The return of Pastor Mawarire created panic and confusion in the Zanu PF regime, in the opposition camp and amongst the ordinary Zimbabweans in equal measure!
“If you keep on defending Mawarire's exodus I think you are very wrong and being selfish,” commented Brooks. “We have to face the reality that people have lost confidence in Mawarire because of the time which he left the people. In every struggle, we need a strong and brave leader who can fight with his/her team to the last drop not people who run away from a misfiring Peugeot 404.”
Is this call for a “strong and brave leader” not also the call for the kind of leader who will go on to be a dictator like Robert Mugabe!
A national struggle should not have to depend on one or two individuals regardless how courageous and visionary they happen to be. If that was the case then the true measure of their visionary qualities is the realization to spread their leadership qualities to as many others as possible so the struggle does not suffer if they, for whatever reasons, should have to give up their leadership role.
Pastor Mawarire, many would agree, gave people the courage to stand-up and demand their basic rights and freedoms by his example. When he left the country, there was no reason why the people did not continue and do the same other than the mental blockade telling them they could not do anything without him.
Tyrants like President Mugabe have actively cultivated the notion that they are indispensable and re-enforced this mystic by stifling debate, freedom of expression and free press and replaced it with a public media who primary purpose is to misinform and brainwash into believing the tyrant is a genius. The have deepened the mystic even further by surrounding themselves with some of the naïve and stupid people like Simon Muzenda and Joice Mujuru whom the tyrant can run rings.
President has stayed in power all these last 37 years riding on the belief that he is the “strong and brave leader” Zimbabwe needs. How ironic that we are right now in the middle of life and death struggle to remove one dictatorship and yet are keen as mustard to create a new dictator!
“There is also a legitimate fear that Mawarire is a destabilising influence;” wrote SA Journalist Simon Allison. “that his presence, and the possibility of him running for public office, could derail the delicate coalition negotiations that are currently happening between the major opposition parties. Because his return to Zimbabwe was shrouded in such secrecy, no one really knows what he intends to do, or how it will affect them. He is a wild card.”
If these opposition parties are the true democrats, they claim to be, then there is no cause for them to fear a democrat in their midst. The frantic coalition forming activity is an excuse for participating in an election process they know is flawed and illegitimate. They also know that by participating they will grant the process a veneer of democratic legitimacy. The only reasons all these opposition parties are participating in the flawed elections is to win these few seats Zanu PF has been giving away as bait to the opposition, a reward for legitimising an otherwise illegitimate process.
Many people have been calling for the boycott of elections until democratic reforms have been implemented and the call is gaining traction by the day. Tsvangirai, Mujuru and all the other opposition leaders who have already said they will participate in next year’s elections with no reform in place now run the risk of losing all political credibility is they were forced to capitulate and join the boycott!
Pastor Mawarire has already admitted he will run for public office in future. He is “a wild card” to the opposition in not only that he will be competing with some of them but even more pointedly he may denounce them for contesting in flawed elections knowing the people will be denied the right to free, fair and credible vote. He will throw the cat amongst the pigeons, if he did that!
Democracy is a system of government by the people, typically through elected representatives. As a nation that is still struggling to get rid of a tyrant we should be the one very wary of the strong, brave and mister-know-it-all! In fact none of our present leaders have in anyway proven to have an common sense much less be the infallible leader they claim to be.
If we are serious about wanting a democratic Zimbabwe then we must first understand what it is exactly we want, and then have the courage to embrace if we are going to have a healthy and functional democracy. As things stand, we are in real danger of removing Mugabe and replacing him with another dictator!
Leaders like Robert Mugabe, Morgan Tsvangirai, Joice Mujuru and all the other recycled rubbish have already proven beyond that they are corrupt and incompetent and, in some cases, murderous tyrant. We continue to hang on to these failed leaders like a toddler hanging to a mother’s dress because we have been brainwashed to believe they are strong leaders and we will be helpless without them.