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Changing cultural political mind set is required for Africa: The Zimbabwe Case

31 Oct 2016 at 22:18hrs | Views
Apparently Africa is not conscious of the global political change processes transitioning in the world. Similarly, just as North America is blind to people behavioural change manifesting inside their countries. These change-factored challenges are by and from angry masses whose anger is on the manner and way the political establishments, namely parties and personalities influential, are and have been blind to common people and middle classes needs over a time period.

Whereas North America is supposedly a mature democracy, the tendency for some Banana republican replica is typical in the 2016 American Presidential elections.  An unpreceded derogatory verbiage and un forgiving personal attacks have thrown American politics into the substandard level of growing economies where focus is vindictive driven, threat for political punishment on the opponent predisposing countries into political instability and uncertainty unlike a mature democracy. Incidentally it would seem, in the eyes of a novice, as though Russia's Putin is scoring good grounds as a very sober politician directing new world order beginning with the 2016 Presidential electoral processes.

Obviously Africa has been less of a headache when it comes to political dictation influence from Russia since she meanders on themes of none-alignment and political freedom from western bondage together with the Russians. Africa has walked through one plight into another with eyes open for lack of understanding international political preferences of her so-called new friends. Africa as a continent does not have stable relationship where candid talks take place except for ingratiation seeking of one leader to another at the expense of good governance and freedoms of citizens in those countries. This is not politically correct in the language of colourful political struggle against the west, which I have ironically grown to label a 'struggle against self discovery'.

When Africa at independence drove hard her citizens into literally worshipping so-called liberation heroes and/or nationalists it has and is becoming sickening in every sense of political freedom to reflect and/or think the harm it has cost Africa in terms of lives wastage. This reality is less talked of in the African corridors of power but intensity of control and domination persists. Universities are worst enemies of newly established governments after independence. Opposition political parties are labelled stooges of the west, simply because they propose a difference in approach to political processes, thinking and handling of other people/citizens. There has not yet been a success in changing African political culture into respect for freedoms and accepting change through the power of a ballot box vote. It will finally register to dictators that voting is the most powerful lobbying instrument in a democracy.

With China proving to be an up coming economic force in less developed, therefore, politically unstable states of the world, it threatens democracy and human rights compliance in unprecedented ways for African people. Africa due to her inefficiency when it comes to poor employment of resources and less contrivable corruption will be a loser in this game of the Sino-African economic bondage and legal treaties. Yes, Africa could receive much aid from China but that will not change efficiency and transparency which lacks due to encouraged corruption among the top hierarchy in ruling political parties. Poor governance at its worst is always justified as gainful fruits of independence and freedom. Human rights abuse is taken as necessary teething problems in learning to respect black leaders from previous colonial masters. These are just excuses of complete failure and incompetence that saddled African governance legacy.


African political culture takes off from three traditional premises and dimensions. The first is the assumption that Nationalism was the best weapon to bring smooth changes for political gains for the majority. The second is that where Nationalism failed the employment of a scudo revolutionary approach when liberation fronts are paraded as a success story was accepted as the victory of conquering colonial powers. The third perspectives are that of military coups coming up to replace corrupt political leaders with some equally corrupt military leaders who do not understand the meaning and application of constitution, let alone, the effect of presidential terms as a requisite to fulfilling tenets of democracy.

Much of African nationalism borrows from the African traditional systems of Kingdoms and Chieftains. In short, it is not so transparent that African nationalists loved African tradition since they did not follow it religiously and used it only as a convenient. That most post colonial era elections were done prior to having someone appointed as a Leader, in itself alters tradition. Tradition had it that leadership was by virtue of birth in a clan of royalty. The system assumed that the people were subjects to the Chief and showed allegiance and loyalty to him. The electoral systems gave freedom of association and does not condemn opposition as a sign of showing no loyalty or lacking in patriotism. The arresting and detaining therefore of opposition by so called democratically elected leaders, remains a novelty born on a mixture of tradition and extreme individualism based on failure to understand the constitutional parameters.

To date, we have political parties and leadership who do not believe that a leader can be picked from a person at the party cell level to assuming national responsibilities. It would appear that the consideration of education, experience and intelligence to master, articulate and translate issues into policies that empathize with the people is least acceptable. A change from mind set of ingratiation and hero worshipping has to be radically applied by reversing trends in grooming of leadership so as to cut our nurturing a mind set of corruption. A language polite and yet friendly to able performers need be encouraged in order to come up with a skills-set appropriate to lead and /or follow yet able to participate in open debate that can contribute to growth and development than retrograding political naivety that lends itself to fertile ground for corruption. To institute controls to a system that has origins of corruption inherent in culture of a people can be hard and torturous.

