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Seven deadly sins by Mahatma Gandhi: Some critical perspectives on Zimbabwe politics

16 Oct 2015 at 16:49hrs | Views
Nomazulu Thata
The Mahatma Gandhi philosophy, the seven sins that will destroy mankind are: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity religion without sacrifice and politics without principles. He says, the antidotes of these deadly sins are not social values but are based on natural principles and laws.

Analysis of these deadly sins will need volumes to elaborate them effectively if at all I was a social scientist or political educationist. I am none of the above but some basic understanding of them yes to relate to them regarding what is going on in my beloved country Zimbabwe. All these seven deadly sins are relevant is our today's Zimbabwe's political landscape, and discourse. There is just this nagging concern boiling in me to dare it once more to critique the lack of politics without principles, an infraction of fundamental rules of good governance.

Wealth without work!
Perhaps more clearly than any other political practice globally, is this phylosophy not relevant to our day to day situation in Zimbabwe, how national wealth has been squandered by Mugabe's Zanu government together with his close selected ones, since independence of 1980, and the carnage of vandalism without conscience. An estimate of 96 billion dollars has been blown off by the Zanu government since 1980 and we wonder what happened to all this massive lot of money? What is it that stands out as a development from the current dispensation since independence with all those billions of cash down the drain and we are in arrears of 10.1 billion to be paid without favor, to the money lenders? Mr. Ian Douglas Smith left a healthy treasury when he gave up his UDI government and Mugabe's Zanu literally and systematically looted the state coffers shamelessly. Remember, the Zimbabwe dollar was one of the strongest currencies in the world!

President Mugabe and his wife are wealthy people by global standards. Where did they get the money from to make numerous travels to the Far East for treatment because they do not want to be treated in their own hospitals? Where did they get money to splash holidays in far away countries taking with them the whole family and they send us photos home to see and court envy. If the wedding of their daughter bona costs 5 million dollars where did they get that money from, did they work for it? This is evidently wealth without work.

There are institutions in the country that could have been backbone in revenue incomes such as the Zimbabwe National Railways, Zimbabwe airways, government owned companies such as Zisco Steels and Wankie Colliery Mines just to mention a few of them, none of these are functional as they have been looted and there was no added infrastructure development done to improve services and products that gave revenues they produced. Whose fault is it! Are they sanctions, the western countries to blame? Where are the diamond sales worth billions of dollars? Who is mining them and what happens when they are mined? Who processes the diamonds for sale? Why are their mining, processing and selling them non transparent to the beneficiaries, the people of Zimbabwe? Are those diamonds not national treasure, meant to feed the national treasury for the benefit of all citizens in the country?

Likewise the analysis of the performance of the CEO in the land and furthermore, if Cuthbert Dube and many other CEO bosses in major institutions in the land give themselves  remunerations of half a million a month or, 60,000, 40,000 20,000 US dollars,  who on Earth can justify their services and their overly exaggerated remunerations? The people of Zimbabwe have absorbed this with an eerie and often depressing fascination of what is called day light looting without shame. To secure some ground to critique this is often futile and always frustrating.

Pleasure without conscience
The dilemma we have is interpretation in newspapers how, with uttermost disgust, how VP Mphoko and his family hole themselves up in the most expensive hotel, once called the "Sheraton" at the expense of the bankrupt treasury of the nation. He, together with his wife refused homes, posh homes and they prefer to squat in a hotel hemorrhaging the treasury that is struggling to pay civil servants let alone the schools and hospitals that do not have drugs to give the ill people who are in life threatening situations. Our hospitals are detaining women who after giving birth, they are not in a position to pay hospital fees. Does VP know all these facts on the ground regarding the plight of the ordinary people?

It is probably more accurate to reveal the plight of street children dwelling in streets that VP Mphoko passes by in his most expensive government Benz in almost all towns of Zimbabwe? The characterization of poverty in the streets of Zimbabwe is a telling to all that all is not well in this country. Can he sincerely tell me that he really enjoys his ride and feels he is a VP of a great country Zimbabwe seeing dirty, hungry children begging in the streets because there is nothing to scavenge in Zimbabwean bins? Their presence in the streets of every town and city in the land makes it possible the emergence of disturbing and unsettling aspects of our rot government Zanu PF.

