Tuesday, 16 August 2016

"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people," said E Roosevelt. By W Mukori

Maynard Manyowa, you have put your finger on the heart of the matter as regards Pastor Evan Mawarire, his #ThisFlag campaign and, most important of all, Zimbabwe’s political weakness – “we are a nation obsessed with personalities”.

“Pastor Evan Mawarire, the man who filmed a video about his plight and found himself stumbled into activism has now fled Zimbabwe - after the citizen movement pressured for his release. Admittedly there is some deflation, but that points to a bigger problem,” argued Manyowa.

“Those that are angry that the protest leader left, and those that believe he is some form of god are two sides of the same coin - a nation obsessed with personalities.

“Its sad because, it seems we have not learnt since Mugabe was anointed the face of the freedom movement that a liberation should have the face of values and not a man.

“The absence of the Pastor does not translate to the absence of the values that the movement he started represents. Ideas and values should never be tied to the face of a man. Values must be enough inspiration to fuel a genuine revolution.

“The messenger must never be bigger than the message itself. A revolution cannot be embodied in one man. The MDC tried to make Morgan Tsvangirayi the face of opposition politics, and today they sit in limbo. Zanu PF did it, and earned us a dictatorship.

Indeed, I would go so far as to say in all the cases, of Mawarire and his #ThisFlag, Tsvangirai and his MDC and Mugabe and his Zanu PF, it was never a case of the messenger become “bigger” than the message; there was no message. In all the three cases the messenger has each said the current system is unjust, stating the obvious, and they will make it better without saying how, when or anything.

It is the people’s failure to pressure leaders to give details of the plans and to closely scrutinize every aspect of the plan that has left the people are the mercy of the leaders to deliver on their promise. The departure of Mawarire have left many #ThisFlag followers are completely lost because, whilst they had shown their willingness to let him lead, they had no clue where he was taking them.

If the truth be told, and it must be told; I doubt if Pastor Mawarire knew where he was going. One of his demands was for Mugabe to “fire corrupt ministers”, for example. A pretty ineffective demand, given corruption has been going on for 36 years and had become so rampant as much $15 billion is looted in a few years from the diamond sector alone. Time would tell if Pastor Mawarire is to be another failed leaders as happened with Tsvangirai and Mugabe.

Tsvangirai promised the nation democratic change and his performance during the GNU showed he had no clue what changes were required. As for Mugabe, Zimbabwe would not be up to her eyes in this political and economic mess is he was a competent leader!

The very fact that Pastor Mawarire was able to get so many Zimbabweans to show some active interest in politics or be it at a very superficial level (there is an intellectual limit to one can convey in 140 twitter characters) was a great achievement. The real challenge here is for the people themselves to take their political interest to the next level one gear at a time.

We are in this political and economic mess because we have a very naïve and gullible electorate whose understanding of politics, economics, etc. is so shallow it is comparable to seeing in monochrome, black or white, right or wrong. If we are ever going to get out of the mess then the people must up their game so they see all the colours of the rainbow. A healthy and functional democracy can only exist when the electorate cannot only judge good from bad but can split the good from better and best. What is the point of being given a democratic choice if one cannot tell the difference?

After 36 years of independence we cannot deny we have the government we deserve;  the corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF dictatorship complete with its coterie of corrupt and incompetent opposition parties. If we want a competent government that will take us out of this mess then we will have to earn such a government by deepening our understanding of issues such as the democratic reforms beyond the #ThisFlag level!

"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people," said Eleanor Roosevelt.

As long as we continue to limit ourselves to discussing people we will continue to sink as a nation!


  1. @ Nomazulu

    Zanu PF people like Mugabe, Mnangagwa, Mujuru and even those who left the regime some time ago like Simba Makoni and Dumiso Dabengwa cannot deny they benefited from the de facto one-party dictatorship and are therefore part and parcel of the regime. They could have help end this regime a long time ago, they did not.

    Zimbabweans have the knack for recycling everything especially their failed leaders. Anyone who think these men and women will ever be democrats is naïve; a snake will shed it old coat but it will still remain a snake!

