Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

Changing labels of Empty Bottle - Zimbabwe

by Terence T Simbi
20 Jan 2020 at 15:11hrs | Views
(This article was first published in Newsday in November 2014, titled There's Victory in Losing. This piece was centred on Pres R Mugabe and pointed on the point that we might in the future change Labels of an Empty Bottle "Zimbabwe")

A year has passed since the much anticipated July 31 harmonised elections with it a lot happening over the period to now. I wish to abstain from being too critical or assigning blame to individuals regarding the current state of the nation but rather wish to be objective in my analysis.

I hope my Christian background will give high hopes to the populace. As Christians we believe everything happens for a reason and happens according to the will of God to shape and strengthen us moving forward.

That being said, the period since the year 1999 to date has come with many lessons. The challenge now is on how to objectively reflect on all these events in order for us to shape our governance, cultural and ethical beliefs moving forward.

Firstly, there is no doubt President Robert Mugabe, who is the commander in chief of the defence forces who is also the head of state and government is a winner of last year's elections. Our president is world over known for his winning attributes.

He has proved this time and again by escaping some of the most hopeless and challenging political situation both within his party and nationally by outsmarting his opponents all times.

The ability to use time, calculated approach and use of key fundamental words that can be translated by all classes are some of his strong winning points in his campaigns and administration. He himself prudes of these abilities and fully understands very well no persons within or outside his party can match his tactical and calculative capacity in his lifetime.

This you could tell from the structure of the interview done by Tarzan Mandizvidza shown on the national broadcaster marking his 90th birthday in February 2014.

In the interview he spoke about the various attempts to unseat his in Zanu-PF, the likes of Simba Makoni. The president pointed out rush of blood as a major weakness in most of his contenders. He also spoke on how he outsmarted the MDC hinting on the infighting between Tendai Biti the former secretary general and Morgan Tsvangirai its leader as a major weakness in the party leading into the July 31st election.

It is important to note the interview was before Tendai Biti led a splinter group against Tsvangirai, the president had already foreseen the challenges the MDC is now facing. Leading to the conclusion no person can unseat the president in an election; he is just too good for anyone to match in a race in his lifetime.
Going back to the title of this article, let us now analyses the type of winning which our president has and the effects it has had on our country.

The winning attributes I would strongly give credit to for it helped the black majority to attain independence and gave us black Zimbabweans the power to shape our own destinies. It is by the use of superior strategy, resilience and calculated approach the president and other war heroes used to fight of the oppressive minority white lead government.

As a young Zimbabwean I want to take this opportunity to salute all the heroes who fought tirelessly in that long and fruitful battle against majority marginalisation.

These heroes were motivated to end the injustices, lack of economic freedom, inequality and marginalisation they fell subject to in the colonial days. It is a difficult decision to make, for one to put his life on the line diplomatically or in military combat whenever one sees endless injustices being committed against his people.

This is so because fighting oppression is dangerous, the oppressors will always justify themselves and will guard their interests by all means. If it wasn't for the winning mentality which was present in our liberation wars heroes throughout the struggle, the nation of Zimbabwe would not have been attained.
Coming to the administrative phase of the independent Zimbabwean state with special analysis of the period 1999-2014 where the major opposition party, the MDC emerged.

I wish to point out that the winning mentality came in with major catastrophic effects which now shape the cultural of dis-unity and intolerance present in our country. In an attempt to react to the new opposition party borne from the failure of the Zanu PF lead government to expand economical by maintaining steady growth to match the growing educated population. A new undesirable culture rose from the winning mentality as the government reacted to the MDC.

The idea of being a true Zimbabwean arose, to be one you must have a track record of being directly involved in the liberation struggle. Suddenly policy formulation and implementation moved away from being a thorough assessment process to a rational decision making process.

The focus on all the sides from the onset was on winning, winning at all cost and winning without considering the long term effect of campaign tactics in use. The MDC reacted through the facilitation of sanction aiming to speed up there ascendency to power. It is important for them to accept this for progress and solutions to be found.

Ordinary Zimbabweans observed the fighting back and fought over the period as all parties were in this bitter war to take control of power. The winning mentality of these parties however, caused untold suffering to the Zimbabwean population as all sides maintained these positions to reach the stalemate we are currently at.

I guess both parties were solely concerned with standing out to the public and claiming victory following this brutal fight thus forgot the people with it there core objectives. The objective to attain a better Zimbabwe for the masses, a Zimbabwe of peace, milk and honey through cooperation was hence lost in this brutal fight. Our politics moved to the blame game, with the MDC claiming ZANU PF was running the affair of the economy in a corrupt manner. ZANU PF returned the favour by pointing out the MDC was responsible for the situation through their facilitations for targeted sanctions.

However a situation like this does not give the populace the drive for excellence and motivation as it provides a fall explanation for slackness in performance.

In my short administrative career I have learnt that were there is conflict, especially in our case when it stretches for long periods, organisational performance falls in some cases the organisation fails. The major reason for this situation is the pulling of the two viewpoints in different directions. Even if a party has a perfect policy statement the other will sabotage the implementation by all means especially in a highly educated environment were pride rules.

