In the epic 1986 TV mini-series Shaka Zulu Doctor Henry Fynn (Robert Powell) treats a young woman whom the village medicine man had pronounced dead back to health. The black natives were dually impressed by what they saw as the white man’s magical powers. A myth Lt. Francis Farewell (Edward Fox), leading the expedition, was quick to encourage and to exploit for selfish gain. It was easy for an “unscrupulous” man to turn himself into a God in Africa, remarked Dr. Fynn.
The movie was talking of the Africa of Shaka kaSenzangakhona of the early 1800s, over 200 years ago now, and yet Dr. Fynn’s warning of unscrupulous mortals who would want to proclaim themselves Gods is still ringing true to this day.
Indeed many of our corrupt and incompetent leaders are the hand of the Almighty in their birth and appointment to high office to justify why they must remain in their high office. After all if the Almighty did indeed anoint and appointed them leader, it is not for mere mortals to remove them from office. What God has anointed is no for mortals to bring down in the name of democratic accountability.
Some of the claims to divine interventions to escape the rigorous consequences of free, fair and credible democratic votes span the whole spectrum ranging from being hilariously pathetic to blasphemy.
"We're donating these chicks because we want to economically empower our communities through this income-generating project. I'm not expecting to get a commission or tithe from you because I'm not God, but an angel who was just sent to deliver the goods," VP Mhpoko told his listeners recently.
Ever since his appointment as VP in December 2014, here is a man who clearly believed that he had been transformed from an ordinary mortal to someone truly special; an angel. One of the burning issues with him has been his stubborn refusal to move out of the five-star hotel where he has remained holed up ever since at great expense to the nation who pays the bill. He has reportedly refused several houses offered to him because they were not good enough for someone of his position and standing!
VP Mhpoko cannot be an angel of the same God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob most of us know of because He has never ever approved the abuse of power by all those he chose to be His messengers. Never ever! And I am cock sure He would never approve the squandering of over $600 a day for over a year and half now in country were hundreds of new born babies across the country are dying every week for lack of something as basic as an incubator. What man of God would allow that to happen in his name!?
Richard Morgan Tsvangirai had his transformative day on 11 February 2009 when he took his oath of office to be Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe; he seized to be a mere mortal like you and me to join the select few touched by the finger of God!
“God has created me for a purpose and if that purpose is not to be president of the country, that’s fine,” Tsvangirai told his supporters recently.
“I have fulfilled what I think I was created to do and I am doing it to the best of my ability.”
The single most important task he and his fellow MDC friends were set to do during their days in the GNU was to implement a raft of democratic reforms to ensure Zimbabwe’s next elections are free, fair and credible. SADC leaders did their best to remind Tsvangirai of this key task but he completely ignored them. No doubt he considered himself so special he could not demean himself by listening to mere mortals even those holding comparable high office in their own right.
SADC leaders abandoned the arrogant Tsvangirai and his corrupt and incompetent MDC friends soon after Mugabe blatantly rigged the country’s July 2013 elections. MDC leaders “were too busy enjoying themselves being in the GNU they forgot why they were there!” charged the irate SADC Leaders.
Tsvangirai has changed the MDC’s constitution to extend his stay as leader of the party – in line with his thinking as the one chosen by God to lead. Democratic constitution and free vote cannot be allowed to interfere in with God’s master plan!
The waste case of unscrupulous human arrogance shamelessly and shamefully pedaled as the decree from the heavens is that of Mugabe. Whilst the tyrant has confined himself to the declaration that he would rule Zimbabwe until the Lord says “Come!” The tyrant has rigged elections using all manner of dirty tricks from vote buying to using brute force including cold blooded murdered to ensure he remained in power for life.
Mugabe has sworn time and time again that he has always held free and fair elections and yet has shameless promoted his no-regime-change mantra oblivious that this is an oxymoron. No doubt, as the one chosen by God to do His will, the tyrant must feel he must have special dispensation to be totally irrational and yet still be judged not just rational and but even godly.
Mugabe’s Zanu PF cronies and minions have showered the tyrant with praise with the late Mbare Zanu PF MP calling Mugabe “the second son of God!” His wife Grace, fearful of losing her First Lady privileged extravagant lifestyle if he should stop being State President has postulated that he will rule “from behind the grave”. Whether she meant by this that he will perform the miracle of the prophet Jonah or Jesus Christ Himself and rise from the dead, she did not say.
Power is the most potent hallucinogen there is, get a whiff of it and you immediately start to believe that there is absolutely nothing you cannot do. Nothing! Secure absolute power and you really see you see as an infallible demigod whose very mortality is causing consternation and regret on earth and high heavens alike.
The central tenet of a healthy, functional and successful democratic government – the only system of government that has delivered freedom, justice, peace and prosperity to the greatest number of people in a society or nation consistently for the longest period in human history – is that no one, absolutely no one, must ever be allowed to exercise power without constrains. Power must be shared so there are always checks and balance to prevent power being abused.
It is now over 2 500 years since the Greeks adopted democracy as a system of stable and just government other nations, the world over, have adopted the same system of government ,fine tuning it to meet their needs, and prospered. We in Africa and in Zimbabwe in particular have failed to come to embrace democracy or come up with a system that works and hence have remained bogged down in the world unscrupulous heretics who abuse high office to make the demigod whom no mortal can hold to account.
VP Mphoko, Morgan Tsvangirai, Robert Mugabe and all the other leaders who have behaved and/or continue behave as if they are God’s anointed whom we mere mortals cannot hold to account, have done so only because our democratic institutions have been to weak and feeble to stop them abusing their position and power. We need to overhaul our system of governance to ensure power is never again exercised by anyone without proper checks and balance.