  2. War Veterans spokesman, Douglas Mahiya, tells Violet Gonda that war veterans have never harassed or killed anyone since independence in 1980. He blamed all the Zanu PF human rights violation on corrupt Zanu PF leaders like “Kasukuwere”. When he was pressed on the matter given the war veterans have enjoyed special treatment from the regime; he argued people must not dwell on the past.

    “I don’t think it is important to dwell on the past – it is important to dwell on the future so that at the end of the day people will be able to achieve what they had long wanted to achieve,” he said.

    Well this confirms that the war veterans have not changed one bit, they are the same self-seeking thugs they have been all these years.

    Mahiya has been a member of the war veterans for donkey years and was aware of how the war veterans have been Zanu PF's storm troopers in the fight to deny the people a meaningful vote in the country to stop regime change. Mahiya has himself publicly said war veterans "were the stockholders of Zanu PF and Zimbabwe" and the rest of us are "stakeholders"; confirming the reality on the ground of war veterans having a veto on who ruled the country.

    These rogue war veterans have played their part in the establishment and retention of the Zanu PF dictatorship and were happy as long as they got their share of the spoils of power and wealth. They have only protested when their economic positions started to get worse.

    The least these rogue war veterans can do is apologize to the ordinary people whom they have abused in the name of stopping regime change. For Mahiya to deny they never abused anyone is an insult. It confirms that they would take up their storm trooper role again as soon as their share of the spoils is assured.

    After reading this nonsense; is MDC-T and ZimPF going to review their position as regards the war veterans; Chamisa and Mujuru were tripping over each other to embrace Mahiya a week ago! It goes to show just how shallow the two parties really are!

  3. War Veterans in Norton have confirmed they will be supporting Themba Mliswa in the forthcoming by-election instead of the Zanu PF candidate.

    “Alas, how have our liberation heroes reached such levels of malevolence? Are they not seeing there is something wrong with this picture? Have all our war veterans have the same mind-set? I would like to honestly believe these are only sentiments shared by a few and despised by many,” responded the Zanu PF apologist, Tapiwa Maware.

    Why should supporting anyone other than a Zanu PF candidate be a betrayal of the country and everything people fought for in the fight for independence? This is the stupid brainwashed mind-set of Zanu PF which has landed us with this de facto one-party dictatorship and brought corruption and tyranny.

    One-man-one-vote was at the centre of our fight for freedom and human rights and it was out of selfishness and greed that this basic right has been denied for the last 36 years to promote no-regime-change.

    We are going to have regime change and then implement the far reaching democratic reforms to ensure every Zimbabwe will enjoy a meaningful and free vote from there on. You and your propaganda nonsense are being thrown straight out of the window!

  4. Mujuru attends MDC-T rally and teaches the MDC-T supporters the ZimPF “Vavaki! Tora Zimbabwe tora!” slogan and finish off with the “Chinja maitiro!” MDC-T slogan. She has in government for 34 years and managed to destroy a lot without building much and now she is calling herself a builder (Vavaki!) As for MDC-T the party failed to change (Chinja!) anything during the GNU showing they really have no clue what changes are required!

    How sad that only she said was one slogan after another. We are in this hell-hole because we, as a nation, have never risen above the simpleton level of slogan! We desperately need to implement all the democratic reforms especially the reforms to free the media!

  5. Here is my problem with Pastor Mawarire his grade one rhetoric is easy to understand but lacks substance. I understand it is not possible to discuss anything substantive in these 3 minutes YouTube posts but why has he not posted a paper on anything? What is stopping him posting a two page synopses on whatever he talked about with the Zimbabweans in Atlanta?

    I have just listened to Mai Mujuru addressing an MDC-T rally and all she said was the ZimPF "Vavaki!" and MDC-T "Chinja!" slogans.

    Is Mawarire just another empty head offering nothing beyond "Hatichatya!" slogan? This is the serious question the Pastor must answer!