.  

Each of these themes are narrated in relation to some  theoretical grounding, outlines of feedback from members of the public, quantitative assessments, regional examples and finally each thematic committee’s  recommendations. 

The final chapter is perhaps the most important in that it consolidates all of these recommendations. Key among these is changing the training curriculum for journalists to include the requirement of a first degree for one to be enrolled at a proposed school of journalism.

 Furthermore, it is proposed that there be a legal code of conduct for journalists over and above the current voluntary one but with non-criminal consequences.  This recommendation is further augmented by the proposition that the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) be repealed.

In relation to the broadcasting, the consolidated recommendations are  that there should be at least legal convergence with the regulation of telecommunications and that there be established a national film board to increase content production capacity. 

There are other recommendations that relate to the creation of a national employment council for journalists, working towards 50-50 gender representation in newsrooms and eliminating gender discrimination, acquiring tax concessions and loans for media houses, defining community radio stations much more clearly at law, amending cyber laws and expanding the reach of mobile telephony among other recommendations. 

These are however not new issues to be raised by media stakeholders.  They have been expressed via many media organizations over prolonged periods of time.  The reasons why they have not been achieved/implemented  is due to one common denominator, the intransigence of  government,  a point that  IMPI does not directly mention as a key cause for the stagnation of the media. 

The reality is that for all its controversies and claim at success, the IMPI report will rely on the benevolence of government for its recommendations to be made practical.  That the Zimbabwe Media Commission was not directly involved in this process may prove this latter point to be salient.  Unless of course it is arm-twisted, by government,  into accepting the findings of IMPI.  Either way, the future of the media is in the hands of government than it is in its own.  And this is a worrying development.  

Zimbabwe’s media must establish its own way forward in a much more holistic fashion than that of IMPI.  Waiting on government to act helps but in the case of as important an aspect as the media, it will not be adequate.  If anything the media needs to act much more concertedly to safeguard its independence and to prevent government from using this controversial and now muted IMPI process to seek greater control of how the media functions in our society.
 *Takura Zhangazha writes here in his personal capacity (takura-zhangazha.blogspot.com)