The change in the mind set among Zimbabweans as in Africa is needed to understand leadership from a performance and delivery of issues and policy execution stand point by leadership at any section of the ladder in the community where ever they are. Zimbabweans need now to uncheck the system of seniority in matters of public service where vote is used based on performance and capacity of an individual than loyalty to party affiliations irrespective of incompetence and lacking in performance.

No doubt we may be good talkers but not necessarily executors of practical policies on good human relations, ability to tolerate without being upset and give up as though there it is promised that someone else would repair the damage and further exacerbate social harmony for disunity, blame and lack of cooperation. Tolerance is an important tool for democracy as it is to the rule of law in order to achieve and allow for execution of justice. Tolerance is a tool borne on skills-set and knowledge of leadership among and with the people apart from having an understanding of the constitutional rights citizens have before the court of law.

Unlike in Zimbabwe and many other African countries as well as in some developed countries too,where jury by default rests with the police officer hence the culture of corruption, Zanu government appeased voters at the expense of the application of the rule of law in the delivery of justice to every citizen irrespective of their status. Implicitly Mr. Mugabe, the Executive President, is the supreme constitution in Zimbabwe. He can rule without questions from the legislature or from the Judiciary except ineffective noise by some opposition individuals.  Beyond Mr. Robert Mugabe is none other practically who can untie certain judiciary decisions turned political.  Even though the law refers to national courts as final abettors when it comes to legal proceedings and verdicts, it is common sense that Presidents in Africa become everything and often judges cannot reach a decision without reference to the presidents. Read the Human Rights writings on Zimbabwe and all the crimes that evaded courts but were passed to the President of the country who warned against violation of the same by any judge. Judiciary interference is a rampant act of the presidency in Zimbabwe so is the appointment of judges and some positions within the civil service.

Zimbabweans outside the country must now grapple with the narrative of substituting fear of Mr. Mugabe as a dictator and as a system, replacing it with the need to find freedom and express it openly in order to liberate others by seeing liberation actions. That radio and TV stations are guarded against what they can broadcast signals decay and a political rot that should be taken out of the heart and minds of citizens replacing it with the passion of what is right based on understanding of the constitution and simple rules of law and order. The privilege of being abroad for those abroad is to learn from seeing fairness served at its best as justice delivered without interference from any institutions within the separation of power framework, namely, from either the presidency or the legislature.  

Countries where Zimbabweans preside offer the best practices in learning by observing how social justice is delivered. It begins with how we are inducted into citizenship and/or granted refugees status in these nations. Learning by doing or being in the act teaches far greater than how we may have been treated in our countries of birth. But then it should teach us to be better people who aim to fine tune governance practices in Zimbabwe. Inevitably we see the gross negligence the government of Zimbabwe has done and the miscarriage of justice meted upon many citizens of Zimbabwe by the hierarchy of Zanu Political party while prophesying to be a people liberation movement party. We see the contrast between buttering people with sticks and the discipline given through the processes prescribed in statutes books. We learn first hand differences between abuse and torture from uncompromising regimes of terror. We cannot deny the fear trauma that sits in many people of African origin

We have to learn the language of building cooperation among ourselves distancing ourselves from the oldest culture of despising others through words reconciliatory seeking friendship encouraging cooperation and harmony as people with a common cause. We are yet to learn communicating to find a solution than communicate to find fault. One cannot say that we should not make observation on what is wrong, but to caution that good leadership need to be encouraging others on best methods of condemning that are educational and corrective than impunitive.  We concede to the fact that Mr Mugabe regime has taught youth to be provocative to the elderly using their position of trust from the party which is abuse than instructional. Mr. Mugabe's party has emphasised the use of force to invite cooperation for survival sake than for the love and passion of what is being offered. Wrong approaches to people who claim superiority by virtue of holding a Zany political party card has evoked bad feelings and at worst anger.

While outside the scene of hate action and abuse by Mr. Mugabe police force, we urge each other to learn to forgive and take on to the best methods of politicizing a situation for the good of everyone in the community irrespective of political or religious and tribal affiliation and heritage. The concept of the flag is one good example any Zimbabwean can use to see common good that should get us united together and see common good for willingness to sacrifice. Creation of jobs is a skill that require government broad policy blessings as motivation to many more doing the same. Learning each other even though we are from the same country takes time, so encouraging people to talk to each other in order to learn values in each other helps destroy bridges built on tradition of tribal animosity, as an example. Denial of the fact that these negatives exist can be an enemy from within the destroys our efforts to form common ground for the common good.

Common good when it reaches maturity level through interactive social fellowship it removes fear of who we are and contributes towards the goodwill of being able to sport talents among each other irrespective of one traditional beliefs, tribe or colour. There is no short cut to knowing each other as the cement that builds foundation for social harmony and political trust required among people of one country, not only one political party. It is a fact that Zanu itself was born on divisive tendencies that broke it several times, without a through strategy for correction, resulting in the nasty fracture in the party in 2014.  No doubt Mr. Mugabe by his failure to be transparent on issues such as succession had sown seeds of doubt and bad faith. The language in a democracy is for Presidential terms which schedule duration of one staying in power grooming others to prepare for take over through simply a campaign moderated by votes.

