Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

COVID-19 exposes Zimbabwe's lack of leadership

09 Jun 2020 at 07:59hrs | Views
THE COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over, but Zimbabweans must have had enough of their selfish, clueless and callous leadership.

By leadership, I am not referring only to political leadership, but leaders at all levels of society.

Citizens sitting at home are not fodder or captive audiences for these theatrics, but they are in need of hope and want a leadership that promises them a manageable future post-COVID-19.

Some have already been ejected from neighbouring countries where they had gone as economic and political refugees purely because they had been failed by Zanu-PF, a party that has brutalised Zimbabweans since the dawn of independence in 1980.

The falsehood that had for a long time been peddled that former President Robert Mugabe was the problem has fallen by the wayside and now we know clearly that the ruling party is the problem.

Zimbabwe does not suffer from Mugabeism, but from Zanuism, a predatory army of men and women who see the State as a feeding trough for the chosen few.

That citizens in Mbare and Makokoba are already saying Mugabe was better than his successor, President Emmerson Mnangagwa is horrifying.

I remember at one point my great grandmother, now late, quipping, "(former Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian) Smith was better".

And this was during Mugabe's tenure.

Of course, she never meant that Smith, the last Prime Minister of the racist Rhodesian regime was a good person. He did what was expected of him as a brutal racist leader.
But I am not sure if he deprived people of water and electricity.

Zanu-PF under Mugabe did the same things, but the tragedy was that this was unexpected.

It was unexpected that a leader, a few years into independence delivers his own people into episodes of genocide, violence, corruption and trauma without any moments of peace and joy.

Mnangagwa did worse than Mugabe. You cannot, as a leader, unleash the army on unarmed civilians and even when armed, without any planned and strategic engagement with them.
Especially when you call your entry into State House a new dawn, a "new dispensation".

Even if well-meaning, you cannot engage an enemy that is within civilians with fire because, obviously, the civilians are likely to be killed and no leader worth his salt does that.

But not the current regime. They do not inspire anyone.

My point is that even during this COVID-19 pandemic we see a leadership that is concerned with destroying livelihoods rather than inspiring hope and assuring citizens' safety.

But they are happy to come up with policies that put food off people's tables - the phasing out or rather banning of kombis.  

In a world moving towards integrated transport models, here we are looting State coffers in order to serve the selfish needs of politicians.

Why can't we design a system that allows someone to jump onto the train in Bulawayo to Harare in the evening and using the same ticket the next morning, jump into a taxi that will leave them at home in Mbare.

The COVID-19 period should be the least time for any callous leader to announce policies that strike fear or uncertainty in the hearts of the already hopeless citizens.

The main problem we have is that we have men and women in opposition who are not true to principle and are busy performing rituals at graves - all for selfish ends.

It is difficult to believe anyone who insists that MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora and crew are not being used by Zanu-PF when they are destroying the opposition, where most people's hopes lie.

And to do so during the pandemic helps magnify what kind of leadership we have. Selfish. Callous. Corrupt.

The late Morgan Tsvangirai played his role in Zimbabwean politics, made his mistakes, did well in some cases and he has no more say in the current world.

His family must be left in peace.

Besides, Zimbabweans deserve better and one hopes they are paying attention to what is happening and post-COVID-19 pandemic, will make alterations.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed weak leadership across the world and Zimbabwe has made a serious contribution to that.

And we need to be worried.

Memes suggesting Mnangagwa plays second fiddle to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa are not funny, they wake us up to something we have already experienced. We have no credible, forward-looking and solid leadership to take Zimbabwe anywhere, COVID-19 or no COVID-19.

The fact that statistics of the pandemic seem unreliable suggests we have a leadership that cannot be trusted with bigger things and the future.

To be frank, there is no honest leader within Zanu-PF as it is now.

Mugabeism and Zanuism's failures are going to be further magnified by the crises that face the returnees who find themselves at crossroads.

During the lockdown period, people were repatriated from neighbouring countries and the most important question seems to always escape Zanu-PF. Why did they leave the country?

It's a leadership crisis, stupid.

Of course, the mouthpieces of Zanu-PF, some of whom were once domiciled in the diaspora not out of choice, but in pursuit of a better life, argue that people are out of the country of their own volition, the truth is that they were ejected out of the country by a failed leadership.

There is no country on the continent that has suffered as much as Zimbabwe through brain drain.

Now the returnees are facing a worse situation, where as they left the country, its leadership had never been tested in a crisis, they return to a leadership that has failed the test.

This means we are going to have ballooning unemployment and crime rates.  What is sure is that we are going to stay put with clueless, corrupt and callous leaders.

If State security agents do not protect opposition leaders and we have whole ministers and spokespersons claiming people are stage-managing abduction, torture and rape, then we have not only lost conscience and moral compass, but hunhu/ubuntu.

In future, we might need to decide not to vote as citizens because we have irresponsible politicians across the board.

But for now, post-COVID-19, Zimbabweans you are on your own.

Source - newsday
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.