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Zimbabwe still creating more Mugabes - is there hope for this country?

12 Nov 2017 at 10:01hrs | Views
I did not know whether to laugh, cry, or throw a shoe at the radio, when former Zimbabwe vice president Joice Mujuru was speaking on VOA Studio 7 a few days ago - soon after the sacking of her successor Emmerson Mnangagwa - when she lambasting President Robert Mugabe of personalizing both the ruling ZANU PF party and the country and treating them as his - and his family's - property, and turning them into a dynasty.

A similar statement was allegedly made by Mnangagwa, soon after being booted out of the same position that he had - only two years ago - been instrumental in getting Mujuru to face a similar fate.

I was not too sure if these two individuals were merely being disingenuous, and taking Zimbabweans for fools, or there were a few screws loose somewhere.

Otherwise, how would one interpret such statements emanating from former Mugabe's lieutenants, who had been at the very forefront of creating the very 'monster' that they have the audacity to criticise today.

It is a case of 'Frankinstein's Monster', as they have no one else to blame, but themselves, for being part of the ZANU PF mob that has been entrenching the notion that Mugabe is some sort of a deity, and that we should all fall on our knees at his alter.

Are they not the very same people - having being at Mugabe's side for over four decades - who inculcated in him that he was invincible, infallible and that anyone who opposed him was worthy of death?

Were they not part of those ZANU PF sycophants who would chant, 'vaMugabe chete' - 'Mugabe only'?

Did they not see everything right in wearing regalia that bore the face of only one member of a party that boasted being millions-strong?

In a country of about 13 million people, are they not the same individuals who saw it fit to have every building or office carry a portrait of only one Zimbabwean - instead of just displaying the national flag?

Is Mugabe not the only so-called 'hero' who had countless monuments - most recently the country's international airport - named after him, whilst still alive?

Even an equally, if not more, gallant hero, Joshua Nkomo had to die first, before being bestowed any such recognition.

So, what in the world, did these two former vice presidents, and their comrades, think they were creating in Mugabe?

Did they honestly not see that this would be the end result?

Therefore, after making the man believe that he was a god, meant to be worshiped and rule forever, what is the problem now?

If the old man does not want to make way for anyone else, whose fault is that?

They created a god, so where did they ever hear of a god making way for someone else?

Those two should stop making fools of both themselves and us.

However, this problem does not end there.

Mugabe is only but just one man, whom Zimbabwe will inevitably outlive - but there is a more serious tragic dark cloud awaiting the country.

This Mugabe will obviously go, sooner or later, but that will not be the end of it - not by a long shot!

There are many more Mugabes being created each and every day - and if we do not stop this, then we can kiss any freedom and democracy in Zimbabwe good-bye.

Let us take a look at all the major political parties in Zimbabwe, and how they treat their own leaders.

How different is it from how ZANU PF treats Mugabe?

Basically, none!

Just because a party here and there dares criticise its leader once or twice, does not account for much.

How many major political parties have been moulded around an individual?

Virtually , all of them!

What is the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) without the 'T' - that is, Morgan Tsvangirai?

What is the other MDC without Welshman Ncube?

What about the People's Democratic Party without Tendai Biti?

National People's Party without Joice Mujuru?

Need I go on?

These parties were founded and revolve around these individuals.

They are not only the face, but they are central to the party's support base.

MDC-T, for instance, would never dare go into next year's elections without Tsvangirai as its leader - in fact, that explains the reasoning behind the formation of the MDC Alliance and him as its leader, despite his weakening health.

Just as in ZANU PF, they would rather have him as their leader, in spite of his waning health, as they feel that without him at the helm, their chances are as good as zero.

In so doing, these parties have conveniently created more Mugabes - just waiting to take over from the current one.

This is a very tragic trend in Zimbabwean politics.

Can we seriously say that a country of about 13 million people has to rely on only a handful of individuals as potential and eligible presidential contenders?

To add fuel to fire, all these major political parties - with their varying multitudes of supporters - have only one individual capable to carry favour with the electorate?

If I were to say that this was worrying, I would be lying - but, this is clearly a gross embarrassment not only to these parties, but also to all of us in the country.

This is how dictators are formed, and Zimbabwe has proven to be the experts at that.

Have we learnt anything from the experience of the past 37 years at the hands of Mugabe?

Do we sincerely want to go through that again into the unforeseeable future - having a president that believes that he is an indispensable god?

We have suffered enough from the scourge of dictatorships and tyranny, especially on the continent of Africa, and can not afford to continue as if there is something fundamentally warped in our minds.

Are we not to be regarded as fools to have such unbelief in ourselves that we have to rely on only certain individuals to carry our cause?

Neighbouring countries, such as Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa have proven beyond doubt that there is life beyond individuals as Sir Seretse Khama, Sam Nujoma, and Nelson Mandela - the last two, having left office whilst very much alive, but knowing fully well that they were other people quite capable of carrying the country forward.

In fact, this shortsighted approach not only leads to dictators, but also to the demise of such an organisation after the leader is gone, as he or she would have been its only cornerstone.

That is one major reason why ZANU PF will still drag along a 93 years old man to continue at its helm, as his demise will similarly be its death as well.

Such is the same with other organisations that have adopted a similar myopic leadership model.

Can UFIC survive beyond Emmanuel Makandiwa, or PHD Ministries beyond Walter Magaya, or Christ Embassy beyond Pastor Chris - at least in their current strong positions?

Not at all!

If a leader is an organisation's sole hope, then he or she inevitably goes down with it.

Let us make an effort to move political landscape beyond individualism and cultism, and encourage a culture that does not regard only one person as being central to a party's survival and success.

° Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and speaker. He is available should you invite him to speak at any gathering or event. Please call/WhatsApp: +263782283975. Please also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Source - Tendai Ruben Mbofana
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