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Fighting egos and paranoia in Zimbabwe

09 May 2013 at 23:29hrs | Views

The desire of power over others is weakness disguised as strength.

I remain curious to understand why; ZANU (PF) wants to continue to hold onto power even when it is overwhelmingly evident that they have failed to manage the affairs of our country.

I am convinced that all of us Zimbabweans, regardless of political affiliation, are very clear what has to change because the current system is definitely not working for most of us. I am even convinced that those we see defending the status quo, must in their quiet time, realize that the socio economic system we currently have is hardly sustainable.

You cannot have 90% unemployment and pretend that all is well, you cannot have over 60% of industry standing still, a dilapidating infrastructure and the lack of provision if basic needs that we took for granted at independence and pretend that nothing must change.  The only explanation is that the egos of those in ZANU (PF) continue to resist change lest they be scrutinized and exposed. Resistance to change is weakness and fear masquerading as strength.

It's only the other day that a ZANU (PF) member confided in me in that they can't see themselves as ordinary members of society after having enjoyed benefits of power for so long. They will not easily give that up even if they lose an election.

Eckhart Tolle, in his book titled "The power of now", captured for me the fundamental problem that we are facing. It is all about egos. In it he says;
"The ego perceives itself as a separate fragment in a hostile universe, with no real inner connection to any other being, surrounded by other egos which it either sees as a potential threat or which it will attempt to use for its own ends. The basic ego patterns are designed to combat its own deep-seated fear and sense of lack. They are resistance, control, power, greed, defense, attack. Some of the ego's strategies are extremely clever, yet they never truly solve any of its problems, simply because the ego itself is the problem."

Interestingly enough, paranoia is defined as a mental condition characterized by delusions of persecution, unwarranted jealousy, or exaggerated self-importance, typically worked into an organized system or a tendency on the part of an individual or group toward excessive or irrational suspiciousness and distrustfulness of others.

Now if you combine a fragile ego with paranoia, you get what we are getting now in Zimbabwe. The arrest of all those that threaten the ego, the banning  of NGO's, the refusal to commit to electoral reforms , a genuine fear of transparency and democracy in its true sense and the refusal to have fair political competition. Added to this, is the reported in fighting within ZANU (PF) which continues to exacerbate the "race to the bottom" in our political system.
We do not need the government or ZANU (PF) in order to indigenize this economy; we can do it on our own as long as the laws are in place. We do not need to be continually told that we must own our own resources, we know that. We do not need to be told of our history every day, we appreciate it but it cannot shape our future. We do not need to be told that the West is the enemy and the East is a friend because we can make our own informed choices.

At the end of it all, every Zimbabwean must make up their own mind, but let that decision be based on the appreciation that our country needs a new beginning based on our inalienable right to liberty, freedom of speech and association. This is not negotiable.

I my opinion, it is the responsibility of every sane Zimbabwean to reject the past and embrace a future that is significantly different from what the incumbents are promoting.

The question is what can you and me do about it?

Our only solution right now is to make sure that we exercise our right to vote and ensure that we dismiss those egos that continue to masquerade as legitimate heirs to political power in Zimbabwe.

In addition to this, our next elections must be above board and transparent and on that, only the SADC can really help us.

Failing this, egos and paranoia will prevail and the social economic conditionsin Zimbabwe can only get worse.

Vince Musewe is an economic analyst based in Harare. You may contact him on

Source - Vince Musewe
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