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No leader will serve Zimbabwe without pressure from citizens

29 Aug 2022 at 06:31hrs | Views
WHY do we as Zimbabweans somehow appear to believe that there will ever be a politician who will emerge in our country or possibly has already manifested, who places the interests of Zimbabwe ahead of his own and serves the ordinary people?

Where do we derive such deluded and deceptive thinking?

The manner in which we entrust our welfare and wellbeing into the hands of our favourite politicians and political leaders — regarding them as innocent, well-meaning benevolent angels who are in it for the greater good of the country — is sickening at best and tragic at worst. This applies to both the ruling and opposition parties in Zimbabwe.

Let me be bold and burst that bubble. There is no one under the sun who enters politics on account of being genuinely touched by the sorrowful and miserable plight of the suffering populace and driven by a strong urge to improve their lives and livelihoods — no matter which part of the globe one comes from, politicians are motivated by self interests … specifically power, status and

It does not matter whether that individual is Joe Biden, Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron, Vladmir Putin, Xi Jinping, Kim Jong-un or closer to home, Cyril Ramaphosa, Hakainde Hichilema or even Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa and Nelson Chamisa.

This is basic human nature which dictates that, politics is a "game" of power (for lack of a more apt word, as I find it rather disturbing that dealing with real people's everyday lives can be described as some sporting activity) — but, the brutal truth is that, indeed, this is all to do with the attainment of power and the quest for its retention.

Whosoever came up with this form of democracy seriously needs his head examined!

Nonetheless, this concept — as the best the world has to offer, at the moment — has its safeguards, through strict checks and balances, which enable the citizenry and electorate to closely monitor their elected public officers and hold them to account. That is the only proven and surest way in forcing our politicians and national leaders to carry out their mandates to our expectations as the ones who placed them in power.

Without making those in authority feel our breath right behind their necks — as we keep tight tabs on their every decision, move or action — then, it would be folly and foolhardy for us to seriously expect anything positive to come from them, which uplifts our welfare and well-being.

In actual fact, I find it exceedingly troubling seeing a lot of Zimbabweans sharing the progress being made in other countries, by their leaders — under the delusion that this is on account of these leaders being so good, trustworthy and noble individuals.

I have witnessed the fondness we exhibit as we discuss how Hichilema in Zambia, for instance, has so admirably managed to strength the local currency, stabilise the economy and create numerous employment opportunities for the youth.

Without taking anything from this profound leader, who has undoubtedly performed exceptionally well and done a pretty good job, in the few months he has been in office — nevertheless, let us not deliberately be blind to one crucial aspect of the Zambian political landscape.

As with all other progressive nations on this planet — the citizenry does not lie idle, passively waiting for the goodwill of their leaders and naively entrusting them to do what is right.

They do not take lightly the trampling of their rights, neither will they ever take any incompetency, mismanagement and corruption on the part of their leaders, lying down. Oh no, they will not! …and, Hichilema knows this fact full well. At least not like us here in Zimbabwe!

In fact, the situation in this country is even worse and far much more worrisome — since we appear so brainwashed by our chosen political parties, and harbour strange fanaticism for our leaders — that, not only are we completely unable to question them but actually go as far as ferociously defending them should anyone dare raise any doubts at their performance, suitability, or

Why do we somehow believe that our leaders are infallible, and demi-gods — who cannot err, and should not be made answerable?

Why, then, do we become surprised and incensed when other countries move forward — while, we appear perpetually in reverse gear? It does not matter whether this is a national/ruling party, or opposition leader — the cardinal principle is the same: there can never be any progress and development, as long as we do not hold those we elect into office to account.

Even if we voted the opposition into power tomorrow — absolutely nothing will change for the people of Zimbabwe, so long as we are incapable of holding the new leaders answerable to us, and brooking no nonsense from them.

Yet, we tragically still witness those who harbour some deluded and misguided notion that, the mere act of simply removing the current government and replacing it with the opposition is somehow the panacea to all our problems in Zimbabwe!

It does not work, and has never worked, that way!

Maybe, that is the main reason I have never joined any political party in Zimbabwe — rather opting to keep my distance as I do not subscribe to this discredited, unworkable system of politics.

If ever I were to become a member of a political party in this country, then whoever is its leader needs to understand that, as opposed to wasting my time propping him up, thereby helping in the creation of a personality cult, based on blind fanaticism, around him — for the sake of real progress and development, I would rather spend my time and energy ensuring that he loyally adhered to the highest standards of leadership, and fully delivered on the mandate before him.

That is the only way of deriving the most and best from one's leaders.

Which is why in countries, whose prosperity we always admire and envy — such as the UK (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) — the governing Conservative Party is the one that recalled its own leader, Boris Johnson, from the role of prime minister, after scandals ranging from violation of COVID-19 regulations, appointment of questionable and tainted individuals to top positions, to the general decline of that country's
economy. That was the best way of guaranteeing that their beloved nation is led by the most suitable and competent leader — leaving no room for those who had lost direction along the way.

Even the manner in which they are going about choosing a new Tory leader to replace Johnson — whereby, all prospective prime ministers have been going through rigorous interrogation and scrutiny by the citizenry — exhibits a seriousness lacking in our own country.

In fact, if this were in Zimbabwe, a totally different scenario would have most likely played out.

Except for a military coup — as occurred in November 2017, whereby, even then the late former President Robert Gabriel Mugabe's  loyalists were cowed into submission through the barrel of the gun — if a leader (whether of the ruling or opposition party) were to be embroiled in a scandal, he could be sure of blind rabid fanatical support from his party members, who would never allow him to be questioned or exposed.

Why, then, do we end up complaining when our country does not prosper and progress as others — when we are the ones who defend and shield the rot?

Do we honestly believe that other countries are developing from the blue?

"They don't do thega", as my late father would love saying!

The wrong direction in which our beloved country is going, largely is a fault of the citizens ourselves, since we do not hold our leaders accountable for their actions and decisions…except, if they are from a rival party.

As a matter of fact, in Zimbabwe, questioning a leader is considered a taboo, and act of aggression, which should never be entertained.

What a pity

We have no one else to blame for the suffering we are enduring in Zimbabwe!

Next time, before we share social media posts on how other nations are faring out there — let us first ask ourselves what it is that their citizens are doing, which we are failing to do.

Political leaders, by the very nature of politics, are in it for themselves, and their own interests and ambitions — so, the question should always be, what are we, ourselves, doing in ensuring they do what we elected them to do?

If we are doing nothing — except, protecting and defending them, even in the face of scandals and incompetence — then, we only have ourselves to blame, when our lives and livelihoods go awry.

    Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, researcher, and social commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700

Source - NewsDay Zimbabwe
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