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Zimbabweans not embracing freedom


ZIMBABWE has been under the spell of the first secretary of the ruling party since independence in 1980. I wish to draw parallels to a prisoner that is incarcerated for long jail sentence with the Zimbabwean population.

One example that springs to mind is that of Nelson Mandela of Qunu.

Detailed accounts of Mandela’s life in prison show a prisoner who realised that due to the fact that he would be held in prison for a very long time, needed to understand thinking patterns, fears and hopes, attitudes of his jailers to ensure his time in jail was less frustrating.

With that understanding of his jailers, Nelson Mandela managed to score a lot of concessions from them. Hence he emerged from prison much stronger than his jailers.

However, the same can’t be said of Zimbabweans that have been governed or ruled by the first secretary for the past 34 years. When one reads accounts of how Zanu and Zanla operated since their spells Maputo, Mozambique, during the liberation struggle and juxtapose that with the soul of the party during its governing years during independent Zimbabwe, one learns a lot about Zanu’s character and personality.

In September 2008 I was one of the people that attended the public signing ceremony of the Government of National Unity at Rainbow Towers in Harare.

Two issues caught my attention when the incoming prime minister and president made their remarks post-signing.

The president made mention of how difficult democracy is and how foreign it was to Zimbabwe.

His body language told me he was being sincere. On the other hand the prime minister quoted the words of Zimbabwe’s prime minister in 1980. His body language showed a man that was quoting the words of his hero gone bad!

Zanu is about its first secretary and now commander of armed forces, as much as it’s youth league (read MDC-T) is about its president. Both these leaders are the party and can do no wrong.

Anyone who dares speak or act against them is committing “treasonous” act and must be dealt with decisively. In both institutions nepotism, tribalism, corruption, violence, bootlicking and hero worshiping and a kitchen cabinet with inept and out of depth cadrés, is the creed.

Just because Zanu PF has ruled Zimbabwe for the past 34 years Zimbabweans, even in private institutions frown upon sharp talent and all things progressive.

One quality that guarantees a position for life at the top is being incapable.

All cadrés that have tried to instill discipline in doing the right thing and ensure progress in both organisations have been hounded like criminals.

Zimbabweans in their naïveté are searching for reasons why Zimbabwe is now one of poorest nations in the world, with people under poverty datum line averaging 74%, the smallest economy by Gross domestic product in the region, unable to conduct any credible data collection exercise , an example being the incredible 2012 national census results.

Zimbabweans’ naïveté was further exposed when the State media started its corruption expose.

The nation got so excited that Zanu PF was now willing to rid itself of one of its core values, corruption. It was not to be, as the crusade has just but faded into oblivion.

The minister that was behind the crusade, maybe meant well,but has been put out to hang in the public by the first secretary. The good professor, who hails from Tsholotsho, was told that “we are a simple people, don’t use your intellect to confuse our people”.

Maybe the first secretary meant the good professor is an invitée who is now confusing the core shareholders of the party by showing lack of commitment to the creed of the party.

In the meantime in the youth league, it has not been different. During the selection of the Bulawayo mayor candidate, one elder Honourable Sam Sipepa Nkomo, who hails from Tsholotsho, was dressed down and told by the chosen one that he had no business airing his views on the process even if he was very close to action in Bulawayo.

When some elements began murmuring about the chosen one leaving his position, something hit the fan!

However, what became very revealing were the exchanges that ensured with Bulawayo showing the hidden dirt.

Nkomo led the charge by revealing how votes were bought during various elections within party structures, including the Gaborone sojourn.

Not to be outdone, honourable Albert Mhlanga of Pumula went an extra mile! I just love Mhlanga for his very sincere openness in approaching these matters. He has told the unsuspecting reader how they impose candidates and rig primary elections in their party.

I hate to remember that old adage that a people get a leadership they deserve, but in Zimbabwe’s case it rings very true.

The country has no grasp of what is at play in its national politics, including its main characters.

I have heard the nauseating line that Zimbabweans needed to replace the first secretary with the chosen one at “No 1 Chancellor Road”.

People were told not to worry about the chosen one’s lack of leadership qualities as he was just being used to remove the first secretary thereafter the country will find a suitable leader! What hogwash!

Democracy confers the responsibility of electing a leadership to deliver a given mandate at a point in time in the life of a nation. This responsibility rests with all voting age citizens.

Zimbabweans, privately in their hearts, must decide whether they like their quality of life or not. Should they do, they should go ahead and vote for either Zanu PF of MDC-T.

Should they not they must look for a genuine alternative.That is the burden of democracy.

This brave new world that we live in today allows Zimbabweans to be free private citizens. But that reminds their choice.

True independence remains the free thinking to make personal choices. Maybe Zimbabweans are going through the “American slave syndrome?”

Post-1865 after legislating to free slave in US, an internal conflict among slaves broke out where the “house niggers” were resisting this new-found freedom!

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