It is indeed pleasure without conscience to splash the President's birthdays every year in a country in absolute dire straits. Does President Richard Morgan Tsvangirai enjoy staying in that posh house in Highlands at the same time tells us he is fighting for justice, fighting to free the people of Zimbabwe from a despotic government of Zanu?

What is pleasurable for the Zanu elite to send their children to foreign schools and universities because our institutions in the country are inferior to them? What is pleasurable to tell people that their children can only speak "English" a culture of the British, the imperialists they loath to death. "Down with imperialism!"  But the very children can't speak Chishona or isiNdebele, only English, a sign of opulence and they all went to or go to posh former-Rhodesian-Schools and never to mix with the mob populations in ordinary schools. This is how we are sold a dummy to remain stupid and never critique it but shout loud patriotism, to remain political correct.

VP Mphoko supposedly a religious man of the Seventh Day Adventist, is supposed to demonstrate sensitivity and consideration in his life. To squander so much money by staying in hotel using cash strapped treasury is immoral to say the least. Justice and Judgment are wholly inseparable. His attitude, ever since he came to power as VP has always been: "I cut yami yiphi lapha?" He is less serving the nation as he does not have the capacity to do so. The VP status was thrust upon him, could not have been elected by anybody even a donkey would have declined his vote to him. VP Mphoko is wounding the hearts and minds of the population he is serving, indulging and gratifying himself at the expense of the hungry population especially in Matabeleland. There is no sense of responsibility in his life that is full of pleasurable lifestyle.

Does Mr. Chiyangwa really enjoys his wealth, buying 500 suits he will not wear, buying a big, big car that cannot move in potholed Zimbabwe roads, just to show off to the poor masses who have nothing in their name and nothing to eat that day and these poor people they are in millions, the street kids who will stare and wonder at his limousine that has just dropped from mars. There is a photo of him posing at five top model cars of this world. In this particular limousine he was partying with his friends showcasing wealth in the sense of the word, throwing out of the window food rests so that the street kids can pick and eat. This is year 2015 the second millennium.  

Knowledge without character
Who branded Munangagwa and made him a VP in the land. Munangagwa was a nonentity even during the struggle for independence. This is man whose profile has been now elevated by the Gugurahundi atrocities he perpetuated in the 1980s by Zanu PF. Who groomed Munangagwa to be world class leader and a potential future President of Zimbabwe? Munangagwa was a lizard until 2004 and now he is groomed to be as fierce as crocodile in 2015. It would be good to tell the story of a mamba and a rock rabbit:

The Mamba asked the rock rabbit: "Mbila nginceda fethu, ngelekwe yi litshe leli, ngiyehluleka ukuhambahamba, nginceda fethu. Sonduza ilitshe leli nkona ngiza hambahamba ngidinge ukudla. I Mbila yathi yona, awusoze ungiginye na ngingakunceda Mamba? I Mamba yathi "Hatshi! Hatshi!" I Mbila yasusa ilitshe lelo. I Mamba yabonga kakhulu. But i Mamba yi Mamba, yathi yona Mbila ngilambile kakhulu, sokumele ngikuginye khathesi! I Mbila yathi kanti angithi yimi engikuncedileyo, welekwe yilitshe leli. The rock rabbit was eaten up by the black Mamba.

When Mr. Emmerson Munangagwa becomes President he will not hesitate to repeat the Gugurahundi atrocities he perpetrated in the 1980s. His utterances regarding the people of Matabeleland are as vague and as dangerous as ever. Here is a man in 2015 who can dare insult the late President Joshua Nkomo and he openly tells us that Joshua Nkomo was a traitor. What will stop him from sending his army to decimate the people of Matabeleland, the mission he did not accomplish earlier on? The grand plan of 1979. Mr. VP Munangagwa knows too well that the world did not react to the genocide he and his cabals perpetrated in the 1980s, the world will look on again. The people of Matabeleland and Midlands were the losers and they will be the losers in the event VP Munangagwa became President.

