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Zimbabweans can elect recycled politicians at own peril

12 Jul 2023 at 08:22hrs | Views
I AM not much of a soccer fan, but there is something that I have always found strange, if not downright weird.

Why is it that a coach fired from one team on the grounds of incompetence and dismal performance, is immediately hired by another?

What makes this scenario even more bizarre is that, not long after, the same coach is again fired from the new team - on similar grounds of incompetence and dismal performance.

Again, within a fairly short time, he is picked up by yet another team. This maddening circus continues, perpetually.

In the midst of all these footballing shenanigans, I could not help being reminded of Albert Einstein's famous saying: "Madness is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result".

However, such "madness" is not confined to the soccer pitch, because we in Zimbabwe have had our fair share of this circus.

In fact, this was most glaring in the celebratory acceptance of the November 2017 military coup d'├ętat - which ousted the late long-time despot Robert Mugabe and ushered in his former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa.

This recycled faces which had been the late tyrant's henchmen and right-hand persons and largely blamed for his regime's brutality and corruption.

Barely a year down the line, Zimbabweans learnt, in a very painful way, that there is never any "Road to Damascus" repentance and transformational moment in this country's politics.

We watched in utter horror, as scores of unarmed protestors were massacred in cold blood by security forces on the streets of Harare.

Did these horrific incidents awaken Zimbabweans to the folly of trusting supposedly "transformed and repentant" politicians?

I think it didn't!

Today, we are still rushing into the arms of politicians who have already proven themselves to be no better than those they were challenging. Why do we somehow believe that those who were previously at the forefront of authoring our untold suffering and misery, can now be our messiahs?

Zimbabweans have a very serious weakness of easily falling into the trap of desperation to the point of seeking saviours in every corner.

Talking about "saviours", this brings me to the point of this article.

As the country heads towards the August 23 elections - we have witnessed the entrance of former ruling Zanu-PF party political commissar and Cabinet minister, Saviour Kasukuwere, into the race for the presidency.

As has become the norm in Zimbabwe, this announcement was met with jubilation in some sections of the population. We appear to have forgotten this man's dark history - the brutal crackdown on opposition supporters, destructive interference in urban local authorities.

Are we seriously believing that this man has gone through major transformation and is now our possible saviour? I just could not resist the pan!

The resurgence of Kasukuwere, standing as an independent candidate, should be viewed in the same light as all other previous political shenanigans witnessed in Zimbabwe over the years.

Zimbabwe has become a paradise for recycled politicians who claim to have undergone some "Road to Damascus" moment - which suddenly awakened and morphed them from their notorious and vile attributes into godly angels!

So, why do we think Kasukuwere will be any better? Was he not an integral and inseparable part of Mugabe's heinous misrule, whose corruption was nothing short of legendary?

Do we ever learn?

These politicians have repeatedly proven beyond any reasonable doubt that they do not care, and will never care, about the persons on the streets.

The only solution for this nation - and its future - is for the people themselves to unite and fiercely demand genuine electoral reforms, that will enable us to freely choose our leaders.

We need new leaders who genuinely embrace democratic contestation and voices of dissent - even encouraging criticism; leaders who can show sincere interests in the aspirations of ordinary people.

There should not be any divisions among us. We now need to resolutely stand together and realise that none, but ourselves can free ourselves. It is time we realised and accepted that repeating the same thing -running to the very same people who destroyed our lives and expect a different result is rank madness.

    Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author and speaker. He writes here in his personal capacity.

Source - newsday
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