Ours is not an issue of policy or ideas. Zimbabwe has some of the best policy statements ever drafted in the world. The ZANU PF (ZIMASSET) indigenisation based policy, the MDC-T (JUICE) investment based policy and The MDC and ZAPU Devolution based policies.

It is my belief these policies are all vitally important for the development of our country. However it is virtually impossible to implement any chosen policy without the support of all of Zimbabwe's political, economic, industrial and cultural establishments, considering the political situation the country is facing.

As we now reflect on the just ended unity government initiated for some reason which is not of importance now, for the first time in year's excellence was demanded from all Zimbabweans regardless of their political ideologies.

No room was left for chattering acquisitions against other local or foreign political establishment regarding any failure in performance. Excellency and unity of purpose was on the lips of all our political leaders hence the country grew. In the first 3 years of the unity government Zimbabwe registered growth rates in excess of 6% for the first time in this 21st century.

The so called 'enemies' were then not cornered about getting personal credit for their own parties. Nation building, cooperation and unity of purpose was hence possible as these political establishments were forced to put their own interests aside. However in the midst of all these developments others were planning ahead using their calculative and strategic capacities to come up on top from the Global Political Agreement arrangement.

The last year of the global political agreement ending 2012 stretching to mid-2013 were elections were to be finally held, brought back the problems Zimbabwe had overcome in the early years of the global agreement.

In the period, political and personal gain re-emerged as the election loamed. Political party interests and strategies to advance position came to play. The forecasted growth rates had to be cut as a result the discos created by the prospects and result of the elections.

For the President the GNU would have seemed to be one of his weakest political points. I however am of a different view point considering how the world has changed and challenges faced by modern leaders.

The world is now ever divided, educated, free to expresses itself more than before. This is shown by the number of endless conflicts present in the world. In the first world countries, leaders face the same challenge of delivering progress in the midst of political ideology differences.

In America the republican and democratic divide is a comparator we can easily point out. The emergence of social media which provide platforms to share news, ideas, and thoughts has proven a challenging prospect to modern time leaders.

Countries now not only exist in isolation but rather in the global community thus leaders forced to provide similar living standards to their own populations whilst producing competitively in relation to peer companies globally.

Modern leaders are faced with the challenge of ruling their countries in way that considers the views of the different political establishments. Without this broad consultation progress will be difficult to achieve. If a leader has winning attributes in this modern days, were the population has greater rights than in the old days of Kings, winning should not be about getting power only. Winning has to come in a form of winning off opponent; convincing them to support ones school of thought rather than pushing on and on with one's own policies. In some cases even accepting to lose and in others seeking compromise from the establishment to achieve progress. However this does not mean being weak ‘no' I don't imply that.

As for the period following the July 31 election up to the current period the country became evermore divided. It started with conflicts and disputes over the election at party level initially.

However now it has gone even further to conflicts within the parties themselves over posts. The situation is not helped by the growing religious establishment (pentecostal churches) whose main message is personal wealth, Gods children standing out as blessed over others.

Its seems like the main agenda is no attract more and more by proving that one's church leader has more power than the other. No one acts, speaks and advocates for a functional community which looks after all its members and unity of purpose anymore. The music being produced in the country now especially dancehall, advocates for more hate. What have we become as a nation?

The challenge for the future leader is how to get the greater part of the population involved in nation building, demanding the highest level of excellence from it regardless of the differences in political ideologies.

Zimbabwe is a country of great potential in terms human resources, mineral resources, climate and location in the world.

Like any kid at school who has potential, failure on his part in realise his weakness and falling to make adjustments to utilise the great potentials will lead him or her to being nothing but a waste of resources. It's now time we all have to evaluate and review ourselves together.

The future of Zimbabwe can only be shaped by us Zimbabweans. As the government engage the eastern countries China and Russia in desperation. Important lessons were learnt as it was revealed that the only people who love and care about Zimbabwe are Zimbabweans.

The Chinese have made this place a dumping place for their cheap quality products and the Russians are even more oppressive than the White settlers.

In conclusion I hear people talking about guns in other words military action against the government. For me this is a dangerous idea as this will not solve any problem immediately more so in the future.

It would be like changing labels of an empty bottle. Lessons from countries like Libya which are now in unending conflict should be drawn. Ours is not a problem of formulation of policies but that of implementation.

The major reason in my view is the liberation struggle. Those who fought in it override policy which is meant for all claiming they have the rights to public resources as benefits of their sacrifices.

That being said fighting what you preserve as operation through arms will give rise to the same problem in future. Those who are to participate in that uprising will also cause the same problem in the future. I hope the country will use more engaging, unity based solutions in solving the challenges that besiege us all. These are just my views

Stay blessed.

Terence T Simbi    
Contact: 0779 097 040
Facebook Group: Realisation of the Zimbabwean Dream
Facebook Page: The Next Zimbabwe

Source - Terence T Simbi