Teaching people to respect law and follow rules is both an act of teaching and through observation.  Mr. Mugabe and his surrogates unbeknown to them taught more of fear since they forced people to support Zanu and say only good thing about Zanu and all Party leaders especially on Mr. Mugabe himself. This has taught both grown ups and young growing the spirit of anger from frustration of failing to express an opinion unless you leave the country. Political reprisals of ordinary people made the ordinary people lose their faith in the party and the good will in the liberation struggle or at least those who claimed to have championed it. These are strong pillars in our building a communication narrative that Zanu abused resulting at where we are today. We have to begin by acknowledging the wrongs in order to correct them. Zanu has failed to be a judge and a jury at the same time and therefore needs to be open to debate and open to transparent voting which she has resisted with every measure of force and sawing violence in youths.

While common ground on wrongs exists by majority looks of anxiety inside Zimbabwe there is extreme hardships to get common language narrative that goes beyond individuals to seek people performances and competencies. Mitigating against this good will development is the fear factor based on the callous abuse of people, abduction and beatings that occur openly in police video that have had their circulations on the U-tube. Without denial, Zanu is paranoid about opposition and opposition is paranoid about survival tactics from Zanu. The solution lies in the Diaspora learning the common language narrative so home can clandestinely emulate and take a position to act on it and not bound by who should lead but by common narrative in our defining of an enemy of the people within and without our camps and existence.

Our narrative has to be so strong that people can resonate to when they are alone at their rural homes far away from civilization of town lights therefore oppression of the regime Control over rural is possible through ignorance and fear from lack of information by either both radio and news paper media circulating. Zanu stopped circulation of newspapers in rural areas almost thirty years ago. In town people cannot gather in groups without attracting law enforcement agents. We are like deranged people without a language except rely on fear in order to remain safe. Zanu carrying random beatings of people especially during elections is an experience that drive many more and more people leaving the country in thousands year in and out.  
We have built resilience to survive and not to fight back, not as yet because of Zanu surrogates they have tried even planting abroad. But abroad they have no force of legitimacy except threatening to take rehearsals on relations back home. In deed such strategy worked at the beginning but it is wearing out. Faith in who we are and how to communicate is picking up. Increasing efforts at structuring a common language narrative beyond artificial boundaries is emanating strong, no doubt we are counting on time. People no longer fear from abroad to talk against ills perpetrated home by a sick regime. This would not happen ten years ago.

As we get to know each other so shall we be able to select men of goodwill who will take the country back to the people of Zimbabwe. Tis is a conscious effort on the part of all of us, even members of Zanu or members of the army or police because evil is a cancer, soon you will be a victim.

The traditional political culture abuses the patriarchal system and uses it for the benefit of incompetent corrupt leaders who neither follow the constitution nor know what it spells out in how to handle matters of grievances in governance. Subsequently we have a system that prophesie to be a democracy while never allowing open debate or choice of the people on leadership except persons verted by the hierarchy in the political leadership.

Two things remain a constraint to the smooth operational strength of multi parties on the African continent. Firstly, the lack of understanding and conceptualizing of the constitutional limits and strength therefore having no faith in leadership concepts like succession, conceding defeat during and after elections. Secondly, the failure to accept rigorous debate openly to influence decision making among the masses is rife contributing to fears of governments rigging of the elections. Even abroad you rarely hear of a retired official refugee from Africa speaking strong on execution of justice.

Tradition has been used as an excuse by tyrants who do not want to allow peace on the continent but want to retain power for the duration of their life. Education on human values and sensitivity of life have to be taught from primary schooling to University education coupled with the justice of knowing rights of people by the people. Rule of law associated with the Magna Carta in anxiety British historical times has not been properly digested by many Africans scholars and leaders to deserve dying for defending it when they assume leadership, hence the too much experimentation with matters central to good governance collapsing governments into reign of tyranny by tyrants.

A new crop of people is born out of frustrations of establishments' insensitivity to law and order and rule of law in bringing about good governance to a country and her people uplifting it. The purpose of this article is to encourage learning of a new language not by accident from force of external threats but by volition to bring an amicable ending transitioning a democracy. I have faith in the case of Zimbabwe that learning to move from current brutality mentality to orderly government need a transitional arrangement based on the fact than love for life than for riches run the hold on any new government

Zimbabwe like many of her sister African states need to be born again. What are you doing to lay down a brick in the new building process soon to begin? Think deep and strong to be part to the solution irrespective of your location.

Source - Andrew M Manyevere
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