Politics without principle
Politics is the primary trait of mankind and is as old a trade as mankind too. If there are no values and principles in any political organization it becomes dirty and toxic. Real politics hinges on sound leadership with principles and values, without which it is toxic. Gutter politicians are carnally cantankerous, insincere, dangerous, morally bankrupt insignificantly productive, self-centered and wicked. (President Robert Mugabe, Dr. Grace Mugabe, Mobutu Sese Seko, Adolf Hitler) Zimbabwe politics has been marred by lack of principle in the trade. The crops of politicians found in Zimbabwe political landscape and also in the opposition, (MDC-T) do qualify these above descriptions well. Politics in Zimbabwe is not service but a way to accumulate power and wealth.

Unhealthy conflicts in any political movement hinge on the pursuit of politics without principles. Real political principles are fundamental laws that guide and govern the organization and they are fruitful if they are applied correctly. Principles in an organization, especially political organizations should be superior to humans so that there is no idolization of a human being. (MDC-T, Zanu PF)

Good politics and good politicians do have leadership qualities that combine charisma and integrity. (Madiba Mandela) That is what qualifies them to be leaders of the society. A good politician has a conscience that guides him/her. (Kaunda, Nyerere, Agostino Neto) Politicians must be partisan and diligent in their approach with a strong moral fibre and pursue it with the purpose of genuine service to humanity. A good leader will never yearn for power and all its trappings that go with it. (Lumumba) A good leader will be able to endure the road that leads to end-goals, service. (Kenneth Kaunda, Mandela) A good leader is assessable to all rich- and poor people. (Nelson Mandela) A good leader must understand the needs of his electorate and deliver as promised.

Chief among the qualities of a good politician is honest and trustworthy - statesmanship. (Patrice Lumumba, Julius Nyerere, Sankara, Nelson Mandela) They stand up for what is right and work hard to achieve those noble goals. The citizens of any country need politicians that are accountable and can deliver basic or primary services, health, education, decent housing, safe homes, and above all, the right to work and the availability of it through good governance, a job to work and feed his family without hand-outs and begging.  

At the height of genocide that took place in Matabeleland and Midlands, President Joshua Nkomo capitulated to save the lives of thousands of people in those areas. Politics with principles! When Dr. Edison Zvobgo was ailing and showing signs that he was dying, he apologized to the nation for the Gugurahundi atrocities that happened in the early days of our independence. That is politics with principle. Nelson Rholihlahla Madiba Mandela resigned from politics after serving only one term. Politics with principles! How many black politicians in Africa do we have with this noble caliber? None! Revolutionaries will still have to be born.

When we witness the continuous rigging of elections in Zimbabwe because a party wants to stay in power at all cost, when VP Mphoko donates three sewing machines to three women in Bulawayo and he tells us that he wants to resuscitate the once giant industry of Bulawayo, when you see very old people, (Dr. Chombo, Dr. SK Moyo) kneeling before a once typist Grace Mugabe because she is the spouse to the President, (bedroom coup) when we are told the two VPs take notes from the First Lady, when VP Mphoko categorically denies that President Mugabe was part of the genocide perpetrators in Matabeleland and Midlands, (Robert Mugabe is a true Catholic with three rosaries), when we are told that the Kalanga people are uneducated as they go to South Africa to buy bicycles and blankets, when we are told the San people are uncivilized, when the country is held at ransom by a 91 year old who does not want to relinquish power but wants to die in office, when we see vendors treated like criminals for trying to survive the collapsed economy, when some youthful Minister tells us to make babies preferably boys, when people of Zimbabwe are reduced to hand-outs coming from Dr. Grace Mugabe and life is lost in the process, when pedophiles are given the right to marry underage girls ( aged nine, twelve and sixteen) if they made them pregnant, when in 2015 people are reduced to fetch  water from the rivers, next time we shall be told to eat grass and snakes to survive the economic down turn.

The good question is, where are the  true leaders and the real politicians in the land to give the people some decency of life. Its high time Zimbabweans seriously thought about their future without Zanu PF in the government. The seven deadly sins the Honorable Mahatma Gandhi postulated is a timeless philosophy and very, very relevant in Zimbabwean political landscape.  
Ngiyabonga, Ndatenda, Thank you

U gogo omncane
Chirikadzi chenyu

Nomazulu Thata

Source - Nomazulu Thata
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