As the names imply, earthmovers and bulldozers are meant to move objects, be it trees, rocks and unwanted surfaces.
Graders do a less taxing job than earthmovers yet the purpose is the same, that of clearing and removing obstructive objects.
This allegory will mainly refer to road building. Mountains have been carved, rivers bridged and forests destroyed to make way for the highway. Once the clearance is done, and the highway built, earthmovers and bulldozers get parked at workshops to await the next assignment.
Nations that have been subjected to colonialism experience problems in adjusting from a liberation mood to a peace time one. Africa is the most affected of the continents of the world. When liberation wars come to an end, in most cases the same liberation movements proceed to form governments in their respective countries.
One may ask, what is wrong with a liberation movement forming a government? There is nothing wrong per se.
However, in most cases, liberation movements remain in the trenches when they are supposed to emerge and live a civilian lifestyle.
Metamorphosis fails to take place under such entrenchments. The ability to adapt from a liberation movement to a political party remains a pie in the sky.
Exceptions prevail, a situation where a liberation movement adapts into a rainbow political party. South Africa under Nelson Mandela experienced this type of adaptation, short-lived though it was.
Proponents of the idea that liberation movements proceed to form governments argue that this strategy is good for protecting the revolution from being hijacked. Any true revolution should protect itself.
When founding values are set aside a revolution within a revolution takes place. A good example is the MDC split in 2005 and the recent one which has seen the renewal team breaking away from mainstream MDC-T.
The resultant outcome is the same both for liberation movements and political parties.
In psychology there is what they call the J factor (the J being upside down). The implication of this factor is that any person’s development or performance starts with an upward graph, only to reach a downward turn representing the upside down J.
This theory has it that once one’s ability takes a downward turn, it cannot be straightened or improved.
Excelling prowess, shrewdness in executing the armed struggle does not automatically translate into good governance. Bravery in the face of ruthless bashing is not proof of governance acumen either.
The secret lies in a liberation movement or political party’s ability to read when their J down curve starts setting in.
When this nose-diving curve is reached, one is advised to quickly pass on the baton to those whose graph is still upward moving regardless of the acquisition or non acquisition of the so called credentials.
In Zimbabwe there are two cases with striking similarities. The first one is Zanu PF and the second is MDC-T.
Make no mistake Zanu PF is a political juggernaut, while MDC-T is an opinion leader and crowd puller. That as it may be, when it comes to matching policies with activities on the ground Zanu PF is a novice. Worse still is the party’s reading of economics.
MDC-T has all it takes for a team to win except the winning formula – it is BOSSO number two.
Bulldozers destroy tarred roads. It is high time that both Zanu PF and MDC-T made a serious assessment of their weak points with a view to move this country forward. People do not eat high sounding slogans and policies.
Moses Tsimukeni Mahlangu is the general-secretary for Zimbabwe Urban Councils Workers’ Union. He is a labour consultant and arbitrator.
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