If I had to name the greatest challenge of our generation since Zimbabwe attained her independence in 1980 then, without a moment’s hesitation, it is our failure to stop Mugabe imposing this corrupt and tyrannical one party state dictatorship. And, until we bite the bullet and end the dictatorship this nation is destined to remain in this political and economic hell-on-earth Mugabe has dragged us into!
Back in 1980 the nation had the choice of becoming a democratic nation in which the freedoms and basic human rights, including the right to free and fair elections and the right to life itself, were upheld and guaranteed for all Zimbabweans. Mugabe enticed us to take our eyes off the democratic goal with a promise of mass prosperity, “gutsa ruzhinji” in Shona.
After 36 years of gross mismanagement, rampant corruption and Mafia thuggery mass prosperity has turned into mass poverty. As the national economy started to sink Mugabe has become more and more repressive in a desperate effort to hold on to power; the regime has never held free and fair elections and used brute violence include the politically motivated murder of over 30 000 Zimbabweans.
The political and economic situation is now so bad; it is socially and politically unsustainable. The nation is once again looking at implementing the democratic reforms necessary to dismantle the Zanu PF dictatorship and thus restore the freedoms and human rights Mugabe has systematically denied our people as the only way out of this hell.
History has the habit of repeating itself; Zimbabweans took their eyes off the democratic ball in 1980 because Mugabe promised them gutsa ruzhinji, they are in serious danger of taking their eyes off the ball again in pursuit of equally deliverable economic boom from the likes of Vince Musewe.
“Political power without principled leadership is dangerous. Absolute power corrupts absolutely while absolute poverty disempowers absolutely. This, we have seen here in Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe we want is significantly different from the past and the present. However, if we are to get there we must think anew,” argued Vince Musewe in his latest bid to convince Zimbabweans that he has the key out of hell. (Nehanda Radio opinion)
“The leaders we want must promote a compelling national vision for our country driven by purpose and action. Leadership must be a privilege for those who have the competency to lead, and not a politically acquired right. If we assume that indeed we can get such leaders in Zimbabwe, the question would be; what should we expect them to do in order for Zimbabwe to rise?”
Vince has not been found wanting in giving details of what his visionary leaders can accomplish, unlike Mugabe’s vague gutsa ruzhinji Musewe has the numbers; he is promising to grow Zimbabwe economy from the present $15 billion GDP to $ 1 000 billion in 30 years. A Guinness World Record never achieved in human history.
The big question is where is he getting these visionary leaders to deliver his economic boom? All we see right across the political divide are incompetent and corrupt leaders!
What Musewe, like Mugabe before him, has failed to see and appreciate is the role Zimbabwe’s de facto one-party dictatorship has played in the country’s failure to produce quality leaders. The dictatorship stifled all meaningful debate and democratic competition in public and within the ruling party Zanu PF itself; this is the oxygen people need to strive to great heights and, without it, complacency and mediocrity set in.
Musewe is asking us to “assume” he will get the quality leaders we want. Why assume, we already know what we need to do to get the quality leaders – implement the democratic 2008 GPA reforms! Musewe has given the most fallacious argument ever why we cannot implement the reforms.
Mugabe will never implement the GPA reforms because it would be “political suicide” for the tyrant, Musewe maintains. Of course, Mugabe would be committing political suicide to agree to democratic reforms; he is a murderous tyrant for Pete’s sake! Since when has any tyrant ever conceded to give up power without being forced to.
If you are serious about freedom and dignity of all man then you do not ask whether to abolish slavery because you will never get the slave and slave master to agree. You ask each whether they would ever give up their freedom and liberty to be a slave.
It is tempting, especially in Zimbabwe’s current economic situation, to take away one’s eyes from the ball of implementing the democratic reforms and end the tyrannical dictatorship. Democracy will deliver two things for the nation:
- Democracy will not deliver quality and visionary leaders every time, that will depend on such leaders being there and there being the quality electorate to find them. What democracy will do is do the next best thing, find best there is at the time at least most of the time.
- Democracy offers the nation the chance to learn from its past mistakes and to put things right unlike the dictatorship in which the nation will be stuck in a rut for 36 years and counting, as is our present case with Zanu PF.
Zimbabwe has had at least two clear chances to pick a just and progressive system of government, in 1980 and then during the GNU 2008 to 2013; we have wasted both these chances. The political chaos and economic meltdown the country is going through is unsustainable and thus offering us another chance to demand meaningful change, the only silver-lining on the stormy clouds; we must not waste this chance too!