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Zimbabwe paying the price for not holding leaders to account

07 Nov 2022 at 05:27hrs | Views
AS much Zimbabwe scares me, sometimes!

It is terribly unsettling and outright creepy, to say the least, whenever I watch how some Zimbabweans treat their leaders.

I try to imagine if I had been the president of this country, or ruling or opposition party - and, we had people who actually wore my face on their clothes, ululated to everything (no matter how mediocre) I say, shouting and jumping in exceeding excitement wherever I walk among them, and even imitating my dance moves.

That would certainly be stuff for a hilarious comedy shows, or even cartoons - or worse still, horror movies.

Yet, in Zimbabwe this is real life - happening right here!

Why on earth would any normal person regard everything I say or do as impeccable, infallible and beyond reproach - as if I am some god or deity - yet, I am simply another mortal human being, waiting to die one day?

On what grounds do we praise, support and defend every little thing that our leaders would have uttered or done - without ever holding them to account or correcting them where we feel they have erred?

Surely, the best way of learning and improving oneself is via open frank engagement, whereby - whether one holds a leadership position or not - can be, and is welcoming to criticism and correction.

In fact, that is the main reason writers such myself provide contact details on our articles, since this enables easy communication with readers - whose honest responses, whether in agreement or disagreement with what I would have written, have been a wonderful source of learning and expansion of my knowledge base.

Those who have taken time off their busy schedules reaching out to me would attest to my welcoming and immense appreciation of the candid and sincere discussions and debates - particularly, with those who either did not agree with my opinions, or felt that I could have done better in articulating my points or in researching my facts.

That is how I learn, and improve my work.

I do not regard them as enemies - but, invaluable assets and amazing sources of knowledge, to whom I am eternally grateful.

If I did not want to be corrected and criticised, I would have easily removed my phone numbers and email address from my articles.

Therefore, it becomes rather unnerving and disturbing when we have Zimbabweans who cannot, or do not want, to treat our leaders in a similar manner.

If brutally frank debate and criticism can significantly improve my knowledge base and skills as an individual - just imagine what it could do to any entire country, if we did the same to those in power.

Yet, we seem to have the grave misfortune of having a people who "commend, thank, praise and hail" everything that is done or said by our leaders.

Are we not, unwittingly, allowing them to take the country in the wrong direction - resulting in the same praise-singers' and hero-worshippers' own suffering and poverty, as the country crumbles right in our eyes - while, we clap, ululate and encourage nonsense and destructive policies?

Surely, my heart sank this morning watching how some sycophants, gathered at Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Airport in Bulawayo, shouting and ululating in wild excitement after President Emmerson Mnangagwa had simply indicated that he would be travelling to Egypt next week.

They did not even bother waiting for Mnangagwa to finish his sentence - before he could tell them that he would be attending the UN COP27 Climate Change Conference, they were already jumping and screaming in celebration!

I wonder how many of those in attendance actually understood what this conference of parties would be all about - however, it was clear such little details were not going to stop them from singing in joy.

 Honestly, where are we going as a nation?

What country develops and prospers when its people do not hold their leaders to account -and a leadership that do not welcome and appreciate criticism and correction?

Then why we are shocked as to why we are always suffering and blame all and sundry, except ourselves and our leaders, for the unspeakable misery we find ourselves in?

Learning and betterment comes from rebuke and chastisement - and, unless and until we acknowledge this basic principle of life, we will forever be crying.

Source - Newsday Zimbabwe
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