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When Mugabe or Mnangagwa go: Are Zimbabweans fixing their eyes on wrong goal posts?

21 Aug 2017 at 21:22hrs | Views
Genesis 21:19 "And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water, and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink."

History has shown that when dictators die order is detracted into a setback lip, even though sometimes, it could be a lip for a progressive way forward if a country has learned well from its past.  China is an example on how slow progress to democracy can be achieved given circumstances where two or three cultures are inevitably interwoven to achieve success. Somehow China deals firmly with the west. They stand up against the west in any financial assistance offered to minimize political interference, unlike in Africa and other small nations; where the west can control the economies. Programs such as I have fondly called Governance Economic Structural Adjustment Changes (GESAC); leave many countries in Africa much poorer than when they gained political independence. Much worse, numerous military coups,  directly or indirectly supported financially by richer nations or by individuals from those nations, helped African leadership who became western stooges, in fulfilling their personal ambitions under pretext of removing Tribalism, Corruption, Nepotism, Regionalism and Favoritism. Indeed these negatives were easily visibly in the eyes of ordinary people and grew wildly rampant as a post-independence political phenomenon. The solutions, though, have never lied in staging or sponsoring a military coup than in educating the people-masses. This is ably illustrated in many books of the late President J K Nyerere of Tanzania, especially: UJAMAA: Essays on Socialism (Oxford University Press: Nairobi, 1968)

Unfortunately Mr. Mugabe then (at 57) as is now (at 93) has never changed but shifted for the worse by each rigging success he carried to successive elections in the country. It is strange that people failed to understand that the causes to this Machiavellian politics are born from Mr. Mugabe's craft survival skills at the expense of the national good. Both Ex-Combatants and political veterans were lambed into one group-the veterans. The masses, intellectuals, and working class were totally forgotten, even though smartly cautioned with appointments such as was put to bear on Trade Unions in the appointing of Albert Mugabe as Secretary General of the newly launched Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU). Appointments in the Cabinet of some scholarly persons, the likes of Bernard Chidzero, Nathan Shamuyarira, Dzingai Mutumbuka, Edson Zvobgo,…intellectuals in their own right, induced considerable docility in professionals since they believed Zanu had made a first delivery, namely, attaining Independence. This falsehood has kept lingering and will linger in the minds of the born and still yet to be born Zimbabweans who keep singing and may keep singing the songs of liberation struggle as though times is not long past. We are in the afternoon of the post struggle era with little meaningful changes except the deepening of the rot on discrimination on tribes against regions and the corruption to get rich quickly by both the president and his cohorts. No comparisons for late president K J Nyerere at all even if you take Zanu strongest contribution if they were not underrun by its poor performances so far.

Education is not merely achievement of academic excellence although it helps in grasping details and procedures. A good heart and a desire to understand people, stand critical at the center of the African leadership struggle for eminence than to defend the masses and the country. Is it any wonder that all young academicians and upcoming dynamic thinkers on the continent applaud People such as John Mugufuli Tanzania's fifth consecutive president? Never did Tanzanians, out of many African independent countries, ask who was to come after JK Nyerere. A leader is crucial from the outset of any growing nation. Zimbabwe, to this day, lacked leadership except a choir of men and women pacified by their individual ambitions allowed Mr. Robert Mugabe to use them as ladders to achieving his personal as they too acieved their personal ambitions. Generally soldiers, veteran or not, have all made money, own numerous houses, farms and businesses. A clandestine method of eliminating or making opponents disappear has run the order of governance sustenance in Zimbabwe from 1980 to this date.  To argue that sincerity and fairness on elections in Zimbabwe exists, while very important, is grossly missing the goal of any evil system. The Zanu goal, be it by design or by default has sustained itself through the killing, the mysterious disappearance of critiques and opponents, and this has and continue to dazzle the minds of the west that has wanted to police African affairs and in particular the British being former colonial masters then over Southern Rhodesia .

Franz Fannon and Walter Rodney in their write ups and, in particular, in the two of their books: "The Wretched of the earth" (Grove Press 1961) and "How Europe underdeveloped Africa" (Bogle-L'Ouverture Publications 1972, UK) respectively; caused more questions on the impact of Colonial Dependence Syndrome (CDS) and how it has affected nationalism and in particular the younger generation of Mr. Paul Kegame of Rwanda and Mr.Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi.  No doubt the nationalists such as Mr. Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and his subsequent role as Chairman of the African Union (AU) encouraged these young politicians to further nest their political ambitions beyond two terms of presidential tenure. When Mr. Mugabe became AU chairman Zimbabwe had the worst human rights record on the continent and still suffers from the effects.  That the African Union leadership gladly gave Mr. Robert Mugabe the chair of the Union, irrespective, puts a big question mark on whether or not they have a position at all on dictatorship generally and particularly on human rights against the oppressed individuals on the continent. Do critics on African tyrannical governments have a chance to survive?  Not under some of the ruthless quiet dictators Africa has natured for the last forty years living them to run governments of their lands without putting a limit to terms of office.
Could it be that the Africans generally do not comprehend the theory behind separation of power in governance? Could the alternate be true, namely, that there is too much political permissiveness with which Africa has developed into, mainly due to absence of checks and balances, except creating an excuse that there is too much Western Nations interference into their internal affairs.  Experience has actually proved that Western interference is by default and often caused at the invitation of the African prospective leaders' greedy connivance as quid-pro- quo to buying protection of the west against its nationals who may rebel against such a betrayal arrangement of the masses. History reveal too that all nationalists leaders, much as they were vocal against racism and imperialism, they had Caucasian confidantes who both were private advisors and external investments advisors. It was and still is a sensitive matter for some black leaders, if not all, to trust another black person to handle their ‘dark secrets' that might undermine their safety to ruler ship. It both is a matter of political and cultural maturity as it is a matter of colonial dependence syndrome really.

