At 11.12 pm on February 21, Libyan time, the dictator rises from the rumour machines and from record 3 hours speeches, his appearance and speech reduced only to 21 seconds, the shortest of them all during his tenure as the longest serving African, and oops Arab Head of State.
But Libyan Leader Colonel Muammar Ghadaffi, just like two other despots Tunisian Ben Ali and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak is on his fastest route out of power. Actually as my renowned Malawi’s English teacher Humphreys Chimbale would say - much faster than they come.
Indeed, improved communication is being blamed by everybody and dictators and many despots would love to refer to their days of ‘harmony’ the days in actual sense when they had powers to control peoples ability to communicate.
In Malawi, just like mineral rich Botswana they had to wait until 1999 and 2000 to get localized Television stations and when they got them, Government until this day has he monopoly and none of independent news channel seem to make headway in getting license.
President Robert Mugabe has tried, massively and failed to control the internet. Horrible pictures of brutally assaulted long time Mugabe nemesis turned Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai found their way online and shared with the globe.
Even the efficient secret intelligence service could not cope up with the pictures and eventually they admitted failure that they could not contain the developing social media.
As the means of sharing news had risen, so too the ability of citizens to communicate and share news as first reports instead of waiting for traditional media. Online citizen Journalism pioneered by “Oh My News” in South Korea today stand not only as a threat to Traditional news sources but oven dictators whose propaganda machinery is in shambles.
Visiting China during the Shanghai World Expo 2010 in May last year, I could not access my yahoo account and Facebook, but my Beijing based friends had a free access to them. They had managed to buy gadgets that would circumvent the official firewalls of the Government of China has put in place to restrict sending and receiving of information.
Unfortunately for China, the generation of today does not require much of a genius to log on into Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and even MixIt which are many of the popular websites which have become core news and communication forums.
From the Myanmar Generals terrible wars to the rescue of Chilean miners, the internet has become one the greatest sources of information, that traditional news organisations have adopted social media as forums for driving traffic towards their sites.
Even in African countries, seen as one of the lowest absorbers of technology, access to mobile phone internet has gradually risen that dictators like Ghadaffi would be shocked to see how much information is leaking for a country he thought he was in control.
What started as a small time protest in Benghazi where 40 years earlier Ghadaffi had launched his Green revolution grew with the social media, mainly using Facebook and mobile short messages to alert the neighbours and friends of what was going on.
Just like in Tunisia and Egypt, the walls of the autocratic regime which were once unpenetratable, have fallen to the might of social media, that the while the Libyan leader is screaming “My people love me” the other picture shows people insulting him.
As one commentator puts it, either he is not aware of what is going on or his mental faculties have shut up.
But for future administrations, especially in developing countries, social media will continue to shape decisions including on governance. This too has not escaped the developed nations as the Obama campaign in 2008 and the Wikileaks many leaks could testify.
Mainstream media has to rely heavily on new news gathers in countries were accessibility is a challenges just as politicians will now have to learn more greater accountability and granting of citizens voice as the Royal Family of Bahrain would inform you at this particular period.
Social media is redefining the way the World of politics would conduct its game, just as the mobile technology defined businesses for postal’s and other transportation and communication systems in the 21st century.
The great outcome however is that the fortified walls of oppression will forever be exposed of their real intentions and inhuman actions, perhaps making a World a safer and equal place for the next generation. Even Robert Mugabe agrees.