“Insanity,” the great Scientist Albert Einstein, “is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result.”
For the last 36 years Zimbabweans have elected leaders who are incompetent, corrupt and/or tyrannical who have taken the nation down a steady course of political chaos and economic ruins. The nation has had many chances to take a different course by electing competent leaders; the people have again and again elected incompetent and corrupt leaders. Indeed, many a time the people have elected the same individuals with a well know track record of failure and betrayal, latest crazy being the political euphoria following the launch of Mai Mujuru and her Zimbabwe People First (ZPF).
So time after time the people of Zimbabwe have elected incompetent and corrupt leaders who, without failure, have dragged the nation deeper and deeper into this hell-on-earth and still the people have not lost hope these leaders will to lead them into the Promised Land flowing with milk and honey. That proves Zimbabwe has more than its fair share of people Einstein would consider “insane” with the electoral vote – whether they use it wisely or not is a separate matter.
“I support Mai Mujuru and her ZPF party because they offer are the only realistic chance of defeating Mugabe in the 2018 elections,” argued a Zimbabwean friend of mine. “The top priority for Zimbabwe right now has to be removing Mugabe from office!”
My friend had to grudgingly admit that Mai Mujuru and many of her top ZPF ex-Zanu PF leaders are corrupt and incompetent and, worse still, that many of them are tyrants. It is inconceivable that someone like Joice Mujuru would have played no part in the wholesale looting of $15 billion of Marange diamonds, for example; particularly when she and her late husband had no successful legitimate businesses to justify they amassed fortune.
“Once Mugabe and Zanu PF are out of the way; we can remove Mujuru and company is we are disappointed with their performance,” was my friend’s argument. “Who else is there who is competent that the people can get behind?”
Mugabe has raised the stakes of being involved in politics; be it as a political critic, concerned citizen and, worse still, a politician or political activist; to risking one’s livelihood, personal safety and even one’s very life! He has done this deliberately to stifle meaningful public debate and to political competition.
What my friend and many like him have failed to understand all these years is the reality that as long as the nation has an oppressive political system with no meaningful democratic discourse there will never be quality leaders. The Zanu PF politicians; including those like Joice Mujuru who were members for donkeys until they were booted out of the party; do not want a democratic system of government complete with free, fair and credible elections because they know with their track record of failure and corruption they will never win.
The country’s opposition leaders have a love/hate relationship with democracy; they call for democratic change as long as it helps them get into power but disown it as soon as it meanings holding them to democratic account. MDC leaders did not implement any of the democratic reforms designed to end the Zanu PF dictatorship because they were convinced they would win power without creating the democratic system that will hold them to account; they did not want to be held to democratic account, if they could help it.
What my friend is hoping is that once elected back into power Mai Mujuru and company will not stifle public debate and democratic competition just as Mugabe is doing. Of course he is being politically naïve; Mai Mujuru will do everything she can to consolidate her hold on power; she already knows how the Zanu PF has stifled all political competition and she will be doing the same.
So come 2023 the nation will find itself in exactly the same situation it is in right now stuck with a political system designed to produce incompetent and corrupt leaders.
So after 36 years the Zimbabwe electorate are still electing incompetent and corrupt leaders; spawned by the repressive dictatorship and whose political survival is totally dependent on the continued existence of the dictatorship; hoping against hope that the leaders will be foolish enough to dismantle the dictatorship! Mujuru and company are incompetent and corrupt but not that incompetent to freely seek their own political demise!
If Zimbabweans are serious about getting competent and quality leaders then it is up to us the electorate to demand the implementation of the democratic reforms necessary to allow the free flow of information and ideas, public debate and democratic competition amongst all those aspiring to be leaders. A healthy and functioning democracy will separate the chaff from the grain, the incompetent and corrupt from the competent and visionary, guaranteed; that is its forte!
Zimbabweans have just over two years to demand the implementation of all the 2008 GPA democratic reforms and thus ensure the nation replaces the oppressive dictatorial system of government with a democratic one in time for the 2018 elections. Indeed, if the electorate had been paying attention during the GNU then they should have pressured MDC to implement the reforms so that the 2013 elections would have been free and fair.
The electorate are not demand the reforms now out of laziness, it is easier to elect Mai Mujuru and her ZPF, incompetent and corrupt as they are, and hope they will perform the miracles of an oppressive and wasteful dictatorship transforming into a health and competent democracy. For the last 36 years the nation has slipped deeper and deeper into this political and economic hell whilst waiting for the miracle to happen. One thing is certain; this nation going to continue slipping deeper and deeper in this man-made hell whilst waiting for the miracle that will never happen!