It is questionable whether, as a people of African origin, we have any conceivable ideas, let alone, faith in leadership succession outside of our families and tribal origins. Whether tradition still works in our cultural DNA to hold on the ‘chieftaindom' beliefs even though we have failed to integrate them in the modern methods of governance such as democracy, I cannot answer? Whether political expedience over comes rationality theory remains a case for the foreseeable future while African minds on leadership maturing is refining.  Hope for good governance therefore, is an ugly dream entertained only in very few minds in majority of Africans. No doubt there is a genesis of a strong paradigm shift in both old and young on the future of good governance on the continent. Even though we kill any hope when we profess to be educated while failing to acknowledge our lacking in experience on modern management that has been with us, mainly as observers though, for less than one century. We confess to be good self-liberators but I guess only in the face of a tangible physical enemy but not against western financial engineering strategies.  We have no tolerance to stand different views without threatening each other with subjective punitive actions. Even when the mechanics of handling such conflicts do not threaten security on good governance system, education and legal prosecution of leadership is rarely resorted to.  

Hostility and brutality appears the nearest weapon weak minds adopt hence putting Africa in a compromising position for corruption and being bought at international markets by political mercenaries. According therefore to Walter Rodney studies Africa has become a satellite grouping of Imperialism with imperial stooges in leadership under pretext they are revolutionaries.
To argue the case of poor governance on Zimbabwe political processes as cause to economic and human rights decay, we have already used the Tanzanian case as an example of exceptional forthright leadership by practice adopted and pioneered   by the late President Julius Kambarange Nyerere. He genuinely devoted his energy to building a leadership legacy based on his personal faith and abilities to learn and adopt good practices in administration processes. When he, from the outset, would not lose vision of why a country is free, and to centralize thought against personalities and individual cult that aim at a getting rich quickly mentality; he reduced human bad tendencies to wait upon amassing of wealth using government office.

Mr. Robert Mugabe and Zanu failed to do that and instead waged a battle against citizens while rewarding her faithful's with seized properties, farms and businesses. Inevitably, such inhuman methods become far worse than the colonial legacy that looked after its kin and kith better and well. Mind you they lived well even if they were not that highly educated.  Liberation struggle process when unplugged and if it had not completed its political detoxing process for hygienic political maturity; it forms the worst type of an oppressive system. Zimbabwe has natured a very craft oppressive system that has used colonial imperialism as its bedrock for making the former oppressed top hierarchy a new oppressive machinery that has no heart for the common man. The desire to survive among the poor of Zimbabwe creates vulnerability and passive resistance, which we experience.

Zimbabwe has had and is still further growing these bad human treatment tendencies except change comes in, and comes in yesterday. Zimbabwe is a country where education has run in excess at a higher level increasing incremental discrimination among people who ironically have used, and successfully so, the parochial traditions of regionalism and tribal sentiments to an ugly hutching worse than any colonial era in the history of Rhodesia transitioning to independent Zimbabwe. To the extend when inner hatred covered in slogans would not allow Zanu to implement a system when children could learn both Ndebele and Shona languages in schools until they complete their high school, reveals the level of Mr. Mugabès backwardness and lacking in vision. No doubt learning to share languages help build bridges that inculcate a sense of hope in oneness.

Appropriate politico-cultural education remains a myopic position of leadership in leading Zimbabwe away from centrifugal forces into a national building mode. It's not about when Mugabe or Mnangangwa or whoever goes, it's about who can transition the country from thirty-eight years of deepening emptiness of direction and philosophy of who we are that leads us into cultivating extreme vanity fueling unnecessary hatred and competitiveness with negative repercussions on unifying the country.  It's about building some thought processes we need imbue the nation with to take their minds away from the thought of getting rich quick at any one's expense. It's the shifting from having people who lack self-respect to taking leadership as a passionate result of a sound human centered educational program.
Patience in educating people, which I confess is not the easiest one given Zimbabwe history on her socio-economic and political condition, is what Zimbabweans have to use to emerge stronger and unified to build the country. The Zimbabwean profound Christian experience through faith, endurance and prayer is a necessary resource for the nation, like it was with Hagai of the bible time, to get the knowledge that will open eyes to see and reach out for the survival political water (processes in good governance) for all to drink and practice as a tool for development. Dying in the hope we need pay the price for freedom will cheapen life and mock common sense. With intense amount of hate hutching in Zimbabwe inevitably we watch the surprise awakening to fulfil the redemption of time. Putting it also in spiritual context, God can open the hearts of people to see good when their hearts seek goodness for the common good of all than for building Kingdoms on greedy, tribalism and brutality.

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Source - Andrew Manyevere |
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